Archive for October, 2008
Many of you have purchased my guide to using Crystal Reports in VB (v6) or my guide to using Crystal Reports in VB.NET. In those guides I cover the basics of configuring and running a report from within an application. I also explain how to change the basic features of the report (groups, parameters, formulas, etc.) and how to log the report into a secured database.
One thing that isn’t currently described is how to log the report into a connection that is different than the connection used at design time. While the code is the same, there is one thing you have to do Continue Reading »
Overridden Qualified Table Names
The latest versions of Crystal Reports have a menu option in the “Report” menu called “Check Dependencies”. This is a handy little feature that allows you to see if there is anything that would prevent the report from running. For instance, I often find formulas that use a field or function that is no longer available.
How does a report end up with a missing dependency? Here are two examples: Continue Reading »
What does it mean to “Check Dependencies”
I have had several users contact me for support recently because they are frustrated with the changes at SAP. One user tried for a week just to open a support ticket, then gave up and gave me a call. And SAP continues to modify the Business Objects support system. Starting November 1, 2008:
Crystal Reports desktop software:
The two free support cases you would get with each license will be replaced with complimentary access to support engineer moderated forums. The forums can be accessed through the Crystal Reports Support area on SAP’s site. Note that these are open peer-to-peer forums and most of the responses are from other users.
Customers who require interactive assistance from an engineer can purchase Single Case Support, but only through the eStore.
Software maintenance (one year of software updates) is no longer available on desktop products.
Crystal Reports Server Products:
Maintenance and support were often included in the price, but now customers must purchase them separately. Maintenance at 20% of the license price is now 22% of the license price (the SAP standard price).
For those of you who do VB development, there are several choices for creating an installation file. The main commercial tools are InstallShield and Wise, but there is also a free tool (donations accepted) called Inno Setup, by Jordan Russell.
For those of you that create VB applications incorporating Crystal Reports, you should check out Inno Setup. One of the main advantages (besides being free) is that you can use a great little script generator for Inno Setup called InnoScript by Randem Systems. InnoScript isn’t free but is a great deal for $25.
InnoScript is designed for VB developers and generates complete Inno Setup scripts directly from the VB project file. Best if all, InnoScript now provides full and automatic support for Crystal Reports versions 8.5 thru 12(2008). Randem Systems even maintains an archive of the Crystal redistributable files. You can download the correct Merge Modules in an installable MSI format. To quote Will Fastie, a freelance IT management consultant:
“This is a brilliant piece of work that is available nowhere else, at least as far as I know. I’m using this system now. Flawless.”
And thanks to Will for pointing out these tools.