Archive for February, 2009

Mapping Versions to Service Packs

Wednesday 25 February 2009 @ 10:47 am

Here is a handy blog post by Brian Bischoff on the SAP network. It provides a map of CR version numbers to their associated service packs.  So now you can see from the version number (in help about) how far you are on the service pack series for your version. This only applies to Versions XI, XIr2, and 2008 (also known as versions 11, 11.5 and 12).

And, thanks to Jamey Becker of Answers on Demand, for pointing out this post to me.

Reporting on data that isn’t there Part 1 (Padding)

Tuesday 24 February 2009 @ 4:25 pm

Crystal will not create a group in a report unless there is at least one record for that group in the report’s dataset.  This also affects Cross-tabs and Charts, where you won’t see a row, column or bar unless there is a corresponding record.  But, it is not unusual for users to request that missing groups show up with a zero.  There are several ways to do this and the approach to use depends on a number of factors. Everyone’s first thought is to use an outer join, but I have found that the outer join solution isn’t compatible with the filtering and grouping required in most reports.

One of my favorite workarounds is the “padding” method. Continue Reading »
Reporting on data that isn’t there Part 1 (Padding)

Gag orders in contracts?

Tuesday 17 February 2009 @ 12:07 pm

No one has mentioned this to me yet in reference to SAP, but then again if SAP were doing this how could they mention it?  This blog article highlights the fact that some large and unnamed software vendors are precluding customers from discussing contract terms,  bugs, defects, and even contractual breaches with anyone without their permission.  This would make it difficult to use a third party contract negotiator (something that is becoming popular or even essential on large contracts).  His point is that with software sales so far down, this is the perfect time to negotiate more favorable terms with your vendors, and have some of these bizarre provisions stricken from your contracts.

If anyone finds examples of these contract restrictions sneaking into your agreements please share them.

Founder of Business Objects goes Open Source

Thursday 5 February 2009 @ 6:15 pm

Interesting article in the Register last week. It appears that  Bernard Liautaud, founder of Business Objects has joined the board of an “Open Source” BI project, known as Talend. Mr. Liautaud left Business Objects last year.

Talend puts out a tool called “Open Studio” which is used for data integration. Even though this tool can be downloaded for free, people are expecting to make money providing services related to it.  Balderton Capital has given Talend $12 million in capital so someone must be expecting to make some money. It doesn’t hurt to have someone like BL on board.

And Talend isn’t alone in this market niche. There is another suite of open source BI tools called Pentaho which aims to compete with products like Business Objects Enterprise.  These products get better and pick up more customers and developers every year.  They will soon start to encroach on the proprietary products we think of as the market leaders.

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