Archive for October, 2009



Topic index for my course books

Wednesday 28 October 2009 @ 1:13 pm

In addition to the index for my Expert’s series, I have also created 2 PDF indexes that cover my course books. There are two indexes because many students were taught using an older version of the course books with slightly different pagination.  If your Intro book has 50 pages and your Advanced book has 80 pages then use the v12 index. If your Intro book has 49 pages and your Advanced book has 76 pages then use the v11 index.




Customizing Crystal Reports Start or Splash screen

Monday 26 October 2009 @ 5:18 pm

If you spend as much time in Crystal Reports as I do you, you might appreciate being able to customize it a little bit.  I found a pair of old blog posts on the SAP website that show you how to change the splash screen image, and also how to add a background image to the Crystal Reports start page [ both links are no longer active (7/2013)].

The splash screen is simple to change.  Just take any bmp and rename it to splash.bmp.  Then put it into Continue Reading »
Customizing Crystal Reports Start or Splash screen




Another update to the index

Thursday 22 October 2009 @ 11:43 am

I just uploaded another updated master topic index that includes two more of my guides. The index now includes all the topics covered by nine of my guides:

Expert Techniques volumes 1 through 4
Subreports, Parameters and Alerts
Formulas
Totals
Crosstabs
SQL Expressions, Options, and Commands

This is available as an HTML page as well as a PDF version that you can download.




Update to master topic index

Tuesday 20 October 2009 @ 11:41 am

I just uploaded an updated master topic index that includes two more of my guides.  The index now includes all the topics covered by seven of my guides:

Expert Techniques volumes 1 through 4
Subreports, Parameters and Alerts
Formulas
Totals

This is available as an HTML page as well as a PDF version that you can download.




Rounding bug mimics ‘banker’ rounding

Monday 19 October 2009 @ 10:32 am

There are two types of rounding in Crystal Reports.  I call them ‘real’ rounding and ‘fake’ rounding. Fake rounding is what you do when you use the toolbar button or Format>Field to reduce the number of decimals.  Real rounding is when you write a formula field using the Round() function.  I usually avoid fake rounding because it doesn’t change the underlying values.  So if you total a column that uses fake rounding your total won’t match the visible values in the column.

Last week a tek-tips.com user wrote that fake rounding was using ‘Banker’ rounding which rounds 5 to the nearest even number rather than always rounding up. He asked Continue Reading »
Rounding bug mimics ‘banker’ rounding




Crystal Reports and the color orange

Monday 12 October 2009 @ 9:45 am

When you want to set the color of an object in a CR formula you can pick from one of the 15 default color words like CRRed or CRYellow. If you want an unlisted color you have to give the formula the three RGB values for the desired color.  For example Color ( 238 , 130 , 238) gives you violet.

One way find these values is using the color selector on the toolbar.  Drop down the selector and click “more’ to get what I call the “smear palette”.  This lets you click anywhere within a rainbow-like area and see the matching 3 numbers for the exact shade where you are clicking.  But what if you aren’t sure which flavor of ‘orange’ is really your basic orange?

A second approach is to go to a site like this one which maintains a color chart by NAME. That way, if you know that you want “dusty rose” you can just look up the name and get the numbers. This chart shows the  standard orange to be color (255 , 165 , 0).  Now you might think that color naming is subjective, but I checked several other charts and didn’t find any discrepancies.  For instance, all made the same exact distinction between “Bisque” (255/228/196) and “Blanched Almond” (255/235/205) although these colors are almost indistinguishable (at least to me).

Of the several sites that show colors with names, the list linked above has the longest list.  For other examples you can Google “RGB to color name”.




SAP solves the Zebra printer issue?

Saturday 10 October 2009 @ 11:05 pm

I have written several posts regarding Zebra printers and the problems they have had with labels that rotate when they shouldn’t. According to this blog post in the SAP forums, this issue has been fixed in SP2.  I don’t have the printer to test so if any of you who have had this problem can confirm that this is fixed, please let me know.

(Added 6/25/2011)

I have heard that Seagull Scientific provides free printer drivers for many zebra printers.  These do not seem to have the problems described here.  So that is another potential solution.




CR 2008 Web viewers lose text rotation

Thursday 8 October 2009 @ 6:21 am

If you are using any “Text Rotation” in your reports (like with vertical Cross-tab column headings) you will have trouble deploying them to the web using the CR 2008 DHTML viewer.  This is a known bug  which causes the rotated text to revert to horizontal when rendered.  The links provide more information on this topic:

Technical Note 1215907

SAP Forum discussion

Business Objects Forum discussion




Merge, Split and Rotate PDF Files (for free)

Monday 5 October 2009 @ 6:56 am

If you export two reports to PDF and want to merge them into one, or combine them with other PDF files, you might want to look at a free tool I just discovered called PDFsam.  This isn’t a trial version of something but a free open source tool.  I tried it recently when I needed a way to merge a Word doc and a Spreadsheet into a single PDF, rotating the Spreadsheet 90 degrees in the process.

Whenever available, I usually opt for “free open source software” (FOSS).  Software that is open source means that it was developed by a volunteer team that provides the source code for their application for free. Not only do you know it is free but it makes it much less likely that someone will try to include malicious code.   If you want to see what is available in FOSS you should check out SourceForge.net, one of the most reliable sources for FOSS.




Crystal Reports 2008 Service Pack list

Friday 2 October 2009 @ 10:55 am

The following link lists all the service packs for Crystal Reports 2008 and explains which versions of BO Enterprise to use them with.  It also shows if you need to have a prior service pack to use them and the version number it gives you (so you can see what you already have installed).  If the link moves you should search for an article entitled “Crystal Reports 2008 Service Pack and Fix Pack Reference”




Jeff-Net

Recrystallize Pro

The Expert Series