Archive for March, 2010

Dynamic images in .NET applications

Monday 22 March 2010 @ 9:47 am

Dynamic images are a great feature of versions 11 and 12 of CR.  They work pretty well and are mostly trouble free, if you are in the report designer.  But if you try to run this report from an application, in something like VB or .NET, you might find that everything works fine except for the dynamic images.  I know a developer who ran into this problem this past week and resorted to opening a support ticket with SAP to get it resolved.

What she discovered was that she was not alone.  SAP has written an article explaining the problems developers face with dynamic images.  The article is by Ludek Uher and Continue Reading »
Dynamic images in .NET applications

Placing a group of fields onto the report in a column

Thursday 18 March 2010 @ 6:01 am

In a recent report I needed to place 54 formula fields on the layout in 3 columns of 18 fields each. I selected the first 18 fields in the field explorer and clicked in the upper left corner of the section. Crystal then put five fields across until it hit the right margin, and then it wrapped the rest to the second line, then the third line until it had put all 18 fields onto the report.  I then had to drag them into a column layout manually.

When I went to do the second column I dragged the fields to where the second column would go.  Again CR went from where I clicked to the right edge and wrapped to add additional rows.  But, what surprised me was that the wrapped rows didn’t go all the way back to the left edge.  They stopped at the left end of my first field (where I had clicked).   That gave me an idea.   I hit undo and this time dragged the same 18 fields to the upper right corner of the section.  Now Crystal could only fit one field before wrapping.  So I got a perfectly left aligned, evenly spaced column with 18 rows and 1 field in each row – without having to do anything but slide the entire column into position.

So I opened up v8.5 (wondering how long this behavior has existed) and found that v8.5 did the exact same thing.  Just goes to show that I learn new things all the time.

Desktop Based Scheduling Engines

Saturday 13 March 2010 @ 11:10 pm

(This article was written in 2010 but there is also an updated version of this article.)

How would you like your reports to be automatically run, exported to a PDF and delivered to your Email InBox every Monday morning at 6am?  The Crystal Reports designer doesn’t provide a way to do this (unless you upgrade to CR Server or BO Enterprise).  But if you look at third party products like those on my LINKS page you will find several reasonably priced (or even free) tools that are designed to help you do this.  Some do even more.

So this post will compare desktop scheduling tools, providing you with their core features and prices so that you can narrow down your search.  I am working on another post covering server based scheduling tools that I hope to have ready in a few weeks.  If you think one person can manage all the scheduling you are probably fine with one of the desktop tools – regardless of the number of recipients.  If you plan to have multiple people scheduling reports then you will want to look at the server based tools.

Below is a brief introduction to each product and what sets that product apart. I have also created a detailed Continue Reading »
Desktop Based Scheduling Engines

Finding all uses of a variable

Wednesday 10 March 2010 @ 5:01 pm

Starting with v11.5 Crystal has made it easy to find all uses of a field within the formulas of a report.  Just right click on the field  (database, formula, parameter, etc) and select “Find in formulas”.   Even for those of you using older versions of Crystal there is a workaround in my Expert Techniques vol. 1.

But finding where a variable is used is a bit trickier.  Unlike fields, there is (currently) no central list of all the variables used in a report.  But I just noticed a feature that must have been in the formula editor for at least 2 years.  Open a formula and click on Continue Reading »
Finding all uses of a variable

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