Archive for May, 2010

Modification date/time bug

Thursday 27 May 2010 @ 10:38 am

There are two “special fields” in Crystal Reports that allow you to print the date or the time of when the report file was last modified.  Any change to the design of the report should cause these fields to update. But Gordon Portanier of Crystalize in Canada just pointed out an apparent bug to me.  If a report has a subreport then the modification date and time update every time you open the report.

So say you saved 2 reports last night, one with and one without a subreport. They both had the special field “modification date” in the report header.   Then you open and run them both this morning without making any changes.  The one without a subreport will show a modification date of yesterday, which is correct.  The one with a subreport will show a modification date of today.   Every day you run a report with a subreport the modification date/time will show as if a modification was made today.  This behavior exists in all versions of CR that I tested – from v8.5 up through v12 (CR 2008)

I found an exception that I thought would lead to a workaround.  Say that Continue Reading »
Modification date/time bug

CR rebranded as SAP Crystal Reports, v13 in 2011

Sunday 23 May 2010 @ 7:28 pm

This may not sound like much of a change, but I think it is important because it signals SAP’s commitment to the Crystal Reports platform and the value that SAP puts on the product.  According to this blog post by Blair Wheadon, Crystal Reports has now been promoted to a full ‘portfolio’ instead of just being a piece of the SAP/BO product mix. Xcelsius is even being re-branded as “SAP Crystal Dashboard Design” (DD) which clearly shows which product is considered the long-term brand anchor.

One comment made me smile. All of the products are now following the SAP naming convention with the goal of allowing us to “tell what the product does (at a high level) from the product name”.  What a novel idea.

Also tucked in the FAQ section was a note that the next major release of CR won’t be until 2011 – a bit later than I had expected.

Percentages in Crystal Reports vs Excel

Wednesday 19 May 2010 @ 11:47 am

Percentages in Crystal behave slightly differently than they do in Excel.  Say you calculate 13/21 and get .619.   In Excel you can click the percent symbol on the toolbar and get the value to show as  61.9%.  And if you multiply another value by this you will still by multiplying by .619.

In Crystal, clicking on the % on the toolbar does not move the decimal over for display.  So if you have the same calculation of .619 and you click the percent symbol it will simply add the symbol, showing as .619%.   If you want the displayed value to shift the decimal you have to Continue Reading »
Percentages in Crystal Reports vs Excel

Preventing Drill-Down

Thursday 13 May 2010 @ 6:28 am

Drill-Down is a wonderful feature, but it can confuse those who don’t expect it.  Even when you suppress sections a user can drill-down to an empty screen and not realize what they have done.  Or they will accidentally drill down when the details are not hidden.  They end up on a new tab and don’t know how to get back.

The simplest solution I have found is to cover all the fields in the group header or group footer with a single large text object and make sure it is in front of the the other objects.  Crystal won’t drill-down on a text object so putting this in front of all of the fields prevents the user form using any object in this section to launch a drill-down  – intentionally or accidentally.

And if your users will be running their reports from within CR it is also a good idea to make the text object “Read Only”.  This way they won’t double click by mistake and edit the text.

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