Archive for July, 2010

Fixed length text exports using CUT Light

Tuesday 20 July 2010 @ 9:28 am

I have struggled many times while helping customers create fixed length text files from Crystal Reports. These files are standardized files used to transfer data from remote systems into centralized systems. Banks, insurance companies and government agencies often require certain business to submit data in fixed length files so they can be imported into legacy applications. The challenge has always been Crystal Reports wanting to truncate the data based on the defined page width, even though the export doesn’t actually go to a physical printer.  I recently did days of research to write an article on how to get the widest possible text export from different versions of CR.  This is published in my Expert Techniques volume 4.  Exporting to text with this method is limited in CR 2008 to 367 or 377 characters depending on your version of the export dll.  Some older versions of CR can go up to 1500 characters if you get all the right pieces in place.

But I was talking with Ido Millet about scheduling these exports when I realized that another of his tools has a very simple solution to the problem. Millet Software produces a DLL called Continue Reading »
Fixed length text exports using CUT Light

RPT management utilities

Monday 19 July 2010 @ 2:29 pm

Have you ever wanted to:
1) Find all the reports that use a particular table, field or calculation?
2) Compare two versions of a report to see what was changed?
3) Make the same change to a group of reports?

The more reports you have, the more likely that you will face these challenges, and you can solve problems like these with the tools in this article. All of these tools can be found in the LINKS page of my site under RPT Management Utilities.

Below is a brief rundown on the core features of each product as well as what sets each product apart. I have also posted a more detailed Continue Reading »
RPT management utilities

CR Server runs SSRS Reports?

Tuesday 13 July 2010 @ 10:04 am

I just read a blog post by Blair Wheadon of SAP.  They want to encourage migration from Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services to Crystal Reports so they have introduced a way to run SSRS reports from within the CR Server environment.  This is intended to cushion the transition and means that you can get your reports and dashboards accessible from one system.  Note that this does NOT import the SSRS reports or convert them.  It just links to them so the run in the SQL Server environment.

What I found interesting is Blair’s explanation of how CR Server is a better solution – even going so far as to claim a lower TCO.  That is an interesting claim when you consider that SSRS is free for most users who are already paying for their SQL Server license.   If anyone would like to weigh in on either side of this issue, let me know.

Correction to Formula 19 (Finding last Friday of the Month)

Wednesday 7 July 2010 @ 11:27 pm

I just heard from Roberto Brum from Brazil who found a way to simplify my Formula #19.  This is a formula that you can use to find the last Friday of any month (or any other weekday).  I liked his approach so I put it side by side with my original formula for testing.   For the most part they worked exactly the same, and the few differences I found were due to my own errors in the original formula.   So, not only is it more elegant, but it is also more accurate.  So I have now posted Roberto’s formula on the page above.  Many thanks, Roberto!


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