Archive for March, 2011

Evaluate CR Server “in the cloud” (or maybe not)

Wednesday 23 March 2011 @ 10:10 am

(See the update at the bottom of this post)

I don’t get to say this very often but SAP/BO did something very smart.  I am not sure when it happened but I wish I had known sooner.  They have set up a site for users to experiment with CR Server without having to do all the set up.  To use the buzzword, they now have an evaluation option “in the cloud”.  And despite the terminology it really is a great idea.

Many of you know that I spend a great deal of time promoting alternatives to CR Server, especially to folks who mainly want to schedule reports for Email delivery.  Simple scheduling can be done for free and even complex scheduling and bursting can be done for a few hundred dollars.  But CR Server is a viable option for providing on-demand reports to browser-based users.

The challenge to the CR Server salesman is that no one wants to commit $10 – $20K on a product without trying it.  And trying CR server can also mean trying your patience.  Before a potential user can experiment with all the wonderful things that CR Server can do they Continue Reading »
Evaluate CR Server “in the cloud” (or maybe not)

Formatting chart dates (part 2)

Saturday 19 March 2011 @ 11:13 pm

Last week I wrote a post to complain that Crystal didn’t give you a way to directly control the format of dates along the bottom of a monthly bar chart. So, of course, this week I find something in Crystal Reports that I had never seen before, and which shows that I was only half correct.

A customer sent me a chart to troubleshoot and he had used a chart type called “Numeric Axis”.  This type of chart is down the list pretty far, below Radar charts and Bubble charts so I have never experimented with them.   But when I changed the chart to a normal bar chart it became obvious why this type was used.  The number series along the bottom of the chart had Continue Reading »
Formatting chart dates (part 2)

Update to my comparions of desktop-based schedulers

Saturday 12 March 2011 @ 2:59 pm

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 free tools that do this. Some do even more.

I first reviewed these products Continue Reading »
Update to my comparions of desktop-based schedulers

Formatting chart dates

Monday 7 March 2011 @ 11:35 pm

Crystal Reports makes it very easy to change the format of date fields and number fields.  So it is frustrating that we don’t have direct formatting abilities inside charts.  If you make a bar chart that has one bar for each month you find that there is no way of directly setting the format for the date values that appear under each bar. (One week after writing this post I discovered a hidden feature in Crystal, which means this is only partly true.  I posted an update with the details but this article is still useful in some situations.)

So I decided to take a slow period this week and figure out the options we have here.  I created a report with a rolling, “last 12 month” bar chart.  Then I added a  requirement that the bars should be labeled:

“Feb-10”, “Mar-10”, etc.

Here is what I found: Continue Reading »
Formatting chart dates


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