Archive for April, 2011

Odd Error using ODBC to IBM U2

Monday 25 April 2011 @ 8:42 pm

Here is an odd case I helped (partially) resolve recently.   The customer is using CR v11(XI) to connect to an IBM U2 database (via ODBC).  The database was hosted on a Windows 2003 server.

They had two seemingly identical client system configurations using the same exact version of CR and the same ODBC driver.  On both we would start a simple report using  just one table and a few fields.  The report would run fine in one environment but the other would generate an error message:

Failed to retrieve data from the database.
Details: HY000:[IBM][UVODBC][1401032]Error ID: 46 Severity:ERROR Facility: DBCAPERR - UCI Error. Func: SQLPrepare(DML); State: S1000; uniVerse code: 950088; Msg: [IBM][SQL Client][UNIVERSE]Universe/SQL:syntax error. Unexpected filename.

When I compared Continue Reading »
Odd Error using ODBC to IBM U2

Tools for Troubleshooting

Sunday 24 April 2011 @ 1:50 pm

This month an unusual number of customers have brought me errors to troubleshoot.  Most of them involve errors outside of Crystal with things like missing DLL files or installs that seem the same but that behave differently.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find a recent blog post on the SAP web site that provides a list of free tools for helping to troubleshoot things like this.  There are 5 tools listed but I think two would apply most to the problems I faced this month:

1) Modules is a free utility, copyrighted 1998 by Seagate Software.  Surprisingly, it seems to work fine in Windows 10.  It allows you to run an search in any PC environment, and save a list of all the processes in memory, and all the dlls used by each process.  You can save these lists and then compare them to lists pulled from other systems (e.g. one that works and one that doesn’t).  The compare will list the differences in those two environments.  I recently tried to find a more up to date application that does something similar, but wasn’t successful.   I found descriptions of a program called ENVy but the company that created it is no longer around.  If anyone finds a something more recent that does the same thing, please let me know.

2) Depends.exe (Dependency walker) is another free tool that takes an EXE or DLL file and lists all of the other files that it relies on.  This is perfect for when you have a DLL that won’t work or register correctly.  Often a missing dependent file is part of the problem.

And if you need to troubleshoot hangs and crashes, monitor HTTP / HTTPS traffic or monitor local file system and registry activity, the other tools should help.

Mysterious blank pages

Sunday 10 April 2011 @ 3:14 pm

I am used to helping users troubleshoot blank pages in their Crystal Reports.  The usual culprits are blank report footers or group footers that need to be suppressed.  Occasionally there is a page break that isn’t put in correctly.  But I recently had one that I had not seen before.  In preview the report showed 3 pages.   But if the report was printed there were double the number of pages, with a blank page between each printed page.  The same doubling would happen when it was exported to a PDF.

What I found was an image object (an OLE object) that was just a hair wider than the printable area on the page.  In preview this would show as a white space to the right of the printed page, which was easy to overlook.  It also didn’t affect the page count.   But when printed or exported to PDF it would alternate printed and blank pages and double the page count.  Once the OLE object was moved to within the printable area the blank pages went away.

This surprised me because normal CR objects that have a static size (fields, charts, boxes, etc) are just truncated if they stretch to the right too far.  The only object that I knew of that could generate these pages to the right were cross-tabs,  because their width is dynamic.   So if you have a mysterious extra page in your report this is one more thing to check.


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