Archive for May, 2011
One of my readers pointed out a dramatic change in the SAP online store. Up until mid May you could purchase older versions of Crystal Reports products going back to v8.5. But that changed suddenly and now their is nothing available prior to CR 2008. There was no announcement or explanation so I asked someone at SAP why the change was made. I didn’t get much of an explanation yet, but apparently there is some issue with all of these older version and open-source software. It must be serious to merit pulling all these products.
The bad news is that without these prior versions there would be no COM API options. The good news is that I have heard that XI will be released again which will provide at least one COM compatible version.
I will add more information as it becomes available.
We have waited 3 years for a new version of Crystal Reports, so you might be a bit disappointed at the list of new features. They are the ability to:
1) Export to XLSX format which gets you past the 65K limit on rows.
2) Export to RPTR format, a format that can’t be opened in the Crystal Designer, but can only be run in one of the report viewers. This lets your users run your reports without giving them access to any proprietary information contained in the RPT file.
For an explanation of which viewers can run RPTR files you can read this article.
Also note that this is officially version 14, not version 13. Version 13 is the developer engine in Visual Studio 2010.
I have already written about the handful of minor changes in CR 2011. So when I tried it last week there were no surprises in the actual product. I was surprised a bit by the license, but probably should not have been surprised. Crystal product managers and I have a tradition that we follow with every new product release:
1) Whoever happens to own Crystal that week puts in excessive restrictions.
2) I point out that the restrictions are excessive.
3) They have a serious internal discussion.
4) Things (usually) change for the better.
This time the issue was the restrictions in section (7). If you strip it down a long legal paragraph you get Continue Reading »
Crystal Reports 2011 license changes
I have just updated my comparison of server-based scheduling tools for 2011. These tools are similar to the desktop-based scheduling tools I wrote about in March, but these are designed to be run on server. This allows multiple people to schedule reports for automated delivery by Email, FTP or network folder.
There are 2 new products on the list this year, bringing the count up to 8. Their is a brief overview of each product and a feature matrix that compares roughly 70 features. There is also a feature glossary that defines all the terms. So if you need a short course in automating Crystal Report delivery, you have come to the right place.
I recently found a way to mix several concepts and solve a problem that others might be facing. The challenge came from a company who stores several hundred thousand log transactions each day. The way the system is set up, each day’s transactions are stored in a separate SQL table. The table name is the date of the transaction. What they wanted to do was to run reports that summarize these transactions for an entire month, with subtotals by category. This would require combining a month’s worth of daily tables on the fly, and then getting subtotals by category. At first I recommended a stored procedure because I didn’t think we could calculate the table names on the fly in a SQL command. But we aren’t allowed to add SPs to the database. Then I realized Continue Reading »
Case study for UNION of daily files
For those of you who always want to be on the bleeding edge, Crystal Reports 2011 is finally out there. I am not in any hurry to upgrade because there are only a few new features but will be reviewing it in my newsletter later this month.
If any of you try it and want to share your thoughts you can comment here, or on this Tek-Tips thread, or just send me an Email. The Tek-Tips thread also has a link that explains why SAP has 2 versions of CR 2011, and what happens with them going forward.
And thanks to Gordon Portanier of Crystalize in Canada for the heads up on the release.
I recently helped a VB6 developer who was deploying CR v8.5 reports. His application reports could not export to PDF in some installations. This is an old but still popular configuration, so I am posting what we learned because it might help someone else down the road (maybe even me).
The first thing we found was the specific DLLs that support PDF export. We had to confirm that they were part his distribution:
But even if the files are distributed and installed you still have to Continue Reading »
Classic VB Runtime and PDF Exports