Archive for October, 2011

ReCrystallize Pro v14 is released

Friday 28 October 2011 @ 2:14 pm

The folks at ReCrystallize have recently released version 14 of ReCrystallize Pro.  For those of you who are not familiar with ReCrystallize, it is a low cost way to put your reports on the web.  Walk through a wizard and ReCrystallize will generate ASP or ASP.NET web pages that are designed to run your reports.  You can read more about it in my comparison of server based deployment options.  With version 14 there are two significant changes.

1) It now supports the newest version of Crystal Reports (2011). This means you can do dynamic and cascading parameters and you can change parameter values without changing web pages or in some cases without even refreshing the report.

2) It now supports ASP.Net which means it works better with the current browsers and current versions of Windows and IIS.  It also means that the user’s browser doesn’t need to download anything.

Note that they still support classic ASP and most older versions of CR.  See their web site for more details.

Update to CUT Light distance calculation feature

Thursday 27 October 2011 @ 9:55 am

Last month I wrote about a new feature of CUT Light that allows your report to calculate the distance between two points based on zip codes or lat./log. coordinates. The one challenge I found was that the conversion of zip codes to long./lat. relied on a web query and therefore had a daily quota limit. But since then Millet Software has added a local conversion table which allows you to bypass the web query.  This makes it much faster and removes the limit.  The included data is as of the 2010 census and is limited to 5 digit zip codes, but for most applications it is probably still a better option than the web query.

You can read this page for a more complete list of what CUT Light can do.

Why distinct count subtotals don’t add up to the distinct count grand totals

Friday 21 October 2011 @ 9:39 pm

I had two different customers in the past week ask me why their distinct count grand totals were not totaling correctly. They had distinct count subtotals at the group level and distinct count grand totals at the report level.  But when they added up all the subtotals the sum didn’t match the grand total.  Usually it won’t because of what a distinct count is designed to do.

A distinct count summary will count how many different values there are in a column.   So if I group patient visits by doctor and then want CR to tell me how many different patients each doctor saw in that period, I would use a distinct count at the doctor group level.   And if I also wanted to know how many different patients were seen across ALL doctors I could create another distinct count of the patients and put it in the report footer.  But it is very likely that this grand total is not going to match the sum of the doctor subtotals.  This is because any patient who saw more than one doctor in the period will show up once in each doctor’s group, but then will only be counted only once in the grand total.

If you ever have a requirement where you need the grand total to be the sum of the subtotals you can purchase Expert Techniques volume 1 and read tip 25.

CR 2008 Service Pack 4

Thursday 13 October 2011 @ 11:01 pm

One of my readers wrote in today to tell me that SAP released Service Pack 4 a few months ago.   He had CR 2008 set to “Check for Updates on Startup” but it  never triggered an update for SP4.  Even after he manually clicked on “Check for Updates” the message said that he had the most recent version.  But when he searched the SAP website he found it.  

I have been holding at SP2 because of two issues that  I wrote about earlier.  But when I asked CR to check for updates I got the same message – that I had the most recent version.  So searched the download site and found SP4 in the “Downloads” area of the SAP web site.  I installed it and it didn’t break my dynamic parameters, so that is good news.  The “Saved Data” issue was intermittent so I will be on the lookout for that or any new problems.

And thanks to Mark Edwards at DataReport Consulting for pointing this out.


Reseting the toolbars and the ‘explorer’ panels

Wednesday 5 October 2011 @ 10:41 am

On occasion I have worked with customers where the field explorer has become undocked and we have trouble getting it to dock again.  I also remember clicking toolbar buttons and accidentally dragging the toolbar out of position, then not being sure how to get things back the way they were.  So I was pleased to find a feature (tucked inside a little-used menu item) that will fix these issues.  It is currently available in versions 11 through 14 and I assume that it will be available in later versions as well.

To use this feature go into the VIEW menu and select TOOLBARS.  You will see a window that allows you to control which toolbars are visible. At the bottom is an option called “Reset all toolbars and explorers on the next restart”.  Check this option and then close and re-open Crystal Reports.  All your toolbars will go back to their default positions and your field explorer (and other explorers) will re-dock in their original positions.

Now I would have been even happier if this also reset the entire Formula Workshop.   I have written before about the formula workshop disappearing, or the panels not docking correctly.  Unfortunately these features are not currently reset by this option.  So if  you have these problems in the formula workshop you will still have to dig into the registry to fix them.

Null values and the selection formula

Saturday 1 October 2011 @ 6:11 am

Here is a trap in Crystal when it comes to using the selection formula.  Say you have two fields A and B. You want to include all records where either A or B is equal to X. Your selection formula would look like this:

{A} = “X” or {B} = “X”

But what happens if A is null on a record where B is equal to X? Null values cause CR formulas to stop working, so CR would stop processing that formula before it ever got around to looking at B. CR would skip that record. But not if the the formula was Continue Reading »
Null values and the selection formula

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