Archive for October, 2012

Accurate totals in a Many-to-Many situation

Monday 29 October 2012 @ 11:33 am

While working with a customer I found a new way of totaling records when there is a Many-to-Many relationship. This method doesn’t use variables or subreports so it is quicker and simpler than other methods.

Example using the Xtreme data:
A customer linked to orders is a One-to-Many relationship (one customer to many orders). A customer with orders who also gets credits has two different One-to-Many relationships. Combine those 3 tables in one report and you get Continue Reading »
Accurate totals in a Many-to-Many situation

Another free PDF generating printer driver

Tuesday 16 October 2012 @ 6:00 am

I have written before about 2 free tools that allow you to generate PDFs simply by printing your report – or virtually any printable document. I recently learned about a third free tool offered by the folks at They offer a completly free version of their commercial PDF creation software. It does everything that the other 2 tools do and it runs on 8 operating systems. The most surprising part is that it also comes with free support. I kept looking for a catch but I haven’t found one yet. It puts no watermarks or advertising into the PDF and has no time limit. The only advertising I saw was an upgrade panel that appears next to your print optins.

So if you are looking for a way to print out PDF documents, it is worth a try.

DataLink Viewer adds a Visualizer

Friday 12 October 2012 @ 6:00 am

For those of you who have a large amount of data to analyze, Millet Software may have something worth trying.  They have added an integrated data visualization tool into the DataLink Viewer. This allows you to explore the data by creating advanced charts – going beyond what Crystal normally provides.  The tool will automatically read through your detail report data (including formulas) and loads each column into an appropriate category.  It extracts the numbers as “measures’, the dates as a possible grouping hierarchy and all other columns as potential analysis attributes.  From there you can drag and drop the fields to see where patterns emerge.

Because it is easier to show these features than to describe them, Ido has published a video demo showing just what this tool can do.  Try it out and let me know what you think.

Doing a UNION across databases

Tuesday 9 October 2012 @ 8:21 pm

I was working with a cutomer today who does an annual archive of their database.  They backup the database and then delete all transactions that are over a year old form the current database.  So, to do a multi-year report they need to combine data from different instances.  They restore a prior year instance whenever they want to look at old transactions.  They asked me if there was an easy way to combine transactions from two separate instances into one report.

Crystal’s linking window is great for linking tables but not as good for appending.  So this is one of the main reasons I end up Continue Reading »
Doing a UNION across databases

New Features in Find It EZ

Saturday 6 October 2012 @ 9:17 am

The developers at Find it EZ have been busy recently – adding new features to their code searching software. Find it EZ already had a solid search function that lets you search a folder of reports and find virtually anything in any part of the report.  Recently they have been refining their Report Definition document so that it is more complete and flexible. A Report Definition document summarizes all of the key objects and features in an RPT file.  In addition to all the basic features it now includes the Tables and Joins, SQL Commands and SQL Expressions, Images, Charts, Cross-tabs and even lines and boxes.  So it is about as thorough as it can be.  And by setting search filters you can focus the output on the features you need to see.

The developers have also been working on a way to let users see the SQL query that is automatically generated by the Crystal Reports Engine. Up to now the only way to generate the SQL for a report has been to log the report into the database. Find it EZ has developed a way to generate equivalent SQL for any RPT without requiring a database connection. While the SQL may not be exactly the same as that generated by the report, it is equivalent ANSI standard SQL.

So if you are looking for a tool to help you manage a quantity of reports, your first step should be this article.   It compares the available features for all of the tools in this category and gives a capsule description of each.  But these new features are not included in the matrix yet. If you think these features are useful, then you should download the free trial of Find it EZ.

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