Archive for April, 2013

Saved data vanishes when you narrow the criteria.

Monday 22 April 2013 @ 11:29 am

A user in Tek-Tips was puzzled. He was viewing reports with saved data and changing the parameters to filter the report in different ways. When the saved data was generated today, he could change the parameters and filter the data as expected. But if he tried to do this on an older report, the saved data would go away.  I have run into this before and so I know the likely cause – a  date-sensitive line in the filter, something like This:

{db.DateField} in LastFullMonth

When the report is refreshed, it uses today’s date to calculate the beginning and ending of the prior month and filters the data to those dates. So a report run in April would only include March data.

But what if that report is saved with data and then Continue Reading »
Saved data vanishes when you narrow the criteria.

Crystal Reports vs SSRS

Saturday 20 April 2013 @ 5:12 pm

When I started teaching Crystal Reports in 1995 I was also teaching another tool called R&R. In comparing the two I found that R&R had about 20 features that were missing from that year’s version of Crystal.  Crystal had five features I liked that were missing in R&R. But the next year, when the next version of CR came out, the numbers had flipped. Most of the R&R features that I had mentioned were now included in Crystal. That started my transition from R&R to Crystal. So yesterday, when I made my first attempt at comparing Crystal Reports and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) there was a bit of déjà vu.

For the past 8 years I have been able to Continue Reading »
Crystal Reports vs SSRS

Date groups that don’t do what you expect

Monday 15 April 2013 @ 10:03 pm

I received this question from a customer last week. Since it isn’t the first time I thought I would mention it here. He noticed that:

1) The group tree missing many dates that have data within the range.

2) The group tree including dates that are outside the range.

The answer is pretty simple. In Crystal, whenever you group on a date field, the default setting for the new date groups is “for each week”. Don’t ask me why. And you don’t even see the setting while you are adding the group, unless you go into Group Options.  Now I am sure Continue Reading »
Date groups that don’t do what you expect

Better way to change the row/column field of a cross-tab

Thursday 11 April 2013 @ 9:32 pm

I use cross-tabs quite a bit and there is one thing I find frustrating. It is when you have a perfectly laid out cross-tab and realize that the row or column field needs to be changed. Changing a row or column field tends to reset the formatting of the cross-tab cells and often changes the size as well.

One time when I was trying to change a cross-tab row from one formula to another formula I realized that I could avoid losing my formatting if I just copied the contents of each formula into the contents of the other, reversing the formulas. Once I had reversed the contents, I renamed the formulas so that the names matched the contents as before. The cross-tab didn’t see either of these changes as a field change and so the formatting wasn’t affected.

So, now whenever I create a more complex cross-tab, I created dedicated formulas for the row and column fields. I usually name them Xtab Row 1, Xtab Row 2, etc. That way I can change the contents to any field or calculation,   without having to worry about the cross-tab losing any formatting.

This is similar to the technique I called ‘feeder’ formulas in a prior article.

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