Archive for September, 2013
I thought I had written about this before, but apparently I have only mentioned this in forums and never on my own blog. When you export a Crystal Report to PDF, by default Crystal will reduce the fonts by around 5%. Most people don’t notice this, but in some situations this causes problems. The solution requires that you go into the registry and add some keys. Finding where to make the change and what the change should be is a bit tricky because there is an older method and a new improved method.
The older method requires Continue Reading »
Reduced fonts when exporting to PDF
Today’s comparison comes courtesy of Hessel de Walle, from The Netherlands. Much of his blog is in Dutch, but he has written two articles that compare specific tasks done in both Crystal Reports and SSRS. The first is creating alternating section colors. The second is doing page number resets and “page N of M”. The third is creating running totals.
You use Crystal Reports to create, change and run reports. But what if you have users who just need to refresh/view/print/export? Do they need copies of Crystal Reports? Do you need to configure an expensive web server?
The most cost effective method for letting a user run reports is to install a third-party client-based viewer. I am amazed at how many Crystal Reports users are still unaware of these, since they are offered by a dozen different vendors. Some users get sidetracked by the “viewer” that is put out by SAP because it won’t refresh reports. Don’t let that fool you because every viewer in my list allows you to refresh reports.
Every September I compare the features of these viewers and post the results. The comparison page provides a brief introduction to each product including what sets it apart. There is also a detailed feature matrix (PDF) that shows some of the specifics for comparison like prices and the install base. I have even included a glossary of features in case you aren’t familiar with the terminology.
This year there are 12 vendors in the review but I am very concerned about one of them. The vendor for EasyView (EasyStreet Software) has gone MIA. I have Emailed and called and have not received a response for over a year and at least one customer has had a similar experience. If anyone has been in contact with them recently, please let me know. In the meantime I have added a line in the matrix to indicate year of last contact. The current vendors are:
Crystal Corral by Groff Automation
cView by Chelsea Technologies
RPTView by Pursuit Technology
ViewerFX by Origin Software
Crystal Kiwi Viewer by Crystal Kiwi
Report Viewer Pro by Report Viewer Limited
RV by Climate 27
Logicity Pro by SaberLogic
Report Runner Viewer by Jeff-Net
Easy View by Easy Street Software
RTag Report Viewer by RTag
DataLink Viewer by Millet SW
If you have already tried one of these products, or are currently using one, I would love to know what you think.
Customers watching me work on their reports will sometimes see me use a shortcut that is new to them. Usually these are shortcuts that have become second nature to me so they happen in a blink and the customer has to ask me how I did what I did. Two of the most common are the “Align” and “Size” options in the “format” menu. If you have a row of objects that are not even or a column that is out of alignment you can use these options to get everything back in place. Just select a group of objects, then go to either Format>Align or Format >Make Same Size. Each will give you a list of choices that you can apply to that group of objects.
I often do both together, and in that case it is best to do the size first. This is because changing the size will often change the alignment points. So if I have a row of objects to align vertically I will first make sure to Continue Reading »
Aligning and sizing a group of fields
This question usually comes up related to subtotals and grand totals. Someone will wonder why subtotals don’t add up exactly to the grand total. What they are seeing is a classic ’rounding error’. It is defined as “a miscalculation that results from rounding off numbers to a convenient number of decimals”, usually when adding up the numbers. This ‘error’ is actually older than computers. It appears regularly in financial statements because the the ledgers used to generate the statements have figures in cents but the statement is shown in whole dollars. It is even more obvious when ledgers are shown in thousands. Often a note is included that says “numbers may not add up due to rounding”.
But the key thing to remember is that despite the term ’rounding error’, there isn’t any error at all. It only looks like an error to those who forget about Continue Reading »
Crystal Reports and rounding errors