Archive for February, 2014



CR versions over time 2014

Thursday 27 February 2014 @ 12:41 pm

This is my annual chart showing the versions of CR that my newsletter subscribers were using when they signed up. It gives you a sense for which versions are being used and how quickly the new versions are catching on.  I have included numbers for 2014 even though the sample size is pretty small.

The slight jump in the version 10 is probably a fluke that will diminish as more data for the year accumulates.  You will see a similar change if you compare the bar for 2013 in this chart to the chart from last year.

versionmix2014




Applying the same format to many fields

Tuesday 18 February 2014 @ 6:00 am

A user recently asked about setting the format of a large number of fields. He wanted to have all the negative numbers show in red and positive numbers show in black. The formula wasn’t a problem, but he was looking for a way to avoid writing a unique formula for each field.

I suggested that he use this as the font formula for one of the fields:

if CurrentFieldValue < 0
then CRRed
else CrBlack

Then all he would have to do is use the format painter (paintbrush icon) to paint this format to all the other formulas that need to be changed. Since the formulas refer to the CurrentFieldValue the formula is exactly the same for every field, including formulas and subtotals. And to speed it up even more you can double click on the paintbrush to make it ‘sticky’. Then you can single click every field that needs that same format.




New auto-refresh feature in DataLink Viewer

Sunday 16 February 2014 @ 11:38 am

There are several viewers out there that allow you to keep a report open on the screen and have the report automatically refreshed every few minutes. Some users will even display these reports on a large screen to allow everyone to monitor key metrics in real time.

DataLink Viewer from Millet Software is one viewer that supports auto-refresh.  Ido Millet has recently added a feature that speeds up the process for one of my clients. The client wanted to auto-refresh the same report in several different locations. But the report takes a long time to run and taxes the server. We didn’t want Continue Reading »
New auto-refresh feature in DataLink Viewer




Dashes and strange sorting

Thursday 6 February 2014 @ 10:34 pm

I noticed something odd the other day when sorting/grouping a character column. The column was date values stored as strings in the format Year-Month-Day. When I looked at the data I noticed that some values had dashes and some did not, like this:

2013-10-30
20131031
20131101
2013-11-02
20131103
2013-11-04
20131105
20131106

What surprised me was that they were still sorting in chronological order, as if the dashes didn’t exist. I had never seen that before. Since I like my sorts to be consistent and predictable I did some quick testing to help me understand what was happening.

I discovered that if you sort or group on a database field – and even on some simpler formulas – the database driver will add an “ORDER BY” to the SQL query. This means the database Continue Reading »
Dashes and strange sorting




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