Archive for July, 2015
I have just updated my comparison of RPT management utilities for 2015. These are tools that allow you to scan, document, compare and update RPT files. This year the number of products is twice as long as when I last posted about this category. The list now includes:
Report Runner Documentor by Jeff-Net
R-Tag Documentation and Search by R-Tag
CR Data Source by R-Tag
Report Miner by the Retsel Group
Code Search Professional by Find it EZ Software Corp.
Dev Surge Enterprise by Find it EZ Software Corp.
Report Analyzer by Cortex Systems
.rpt Inspector 3 Professional Suite by Software Forces, LLC
One of my customers has about 50 reports that all point to the same SQL Server database. When they moved their database they needed to “Set Location” for all 50 reports. Normally you can set all the tables from one connection to another in one step by updating the old connection to the new connection. This should work as long as all the tables have the same name.
But in SQL Server, Crystal sees the table names like this:
So if the name of the database is changed Crystal thinks the table name is different. So when this user tried to “Set Location” at the connection level, she got “invalid object” errors. She learned that the name of the database had been changed when setting up the new server.
When Crystal can’t find a matching table name in the new connection, you have to map each table in the report to the corresponding table in the new connection and update them individually. With 6-8 tables in each report the process would take a few hours. I thought we might be able to fool Crystal into just looking at the table portion of the name, but after trying a few things it didn’t seem like we were getting anywhere.
So I suggested that she check out the report management utilities on my annual comparison. There happens to be one that is only $99, CR Data Source by R-Tag, and it is designed to do just that one thing – Set Location. I did wonder if it would have trouble with the database change but the customer reported back that it did the job and saved her several hours of tedium.
This only affects those of you using older versions of Crystal Reports, up through XI. This includes those of you who have the runtime engine from one of these older versions in your application.
In current versions of Crystal you can export a file to a spreadsheet or PDF and type in any file name you want. If you want to use upper case, lower case or mixed case Crystal will save the file exactly as you typed it. But in older versions the file name is converted to lower case regardless of how you type it. I tested this in v10 and v12 and got two different results. I then checked the ‘Options’ menu and looked through the registry to see if there was any way to turn this feature off. I found nothing.
You would think this would have come up before, but I never noticed it. I guess exported file names, whether in upper or lower case, were never critical to what I was doing. But apparently some people find this frustrating. The only solution is to upgrade to CR 2008 or later.
I write lots of formulas and that means spending lots of time in the formula editor, staring at text. So I appreciate the fact that we can change the font, size and colors used in the editor to make things easier to read. By default Crystal uses Courier 10 but I prefer Lucida and will often bump the size up to 12. I started doing this when I was teaching so that students could read formulas on the screen. Then I found it helpful to increase the size when I remote into another PC which reduces the size of the screen. Now I find myself making these changes in my own designer, making formula work easier on the eyes.
To get to these settings go to File>Options and click on the “Formula Editor” tab. If you do some experiments and want to go back to the default settings you can use the “Reset All” button at the bottom of the window.