Archive for September, 2017

Updated comparison of Crystal Reports viewers (2017)

Tuesday 26 September 2017 @ 5:08 pm

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. They are offered by nine different vendors.  Don’t get sidetracked by the “viewer” that is put out by SAP because that tool won’t refresh reports.  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. I have even included a glossary of features in case you aren’t familiar with the terminology.

There are 9 active products in this year’s review and 4 “ghost” products that are mentioned as warnings.  A ghost product has a web site but it hasn’t changed in years and no one responds to repeated requests for information.

The active vendors are:

Crystal Corral by Groff Automation
rptView by Pursuit Technology
cView by Chelsea Technologies
ViewerFX by Origin Software
CrystalKiwi Viewer by CrystalKiwi
Logicity Pro by SaberLogic
Report Runner Viewer by Jeff-Net
RTag Report Viewer by RTag
DataLink Viewer by Millet SW

If you have feedback to provide on any of these products, I would love to know what you think.

Doing a Maximum “horizontally” as opposed to “vertically”

Thursday 14 September 2017 @ 6:17 pm

Most of the time when you see the Maximum () function in a formula, it is to calculate the highest value in a column. It could look like this:

Maximum ( {Svc.LabDate} )

which would calculate the latest lab date in the entire column. Or it could look like this:

Maximum ( {Svc.LabDate} , {Patient.ID) )

which would calulate the latest lab date for each patient’s group of records.

In both cases the Maximum is looking up and down a single column. But there is also a way to use the Maximum() function (and other summary functions) looking across several values in the same row. For example, say that your table had 4 different date fields and you wanted to find the latest date of each row. You could write a formula like this:


This would return the date value that was the greatest (latest) out of the 4 fields. Notice that you need both square brackets around the list of dates (the ‘array’) and then you need parentheses around the square brackets for the function to work. This syntax also works for Minimum, Count, Average, Sum, and several other summary functions. To see the complete list of functions that can be used this way, go into the formula editor and open the function list node labeled ARRAY.

One other note. When you write a formula that use a vertical summary function you can no longer total that field with a vertical summary operation. But if your formula is doing a horizontal summary like the last example above, that formula can still be used in a summary operation.

Free software for the Houston area

Tuesday 5 September 2017 @ 11:14 pm

From the R-Tag web site:

R-Tag is providing free licenses to companies in the Houston area. The offer is valid until the end of September 2017.

The eligible products are: R-Tag Documentation and Search and R-Tag Crystal Reports Data Source updater.

We already have a free Crystal reports viewer and scheduler (R-Tag Community edition), which might be useful too.

R-Tag Documentation and Search and R-Tag Crystal Reports Data Source updater are useful with Crystal reports migration, backup processing and report development and we hope they might be helpful to companies in the Houston area with on-site servers.

If you are in the Houston area and want to take advantage of this offer, please see the R-Tag contact page.

Recrystallize Pro