Archive for January, 2020



Web based deployment options compared (2020)

Wednesday 29 January 2020 @ 12:40 pm

There are many ways to deploy Crystal Reports to users. I normally lean toward the simpler and less expensive options, like locally installed viewers, or scheduled delivery of PDF output. But there are environments where a web based option is necessary. The “official” options from SAP are Crystal (Reports) Server and BO Enterprise. But there are other, less expensive products out there that also web delivery of Crystal Reports. These third party products allow your users to run and view reports from a browser. You can also centrally manage your report deployment from a browser.

I have created a page on my blog that lists and compares these products, and I update it every January with info from the vendors. This year the list features 10 products:

Crystal Reports Server – a traditional Web portal
Report Runner Web Portal – a traditional Web portal
IntelliFront BI – a traditional Web portal
Ripplestone – a traditional Web portal
rePORTAL CR – a traditional Web portal
ReCrystallize Server – a traditional Web portal
ReCrystallize Pro – a launch page generator for the web
Bezlio – a SaaS Web viewer
Report Launch – a bridge between BO server products and server based applications
RapidStack – Web Portal service built around Business Objects Enterprise

The blog page mentioned above contains a brief rundown on what each product does and provides links to all of the product web sites. I have also posted a feature matrix (xls) that shows some of the specifics for comparison, including prices.

If you have any feedback to share on these tools I would be happy to hear from you.




Grouping times into half hour periods

Saturday 25 January 2020 @ 9:37 pm

When you create a group in Crystal using a Date field you get grouping options for different periods like by day, week or month. If the field is a Time or DateTime you get options like by Hour, by minute or AM/PM. But there isn’t an automatic option to group on the half hour.

Below is a formula that will divide all the time values in an hour into two groups. For example, it will turn all time values between 6:00 and 6:29 into 06:00. It will, and will turn all time values between 6:30 and 6:59 into 06:30. You can use this for creating groups, charts or cross-tabs.  Note that the leading zero will keep the groups in the chronological order.

Totext (Hour({@time}),'00') &
(if Minute({@time}) < 30
then ':00'
else ':30')




Save money on rePORTAL

Sunday 19 January 2020 @ 10:21 am

The developers of rePORTAL have just released an upgrade (v6.4) of their web portal and scheduling software. They are offering a 10% discount on all server licenses between now and the end of January 2020. Contact them through their website if you are interested in trying or buying their software. You can read more about the features of rePORTAL in my these annual comparisons:
http://kenhamady.com/cru/comparisons/server-based-deployment-options
http://kenhamady.com/cru/comparisons/server-based-scheduling-engines




Script errors on the Crystal Reports start page and how to customize the start page

Saturday 11 January 2020 @ 5:48 pm

It has been 5 years since I first wrote about the script errors that affect the Crystal Reports start page. This issue comes up again periodically and several customers have had these issues recently. So if you are having issues with the start page here are the articles that should help:

https://kenhamady.com/cru/archives/2615
https://kenhamady.com/cru/archives/147

The fix is pretty simple and involves renaming two HTML pages in one of Crystal’s application folders. This prevents Crystal start page from trying to access the web.

Since the start page is  written in HTML I decided to have a look at how it worked. I was hoping to modify the page to show links to my most frequently used reports. After much experimenting I found a way to create hyperlinks that would open reports based on specified path and file name. The key was to ‘borrow’ the custom javascript function that is used to open your most recently used reports. The function is called fncrOpenReport.

So I edited the HTML in the start page and put in a few lines like this:

<A href="javascript:fncrOpenReport('C:/sample.rpt')">Sample Rpt</A>

The next time I started Crystal the start page included a section of new hyperlinks. The one above appears as the words “Sample Rpt”. When I click that hyperlink it opens the RPT specified in the fncrOpenReport function. This section works much like the “My Recent Reports” section but these reports won’t roll off the page as other reports are opened.

The only odd part about using this function is that reports opened this way cannot use “save as” until after you click “save”.  If you click “save as” without having clicked “save” the dialogue just doesn’t open.




Jeff-Net

Recrystallize Pro

Crystal Reports Server