Archive for August, 2020



Why would you “Perform grouping on server”?

Monday 31 August 2020 @ 9:34 pm

I was asked about this feature today and noticed that I had never mentioned it in my blog. It is a strange feature because you can turn it on in most reports and yet in most reports it will do absolutely nothing. But when you get it to work it can greatly improve the performance of the report.  You will find this option in the database menu.

So what does it do? It tells the database to do the grouping and subtotals. The database will only return one summary record for each group. Check the SQL statement and you will see a GROUP BY clause at the end.  This is useful when you have huge amounts of data to process and when you don’t need to show any detail level values.  But, this feature only works in reports that meets some very specific criteria.

Things you must do:

Group on a database field or a SQL expression (not a formula)
Hide or suppress the details
Make all of the visible fields either a group field or a summary field
Limit the summaries used to those supported by your Database
(Sum, count, minimum and maximum should be safe in all databases)

Things you must NOT do:

Use specified order grouping.
Add running totals using detail fields.
Add summaries using formulas fields.

If your report meets these criteria, Crystal should be able to add the GROUP BY to your SQL statement, get the server to group the records  and calculate all of the summary fields. Use the Show SQL option to confirm the GROUP BY appears.




How to remove the SAP BW toolbar in Crystal Reports 2020

Friday 21 August 2020 @ 10:13 pm

If you have installed the new Crystal Reports 2020 you may have noticed a new menu option and toolbar for SAP BW.

Gordon Portanier of ReCrystalize decided to do some experimenting to see if he could get CR to run without those options appearing. He found that when he renamed these 4 dll files, both the menu option and the toolbar didn’t appear :

crdb_bwmdx.dll
crdb_bwmdx_res_en.dll
BWQueryReportWrapper.exe
BWQueryReportWrapper_res_en.dll

He found the dlls in this folder:

C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP BusinessObjects\SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 4.0\win64_x64

The program seemed to run normally without these dll files. So if you decide to upgrade and don’t have a use for the extra menu options, this is something you can try.




Converting String and Numeric Dates to DateValues (part 2)

Sunday 16 August 2020 @ 10:02 pm

Last week I wrote about using IsDate() and DateValue() to convert common date strings into true date values. This week I am using that same method to update some formulas on my formulas page. The advantage of this method over the original formulas is the extra validation provided by the IsDate() function.

But there are one or two extra steps needed to use DateValue() to replace the original logic in Formula #2 and Formula #3. The DateValue() function needs separators like dashes or slashes. When character strings have no separators you need to add them using the Picture() function. If the field is a numeric, you need to convert the field into a string first, and then use Picture() to add the separators.

If the field we are converting is a string with values like this: 20201231

Then the formula would look like this:

Local stringvar z := {Table.TextDate};
z := Picture (z, 'xxxx-xx-xx');
If IsDate (z)
then DateValue(z)

But if the value looks the same but is stored as an 8-digit numeric, then we need to add an extra step:

Local NumberVar y := {Table.NumericDate};
Local StringVar z := Totext (y,0,"");
z := Picture (z, 'xxxx-xx-xx');
If IsDate (z)
then DateValue(z)




Converting a character date to a true date

Monday 10 August 2020 @ 11:50 pm

I run into many situations where dates are stored as numbers or strings. These need to be converted to true date values before they can be used in date calculations. I have posted formulas on my site that convert common numeric and string values into true dates.

One of the challenges when converting dates is dealing with invalid values. These will generate an error when you attempt to convert them into dates. One way to validate a string input is with the IsDate() function. This checks and see if a string value can be converted into a date before doing the conversion. It is usually partnered with the DateValue() function which converts any valid date string into a true date value. The formula would look like this:

If IsDate ({String.Field})
then DateValue({String.Field})

I did some experimenting with this today and I was surprised at how many different patterns can be converted using these functions. The general rule is that the string needs 2 or 3 separate parts in one of these 5 patterns:

Month-Day-Year
Year-Month-Day
Day-Month-Year
Month-Day (assigns current year)
Month-Year (assigns day as 1)

The year can be 2 or 4 digits, except for Month-Year pattern which MUST have a 4 digit year.
(2 digit years >= 50 are assumed to be 19xx, while those < 50 are assumed to be 20xx)
The month can be a number, the full month name or the 3-character abbreviation.
The separators can be a slash, a dash, a space or a comma (or any combination).

This gives you over 400 different patterns that can be directly converted into a date. Here are just a few common string examples that will all return the date value 12/1/2020 once converted:

12/1/2020
December 1, 2020
2020-Dec-1
1-12-2020
Dec 2020
12/1

For my next post I am going to redo formulas #2 and formula #3 on my formulas page so they use this method.




Jeff-Net

Recrystallize Pro

Crystal Reports Server