Archive for August, 2023

Crystal Reports FAQ page on

Saturday 19 August 2023 @ 10:04 pm

One of the managers at SAP recently shared a link with me that I had never seen before.   It is a comprehensive FAQ page for the Crystal Reports product family.  If looks like about 40 pages of material and covers a wide variety of topics.  (For instance, A5 has a searchable list of all the service packs and C5 links to the Knowledge Base).  Here is the outline:

A. Overview
A. 1. SAP Crystal Solutions Overview
A. 2. SAP Crystal Solutions Licensing
A. 3. SAP Crystal Solutions Hardware specs, minimum requirements, etc
A. 4. What is the numbering of versions
A. 5. SAP Crystal Solutions Service Packs
A. 6. SAP Crystal Solutions Product versions
A. 7. SAP Crystal Solutions Maintenance and Support
A. 8. SAP Crystal Solutions compatibility

B. Purchase
B. 1. SAP Store purchase
What versions of SAP Crystal Reports are available through the SAP Store?
What versions of SAP Crystal Server are available through the SAP Store?
SAP CR 2020 and SAP CR 2016 available on selected 3rd party marketplaces.
B. 2. SAP Store additional questions
B. 3. SAP Store Upgrades
B. 4. SAP Store Order Fulfillment
B. 5. End User license agreements (EULA)

C. Installation
C. 1. SAP Crystal Solutions Installation
C. 2. Lost license keys and registration numbers
C. 3. SAP Crystal Solutions How-to Guides
C. 4. SAP Crystal Solutions Videos and Tutorials
C. 5. SAP Crystal Solutions Guided Answers and KBAs
C. 6. SAP Crystal Solutions Third Party Training and Consulting

D. Developers
D. 1. SAP Crystal for Developers
D. 2. Retirement of the SAP Distribution Reselling and PartnerEdge Open Ecosystem

E. Error and Issues Handling
E. 1. SAP Crystal Solutions product tips and tricks
E. 2. Vulnerabilities

F. Other topics
F. 1. SAP Crystal Solutions Third Party Apps
F. 2. Ask your own question
F. 3. Recruitment with SAP Crystal skills

Some of the links in this FAQ, like the link to the knowledge base search, require an SAP “Universal ID” to get full access.  These are free.

Formula values that lag behind

Tuesday 1 August 2023 @ 10:43 am

I found an apparently longstanding bug in Crystal Reports recently. It can be demonstrated by creating a simple report with three formulas (A, B and X).  Formula A can reference any field. Formula B contains formula A. Formula X contains formula B and also uses either the Next() or Previous() function. For a very simple example, use these three formulas:

Formula A:  {table.field}

Formula B:  {@A}

Formula X:  Next ( {@B} )

Place these 3 formulas on the details band of the report, side by side. They should all return the same values, with X values one row ahead.

To see the bug, open Formula A and add or append a literal value to the existing field.  If the field is a string you can use:

{table.field} & ‘AnyText’

If your field is a numeric or a date you can add a number to it:

{table.field} +10

When you save Formula A with this change you will immediately see Formula A values change in preview.  You would expect to see the same change in Formula B, but because of this bug, Formula B will not change.  You can make any change to Formula A that doesn’t cause a refresh/recalculate, and Formula B won’t change – at least not right away.

Now go into Formula B and make a simple change.  For example, hit [Enter] to add a blank first line and save Formula B. Now Formula B displays the change and matches Formula A. The formula updates finally, but that update didn’t happen right away.

To see it again you can go back to Formula A and take out the added value. Again Formula B won’t change until you do something else to make the report recalculate or refresh.

Somehow, using the Previous()/Next() functions in this three-formula series confuses Crystal’s internal formula dependency.  The fields always get back in sync after a refresh, or whenever the report recalculates all the formulas.  But many minor formula changes don’t force the report to recalculate so things can be off for a while.  I discovered this bug while trying to troubleshoot a very complex report.  It took hours to isolate the behavior, confirm that the formulas were correct and identify Crystal as the source of the problem.

I also went back and tested CR v10 (2004) and CR v8.5 (2001) and found the exact same behavior, so this is not a new bug.  I have never noticed it before, but it might explain some of the unexplained gremlin situations I have encountered over the years.

One solution to this is to add “WhilePrintingRecords” to either Formula A or Formula B, but that adds significant limitations to how these formulas can be used.

Recrystallize Pro