Archive for September, 2023

A free tool to export reports from the command line

Wednesday 13 September 2023 @ 11:33 pm

One of the perks of using Crystal Reports is the number of third party tools that have been developed to work with the software. My Product Links page has links to more than 70 items.

So it came as a surprise when a user pointed me to a free tool that I had never heard of. This user had asked me if there were tools that would run and export reports from the command line.  I pointed him to my ‘Viewers’ comparison page which has several options. He replied that he had decided to use Crystal Reports Helper which lets you run reports for the command line and export them to a handful of formats. Because it runs from the command line the scripts can be saved in .bat or .cmd files and run from a scheduler. It is a free tool and I had never heard of it.

Crystal Reports Helper was created by Big Ideas Computing Ltd. It was initially created for users of their software application, named dbFront. dbFront lets you quickly build simple web facing applications that allow users to enter and update data. Crystal Reports Helper has since been released it to everyone for free, all you have to do is request it from the vendor.

And thanks to Rich Head of the Greater Iowa Credit Union for sharing this link with me. I haven’t tried Crystal Reports Helper but Rich said it worked fine for him.


Sites for testing SQL syntax in multiple DB languages

Saturday 9 September 2023 @ 11:16 am

A few years ago I started documenting the syntax differences between the main flavors of SQL. This, eventually, turned into the SQL Functions cheat sheet I have made available on my site (and still refer to regularly).

The main challenge I had creating the cheat sheet was that I didn’t have all these databases installed to experiment with. I had to ask volunteers who worked in specific environments to provide syntax examples for their flavor of SQL.

I was recently researching SQL syntax when a poster linked to a “SQL Fiddle” he had created.  SQL Fiddle is a site that allows you to ‘fiddle’ with SQL statements online, using a variety of common SQL languages. In many cases you can test statements using multiple versions of the same language. That led me to a handful of other sites that do the same thing with a different mix of languages. Here are three of the most complete ones I found, along with the languages they support:
SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Postgre, SQLLite
SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Postgre, MariaDB, SQLLite, DB2, Firebird, TimeScaleDB, YugabyteDB
SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Postgre, MariaDB10, SOQOL

Note, these databases don’t always come with sample tables. You might need to run a statement to create the table(s) you want. Or you may be able to run your queries against the system tables.

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