Posts Tagged ‘Business Objects’

SAP Crystal Reports Roadmap History

February 24th, 2011

When Crystal Decisions was purchased by BusinessObjects the Crystal Report designer tool was a Windows executable and had just integrated a full semantic layer that would allow multiple reports to access multiple connections and include multi-level business logic definitions in the form of a Business View.  BusinessObjects already had a mature Universe semantic layer as part of its platform and was already moving to a Java based report editor accessible over the web as well as on the desktop.

While the BusinessObjects reporting tools becaome integrated into the existing Crystal Enterprise based server engines, the semantic layers remained independent.  Each tool’s implementation of semantic layer management was quite different and each had its strengths.  In the XI version Crystal could access both the Business View as well as limited support to connect to the same Universe but the integration stopped there.

In the upcoming SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise release there is a new semantic  layer that begins to bring the best of the Universe and the Business View into a single Information Management tool.  SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise will be able to take advantage of the new semantic layer in a consistent interface as it’s Web Intelligence and Dashboard Design (previously Xcelsius ) cousins.

For connecting to other data connection types the SAP Crystal  Reports 2011 product will be released to replace its 2008 predecessor.  Later on these two versions will be combined into a single release.   Te get access to either you buy a single license…meaning by one and you get the other.

Both  Crystal Reports for Enterprise and Crystal Reports 2011 are now also available as a Java application  that allows installation on Windows and Linux based desktop machines.

Universe Designer

February 5th, 2011

I reviewed the Universe Designer 4.0 documentation for those of us not going to the new Information Design Tool and was reminded of the importance of correctly configuring the Universe parameters for your database. this topic focuses on the use of ANSI92-SQL and GROUP BY settings and also applies to the 3.X platform.

While its still from the last century, I love ANSI-92 SQL. It took a while for me to get it back then, but now I hate it when its not setup on a Universe to use it. I am somewhat still amazed we are still mostly using ANSI89-SQL which was defined when Madanna and Prince were still on the top the charts.

In reviewing the settings I was reminded that to take advantage of ANSI 92 there are multiple settings you need to be knowledgeable.

The first if of course ANSI92 which is set to NO by default and needs to get an override of YES.

FILTER_IN_FROM. This feature that allows the outer join filter to be in the FROM clause can be set at the join properties level. However it can also be set to YES in the universe parameters so that it defaults to “All objects in FROM”.

The second is INNERJOIN_IN_WHERE which has to be added if you want to use it. Allows you to force the system to generate SQL syntax with all the inner joins in the WHERE clause whenANSI92 is set to yes. This is sometimes a nice way to show that query is not using any outer joins as all the joins being innter will revert to being in the Where clause.

SELFJOINS_IN_WHERE can also override the ON clause to move back to the WHERE clause even if ANI92 is set to YES.

If you dont have Aggregate values (i.e.e SUM, SVG) in your measure objects that will force a GROUPBY on your queries then you better consider theDISTINCT_VALUES parameter. The key thing to remember is that its only invoked if and when the option “Do not retrieve duplicate rows” isactive in your report. If you want GROUP BY instead of DISTINCT then you have to override the default it in the Universe Paramters.

The last thing I will mention is that there are other settings that are database specific stil managed inthe PRM files. I think that many new designers who never had to manage the PRM file in 6.X and earlier may not even know where that file is and what it does.

But thats for another post.

Kevin McManus