Archive for the ‘Crystal Reports’ category

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.

OpenDoc vs. CallReport

May 5th, 2010

We get a lot of question on how Open Document compares to Report Launch. In a conversation with our sales team I tried to summarize the vast differences. Opendoc is a single URL that can only call a single report at a time ….and for Webi can only return to the viewer or PDF

Report Launch’s “call report” is an application that will provide a consistent ways of calling both Crystal and Web Intelligence reports using single sign on.

  • On- demand refresh
  • On demand scheduling
  • Report List
  • Last Scheduled Instance
  • Last Bursted Instance
  • List of Historical Scheduled Instances
  • List of Historical Bursted Instances
  • It can also support the following formats

  • PDF
  • XLS
  • PPT
  • CSV
  • TXT
  • HTML
  • XML
  • These are the basics. There are also more complex features for complex solutions.

  • Cached Results
  • Report Parts by Name
  • On the fly Dimensional Slicing
  • – Challenge us with something you need and I can tell you if CallReport already handles that.

    Kevin McManus

    GBN/BOUG Conference 2009 Dallas

    October 20th, 2009

    Best Business Objects conference I have been to. What as missing in free entertainment was replaced with better content. More in depth training on Xcelsius, Universe Design , web intelligence and Crystal Reports.

    Supported Crystal HTML Tags

    August 7th, 2009

    Question of the Day

    The supported HTML tags are:
    ” html
    ” body
    ” div (causes a paragraph break)
    ” tr (causes only a paragraph break; does not

    preserve column structure of a table)
    ” span
    ” font
    ” p (causes a paragraph break)
    ” br (causes a paragraph break)
    ” h1 (causes a paragraph break, makes the font bold

    & twice default size)
    ” h2 (causes a paragraph break, makes the font bold

    & 1.5 times default size)
    ” h3 (causes a paragraph break, makes the font bold

    & 9/8 default size)
    ” h4 (causes a paragraph break, makes the font bold)
    ” h5 (causes a paragraph break, makes the font bold

    & 5/6 default size)
    ” h6 (causes a paragraph break, makes the font bold

    & 5/8 default size)
    ” center
    ” big (increases font size by 2 points)
    ” small (decreases font size by 2 points if it’s 8

    points or larger)
    ” b
    ” i
    ” s
    ” strike
    ” u
    The supported HTML attributes are:
    ” align
    ” face
    ” size
    ” color
    ” style
    ” font-family
    ” font-size
    ” font-style
    ” font-weight

    Question of the day

    August 7th, 2009

    Here are the product names going back before all the mergers and today.

    Company 1: Business Objects – Business Objects 6.X
    Company 2: Crystal Decisions – Crystal Enterprise 10
    Company 3: Infomersion – Xcelsius

    Company: Mergers with BusinessObjects = BusinessObjects
    BusinessObjects Enterprise XI (aka BOE XI Release 1)
    Content : Crystal + Deski

    BusinessObjects Enterprise R2 (aka BOE XI Release 2)
    Main Content: Crystal+ Webi + Deski + Xcelsius + Live Office

    Company: Acquisition of Business Objects by SAP = SAP BusinessObjects
    SAP Business Objects XI 3.X (Currently 3.1 Service Pack 2)
    This version is unofficially called ?BusinessObjects XI R3?

    Kevin McManus

    Crystal report version control

    April 4th, 2009

    BOE handles report migration in a slightly different way than a JSP file for example. Reports are primarily identified by a GUID and not solely on the name. Also the directory in which an object is referenced plays a large role so report objects should be kept in a maximum of two structures. One for unit testing and one for synchronization per the steps below.

    In summary
    1) Reports should be kept on a network share or subversion with version numbers in the file name and in the report properties.
    2) Once reports are modified they should be published (File menu –> save as –> enterprise) to a TEST folder on level down from the main folder in the BOE Repository on the TEST BOE Server.
    3) This version will have a new version number in the report properties and in the description.
    4) The TEST Report Launch application that points to the TEST BOE Server and will see that folder within the application. The reports can then be tested. If they work sufficiently the Report should be published to the main folder from designer (File menu –> save as –> enterprise) without the version number in the title but still with the version number in the report properties. This replaces the existing report on the UAT server but PRESERVES the unique id that keeps the reports in sync with Prod BOE. UAT or system testing by a fellow team member can occur with the report in this main folder location.
    5) This report in the designer can then also be checked into the network share or subversion.
    6) Then the import wizard will migrate between the main folders in TEST with PROD. The DEV folder where the versioned reports are kept is not migrated to production.

    Other points
    a) As discussed the best practice no one should ever publish a report directly to PROD, nor have the rights to do so. It is protected and serviced only through proper administration. This supports the checks and balances that ensures that testing is properly completed and that roll-backs are easier.
    b) Reports are not moved. Reports are published per the steps above so that if there is an issue identified during testing the prior version is already available online and clearly versioned so that it can be reverted on the TEST server without any affect on production. In the event that this reverted report needs to be imported to production the steps above will ensure that the proper version is in sync between environments.
    c) This means that reports are not developed or published directly to the BOE PROD server keeping it pristine.

    Kevin McManus