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Crystal Reports General new release Ripplestone Ripplestone Tips Tutorial

Ripplestone 3 – Home Page Tour

With the release of Ripplestone version 3, we have added many new features to the home page and to how you view and interact with Crystal Reports.

Below is a quick tour of the new features.

 

Performance and Usability Improvements

 

Two new links have been added to the top menu bar.

  • Favorites allows users to quickly get to the documents marked as favorites. The favorites view loads quicker than the home page and is simpler to use.  There is an option to have the Favorites view be the default view when starting Ripplestone.
  • Scheduled History give the users a quick way to view all the scheduled history without needing to click on each Crystal Report on the home page.  This is helpful for the users that need to check the history of many reports.
    The navigation tree on the home page has been updated with AJAX and Data Caching to allow a smoother and quicker navigation experience.  The page will no longer flash as the user is clicking on the folders and documents in the tree.

image

          Multiple Reports

        With the new version of Ripplestone users can open multiple reports from the home page and then switch between them using the tabs.  The reports also open within the home page and not as a new browser window allowing the user to view the report more easily.  The reports new feel more integrated in the Ripplestone application.

      image

       

       

      New Crystal Reports Viewer

       

      Ripplestone 3 is using a new web viewer and new parameter page for running Crystal Reports.  Below is an example of the new parameter page, this opens within the home page and not as a separate web browser window.  It has a more integrated feel and a new indicator is displayed to let the user know that the report is being run.

      image

       

      The new web viewer allows the user to refresh the report and they will be prompted to enter new parameter values or if the report is written in Crystal Reports 2008 or 2011 they will have the option to open the Parameter Panel shown below.  This new panel will allow the user to view and change the parameter values without closing the report.

      image

       

      With these new features the home page of Ripplestone has become easier to use and more productive in viewing your Crystal Reports and Office Documents.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports General new release Ripplestone

      Ripplestone Release 2.9.12

       

      Overview

       

      With version 2.9.12, Ripplestone continues to improve Crystal Reports Parameters Page and the Scheduler.

      Report parameters

       
      Fixed issue with parameters with no value

      If a parameter has no value the parameter will still be sent to the report.

      Additional Improvements For Stored Procedure Parameters

      This version continued improvements, started in version 2.9.11, for parameters that are coming from a Stored Procedure and when to display the Set to Null checkbox.

      Fixed Issue for Parameter Default Values

      Added code to check if a Crystal Report parameter has any default values; if the parameter doesn’t have any default values Ripplestone will display a text box for the user to enter a value.

      Fixed Issue for Parameters That Allow Multiple Values

      This version improved the code that displays the parameters values that were saved for a scheduled job.

       

      Scheduler Changes

       
      A bug was Fixed to Check if the Scheduled Job Has Saved Parameters

      Fixed a bug where a Crystal Report was saved into the Scheduler without parameter values and then opened at a later time and the program would try to fill the report parameters with values. The page would get an error because there were no parameter values found in the Ripplestone database.

      A Bug Was Fixed During Saving of Parameter Values

      If a Crystal Report was scheduled in the Ripplestone Scheduler and it had parameters the parameter values were saved in the Ripplestone database. If the report was then changed and the number of parameters was changed the application would not be able match the parameter values in the database with the new parameters in the report. This fix will now attempt to match the parameters in the database with the updated parameters in the Crystal Report.

       

      General items

       
      Changed the Format for Dates

      This version changes the format for dates to allows store the dates in the database in the format of yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss. This will help with countries that don’t follow the USA standard of mm/dd/yyyy.

      Added Logging When A Report Or Folder Gets Deleted Or Moved

      Added code to log in the trace logs anytime a Crystal Report, Document or Folder gets deleted or moved. With this feature there is an audit of when items are moved or deleted.

      Added new RS Express tab to the edit document page

      A new tab was added to the Edit Document page that will display the RS Express values needed to use the RS Express feature.

      Added new RS Express Option to enable the feature

      A new option was added to enable or disable the RS Express feature.

      Added new RS Express Option to enable the Unique Key Feature

      A new option was added to enable or disable using the RS Express Unique Key feature.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports General new release Ripplestone

      Ripplestone Release 2.9.11

       

      Overview

       

      With version 2.9.11, Ripplestone continues to improve the scheduler and add features to give you more information about the reports and users within Ripplestone.

      We will continually strive to look for ways to make Ripplestone the easiest tool for managing Crystal Reports and Microsoft Office Documents.

       

      Report parameters

       
      Fixed issue when Report is getting a parameter from a Stored procedure

      The parameter display was updated when a report is getting parameters from a store procedure it displays a “Set to Null” checkbox on the parameter page.

      image

       

      Fixed issue with date parameters with default values

      If a parameter is of type Date or DateTime and it has a list of values, the parameter page will display a list of the date values.

      image

      Fixed issue with text parameters with no default value

      If a parameter has no default value the parameter page will display a text box to allow the user to enter a value.

       

      Scheduler Changes

       
      Added option to Use the users within a role for row level security

      This allows the scheduler to loop through the users within a role and use the UserID or User ID tokens for the Row Level Security value. This simulates the process of when a user runs the report. When this report is run from the scheduler, it will be run once for each user in the role using the Row Level Security information to filter the report data for each user.

      image

      Adding option to use the email address stored in the user profile to send report

      This allows the scheduler to loop though the users within a role and use their email address to send the report. This allows the administrator to manage the users in the role and saves them from managing the email list in the scheduler. Additional email addresses can still be entered into the To box for people that are not in the Role.

      image

       

      General items

       
      Added field on the edit document page to display the document id

      A new field was added on the Edit Document page to display the Document ID field. This is useful when using the RS Express feature.

       
      Added new usage tab to the edit document page

      A new tab was added to the Edit Document page that will display usage statistic for that document. The tab will display the number of times that the Crystal Report or document was run, the date that it was last run, display information on the last 10 runs and the top 10 users that run this Crystal Report or document.

      image

       

      Added new usage tab to the edit user page

      A new tab was added to the Edit User page that will display usage statistic for that user. The tab will display the last date the user logged into Ripplestone, how many times they has logged in, display the last 10 Crystal Reports or document they have run and the top 10 Crystal Reports or document they run.

      image

       
      Changed the system setup & configuration page for administrator

      Permissions were changed on the System Setup and Configuration page for Administrators. Users that are in a Role with Administrator permissions can now only change the Troubleshooting Tab. Users that are in a Role with Super User permissions can change the other options.

      image

       

      Bug Fixes

       
      Adding a new report will use the default viewer

      When publishing a new Crystal Report, the system will use the default viewer set in the System Setup & Configuration page.

      Fixed issue with logging into crystal reports that have a sub report

      Fixed an issue on some reports that had sub reports where they would not correctly login to the data for the sub report.

      Fixed issue with System using Access for the Ripplestone database

      Fixed an issue that occurred when an Administrator was creating a new Folder and needed to assign the security to the administrator and the Ripplestone application was using Access for the database.

      Fixed issue with security for administrator

      Fixed a bug when Administrators where getting a list of users that the administrator is allow to see. They were able to see all the users in the system and this is only available to the Super User.

      Fixed issue with Folder security for administrator

      Fixed a bug when Administrators where opening or viewing a folder where they didn’t have permissions to view the folder.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports Crystal Reports Formulas Ripplestone Tips

      Delimited Crystal Reports Parameter Values

      We have a Ripplestone client that has a report with a string value parameter that had values that were delimited so it could be any of the listed values.  This was then used within the Selection with a IN clause.

      The values were surrounded with double quotes and then had brackets around the quoted values.  Below is an example:

       

      ["40","41"."43","44","45"]

       

      The problem was that the double quotes would not work within Ripplestone since the double quotes would not work with the HTML Dropdown Box.  All that would be returned in the HTML would be the bracket (“[“) and nothing else.

      We found with some testing that we could remove the Brackets AND the double quotes and the report would still work.  Below is the delimited list without the brackets and the double quotes.

      40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

       

      This worked in both the Crystal Reports designer and also when published to Ripplestone.

      .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre
      {
      font-size: small;
      color: black;
      font-family: consolas, “Courier New”, courier, monospace;
      background-color: #ffffff;
      /*white-space: pre;*/
      }
      .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; }
      .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; }
      .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; }
      .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; }
      .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; }
      .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; }
      .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; }
      .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; }
      .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; }
      .csharpcode .alt
      {
      background-color: #f4f4f4;
      width: 100%;
      margin: 0em;
      }
      .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; }

      Categories
      Crystal Reports Ripplestone Tutorial Video

      Quick Tour of the Ripplestone Home Page

      We are starting off the New Year with a year long series of new videos, whitepapers and tip and tricks for Ripplestone and Crystal Reports.

      We will start off with a simple video of the Ripplestone Home page and how it makes it easy to manage, find and run your Crystal Reports.  This is from the viewpoint of a standard user running Ripplestone and how they can quickly find the reports they are looking for.  This video covers the following items:

      • Find a report within the tree of folders and documents on the left side of the page
      • Searching for a report
      • Adding a favorite report to the My Documents area on the right side of the home page
      • Viewing the last instance of a report that has been scheduled
      • View the history of scheduled reports
      • View a list of the last 10 reports run
      • View a list of the Top 10 reports run

         

        Quick Tour of the Ripplestone Home Page

      Let us know know other videos you would like to see in this series and we will be sure to get them on the list.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports Printers Ripplestone Ripplestone Tips Web Viewer

      Printer Setting for Crystal Reports and Ripplestone

      When publishing a Crystal report to Ripplestone, it helps to change the printer settings for the report to use the No Printer option.

      When you create a new Crystal Report you normally set the report to print on a local printer.  While the report will run great for this printer it might not run when you publish it to Ripplestone and run the report using the web viewer.

      A common message would be:

      The page size was not large enough to format the contents of an object in the report.

      Failed to export the report.

      The reason for this error is that the web viewer has different margin and sizes that the printer that was selected and when the report is run it’s not able to fit in the new web viewer size.

      To fix this problem open the Page Setup dialog box from within Crystal Reports and select the “No Printer (optimize for screen display)” option at the top of the box.  Save the report and make sure that it can be run without an errors.  If you get display errors then you can either change the margins on the Page Setup dialog box and/or change the layout of the report to fit within the new report dimensions.  After you get everything working in the report you can re-publish the report to Ripplestone and it should be able to be displayed in the web viewer and the pdf viewer.

      image

      Categories
      Crystal Reports Ripplestone

      Ripplestone Release 2.9.9 – Summary

      Overview

      With version 2.9.9, Ripplestone continues to improve the user experience with changes to the home page that make it easier for users to navigate and find the Crystal Reports and Office Documents that they use most often. For the administrator we have added many new features that allow them to provide more flexibility for their users.

      We will continually strive to look for ways to make Ripplestone the easiest tool for managing Crystal Reports and Microsoft Office Documents.

      Home Page Improvements

      Added Search to the Home Page

      Added a search function to the home page that will allow users to enter a value into a Search Box and any reports with the value in the Title will be displayed in a list on the right side of the Home page.

      Added My Document Feature

      Allow user to select documents or reports that they use often as favorites and these documents and reports will be listed on the home page for the user.

      Display the published documents when a folder is clicked

      On the home page, when a folder is clicked the right pane will display all the documents and reports for that folder and allow the user to run/open then from the list. This allows the user to quickly run the report without first clicking on the report in the left side tree and then clicking the Run Report link.

      Right Click Support

      On the Home page users can right click on the navigation tree and get context menus with common actions.

      Scheduler Changes

      Performance Tune the Scheduler

      The time it takes for the scheduler to check for jobs to run will be faster.

      Added New Export Options to the Scheduler

      Added new export options that were made available in Crystal Reports XI.

      Clean the list of scheduled documents in the history folder

      Allow an Administrator or Super User to set a number of documents to keep in the scheduled history or to set the duration in days for documents to be kept in the scheduled history. This can be set globally and then over ridden for individual documents.

      Added “First Day After” Option to the Scheduler

      For scheduled jobs that run Monthly or Quarterly, there is a new option to run the report on the first day of the month or quarter.

      Administrator Document And Home Page Changes

      Add option to open a report in pdf format

      Allow a report to be opened in a pdf viewer instead of the Crystal Reports Web Viewer. This will be an option on the Edit Document page.

      Added a new tab called Published Folder on the Edit Document Page

      On the edit document page, a new tab was added called Published Folder. This new folder is used to select the document or report to be published and to select the folder that the document or report will be published to. The folder select is now using a tree that makes finding the folder easier.

      Move a published document or report from the Edit Document Page

      Added the ability for a Publisher or Administrator to move a document or report to another folder from the Edit Document Page. Before the document would need to be deleted and then re-published to move the document or report.

      Edit the Web Viewer Print and Export options from the Edit Document Page

      If the report is using the Crystal Reports Web Viewer, allow the user to edit the print and export options from the Edit Document page. The list of reports that are using print and/or export restrictions can still be viewed from the Administration page, but the Adding and Editing is now done on the Edit Document page.

      Allow the Title and Text for the right side of the Home page to be changed

      Using the System Setup and Configuration page allow an Administrator or Super User to change the title and the text that is displayed on the right pane of the Home page when Ripplestone is started and when the root node of the tree is selected.

      Security

      Allow the administrator to define what a role can do

      When an administrator creates a role, let them have a list of tasks that can be assigned to a role. For example, the administrator could create department administrators that can add users and folders but only to their defined list of folders.

      Allow role security to be at a folder level

      Allow the administrator to assign the role security (Admin, Publisher, and Scheduler) at a folder level. For example, a role might allow users to view 3 folders within Ripplestone, but only allow them to be a scheduler on one of those folders. On the other two folders they can only view the reports.

      Check the user’s security for each folder

      When a folder is selected the security is checked for the user to see if they can publish, schedule or only run the documents and reports published in that folder.

      Bug Fixes

      Fixed a bug for saving the Password

      On the Edit User page, there was a bug that did not save the password when a password was entered and then the user moved to another tab and then saved the User page. This page now correctly saves the password.

      Miscellaneous

      Added a link to Delete All Trace Logs

      On the Trace Logs page, a link was added to delete all trace logs.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports Ripplestone Ripplestone Tips

      Truncating Fields in the Crystal Reports Web Viewer

      The Problem

      There are times when building a Crystal Report that you want a field to be short and if the data is too long for the field for it to be truncated.  This works fine when developing the report in the Crystal Reports Designer, but when you publish the report to Ripplestone and run the report the data in the field will overlap with the field(s) to the right. 

      The screenshot below is from the Crystal Reports Web Viewer and the HTML that is generates allows the data to “spill-over” to the two fields to the right of the Title field.

      FieldOverlapWebViewer

      What you want it to look like is this.  The screen shot below is the same report, but the viewer in Ripplestone was changed to pdf.  When exporting to pdf Crystal Reports does the proper thing and truncates the data in the Title field to the length that was set at design time.

      FieldPDFViewer

       

      The Solution

      To fix the problem we need to head back to the Crystal Reports Designer and make a change to the field that is overflowing (the Title field in the example).  Open the Format Editor by right clicking on the field and selecting the Format Field option.  On the Common tab we want to check the Can Grow option and set the Maximum number of lines to 1.

      CRFormatEditor

      After making the change to the report you can re-publish the report to Ripplestone and the field should be truncated and will fit the set width.  Below is the report in the Crystal Reports web viewer after the Can Grow option has been checked.

      FieldAfterCanGrow

       

      Conclusion

      If you have a field in a Crystal Report that needs to be a specified width and cannot flow over to other fields and you need to view the report in the Crystal Reports Web Viewer you will need to set the Can Grow option along with the Maximum number of lines option.  Setting these two options in the Crystal Reports designer and then publishing that report to Ripplestone will cause the field to be truncated when displayed with the Crystal Reports Web Viewer.

      Thanks to Patrick Kansa for help with this solution.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports Crystal Reports Formulas Ripplestone Ripplestone Tips

      Converting Numbers to Dates in Crystal Reports

      While working with a Ripplestone client today that had a Crystal Reports report that had data that was a date but the database stored the date as a number in the format YYYYMMDD (20090924 for example).  They wanted the date to be displayed in Ripplestone as MM/DD/YYYY (09/24/2009).

      In their copy of Crystal Reports Designer they had changed the default number format to only display the number with no formatting.  They then used the following formula to convert the number into a date format:

      Mid (ToText ({Database Field}), 5,2) + “/” + Right ( ToText({Database Field}),2) + “/” + Left (ToText ({Database Field}), 4)

      This worked great when the number was 20090924, the formula split the number into the following 3 numbers 09, 24 and 2009 and then created the date by adding the “/” between the numbers.

      The problem started once the report was published to Ripplestone and run.  The dates on the report were displaying as 90/00/20,0

      After a lot of looking at the formula we discovered that the default number for the Crystal Reports Runtime Engine is to add commas and 2 decimals to the number, so that it was displaying as 20,090,924.00

      When this was run with the formula, the 3 number were 90, 00 and 20,0.

      To fix this problem we needed to remove the formatting from the number before the Mid, Right and Left functions were applied.  To remove the formatting of the number I added extra attributes to the ToText function.  The first attribute was the “#” as the second value.  This removes the commas from the number.  The next attribute was a zero (0) as the third value.  This will set the decimals to be zero and remove the “.00” from the end of the number.  The revised formula is below, with the changes highlighted in red.

      Mid (ToText ({Database Field}, “#”, 0), 5,2) + “/” + Right ( ToText({Database Field}, “#”, 0),2) + “/” + Left (ToText ({Database Field}, “#”, 0), 4)

      This allowed the number to be formatted correct and when the report was run or scheduled from Ripplestone the dates are displayed in the correct format.

      Categories
      Crystal Reports IIS Ripplestone Vista Windows Server 2008

      Running Ripplestone on Vista and Windows Server 2008

      I was working with a Ripplestone client to get the software installed on a Vista PC and had a do a few things different than if this was XP Pro or Windows Server 2003.  The main differences were that Vista and Windows Server 2008 use IIS 7 and the .NET framework 1.1 is not installed by default.

      I started with the following article on setting up Vista and Windows 2008 to run an ASP.NET 1.1 application.

      Install ASP.NET 1.1 with IIS7

      Once I got ASP.NET 1.1 installed and configured, I need to make sure that Crystal Reports was installed correctly with the Ripplestone installer.  This was just a matter of checking the permissions and testing the running of a report within Ripplestone.

      All together it took an extra 30 minutes to get everything installed and configured correctly.