Using External Parameters for a Scheduled Crystal Report

February 18th, 2016 No comments

When running a scheduled Crystal Report in Ripplestone that has at least one parameter, there are times when the list of parameters values is large or comes from a changing source of values.

With Ripplestone you can use this external list of parameter values to burst the report. The scheduled report will run the report once for each set of parameters and optionally use an email address to send the report via email.

Below is an example of how to use the external parameters bursting feature to send a yearly sales report using a parameter to filter the report by country and emailing each report to an email address.

To start you need to create a Database Connection to the data source. In Ripplestone, the database connection page is a centralized location to create the information needed to connect to a data source. It is used by reports, dynamic parameters and external parameters to open and read data.

Create a new database connection with the Connection Type of Dynamic Pick List. The example below is getting the parameter data from SQL Server from a database called ExternalParams. You will also need a valid User ID and Password to connect to the data source.

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From a scheduled report, go to the External Parameters tab.

Start by enabling the feature with the checkbox at the top.

Select the database connection created above and add the SQL statement to select the fields that contain the data needed for the report’s parameters and the email address if sending the report via email.

In the example below, the report is getting data from a view called vwGetCountries. It needs the fields Country and Email; the Country field will be used for the first parameter in the report and the Email field will be used to send the report to the email address(es) contained in the field. If more than one email address is in the field separate them with a semi-colon.

The Test link can be used to ensure that the connection works and that the data retrieved is correct. In the example below, it returns three countries.

The mapping section is where you can assign the fields to the reports parameters and to the email address.

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Note: If you are using an email address to send the report, you will also need to enable the Email feature and fill in the From, To and Subject lines. The To field will be replaced by the data from the external source.

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After setting everything up, the report will run at the scheduled time and run once for each record found in the data source. The report will be saved into the report’s history and email the report, using the email address stored in the data source.

Force Larger Font when Exporting to PDF from Crystal Reports

February 11th, 2016 No comments

When exporting from the Crystal Reports Runtime Engine, some reports will have a smaller font size when exported to pdf. This can also happen when printing a report since browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Edge will first export the report to pdf and then print the pdf file. Internet Explorer can either print using an ActiveX control or by also first exporting to a pdf file. When using the ActiveX control the fonts retain the correct size.

To force the engine to maintain the font size you will need to make a change to the Windows Registry. To make the change open the Registry Editor by typing RegEdit.exe in the Run dialog box.

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Once the Registry Editor is open, find the Crystal Reports key using the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SAP BusinessObjects\Crystal Reports for .NET Framework 4.0\Crystal Reports

Most likely you will need to add two new keys. First add a key called Export and then a new key called Pdf if they are not there. The final structure will look like this:

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In the Pdf key add a new DWORD called ForceLargerFonts

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In the new DWORD, change the value to a 1 and save the value.

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Once complete, the new value should look like below:

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Close the Registry Editor and test opening a report in Ripplestone and export it to a pdf file.

Printing Crystal Reports from the Scheduler

February 2nd, 2016 No comments

When trying to send a Crystal Report directly to a printer from the Ripplestone scheduler, you will need to change some settings to allow the scheduler service to have permissions to the printer.

Changing the Login for the Service

By default the Ripplestone scheduler runs as a local system account. This account usually doesn’t have permissions to print to network printers.

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To allow the service to have permissions to print, change the Log On to a user that does have permissions. This will require a re-start of the service.

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Install the Printer on the Ripplestone Server

To make sure that the server has the correct driver you will need to install the printer on the Ripplestone server.

By installing the printer, you should also get the printer to display in the drop down list of available printers. If the printer doesn’t display in the list you can type in into test box to the right of the dropdown.

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Make the Printer the default printer

If the Crystal Report has the No Printer option selected on the Page Setup dialog box, then the printer on the Ripplestone server will need to be selected as the default printer.

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If you cannot make the printer the default printer, then the No Printer option will need to be un-checked and the report will need to be re-published to Ripplestone. Once the report has been re-published it can be printed to any printer. This seems to be a limitation within the Crystal Reports Runtime Engine.

Updating the List of Values (LOV) in Crystal Reports

September 24th, 2015 No comments

Using Crystal Reports Designer

When using dynamic parameters within Crystal Reports you can easily have more parameter values than Crystal Reports can display.  The default number of values that can be displayed is 1,000 and if you are using cascading parameters the number of values is the sum of the values in all the parameters used in the cascade.

In the screen shot below, the values should go to the ZM, but the list stops at ME since the combination of the Customer Code parameter and the Date Range parameter is greater than 1,000.

LOV-Default

To fix this problem in the Crystal Reports designer you need to edit the Registry.  The location for Crystal Reports 2008 is below.  Normally the last key of LOV is not created and will need to be created in the Registry.  Once the LOV key is created you will need to create a string value called MaxRowsetRecords and assign a number to it.  The number can be any value greater than 1,000 if you know how big the list of parameter values is, or you can make the value -1 to have no limit.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Business Objects\Suite 12.0\Crystal Reports\DatabaseOptions\LOV

Registry

After the change has been made to the Registry, the parameters should display all the values.

LOV-Updated

Using Ripplestone

When you are using Ripplestone, the reports are run using the Crystal Reports Runtime Engine and this uses a different section of the Registry.  The location for the runtime engine is below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\SAP BusinessObjects\Crystal Reports for .NET Framework 4.0\Crystal Reports\DatabaseOptions\LOV

The LOV key will need to be added and then the string value of MaxRowsetRecords.

The big catch is that the value of -1 cannot be used, this must be a number greater than 1,000.  If you use the -1 value, the report will display only the first 1,000 values.

Registry for the Crystal Reports Runtime Engine

Once the MaxRowsetRecords is created and set to al value that is greater than the number of parameter values you will see all the values in the parameter page in Ripplestone.

How to Use RSExpress

February 12th, 2015 No comments

This feature, called RSExpress, allows a report to be run and viewed in the report viewer without first logging into Ripplestone. This allows users of Ripplestone to run reports that are published in Ripplestone from external applications without the users first logging into Ripplestone and running the report from the Ripplestone application.

This feature uses a query string that is appended to the URL to provide information that the viewer and report need to run. This information is normally provided by the Ripplestone application, but will now be provided using the query string

Below are instructions on how to use this feature

1. The query string can take up to 5 parameters. The first 2 are required and the others are optional. The name and description of each are listed below.

Parameter name Required Description
DocID X The ID of the published document.
Note: The report must already be published within Ripplestone.
User X The name of an existing user within Ripplestone. For example, AdministratorThis can also be the encrypted user name described below.
Params This is used to pass in values for report parameters. If the report has multiple parameters each parameter is separated by a comma.Range parameters can be passed in and are separated by a semi-colon (;).
For example if a report had two parameters, a Country parameter and a HireDate parameter and the Hire Date parameter is a range type, then the syntax would be Params=USA,4/1/1992;8/15/1992. This would pass “USA” into the Country parameter and would pass in the two dates as the start value and end value for the HireDate parameter.
Key A system generated key to make this unique. This helps make the query string more secure.
ExtFileName This is used to pass in a file name that will be used to save a copy of the report. This External File Name feature needs to be turned on in the Edit Document page to be used.

1.2. To create the URL you create a valid URL to the CRViewer.aspx page. For example, www.ripplestonedemo.net/CRViewer.aspx

or
//servername/ripplestone/CRViewer.aspx

3. Then to append the query string; add a question mark (?) followed by the parameters for the query string. These are the parameters listed above. The parameters are separated by a “&”

RS Express Tab

To help with creating the query string we have added a tab called RS Express to the Edit Document page. This tab allows you to turn on or off the RS Express feature for this document, create a unique key and view a template for the query string.

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System Options for RS Express

The RS Express feature can be controlled at a system level on the System Setup and Configuration page.

RS Express – Active: This option allows you to turn the RS Express feature on or off. Turning the feature off will not allow any published reports to use RS Express, unless the report overrides this option at the report level.

Require Unique Key: This option will require that a unique system generated key be used in the query string. Using the key makes the query string more secure by eliminating the ability for a use to guess different DocID values.

Use Encrypted User Name: This option uses an encrypted user name instead of the plain test user name. This increases the security when the user name is used for Row Level Security and you do not want users entering other names into the query string

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Encrypted User Name

To get the encrypted user name for the query string, go to the Edit User page and then the User Options tab. This will contain the user’s name in an encrypted format. This can then be used instead of the normal user name.

For example, the URL below is using the encrypted user name:

http://localhost:52663/CRViewer.aspx?DocID=53&User=cfRiKypX6cI=

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What’s New in Ripplestone 3.4.4

January 14th, 2014 No comments

Overview

Below are the new features, updates and bug fixes for version 3.4.4

Scheduler Changes

Added New Copy Feature (3.4.4.1)

Added a new feature to the scheduler page to copy an existing job.

New_Copy_Feature

Display the Error message for Failed Jobs (3.4.4.1)

If a scheduled job fails, the Schedule History will display a link so the administrator can see what caused the failure.

New_History_Error_Message

Added new fields to display the Created and Modified Information (3.4.4.1)

The Edit Schedule page now displays who created the schedule and when and who last modified the record and when.

New_Modified_Fields

The Scheduled Documents Page Remembers the Last Clicked Item (3.4.4.3)

Updated the Schedule Document page to return and highlight the last viewed scheduled job when going to the Edit Schedule page or the Schedule History page. This new feature also remembers the rows per page that was selected.

Added a Date Token to the Unmanaged Output (3.4.4.4)

Added a new Date Token feature to the Unmanaged Output file name. By using the token of [DATE] in the file name field the system will insert the current date when the document is created.

New_Date_token

Changed the Quarterly Interval (3.4.4.4)

Updated the Quarterly option to allow the user to select the last day or day of the week for the current quarter.

New_Quarterly_Interval

Added New Validation that will limit who can Edit and Delete Jobs (3.4.4.3)

Added new validation so that only administrators and the super user can edit and delete all scheduled jobs. For users that have scheduler access then can only edit and delete their own jobs; they cannot edit or delete jobs created by another user.

Added New Field to display the Next Run Date and Time (3.4.4.3)

Added a new field to display the Next Run date and time.

Next_Run_Date

Bug Fixes

Fixed an Issue With the RS Express feature with Multiple Value Parameters (3.4.4.4)

If you are using the RS Express feature and you were passing in parameter values that has multiple values for the same parameter you would get an error. This has been fixed and you can now pass in multiple parameter values.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

What’s New in Ripplestone 3.4.3

January 14th, 2014 No comments

Overview

Below are the new features, updates and bug fixes for Ripplestone version 3.4.3.

Home Page

Use Parameter Name for Prompt Text (3.4.3.0)

If the report doesn’t have a value for the prompt text then use the parameter name for the prompt text

Scheduler Changes

The Ripplestone Scheduler Server Has Been Re-Written (3.4.3.0)

The scheduler server has been re-written to improve the performance and scalability.

Added New Yearly Option (3.4.3.0)

Added a new schedule interval of Yearly. This will run a job once per year using the Begin date for the month and day and the start time for the time of day to run.

New_Yearly_Option

Edit Folders Page

Added New Fields to Track Who Changed the Folder and When (3.4.3.1)

Added two new fields to track who changed the record and when it was changed.

New_ModifiedBy_Fields

Edit Document Page

New Unique Key for RSExpress (3.4.3.2)

There is a new option for RS Express that allows the Administrator to turn on or off the RS Express feature.

There is also a new option that will require a unique key to be added to the query string. This will make the feature more secure and make it harder for a user to guess at document ID’s

Both of these new options can be set on the System Setup and Configuration page on the first tab. These global options can be overridden for each report on the Edit Document page

Unique_Key_RSExpress

Global Options on the System Setup and Configuration Page

Unique_Key_RSExpress2

Individual Report options on the Edit Document Page

Added New Fields to Track Who Changed the Report and When (3.4.3.2)

Added two new fields to track who changed the record and when it was changed

New_ModifiedBy_Fields_Edit_Document

Remove Duplicate Entries from the Dynamic Parameters (3.4.3.0)

When using the Ripplestone Dynamic Parameter feature if the values for the parameter had any duplicates the list would stop loading at the first duplicate. This version will ignore any duplicates when loading the parameter pick list.

Fixed Bug when Editing a Report and Moving it to a New Folder (3.4.3.1)

When a user would click on a different folder in the Edit Document page the document would not get moved to the new location. This has been fixed and the document is now moved to the folder selected.

Users

New User Options (3.4.3.0)

Users can now override the global settings for the Use Minimal Home Page and Display Favorites.

With the Use Minimal Home Page, the user can use the global setting or turn on or off the feature. With the feature on, the home page will display the least amount of data. This is helpful for very large sites or if there is a slow connection.

With the Display Favorites as Home Page, the user can use the global setting or turn on or off the feature. With the feature on, the home page will display the favorites when they login and not the standard home page. This is for the user that has the reports that they use most often added to their favorite’s area. They can still access the home page by clicking on the Home link

Below is the Edit User page with the new User Options tab displayed with the two new options.

New_User_Options

System Setup and Configuration

Added New Option for the Home Page (3.4.3.0)

Added two new options for the home page. Both of these new options can be changed by each user.

Minimal Home Page – This option only displays the essentials needed for the home page. Extra information is not displayed. This is helpful when the connection is not fast or the users do not need the extra information.

Display Favorites As Home Page – This option allows the favorites to be displayed as the default home page. This option is for the users that want to quickly see all their favorite reports first.

New_HomePage_Options

Bug Fixes

Fixed a Issue with Users Marked as Inactive (3.4.3.0)

If a user has the Active flag un-checked they were still able to login to the system.

Active_User_1

Active_User_2

What’s New in Ripplestone 3.4.2

January 14th, 2014 No comments

Overview

Below are the new features, updates and bug fixes for version 3.4.2

Home Page

More Detailed Messages when running a report (3.4.2.2)

If the Crystal Report fails when running; a more detailed message will be displayed. This can help in trouble shooting the problem.

Change the Menu for scheduled History (3.4.2.3)

When the user is logged in as a Super user, Administrator or a Scheduler then the menu option changes to “Scheduled Documents”. If the user is a normal user or Publisher they see the menu as Scheduled History.

Schedule_History_Menu1

Schedule_History_Menu2

Scheduler Changes

New Option to use Adobe Reader for Printing (3.4.2.3)

This new option will allow the Administrator to use Adobe Reader for printing directly to a printer. This allows for a second option when the Crystal Report Engine will not print.

New_Printing_Option

Added the Schedule Name and Location to the Top of the Page (3.4.2.3)

Added the Schedule Name and the Folder Location to the top of the page. This will help when clicking on the tabs to know which report you are working on.

New_Schedule_Title

Added New FTP Transfer Type (3.4.2.1)

A new option has been added to the FTP section of the scheduler to allow the scheduler to select between Binary and Ascii for the transfer method.

New_FTP_Type

Edit Document Page

Added Validation for Saving to the Home Folder (3.4.2.0)

New validations were added if you try to publish a report to the Home folder or move a report to the Home folder. A new validation message will appear if you try to save the document to the Home folder.

New_Edit_Document_Validation

Bug Fixes

Fixed a Issue Where the Report Viewer Disappears (3.4.2.2)

When using Internet Explorer if the user moved the mouse to certain sections of the page the Crystal Report view would not be visible. The CSS style sheet was changed to fix the problem.

Fixed a Date Format problem In SQL Server (3.4.2.1)

When saving dates into the Ripplestone SQL Server database the program was not adding leading zeros. For example, the date January 4th 2013 at 9:30 AM was formatted as 201314 9:30 and it now is formatted as 20130104 09:30

Fixed Duplicate Database Connection Problem (3.4.2.0)

If the system had a pick list database connection and a connection string pick list connection string with the same name the system would get an error on the edit dynamic parameter page. The page will now display both items with a the identifier “(connection string)” behind the name.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

What’s New in Ripplestone 3.4.1

January 14th, 2014 No comments

Overview

Below are the new features, updates and bug fixes for version 3.4.1.  This version was released on October 2nd, 2013.

Home Page

New Blue Blocks Wide Skin (3.4.1.0)

This new release includes a new skin that is wider and also left justified. This skin works well for wider reports and larger monitors.

Scheduler Changes

Added New Hourly Option for Start and End Times (3.4.1.0)

Added a new option to the scheduler to allow hourly jobs to have a start and end time. This is useful for hourly jobs that you only want to run during business hours.

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Added New Option to Use Roles for the Email Addresses (3.4.1.0)

A new option has been added to the Email tab that will allow the scheduled job to get the email address from the users that belong to the role used to run the scheduled job. This saves the administrator the task of maintaining the list of email addresses within the scheduled job. You can still enter email addresses in the To field and they will also be emailed the report.

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Added New Active Flag (3.4.1.0)

On the Edit Schedule page, a new active flag has been added to make it easy to turn on or off a scheduled job while keeping all the data. This replaces the old method of setting the interval to Inactive.

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Edit Folders Page

Added New Validations (3.4.1.0)

On the Edit Folders page, new validations have been added.

  • Moving Folders – You cannot move the folder to the same folder
  • The Folder Name will have any spaces removed before and after the name
  • Folder Name with special characters are not allowed / ? < > \ : * | “
  • Cannot add or move folders in the system Shared folder
  • Cannot delete the system Shared folder

Bug Fixes

Fixed an Issue with a Report Parameter in the Scheduler (3.4.1.0)

There was an issue when the scheduler attempted to run a report that had a null value for the parameter.

Fixed an Issue with the Publish a Document link (3.4.1.0)

There was a problem with the link when the user was logged in as a Publish role and they tried to link on the Publish a New Document link.

Fixed a problem when updating the name of the Home node (3.4.1.0)

There was a problem when an Administrator would try to change the name of the Home node on the home page.

Setting the IIS Idle Time-out

June 28th, 2013 No comments

The Idle Time-out within IIS can effect Ripplestone by closing the worker process before the session has timed out.  This will cause an error within Ripplestone when you click on a link.  This is because the worker process has been stopped due to inactivity and will result in an error like the one below.

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The session timeout is set in the web.config file and the two setting (session timeout and the Application Pool Idle Time-out) need to work together.  The Idle Time-out should be equal to or larger than the Session timeout value.

For example, if the session timeout in the web.config file is set to 30 minutes, then the Idle Time-out should be set to a value of 30 minutes or greater.  In the screen shot below it is set to 35 minutes.

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