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Institute of IT Trainers - Freelance Trainer of the Year 2006 & 2009
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  Maximum Impact Solutions Limited - Reporting Solutions, Creating Answers
Reporting Solutions - Creating Answers, Crystal Reports, Dashboarding (Xcelsius) & SQL Reporting Services

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04
July

The Things I Wish I could do in Crystal Reports

I absolutely love working and designing reports using Crystal Reports, but sometimes there are times that I wish it had some of the functionality of other report writers and software, to make the whole process easier.

I have just completed a suite of reports in Crystal Reports XI, and there where some things I wish I could do or do quicker and easier without the use of fudges and workarounds.  Here is my list so far.

I wish I could in Crystal Reports:

Parameters:
  • Addition of an Add All option to Dynamic LOVs
  • Create a formula that list the Descriptions instead of the Values of the parameters, like in SQL Reporting Services
  • When creating ediatble dynamic parameter LOV, that allows the user to change the selected fields, rather than having to delete and starte again.
  • When creating Date/Time parameters to enter dates in the UK format dd/mm/yyyy
  • Have effective Dynamic LOV, that does not impact on report performance, when there is a large dataset, when loading up the parameters dialog box
  • Use formulas in the Dynamic LOVs, especially for parameter descriptions

Crossstabs:
  • Centre the values vertically
  • Create a banded Crosstab report
  • An easy option in crosstabs to display Nulls a either blank or zeros
  • Add drill down functionality, to the groups, like in SQL Reporting Services

Functions:
  • Have an equivalent Microsoft Access LookUp or DLookup function
  • Have a Ranking function
  • Addition of a Financial Year function
  • Pull variables/formulas/values directly from the sub report to the main report without the use of shared variable, like in MS Access.


General:
  • Control over vertical alignment like in Microsoft Word Tables
  • Have more control over the text rotational degrees, like in Microsotf Excel
  • Groups for missing data
  • Export groups to separate Microsoft Excel worksheet
  • When designing using multiple sections, control  individual repeatability
  • Facility to create a Table of Contents for reports
  • Better or easier report documentation feature - Report Definition export does a bit, but more info is still needed
  • A spell check facility

I would like to hear your comments, experience, ideas, opinions and/or thoughts about this subject, please drop me a line or two below:

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