Installation

I didn’t initially intend to include installation, but decided it was worth a brief mention.

As with many companies and products, SAP (and formerly Business Objects) have added new functionality and fixed bugs through the release of service packs. If you already have Crystal Reports installed, you have probably noticed the “check for updates” feature doesn’t work? Pop to the SAP website to check for the latest service pack:

http://service.sap.com/sap/bc/bsp/spn/bobj_download/main.htm

Currently: Crystal Reports XI Release 2 Service Pack 6, Crystal Reports 2008 Service Pack 3, and as yet no service packs have been released for Crystal Reports 2011.

Most of the service packs have been released as “full builds”- this means you don’t need Crystal Reports installed (it is included within the service pack itself). If you are running a fairly old version of Crystal, I encourage you to uninstall and start afresh with the latest full build.

Configuration

Now you have the latest service pack installed we can get started configuring your environment.

Launch Crystal Reports and access the options dialog from the File menu. I would encourage you to review each and all of the options- if configured incorrectly they can lead to insanity- however, if configured correctly they can save you a lot of time!

Here are a few of my recommendations (most of the other options should default to my preferred configuration or vary from report to report):

  • Layout -> Design View -> Grid -> Check
  • Database -> Tables and Fields -> Sort Fields Alphabetically -> Check
  • Database -> Advanced Options -> Automatic Smart Linking -> Uncheck
  • Formula Editor -> Null Treatment -> Default Values for Nulls
  • Reporting -> Save Data With Report -> Uncheck

That’s all for part 1- if you feel I’ve missed anything or have something to add please comment!

L

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