Over the past few months I have been reviewing the Crystal reports that come with a standard implementation of Sage SalesLogix. Along the line I have made comments on how to improve these reports to make them a better resource for you, the user. I have completed my review of all 60 reports and now it is time to start fixing. Here I will detail the steps I take with the intent of you the reader getting in there and getting your hands dirty making the corrections yourself. As stated before I will write from the inexperienced user point of view so all users will benefit from the post.
Back on November 20th 2008, I wrote a blog post concerning the Account Address Book – Sample report. I wrote:
“One of the issues with this report is the group is not set to stay together so you will see data for an Account start on the bottom of the first column and finish at the top of the second. I also notice that there are times when there is a lot of dead space between data sets which would limit the number of Accounts you can see per page. “
In order to make adjustments to Crystal Reports in SalesLogix (SLX) you need to have access to a machine with the SLX Architect and BuisnessObjects Crystal Reports installed. You will need your SLX Admin Password from your Administrator.
First thing to do is log into into the SLX Architect. Close the Open Project window that first opens and open the Manage Crystal Reports view via the Manage/Reports menu item. Highlight the Account Address Book – Sample report under the Account family and select the Check Out icon using the tool bar icon on the top of the view. Then select the Launch Crystal Report System icon on the tool bar located all the way to the right.
So what we have done so far is copied a version of this report to a local folder. The location of the report is something like C:Documents and SettingsYourUserMy DocumentsSalesLogixReportsArchitectCheckOut. The report stays here until you decide to check it back in. The report name will look something like this.
**Warning – Do not change the name of the report. If you do you, will have to load the new version into SLX.
The first thing I do is select the key combination of CTRL R which should run the report. This automatically establishes the connection to the database so I do not have to create one and then allows me to immediately see the effects of my change after I make it. Now if you look at the Crystal report interface you will see two tabs right under the report name, “Design” is where you make modifications and “Preview” runs the report with data. You can make modification in the Preview tab but when the change is made the report automatically refreshes the data. In some larger reports I have seen Crystal crash because I made to many changes to quickly. Trust me this is an issue if you have not saved in a while. So I have gotten into the habit of making changes under the design tab only and of course saving a lot.
Here is the standard report we are working on today.
Once again. my main suggestions are to keep things together and to eliminate white space. These are two very easy things to accomplish.
To keep things together I simply right clicked on the Group Header#2a and selected the Section Expert. Along the left side of the Section Expert view I highlighted Group Header#2 and along the right side I set the Check box to checked for the “Keep Together” item and closed the expert by selecting the OK button. When I run the report all of the items are together so one suggestion resolved.
To eliminate white space I found two sections, Details and Group Footer #2, that do not display data. To suppress these section I simply right click on the section label and select the word “Suppress” from the menu that appears. Most of the white space is now removed and the report is looking a lot better in my eyes. To fine tune things I also closed up the space in section Group Header #2m under the Account Manager field and on the page footer. Now more records appeared on the first sheet and I assume all others.
Now that there is less white space, I think the name is getting hidden with all of the other data. Because I want the name of the Account to stand out a little I move the Account field displayed in Group Header #2a a little to the left and then created a box in the back ground so the Account Name really pops out at you. Here are the results of the modifications discussed here.
I like it. When I first ran the unmodified report it had 169 pages, with these modifications we are down to 127. Not bad!
Download the updated Report here and thanks for reading.
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