cViewPICK Pick List Utility for Crystal Reports

cViewPICK Pick List Utility for Crystal Reports

cViewPICK Pick List Utility for Crystal Reports

Price: $149.95

Quantity in Cart: None


Summary

This Crystal Reports utility allows you to rebuild the default pick list values in a folder of reports and to import and export pick lists as needed. Free 30-day trial.

cViewPICK is available in two versions (8.0 and 9.0). These use different Crystal Reports run time libraries.

  • cViewPICK 9.0: If you are using CR9.0 or higher, you will need version 9.0 of cViewPICK to open the reports and to save them. If you are using a prior version of Crystal Reports, you will need Crystal Reports 9.0 to edit the reports you've repaired under cViewPICK.
  • cViewPICK 8.0: cViewPICK version 8.0 can save reports as Crystal Reports version 8.0 or 7.0.

cViewPICK Features

  • Easy to use.
  • Fast and accurate.

Uses

  • Rebuild corrupted pick lists.
  • Restore lost pick list information.

cViewPICK is a Crystal Reports utility that allows you to rebuild the default pick list values in a folder of reports.

  • Select a folder of Crystal Reports.
  • Examine all the reports in that folder and identify all the parameters used.
  • Select a parameter and identify the source of data for that pick list.
  • Update parameter pick lists to include the latest values in all the reports in the folder where it is used.
  • Automate the update using the Windows scheduler or our cViewMANAGER or cViewSERVER report scheduler.

Benefits

  • Avoid the pain of creating pick lists all over again.
  • Eliminate the need to spend time writing and debugging a UFL for sending mail.

Free Trial

  • Bookmark this page, in case you have questions.
  • Download the trial version.
  • Complete the license purchase, and install the license key.
  • Haven't worked with UFLs, before? No problem! Right mouse click to download our short guide, How to Install and Use a UFL.
You can download a trial version that includes Crystal Reports 8.5 or Crystal Reports 9 run time files. Crystal Reports 9 is supported only for Windows 2000 and later.

  • cViewPICK 8.1 (23MB) For Crystal Reports v7.0/8.0/8.5 run time.
  • cViewPICK 9.1 (22MB) For Crystal Reports v9.0 run time support, Windows 2000 or later.

Kill Picklists?

Picklists are useful, but they can get out of hand. And if you have recurring picklist issues (for whatever reason), you may consider a radical solution: eliminate them entirely. Or, short of that, eliminate the reason for most of the options you might present.

One reason picklists get long is the report user is presenting too much data instead of information. There are two ways to clear this up.

One is to substitute images for words. We have some great image tools for that:

  1. COM drivers. cViewIMAGE allows you to dynamically include images. So, you could have a graphic result from a formula.
  2. Enhanced graphing tools. Summarizing important information in the right chart or graph type makes a huge difference in how quickly and correctly people understand the information.

Another way is to rethink your reports, entirely. What is your basic philosophy of design? If you're the typical report designer, your report reformats data instead of fully using the potential of Crystal Reports to use the data to produce actionable information that supports business decisions. There's a reason why Crystal Reports and competing tools are called "Business Intelligence" and you need to be thinking of that reason when designing your reports.

If people are exporting to Excel, you have a failure on your hands. Not only is your report system not providing the answers they need, but they are playing with data instead of doingthe jobs they need to be doing. Similarly, you don't want them wading through a long picklist; you want them able to quick get the information they need.

If you have the Excel and long picklist problem, it doesn't mean you're a slacker. It just means you haven't taken things to the next level. Many of us have come from a data-oriented background.

You may have spent long hours in spreadsheets, analyzing data. You may have spent long hours in databases, developing queries and looking at rows of data in tables. You've probably worked so much with data that you think in terms of the data container--cells, rows and columns, tables. You have probably gone a step beyond that to work with the relationships between data containers as you join them together. This is great when you are working in data. It is not so great when you are working in reports. Unfortunately, most reports are nothing more than reformatted data. The report developer isn't thinking beyond the query level, despite using a tool (Crystal Reports) designed specifically to move past it.

You need to ensure your reports contain business information, not business data. They need to be decision tools, not intermediary data sources. So, what are you to do? Start by determining what business questions need answering. For example:

  • Which customers produce the lowest net profit? The dressed up data approach looks at only part of the picture. For Example, ACME Holdings spends $1 million a year with your company. The nominal profit margin is 22%. Looks great on a spreadsheet, and you have the data to back it up. But what you don't have is the cost of servicing ACME Holdings. The sales people love ACME Holdings, but the support department hates them. It turns out that it costs your company $1.03 for every dollar ACME Holdings spends. A report that provides this business information helps your company tremendously.
  • What is the real compliance cost of Sarbanes-Oxley? This legislation is hugely expensive. The GAO reported that it costs the top ten USA banks $83 million a year to comply with it. Corporate boards and stockholders really have no idea how damaging S-O and other misguided laws are. Nor do your company's customers understand how much they pay for these laws with every purchase.

    Yet, even years after it has passed, there is no evidence that S-O does anything to prevent the crimes it was intended to prevent. In fact, S-O drains off resources that could be used for that purpose. S-O isn't even aimed at where the problem really is. Getting such nonsense repealed can happen only if a large number of people can clearly see how deeply they are gouged to pay for this useless law. As the true compliance costs also include other factors such as opportunity costs, you can't extract this from any database. You must calculate it.
  • Which employees bring the most value to the company? You have various data at hand to help determine the answer. The "layoff by spreadsheet" method focuses on labor cost per hour. It ignores that Employee X worked hard on his own time to get a particular idea adopted, and that idea now brings in twice X's salary in profit each year. It makes sense to keep X on the payroll, even if X gets 11 months of paid vacation each year. It's likely that X will keep producing such ideas, simply because X has already proven he's the smart, tenacious person who makes far more money for the company than he's paid. But the spreadsheet won't show this. A report can.

Instead of taking the data approach (starting with the data and seeing what you can do to create a report), take the information approach:

Talk with the senior executives (who may or may not be on your existing distribution list), and ask each one to tell you what the top three business questions are. If they give you more, that's OK. Compile a list, and see what data you would need for you to answer those questions with your reports.

Next, repeat this process with the people who are already on your distribution list. You are now ready to determine what will be reported.

Why talk with the senior executives, first? Those are the folks who run your company, so figure out what they want. Providing that helps secure your job and future raises in no small way. But it also helps you build the correct framework for your entire process, so that all users are marching to the same tune. You have to start at the beginning, not in the middle. By definition, middle managers can't see the big picture.

This raises another point. Surveys conducted between 2005 and 2008 showed that senior executives rarely have an accurate picture of their organization or the conditions under which it operates. They have a much rosier view, because people generally try to please them. These same people lack the time to dig through the data to see the real picture. In most companies, senior executives also lack the skills to do so. This means the data-oriented reports they get are essentially useless. If you are in charge of those reports, what does this say about your value to the company?

If you provide the senior executives with the business information they need, and you provide middle managers with the business information they need plus the business information the senior executives are working from, how do you think this will affect the effectiveness of management to make good decisions?
Instead of working from the detail level up, work from the information level down. Determine what information people really need. Then, use the power of Crystal Reports to assemble that information from the data you can get.

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