Uh Oh! Crystal Reports Are Going Buh-Bye (sort of)

Whoa! What’s this I hear, something about Crystal Reports and its end of support (EOS)? Here’s a bit from Blackbaud:

“After December 15, 2021, you will no longer be able to access the Crystal Reports application through the Citrix interface or database view menu in Azure. This means you will be unable to create new or edit old reports in Crystal Reports but will still be able to run existing reports from the Custom Reports section inside Raiser’s Edge…”

I’ll give you a minute…

Now you are probably saying to yourself “Great, now I won’t be able to edit and update the <insert field name here> when I run the report daily/weekly/monthly/yearly.” The bad news is that you are correct unless you edit and run the report locally (outside of NXT). The good news is that maybe you won’t have to. There are a few ways to configure reports so you don’t need to make those updates. Using formulas and parameters are two ways to accomplish this.

We already covered a little bit about formulas here so I will jump right into additional formulas that will help with this situation. Our first example is a report that is run weekly where the gift date range in the header is being updated manually (i.e. open rpt file in Crystal Reports and edit the text box) every week when the report is run. The text box in the header looks like this:

Instead of updating the date range every time the report is run we can replace the start and end date with formulas. In the Field Explorer right click on the Formula Fields heading and select New. In the Formula Name window that appears enter “Start Date”. In the Formula Editor we want to find the start, or minimum, gift date. We do this using the Minimum function. Type Minimum( and then double click the Gift Date field in the Field Tree pane. Your formula should look like this:

Save and close the Formula Editor window, then follow the same steps to create a formula for the end gift date using the Maximum function.

Let’s return to the Design tab and edit our header. Delete the start and end dates then drag and drop the new formula fields in their place. Your header should look like this on the Design tab:

When you preview the report you will see this:

This can be cleaned up using the instructions from another article here. Scroll down to the “Remove the time from the Gift Date” section.

In the next article we will explore how we can use parameters to filter reports without having to edit them.