Some guidance on making use of the benefits of Crystal 2008

Version 3

    Environment : Service Desk 7.5 with Crystal 2008


    Introduction


    When you install Service Desk 7.5 the installer will automatically install the SAP Crystal Reports runtime engine for .NET Framework 4 (either the 32bit or 64bit version depending on your client machine).  After doing this, you should find that you are still able to run any of the reports that you have configured previously to work in the Crystal Report component.  Even though these reports may have been created in Crystal 10 or Crystal XI versions they should not require any updating in order to work in Service Desk 7.5 with the Crystal 2008 runtime.


    However, now that Service Desk 7.5 uses the Crystal 2008 component at runtime, (previously the runtime was Crystal 10 in earlier versions of Service Desk) this means that you are able to take advantage of the new features that were introduced in Crystal XI and Crystal 2008.  This guide talks you through some of the ways in which you can do this and has links to step by step instructions that you can follow in Crystal.  We have only covered a small percentage of the new features and so for a more complete guide to what's new in Crystal XI click here and Crystal 2008 click here.


    (If you have never configured the Crystal reports that came with Service Desk to run before and you would like instructions on doing this please see this article instead.)


    Finding your report files to then amend in Crystal 2008

    If you are unsure where your Crystal report files are stored then you can check their location in the Crystal Reports component.  This is usually found in the Administration shortcut group in Console.  Locate your report(s) and click to Configure the report to view the location of the report file:



    crystal component.PNG


    In order to make amendments to the design of your reports you will need to have first installed the Crystal reports development software that allows you to amend your Crystal reports files.  If you do not have a copy of this software please contact your Account Manager who can supply download details.  Once you have opened the Crystal reports software select File - Open then select the .rpt file.  You can now amend this file so you may prefer to select File - Save As and give this a new name until you are happy with it.

    Dynamic parameter prompts - select values directly from your database

    Report prompts can now be based on dynamic values. This means that you no longer have to maintain static prompt value lists within individual reports or ask your report users to type in values. Instead, they can pick from values that are stored in your Service Desk database.  This is an article with an example of how to achieve this with a Service Desk database.

    Cascading Dynamic prompts

    You can also take Dynamic prompts a stage further to have Cascading Dynamic prompts. What this means is to have one list prompt filter on what was selected in another list.  For example, ask the report user to pick from a list of groups and then see a list of only those users who are a members of that group.  Here is an article with an example of how to do this with a Service Desk database.


    Convert datetime fields to local timezone

    From version 7.5, the OOTB supplied reports take advantage of a function which will automatically show datetime fields (which are usually stored in the database in GMT/UTC) in your local timezone.  Here is an article which gives you some information about each of the 7.5 OOTB reports and how they are designed to function.  However, if you have a custom report that was written for an older version of Service Desk or if you are writing a new report from scratch then here is some instructions on how to use this function in your report.

    Dynamic images - pickup images stored in your database

    This article gives step by step instructions on how to extract images from your database and display them on your report.  For example, if you store images for your user records or you store a picture of your CIs that you use in your Service Catalogue you can display these when reporting on these objects too.

    Report export configuration

    The report designer can save report export configuration information within the report itself so that the end user forgoes the time and trouble of reconfiguring the export each time a report is run.


    Other Crystal Useful Tips

    For users who do not use console (whether they use Web Access or don't access Service Desk at all) you could consider giving them the 2008 Crystal report viewer in order to run reports.

     

    Here is an article outlining some of my other favourite bits of Crystal functionality.