10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2008 3:33 AM by phoffmann

    Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?



      Check out this interesting malfunction. This instance of LDMS is 8.7 SP3.





      1. I create a new custom
             report, create a new query for it and add only a single column to the

      2. Run or preview the report,
             excellent, it works!

      3. Now open the new report in
             the designer, and resize the column width of the column which I added in
             the previous step

      4. Now go edit the query and
             add another column.

      5. Now open preview or run the
             report, and oh no, the column is not there!

      6. Open the designer, and
             oops, the column is not there!

      7. You can see the data field
             in the top right corner of the report for the column which you are looking
             for, but you cannot see the object anywhere on the form designer


      I've spent hours trying to figure out what is going on here. This is a

      bug if you ask me. The only way to work around this is to drag and drop the

      data field into the "Details" section of the form, and creating a new

      text box for the column heading in the "Detail Header" area. This is

      not efficient because the data field for the second column that I created is

      somewhere and is being populated when the report is run, it is just invisible.

      So effectively I have every object duplicated in my report.



        • 1. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?


          This is a good catch, and easily duplicated with the steps you have provided on my Fully Patched 8.7 Sp5 core server. So the issue still exists with all the latest updates. It also still exists in 8.8.



          The key seems to be once you open designer and hit the save button you can no longer edit the query or at least get the new columns to display. If you do not open and save in designer you can edit and add columns all day long...






          I would suggest if you have not already report this to LANDesk and get a bug fix going...



          • 2. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?

            Here's a much worse side effect!  Changes to the sort order on the query columns is not reflected in the report once you've gone into Design.   I tried to set custom sort orders on my query columns and when you run the report?  NO JOY!

            • 3. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?





              If you have not reported this via a Support Case please let me know so that I can get a bug fix in on it.



              • 4. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?


                Hi guys.






                I did report this to LANDesk as a major bug, but I'm completly blown out of the water at the response. Apparently, the behavior is completly normal!






                See the incident notes below. 






                3/26/2008 5:30 PM | Marco Zuppone Hello Daniel, I just tried to call you but I forgot about the time difference of two hours. I do apologize because this case is taking long to be analyzed, but it took some time to understand what exactly the perceived problem was. I had a check on your steps and I had a chat about this features with our Technical leader.The fact that editing after the query, the report design is not changing is normal.The changes in the query (the data source) are not affecting the current design of the report.So adding columns or changing the order of them will not reflect the change in the design of it.This was done to avoid that changing the data source (Query) of the report the current design is disrupted/changed and it is up to the user that designs the report to decide, dragging and dropping the fields from the data field box, where to position them. In this way, user A can not break user B’s reports (by editing queries). About the purpose of changing the column order: the interface used to build the query that will be used as data source for the report is the same interface that is used to build a normal query so the option to change/shuffle the order of them makes sense and applies only for normal queries but will not have implications in the actual design of the report. It’s primarily a query interface, rather than a reporting interface, so to speak. If you would like to suggest changes here, we’ll be happy to take those on as enhancement requests, but would require a clear description of what would need to change and to what end, as well as a business case for it (so that we have context). Kind regards,Marco S. Zuppone






                I have subsequently asked for this to be dealt with as an urgent development request, as this functionality is severely limiting:






                3/28/2008 10:05 AM | Daniel Schonlau Hi Marco. Thanks for the explanation. I can understand the purpose of the query not affecting the report design after the designer has been used, to protect the report from accidental modification; however this behaviour causes more inconvenience than convenience in my opinion. Consider the following scenario: I create a report with 20 or more columns. I tweak the report in the designer to make the columns wider than the default, so that the column content actually fits into the columns, as LANDesk offers no auto-resize feature for the columns in a report. Now later, I decide I need another column in the report, between column 15 and 16, and add it to the query. Now I have to go into the designer, and shift columns all over the place to make space for the new one that I added. This would take me hours. I might as well create a new report in the query builder that includes the additional column in the position where I want it. Report designers, including Crystal Reports are a skill-set in its own right. As LANDesk administrators are very rarely skilled with report designers, the use of the designer should be avoidable. With the current functionality, it is almost unavoidable. The following functionality would be far more beneficial for LANDesk customers: Reports that have not been made public can not be edited or moved by any LANDesk user, except the owner of the report. That will protect the reports against accidental or unauthorized editing. Allow a report to be copied, to public, where it can then be edited using the designer OR the query builder, by anyone that needs to, without the designer becoming the only tool for modifying an existing report once the designer has been used. Basically I feel that the report designer should be a tool for tweaking a report that has been assembled in the query builder, not as the primary tool for creating reports. I think we should forward this as a fairly urgent development request, as the guys on the LANDesk community also agree with me that the current behaviour is not very helpful. Perhaps you can put me in touch with the development team with regards to this, for further explanation, as the reporting is really the weakest link in what is a great product. I would be very surprised if there had not been many similar requests, because at least with my company, the custom report builder is almost useless to us with the above limitations. We are forced to stick to the built-in reports, which is a real shame.



                • 5. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?
                  phoffmann SupportEmployee

                  danseb2001 - I would appreciate some measure of objectivity here.


                  Any product's, any feature's design will - by its very nature - suit some people and will not suit some others.


                  We're happy to log your desired feature as an enhancement request, but that's all it can be at this point - an enhancement/change request.


                  How "right" or "wrong" the current design is, is something that's very much a personal point of view. Some design decisions work out better for a larger % of our customer's usage models, others do not. In this case, your particular usage scenario does not work well with what had been originally designed.


                  We're happy to change the design, however, this is not a bug, nor can this be done quickly (as the change is hardly a small one), but it needs to go through the proper process - in this case, work with Marco to make sure that we can capture your needs for a change request, and we can go from there.


                  Just because something doesn't work in the way you need it to does not mean that there's a conspiracy out to get you (as the tone of your post is somewhat indicative of). It's a simple fact that we try to cater to as many people's needs as possible, and sometimes (without having to resort to motives, let alone malice) this doesn't work out for one or the other person.


                  That's what the change request process is for after all.


                  Thank you.


                  Paul Hoffmann

                  LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.

                  • 6. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?











                    I appreciate what you are saying and agree that there will never be a time where everyone is satisfied, but I am not sure if I appreciate your tone. Let's not forget that I am the customer here and I am allowed to use an "elevated" tone without getting into trouble for it. I can't recall saying anothing that should personally offend you, however it seems to have had that effect for some reason.



                    Yes, I might be expressing some dissatisfaction of a subset of LANDesk's functionality, but I DID say that it is an excellent product, that in my opinion needs some improvement in certain aspects. I think it is my right to express these thoughts, otherwise what are these forums for? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and will not assume that I have just been victimized by your last paragraph, publicly.



                    Anyway, back to the point. I am more than happy to work though the change process; I am a firm believer in it. I will continue to work with Marco as I already have been.



                    I am sure we will be able to submit the request one way or another. If it does not get included in the next SP, well then I don't really care either. I will just have to leave the designer out of the training I give to LANDesk users. Few product vendors are really interested in what their customers have to say (except partners), so lets just say, I would be pleasantly surprised if my thoughts are even considered and not just laughed about in the development department.






                    Perhaps we can now both stop swinging our handbags and get back to professional.









                    • 7. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?


                      I'm not entirely happy with that design choice either, but it is a vast improvement over the way things used to be... a Crystal Reports runtime and some documentation. While you could report on most anything, you needed a lot of training and/or help to get there. This report engine is a lot easier to use for most people.


                      The database is wide open for you to use, and Crystal Reports is still out there, along with a metric ton of high level languages with simple database connection kits. Here's some examples of the kind of thing that's possible without even using Crystal: http://www.droppedpackets.org/reports -- in particular, note Adam Pound's Report Center.

                      • 8. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?
                        phoffmann SupportEmployee

                        Generally, all ER's do get looked at and evaluated by product marketing.


                        In some cases, such a change request goes through very quickly, in most it tends to need a while. This is simply because of the sheer volume of change requests that we get - which then contend with new product features and such. So, if it doesn't make it into the next release, no need to worry (and as best as I know, engineering's already pretty much locked on the stories for the next release).


                        Solid documentation is - we found - one of the better ways to get change requests through, which is why we try to make sure that we understand the business case + need as best as possible. We don't do it merely for bureaucracy's sake - and certainly change requests don't get laughed at - a lot of very good ideas have come from our customer base, and we do take them seriously.


                        The only downside is that there's only so much engineering time that can be put in for those, and as a result product marketing try to pick the most useful requests as far as they can judge.


                        Once this is logged - incidentally - and you feel that this is of particular importance to you and/or others, then feel free to push this additionally through your respective sales channels.


                        We do regard change requests as enhancements - and enhancements are a good thing in our view.


                        And yes, I do/did not mean to victimise you. Rephrasing - my point was one of just because something was not the answer you were looking for (i.e. that this was a defect) did not mean that we did not intend to do something about it and ignore you. That's certainly not our way of doing things. Simply in this case, the behaviour you regard as faulty is so by design, and thus qualifies as a (and requires a) change request - it's just a separate process.


                        I hope that clarifies things :).


                        Paul Hoffmann

                        LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.

                        • 9. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?


                          I must admit that seeing as I am newish to LANDesk, I was not aware that LANDesk used to use Crystal runtime. That must have been a mission to work with.






                          This droppedpackets is a very useful site. Thanks!






                          • 10. Re: Bug in LDMS 8.7's report designer?
                            phoffmann SupportEmployee

                            I'll put it this way - I'm not aware of any complaints from people when we switched to the .NET reporting.


                            And yes - there's a lot of good stuff on droppedpackets - educational stuff + so on. Certainly something to keep in the bookmarks.


                            Paul Hoffmann

                            LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead.