What is CRChart?
CRChart is a replacement charting library for Crystal Reports. It adds significant new charting capabilities for Crystal Reports designers and developers.
What is the CRChart interface? How does CRChart work?
CRChart works by parsing special macro commands that are defined in Chart Title fields (i.e., Chart Title, Subtitle, Footnote, etc.) commonly found in Crystal Reports. For example, inserting the string "@SWAP 1" into the Chart Footnote field will cause that chart to perform a "pivot" operation and swap the series and group data. The macro commands are stripped from the title fields so they never actually appear on the chart. We chose this methodology for the following reasons:
- The Chart title fields are universally accessible. They are available in all editions of Crystal Reports and also all versions of the Report Designer that come with Visual Basic and/or VisualStudio.Net.
- They can be accessed from the ChartObject class, which means they can be set and used at run-time.
- It keeps our add-on functionality "clean" in terms of interfacing with the various products/versions/patches of Crystal Reports.
What are the main features of CRChart?
The macros in CRChart break down into four primary categories:
- Data Manipulation: Pivot functions, user-defined data series, user-defined chart labels, etc.
- New Data Visualizations: BoxPlots, Error Bars, Pareto Charts, 3D Scatter charts, Waterfall Charts, Enhanced Gantt Chart functionality, Enhanced Gauge Chart functionality, etc.
- Runtime Commands: Setting axis values/colors/shapes on the fly and/or conditionally, etc. Any Crystal Reports field or function can be used as a parameter to CRChart macros and will be properly evaluated at runtime.
- Presentation Enhancements: Drop Shadows, Alpha channel transparency, user-definable annotations, etc.
What versions of Crystal Reports does CRChart work with?
CRChart works with Crystal Reports 9, 10, 11.0, 11.5 (XI release 2), Crystal Reports 2008 and the recently released Crystal Reports 2011 / Business Objects 4.0.
CRChart/Enterprise works with Crystal Reports 11.0, 11.5 (XI release 2), Crystal Reports 2008 and the recently released Crystal Reports 2011 / Business Objects 4.0.
Is CRChart 100% compatible with my existing Crystal Reports?
YES. Your existing reports with charts in them will look like they always have. The Chart Expert and Chart UI in Crystal Reports work like they always have. If you do not use the special macro commands in the title fields, you will notice no difference in your charting functionality.
How is CRChart licensed and sold?
- CRChart (US$1499): Our basic product. It provides you with an unlimited license for all developer, end-user and viewer seats connected to one Production server. Also includes 60 days unlimited first-tier technical support/upgrade. Additional server licenses are $999 and additional years of tech-support/upgrade are $300. There are no other fees of any kind.
- CRChart/Enterprise (US$2499): Our advanced product. It includes all the features of CRChart/Developer plus an additional 30+ macros for the advanced developer. It also includes ONE free year of tech-support/upgrade and up to FOUR hours of consulting/customization/training services. Additional server licenses are $999 and additional years of tech-support/upgrade are $300. There are no other fees of any kind.
What kind of technical support is available?
You may contact us by phone ((310) 231-3330) during normal business hours (9am-5pm PST, M-F) or by eMail (at firstname.lastname@example.org). We also have a user-forum where you may post problems/comments/questions and share ideas with other CRChart customers. Customers with valid support agreements also have access to a priority problem/help request form in the customer-only section of our webpage.
What kind of bugs/issues will Three D Graphics respond to?
Three D Graphics will ONLY respond to the following types of bugs/issues:
- Those related to CRChart macros and the effect of these commands on the appearance of a chart.
- Differences in behavior/appearance between running CRChart vs. running the "original" chart library (i.e. a problem that occurs when using our library but does not occur if you use the original library that came with Crystal Reports).
Three D Graphics will NOT officially respond to chart problems that occur in both our product and the original chart library - those are considered bugs in Crystal Reports that are just being faithfully reproduced due to our 100% compatibility feature.
Three D Graphics will also NOT officially respond to problems in creating reports/tables/queries that might happen as a pre-cursor to creating a particular graph.
Will CRChart run on Solaris/Linux/AIX/HP-UX?
NO. CRChart will work only with Crystal Reports products deployed on Windows.
Can I use CRChart inside of my Visual Basic application that uses Crystal Reports?
YES. You can set CRChart macros using the ChartExpert that comes with Crystal Reports. You can also access these fields programmatically via the ChartObject class. This is how you can use CRChart macros to change chart properties at runtime.
I am using the "free" version of Crystal Reports that ships with .NET. Can I use CRChart?
Not really. There is no support in this "very limited" version of Crystal Reports for accessing the title strings so there is no easy way to embed CRChart macros. You would need to "upgrade" to the Advanced or Developer editions of Crystal Reports to really get full use of CRChart. If you DO have the Advanced or Developer editions of Crystal Reports, you will have access to the ChartObject class that allows you to programmatically access CRChart macros.
I program in .NET, but I use Crystal Reports Developer Edition. Can I use CRChart?
YES! Advanced or Developer editions of Crystal Reports have access to the ChartExpert and to the ChartObject class. This means that you have the full ability to use CRChart and do runtime programming.
How up-to-date is CRChart with Crystal Decisions/Business Objects "hot fixes" and maintenance releases?
Very up-to-date. Most chart bugs are actually fixed by Three D Graphics and are, therefore, also incorporated in CRChart. We also get "advance" editions of upcoming Crystal Reports patches/builds so we have plenty of opportunity to confirm compatibility between CRChart and new versions of Crystal Reports.
What is Three D Graphics' relationship to Crystal Decisions/Business Objects?
Three D Graphics is an OEM supplier of chart technology to Crystal Decisions/Business Objects. We provide various charting and data-visualization toolkits to support their various product lines. We have a long-standing business relationship with them and work closely with them on various visualization projects. We also supply visualization technology to many other Business Intelligence companies including Cognos, MicroStrategy and Information Builders.
What is your upgrade/maintenance policy?
For each CRChart product you own you may choose to purchase a one-year upgrade/maintenance agreement. During the length of this agreement you will be given access to all new versions of this product.
Can I use a title field to specify a chart title I want to see AND also use it to send CRChart Macros?
YES. Simply add a tilde (~) to the end of your title and then add as many CRChart macros as needed.
I have multiple copies of Crystal Reports and multiple development environments which include Crystal Reports (such as VisualStudio.net) on my PC, how many copies of CRChart do I need?
ONE. A license for CRChart covers any and all report designers you might have on your machine (whether they are in a Visual development environment or in a "regular" Crystal Reports product).
What happens if I open a report built with CRChart on another computer that is running a version of Crystal Reports without CRChart?
- If your report has no charts in it or has charts that never used CRChart macros, there will be no difference: the reports will look identical.
- If your report contains charts that only use CRChart macros that are marked as compatible with original, your reports will still look the same! Certain CRChart features can be serialized into your .rpt file and viewed successfully even when opened by a version of Crystal Reports that does not have our product installed.
- If your report contains charts that use CRChart macros that are marked as NOT compatible with original, the charts in your reports will look different. The report will not cause a crash, but it will likely draw differently and treat the CRChart macros like regular chart titles.
Which Crystal Reports file does CRChart replace to enable its macro capabilities?
SSCSDK80.DLL - the chart engine file.
- In Crystal Reports 2008, this file is located at: C:\Program Files\Business Objects\BusinessObjects Enterprise 12.0\win32_x86
- In Crystal Reports 11.5 (aka "BO XI release 2"), this file is normally located at: C:\Program Files\Business Objects\Common\3.5\bin
- In Crystal Reports 11, this file is normally located at: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Business Objects\3.0\bin
- In Crystal Reports 10, this file is normally located at: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Crystal Decisions\2.5\bin
- In Crystal Reports 9, this file is normally located at: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Crystal Decisions\2.0\bin
- In Crystal Reports 8 or 8.5, this files is normally located at: C:\Program Files\Seagate Software\Shared
I don't see the chart feature I need listed. Can you help me?
- We are very interested in adding new capabilities to CRChart. If you have a good idea for a feature, please send it to us. If it makes sense, we'll try and add it to our next version.
- We are also available for "customization" of CRChart. Our engineering team can quickly add almost any data-visualization you can dream of. For new feature consideration or customization terms/fees, please contact email@example.com
CRChart is a product from
Three D Graphics, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA 90064 (threedgraphics.com)