Visual CUT

View, Export, Burst, Email, and Schedule Crystal Reports

 

www.MilletSoftware.com

 

Version 7.0.2
April 2017


by

Millet Software

5275 Rome Ct.
Erie, PA 16509-3951
ido@MilletSoftware.com
(814) 825-6009

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  This software is provided as-is by Millet Software without assuming any responsibility for harm to computer systems, software, or data with which these files are used.

 

The following individuals were instrumental in providing suggestions and support leading to enhancements: Ken Hamady, Dave Clutter (Reed Manufacturing), Nancy Peterson (JobMark.com), David Parker (VendorsInfo.com), Jim Woodin (Diamond V Mills), Dave Hawkins (Orbitz), José Alsina (Innovatec), Jorge Vazquez (Merck), Mike Marsten (UCSF), Helen Hiebert (Independent Consultant), Dave Neubauer (Bekaert Specialty Films), Nathaniel Wetherbee (PFPC), Ben Pomeranz (WorldCom), Shawn Wright (Shawnigan Lake School), Bernard Paes (Flag Choice Hotels), Larry Bodie (Kelsan), Abbas Rostami (Cubic Corporation), Rick Scero (SITEL), Jon Palmbak (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae), Bill Arruda (Pragmeta), Larry Bates (Syscon), Lori Fraticelli (K. Hovnanian Enterprises), Vik Mohindra (Spryer Soft), Blaise Masse (University of New Hampshire), Greg Davis (Act Solutions), Don Gilsdorf (Gain Focus Technologies), Tim Dunevant (The Matworks), Chris Kell (Washington State University), Ken Rickard (EMU), Jonathan Washam (Independent Portfolio Consultants), Greg Scharer (Upstate), Sharon Mone (Fujitsu), Tom Cook (Grotenhuis), David Leland (Johnson Corporation), Ron Ruth (TIB Bank of the Keys), Jim Stickley (TraceSecurity), Dave Atkins (The Matchett Group), Egil Stenberg (Flextronics), Peter Sclafani (Daiwa Securities America), Kelly Serge (DataSafe), Walid El Khazen (Wolfram Research), Bill Loucks (Westminster College), David Hopaluk (Here2Help Solutions), Frank Schwarz (Orbitz), Dixie Folzenlogen, Denise Hirata (Retirement.org), Sateesh Annangi (Keenan), Todd Erickson (Technology Navigator), Peter Enman (RCMP), Gene Juhos (Sysmatics), Adam Peter Butt (APBReports), Dwight Wyse (RecSoft), Mario Blasius (Globetrotter Corporate Travel), Angelo Claustro (Kelso-Burnett), Steve Jones (Kokatat), Mark Schultze (Lamons), Wim Rippen (Petrovlis-H olland), Paul Contreras (R.B. Zack & Associates), Brian Orr (U.S. Sterling Capital), Tim Cortis (Wayne J. Griffin Electric), Mick McCann (Worldmark International Ltd.), Praveen Rao (Brighthouse Networks), Jon Leeds (Carolina Software), Elliott R Pickar (Continuum Health Partners), Erwin Ponce (ELP Aviation), Terry Thurgood (Foresight Technology), Jeff Schwartz (Bell Nursery USA), Nitzan Neeman (SeniorCare EMS)…

 




Introduction & Key Benefits. 11

Install / Remove.. 13

Selecting a Version:  8.5, 9, or 11 (XI R2) 13

Step 1: Select Report.. 15

Step 2: Preview... 17

Speeding Up Report Previews. 18

Changing Processing Options without Previewing.. 18

Changing Login, Report Paths & Other Settings without Previewing.. 18

Find & Replace Report Paths and other Saved Settings. 19

Disabling Find & Replace Categories. 19

Save and Reuse Named Parameter Sets. 20

Step 3: Export/Burst/Email…... 22

Group Values Area.. 22

Fields & Formulas Area.. 23

Exporting/Bursting/Printing Options Area.. 24

Exporting to Multiple Files/Formats In a Single Pass. 24

Replacing Illegal Characters in Dynamic File Names. 25

Email Options Area.. 26

Combining Static & Dynamic Content 26

Specifying SMTP Server (optional) 27

Embedding Report as Image in Email Message Body. 28

Embedding Pivot Tables in Email Message Body. 29

Embedding HTML Export in Email Message Body. 30

Embedding TEXT Export in Email Message Body. 31

Embedding File(s) Content in Email Message Body. 31

Sending Message Text as HTML.. 32

Integrated HTML Editor 33

Embedding Images inside the HTML email body (old email engine – no longer available) 33

Embedding Images inside the HTML email body (2009 email engine) 33

Dynamic Tables inside HTML Email Messages. 34

Applying Alternating Row Color 37

Embedding Hyperlinks to Reports/Files inside HTML Email Messages. 38

Using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in HTML messages. 39

Attaching Multiple Files. 40

Attaching Optional Files. 40

Specifying Multiple (Simple/Composite) Email Addresses. 41

Specifying Email Distribution Lists in Text Files. 41

Specifying Email Distribution Lists in SQL Queries. 42

Specifying Bursting email Addresses in a Formula. 43

Specifying an Email Reconnect Option for Email Bursting. 43

Specifying a Different Character Set 43

Skipping Emails (VC_Skip_Email) 43

New Email  Engine. 44

Settings & Arguments for Advanced Email Features. 44

Queuing Emails & The smtpQ Service. 46

Monitoring Email Queuing. 46

smtpQ Administration. 47

Naming Scheme of .eml Files. 48

smtpQ Service Failure Action Properties. 49

Slowing Down Outgoing Emails. 50

Using Email_Delay_MilliSeconds Argument 50

Slowing Down Outgoing Emails Using Queuing. 50

Generating Twitter or SMS Messages via Email. 51

‘Start Process’ button and Progress Window.. 52

Scheduling Area.. 53

Scheduling String. 53

Arguments. 53

Scheduled Printing. 53

Scheduling (new approach) 54

Management & Monitoring of Scheduled Tasks. 54

Adding Scheduled Tasks. 55

Failure to Add a Scheduled Task.. 56

Scheduling (old approach) 57

Place the command line in a batch (.bat) file. 57

Command Line Wizard (Parameters & Skip Zero Records) 58

Processing of Multiple Reports in a Single Batch (.BAT) File. 59

Call the Batch file from Windows Task Scheduler. 59

Scheduling Issues. 64

Mapped à UNC File Paths. 64

Windows 7+ Task Scheduler 64

Hide Batch (Command) Windows. 65

Control Processing Options When Encountering Zero Records. 66

E-mailing Alert Messages and Exception Reports. 66

Using Command Line Arguments. 67

Arguments to Specify Parameter Values. 67

Range and Multi-Value Parameters. 68

Request User Input for Certain Parameters. 68

Null Values. 68

Date Constants. 69

Custom Calendars. 70

Adjusting Data Constants for Day of Week. 71

Number Constants. 72

Reports with More Than 8 Parameters (restriction removed, 6.2002) 73

Using Parm8 to Specify all Extra Parameter Values. 73

Using PowerShell to Set Relative Date Parameters and Call Visual CUT.. 74

Argument to Set Formula Expressions. 75

Argument to Set Extra Record Selection Logic. 75

Arguments to Specify Printer Destination.. 76

Printing to Multiple Printers. 76

Using a Text File to Specify Multiple Printers. 76

Arguments to Specify Printer Bursting Destination.. 77

Specifying Number of Copies. 77

Setting Custom Text for each Print Copy.. 77

Arguments to Specify User ID & Password.. 78

Setting Encrypted Password Entries. 78

Argument to avoid Login Dialog.. 78

Database Choice Functionality (Command Line / GUI) 79

Selecting an Alternative ODBC Data Source. 79

Overriding the Database Specified in the Report or ODBC DSN.. 81

Overriding ODBC Table Location (.CSV Files as Data Source) 81

Overriding the Server in Native Oracle Connection. 82

Selecting an Alternative SQL Server – OLE DB Data Source. 82

Changing Folder Location for Access/Excel/Pervasive/ACT! Files. 83

Arguments to Specify Export Format. 84

Releasing File Locks on Exported Files. 84

Delaying Processing After Export. 84

Argument to Specify Email Priority.. 85

Argument to Specify Email Headers. 85

Arguments to Specify Export/Email Options. 86

Arguments to Process Reports with No Settings. 86

Calling Visual CUT From Another Application.. 87

Specifying Arguments from the GUI. 88

Referring to Saved Encrypted Passwords. 89

Other Options and Features. 90

Using Saved Data.. 90

Global Option to Use Saved Data In Command Line Processing. 90

Command Line Argument for Saved Data Action. 90

Use_Saved_Data_Recent Command Line Argument 90

Delegating Exporting/Bursting to DataLink Viewer 2011. 91

Proxy Processing Using a Data Snapshot 92

Triggering a Batch File with Dynamic Content Before/After Export. 93

Triggering Reports Based on Database, File, and Email Events. 94

Printing.. 94

Bursting to Printer 94

Interweaving Burst Printouts From Multiple Reports. 95

Printer Job Name Functionality. 96

ZIP and Password Protect Files. 97

Load ini Values into Parameters. 98

Securing Reports against Unauthorized Use. 98

FTP/SFTP. 99

Exporting to an FTP Server (old approach) 99

Uploading to an FTP Server (new approach) 100

Uploading to an SFTP Server 101

Downloading from an FTP Server 102

Extract Files Stored in Database. 103

File Location Functionality.. 104

Direct Processing of a Report to Use a Different Settings Folder 104

Write Main Files Folder Location to a Text File. 104

Automatic Handling of Write-Protected Application Folders. 105

Directing the Visual CUT database to Another DBMS. 106

Updating DataLink_Viewer.ini  via a Delta File. 107

Restricting User Actions. 108

Integrated Interactive Authentication.. 109

Integrated Authentication ("Remember Me") 109

Shared Machine Authentication. 110

Auto-Refreshing Web Dashboards. 111

Web Dashboard Expert. 111

IFrame Approach.. 112

Preventing File Locking.. 112

Case Study.. 112

Hyperlinks. 113

Tooltips. 113

Generating HTML via Email Message Body.. 113

Cleaning png File References. 114

Restricting Access to Web Dashboards. 114

PDF Functionality.. 115

Creating Bookmarks (Group Tree) in Exported PDF Files [Old Approach] 115

Controlling PDF Bookmark Colors (& Text) 116

Controlling How Many Bookmark Levels Are Initially Expanded. 117

Guarding Against Null Bookmark Values. 117

Generating PDF Bookmarks from within Subreports. 118

Adding Bookmarks Using Crystal Formulas as Tags [New Approach] 119

Setting Up a Crystal Report with pdf formula tags. 119

Adding a Table of Content to a PDF File. 121

Advanced Table of Content Options. 122

Adding Page Numbers to a PDF File. 123

Adding Web/File/email Hotspot to a PDF File. 124

Adding an Images with an Optional Hotspot to a PDF File. 125

Adding Links/Images to Files/Pages Using Crystal Formulas as Tags. 126

Setting Up a Crystal Report with pdf field tags. 126

Formula Example from the Sample Report 127

Embedding Files as Attachments inside a PDF File. 128

Adding Links and Embedded Files Using Crystal Formulas as Tags. 129

Setting Up a Crystal Report with Link_Tag Formulas. 129

Formula Example from the Sample Report 130

Adding Links to Files by Detecting File References in PDF Text. 132

Detecting Additional File References Using Wild Card Tokens. 133

Adding Digital Signature to a PDF File. 134

Encrypting & Protecting a PDF File. 135

Merging PDF Files. 136

Dynamic File Names. 137

Using a Text File to Specify Files for Merging. 138

Using Wild Cards to Specify Files for Merging. 138

Controlling Merged Bookmark Colors. 138

Specifying Bookmarks when Merging PDF Files. 139

Using the Merged File Names to Generate Bookmarks. 141

Using the Merged File Names to Generate Multi-Level Bookmarks. 142

Merging 1-Page PDF Files into Layers in a Single PDF File. 143

Dynamic File Names. 143

Using a Text File to Specify Files for Merging. 144

Controlling Layer Name & Visibility. 144

Printing PDF Files. 145

PDF_Print 145

PDF_Clone_And_Print 146

Printing PDF Files To Multiple Printer Trays. 147

Using PDF_Print_Split 147

Using PDF_Print_Split_Tag. 148

Controlling Print Quality/Speed. 149

Adding Back-Pages. 150

Using PDF_Insert_BackPage. 150

Saving PDF Files to Image Files. 151

Adding Form Fields & Submit Buttons to PDF Files. 152

Sample PDF File with Form Fields & Submit Buttons. 152

Sample Crystal Report with Formulas as Form Field Tags. 153

Setting Up a Crystal Report with pdf field tags. 153

Formula Example from the Sample Report 153

Adding a Digital Signature Form Field. 155

Populating Form Field Text or Description via ODBC Query. 156

Filling PDF Forms. 157

Setting Up a Crystal Report to Act as a PDF Form Filler 157

Setting Up the Report in Visual CUT.. 157

Setting PDF Document Properties after Export (Automatic) 158

Flatten PDF Files. 159

Setting PDF Document Properties. 160

Building an Index PDF Documents. 161

Adding an Index File to a PDF Document. 162

Adding Named Destinations to a PDF Document. 163

Adding Multimedia to PDF Document. 164

Importing Multi-Page TIFF Files into PDF Files. 165

Importing Image Files as New Pages (Tag Approach) 166

Splitting PDF Files. 167

Splitting By Bookmarks. 167

Splitting By Embedded Tags. 169

Splitting and Protecting PDF Files By Embedded Tags. 170

Compress PDF Files. 172

Linearize (web-enable) PDF Files. 173

Export to PDF via MS WORD.. 174

Excel Functionality.. 175

Exporting to Excel 2007 (.xlsx) Files. 175

Combining Excel Bursting Exports into a Single Multi-Tab Spreadsheet. 176

Adding Excel Exports as Tabs in Existing/New Spreadsheets (Briefing Books) 177

Appending or Replacing Data for Existing Tabs. 177

Controlling Excel Tab Colors. 178

Setting Up Print Properties for Excel Workbooks. 179

Auto Filter & Freeze Panes in Excel Exports. 180

Column Auto Fit in Excel Exports. 180

Password Protecting Excel Workbooks. 181

Protecting Excel Worksheets against User Viewing/Editing.. 182

Inserting File Exports into Excel Templates. 183

Sample Input & Output 185

Splitting Workbook & Inserting into a Template (faster method) 186

Keeping the Template File Small 186

Notes. 186

Token Substitution. 187

Inserting Crystal Values into Excel Templates. 188

Specifying Named Ranges in the Excel Template and Matching Formulas in Crystal 188

Crystal Formula Content for Multi-cell and multi-row Named Ranges. 189

Populating Multiple Named Ranges. 190

Before & After Images. 191

Transferring Tabs To Another Workbook.. 192

Splitting Excel Workbooks by Tabs. 193

Splitting Excel Workbooks by First Column.. 194

Generating Excel Pivot Tables. 195

Refreshing Data (Queries, Pivot Tables) from all Connections. 198

Running an Excel Macro.. 199

Replacing Content in Excel Files. 200

Exporting Formula Expressions to Excel, and Activating Them... 200

Convert XLS Files to XLSX (and merging sheets) 201

Convert Excel Files to PDF. 202

Convert Excel Files to HTML.. 203

Convert Excel Files to CSV.. 204

Convert Excel Files to TEXT.. 205

MS Word Functionality.. 206

Protecting MS WORD Files. 206

Inserting Crystal Values into MS Word Documents. 207

Specifying Field/Formula References (tags) in the Word document 207

Populating Word Tables with Crystal Formula Data. 209

Replace Formatting in MS WORD Files. 211

Printing MS WORD Files. 212

Printing MS WORD Files with Watermarks. 213

Convert WORD Files to PDF. 214

Text Functionality.. 215

Splitting Text Files by Embedded Tags. 215

Merging Text Files. 216

Replacing Content in Text Files. 217

Removing Blank or Short Lines in Text Files. 218

Removing GUIDs from png Files Referenced in HTML Exports. 219

Replacing Content in Text/HTML Files – Token Approach.. 220

Inserting Base64-Encoded Files Inside Text/XML.. 222

Changing Text File Encoding.. 223

ODBC Export Functionality.. 224

Append Functionality. 224

Replace Functionality. 225

Capturing & Processing Incoming Emails. 226

Use Scenarios. 226

Triggering Email Capture. 229

[Email_Get] ini Section.. 229

Email Get Directive Sections. 230

Capturing Emails. 231

Phase 1: Header Download & Filtering. 231

Phase 2: Targeted Download & Database Capture. 232

Monitoring Results of the Process. 232

Email Capture Table Structure. 233

MS Access Table Structure. 233

SQL Server Table Structure. 234

Oracle Table Structure. 235

Inspect & Update Report Designs. 236

Report Inspection Grid.. 237

Find & Replace Text and Expressions. 238

Generate & Import Formulas from Excel. 239

Monitoring Visual CUT Processing.. 240

Logging and Monitoring Visual CUT.. 240

‘Log Email Activity’ option. 240

Silent Unattended Failure Option. 241

Silent Attended Failure Option. 242

Avoiding Duplicate Processing. 243

Avoiding Too Many Active Visual CUT Instances (Queuing) 244

Job Status Functionality.. 245

Failure Alerts via Email. 246

Record Processing to an ODBC Database. 247

MS Access Database Sample. 247

SQL Server Instructions. 248

Process Logging Settings in Options Dialog. 249

Update a Database After Success (After_Success_SQL) 250

SQL Server Example 1. 251

SQL Server Example 2. 251

Update a Database Before Report Runs (Before_Report_Run_SQL) 252

Call a Web Service after Success (After_Success_HTTP) 253

Sending SMS Messages. 253

Trigger Dynamic Batch File after Success (After_Success_Batch) 254

Dynamic References to Fields/Formulas within the Batch File. 254

Logging to a text file. 254

Table of Command Line Arguments. 256

Data Source Options. 256

Report Parameters/Formulas. 256

Printing Options. 257

Export Options. 257

Email Options. 258

PDF Processing (in the order they are processed if specified in the same command line) 259

EXCEL Processing.. 260

MS Word Functionality.. 261

TEXT/HTML Processing.. 261

Miscellaneous. 262

Update History.. 263

Version 7.0.2: Entered Testing April 19, 2017. 263

Fixes. 264

Version 7.0.1: Released November 26, 2016. 266

Key Features. 266

PDF Features. 266

Excel Features. 266

Email Features. 267

Other Features. 268

Fixes. 270

Version 6.9001: Released November 21, 2015. 272

Key Features. 272

Excel Features. 273

PDF Features. 274

Email Features. 274

Other Features. 275

Fixes. 275

Version 6.8001: Released November 16, 2014. 276

Web Dashboard and FTP/SFTP Features. 276

PDF Features. 276

Excel Features. 277

Email Features. 277

Other Features. 278

Fixes. 280

Version 6.7001: Released December 01, 2013. 281

Email Features. 281

PDF Features. 282

Excel Features. 282

Web Dashboard & FTP/SFTP Features. 282

User Interface Enhancements. 283

Command Line Arguments. 283

Fixes. 284

Other 284

Version 6.6001:  Released December 31, 2012. 285

Version 6.5001:  Released January 26, 2012. 290

Version 6.4001:  Released June 01, 2011. 295

Version 6.3001:  Released July 02, 2010. 301

New PDF Features. 304

Version 6.2001:  Released November 28, 2009. 306

Version 6.1001:  Released March 10, 2009. 310

Version 6.0000:  Released 11/23/2008. 313

Known Issues and Limitation.. 354


Introduction & Key Benefits

 

Visual CUT  lets you schedule periodic and exception reports for exporting, bursting, e‑mailing, and printing. E-mail messages, export file names and folders, number of copies, and many other options can incorporate dynamic content from fields/formulas in the report via a drag & drop user interface.  The main benefits of Visual CUT include: 

 

1.      E-mail a dynamic-content message for the report as a whole or for each Group Level-1 via the widely supported SMTP standard.  A variety of options are supported including queued, archived, secured (NTLM, CRAM-MD5, SSL, STARTTLS), encrypted, and signed messages. Message bodies and options (subject, From, To, cc, bcc, priority, attachments) can incorporate dynamic content from fields/formulas in the report (via a drag & drop user interface) and can be formatted as HTML.

 

2.      Export the report as a whole or Burst each Group Level-1 to a variety of file formats, save the results to dynamically named disk files/folders and include them as attachments to email messages. 

 

3.      Schedule exporting, bursting, emailing, and printing of reports based on parameters and options you specify (and save) during an interactive session. 

4.      Control and Invoke processing of Crystal reports using command line arguments. A full command line interface allows calls from batch files, schedulers (including the free Windows Task Scheduler), desktop shortcuts, or any other program.

5.      E-mail Alert Messages and Exception Reports by scheduling exception reports with an option that aborts processing when the report has zero selected records.

6.      Special Capabilities include:

§  HTML exports (including charts & logos) can be embedded in email message bodies.

§  PDF exports can include Color-Coded Bookmarks & Table of Contents for easy online & hardcopy navigation. 

§  PDF exports can be password protected (128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption) and/or restricted (for example, prevent editing).

§  PDF files can be Merged (and bookmarks added) to create mixed page layouts, combine & staple output.

§  PDF files can be Merged to create multiple Layers inside a single pdf file.
Within Acrobat reader, users can then turn the visibility of each layer on or off.
This is particularly useful for map layers. You can control the naming and initial visibility of each layer.

§  PDF files can be linearized (web-enabled) for faster opening from a web url.

§  Export/Burst to BMP, JPEG, WMF, EMF, EPS, PNG, TIF or GIF Image Files
(via an option to convert PDF files to image files).

§  Add web, email, or file links (hotspots) with optional text to PDF files.

§  Add an image with an optional hotspot to PDF files.

§  PDF Forms can be Filled (and optionally flattened) using Crystal formula values.

§  PDF Exports can generate Form Fields based on formulas placed on the report. This means that you can use Crystal Reports to design pdf forms, and Visual CUT to generate and distribute these forms

§  PDF files with embedded files and drill-down links can be created.

§  Bursting to Excel can generate either a separate excel workbook file for each Group or multiple sheets (tabs) within a single workbook. 

§  Excel exports can be inserted as tabs in a specified excel file to create briefing books.

§  Excel exports can display auto filter interface.

§  Excel exports can be password protected.

§  Excel pivot tables can be generated automatically.

§  Multi-tab excel exports (due to 65,536 row limitation) can be merged and converted into single-tab .xlsx files.

§  MS Word template documents can be filled (mail merged) with Crystal field/formula values and saved/emailed to dynamic destinations.

§  Text exports can be embedded in email message bodies.

§  Text exports or files can be merged into new or existing files.

§  Export to multiple file formats in a single pass.

§  Print to multiple printers in a single pass.

§  Print Burst so each Group Level-1 becomes a separate print job.

§  Split the printout of a pdf file to different printer trays.

§  FTP files to dynamically named web server folders using simple or secure connection.

§  Auto-Refreshing Web Dashboards

§  Zip and password protect files for secure single-file emailing of report exports.

§  ODBC Exports can replace or append to existing tables, This provides ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and scheduled data snapshot functionality.

§  Capture incoming emails into a database and use them to trigger reports and database updates.





Install / Remove

 

Selecting a Version:  8.5, 9, or 11 (XI R2)

In most cases, you should install version XI R2.  It can run all .rpt file versions, including 7, 8, 8.5, 9, 10, XI, 2008, 2011, and 2013.  Running a Crystal 2008/2011/2013  report in Visual CUT XI R2 is exactly like running it in Crystal XI R2. New features degrade gracefully and the report runs as if it was a Crystal XI R2 report. Note: You can support new features by delegating exporting/bursting to DataLink Viewer 2011.

You should install the 8.5 version only if your reports are using an old data source that is not compatible with later versions of Crystal (such as Oracle versions below Oracle 7.3.4).

If you are using Crystal 10, both the 9 as well as XI versions of VC will run your reports (just as Crystal 9 can run Crystal 10 reports). The parameter dialogs in version 9 are the same style as in Crystal 10, and some users don't like the parameter dialog style in XI R2. You can install more than one version on the same machine and compare. 

Installation:
Make sure you install while being logged in as an Administrator on that PC.
1. Remove the old version: if you have a previous version installed, use the old msi file or the Add/Remove control to remove it.
2. Extract the msi file to the local hard drive. Don't run the msi file from within the zip file. Make sure the .msi file is placed on the LOCAL hard drive (not a CD or a mapped drive). Installation (.msi) files have self-repair and on-demand installation (for other users) functionality. Do not delete/move the msi file unless you removed the software.
3. Install the software by double-clicking the .msi file.

urlmon.dll message
You can ignore and click OK to continue if the installer shows a message about not being able to update urlmon.dll.

Important steps After Installation
In post-XP Windows versions, the application folder (e.g., c:\Program Files (x86)\...) is write-protected by default. When Visual CUT gets loaded for the 1st time, it redirects the key files (Visual CUT.mdb, DataLink_Viewer.ini, ReportList.txt, ReportList.grd) to a MilletSoftware folder under \ProgramData or \AppData. The best way to navigate to this location is to click the Version Information button, and double-click the path information at the bottom of that window. Be sure to give other users modify permissions to that folder. Otherwise, Windows will automatically manage a dedicated version of these files for each user under a virtual store folder: users\user name\appdata\local\VirtualStore\Program Files...  (this can lead to odd behaviors whereby saved settings are not available to other users or scheduled processing).
You can see an explanation of this at: http://www.west-wind.com/WebLog/posts/5584.aspx.

To allow administration of the smtpQ service, you may need to Right-click the Visual CUT.exe and set it (Properties, Compatibility tab) to Run as Administrator (set the option to apply to all users).

PDF Processing Errors
If you get one of these errors: Error 429: ActiveX component can't create object , iSED.exe registration error , 'error accessing ole registry' , 'Automation error The system cannot find the file specified' or 'Out of Memory'
Some pdf processing options require the use iSED.exe as a component, which must be registered while you are logged in as an Administrator.
Use Notepad to place the following command line in a batch (.bat) or command (.cmd) file:
"c:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\ised.exe" -regserver
or, on a 64-bit machine:
"c:\Program Files (x86)\Visual CUT 11\ised.exe" -regserver
Right-click the batch file and select 'Run as administrator'

Avoid Installation on a Machine acting as a Crystal Reports Server (Crystal Reports Server, BOE, SBS, MAS90, SAGE 100):
Due to the risk of runtime component conflicts, you should avoid installing the software on a machine acting as a Crystal Reports Server.

Changing a Version (between 8.5, 9, or XI):
If you installed one version and then you decide to REMOVE it and install another version, be sure to first rename the old Visual CUT.mdb file, since it is not identical across all versions.  To transfer settings from an old Visual CUT.mdb to the new one, follow these steps:

  1. Open both Visual CUT.mdb files (old and new) in MS Access and copy all tables except for Export_Opt from the old to the new.
  2. If you installed to a new folder, copy ReportList.txt, ReportList.grd and DataLink_Viewer.ini from the old folder to the new one.

 

Step 1: Select Report

 

After starting Visual CUT, you would see the following screen:

image


Use the image button to browse for and open a report for the first time. Previously selected reports are listed in a grid and can be launched by double-clicking or by Right-Clicking and selecting ‘Preview Report’ from the popup menu.

Use the image button to reload a report (if changed and saved in Crystal).

To resize the grid columns, drag the borders between the column headers. 

To delete a report from the grid (but not from the hard drive) right-click a row and select ‘Delete Row’ from the popup menu. The grid information in maintained in a plain text file (ReportList.txt).

 

Use the image button to access a dialog for setting various options.  These options are maintained in the file DataLink_Viewer.ini    


Use the image button to open this User Manual as a pdf file.    


Use the image button to access a dialog with Version (and system) information.
That dialog also has a button that allows you to check for software patches on my web site and install them online.  This patching mechanism is very fast since the patches are typically very small (contain only file changes).

 

Use the image button to exit Visual CUT.

 

To delete a report from the grid (but not from the hard drive) right-click a row and select ‘Delete Row’ from the popup menu. The grid information in maintained in a plain text file (ReportList.txt).

 

By dragging, clicking, or right-clicking the grid column headers you can apply various options such as grouping the report by any column(s), hiding/showing any columns, sorting, increasing/decreasing font size, etc.

When adding a report to the grid, Visual CUT populates the title and subject columns automatically if it finds that information in the summary information for the report.
You set that information for the .rpt file in Crystal (under the file menu).

 

Let’s launch one of the sample reports (installed under the  c:\Program Files\Visual CUT\  directory in typical installations). You can do this by

1)      Selecting that row and clicking the Preview Tab, or

2)      Right-Clicking that row and selecting Preview, or

3)      Double-clicking the row.

Note: the sample reports expect to find the Xtrete Sample Database (and an ODBC DSN for connecting to that database) on your PC.  The sample reports are named so that you know which version of the sample database is expected (8.5, 9, etc.)


Step 2: Preview 

 

The Preview Tab is an integrated viewer that would prompt you for any report parameters and logon information required by the report. 

image


Speeding Up Report Previews   

If you are opening a report in Visual CUT, you may wish to cut the time it takes to preview the report so you can get to the business of changing some settings.  This can be achieved by saving the report with data in Crystal.  When you open a report with saved data in Visual CUT, you get the option to preview the report without refreshing the data. 

 

Changing Processing Options without Previewing  

All processing options are stored in Visual CUT.mdb. You can use MS Access to open that database and edit processing options in the Report_Opt and Report_Export_Options tables.

 

Changing Login, Report Paths & Other Settings without Previewing  

Visual CUT stores login information (strongly encrypted) for each report in the Login_Opt table within Visual CUT database.  Imagine your password to a data source used by 20 reports has changed. Instead of previewing each of these reports just so that the new logging information is captured, use the Options dialog, Process tab, to ‘Change Stored Login Information’ for all reports. Similarly, use the 'Find & Replace Report Paths and other Saved Settings' button to
update Report Paths (in the database as well as in the grid) or other saved settings.

image


 

Find & Replace Report Paths and other Saved Settings

This dialog allows you to search specific types of saved setting for string replacements.
For example, as shown below, if you turn on the 'Parameters' checkbox, only saved parameter values would be targeted for Search & Replace:

image

 

Disabling Find & Replace Categories

In some scenarios you may wish to block the user from some or all of the Find & Replace categories. To do so, you can set the following entry in the [Options] section of a Master_DataLink_Viewer.ini file in the application folder:

 

[Options]

// Use ALL some combination of: Report_Paths, Email_Addresses, Email_Information,
// Export_and_Email_Attach_Files, Saved_Arguments, and Parameters delimited by '||'.

// For example, the following entry would disable only 2 categories:

Disable_Find_and_Replace_Categories= Email_Addresses||Email_Information

 

Save and Reuse Named Parameter Sets

If you click the refresh button for a report that has at least 8 parameters (Options dialog allows you to change that number), a Save button becomes visible in the following dialog: 

image

If you click Save, the following dialog allows you to save the current parameters value set to DataLink_Viewer.ini under a unique name for this report.

image



 

The next time you load this report, you would get a dialog that allows you select and reuse any of the saved named parameter sets for this report:

image

 

Double-clicking any of the entries (or selecting an entry and clicking the OK button) would launch a dialog allowing you to reuse that set of saved parameter values or selectively change some of these saved parameter values.

This functionality was designed to address scenarios where reports with many parameters are used in one of several parameter patterns. By saving and naming these patterns, the user can reuse them.

Note: if you are a report developer, you can deliver these saved parameter patterns to a user machine by copying the [Named_Parameter_Sets] section in your DataLink_Viewer.ini file to the user’s DataLink_Viewer.ini file.

 

 


Step 3: Export/Burst/Email… 

 

image

image

The 3rd tab of the application is where the real magic occurs.  Let’s review how each area on this screen is used.

 

Group Values Area

Visual CUT automatically detects Group Level 1 in the selected report and, if grouped on a Text or Numeric field/formula, populates this area with all group values.  The name of the Group Level-1 field or formula is presented at the top of exporting options area, where the exporting burst option can be activated.  

Note: the Group Values area is visible only if Visual CUT can burst the report. This boils down to two requirements: 1. The report must be grouped at level 1 on a Text or Numeric field/formula and 2) that field/formula must be placed (it can be suppressed) on a Group Level 1 Header/Footer (the section can be suppressed).


 

imageFields & Formulas Area 

Visual CUT automatically detects & lists (alphabetically) in this area all fields & formulas (even if suppressed) in Report or Group Level-1 Headers and Footers (even if the sections are suppressed). Hovering your mouse over a field provides a tooltip reflecting the dynamic value associated with that field for either
a) the whole report (if in a report-level section), or
b) the selected group in the Group Values area (if in a Group1 section)
For example, hovering over the {@gr1_header} formula produced the tooltip shown in the image provided here.

 

You can drag & drop these fields & formulas into the processing options area to specify options that change values based on report/group data. 


Also listed in that area are main report parameters that are in use. For example, {?01?Year} is the {?Year} parameter. The 01 indicates the position of the parameter in the list of parameters.  That position is important in constructing parameter arguments such as "Parm1:2015".

The dynamic string values provided for parameter fields are converted from the data type of the parameter (Boolean, date, datetime, time, number, currency, or string). Multi-value parameters are returned as comma separated values. Range parameters are returned as [from-to] strings.
If you need more control over the values returned from parameters, create a formula that returns the parameter value in the desired format (typically using the ToText() function), and place the formula (suppressed) in the report header or footer.

Since adding current day, month, and year values to options such as export file names and email subject are common needs, Visual CUT includes in the Fields & Formulas area a list of current date values (day, month, year) with various variations (number, name, length).  This allows you to avoid creating formulas in your report just to pass current date values to Visual CUT.

Other fields listed in this area include:

{%UserName%} – provides the Windows User ID
{[ODBC_DSN:]} – provides the ODBC DSN used to override the default DSN for the report.


Notes:

·         Text objects containing fields/formulas are not included in this process.

·         Even if the field/formula is suppressed it will be recognized.

·         Even if the report section is suppressed, the fields/formulas will be recognized.

·         Report Header/Footer subsections a,b,c,d,and e participate in field/formula detection.

·         If a Group Header/Footer Level-1  has subsections, only the first and second (GH1a, GH1b, GF1a, GF1b) subsections participate.

Exporting/Bursting/Printing Options Area 

image

 

This area allows you to specify the Exporting format (all file export formats are available) and whether you wish to export the whole report or burst each Group Level-1 into its own file. 

 

When bursting, you should typically specify a dynamic Export File Name option by dragging fields/formulas from the report into the export file name. This would ensure that each group export results in a unique and meaningful file name. As demonstrated in the image above, if you hover your cursor over any option, a tooltip displays the dynamic value corresponding to the currently selected group (in the Group Values area). So,
c:\temp\{Product_Type.Product Type Name} Sales in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf

gets a tooltip of:
c:\temp\Competition Sales in 2004.pdf

Note: when exporting, if the target file exists, it is first deleted and moved to the Recycle Bin.

Exporting to Multiple Files/Formats In a Single Pass

Imagine that you need to export and email a report in two or more file formats. Visual CUT allows you to do this in a single pass.  You can specify multiple export file names (separated by a semi-colon) and Visual CUT will export to all of them without retrieving the report multiple times.  For example: c:\temp\test.xlsx;c:\temp\test.pdf


The multiple export file names can either be entered into the export file name option or specified in the "Export_File" command line argument. 

 

Visual CUT automatically uses the appropriate export format for files with different extensions (.pdf, .xls, .doc, .htm, .txt, .csv, or .rpt) than the extension of the first file name.

The first export file extension should match the export format selected for the report. Since some  

export formats, such as .xls and .txt, have extra options, it makes sense to select that export format as the first file to be exported (allowing saved settings to control the extra options).  Export formats that have no variations (such as .pdf and .rpt) should be specified as the extra export files.

Note: this applies even to bursting, so each bursting cycle can generate multiple exports.


 

Replacing Illegal Characters in Dynamic File Names

Starting November 2011, you no longer need to worry about illegal and non-printing characters in file names unless:

a)      your export file names contain the illegal characters ‘*’ or ‘?’ (those characters are not replaced because they may be used in wild card selection of email attachments)

b)      you wish to apply your own logic for character substitution

Visual CUT takes care of replacing illegal characters in export file names, email file attachments, and .eml files (.eml files are used in email queuing). Visual CUT also removes non-printing characters from these options. The logic of illegal character substitutions is shown in the sample formula below. When hovering your mouse over the export file name or email attachment option, the tooltip shows the corrected dynamic value.

If you need to override the automated handling and control what legal characters substitute for what illegal characters, you can use a Crystal formula like the one shown below. Remember to place that formula in the RH/RF or GH1/GF1 section of the report so that it becomes available for drag & drop within Visual CUT.

// illegal Characters for windows file names include: ?/\|<>:"* // Note: change InputFileName to your file name field or formula Local StringVar InputFileName := "Test?/\|<>:""*" ; Local StringVar OutputFileName ; OutputFileName := Replace(InputFileName, "?", "_"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, "/", "_"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, "\", "_"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, "|", "_"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, "<", "{"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, ">", "}"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, ":", "_"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, """", "'"); OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, "*", "x"); // If destination is web server, replace spaces with "_" //OutputFileName := Replace(OutputFileName, " ", "_");


Email Options Area 

image

If you wish to generate a single Email from the selected report, turn on the "Single Email" option.  If you wish to generate an Email message for each Group Level-1, either in conjunction with electronic bursting (Area 4) or as a simple mass e-mailing process, turn on the "Email for Each Group Level 1" option.  Of course, you may elect to turn off both options.

 

Combining Static & Dynamic Content

In all options, you can combine static text and dynamic values you drag from the fields/formulas area on the right. Moving the cursor over any of these options results in a tooltip display combining the static text with the dynamic content of the fields/formulas (based on the selected Group Value).

For example, in the example shown above, the email subject line resolved the text:
{@Year_Parameter} Sales for {Product_Type.Product Type Name}

into the dynamic content of:
2004 Sales for Competition 
This allows you to see what dynamic content you are building into your processing options.


Specifying SMTP Server (optional)

In most cases, you should leave the SMTP Server option blank, Visual CUT will use the Default SMTP Server address that was set in the global Options dialog


image


Embedding Report as Image in Email Message Body

Imagine you need to embed an image of the report's 1st page inside the email message body. The main advantage of that approach is that the recipient would see the report in the email message without needing to open an attachment. Here are the steps to achieve this:

a) Export the report to pdf and use PDF_Save_As to convert to an image. For example, bursting to: c:\temp\Sales for {Product_Type.Product Type Name} in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf
the argument would be:
"PDF_Save_As:c:\temp\Sales for {Product_Type.Product Type Name} in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf> c:\temp\Sales for {Product_Type.Product Type Name} in {@Year_Parameter}.png>PNG>72"
Each page is saved with page number added at the end, so the 1st page from Sales for Competition in 2004.pdf would create a png file called: Sales for Competition in 20041.png

b) Embed a reference to the png image file inside the HTML message body. For example:
…<BODY> Hi Ido, <br><br> Here is your Sales Report for {Product_Type.Product Type Name} in {@Year_Parameter}: <br> <IMG src="file:///C:/TEMP/Sales for {Product_Type.Product Type Name} in {@Year_Parameter}1.png">  </BODY></HTML> à

image

Embedding Pivot Tables in Email Message Body

To embed a Pivot Table inside the email message body, follow these steps:

a) Use XLS_Save_As to target the pivot table for conversion to HTML. For example, using the sample Pivot_Data.rpt, the following XLS_Pivot_Table and XLS_Save_As arguments:
imagewould generate the After_Pivot.xlsx workbook with a tab called Revenue Pivot Table and a pivot table with the same name. The XLS_Save_As argument would then save the pivot table into an html file (c:\temp\Revenue_PivotTable.htm).

<BODY>The attached Excel Workbook contains the <STRONG>Revenue</STRONG> and <STRONG>% Late</STRONG> <STRONG><FONT color=#ff0000>pivot table</FONT></STRONG>.  Or, here is the Pivot Table as HTML: [[Insert_File:c:\temp\Revenue_PivotTable.htm]] </BODY></HTML>

image
b) Embed a reference to the html file inside the HTML message body. For example:

Embedding HTML Export in Email Message Body

Imagine you need to export a report to HTML but you wish to embed the resulting content (including charts and images) inside the email message body.  To do this you need to observe the following simple rules:

b)      The email message body must be left completely blank.

c)      The first attached file name must be the html file to embed as the HTML email message (typically, it’s the report export to HTML).  That file name must end with .htm or .html

d)     For the Crystal 9 or 11 version of Visual CUT, use HTML 40 as the export format

e)      For the Crystal 8.5 version of Visual CUT, use HTML 32 as the export format


Limitations:

·         email clients typically corrupt the formatting of complex HTML messages when users attempt to Reply to or Forward the email message. 

·         Outlook 2007 is very limited in rendering HTML content. Use an older version of Outlook if you need HTML embedding in email messages or instruct Outlook 2007 users to open HTML emails in a full window (double click), and then click the "Other actions" toolbar button and choose "View in browser."

To avoid these limitations, a different method of sending report content as HTML is described in the following sections:
Sending Message Text as HTML
Embedding Images inside the HTML email body
Dynamic Tables inside HTML Email Messages
Using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in HTML messages

  


Embedding TEXT Export in Email Message Body

Imagine you need to export a report to Text but you wish to embed the resulting content inside the email message body.  To do this you need to observe the following simple rules:

  1. The email message body must be left completely blank.
  2. The text file (probably the file exported by Visual CUT, but it can be any other file as well) to embed in the message body  must be either the only specified attachment or the first file in the attachment list (reminder: multiple file attachments are separated by a ";" without spaces).
  3. The text file name must end with .txt, .prn, or .text

Embedding File(s) Content in Email Message Body

Imagine you need to insert a standard header and footer into the email message body, or you wish to give the user an easy way to modify the content of a specific paragraph by editing a text file, or you are specifying the email body via a command line and wish to refer to the body content via a file rather than by including the full content in the command line itself.  To do any of the above, you can embed within the message a references to a file using the following structure:  <<Insert_File:File_Path_and_Name>>
For example, <<Insert_File:c:\temp\MyFile.htm>>

  1. For HTML email messages, you should use [[Insert_File:]]
  2. When Visual CUT encounters such a "file token" it replaces it with the content of the specified file (if such a file exists).
  3. References to report fields/formulas are replaced with their dynamic content.
  4. You can use as many file tokens as you wish within a single message body.
  5. You can use a Crystal formula that results in such a token and embed the reference to that formula in the message body.  Visual CUT would first resolve the formula reference into the token and then replace the token with the file content. A typical use for this would be to embed a different paragraph in an email message depending on the number of days an account is overdue.
  6. If an inserted file has embedded file tokens, they would be replaced as well
    (the process is recursive).

 

 


Sending Message Text as HTML

Visual CUT ensures that e-mail message text that starts with <HTML> and ends with </HTML> is interpreted as HTML when received as e-mail by the recipients. This allows you to use HTML tags to create a message that displays with a variety of nice formatting effects.

 

You can use the integrated HTML editor to create the message and drag and drop dynamic content into appropriate locations within the resulting HTML text.

<html> <b>Hi, </b>&nbsp;<br> <br> Here's your <big><font color="#990000"><b>annual sales report</b></font></big> for <big><b><i><font color="#3333ff">{Product_Type.Product Type Name}</font></i></b></big> products.<br> <br> Please Contact Ido Millet (814 898-6262) if you have any questions.<br> <br> Regards,<br> - TCW (The Crystal Wizard) </html>

 

The message body above resulted in the following e-mail message body:

image

Integrated HTML Editor

imageJust to the left of the email message body, you can click on button to start an integrated HTML editor. If the message is not already in HTML syntax, clicking the button will add the necessary HTML syntax including a few useful cascading style sheet options (defaulting the message body text as well as any Table text to Verdana).

The editor allows you to easily change formatting, insert tables, images and links, check spelling, and edit the text, all from an intuitive word processing interface. It also allows you to preview the resulting email messages with dynamic values substituted for Crystal field/formula references.

You can copy and paste content into the HTML editor while preserving formatting from other software such as Microsoft Word or Excel. If you copy content from excel, it becomes an HTML table, so instead of starting a table from scratch, you can create it in Excel, and then copy into the Visual CUT integrated HTML editor.

 

Embedding Images inside the HTML email body (old email engine – no longer available)

In order to include an image as an embedded file, the HTML syntax of your message would include something like:
<p><font color="#000080"><img border="0" src="file:///C:/Program%20Files/Visual%20CUT/logo.gif"
width="211" height="69"></font></p>

You would need to attach that file to the email message. 
The attachment would be specified as something like
C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\logo.gif
(separated from other attachment by ";")

You don't need to attach the image if it is a reference to an image available on the web.


Embedding Images inside the HTML email body (2009 email engine)

If you are using the GUI HTML editor for the email message body, just insert an image and Visual CUT would take care of embedding it in the email message.

If you are manually creating the reference to the image, use the following structure:
<IMG src="file:///image_file_path_and_name">

For example,  <IMG src="file:///C:/Pictures/My_Logo.jpg">

The path and name of the image file must point to an existing file.  Of course, it may include a dynamic reference to a Crystal field or formula.  For example:
<IMG src="file:///C:/Pictures/{Product_Type.Picture_Path}.jpg">


You should not specify the image file as an attachment.

Dynamic Tables inside HTML Email Messages

See Video demonstration.

HTML tables are very useful, particularly when sending email messages to mobile devices. Because the width of an HTML table and its columns can be specified as percentages of the available screen width, the information would adapt itself to the device displaying the message.

 

It is very easy to create static HTML tables (use the integrated HTML editor). However, this section describes a powerful technique for using Crystal formulas to create dynamic HTML tables (with information from your Crystal report).  You can then embed the formula containing the full table syntax in the email message body

 

The general idea is to use:
1) one formula (in a Report or Group header section) to set the value of a string variable to the
     table header syntax (<Table>….
2) P another formula (in a Detail or Group section) would repeatedly append table rows

// In order to capture multi-section detail into an HTML table string  // (called HTML_Table), this report uses 3 Formulas: // HTML_Table_1_GH1 sets the variable to the Table Header info  // HTML_Table_2_GF2 appends a row of data (for each Group Footer level 2)  // HTML_Table_3_GF1 Closes the Table   // Place this formula in GH1 to set formatting, column names, widths, etc. WhilePrintingRecords; Stringvar HTML_Table; // Reset the string variable only if this is not a repeated group header IF NOT InRepeatedGroupHeader THEN  HTML_Table := "<table width=""100%"" border=""1"" cellpadding=""5"" cellspacing=""0"" bordercolor=""#0033CC"">" +   "<tr bgcolor=""#66CCFF"">" +   "<td width=""60%"" align=""left""><strong><big>Product</big></strong></td>" +   "<td width=""20%"" align=""right""><strong><big>Revenue</big></strong></td>" +  "<td width=""20%"" align=""center""><strong><big>Days<br>To Ship</big></strong></td>" +   "</tr>"
3) a final formula (in a Report or Group Footer section) would provide the table footer and close
     the table syntax (using …</Table>)    

The Visual CUT 11.rpt sample report demonstrates this technique (and email bursting) using:
HTML_Table_1_GH1 (formula placed in GH1):




HTML_Table_2_GF2 (placed in GF2):

// Place this formula in GF2 to append Table Row Information WhilePrintingRecords; Stringvar HTML_Table; HTML_Table := HTML_Table +  "<tr>" + // Here we add the Product Name column  // (note that where we need to have " we must specify "")  "<td><div align=""left"">" +  {Product.Product Name} +  "</div></td>" + // Here we add the total Revenue column: "<td><div align=""right"">" + "<b>$" + ToText(Sum ({@value}, {Product.Product Name}),0) + "</b>" + "</div></td>" +  // Here we add the Average Days to Ship: "<td><div align=""center"">" + ( IF Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}) > 5 THEN // Slow shipping, so format as Red "<b style=""color: rgb(255, 0, 0);"">" +  ToText(Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}),1) +  "</b>"  ELSE IF Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}) < 3 THEN // Fast shipping, so format as Green "<b style=""color: rgb(4, 180, 4);"">" +  ToText(Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}),1) +  "</b>"  ELSE // Intermediate level of performance. Format as Blue "<b style=""color: rgb(0, 0, 255);"">" +  ToText(Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}),1) +  "</b>"  ) + "</div></td>" +  "</tr>"

HTML_Table_3_GF1 (used in Visual CUT to embed the HTML Table in email body):

// Place this formula in GF1 to "close" the HTML Table WhilePrintingRecords; Stringvar HTML_Table; HTML_Table := HTML_Table + "</table>"

In Visual CUT, the report is set to burst and the {@HTML_Table_3_GF1} formula (because it was placed in a GF1 section) is available for drag & drop into an email message body:

<HTML> Here is {@Year_Parameter} sales data for {Product_Type.Product Type Name}:<br><br>  {@HTML_Table_3_GF1}<br><br> Cheers,<br> - Ido </HTML>


The resulting email message provides the dynamic content with an embedded HTML table:

image


Applying Alternating Row Color

To create an alternating background color effect to the HTML table rows, use the bgcolor attribute of the tr (table row) html tag.
For example, the following HTML email message used the same approach described in the previous section, except that instead of a static "<tr>" to start each data row (GH2 formula), a string variable called ls_alternating_color_TR is used to alternate between "<tr>"  (no color) and  "<tr bgcolor=""#E0FFFF"">" (a light blue background color):

WhilePrintingRecords;

Stringvar HTML_Table;

// instaed of using "<tr>" to start each row, alternate row colors between "<tr>" and "<tr bgcolor=""#E0FFFF"">"

Stringvar ls_alternating_color_TR;

IF ls_alternating_color_TR = "<tr>" THEN

       ls_alternating_color_TR := "<tr bgcolor=""#E0FFFF"">"

ELSE

    ls_alternating_color_TR := "<tr>"

 

HTML_Table := HTML_Table +

Chr(10) + ls_alternating_color_TR + …



image


 

Embedding Hyperlinks to Reports/Files inside HTML Email Messages

Instead of attaching reports to email messages, you can use the email message to provide hyperlinks to the report files located on shared or web folders.

Visual CUT would export the reports directly to shared folders or upload them to web folders using FTP_Upload or SFTP_Upload arguments. Then, instead of attaching the files to the outgoing email message, you can use Visual CUT’s HTML email message editor to embed a hyperlink to the report file.  The hyperlink can be simple text or an icon of your choice.

 

Here is an email example of combining this approach with the HTML table technique described in the previous section. The pdf and excel icons act as hyperlinks for opening report files
.

image

If you’d like me to send you a sample report demonstrating how Crystal formulas can dynamically construct the hyperlinks and the references to the icons, please send me an email request. I can also send you the pdf and excel icons used in this example. 

 


 

Using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in HTML messages

Just like any other HTML document, you can use CSS directives by embedding them in the header section of the HTML document. 

 

For example, assume you are embedding dynamic HTML tables inside the email message (see previous section for a detailed description of that technique. You may wish to control the font type and font size of table element (identified as td in HTML).

Here is an example of using CSS to achieve this:

<html> <head>  <title>Reseller Balance Report for (@Product_Param}</title>   <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">   <style type='text/css'> td{font-family:Verdana; font-size:8pt;} </style> </head>  <body> <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"> Hi {Reseller.First_Name},<br><br>  This message shows your <b>{@Product_Param} </b>purchases, transfers,  and balance as of {@Nice_Date}. <br> <br>  <hr width="100%" size="2"> <b><big>Your Purchases:</big></b><br><br>  {@HTML_Table_Sub}<br><br>   <hr width="100%" size="2"> <b><big>License Transfers and Balance:</big></b><br><br>  {@HTML_Table_3_GF1}<br><br> </font>  </body> </html>




 

Attaching Multiple Files

To attach multiple files to a single email message, simply specify multiple files and separate  them with a semi-colon (;) Without any spaces. 

If all files are under the same folder, it's enough to specify the full path only for the 1st file. 
For example: c:\temp\Sales.pdf;Returns.pdf

You can also specify file names using wild cards
For example, in a bursting scenario, to send all pdf files in the current month folder under the current customer:

C:\VC_Exports\{customer.customer_id}\{@Month}\*.pdf

and to send all files that start with the current Customer ID:

C:\VC_Exports\{customer.customer_id}*.*

 

Attaching Optional Files

You can indicate that an email attachment is optional by prefixing <Opt> to the file path & name.  For example, if you need to email Sales.pdf (always) and Returns.pdf (if it exists), use: c:\temp\Sales.pdf;<Opt>c:\temp\Returns.pdf 
- or -
c:\temp\Sales.pdf;<Opt>Returns.pdf




 

Specifying Multiple (Simple/Composite) Email Addresses

You specify multiple email address destinations in the To, CC, or BCC emailing options, by separating them with a semi-colon (;) Without any spaces. 
You can also specify composite (display name as well as address) email destinations. 
For example: "Ido Millet" <ido@MilletSoftware.com>;"Jane Doe" <Jane@aol.com>

Specifying Email Distribution Lists in Text Files

To facilitate emailing to a long list of recipients, you can specify in the
To, CC, and BCC emailing options a file name containing a distribution list.   
For example, using Notepad you can create a file such as:

image

You then specify that Visual CUT should use that file as a distribution list by entering
File:c:\temp\test_email_list.txt  
in the To, CC, or BCC emailing options.

Notes:

·         you use the word "File:" followed by the path & name of the text file containing the email addresses.  Each address should be on a separate line and it can be specified as an email address only or as a composite (display name and address) as shown in the example above.

·         As always, you can include references to dynamic fields and formulas.  For example,
File:c:\distribution_lists\Department_{@DeptID}.txt
would allow you to burst a report by department and use a different distribution list for each department.



Specifying Email Distribution Lists in SQL Queries

In cases where you wish to dynamically retrieve the list of email addresses using an SQL query against an ODBC data source, you can specify in the To, CC, and/or BCC emailing options an expression such as:

MS Access Example:
ODBC:Customers::User_ID::Password::SELECT [email] FROM [Contacts] WHERE [Customer_ID] = '{Customer_ID}'

 

SQL Server Example:

ODBC:CONTACTS::sa::xxxxx::SELECT DISTINCT AHD.ctct.c_email_addr FROM

AHD.ctct where AHD.ctct.c_email_addr IS NOT NULL

 

The expression starts with ODBC: followed by 4 elements separated by ::

1. ODBC DSN (Note: could be different from the DSN used for the Crystal report)

2. User ID (use a single space if not needed)

3. Password (use a single space if not needed)

4. SQL Statement

Notes:

§  If the SQL statement returns multiple rows, Visual CUT takes care of concatenating the email addresses from all the rows to a single string with semi-colon as the delimiter.

§  The SQL statement syntax depends on your database.  For example, as shown in the samples above, MS Access uses [ ] around field/table names but SQL Server doesn't.

§  You can embed dynamic fields/formula values anywhere inside the expression.
In the MS Access example, the list of contacts for the Customer in the current bursting cycle would be retrieved. This offers powerful email distribution management options...




 

Specifying Bursting email Addresses in a Formula

In bursting scenarios, if the database doesn’t contain an email address for each Group Level 1, you can use a suppressed Crystal formula (in GH1 or GF1 sections) to return a different email destination for each Group. For example:

 

Select {Branch_Manager.ID}

   Case 101:

      "Jim@Acme.com"

   Case 103:

      "Amy@Acme.com;Don@Acme.com"

   Case 204:

      "Veronique@Acme.com"

   Default:

            "serge@Acme.com";


Specifying an Email Reconnect Option for Email Bursting

During Email bursting, the default behavior is to disconnect from the email server after each message. This avoids scenarios where the SMTP server imposes a limit on how many messages can be sent within a single connection. If you know your server doesn’t impose such a limitation, or if the number of emails you are sending during a burst operation is always below that limit, you can set an Email_SMTP_Disconnect_After_Send option (in DataLink_Viewer.ini) to FALSE.

 

 

Specifying a Different Character Set

In order to override the default character set (iso-8859-1) you should add an entry to the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini.  For example, in order to support Chinese characters, you should add the following entry:
Email_Char_Set=big5

 

 

Skipping Emails (VC_Skip_Email)

If you wish to skip the sending of an email message, you can include the text VC_Skip_Email  anywhere inside the Email_To option. For example, you can create a formula that, depending on customer or order status skips the email messages to certain customers. In those cases, instead of returning the customer’s email address, the formula would return "VC_Skip_Email". You can drag that formula into the Email_To option and Visual CUT would then skip the emails for those cases. 
The advantage of this approach, compared to filtering the report, is that you may want the skip just the emailing while keeping exporting or printing functionality.


New Email  Engine 

Starting 2011, extra options are available via the ‘Email 2’ tab  in the Options dialog:

image

Settings & Arguments for Advanced Email Features

With the new email engine, when sending messages to multiple recipients, if the SMTP server rejects one of the recipients as a bad email address the process still continues emailing to the other recipients

 

You can also use secure connections to the SMTP server (NTLM, CRAM-MD5, SSL, STARTTLS).

The StartTLS option allows you to communicate securely with SMTP servers that require that option. Note: use the Email_StartTLS command line argument ("True", "False", or dynamic reference) to override the default specified in the Options dialog.

 

The Encrypt Email Messages option allows you to encrypt the message so that only the recipient can open it. Visual CUT automatically searches for and uses the public key found in the first non-expired certificate matching the recipient's email address (the recipient will be using their private key).  The search for matching key includes the Current User’s personal certificate store and then the Local Machine's personal certificate store.  Use the Email_Send_Encrypted command line argument ("True", "False", or dynamic reference) to override the default specified in the Options dialog. 

 

The Sign Email Messages option allows you to sign (using your private key) the message so that the recipient can verify (using your public key) that a) you are the true sender of the message, and b) the message content hasn’t been altered.  Note: use the Email_Send_Signed command line argument ("True", "False", or dynamic reference) to override the default specified in the Options dialog.


The Email Bounced Message Notification To option allow you to specify a destination for bounced messages.  Note: use the Note: use the Email_Bounce_Address command line argument (static or dynamic reference) to override the default specified in the Options dialog.

The SMTP Domain option allow you to specify a domain in cases where the SMTP server used integrated authentication.  Note: use the Email_SMTP_Domain command line argument (static or dynamic reference) to override the default specified in the Options dialog.

 


 

Queuing Emails & The smtpQ Service

With the new email engine, you can queue outgoing email messages in an ‘Outgoing’ folder monitored by a new smtpQ service.  If you enter any path in the Outgoing Folder option in the ‘Email 2’ tab, Visual CUT would use that approach. You can also activate this behavior by using the command line argument of "Email_Outgoing_Folder:Path_to_Some_Folder".

 

A special smtpQ Service (a separate process that always runs in the background) is responsible for handling the email messages queued in the ‘Outgoing’ folder.  You can install, start/stop, and administer the smtpQ Service by clicking on the ‘Administer smtpQ Service’ button or by double-clicking the status labels on the right:

image

Note: you need to have Administrator rights to manage the smtpQ service. You may also need to Right-click the Visual CUT.exe and set it (Properties, Compatibility tab) to Run as Administrator (set the option to apply to all users).You may also need to lower the Windows ‘User Access Control’ security settings before the machine allows Visual CUT to manage the smtpQ service without causing a popup window each time Visual CUT starts.

Monitoring Email Queuing

If an Outgoing Folder is specified, Visual CUT shows the number of email messages in the Outgoing and Undeliverable folders  in the first 2 panels of the status bar. 
The panel showing the number of messages in the Outgoing Folder, also indicates if the smtpQ service is Not Installed, Stopped, or Running. The information is refreshed every 5 seconds:

image

 

image

 

image


If the Visual CUT & smtpQ Folder don’t match, the status bar indicates there is a problem:
image 

As an added convenience, you can open the Outgoing folder or the Undeliverable folder in
File Explorer by double-clicking their panel.

 

smtpQ Administration

Clicking on the Administer smtpQ Service button brings up the following window:

image

 

The Install Service button installs the service so that each time your computer starts the service will start automatically. Once the service is installed, you can Start or Stop the service using the appropriate buttons.  You can also stop and start the service from the Windows Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services.. (it will show up as Chilkat SMTPQ):
 
Important: while the Outgoing Folder  option in Visual CUT controls where Visual CUT deposits outgoing email messages (as .eml files), the Outgoing Folder  option in the smtpQ Service controls what folder is monitored by the service. Obviously, these two options should point at the same folder if you wish to actually send emails automatically. 

 

Keep the Max Threads option low unless you are sure the SMTP server would allow you to send a high volume of emails through many concurrent sessions.

The Max Retries option allows you to specify how many attempts would be made to send a failing email message (for example, if connectivity to your SMTP Server was lost). The delays before each retry keep increasing from 1 to 10th {5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 1 min, 1.5, 2, 5, 10, 15,
20 minutes}.

As soon as a new .eml file appears in the Outgoing Folder,  the smtpQ Service will attempt to send it. If it succeeds, it will either move the file to a Sent folder  or you can elect to have successful messages deleted. If after several minutes of repeated retries, the service fails to send the message, it will move it to an Undeliverable folder

 

These email messages are deposited as .eml files that can be opened in Windows Mail or Outlook Express. You can also manually move these files between folders. For example, if you copy .eml files from the ‘Sent’ folder to the ‘Outgoing’ folder, they will be emailed again.  This can be useful in cases where the receiver junked your original message by mistake. 

Among other benefits, this allows you to archive outgoing emails and easily recover from email service disruptions. For example, your email server may be down or your email service provider may not allow more than 100 messages per hour.


After making changes to the options in the smtpQ Service Manager dialog, you should click the Apply button, and then stop and restart the service to have these changes take effect. 

 

Naming Scheme of .eml Files

To facilitate the process of locating specific messages, the .eml files are named using three parts:
a)         the name and address of the first email recipient

b)         [the Subject of the email message]

c)         {the date and time the message was generated}
d)         [The group number being processed]

Remember that these .eml files can be opened using software such as Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express, etc..


Here’s an example:

image

smtpQ Service Failure Action Properties

Each time the smtpQ service is installed or reinstalled, it is a good idea to set Recovery properties in case it fails. Locate Chilkat SMTPQ in the Component Services panel in Windows:

image 


Right-click the service, select ‘Properties’ and go to the Recovery tab.  Change the failure options from ‘Take No Action’ to ‘Restart the Service’:

image 

Slowing Down Outgoing Emails

If your SMTP service provider imposes a limit on how many emails you are allowed to send within a given time period, you may need to slow down the email queuing process.

Using Email_Delay_MilliSeconds Argument

Adding the following argument to the command line delays processing by the specified number of milliseconds after each email:
"Email_Delay_MilliSeconds:500"

Slowing Down Outgoing Emails Using Queuing

Set the Visual CUT Outgoing folder as:                    c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Delayed
and the Outgoing folder monitored by smtpQ as:      c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Outgoing
This means Visual CUT would deposit eml files in the Delayed folder, so they won't be sent unless they get moved to the smtpQ Outgoing folder.

The following batch file would move the files from the Delayed folder to the Outgoing folder at a rate of 1 per 10 seconds.

@ECHO OFF
for %%i in ("c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Delayed\*.eml") do (
Move "%%i" "c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Outgoing\"
timeout /t 10 /nobreak )

A timeout of 10 seconds would result in only 6 emails per minute. If you want to increase the emailing rate to 30 per minute, reduce the timeout value to 2.
When the process runs out of files, the batch file simply goes away.

You can a) trigger the batch file manually, b) schedule it to run every N minutes, or
c) call it in Visual CUT using the following command line argument:
"After_Success_Batch:Whole>>c:\Batch\Move_emls_ from_Delayed_to_Outgoing.bat"

To avoid concurrent running instances of the batch file, here is a version that writes a FilesBeingMoved text file at the start of the process and deletes it at the end.
When the batch starts, it aborts if the file already exists.

IF EXIST "c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Delayed\FilesBeingMoved.txt" (
REM Do nothing
) ELSE (
  @ECHO OFF
  REM Create lock file
  ECHO > "c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Delayed\FilesBeingMoved.txt"
  for %%i in ("c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Delayed\*.eml") do (
  Move "%%i" "c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Outgoing\"
  timeout /t 10 /nobreak )
REM Delete the lock file afterwards
DEL "c:\Visual CUT\smtpQ\Delayed\FilesBeingMoved.txt" )


 

Generating Twitter or SMS Messages via Email 

You can send SMS messages from Visual CUT using email. If you know the number & carrier, you simply email to the phone number and a domain associated with the carrier.
For example, 1234567890@txt.att.net  see list of domains here.
If you don't know the carrier associated with the phone number, you can use an email-to-SMS gateway service such as: https://www.textlocal.com/integrations/email-to-sms/ or my CUT Light UFL (see example here).

In order to send tweets via Visual CUT, you can send email messages via a service that acts as a bridge to Twitter. The text below was provided by a Systems Analyst at a Fire Department that asked to remain nameless:

 

Our Fire Department uses Visual CUT to send various tweets via Twitter based on specific call for service data. Visual CUT is set up via a scheduled task to run every minute and looks for any newly-created records qualifying for tweeting. If a qualified record is found, Visual CUT sends an email to a specified email address that automatically posts to twitter. This is a free service provided by Twitter Counter (http://twittercounter.com/pages/twittermail/).   As part of the same process, Visual CUT also exports some data fields via ODBC to another table. This keeps track of which incidents were tweeted about. The same process also uses that table to determine if a previously tweeted incident has been cleared. This allows us to also use Visual CUT to send an all clear Twitter message.   We don’t tweet out every incident, as many of our incidents are medical. We use a separate Visual CUT process at the end each month to send a count of the total number of incidents. This way our residents are aware of a total volume as opposed to just a couple of calls a day that get tweeted about.

 

image

 

 

 

 

‘Start Process’ button and Progress Window

This button simply starts the process of Bursting, Exporting, and Emailing as specified by the options above.  During the process, a window traces the progress of the operation:

 

image

 

While in progress, instead of a Close button, you will see a STOP button allowing you to abort the operation.

Tip: at the end of a process, if you double-click the export file name field
(in the export/email tab) , Visual CUT will open that folder in file explorer for you. 


 

Scheduling Area 

image

Scheduling String

The scheduling string text provides the necessary command line to trigger Visual CUT processing for this report.  The button to the right allows you to select or create a batch file to hold this command line.

 

Arguments

The argument field allows you to specify and save extra command line arguments. You should review the table of command line arguments at the end of this user manual. They allow you to tackle many use scenarios that are impossible to address with other tools.  By specifying the arguments in this field, you remove the need to specify them in the command line.  Also, this allows you to take advantage of the power of these argument even during interactive processing.
The button to the right opens a text editor that makes it easier to review/edit the arguments. 

Scheduled Printing

This area also shows what printer is currently associated with the report. Visual CUT sends reports scheduled for printing to that printer. Within Crystal, you can associate each report with a different printer using the File, Printer Setup… dialog. As explained later, you can override the  printer destination when scheduling or invoking Visual CUT via command lines.

 

The number of copies option can be dynamic (drag & drop a formula into that option) or static (enter a value). You can also specify the collation option.

 

Note that these printing options apply only for scheduled (command line) invocations of Visual CUT.  if you want the report to be printed during an interactive session, you should simply print it from the Preview tab). 

 


 

Scheduling (new approach)


Version 6.9002 has an integrated task scheduling GUI (Windows Scheduler used as engine). 

See 9-minute video demo
Note: to disable this functionality, see Restricting User Actions.

Management & Monitoring of Scheduled Tasks

A button on the first tab launces a window for managing & monitoring scheduled tasks.
The targeted tasks are those that call batch files, Visual CUT or DataLink Viewer

Compared to the Windows Task Scheduler dialog, this window has several key advantages:

·         Task status is updated automatically without needing to click Refresh (and is color-coded)

·         Mass update of login information for all tasks that belong to a specified user.

·         Suspend/Resume all enabled tasks (leaving Disabled Tasks untouched)

·         Easily update batch file tasks to avoid failure (insert missing Start-in folder) or
to run in an invisible window

·         RenameCloneEditExport & Import tasks.

·         Arrange the grid: sorting, grouping, filtering, visible columns…

 
image

Adding Scheduled Tasks

In the Export/Email tab, a button to the right of the scheduling string launches a dialog that allows:

a)      Viewing and modifications of the command line

b)      Inserting the command line into a new/existing batch file

c)      Creating a scheduled task for the command line or the batch file

image

Inserting multiple command lines into a single batch file allows a single scheduled task to trigger multiple processes. Consider naming the batch file to reflect the schedule logic (for example, "Morning Reports.cmd" or "Every Hour.bat"). If you are scheduling a new batch file, turn on the '& Schedule' checkbox. You would be prompted to set the task trigger options
(see image: http://screencast.com/t/mlhOtvZod). Then, the task is automatically created with all other options set to recommended defaults. You may then use the task management &  monitoring window to review/edit those options.


 

Failure to Add a Scheduled Task

If you get an error message indicating 'Failed to register with given user id…Access is denied…',

right-click the Visual CUT.exe and set it (Properties, Compatibility tab) to Run as Administrator (use the option to apply to all users). You may also need to use Windows 'Change User Account Control Settings' and lower UAC to 'Never Notify'.

You can see background information about this here: https://www.devopsonwindows.com/create-scheduled-task/ 

Note, in particular, the following text:

--------------------------------------

However, if you try to run the task manually, it will fail with an “access is denied” exception (assuming you have User Account Control enabled). To address this, either disable UAC (always a valid option in my book), or you can configure the task to effectively “run as administrator”:


Note that you will need to run the application that creates the task as an administrator as well if you use this approach.

--------------------------------------


 

Scheduling (old approach)

 

By clicking on the Save button, all report processing options, parameters, and logon information (encrypted) are saved for later use by Visual CUT.  This allows the application to process any report in unattended mode by simply invoking the executable (Visual CUT.exe) with a proper command line (using a *.Bat file, a RUN command, a desktop shortcut, or a call from any other application). 

 

The typical approach, if you are not using the New method described in the previous section,
is to
1) place the command line in a batch (.bat) file, and
2) call the batch file from the Windows Task Scheduler

 

Place the command line in a batch (.bat) file

The "Scheduling String" in Area 5 provides you with the command line needed to run a report via Visual CUT in unattended mode.  You may copy and paste that command line into a batch file but a better approach is to click the  image  button to the right of the scheduling string. 
This  prompts you to enter a new batch file name or select an existing batch file.

The command line is then inserted into the new/existing batch file and you can elect to immediately view/edit the batch file inside Notepad.

You can test the process by double-clicking the batch file.  This should trigger processing of the report in Visual CUT.

 


 

Command Line Wizard (Parameters & Skip Zero Records)

If the report has parameters, the  image  button to the right of the scheduling string starts a dialog with options to include parameters in the initial command line. If the report has Date or DateTime parameters, the dialog defaults to including them. You can then edit the static values in Notepad, and replace them with Date Constants such as Yesterday, Start_Month_Minus_1, etc. (see Date Constants section in the user manual).
  image
If you select ‘ALL parameters’ from the drop-down, all active parameters are included.
Note: you should include parameter arguments only if you need to override the parameter values saved when you previewed the report in Visual CUT.
(Parm1 is not included in the case below because it is an unused parameter):

image

 

If you uncheck the ‘Skip 0 Records’ option, the execute flag in the command line changes from ‑e to -E.  With the default of ‑e Visual CUT skips processing if the main report has zero records (allowing easy implementation of exception reports and email alerts).

Processing of Multiple Reports in a Single Batch (.BAT) File

You can use several command lines inside a single batch (.bat) file to trigger processing (manually or via scheduling) of multiple reports.  For example, double-clicking (or scheduling) the following Ido.bat file would trigger processing, one after the other, of Report1.rpt and then  Report2.rpt:


image
  

 

Call the Batch file from Windows Task Scheduler

While there are many commercial schedulers, the free Windows Task Scheduler (already installed as part of your Windows operating system) is capable of handling most scheduling requirements.  Here’s how you can go about scheduling a batch file:

 

  1. In Windows, click on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Scheduled Tasks
  2. Double-Click Add Scheduled Task
  3. In the Scheduled Task Wizard, click the Browse button,
    and select the Batch file containing the Visual CUT command line(s).
    image
  4. Specify Name and Frequency for the scheduled task:

    image

  5. Specify Schedule options.  These options vary depending on the frequency you selected above. 

    image


  6. Specify your password: 

    image

 

  1. Select the option to Open advanced properties and click Finish.

    image

 


  1. The Schedule tab in the advanced properties dialog provides an Advanced button:

    image

    Clicking on that button, provides various advanced scheduling options:

    image




 

 

9.      Using the Settings Tab, you can specify other advanced options such as minimum idle time requirement before the scheduled task is allowed to begin. 

Be sure to turn on the option of "Wake the computer to run this task."
For a description of why this setting is important (in the context of the Vista operating system), see: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/930133.

image

10.  After the task is scheduled, it is listed and tracked under the Scheduled Tasks folder.
By double- or right-clicking-clicking any task in the Scheduled Tasks folder, you can bring up the scheduling dialog, change settings, rename, run, or disable a task.
 
image

 


 

Scheduling Issues

Mapped à UNC File Paths

The task scheduler, given that it runs under the local SYSTEM account, may not recognize mapped network drives. Recent versions of Visual CUT automatically convert mapped paths to UNC paths when you open an rpt from a mapped folder, or when you set up export file locations.
For example: \\server123\ixm7\{@Year}\Sales for {Product_Type.Name}.pdf
Instead of:   P:\{@Year}\Sales for {Product_Type.Name}.pdf
But if the report uses a mapped drive in the data source setup, you should change the data source definition to use a UNC path instead.

Windows 7+ Task Scheduler

Turn on the "Run with highest privileges" task property (‘General’ tab).
The user account that is setting up the task should be a local administrator.

On the actions tab, set action to Start a program

 

You can simply browse and select the batch file (*.bat or *.cmd).
Or set the Program/script as cmd.exe
and
the arguments as: /C C:\Some_Folder\Your_Bat_File.bat
 


 

Hide Batch (Command) Windows

To avoid being distracted by the batch file window each time it gets triggered, save the following line as invisible.vbs (use Notepad Save As... All Files):

CreateObject("Wscript.Shell").Run """" & WScript.Arguments(0) & """", 0, False


In task scheduler, follow this example (use actual paths to invisible.vbs and to your batch file).

The application in this case is wscript, and the arguments to it are the invisible.vbs followed by the batch file. Here is a link to an explanation and other options.

image

Another option to hide the task process is to set it to 'Run whether user is logged on or not'.

 image


Control Processing Options When Encountering Zero Records

The command line is constructed as the name and path of the executable (surrounded by quotes),
followed by  –e or -E  and the path and file name of the report (surrounded by quotes):

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt"  

Specifying –e or E in the string above causes automatic "Execution" based on encrypted and stored logon information, stored parameter values, and the various processing options specified & saved during an interactive session in Visual CUT.

 
–e aborts processing of empty reports while E doesn’t.

Specifying –s in the string above causes automatic "Show" (Preview Tab) based on logon and parameters specified & saved during a previous session in Visual CUT. 
You can also use this to create a simple shortcut for quick viewing of a report.

If no processing option (-e, -E, or –s) is specified in the Scheduling string, the application’s Preview Tab would open for the specified report prompting for Parameters and Logon information if required.

 

E-mailing Alert Messages and Exception Reports


Imagine managers at your company wish to receive daily reports showing exceptions such as orders with very low profit margins, products with very low inventory levels, late shipments, or production runs with very high scrap rates. In most days these exception reports should be empty and should not reach the managers. 

Using Visual CUT you can schedule these reports to run as frequently as you wish, but with  
–e rather than –E in the command line. This would ensure that during each scheduled processing cycle, the e-mail message, and (optionally) the attached report would be sent only if exceptions were indeed found.  If no records pass the record selection criteria, exporting, e‑mailing, and printing of the report are simply aborted.

This logic applies to the main report.  A case of no records in the main report but some records in a subreport is still considered as no records.

Note: to avoid repeating the same exception email, see Avoiding Duplicate Processing.  

Management By Exceptions and Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) are powerful approaches to management, and Visual CUT makes them easy  J


Using Command Line Arguments

Arguments to Specify Parameter Values

When you open a report in Visual CUT, the values you specify in response to parameter prompts are saved in the internal database (Visual CUT.mdb).  In some cases, you may want to invoke Visual CUT processing via command line calls while overriding some or all of these stored  parameter values.  You can do this by specifying additional command line arguments.

 

So far, the string used to schedule or launch processing of reports was described as:

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt"  

or

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -E "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt"  

 

You can add optional arguments to the command lines, which identify the parameter (by its number) and specify its value.  For example, using the following string would override the first parameter value saved by Visual CUT with the value of 1988 (in the sample Visual_Cut.rpt report, the first parameter is the YEAR). 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe"
-e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:1998"  

 

The value of a date parameter would be specified as:

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:3/10/2003"  

 

Note that the syntax is constructed as the word "Parm", followed by the number of the parameter (according to the order of parameters shown in Crystal), followed by a colon and the value. 

 

Here’s how you would specify the 1st and 3rd parameter values:

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:1998" "Parm3:Ido Millet"  

 

Notes:

·         Visual CUT handles the necessary data type conversion to match the parameter data type.

·         All command line arguments must be enclosed in double quotes and separated by a single space.


Range and Multi-Value Parameters

Visual CUT supports all parameter types including multi-value, range, and mixed parameters.  To learn how such parameter values can be specified via command line arguments, save the report settings in Visual CUT, open Visual CUT.mdb in MS Access and observe the parameter values saved in the Report_Opt table. 

 

A multi-value discrete parameter value is specified as follows:

---------------------------------------------------
...  "Parm1:Competition:::Gloves:::Helmets"
---------------------------------------------------


A range parameter (in this case a date range) is specified as follows:
---------------------------------------------------
...  "Parm1:7/15/1996>>>7/15/2003>>>3"
---------------------------------------------------
The 3 at the end indicates the start and end points are included.
A 0 at the end would indicate the start and end points are NOT included.
A 2 at the end would indicate the start point is included and the end point is not.
A 1 at the end would indicate the start point is not included and the end point is.

Add 4 to these values if there is no Upper Bound. 

Add 8 to these values if there is no Lower Bound.

For example, this would indicate all dates up to, and including 7/15/2003:
---------------------------------------------------
...  "Parm1:12:00:00 AM>>>7/15/2003>>>9"
---------------------------------------------------
The 12:00:00 AM value is just a place-holder. Any date value would work (will be ignored).


Request User Input for Certain Parameters

You can use "ParmN:[?]" command line arguments to indicate that Visual CUT should prompt the user for certain parameter values. For example,
---------------------------------------------------
...  "Parm1:Today" "Parm3:[?]"
 ---------------------------------------------------
Would set the first parameter to today's date, prompt the user for the 3rd-parameter, and use saved parameter values for all other parameters. This is useful when Visual CUT is called from a command line and the user needs to interactively override saved parameter values.


Null Values

Null parameter values (for Stored Procedures) are specified in command lines by using the constant [VC_NULL].  For example, to specify that the first parameter value is null, use:
"Parm1:[VC_NULL]"


Date Constants

When scheduling reports that have Date or DateTime parameters, you can set the parameter to dates relative to the current date.  Visual CUT can do this for discrete or range date parameters. 

The supported constants are:

  1. TODAY  -or-  YESTERDAY
  2. TODAY_PLUS_ -or-  TODAY_MINUS_ -or- 
    TODAY_PLUS_N_PLUS_M  -or- TODAY_MINUS_N_MINUS_M  -or-
    TODAY_PLUS_N_PLUS_M_EOM –or- TODAY_MINUS_N_MINUS_M_EOM  -or-
    TODAY_PLUS_N_PLUS_M_SOM –or- TODAY_MINUS_N_MINUS_M_SOM

  3. START_MONTH_PLUS_ -or-   START_MONTH_MINUS_M
  4. END_MONTH_PLUS_ -or-  END_MONTH_MINUS_M

  5. START_YEAR_PLUS_ -or-  START_YEAR_MINUS_Y
  6. END_YEAR_PLUS_ -or-  END_YEAR_MINUS_Y
  7. Nth_N_PLUS_M –or- Nth_N_MINUS_M
  8. LAST_MM_DD –or- NEXT_MM_DD

  9. Now_Plus_S  -or- Now_Minus_S  -or- Now_GMT_Plus_S -or- Now_GMT_Minus_S
  10. YMD=+Y/Month/Day_of_Month or YMD=-Y/Month/EOM

Where N=days, M=Months, Y=Years, and S=seconds to be added or subtracted.

For example, if the current date is March 6, 2004 then:

Today = 3/6/04

Nth_16_MINUS_1 = 2/16/04 (the 16th of the previous month)

Today_Minus_3 = 3/3/04

Last_04_01 = April 1, 2003  

End_Month_Minus_1 = 2/29/04

Start_Year_Plus_0 = 1/1/04

Start_Year_Minus_1>>>Today>>>3 = Inclusive range of [1/1/03 to 3/6/04]
YMD=-1/6/15 = 6/15/2003 (-1 indicates 1 year prior).
YMD=+0/6/EOM = 6/30/2004 (must use + or after the = sign). EOM = End of Month.

 

In the case of Today_Minus_N_Minus_M, N is the Days and M is the Months, so:

            Today_Minus_1_Minus_2 = 1/5/2004  (one day and two months earlier)

Adding _EOM or _SOM to the end of a Today_Minus_N_Minus_M constant returns the
End-of-Month or Start-of-Month, so:
Today_Minus_1_Minus_2_SOM = 1/1/2004  (Start of Month for 1/5/2004)
Today_Minus_1_Minus_2_EOM = 1/31/2004  (End of Month for 1/5/2004)

For DateTime parameters, Now_Plus_S or Now_Minus_S, returns the current datetime adjusted by the number of specified seconds.  For Time parameters, this argument returns just the current time adjusted by the number of specified seconds.  For example, if the current datetime is
June 17, 2008, 5:22:38 PM then Now_Minus_3600 returns
June 17, 2008, 4:22:38 PM for a DateTime parameter and 4:22:38 PM for a Time parameter.

One way to use a date constant is to specify it as the parameter value in a command line invocation of Visual CUT.  For example:
   "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Test\Report.rpt"     
   "Parm1
:Today"

Another option is to open Visual CUT.mdb and entering it directly in the appropriate parameter column within the Report_Opt table.   Note that such a manual entry in the Report_Opt table would be overwritten if you interactively open the report in Visual CUT and click SAVE.

Benefits: these date constants allow you to use the same report interactively (specifying any date as the parameter value) as well as in scheduled mode.  This can also lead to faster report execution since using date functions in the record selection formula within the report can force record selection to be performed by Crystal instead of by the DBMS. 

 

Note: for DateTime parameter, the Time portion of the parameter value is set by these constants to 12:00:00 AM (start of the day).  To set a DateTime parameter to the end of the day (11:59:59 PM), you must include the parameter name in a DataLink_Viewer.ini entry
under the [Options] section like this (the parameter names are separated by ||):
--------------

[Options]
Date_Constants_EndofDay_Parameters={?To_Date}||{?EndDate}

-------------
 

Custom Calendars

If you need to set date parameters to the start or end date of custom periods (for example, Fiscal Weeks or Quarters) relative to a current or shifted date, you specify the start dates of the periods in the DataLink_Viewer.ini as follows:

[Custom_Calendars]

FiscalQ=1/1/2013>>4/1/2013>>7/1/2013>>10/1/2013>>1/1/2014


In the example above the name of the custom calendar is FiscalQ and you can specify parameter values like this:  "Parm1:FiscalQ_Start_RelativeTo_Yesterday"
FiscalQ is the name of the custom calendar, Start requests the start date of the period within which the relative date falls. If you specify End, the date just before the start on the next period is returned. RelativeTo is a fixed word. The date constant can be any date constants as described in the Date Constants section above.  Assuming today is 6/7/2013:
"Parm1:FiscalQ_End_RelativeTo_Today_Minus_5" would return 6/30/2013
"Parm1:FiscalQ_End_RelativeTo_Start_Year_Minus_1" would return 3/31/2012

Note: as demonstrated by the last example above, if the relative date falls outside the boundaries of the calendar, the custom calendar years are shifted until the relative date is within the calendar.  This allows you to set the custom calendar and not worry about updating it again (if the dates remain the same across years).


 

Adjusting Data Constants for Day of Week

Visual CUT allows you to set a date parameter to the first day of week (DOW) before or after a specified date constant.  For example, the first Monday in the previous month. 

 

The syntax options are as follows:

DayOfWeek[>]Date_Constant   for first target DOW after the date constant.

DayOfWeek[<]Date_Constant   for first target DOW before the date constant.

 

Or, same as above except that date returned from date constant is used if it falls on target DOW:

DayOfWeek[>=]Date_Constant 
DayOfWeek[<=]Date_Constant 

 

Examples, assuming today is Tuesday, March 10, 2015

 

"Parm1:Wednesday[>]Today"            => March 11, 2015
"Parm1:Wednesday[<]Today"            => March 04, 2015

"Parm1:Tuesday[>]Yesterday"           => March 10, 2015
"Parm1:Tuesday[>=]Today"               => March 10, 2015


 

Number Constants

When scheduling reports that have a Number (not currency) or String parameter, you may want to set the parameter to a constant reflecting a year or a month relative to the current year or the current month.
Visual CUT can do this for discrete or range number parameters. 

 

The supported constants are:

 

  1. MONTH_PLUS_ -or-   MONTH_MINUS_N
  2. YEAR_PLUS_ -or-  YEAR_MINUS_N
  3. YEAR_AT_PLUS_MONTHS_N  -or-  YEAR_AT_MINUS_MONTHS_N
  4. YearMonth_AT_PLUS_MONTHS_N –or- YearMonth_AT_MINUS_MONTHS_N 


Where N is the number of months/years to be added/subtracted from the current month/year.


For example, if the current date is January 6, 2005 then:

Month_Plus_0 = 1

Month_Minus_1 = 12

Year_Plus_0 = 2005
Year_Minus_2 = 2003
Year_AT_Minus_Months_1 = 2004
YearMonth_AT_MINUS_MONTHS_3 = 200410   (year=2004 and month = 10)

One way to use a Number constant is to specify it as the parameter value in a command line invocation of Visual CUT.  For example:
   "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Test\Report.rpt"     
   "Parm1
:Year_Plus_0"
Note: For a string parameter, you must enclose the constant with square brackets like this:  "Parm1:[Year_Plus_0]"

Another way of doing this is by opening Visual CUT.mdb and entering it directly in the appropriate parameter column within the Report_Opt table.   Note that such a manual entry in the Report_Opt table would be overwritten if you interactively open the report in Visual CUT and click SAVE.

Benefits: these constants allow you to use the same report interactively as well as in scheduled mode.  This can also lead to faster report execution since using formulas within the report can force record selection to be performed by Crystal instead of by the DBMS. 


 

Reports with More Than 8 Parameters (restriction removed, 6.2002)

This restriction is removed starting March 19, 2010.  Any parameters beyond the first 7, including unlinked subreport parameters, are now saved inside the Parm8 column (in the Report_Opt table) for later handling by Visual CUT. You may still specify main report parameters via command line arguments such as
…."Parm9:Some Values" "Parm10:Some Values"


Using Parm8 to Specify all Extra Parameter Values

Let’s refer to all independent (unlinked) subreport parameters as well as all parameters beyond the first 7 main report parameters as "Extra" parameters. As mentioned above, starting with version 6.2002, all extra parameter values are saved inside the Parm8 column inside the Report_Opt table in Visual CUT.mdb.  The syntax for holding these values looks like this:

[Parm_8]:Suppress
-----
[Parm_9]:2010
-----
[Parm_10]:4/1/2010>>>4/30/2010>>>3
-----

[Parm_11]:Competition:::Gloves:::Helmets
-----
[Parm_1_{Subreport1Name.rpt}]:2010
-----
[Parm_2_{SomeSubreport1Name.rpt}]:101

 

As you can see, main report parameters are identified by their number and independent (unlinked) subreport parameters are also specified by the subreport name.  The parameters are separated by "-----" delimiters.

 

If you wish to use command line arguments to override the stored Parm8 values, you can use the Parm8 command line argument using the same syntax.  For example (all in 1 line of course):

 

"Parm8:[Parm_8]:Suppress-----[Parm_9]:2010-----[Parm_10]:START_MONTH_MINUS_1>>>END_MONTH_MINUS_1>>>3-----[Parm_11]:Competition:::Gloves-----[Parm_1_{Subreport1Name.rpt}]:2010-----[Parm_2_{SomeSubreport2Name.rpt}]:101"

 


 

Using PowerShell to Set Relative Date Parameters and Call Visual CUT

The following PowerShell code sample was contributed by Roger Dearnaley, IT Manager at Sataria. It demonstrates how PowerShell calls Visual CUT (using the & symbol to trigger the command line) after applying relative date logic to set parameter values.

Similar logic can be achieved using regular batch files, but this sample may help other users who are interested in moving from batch files to PowerShell files.

 

<# emp perf reports.ps1 Roger Dearnaley, Sataria, November 2013 this script will call two Crystal Reports using Visual CUT It will pass the previous weekday (i.e. Saturday=Friday, Sunday=Friday, Monday=Friday, Tuesday=Monday.....Friday=Thursday) the daily report will run on Monday-Friday and weekly will only run on Monday #>  [DateTime]$now = ([DateTime]::Now) [DateTime]$prevWorkDay = $now switch (($now.DayOfWeek))   {  "Sunday"   { $prevWorkDay = $now.AddDays(-2) }   "Monday"   { $prevWorkDay = $now.AddDays(-3) }   default  { $prevWorkDay = $now.AddDays(-1) }   }  $exe = "C:\Program Files (x86)\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe"  #run daily report [Array]$params = '-e', '"\\Mufasa\Publicdocs\WMS Reports\Operations\daily emp perf.rpt"', [string]::Format('"Parm1:{0:MM/dd/yyyy}"',$prevWorkDay) & $exe $params;  #run weekly report on Monday only if ($now.DayOfWeek -eq "Monday") {  [Array]$params = '-e', '"\\Mufasa\Publicdocs\WMS Reports\Operations\weekly emp perf.rpt"', [string]::Format('"Parm1:{0:MM/dd/yyyy}"',$prevWorkDay)  & $exe $params; }


Argument to Set Formula Expressions

You can set formula expressions via a command line argument provided that:

·         The formula name(s) must begin with a ^ character. 

·         Any double-quotes are specified as [dblq]

·         Only main report formulas are targeted

 

The command line argument starts with Set_Formulas1: followed by pairs of Formula Names and Formula Expressions. The name is separated from the expression by >>>. Each pair is separated from the following one by ||| like this:

…  "Set_Formulas1:Name1>>>Expression1|||Name2>>>Expression2"


For example, the following command line argument would set the first specified formula expression to the string "Ido" and the second formula to the numeric expression of 2 + 2:

…  "Set_Formulas1:{@^MyName}>>>[dblq]Ido[dblq]|||{@^TwoAndTwo}>>>2+2"


Note: this functionality is not available in Visual CUT 8.5


Argument to Set Extra Record Selection Logic

You can use the Xtra_Record_Selection command line argument to append an extra expression to the main report record selection formula via a command line argument. This provides flexibility in filtering the report beyond parameter logic. The change applies only to the process triggered by the command line.

If the report already has a record selection formula the logic becomes:
(old expression) AND (extra expression).
Otherwise, the extra expression simply becomes the temporary record selection formula.

Here is an example:
…"Xtra_Record_Selection:{Product.Product Name} <> [dblq]Triumph Vertigo Helmet[dblq]"

 
Notes:

·         any double-quotes in the expression must be specified as [dblq]

·         this functionality is currently available only for Visual CUT 11

Arguments to Specify Printer Destination

If you turn on the "Print (if scheduled)" option, Visual CUT sends the report to the printer associated with the report.  You can override the printer destination by specifying a different printer name using a command line argument:

 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:1998" "Printer:HPLaser1" 

 

Note that the syntax is constructed as the word "Printer:" followed by the printer name.

 

If you use "Default" as the printer name, the report gets printed to its default destination.

If instead of "Printer:…" you use "Printer_Only:….", Visual CUT limits the processing to printing only.  Exporting, bursting, and e-mailing options saved for the report in Visual CUT are ignored.  This allows you to invoke Visual CUT processing for printing only via one command line and invoke full processing via another command line.

 

When a Command Line includes "Printer:" or "Printer_Only:" argument, Visual CUT always sends the report to the printer even if the "Print (if scheduled)" option is turned off for this report.

 

Printing to Multiple Printers

If you need to schedule or invoke printing of the same report to multiple printers on your network, you can specify an unlimited number of "Printer:" and/or "Printer_Only:" command line arguments and Visual CUT would send the report to all these printers. This improves performance compared to specifying each printer destination in a different command line because the report gets retrieved and processed only once.

Using a Text File to Specify Multiple Printers

If you have a text file containing a list of printer destinations, such as shown below, you can instruct Visual CUT to print the report to all these printers using the key word "List_File:" followed by the path & name of the text file.
"Printer:List_File:c:\temp\Supervisor_Printers.txt"

 

As usual, you can dynamically control the list of printers to be used by referencing field or formula names from the Crystal report.  For example:
"Printer_Only:List_File:{@Printers_File}"


image

Arguments to Specify Printer Bursting Destination

If you need each group level 1 of your report to be printed separately (e.g., to a fax printer driver or for automatic stapling), you must have the Export and Burst options turned on in the Visual CUT saved settings for that report.  Then, use the following command line argument structure:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:1998" "Printer_Burst:\\pc10\hp04" 

 

Note that the syntax is constructed as the word "Printer_Burst:" followed by the printer name.

If instead of "Printer_Burst:…" you use "Printer_Burst_Only:….", Visual CUT will skip the export bursting processing and would just burst the report to the printer. 

 

If you use "Default" as the printer name, the report gets printed to its default destination.

 

The printer name argument is dynamic (field/formula names are replaced with values from the report). This means you can create a formula that returns a different printer name for different group values, place that formula (suppressed) in GH1 or GF1, embed that formula as the printer name argument, and sent the printouts for different groups to different printers.  For example:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:1998" "Printer_Burst_Only:{@Group_Printer_Name}"

Specifying Number of Copies

To control the number of printed copies, you can use a "Print_Copies" argument. The syntax is constructed as the word “Print_Copies”, followed by a colon and the number of desired copies. For example: "Print_Copies:3"

 

Setting Custom Text for each Print Copy

When printing directly to a printer (not via PDF_Print), each print copy can have custom text (such as 'Copy 1 of 2', 'Copy 2 of 2'). Simply place a formula called {@Print_Copy_Template} on the report canvas. For each printed copy, Visual CUT would first update the text in that formula by replacing [[N]] with the copy number and [[M]] with the total number of copies.
For example, "Copy [[N]] of [[M]]" would become 'Copy 1 of 3', 'Copy 2 of 3'…
See demo image

Visual CUT would also:
a) Replace references to recognized fields/formulas with their dynamic values.
    For example   "Copy [[N]] of {@G1_Count}"
b) Replace [[{StartCount}+N]] with the dynamic value of a {@StartCount} formula + copy number.  Note: the token does not include the @ symbol in the formula name.

Note: you can dynamically control the number of copies by referring to a Crystal formula/field in a "Print_Copies" argument (e.g. "Print_Copies:{OrderDetail.Quantity}" or by simply dragging & dropping the field/formula into the Copies option (see image).

Arguments to Specify User ID & Password

In some rare cases you may want to override the (encrypted) User_ID & Password information that Visual CUT stores for each report.  You can do this by specifying Command Line arguments:

 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Test\Report.rpt" "user_id:dba" "password:sql"

 

Setting Encrypted Password Entries

The Encrypted_Password_Set_Entry command line argument can automate encrypted storage (within DataLink_Viewer.ini) of passwords.  This allows an administrator to set or change encrypted passwords for DataLink Viewer or Visual CUT that can later be referenced from command line arguments.

Note: a much easier way to achieve this is described in the section about 'Referring to Saved Encrypted Passwords.

To generate such entries in a targeted ini file, you call Visual CUT using a command line
(all in 1 line) argument as follows:

image

After the Encrypted_Password_Set_Entry key word and the colon, the 4 arguments are separated by “>>” as a delimiter:

1.      The path & name of the ini file

2.      The ini section name (typically 'Options')

3.      The Password Name

4.      The Password to be Encrypted

 

Argument to avoid Login Dialog

If most of your reports use a data source requiring authentication, you probably have the 'Attempt_Logon_Without_Password' option (Options dialog, Database tab) set to True. To override that global option for specific reports, add this argument to the command line:
 … "Attempt_Logon_Without_Password:True"


Database Choice Functionality (Command Line / GUI)

In some cases, you may want to use the same report to connect to different data sources, such as a testing or production server.  While each report stores connection properties for only one default data source, Visual CUT allows you to use Command Line arguments to specify a different data source.   

The command line argument structure is as follows:

 

Selecting an Alternative ODBC Data Source

"ODBC_DSN:Data Source Name"
or

"ODBC_DSN_From_To:Old_DSN1>>New_DSN1||Old_DSN2>>New_DSN2"

The ODBC_DSN argument overrides all ODBC DSNs used in the report by the new DSN
The ODBC_DSN_From_To argument overrides only tables that use the old DSN.


Notes:

  1. You can combine this functionality with the user_id & password command line arguments described in a previous section.

 

  1. The target Data Source Name must exist on the PC running Visual CUT.  If it doesn't, Visual CUT reverts back to running the report against the ODBC DSN the report was designed for (a warning message is added to the failure.log file).

 

  1. ODBC_DSN_From_To support multiple pairs separated by "||" as shown in the example above.  This addresses scenarios where a report uses multiple ODBC DSNs (e.g. when subreports use different DSNs).

 

  1. The ODBC_DSN_From_To is not available in the Crystal 8.5 version of Visual CUT.

 

 


  1. If you don't specify User_ID & Password command line arguments, and the data source requires a user id & password, you should let Visual CUT "load" the authentication information by running the report against the alternative ODBC data source.  You can do that by clicking the button to the right of the Server name in the login dialog.  This expands the display to include a listing of all available ODBC data sources (grouped by ODBC driver type). The original ODBC data source is initially selected and the driver group it belongs to is expanded (and prefixed with a "!"). 

    image

  2. If you select another ODBC data source, Visual CUT explains the functionality:

    image


Overriding the Database Specified in the Report or ODBC DSN

 

For ODBC data sources, you can enter a database name into the login dialog if you wish to override the database specified in the ODBC data source or in the report itself.  This is useful for situations where the same database (e.g., MS SQL Server) contains multiple databases each with the same table structure.  If the number of such databases is large, creating a dedicated ODBC DSN for each and using the select ODBC DSN functionality may be too tedious.  Instead, you can directly type in the database name in the login dialog.

To enable database name input into the database field in the login dialog, you need to set the Override_ODBC_DSN_Database entry under the [Options] section in the DataLink_Viewer.ini file to TRUE, like this: 


[Options]

Override_ODBC_DSN_Database=TRUE

 

Note that if that option is set to TRUE, the database specified in the ODBC DSN can no longer override the database specified in the report (if the user doesn't type in a Database, the specified Database remains the one used in the report. 
Note: This functionality is not available in the Crystal 8.5 version of Visual CUT.

 

Overriding ODBC Table Location (.CSV Files as Data Source)

This functionality was added for a user who needed to call DataLink Viewer from his application via a command line.  The data source was .csv files via ODBC and a command line argument was needed to control what .csv file should be used (.csv files gets generated and named uniquely by another application).
For example, a report designed to use Risk.csv, the following command line argument:
…  "Table_From_To:Risk.csv>>Risk2.csv||old.csv>>new.csv"

would cause Visual CUT to retrieve the data from Risk2.csv instead.

 

Within each pair of From/To directives, the ‘From’ location is separated by a ‘>>’ from the ‘To’ location. The pairs are separated by a "||" from each other.


Notes:

1.      If any of the From table name is not found in the report, the process generates a failure message indicating what From table name were unmatched with report tables.

2.      New Table Name should not contain dots (before the .csv). Underscores are fine.

3.      This functionality is not available in Visual CUT 8.5

 


Overriding the Server in Native Oracle Connection

 

When a report uses a native connection to Oracle, you can edit the Server name in the login dialog and run the report against a different server (rather than the one the report was designed against).

 

Alternatively, if you are launching a report from a command line, you can override the Oracle server name by using the "Oracle_Server:" command line argument.  For example:

__________________________________________________________________
-v "C:\temp\test.rpt" "user_id:dba" "password:sql" "Oracle_Server:Server2"
__________________________________________________________________

 

Note: This functionality is not available in the Crystal 8.5 version of Visual CUT.



Selecting an Alternative SQL Server – OLE DB Data Source

 

"Connect_To_SQLOLEDB:DataSource>>InitialCatalog>>Integrated_Auth"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

1. DataSource is the Server Name the report should connect to.

2. InitialCatalog is the Database Name within the given server.

3. Integrated_Auth is a True or False argument indicating if Integrated Authentication should be used (if TRUE, user_id & password are ignored).
 

Note: This functionality is not available in the Crystal 8.5 version of Visual CUT.


 

Changing Folder Location for Access/Excel/Pervasive/ACT! Files

If your report uses the native connection to MS Access, Excel, or Pervasive (ddf), you can control the location of the database files using the following section in DataLink_Viewer.ini
----------------------------------------------------------------------
[Database_Path_Selection]

Paths = C:\Old\xtreme.mdb>>C:\New\xtreme.mdb||C:\a\test.mdb>>?

// Or, in the case of Pervasive ddf files:

// for ACT! .pad files: Paths = E:\DB1\DB1.pad>>E:\DB2\DB2.pad
//
Paths = E:\Jobtrack\FILE.DDF>>?

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Alternatively, you can specify the desired change using a command line argument such as
"Database_Path:C:\Prop1\FILE.DDF>>c:\Prop2\File.DDF"

As demonstrated above, the Paths entry may contain multiple pairs of old>>new paths.
Each pair specifies the old path followed by a ">>" separator, followed by the new path.

The pairs are separated by "||"

If the new path is blank, or if it contains just a question mark, Visual CUT will prompt the user to select a new path.  If the directive is from the ini file (rather than from a command line argument), the user choice will be recorded in the ini file and the new path will be used without prompting the user in future runs of reports that use the source path.  If the new path has one question mark (?) followed by a valid path, that path will be the default location in the dialog asking the user to select a path. If instead of a single question mark, the new path starts with a double question mark (??), DataLink Viewer will always prompt the user to select a path each time a report using the old path runs.  The user choice will be added after the ?? and will become the new default value in the path selection dialog. 

If the report uses a database file that can’t be found on the machine, and no command line argument or ini entry was provided, Visual CUT prompts the user to select a valid location, creates the [Database_Path_Selection] section (if it doesn’t already exist) and creates/adds the pair information to the Paths entry.

 

Note: this functionality is not available in the Crystal 8.5 version of Visual CUT.


Arguments to Specify Export Format

If you need to export a report to format and file name that are different from those saved for the report within Visual CUT, you can use the Export_Format in combination with the Export_File command line argument. For example:

 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Export_Format:Excel 97" "Export_File:c:\temp\test.xls" 

 

The syntax is constructed as the word "Export_Format:" followed by the export format name (see valid export format options in the Visual CUT drop-down list for export formats). 

 

Dynamic Export Format: you can use field/formula names within the Export_Format command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT).  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument. For example, you could use the following command line:
"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Export_Format:{@Format}"

The {@Format} formula may return different export formats for different groups, so using a parameter (that influences the {@Format} formula) or during bursting, you can dynamically control what export format is used.  For example, you may burst invoices to some customers as PDF and to other customers as Excel files.
In such situations, you will need to construct the export file name to include a formula for controlling the file extension to match the export format.  For example:

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Export_Format:{@Format}" "Export_File:c:\temp\Invoice_for_{CustName}.{@ext}" 

Releasing File Locks on Exported Files

You can set the Release_Shared_File_Before_Export option via the Options dialog if you wish to always attempt to unlock the exported file from shared use by network users who may have a prior version of the file opened in a shared network destination folder. To override the default behavior controlled by that option for a specific report, use this command line argument:
"Release_Shared_File:True"

 

Delaying Processing After Export

In rare cases, a delay may be needed after exporting to a network drive and before doing post-processing. An ini file option called After_Export_Delay sets the default delay period in milliseconds. To override or set a delay for a report, use this command line argument:
"After_Export_Delay:100"       note: 100 milliseconds =  1/10 of a second.

Argument to Specify Email Priority

Email priority can be specified via a command line argument using the following syntax:

"Email_Priority:Priority_Constant"
The syntax is constructed as the word "Email_Priority:" followed by one of the following priority constants: Highest, High, Normal, Low, or Lowest


As usual, you can dynamically control the email priority by creating a formula within the report that would determine the email priority (for example, if the information shows an extreme exception, increase the email priority to 'Highest').  Then, refer to the formula in the command line argument and Visual CUT would substitute the value of that formula.  For example:
"Email_Priority:{@Message_Priority}"


Argument to Specify Email Headers

Custom Email headers can be specified via a command line argument using the following syntax:

"Email_Header:header1:::header2:::header3"
The syntax is constructed as the word "Email_Header:" followed by one or more custom email headers.  If you are specifying more than one header, they must be separated by ":::".

For example:

"Email_Header:Sensitivity: Private"

"Email_Header:Sensitivity: Private:::X-Sensitivity: 3"

 

As usual, you can dynamically control the content of the custom email headers by referencing field or formula names from the Crystal report.  For example:
"Email_Header:Sensitivity: {@email_Sensitivity}"
or, for return-receipt request, which asks the receiving email server to confirm receipt:
"
Email_Header:Return-Receipt-To:{@CRM_Email}"
or, to ask for confirmation the email has been opened by the recipient:

"Email_Header:Disposition-Notification-To:{@CRM_Email}"




Arguments to Specify Export/Email Options

If you need to override the values specified in the emailing options in the 3rd tab of Visual CUT you can use the following command line arguments:

1.                  Export_File

2.                  Export_Format   e.g. "Adobe Acrobat (pdf)"

3.                  Export_Mode  ("Burst" or "Whole" or blank)     

4.                  Email_To      

5.                  Email_From

6.                  Email_Reply_To

7.                  Email_CC

8.                  Email_BCC

9.                  Email_Attach

10.              Email_Subject

11.              Email_Message

12.              Email_Mode  ("Burst" or "Whole" or blank)

13.              Email_SMTP_Server

14.              Email_User_ID

15.              Email_Password

 

For example, to override the export file and email_to option, use a command line such as:

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Parm1:1998" "Export_File:c:\temp\test.pdf" "Email_To:ixm7@psu.edu" 


To override a saved value with a blank, use [VC_Blank] as in:  …  "Email_CC:[VC_Blank]"

Arguments to Process Reports with No Settings

Imagine you have an application that needs to trigger Visual CUT processing for reports that have no saved settings within Visual CUT.  Visual CUT can handle such cases provided all the necessary options are specified via command line arguments.

 

For example, the following command line (all in one line) would trigger exporting and emailing of Sample.rpt.  The highlighted arguments (Export_Mode and Email_Mode) control what exporting and/or emailing process is required.  They accept values of "Burst" or "Whole" and if one of them is omitted, then that aspect of processing will simply not take place. 

 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Test\Sample.rpt" "Parm1:1997" "Export_Format:Adobe Acrobat (pdf)" "Export_File:c:\temp\{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.pdf" "Export_Mode:Burst" "Email_Mode:Burst" "Email_From:ixm7@psu.edu" "Email_To:ixm7@psu.edu" "Email_Subject:Sales Information for {Product_Type.Product Type Name}" "Email_Attach:c:\temp\{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.pdf" "Email_SMTP_Server:127.0.0.1"


Calling Visual CUT From Another Application

Using command lines allows other applications to trigger Visual CUT processing. 

 

Here's a code example of calling Visual CUT from a Visual Basic application and specifying a parameter value.  Note that double quotes are "escaped" by using  "" instead of  ".
__________________________________________________________________
Dim ls_temp As String
ls_temp = "c:\Program Files\Visual CUT 9\Visual CUT.exe " & _
"-e ""c:\temp\Sales.rpt"" ""Parm1:2005"""

RetVal = Shell(ls_temp)
__________________________________________________________________


Here's another code example for calling Visual CUT from a vba event and dynamically setting the report path, name, and parameter value:
__________________________________________________________________
Private Sub Combo0_AfterUpdate()
Dim rs As Object
Set rs = Me.Recordset.Clone
rs.FindFirst "[txtReportName] = '" & Me![Combo0] & "'"
If Not rs.EOF Then Me.Bookmark = rs.Bookmark

Dim myreport As String
Dim stAppName As String
Dim myvalret As String
' me.fullrep is a field that concatenates the report path & name
myreport = Me.fullrep
myvalret = Str(MyCaseno)
stAppName = "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 9\Visual CUT.exe" & _
           " -e """ & myreport & """ ""Parm1:" & myvalret & """"
DoCmd.Close
Call Shell(stAppName, 1)
End Sub
__________________________________________________________________


Note: your application can monitor success/failure of the command line call using the functionality described in the "Job Status Functionality" section of this user manual.


 

Specifying Arguments from the GUI

You can save and apply command line arguments through the GUI. 
The Arguments field shown below gets saved into the "Arguments" (memo) column in the Report_Opt table in Visual CUT.mdb.

 

image


A minor benefit is that you can simplify command lines in batch files by using the minimal command line and storing all the arguments in the database.

 

A major benefit is that you can take advantage of these arguments even during interactive use. For example:

·         Use Skip_Recent to avoid duplicate emails during interactive processing

·         Use any of the PDF, XLS, Word, … options such as password-protecting files during interactive processing

·         Request printing (e.g., "Printer_Burst:Default") while also Exporting and Emailing

·         Etc.

 

Notes:

1.      A double-click on the Arguments field opens the text in a multi-line editing mode. This makes it easier to view and change the arguments.  When clicking OK, the content gets saved to the field as a single line.

2.      Command line processing honors these saved arguments but can override them.

3.      Users of prior versions who wish to take advantage of this new feature should add an Arguments column (Memo data type) to the Report_Opt table in Visual CUT.mdb


 

Referring to Saved Encrypted Passwords

This section describes how to centralize and protect passwords by avoiding specifying them directly inside command line argument. Instead, you can name, encrypt and store the passwords inside DataLink_Viewer.ini. Besides protecting your passwords, this also allows you to change the passwords in one location, instead of in multiple command line arguments.

Visual CUT already encrypts passwords for connecting reports to data sources, sending emails, exporting to ODBC, and capturing incoming emails. But plain password might be used in the following command line argument: After_Success_SQL, Email_Password,  FTP_Upload, SFTP_Upload, Password, PDF_Protect, PDF_Merge, Word_Protect, XLS_Protect, XLS_Protect_Sheets, XLS_Modify_Protect, ZIP_Files.  In addition, Email_To, Email_CC, and Email_BCC can contain passwords when using the option to get email addresses via an ODBC call.

 

To protect and centralize password in the later scenarios, go to the Process tab in the Options dialog and click on the 'Encrypt & Save Password' button.  This provides the following dialog:

image


In the case above, I named the password for my FTP_Upload as "FTP". The ini file entry is always named as "Encrypted_Password_" followed by the password name you specify.   So in my case, the full name is Encrypted_Password_FTP.  From that point on, I can refer to that password inside my command line arguments as Encrypted_Password_FTP and Visual CUT would make the appropriate substitution.  For example:
"SFTP_Upload:22>>{@server}>>PW>>ido>>Encrypted_Password_FTP>>>>>>c:\temp\*.html>>>>10"

If you need to change a previously saved password, use the drop-down to select the previously saved password name and enter a new password.


 

Other Options and Features

Using Saved Data

When you open an rpt with saved data in Visual CUT, you are asked if you wish to use the saved data or refresh. In some cases, you may wish to avoid retrieving the data from the database. For example, the rpt may be exported to a Crystal Report format (an rpt with saved data) and you wish to process that data as-is. 

 

Global Option to Use Saved Data In Command Line Processing

To set that default globally, turn on the checkbox shown in the Options dialog below:
image

 

Command Line Argument for Saved Data Action

To override the global option when processing a specific report, use a command line argument:
… "Use_Saved_Data:True"    or  …"Use_Saved_Data:False"

Use_Saved_Data_Recent Command Line Argument

… "Use_Saved_Data_Recent:60" tells Visual CUT to use saved data only if it is not older than 60 minutes. Otherwise, fresh data is retrieved.
A typical use scenario is to export a report over itself (refreshing the saved data inside the report) as well as exporting and/or emailing a requested format (Visual CUT can export to multiple semi-colon separated files). Future requests for the same output avoid repeated data retrievals if the saved data is fresh enough.
Note: if the source rpt/rpz file is included in the semi-colon separated list of export files, and the process uses saved data (due to this command line argument), then the export of the source rpt/rpt file over itself is skipped if it's not the first file in the list.

Delegating Exporting/Bursting to DataLink Viewer 2011

Visual CUT 11 can delegate exporting/bursting operations to DataLink Viewer 2011 in order to support Crystal 2008/2011/2013 features:
1. Calculated CrossTab members
2. Dissociate Formatting Page Size and Printer Paper Size
3. Auto-Arrange option for chart layouts
4. The group expert options of 'New Page After N Visible Groups'
5. Mixed portrait & landscape sections
6. Embedded Flash objects.


The argument to request this is "Proxy:DLV".  If you wish to use saved data in the source report, specify dlv in lower case, like this: "Proxy:dlv".

All the parameters and login info used for running the report in Visual CUT are automatically applied to the DataLink Viewer 2011 process as well. During bursting, the DataLink Viewer 2011 process communicates back to the Visual CUT progress window. For example:

image

 

Note: to export to rptr file format, use 'Crystal Report' as export format and set the export file extension to '.rptr'.


 

Proxy Processing Using a Data Snapshot

If you wish to save the report -- as currently previewed in Visual CUT -- to a snapshot for proxy processing, use "Proxy:dlv_snapshot". This allows you to retrieve the data only once and ensure the data processed by DataLink Viewer is as fresh as the data seen by Visual CUT. Note that such snapshot processing doesn't support features from later Crystal versions because the snapshot report is a version XI R2 report.
 

Another way to retrieve the data only once is to include in your batch file:
Step 1: a call to DataLink Viewer to export the report to rpt (or rpz) so the data is fresh
Step 2: a call to Visual CUT to process the report with "Use_Saved_Data:True" and a proxy call with lower-case argument ("Proxy:dlv"), so that both Visual CUT and the proxy processing by DataLink Viewer use the same saved data that was refreshed in step 1. This is a bit more involved but supports features from later versions of Crystal.

Triggering a Batch File with Dynamic Content Before/After Export

Imagine that you need to export some reports and then trigger some command line processing such as packaging the files into a .RAR archive before uploading the archive to an FTP server. 

The After_Export_Batch command line argument allows you to insert batch file operations after each successful whole report export.  Note: After_Burst_Batch does the same after each group export step).  Visual CUT then waits for the batch file to complete processing before continuing with any other Visual CUT processing such as emailing or uploading to FTP.

The Before_Export_Batch command line argument does the same before Visual CUT exports the report. A typical use is to archive previously exported files.

The key feature is that you can embed field/formula names within the batch file just as you can within the Visual CUT 3rd tab options.  Visual CUT substitutes the appropriate values for these field/formula names before launching the batch file processing.  A typical use for this is to make sure dynamic export file names are used within the batch file.   

For example, using the following command line (all in one line):
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\test.rpt" "After_Export_Batch:C:\test.cmd>>Show>>Wait" "FTP_Upload:Passive_1>>ftp://server1.RSB.com>>user1>>Pass1>>
c:\test{[yy]}{[MM]}{[dd]}.rar>>MyFolder"
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

would cause Visual CUT, after exporting test.rpt, to:

1.      Look into the c:\test.cmd batch file to locate and temporarily replace Crystal fields/formula references with their dynamic values.
For example, the following batch file:

"C:\Program Files\WinRAR\rar.exe" a "c:\test{[yy]}{[MM]}{[dd]}.rar" "c:\temp\*{[yy]}{[MM]}{[dd]}.txt"

Would be executed as if it was

"C:\Program Files\WinRAR\rar.exe" a "c:\test101014.rar" "c:\temp\*101014.txt"

 

2.      Execute the batch file with its dynamically replaced content. 

Note that in the example above 2 optional arguments are specified: (>>Show>>Wait).
You can hide the batch file window by setting the 1st optional argument to Hide instead of Show.  You can tell Visual CUT to not wait for the batch file to finish by setting the
2nd optional argument to NoWait instead of Wait.

3.      Visual CUT would then continue by executing the FTP upload the resulting RAR file.

 

Note: for scheduled processing under Windows 2008 you may need to set the batch file properties to: ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’ Windows XP (Service Pack 3).
Use the option (a button in the Properties dialog) to set the compatibility for all users.

Triggering Reports Based on Database, File, and Email Events

The After_Export_Batch argument allows one report to monitor a database, file, or email (Crystal can use the file system or Exchange folders as data source), and locate new entries based on record selection logic or based on Visual CUT Skip_Recent (or process log) logic. Then, if a new and valid Database/File/Email event is detected, export to a dummy file and trigger a second report, passing to it (via a batch file) parameters from the first report.

Printing

Bursting to Printer

You may want to burst a report directly to a printer.  For example, you may want each group to become a separate print job so it gets stapled.

There are 3 options for achieving this.

Method 1

Use Printer_Burst or Printer_Burst_Only command line arguments. For detail, see:
Using Command Line Arguments to Specify Printer Bursting Destination

 

Method 2

Burst to PDF files and use PDF_Print command line arguments to print them. For detail, see:
Printing PDF Files

 

Method 3

Export to Printer (Default) or Printer (Specified) as the export format.
This allows print bursting to be initiated/stopped interactively.  If the Rename_Printer_Jobs option in the DataLink_Viewer.ini file is set to True, the printer queue shows the group value for each burst cycle print job.

When using Printer (Specified) as the export format, the export file name option controls the name of the printer.  Since this option can be dynamic (contain field/formula reference), this means that each group can be printed to a different printer.


Users who don’t see these export format options in the drop-down should add two new rows to the Export_Opt table in the Visual CUT.mdb Access database:

Export Constant

Export Name

Printer_Default

Printer (Default)

Printer_Specified

Printer (Specified)

 

 


 

Interweaving Burst Printouts From Multiple Reports

Imagine that you need to burst a report such that each group results in a check printed on special paper using Landscape orientation followed by supporting documentation using Portrait orientation on another type of paper.  Or perhaps you need to burst 3 different reports (sales, commissions, and product returns) to sales representatives and you want the output to be sorted by report output within Sales Rep (rather than by Sales Rep within report output).

The After_Burst_Batch command line argument allows you to insert batch file operations after each successful export burst step (and waiting for that batch file to complete processing).

You can embed within the command lines inside the batch file field/formula names just as you can within the Visual CUT 3rd tab options.  Visual CUT substitutes the appropriate values (those associated with the current processing cycle) for these field/formula names before launching the batch file processing.  This allows synchronized interweaving of group bursting printouts from multiple reports without the limitations of subreports (subreports don’t support different paper trays, different paper orientations, and nested subreports)

For example, using the following scheduling string (or batch file):
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Printer_Burst_Only:\\PS\Laser1"   
 "After_Burst_Batch:C:\VC_Prod_Type.bat>>Show>>Wait"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

would cause Visual CUT to:

1.      Start processing the Visual CUT.rpt and burst the first group value ("Competition")

2.      Before bursting the next group value ("Mountain"), Visual CUT looks into the  VC_Prod_Type.bat file to see if recognized fields/formula names should be temporarily replaced with dynamic values. 
Parm1:{Product_Type.Product Type Name} is then replaced with Parm1:Competition

image

3.      The dynamic/temporary copy of the batch file is then triggered for processing, causing a secondary instance of Visual CUT to process the After-Bursting request.

4.      Visual CUT then resumes the cycle with the next group value ("Mountain")


NOTE: in cases where paper tray choices within the reports don't seem to be honored during the processing, I recommend you add the same Printer to your Windows setup a 2nd time with a different name and a different paper tray as the default.  Then set each report to use the printer "clone" that has the desired tray as the default.

Note that in the example above 2 optional arguments are specified: (>>Show>>Wait).
You can hide the batch file window by setting the 1st optional argument to Hide instead of Show.  You can tell Visual CUT to not wait for the batch file to finish by setting the
2nd optional argument to NoWait instead of Wait.

 

 

Printer Job Name Functionality

When printing reports, Visual CUT names the print job according to the export file name option (even when only printing, and no exporting, takes place).  Since the export file name can be a mixture of static text and field/formula values, this allows you to have a very fine control over the printer job names showing up in the printer job queue.  For example, during print bursting, you can have each group printed under a different job name, allowing you to abort printouts for certain groups. 

In cases where you don't have permissions to rename jobs in the printer queue, you should disable this functionality by setting the following option in the DataLink Viewer.ini to False:
[Options]
Rename_Printer_Jobs=FALSE


 

ZIP and Password Protect Files

You can instruct Visual CUT to ZIP and, if you provide a password, password protect any number of files. This can be particularly useful when emailing files that need to be protected or combined into a single attachment. The zip processing occurs before emailing processing.
The command line argument structure is as follows:

"ZIP_Files:File_List>Password>Zip_File"

Or, if you wish to use stronger encryption:
"ZIP_Files:File_List>Password>Zip_File>AES"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

 

1.      File_List: comma separated list of the files you wish to zip.
If all files share the same folder, you can specify the full path just for the first file.
If a file is not found, a warning is written to Failure.log and that file is skipped.
Note: you can specify file names using wild cards

 

2.      Password: leave this option blank if you don't need to password protect the zip file.  When avoiding password protection, the command line look like this:
"ZIP_Files:File_List>>Zip_File"

 

3.      Zip_File: The path and name of the target zip file.  If the specified path doesn't exist, Visual CUT would create it on the fly.

 

4.      [optional] encryption method. Specify AES if you wish to use the stronger AES-128 Deflate encryption instead of Zip 2.0 encryption (AKA "password-protected" zip)
 

Important Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line arguments. 
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line. Among other things, this allows you to easily zip and protect file exports with different passwords for each group you are bursting.  For example (all in one line):

"ZIP_Files:c:\temp\{@Product} Sales.pdf,{@Product} Returns.pdf>
             {@Password}>c:\temp\{@Product} Reports.zip>AES"

 


 

Load ini Values into Parameters

By naming parameters in a certain way, you can ask Visual CUT to automatically load their values from ini file entries. 


One possible use may be for reports where some parameters change only once per quarter. Another case could be a situation where you develop and sell reports (probably .rpt files converted to .rpz files) to clients in a vertical market. These reports are designed to work against a known database structure, but each client may need to customize the reports with text elements, conditional formatting, or record selection criteria without changing the report design. Or perhaps you wish to restrict use of your reports to only paying customers by providing a license code that must match (using secret logic) the company name in the customer’s database.

 

Instructions:

 

First, add to the [Options] section in DataLink_Viewer.ini (in the application folder) an entry with a key name (Company) and value (Millet Software) of your choice.  For example:
[Options]  … Company=Millet Software

Then, add a String Single-Value parameter named "DLV_INI_Option_KeyName" to the report. Visual CUT automatically sets the value of such parameters to the value found for the Key Name under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. So, in the case above,
the parameter value of DLV_INI_Option_Company would be set to "Millet Software".

Notes:

·         The  user never gets prompted for the value of such parameters.

 

Securing Reports against Unauthorized Use

If you wish to secure your reports against unauthorized use, you can provide authorized users a  License Key string for the ini entry. Within the report (later distributed to clients as an .rpz file) you design a record selection criterion that returns true only if the license key matches a condition, such as  the company name in the database.  As a simple example, you could check the number of characters in the license key is equal to the length of the actual company name (in the database) plus the number of R’s in that company’s name.

 


 

FTP/SFTP

Exporting to an FTP Server (old approach)

One option for exporting to an ftp server is to map the target FTP folder into a "drive" letter on the machine where Visual CUT is running.  From that point on, Visual CUT can simply export to that drive as if it’s exporting to a local drive. 

 

In cases where due to security or operating system restriction the mapping can’t be done using Windows, you can use specialized utilities that take care of this mapping.

 

One such utility is free:  FTPDrivehttp://www.killprog.com/fdrve.html

 

Another is WebDrive ($69.95): http://www.southrivertech.com/products/webdrive/index.html

 

Note: if you are exporting a PDF file to an FTP drive, and you don’t need the extra PDF file properties and bookmark functionality provided by Visual CUT, consider turning that option off (in the Options dialog within Visual CUT).  This functionality requires Visual CUT to reach out and handle the exported PDF file.  In the case where that file sits on an FTP drive, this can slow down processing.  Alternatively, you can use 2 command lines in the batch file: the first to export to the local hard drive, and the 2nd line that simply copies the resulting file to the FTP destination.


 

Uploading to an FTP Server (new approach)

You can instruct Visual CUT to FTP files to a web server. This can be particularly useful when you wish to export reports but email only a link to the exported file (avoiding the need to attach the export file).

The FTP Upload process occurs before emailing but after exporting and post-export processing.  This allows you, for example, to merge pdf files, add bookmarks, table of content, and page numbers, and then upload the final pdf file so users can access it via the web.

The command line argument structure is as follows:
…"FTP_Upload:Mode>>Server>>User>>Password>>file(s)>>directory"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

 

1.      FTP Connection Mode.  Possible Values are:

a.       Passive_1

b.      Active_1

c.       AUTH_SSL/TLS_1
Visual CUT will detect server options and automatically selects SSL 3.0 or TLS 1.0 known as "AUTH SSL" or "AUTH TLS" 

d.      FTPS_1  (known as "Implicit SSL")

2.      FTP Server: the Name or IP address of the FTP host

3.      User _ID for authenticating to the ftp server

4.      Password for authenticating to the ftp server (can reference Encrypted Password Name)

 

5.      File_List: comma separated list of the files (path & name) you wish to upload. You can specify file names using wild cards, and Visual CUT will upload all matching files. 

 

6.      Target directory:  The destination folder for the uploaded file(s). 
For example :  Sales/{@Year}/{@Product}
If some target folder levels don't exist they are created by Visual CUT.

 

7.      Maximum_Age_In_Minutes (optional). If specified, older files are skipped. Useful when specifying files via wild card expressions and targeting newly created files.


As always, you can use report field/formula names within the command line argument.
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.
For example:
…"FTP_Upload:Passive_1>>74.220.207.67>>user>>pass>>{@Export_File}>>/public_html/Download"

or

…"FTP_Upload:Passive_1>>74.220.207.67>>user>>pass>>{@Export_File}>>/public_html/Download>>10"


 

Uploading to an SFTP Server

You can instruct Visual CUT to upload files via the SFTP protocol using SFTP_Upload command line argument. SFTP and FTP are two completely different protocols
Don’t confuse FTP_Upload (described in the prior page) with SFTP_Upload.

The SFTP_Upload process occurs before emailing but after exporting and post-export processing.  This allows you, for example, to merge pdf files, add bookmarks, table of content, and page numbers, and then upload the final pdf file so users can access it via the web.

The command line argument structure is as follows:
…"SFTP_Upload:Arguments"

The arguments (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

 

1.      FTP Port.  Typically 22

2.      FTP Server: the Name or IP address of the SFTP host

3.      Authentication Mode: PW (Password), PK (Private Key), PWPK (Both)

4.      User _ID for authenticating to the server

5.      Password for authenticating to server (leave blank if Authentication Mode is PK)

6.      Private Key File e.g., MyPrivateKey.pem (leave blank if Authentication Mode is PW)

7.      Private Key File Password needed only for encrypted Private Key Files. Blank otherwise

8.      File_List: comma separated list of the files (path & name) you wish to upload. You can specify file names using wild cards, and Visual CUT will upload all matching files. 

 

9.      Target directory (can be blank) The destination folder for the uploaded file(s).
Specified as absolute path or as relative to the user’s account home directory.
If this argument is left blank, the file would be placed in the user’s account home directory.
If some target folder levels don’t exist they are created by Visual CUT.

 

10.  Maximum_Age_In_Minutes (can be blank). If specified, older files are skipped. Useful when specifying files via wild card expressions and targeting newly created files.


As always, you can use report field/formula names within the command line argument.
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.
For example:
…"SFTP_Upload:22>>ms.com>>PW>>user1>>pass1>>>>>>{@Export_File}>>public_html/Download>>"
or
"SFTP_Upload:22>>ms.com>>PK>>user1>>>>c:\keys\ido_dsa>>>>{@Export_File}>>public_html/Download>>10"

 


 

Downloading from an FTP Server

The FTP Download process occurs before emailing but immediately after exporting.
The command line argument structure is as follows:
…"FTP_Download:Mode>>Server>>User>>Password>>file(s)>>directory"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

 

1.      FTP Connection Mode.  Possible Values are:

a.       Passive_1

b.      Active_1

c.       AUTH_SSL/TLS_1
Visual CUT will detect server options and automatically selects SSL 3.0 or TLS 1.0 known as "AUTH SSL" or "AUTH TLS" 

d.      FTPS_1  (known as "Implicit SSL")

2.      FTP Server: the Name or IP address of the FTP host

3.      User _ID for authenticating to the ftp server

4.      Password for authenticating to the ftp server (can reference Encrypted Password Name)

 

5.      File_List: semi-colon (;) separated list of the files (path & name) you wish to upload. You can specify file names using wild cards (*), and Visual CUT will download all matching files. 

 

6.      Target directory The local destination folder for the downloaded file(s). 
For example :  c:\temp\
If some target folder levels don't exist they are created by Visual CUT.

 

As always, you can use report field/formula names within the command line argument.
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.
For example:

This downloads 2 specific files (if source folder remains the same, can specify it only once):

"FTP_Download:Passive_1>>www.MilletSoftware.com>>milletso>>Encrypted_Password_SFTP>>/public_html/Download/Sales/{@Year_Parameter}/Sales for Hybrid in 2004.pdf;Sales for Locks in 2004.pdf>>c:\temp\FTP_Download"


This uses wild card (*) expression to download multiple files:
"FTP_Download:Passive_1>>www.MilletSoftware.com>>milletso>>Encrypted_Password_SFTP>>/public_html/Download/Sales/{@Year_Parameter}/*.pdf>>c:\temp\FTP_Download"

Extract Files Stored in Database

Databases can store images, documents, and media in binary column data types. You may need to extract such files to the file system for further processing (merging, emailing, etc.). Visual CUT can automate this using the SQL_Extract_Files command line argument:

"SQL_Extract_Files:DSN>>User ID>>Password>>Column>>Folder>>
File Name>>Extention>>SQL Statement>>Unzip?"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

1.      DSN: The ODBC DSN pointing to the database. Doesn’t have to match DSN used in report.

2.      User ID: Leave blank if no user id is needed to connect.

3.      Password: Leave blank if no password is needed. May refer to named encrypted password.

4.      Column: column name (in the SQL result set) storing the file content.

5.      Folder: Path to folder where file is extracted (VC creates missing folders on the fly).
Note: can refer to a column name.

6.      File Name: Name for extracted file. If this includes the path, leave the previous option blank.
Note: can refer to a column name.

7.      File Extension: leave blank if File Name above already contains extension.

Note: can refer to a column name.

8.      SQL Statement: the SQL statement to execute. Typically references Crystal fields/formulas. If statement returns multiple rows, one file is extracted for each row.

9.      Unzip?: If 'True' the binary content is assumed to be zipped, so it gets unzipped.
Note: can refer to a column name.

 

For example, the following command line argument
----------------------------------------------------------------

… SQL_Extract_Files:DSN1>>>>>>St_Picture>>c:\temp\>>St_Name>>.png>>
Select * From Students Where Major=
'{@Major}'>>False"

----------------------------------------------------------------

Would trigger a SQL statement through the DSN1 ODBC DSN, without user id and password, and materialize all Student images stored in the St_Picture column into the c:\temp\ folder as .png files named according to the St_Name column.

The Folder, File Name, File Extension, and Unzip? Parameters may refer to database column names in the result set. This allows a result set with multiple rows to extract each file to a different name (or even to a different folder) and to unzip the content only when needed. Alternatively, they may be static text or references to Crystal fields/formulas.


As always, you can use report field/formula names within the command line argument.
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.
For example, the command line above is referring to the {@Major} formula.

 

File Location Functionality

Visual CUT uses several files to store user preferences, report processing options & information:

1.      Visual CUT.mdb stores report processing options

2.      DataLink_Viewer.ini stores general options and user preferences

3.      ReportList.txt stores information about previously opened reports for use in the 1st tab grid

4.      ReportList.grd stores grid style information (grouping, column visibility, font size, etc.)

5.      Failure.log records processing failure information

6.      Visual_Cut.log records email communications with the SMTP server

 

By default, these files are in the common application data folder.  However, for security or other reasons you may direct Visual CUT to use a different folder location for these main files. To do so, open DataLink_Viewer.ini in the application folder and add a line such as:

[File_Locations]

Main_Files_Folder=c:\Visual CUT\


The specified folder must exist and the user should have full permissions on it.
When Visual CUT starts, if it doesn’t find Visual CUT.mdb, DataLink_Viewer.ini,  ReportList.txt, and ReportList.grd in the specified folder, it will attempt to copy these files from the application folder to the specified folder.


Direct Processing of a Report to Use a Different Settings Folder

To direct command line processing to use a different Main_Files_Folder, you can use a command line argument like this:
… "Main_Files_Folder:some path to a folder"
This is useful in scenarios where a centralized scheduler triggers processing on behalf of multiple users who maintain settings in their own folders.


Write Main Files Folder Location to a Text File

If you develop an application that needs to find out the location of the main files folder, add to an existing command line the following argument:
… "Write_INI_Location:c:\temp\VC_ini_Location.txt"
The location of DataLink_Viewer.ini would be then written to the specified text file, where your application can access it.

 

 


 

Automatic Handling of Write-Protected Application Folders

When a user doesn’t have write permissions to the application folder (typical of Vista and Windows 7 machines), Visual CUT handles that scenario as follows:
 
On load, if the user can't write to the DataLink_Viewer.ini, and the ini file doesn't already have a "Main_Files_Folder" entry in the [File_Locations] section then use DataLink_Viewer.ini if found in one of the following locations:
-  common appdata (ProgramData) folder (common to all users), under "MilletSoftware\VC_11\"
-  local appdata folder (local to the user), under "MilletSoftware\VC_11\"
-  roaming appdata folder (follows the user to other machines), under "MilletSoftware\VC_11\"

Otherwise, this is probably the first time VC was started on that machine so we::

    a) create a common appdata folder (e.g., c:\ProgramData\MilletSoftware\VC_11\

    b) copy the DataLink_Viewer.ini to that folder
    c) set its Main_Files_Folder option to that path
    d) copy all the main files to that folder

    e) provide a message to the user indicating the main files have been redirected

 

Note: The version information dialog shows the paths to the main files. Double-Click that text area to open the folder in File Explorer.


image

Directing the Visual CUT database to Another DBMS

By default, Visual CUT uses Visual CUT.mdb (or Visual CUT.accdb) as its repository for report processing settings. However, if you would like to use a more robust DBMS, particularly if you want multiple users to concurrently update report processing options in the same centralized database, you may redirect Visual CUT to use any OLE DB compliant database.

First, you need to create or import 4 required tables into your database (Report_Opt, Login_Opt, Export_Opt, and Report_Export_Options). You can use Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54255
to move the structure & data of these 4 tables to SQL Server.


Specifying a Connection String

Use the [Options] section in the DataLink_Viewer.ini to specify the connection string

Example 1 - connecting to SQL Server Express using NT Authentication:
Connection_String="Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=Srv1\SQL2;Database=Visual CUT;Trusted_Connection=yes;"

Example 2 - using SQL Server Authentication:
Connection_String="Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=Srv1\SQL2;Database=Visual CUT;Uid=ido;Pwd=shhh;"

Example 3 - protecting password by referring to VC_Password_Encrypted
Connection_String="Provider=SQLNCLI11;Server=Srv1\SQL2;Database=VC;Uid=ido;Pwd=@VC_Password_Encrypted@;"

The ini file should have either a manually created entry named VC_Password_Encrypted, such as this:

VC_Password_Encrypted= F13210C40859455851BD7BE84880241A18BAFEE0E349C8ED
- or -
an entry called Encrypted_Password_VC generated via
Options dialog, Process tab,
Encrypt & Save Password button with a name of VC:

Encrypted_Password_VC=F13210C40859455851BD7BE84880241A18BAFEE0E349C8ED

 

image


 

Updating DataLink_Viewer.ini  via a Delta File

You may want to automate the process of updating some of the DataLink_Viewer.ini settings. You can do that by placing a DataLink_Viewer_Delta.ini file in the application folder.  Any entries found in that file will update DataLink_Viewer.ini when the application is launched. 

Here is an example of a DataLink_Viewer_Delta.ini file:

[Delta_Options]

Delete_After=NEVER

//USE or NEVER or Some Date specified as yyyyMMdd 

// if entry above not found, then default is USE

Update_Master_INI=False

// if entry above not found, then default  is False

Update_Slave_INI=True

// if entry above not found, then default is True

 

[Options]

Attempt_Logon_Without_Password=False
Strip_Table_Qualifiers=True

Saved_Data_Action=Display
Parameter_Values_Remember_Max_Chars=900

Saved_Parameter_Set_Minimum_N=5


[Integrated_Authentication]

Enable_Integrated_Authentication=True

 

The [Delta_Options] section is used only to control the following aspects of the process:

·         The Delete_After option controls when the Delta ini file is deleted:

o   NEVER          - the file will not be deleted

o   USE                - the file is deleted after being used once

o   yyyyMMdd     - the file is deleted after the specified date

·         Update_Master_INI  controls whether the Master ini file is updated.
 

·         Update_Slave_INI  controls whether the User ini file is updated.
  


 

Restricting User Actions

In some scenarios you may wish to restrict what the user is allowed to do with Visual CUT. For example, as an Administrator, you may want to set things up so users can run only some reports and process them only with saved settings.

You can elect to specify some or all of the following restricting options in the [Options] section of a Master_DataLink_Viewer.ini file in the application folder:

 

[Options]

// Disable Preview Buttons

Disable_Print_Button=TRUE

Disable_Export_Button=TRUE

Disable_Select_Button=TRUE

Disable_Search_Button=TRUE

Disable_Refresh_Button=TRUE

 

// Disable Visual CUT Buttons

Disable_Options_Dialog=TRUE

Disable_Browse_Dialog=TRUE

Disable_Version_Info=TRUE

Disable_Check_for_Updates=TRUE

 

// Make Processing Options Read Only

Processing_Options=Read_Only

// Disable the 'Log Email Activity' checkbox and hide the Notepad button to open the log Disable_Email_Log_Activity_GUI=True
// Hide Email Queue (smtpQ) panels in the status bar
Disable_Email_Statusbar_GUI=True

 

// Disable certain Search & Replace categories

Disable_Find_and_Replace_Categories= Email_Addresses||Email_Information

// Disable/Hide the Scheduler GUI
Disable_Scheduler_GUI=True

 


 

Integrated Interactive Authentication

While command line processing relies on encrypted login information stored in
Visual CUT.mdb, some users may also wish to avoid repeated logins during interactive use.


Integrated Authentication ("Remember Me")  

To support interactive integrated authentication, the database login information is stored, highly encrypted, inside DataLink_Viewer.ini as shown below:

image

 

To ensure full security, this encrypted format includes an internal identification of which Windows User & PC this login information belongs to.  Visual CUT uses this encrypted database login information only after checking that the same Windows user is running from the same PC.  In other words, users cannot break the login security by attempting to copy and paste the encrypted information to their own ini file entry).

 

For example, in the example shown above integrated authentication has been enabled. This can be done via a checkbox in the Option dialog (Process Tab). The user (ixm7) then logged in to a secure database by providing a database user id & password. The user turned on the "Rememebr Me" option (visible only when integrated authentication is enabled):

image

 

The information was then saved for the ixm7 user, running on the SOBPC02 PC  as shown in the ini file above.  From that point on, the same user (ixm7), once logged to the same PC (SOBPC02), doesn't need to manually login to the same data source.

The same user can turn on the "Remember Me" option for unlimited number of secure data sources and the information for all of them would be maintained inside the encrypted entry. The Options dialog allows each user to delete their own integrated authentication information by clicking a button.

Shared Machine Authentication

This section describes how one user can elect to share their integrated authentication information with any other user who successfully logged in to the same machine.

Step 1: First, add the entry in bold to the DataLink_Viewer.ini file:
-------------------------------------------------
[Integrated_Authentication]
Enable_Integrated_Authentication=TRUE
ixm7@SOBPC02=18CB9CAE3D8BF3484000123301DD155638EAD4AD6B4D622C04DF125B7404BCBC4717A5DA2FBCD94314A7CE63BBF7357E
Enable_Shared_Machine_Authentication=TRUE
-------------------------------------------------

Step 2: Then, as the "key" user who will share integrated authentication, run a report and get to a login dialog. Note: if you already have integrated authentication for yourself, use Forced Login. 
Alternatively, discard your integrated authentication (using the Trash Can button in the Options dialog). Make sure you turn on the Remember Me option in the login dialog, just like setting up integrated authentication for yourself.

Step 3: Because of the Enable_Shared_Machine_Authentication=TRUE
you would get a dialog asking you if you wish to share your integrated authentication functionality with other users who logged in to the same machine. This ensures a user can’t be tricked into sharing integrated information without their knowledge and expressed consent.
Click YES. If you then open the DataLink_Viewer.ini file you would notice this process generated a new entry (in bold):
-------------------------------------------------
[Integrated_Authentication]
Enable_Integrated_Authentication=TRUE
ixm7@SOBPC02=18CB9CAE3D8BF3484000123301DD155638EAD4AD6B4D622C04DF125B7404BCBC4717A5DA2FBCD94314A7CE63BBF7357E
Enable_Shared_Machine_Authentication=TRUE
Shared_Machine_Authentication=C8B6CD373D5D5ADDC6FE9F379521C7318FA297CB595B992C
-------------------------------------------------
That entry, in my particular case, points to the ixm7@SOBPC02 integrated authentication entry.

Notes:
1. There can be only one shared machine authentication entry.  If you need to change to another administrator, delete the Shared_Machine_Authentication line and let the new administrator go through the Remember Me and dialog step.

2. If the administrator adds data sources and login information to their integrated authentication information, all the machine users would have access to the new data sources. This is because the entry is really a "pointer" to whatever that administrator has accumulated in their entry.

3. If you interactively switch between DSNs and you want Integrated Authentication functionality, set Enable_Integrated_Authentication_For_DSN_Changes to True
This is a rare scenario so, for more detail, contact Millet Software.

Auto-Refreshing Web Dashboards

You can use Visual CUT to easily implement auto-refreshing dashboards on a web server.  This allows users with only a web browser to monitor relevant information.

Web Dashboard Expert

When exporting to HTML 40, the options button  image  launches a window allowing you to set various options for post-processing the HTML file. These options include: a) adding an auto-refresh behavior, b) Setting hyperlinks to launch to new tabs, c) Specifying tab titles and icons, d) Removing GUIDs from referenced.png image files, and e) SFTP Uploading HTML and Other files to the web server.
The window generates command line arguments that you can copy to the ‘Arguments’ area in the Export/Email tab. These options are then be applied during interactive/scheduled processing.
A web dashboard using that approach is available at:
http://academicweb.psu-erie.bd.psu.edu/laboccupancy/Labuse.html

image


 

IFrame Approach

Alternatively, Visual CUT can export a report to HTML "display" page every N seconds. A "dashboard" web page, visited by the users web browser:
a) reloads itself every N seconds using an HTML tag such as:
            <META http-equiv=refresh content=30>
b) loads the html "display" page into an IFrame areas (think about an IFRame as a picture frame
    for displaying another HTML page).

Using IFrames allows the hosting page to display multiple reports and use various GUI elements (Menus, Tabs, Accordions, and Data Tables). A sample web dashboard using that approach is available at: http://www.milletsoftware.com/dash/dash_demo_tabs.html
user id & password: demo
 

Visual CUT keeps refreshing the HTML display page by exporting to it every N seconds, and the dashboard page keeps refreshing itself and reloading the HTML display page.  Hence, the user experiences an auto-refreshing dashboard by simply having that page open in a browser.

 

Here is what the dashboard HTML page may look like:


<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Backlog Dashboard</TITLE> <META http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"> <META http-equiv=refresh content=30> <META content="MSHTML 6.00.2900.3314" name=GENERATOR></HEAD> <BODY> <P><IFRAME border=0 name=I1  src="E:\Dashboards\Dashboard_1.html"  frameBorder=0 width=1048 height=20000> </body> </html></IFRAME></P></BODY></HTML>

Preventing File Locking

In order to prevent any chance of file locking, Visual CUT can export the reports to one folder and then copy (or FTP) the resulting HTML file to the web folder. Here is an example of a simple batch file that executes the Visual CUT export and then copies the resulting HTML page:

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe" -E "c:\Reports\Dash1.rpt"

Copy c:\temp\Dashboard_1.html E:\Dashboards\Dashboard_1.html

 

Case Study

Phillip Scheel, a data analyst at CPS Energy, was kind enough to provide a pdf file describing the approach and several dashboards he has developed.


 

Hyperlinks

To allow users to click and open other web pages or any other document type you can assign to any report object within Crystal a hyperlink expression.

 

A typical approach is to have Visual CUT export a dashboard report, say a summary report of Sales By Product Type,  to one HTML page as the main web dashboard. The batch file triggering the process can have another command line to trigger bursting of another report, creating one HTML page showing Sales by Product within each Product Type:
Detail_ for_{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.html
You would then set the hyperlink expression for the Product Type field in the main dashboard report to dynamically point to its related detailed HTML page. The user can then click on each Product Type field in the main dashboard to drill-down into the detailed information in the bursted HTML pages. In a similar manner, drill-downs to related PDF or Excel files can be provided. 

Note: use the Web Dashboard Expert to change hyperlink properties so that they open related web pages in a separate Window rather than replacing the content in the dashboard frame.

Tooltips

To provide users with related information when hovering over elements in the web dashboard, simply specify a dynamic tooltip expression for these objects in Crystal.
By inserting a line break character in these expressions, as in:
{@Cust} +  Chr(10) + {@Cust_Info}
you can present that content as multiple lines
note: Firefox seems to be the only browser that doesn’t honor such line breaks. 

 

Generating HTML via Email Message Body

Instead of relying on Crystal’s HTML export, you may take advantage of the email message HTML editor and Visual CUT’s ability to embed dynamic values from report fields/formulas in the message body (see video demo).

You can instruct Visual CUT to save the email message body to an HTML file using the Email_Message_Save command line argument. You can also skip the actual emailing by specifying "VC_Skip_Email" in the Email_To option.

 

This technique provides you with full control over the HTML being generated. As shown in the video demo above, it allows tables in your web dashboard to adjust to the browser screen size. It also allows you to directly add CSS and JavaScript to the generated HTML page.


 

Cleaning png File References

When the exported report contains images, Crystal generates uniquely named (using GUIDs) png files, which are referenced from within the HTML file. In many cases, you may wish to "clean" these file references by removing the GUIDs from the file references and renaming the png files. Visual CUT provides two command line arguments to achieve this: TXT_DeGUID_png and TXT_Replace_Tokens. See the following user manual sections for more detail:

·         Removing GUIDs from png Files Referenced in HTML Exports

·        Replacing Content in Text/HTML Files – Token Approach


Restricting Access to Web Dashboards

If you wish to restrict access to your web dashboards, a simple and secure method is described here: http://www.javascriptkit.com/howto/htaccess3.shtml

 


 

PDF Functionality

Creating Bookmarks (Group Tree) in Exported PDF Files [Old Approach]

Visual CUT can create a "Group Tree" of bookmark inside exported pdf document.

It allows users to easily navigate through large PDF files. 

You specify the Bookmark label & page by inserting a string formula in each Group Header that contributes a level to the "Group Tree."  The formula/section can be suppressed.

 

Naming the Bookmark Formulas:

For Group Header Level 1, the name of the formula must be VC_pdf_bookmark1 , …
For Group Header Level 5, the name of the formula must be VC_pdf_bookmark5  
Note: you can add other formulas at the same level (in the same section or split section) by adding a digit between 1 and 9.  For example, if you used VC_pdf_bookmark2 for GH2a you can use VC_pdf_bookmark21 in GH2b and VC_pdf_bookmark22 in GH2c.

Structuring the Formulas:

The formulas must return a string structured as the Bookmark Label, followed by "::" and ending with the Page Number where the formula was evaluated.

 

The sample report (Visual CUT.rpt) demonstrates this functionality:

¨    On Group Header 1 the VC_pdf_bookmark1 formula is defined as:

IF InRepeatedGroupHeader THEN ""
        ELSE {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"")

¨    On Group Header 2 the VC_pdf_bookmark2 formula is defined as:
IF InRepeatedGroupHeader THEN ""
  ELSE GroupName ({Product.Product Name}) + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"")

 

After a PDF export, the resulting file has a 2-level hierarchy of Bookmarks and
clicking on any bookmark takes you to the page associated with that bookmark:

image

 

 

Controlling PDF Bookmark Colors (& Text)

If you include (anywhere) in the Bookmark Label the color constants of crRed, crBlue or crGreen (note: case sensitive) Visual CUT would set the color of the bookmark text accordingly (and remove the color constant text from the label). 
This functionality is useful for indicating item performance or status visually (e.g., red color indicating poor performance).  Note: remember that since you control (via a formula) the bookmark text, you can also add various label indicators such as [+], [~], [!], or [-].     

 

The level 2 bookmark formula (VC_pdf_bookmark2) in the sample report demonstrates this approach as follows:

WhilePrintingRecords;

IF InRepeatedGroupHeader THEN ""

ELSE

(

IF Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}) > 5.0 THEN
"[!]crRed " + GroupName ({Product.Product Name}) + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"")

ELSE IF Average ({@Days_To_Ship}, {Product.Product Name}) < 3.0 THEN
"[+]crGreen " + GroupName ({Product.Product Name}) + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"")

ELSE
"[~]crBlue " + GroupName ({Product.Product Name}) + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"")

);


Controlling How Many Bookmark Levels Are Initially Expanded

By default, the resulting PDF file will show only 1 (the top) level of bookmarks expanded, so that level-2 bookmarks (if there are any) are visible. Obviously, users can expand/collapse the bookmarks by clicking on the + or – nodes within the Adobe Acrobat reader.  However, you may wish to present the users with a pdf where only the top-level bookmarks are initially visible or where more levels are initially expanded.
 
To change the default number of expanded levels for all processed reports, change the value of the PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels option in the DataLink_Viewer.ini

For example:
[Options]

PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels=0

 

To override the default number of expanded levels when processing a specific report, use the PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels command line argument as follows:


"PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels:N"

Where N is the number of levels to be initially expanded. 

For example, to have only the top bookmarks visible, use:
"PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels:0"



Guarding Against Null Bookmark Values

If the field(s) used to control the bookmark label is Null, the whole formula would result in a Null value and bookmark processing would be compromised.  If this is a possibility given your data you should guard against it using a formula like this:

WhilePrintingRecords;

IF InRepeatedGroupHeader THEN

""

ELSE

IF IsNull({Product_Type.Product Type Name}) THEN

" " + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"")

ELSE

{Product_Type.Product Type Name} + "::" + Cstr(PageNumber,0,"");




Generating PDF Bookmarks from within Subreports

As an alternative to generating bookmark information from Group Header sections in a main report (as described above), Visual CUT allows you to specify bookmarks for a given PDF file by providing a text file (PDF_Bookmarks.txt) containing the bookmark information.  This file must be located in the Visual CUT  application folder and must be structured as follows:

1.      The 1st line must match the RPT file name of the report being processed

2.      The following lines provide 4 data elements separated by a "::" delimiter:

1.      Bookmark Level

2.      Bookmark Label

3.      Page Number

4.      Group Level 1 Value (used only in bursting operations)


 image

 

Using "CUT Light" (a User Function Library described on my web site) or any other UFL that adds the ability to append text to text files from within Crystal formulas, you can generate this text file automatically by embedding formulas in any report or subreport sections. 

 

Note that this provides functionality that goes beyond the Group Tree limitations of Crystal reports.  Crystal can’t generate Group Tree information based on information within subreports.  However, using this technique you can generate Group Tree information as PDF bookmarks based on information from both main as well as subreports! 

 

There are 2 main steps in the process:

  1. Visual CUT runs the report and, because the report has special UFL formulas, the PDF_Bookmarks.txt file gets populated with bookmark information,
  2. Visual CUT export the report to PDF, detects the presence of PDF_Bookmarks.txt and uses it to generate the bookmarks in the exported pdf file.

 

If you are interested in using this functionality, I can e-mail you a sample report (demonstrating the formulas needed to generate the text file information). I can also e-mail you download instructions for evaluating CUT Light (UFL allowing Crystal formulas to create and add data to text files).


Adding Bookmarks Using Crystal Formulas as Tags [New Approach]

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for invisible tags inside the pdf file (Crystal formulas with font color set to background color) and to use their content to generate bookmarks. Compared to the old approach (described in the previous section), this new technique has several advantages:

1.      The bookmarks link to the exact vertical location (on the linked page) where the rendered formula is located.  In the old approach, bookmarks only pointed to at the top of the page.

2.      You can easily generate bookmarks from within subreport and from any report section (not just Group Headers). For example, you can generate bookmarks from Detail Sections or Group Footers.

3.      You can control the bookmark text color more completely (instead of a few color constants, you can specify any color using RGB (Red/Green/Blue) values.

4.      You can control the expanded/collapsed state of each bookmark node

5.      You can control the style of the bookmark node (Regular, Bold, Italics, Bold&Italic)

6.      No need to worry about PageNumber resets, Keep Together, and WhilePrintingRecords properties that can cause headaches with the old approach. This is because the new approach doesn’t require specifying a page number and doesn’t depend on the evaluation time of the bookmark formulas.

7.      You can avoid the need to use a command line argument by setting PDF_Bookmark_Tags_Default=True
under the [Options] section of  DataLink_Viewer.ini (only applies to files < 100MB)
Visual CUT would then process bookmark tags within an exported PDF file.
 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Bookmark_Tags:c:\temp\Sales in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf"  Or

"PDF_Bookmark_Tags:Source_pdf_file>target_pdf_file"

If only one pdf file is specified (as in top example), the source file becomes also the target file.

The Crystal formulas act as tags for controlling the level, vertical location, text, color, expand/collapse status, and style (regular/bold/italic) of the desired pdf bookmarks. 

 

Setting Up a Crystal Report with pdf formula tags

You can download a sample report demonstrating the technique from:
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Bookmark_Tags.rpt

And the resulting pdf file from:
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Bookmark_Tags.pdf


The sample report uses 3 formulas to generate bookmarks:
{@Bookmark_L1} is placed in the Group Header level 1 to generate Product Type Name bookmarks with bold blue text.  These level 1 nodes are expanded.

{@Bookmark_L2} is placed in the Group Header level 2 to generate Product Name bookmarks with bold text.  These level 1 nodes are collapsed
.

{@Bookmark_L3} is placed inside the subreport in the Group Header level 1 to generate Customer Name. Bookmarks with text colored in different shades of red or green depending on the average time it takes to ship orders of that product to the customer.

 

The generated bookmarks link not only to the page where the formula was rendered, but also to the exact vertical position on that page (minus 20 millimeters to provide some margin).  The bookmarks are created for each rendered instance of the formula. For example, if you place the formula in a Group Header 1 you will generate a bookmark for each Group at level 1.

 

The formula text must be rendered within the formula boundaries in a single line.  Use small font sizes: 2 or even 1 to achieve this.  Then, turn the font color to White (or same color as the background) to make the formula invisible or, keep the PDF_Tags_Delete_Default option in DataLink_Viewer.ini as True and Visual CUT would remove the tag text after processing it. See box below for Sample formula.


Notes:

1.      As always, you can use field or formula names within the command line argument. The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.
For example, {@Bookmark_L3} (inside the subreport) dynamically sets the color of the bookmark based on the performance of records in that node. Similarly, you may dynamically expand the bookmarks for groups with extreme performance measure to focus the manager’s attention on those areas.

2.      Visual CUT can remove pdf processing tags from the pdf file after processing those tags.  This is controlled by an entry called PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. By default, this option is set to True.  To ensure all tags are removed, use the Replace() function in Crystal to change double quotes into single.  For example, the expression for the title in PDF_Bookmark_Tags could be:
Replace({Customer.Customer Name},"""","'")

3.      In Crystal, use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri and Bold/Italic)

Here is the commented {@Bookmark_L2} formula from the sample report at: 
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Bookmark_Tags.rpt

// Make the font size very small (2 or even 1 point) so content fits in a SINGLE line.

// The vertical location of the tag (minus default margin of 20 millimeters) controls the vertical
//     location of bookmark page target.  You can override the margin using an optional argument.

// The formula always starts with "#BM_Tag::" and ends with "#"

"#BM_Tag::" +

"2" +  "||" +  // Bookmark Level. During bursting, levels are shifted up automatically

Replace({Product.Product Name},"""","’") + "||" +  // Bookmark Text (" >> ‘)

"-" + "||" +  //"Expand Status:  + to open the bookmark or - to collapse it. 

"1" + "||" + // Text Style:  0=regular  1=Bold   2=Italic   3=Italic Bold

"0;0;0" +  // Color as RGB:  3 numbers between 0 and 255 separated by ";"
// "||10" + // [Optional] Vertical Margin.  Leave commented or uncomment to
               //    override the default of 20 millimeters.

"#"

Adding a Table of Content to a PDF File

You can generate a Table of Contents (TOC) inside a PDF file based on its Bookmarks. Bookmarks are used during online viewing – a TOC is more useful for a printed document.
The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_TOC:1>40>11>6>5>2>pdf_file_path_and_name"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. Page where the TOC is inserted. 1 is a typical choice. Specify 999999 to insert as last page(s).
Note: you can specify two numbers separated by two vertical bars in cases where you want to offset the page numbers shown in the TOC.  For example, 2||1 would insert the TOC in page 2 (after a title page perhaps) but refer to page #2 as page #1 and apply a similar offset to all other page numbers that are displayed in the TOC.

2. The right (& left) page margin (in millimeters).  40 is a typical choice
3. The font size (in points).  11 or 12 are typical choices.
4. The row spacing (in millimeters).  6 is a typical choice.
5. The indentation (in millimeters) added to each hierarchy level.  5 is a typical choice.
6. The Minimum Bookmark Level below which bookmarks are ignored.  2 is a typical choice.
7. OPTIONAL: The PDF file path & name (for example, c:\temp\other_file.pdf). 
    Leaving this argument blank, would default processing to the file being exported. 
    Providing a file name would direct processing to the specified file (even if it's not the
    exported PDF file. 

Overriding the default "Table of Contents" Header Text
You can control the "Table of Contents" header text by adding/updating the [Text_Change] section in the DataLink_Viewer.ini file. For example:

[Text_Change]

Table of Contents=Table des matières

Table of Contents (cntd)=Table des matières (suite)


If you enter no text after the equal sign, Visual CUT will suppress the header text.
 
A "Table of Contents" (or the equivalent text as per the section above) is set to the 1st page where the Table of Contents was inserted (regardless of the page number specified by you).

 

Visual CUT assigns the top level of the TOC a bold font and a slightly larger row spacing and

assigns level 3 and below a smaller font and a smaller row spacing. 

If the TOC requires more than 1 page, Visual CUT inserts additional pages for the TOC.

The TOC rows (just as Bookmarks) are linked to the specified page so clicking on a TOC row takes you to that page. Regardless of the number and location of the inserted TOC pages, all page links (bookmarks and TOC rows) are adjusted accordingly.


The process takes care of generating a bookmark for the Table of Contents.

Advanced Table of Content Options

You can add page header images and gain fine control of font type, font size, font color, row spacing, bullets, indents, page orientation, and vertical page margins for the Table of Content by specifying these options in a [PDF_TOC] section inside DataLink_Viewer.ini.

For example, the following section starts by specifying vertical page margins for the first and continued Table of Content pages. It then specifies the images (with web hot links) to be inserted at the top of these pages.  The rest of the items control font type, size, color, bullets, spacing, and indentation for each level in the Table of Content hierarchy.  

 

[PDF_TOC]

// the Page_Margin_Top entry is required to enable this functionality

Page_Margin_Top=50

Page_Margin_Top_Continued=30

Page_Margin_Bottom=30
Page_Orientation=Portrait

 

// elements are: Left>Top>Width>Height>web link>image file>border (0=no border, 1=border)
// Left, Top, Width and height are all in millimeters. Left & Top are relative to top corner of the page

Top_Image_1st=0>0>216>40>http://www.MilletSoftware.com>C:\temp\header.jpg>0

Top_Image_Continued=0>0>216>20>http://www.milletsoftware.com/Visual_CUT.htm>C:\temp\VC.jpg>0

 

// True Type font specified as TT||Font Name||point size||Style: Regular/Bold/Italic/BoldItalic||RGB color

Default_Font=TT||Garamond||11||Regular||0;0;0

// Standard font specified as:

// = ST||Font Name: Helvetica/Courier/TimesRoman||point size||Style: Regular/Bold/Italic/BoldItalic||RGB color

 

Header_Font=TT||Garamond||16||Bold||16;78;139

 

Level_1_Font=TT||Garamond||12||Bold||225;0;0

Level_1_Row_Spacing=8

Level_1_Bullet=

Level_1_Bullet_Spaces=

Level_1_Indent=

 

Level_2_Font=TT||Garamond||11||Regular||0;0;0

Level_2_Row_Spacing=6

Level_2_Bullet=149

Level_2_Bullet_Spaces=3

Level_2_Indent=1


You can see a sample pdf generated using these options at:
www.MilletSoftware.com\Download\VC_PDF_Table_of_Contents_Sample.pdf


To override the settings above for a specific report, create a similar section and call it:
[PDF_TOC_YourReport.rpt]

Note: you can use field or formula names within the ini entry values, just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the ini values. For example, this allows a different image to be used for the Table of Contents header depending on data in the report.


Adding Page Numbers to a PDF File

You can instruct Visual CUT to add page numbers to the exported PDF file.  This is useful when also adding a Table of Contents (as described above) since in such a case the page numbers from Crystal would be wrong. The command line argument structure is as follows:
"PDF_PAGE_N:2>10>10>11>Bottom>Center>Page_NofM>pdf_file>TimesBold"
or
"PDF_PAGE_N:2>10>10>11>Bottom>Center>Page_NofM>pdf_file>TT||Garamond||Bold||225;0;0"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. Staring with Page: 2 is used in cases where the 1st title page shouldn’t be numbered.
* specify two numbers separated by || (N||M) to start page numbering on page N with the number M. For example, 2||1 would start numbering on page 2, but with the number 1. 
* specify 3 numbers separated by || (N||M||X) to start page numbering on page N with the number M, but skip the last X pages. For example, 3||2||1 would start numbering on page 3, with the number 2, but skip 1 last page. 

2. Horizontal page margin (in millimeters). Doesn’t apply to Centered layouts. 10 is typical.

3. Vertical page margin (in millimeters). 10 is typical.


4. The font size (in points).  11 or 12 are typical.

5. The vertical position on the page (Top or Bottom).  Bottom is typical.

6. The horizontal position on the page (Left, Center, or Right).  Center is typical.


7. The format (N, Page_N, or Page_NofM). Page_NofM is typical (e.g., Page 3 of 210).


8. OPTIONAL: The PDF file path & name (for example, c:\temp\other_file.pdf). 
    Leaving this argument blank, would default to processing the file being exported. 
    Providing a file name would process the specified file. 

 

9. OPTIONAL: The font type (default is Helvetica). 
    Possible font types:

    Courier, CourierBold, CourierBoldItalic, CourierItalic

    Helvetica, HelveticaBold, HelveticaBoldItalic, HelveticaItalic

    TimesRoman, TimesBold, TimesItalic, TimesBoldItalic 
    * or * any TrueType Font specified as 4 elements separated by || like this::
    TT||FontName||Style||Red;Green;Blue
    TT constant indicating this is a True Type font (target machine should have it installed)
    Font Name such as Garamond
    Style: Regular, Bold, Italic, or BoldItalic
    Color as RGB:  3 numbers between 0 and 255 separated by ";"
        Black=0;0;0  Maroon=225;0;0 etc. (see RGB #s at: http://web.njit.edu/~kevin/rgb.txt.html )
    For example: TT||Garamond||Bold||225;0;0

Adding Web/File/email Hotspot to a PDF File

You can instruct Visual CUT to add a rectangular hotspot to a pdf file that acts as a web browser link to a web URL, email address (mailto), or a file on your local machine.

The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_LinkToWeb:c:\test.pdf>1>99>40>60>50>10>http://www.MilletSoftware.com>>>0"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by 10 ">" and are as follows:

1. pdf file to which the hotspot would be added.

2. Staring with Page

3. Ending with Page: use a very large number if you want to apply the hotspot to all pages and you don’t know how many pages are in the document).

4. Left (in millimeters): The left edge of the hotspot rectangle (relative to top left corner of the page).

5. Top (in millimeters). The top edge of the hotspot rectangle (relative to top left corner of the page).

6. Width (in millimeters). The width of the hotspot rectangle

7. Height (in millimeters). The height of the hotspot rectangle.

8. Link. for example: "http://www.MilletSoftware.com" or "mailto:ido@MilletSoftware.com" or "file:///c:\\temp\\helloworld.bat"


9. Text: the text to add inside the hotspot rectangle (the text font size will be adjusted to automatically fit the text inside the rectangle area. Leave blank (as demonstrated above) if you don’t want to add any text.  Do not include the character ‘>’ inside the text.

10. Text Vertical Alignment: Top, Center, or Bottom. Leave blank (as demonstrated above) if you don’t want to add any text.

11. Border: 1 for visible border, 0 for no border  (default for missing or invalid value is 1)

Notes:

You can have multiple PDF_LinkToWeb command line arguments in a single command line.

 

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument. For example (all in one line):
"PDF_LinkToWeb:{@pdf_file}>1>99>40>60>50>10>{@Link}>{@Text}>Center>1"
 


Adding an Images with an Optional Hotspot to a PDF File

You can instruct Visual CUT to add an image with an optional hotspot (a link to a web page, email, or a local file.  This can be useful when you wish to use a button image as a hotspot indication or when you wish to add a company logo to a range of pages.    

The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_AddImage:c:\test.pdf>1>99>40>60>50>10>http://www.IBM.com>c:\temp\IBM.png>0"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by 10 ">" and are as follows:

1. pdf file to which the hotspot would be added.

2. Staring with Page

3. Ending with Page: use a very large number if you want to apply the hotspot to all pages and you don’t know how many pages are in the document).

4. Left (in millimeters): The left edge of the hotspot rectangle (relative to top left corner of the page).

5. Top (in millimeters). The top edge of the hotspot rectangle (relative to top left corner of the page).

6. Width (in millimeters). The width of the hotspot rectangle (image will be resized to fit)

7. Height (in millimeters). The height of the hotspot rectangle (image will be resized to fit)

8. Link. for example: "http://www.MilletSoftware.com" or "mailto:ido@MilletSoftware.com" or "file:///c:\\temp\\helloworld.bat" or "c:/temp/my_media_file.wmf"  
Leave blank if you don’t want the image to act as a hotspot.


9. Image File: the path and name of the image file.  You can use images of the following types:
                         BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, WMF and EMF.

10. Border: 1 for visible border, 0 for no border  (default for missing or invalid value is 1)

Notes:

You can have multiple PDF_LinkToWeb command line arguments in a single command line.

 

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument. The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument. For example (all in one line):
"PDF_AddImage:{@pdf_file}>1>99>40>60>50>10>{@Link}>{@Logo}>1"

You can use this site to create .png button images with text of your choice:
http://nyphp.org/content/presentations/GDintro/gd26.php        
image


Adding Links/Images to Files/Pages Using Crystal Formulas as Tags

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for invisible tags inside the pdf file (Crystal formulas with font color set to white) and to replace them with links to other files. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Link_Tags:c:\temp\Sales in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf"

Or

"PDF_Link_Tags:Source_pdf_file>target_pdf_file"

If only one pdf file is specified (as in the top example), then the source file becomes also the target file. The Crystal formulas act as tags for controlling the location, size, border, image, and behavior of the desired links. 

 

Setting Up a Crystal Report with pdf field tags

You can download a sample report demonstrating the technique from:
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_9_PDF_Link_Tag.rpt
Sample pdf output is at: www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Link_Test.pdf

 

The sample report uses a {@PDF_Link_Tag_Sample} formula to demonstrate a File link to an image file and a {@PDF_Link_To_Page_N_Plus_1} formula to demonstrate a Page link to another page in the same document. There are no restrictions on the number or names of the formulas you can use. 

 

The location of the link tag formula on the report layout controls the location of the file links it would generate. The links would be created for each rendered instance of the formula. For example, if you place the formula in a Group Footer you will generate a link for each Group.

 

The location (top left corner) of the rendered formula instances controls the location of the hyperlink in the pdf file.  The width and height of the hyperlink hotspot is controlled by the formula text, not by the formula field size.

 

The formula text must be rendered all within the formula boundaries in a single line.  Use very small font sizes: 2 or even 1 to achieve this.  Then, turn the font color to White to make the formula invisible or, if you keep the PDF_Tags_Delete_Default option in DataLink_Viewer.ini as True, Visual CUT removes the tag text after processing it.

 

The following page demonstrates (and comments on) the structure of the required formula text.


Notes:

As always, you can use field or formula names within the command line argument. The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.

The hyperlink hotspot rectangle created by Visual CUT doesn’t provide any text.  You can provide the text within the Crystal report or you can include a directive to fit an image into the hotspot rectangle.  This can provide an intuitive button for the user to click & follow the hyperlink.  You can use the following site to create .png button images with text of your choice:
http://www.lucazappa.com/brilliantMaker/buttonImage.php        image

In Crystal, use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri and Bold/Italic).
Avoid Paragraph spacing option of "Exact".

Visual CUT can remove pdf processing tags from the pdf file after processing those tags.  This is controlled by an entry called PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. By default, this option is set to True. 

 

Formula Example from the Sample Report

Here is the {@PDF_Link_Tag_Sample} formula from the sample report at: 
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_9_PDF_Link_Tag.rpt


// Make the font size very small (2 or even 1 point) so that the whole

   // content displays within the formula boundaries in a SINGLE line.

// The location (top left corner) of the rendered formula instances

   // control the location of the link.

// link to pdf file in same folder: "file name"

// link to non-pdf file in same folder: ".file name"

// link to non-pdf file in 1-level higher folder: "..file name"

 

// The formula always starts with "#Link_Tag::" and ends with "#"

"#Link_Tag::" +

"PDF" +  "||" +  // Link Type: "PDF" for links to a page in another pdf file. 
                                // "Page" for links to a page in same pdf file

                                // "File" for links to other file types.

                                // "MAIL" for mailto.

                                // "HTTP" for web link.  Instead of file, specify URL (e.g. www.abc.com)
                                    // ""  (blank) for other types of links (e.g. Tel:)

{Product.Product Name} + ".pdf" + "||" + // The file/url to link to. Blank if Link Type = "Page"
"" + "||" + // [optional] file to test it exists, and abort otherwise.

"1" + "||" +   // page destination in target file (ignored if not pdf).  Zoom is inherited.
                    // to specify both PageN & Zoom,
                    // use a "
;" separator: "1;100" (page 1, zoom 100%)
                    // -1 zoom value = Fit Page
                    // -2 zoom value = Fit Width

"70;20" + "||" +   // hot spot boundaries in points: width;height

                                // (note: if 4 arguments are provided,

                                // they are treated as: shift_x;shift_y;width;height)                  

"1" + "||" +   // New Window Option. 1: opens target pdf file in a new Window

                                                         // 0: opens target in current window)

"0" + "||" + // Border Option: 1: Show Border.  0: No border

"c:\temp\Click_to_View.png" +  // [optional] path & name of Image File to fit

                                // You can use images of the following types:

                                // BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, WMF and EMF.

"#"

Embedding Files as Attachments inside a PDF File

Note: in most cases, you should skip this page. The following section describes a more powerful technique that not only embeds files, but also provides links to them.

 

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to embed files as internal attachments inside a given pdf file.   The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_Embed:PDF_File<<file1::Mime Type::title||file2::Mime Type::title…"

The parameters (after the ":") begin with

1. PDF_File: The PDF file within which you wish to embed files.

Then, after a "<<" separator, you can specify any number of embedded files separated by "||"
Each embedded file is specified as 3 arguments separated by "::"
 

1. File Path and Name
    Note: If a path is not specified, the path from a previous embedded file is used


2. The MIME Type of the file.  For example, application/pdf or image/jpg, etc.
    see http://www.w3schools.com/media/media_mimeref.asp for a list of MIME types
    If you leave blank, Visual CUT would detect the MIME type based on file extension.

3. The Title to uniquely identify the embedded file.

For example:
"PDF_Embed:c:\temp\test.pdf<<c:\temp\INV.pdf::application/pdf::Invoice||Sig.jpg::image/jpg::Signature"
 

Important Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT).  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


 

Adding Links and Embedded Files Using Crystal Formulas as Tags

A command line argument can instruct Visual CUT to look for tags inside the pdf file (text from Crystal formulas). When a Link_Tag with EMBED directive is found, the file specified in the tag is embedded inside the pdf file and a hotspot area designated with an icon, in the location of the tag, is created to link to that embedded file. Any file can be embedded, and embedded pdf files can have their own embedded files, which supports multi-level drill-down scenarios.  See video demo: www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Embed/Visual_CUT_PDF_Embed.html


This allows you to deliver a PDF with drill-down or added content that the user can bring up by double-clicking a link.  This is like on-demand subreports, except that:
1. the content has been pre-rendered
2. the subreports can contain their own subreports
3. the embedded files can be any file type (pdf, excel, Word, image, audio, video ...) 
4. the container pdf can be password protected and/or digitally signed by Visual CUT

If the embedded file is a pdf file, PDF Xchange Viewer opens it as new tab inside the main pdf. Other viewers, such as Acrobat Reader 9 open the embedded pdf in a new viewer window. 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Link_Tags2:c:\temp\Sales in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf"

Or

"PDF_Link_Tags2:Source_pdf_file>target_pdf_file"
If only one pdf file is specified the source file becomes also the target file.

 

Setting Up a Crystal Report with Link_Tag Formulas

You can download a sample report demonstrating the technique from:
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Link_Tag_File_Embed.rpt

Sample pdf output is at: www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Embedded_Drill_Down_Sample.pdf

 

The sample report uses a {@PDF_Link_Tag_1} formula in Group Header 1 to demonstrate a file embedding link. There are no restrictions on the number or names of the formulas you can use. 

 

The location of the link tag formula on the report layout controls the location of the hotspot and link icon  it create for each rendered instance of the formula. The top left corner of the rendered formula instance controls the location of the hyperlink in the pdf file.  The width and height of the hyperlink hotspot is controlled by the formula text, not by the formula field size.

 

The formula text must be rendered all within the formula boundaries in a single line.  Use very small font sizes: 2 or even 1 to achieve this.  Then, turn the font color to White to make the formula invisible or, if you keep the PDF_Tags_Delete_Default option in DataLink_Viewer.ini as True, Visual CUT removes the tag text after processing it.

 

The following page demonstrates (and comments on) the structure of the required formula text.



As always, you can use field or formula names within the command line argument. The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.

Visual CUT can remove pdf processing tags from the pdf file after processing those tags.  This is controlled by an entry called PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. By default, this option is set to True. 

 

Formula Example from the Sample Report

Here is the {@PDF_Link_Tag_Sample} formula from the sample report at: 
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Link_Tag_File_Embed.rpt

// Make the font size very small (2 or even 1 point) so that the whole

   // content displays within the formula boundaries in a SINGLE line.

// The location (top left corner) of the rendered formula controls the location of the link.

// The formula always starts with "#Link_Tag::" and ends with "#"

"#Link_Tag::" +

"Embed" +  "||" +  // Link Type. Use lower case "embed" to ignore (skip) missing files

"c:\temp\Sales for " + {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + ".pdf" + "||" + // The file to embed

"" + "||" + // MIME Type of the file to embed.  Leave blank for automatic identification

"Double-Click to See" + "||" +             // Hotspot Tooltip Header Line

"Detail for " + {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + "||" + // link description (tooltip 2nd line)

"18;18" + "||" +   // hot spot boundaries in points: width;height
                            // (4 arguments instead of 2 are treated as: shift_x; shift_y; width; height)                   

"0" + "||" +       // Icon Option for the link:
//          0 = Standard Icon (push-pin)

                        //          1 = 28x28 disk image

                        //          2 = No icon

                        //          3 = Graph

                        //          4 = Paperclip

                        //          5 = Tag
//          6
= Solid white rectangle

                        //          You may add 1000 to 1100 for transparency of 0% to 100%
//            the last digit indicates the icon. 10
74 = 70% transparent Paperclip  

"" +                  // [optional] Image File to fit as background e.g. c:\temp\file.png

                                //supported types: BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, WMF and EMF.

"#"




 

The sample PDF:
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Embedded_Drill_Down_Sample.pdf

demonstrates a case of embedded pdf files within embedded pdf files. It was created using a batch file with 3 command lines:
1st line bursts a report to generate the lowest-level pdf files (one file for each Product).

2nd line bursts a report to Product Type PDFs and embed in them the Product PDFs.

3rd line exports the Master PDF and embeds in it the Product Type PDFs.

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\temp\DrillDowns2_By_Product.rpt"

 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\temp\DrillDowns1.rpt"
           "PDF_Link_Tags2:c:\temp\Sales for {Product_Type.Product Type Name}.pdf"

 

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\temp\Master.rpt"
          "PDF_Link_Tags2:c:\Temp\Visual_CUT_PDF_Embedded_Drill_Down_Sample.pdf"

 

Note: the PDF_Compress command line argument can reduce the resulting pdf file size.

 


 

Adding Links to Files by Detecting File References in PDF Text

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for file references in the text of a pdf file and automatically add colored hotspots over these file references that link to the specified files.  Here's an example of the command line argument structure (all in 1 line):

"PDF_Auto_File_Link:c:\In.pdf>>.>>.pdf;.mp3>> (>>0>>)>>255;255;0>>True>>c:\Out.pdf"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by ">>" and are as follows:

1. Source pdf file to process

2. Base Path where the linked files are found. There are several options here:
    a) no base path (leave blank) if the file references in the pdf are specified with full paths
    b) simple base path (e.g., c:\my archive\) to prefix any file reference
    c) relative path: . (for same folder as the pdf file) .. (for parent folder), etc.

3. File Extensions to process (separated by a semi-colon).

4. Start Text indicating start of file reference.  In the example above, file references are assumed to always start after a  (  

5. Number of characters to include in the file reference from the Start Text. In the example above, no text (0 characters) from the Start Text is included. However, there can be many cases where some text should be included. For example, if the Start Text is (c:\ then the number of characters to include should be 3.

6. End Text indicating end of a file reference. In the example above, file references are assumed to always end with a )    (note: can be left blank)

7. Color of Hot Spot in RGB Values (e.g., yellow: 255;255;0).  Note: drawn with 80% transparency, so use strong colors. (see RGB #s at: http://web.njit.edu/~kevin/rgb.txt.html )

8. True/False: Should Visual CUT check for file existence of the file references and generate a failure message listing missing files (note: the output file with the generated links is generated, but the process will report a failure and further actions such as emailing would be aborted).


9. The Output PDF File. If left blank, the source pdf file would be updated.


Notes:

-          Machine must have at least one printer installed

-         Here is an example of yellow hotspots & links generated for file references detected inside a pdf file:
image                                  

Detecting Additional File References Using Wild Card Tokens

The approach above relies on start and end strings. However, there are scenarios where the text to be detected doesn’t have consistent start and end strings.  Instead, the target text may have a predictable structure such as DOC##### where the text always starts with ‘DOC’ and continues with 5 digits (e.g., ‘DOC01207’). 

When a command line already has a PDF_Auto_File_Link argument, you can direct Visual CUT to search for and generate links for additional targets by adding a command line argument such as this:
…"PDF_Auto_File_Link_Tokens:..\Multimedia\MM#####.wmv||..\Documents\DOC#####.pdf"


Alternatively, you can set this as a global option by adding the following entry in DataLink_Viewer.ini (under the [Options] section):

PDF_Auto_File_Link_Tokens=..\Multimedia\MM#####.wmv||..\Documents\DOC#####.pdf

 

Additional target are separated by ‘||’ and include the relative or absolute path to the target files.

The process attempts to locate text targets with the specified file extension as well as without it. In the examples above, the first additional target is any text containing a pattern matching:
a) MM#####.wmv  (for example MM12345.wmv)

Or, 
b) MM##### (for example MM12345)

Note: the only wild cards allowed for this option are:

1.      # : matched any single digit in that position

2.      ? : matches any single character (including digits) in that position




 

Adding Digital Signature to a PDF File

You can instruct Visual CUT to add a digital signature to a PDF file. The command line argument structure is as follows (as always, it must be all in one line):

"PDF_Sign:Input_File>>Output_File>>Open_Password>>Sig_Field
                             
 >>pfx_File>>pfx_Password>>Reason>>Location>>Contact"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by ">>" and are as follows:
1. Input File: path and name of the pdf file to sign
2. Output File: leave blank if you wish to overwrite the original pdf file

3. Open_Password: if the pdf file is not password protected, leave this option blank
4. Signature Field Name: if the field doesn’t already exist, Visual CUT creates it
5. pfx File: path and name of the PKCS#12 certificate/private key file (.pfx file)
6. pfx_Password: password to open the pfx file
7. Reason: optional text indicating reason for signing
8. Location: optional text indicating where the document was signed (e.g., New York)
9. Contact: optional text indicating contact information for the signer

As always, you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.

Encrypting & Protecting a PDF File

You can instruct Visual CUT to protect (using advanced 128-bit AES encryption) the exported (or any other) PDF file.  The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_PROTECT:Owner_Pass>User_Pass>1>1>0>1>1>pdf_file_path_and_name"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. Owner_Password: Keep this password to yourself.  It provides full control over the PDF file.
 

2. User_Password: Give this password to the recipient. The following arguments control
     what the user can do with the PDF file.
     NOTE: If you wish to protect the file but not prompt the user for a Password, leave the
     User_Password option blank.
     For example: "PDF_PROTECT:Owner_Pass>>1>1>0>1>1>"

3. Allow User to Print the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
4. Allow User to Copy Text & Images from the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
5. Allow User to Edit/Change the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 0 is typical.
6. Allow User to Add Notes to the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
7. Allow User to Print in Full Resolution: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
    Setting this to zero would force low-resolution printing, preventing the document from being
    distilled into a new unrestricted PDF document.

8. OPTIONAL: The PDF file path & name (for example, c:\temp\other_file.pdf). 
    Leaving this argument blank, would default to processing the file being exported. 
    Providing a file name would direct processing to the specified file (even if it's not the
    exported PDF file. 
9.   OPTIONAL: Allow user to Fill Form Fields (if blank, assigned same value as #5 above)

10. OPTIONAL: Allow Copy for Accessibility (if blank, assigned same value as #4 above)
11. OPTIONAL: Allow user to assemble document  (if blank, assigned same value as #5 above)
12. OPTIONAL: New PDF file path & name (for example, c:\temp\protected.pdf)

      When left blank, the protected version is saved under the original file path & name. 
      Specify a new file here if you wish to retain the original unprotected version.
-- option below is new in 6.4002 ---
13. OPTIONAL: Encryption Strength:   128 = Default 128-bit AES (requires Acrobat 7 or later)
                                                                256 = 256-bit AES (requires Acrobat 9 or later)
for example:
   "PDF_PROTECT:123>{@Pass}>1>1>0>0>1>c:\test.pdf>1>1>0>c:\protected.pdf>256"

Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument. Among other things, this allows you to easily protect individual PDF exports with different passwords for each group.  For example (all in one line):
…"PDF_PROTECT:my_pass>{@Emp_Pass}>1>1>0>1>1>c:\{@Year} Archive\Sales
 For {Emp_Name} in {@Month_Name}.pdf"



Merging PDF Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to merge any number of PDF files.  While each Crystal report is limited to a single paper orientation (either portrait or landscape), this feature allows you to combine multiple report outputs even if they have different paper orientations.  The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_MERGE:PDF_File_List>PDF_File_Target"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. PDF_File_List: comma separated list of the source files in the order they should be merged.
    If all source files share the same folder, you may specify the full path just for the first file.
    As discussed in the next few pages, you can use wild cards, file lists in text files, and 
    dynamic references to specify the files to be merged.
    

2. PDF_File_Target: the file path & name for the resulting merged PDF file.

3. Optional: BM_By_FileName add a bookmark for each file according to its file name.

 

4. Optional: leave blank or specify: M1 , M2, or M3
    These codes direct Visual CUT to use alternative merge methods that differ in their speed and approach. If the default approach is not 100% successful, try one of these alternatives. 

5. Optional: owner password in case one or more of the source files is password protected. All the encryption settings (owner and user passwords, and protection settings) of the last protected file in the list of source files would be applied to the resulting merged document.
Note: If the owner password is blank, specify VC_BLANK as the password.

Notes:

·         If a source file is not found, a warning is written to Failure.log and the process continues after skipping that file. 

·         specifying the 4th / 5th optional argument requires that you also specify the 3rd / 4th arguments
 (you can leave the 3rd /4th arguments blank as in: file list>target>>M2>>sesame). For example:
   "PDF_MERGE:c:\temp\F1.pdf,F2.pdf,F3.pdf>c:\temp\Result.pdf>>M2>sesame"

·         M2 is fast but may have problems with input files that have different page orientations.

·         M3 should not be used when using the techniques described in "Specifying Bookmarks when Merging PDF Files" or in "Using the Merged File Names to Generate Bookmarks". It is useful in cases where M2 fails to handle certain malformed pdf files.

 






 

Dynamic File Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument. The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.

For example, you can use Visual CUT to:
1. burst Sales information (Portrait) by Product Type into individually named pdf files
2. burst Returns information (Landscape) by Product Type into individually named pdf files
3. burst Complaints information (Portrait) by Product Type into individually named pdf files  
    AND at that stage, use a command line argument to merge the 3 outputs for each Product
    Type, by using the following command line argument
    (Note: you should have no line breaks in the actual command line):


"PDF_MERGE:C:\temp\Sales_{@Prod_Type}.pdf,Returns_{@Prod_Type}.pdf,
      Complaints_
{@Prod_Type}.pdf>c:\temp\{@Prod_Type}.pdf"


   If the current bursting cycle is for a Product_Type of "Gloves," the command line argument then gets processed as:

"PDF_MERGE:C:\temp\Sales_Gloves.pdf,Returns_Gloves.pdf,Complaints_Gloves.pdf>
     c:\temp\
Gloves.pdf"

You can then e-mail (or staple-print) the combined PDF file to each Product Type manager.


Using a Text File to Specify Files for Merging

If you have a text file containing the list of files to be merged, such as shown below, you can instruct Visual CUT to use the text within that file as the list of files to be merged using the key word "List_File:" followed by the path & name of the text file. For example:
"PDF_MERGE:List_File:c:\temp\FileList.txt>c:\temp\Result.pdf"

image


Using Wild Cards to Specify Files for Merging

You can also specify file names using wild cards

For example, to send all pdf files in the current month folder under the current customer:

"PDF_MERGE:C:\VC_Export\{customer.cust_id}\{@Month}\*.pdf>c:\temp\Result.pdf"

 

and to merge all pdf files that start with the current Customer ID:

"PDF_MERGE:C:\VC_Export\{customer.cust_id}*.pdf>c:\temp\Result.pdf"


Controlling Merged Bookmark Colors

Note: these instructions are no longer needed.  From November 9, 2009, Visual CUT keeps bookmark colors during merging of pdf files. Only for backward compatibility, the older functionality below is preserved.

During the merging process, bookmark colors (see Controlling PDF Bookmark Colors (& Text) on page 116) from the first file in the merged list are maintained.  To apply colors to the merged bookmarks from any file, you include (anywhere) in the Bookmark Label the color constants of crMrgRed, crMrgBlue or crMrgGreen (note: case sensitive). Visual CUT would then set the color of the bookmark text accordingly (and remove the color constant text from the label). 


Specifying Bookmarks when Merging PDF Files



During the merge process, you may want to add bookmarks for each input pdf file, so that the user can easily navigate the merged pdf file. To demonstrate how this can be done with Visual CUT, imagine you need to merge 4 pdf files:

image

2 pdf files with information about sales:
    Product_Sales.pdf
    Region_Sales.pdf

2 pdf files with information about profits:
    Product_Profits.pdf
    Region_Profits.pdf

You want the merged pdf to include bookmarks linking to the starting page of each of these 4 sections.  The bookmarks should look like the example on the right:

Visual CUT allows you to specify, for each pdf file being merged, a chain of bookmark levels to which the content would be linked. 

Let's assume you use the option to specify the list of files to merge using a text file (c:\temp\my_list.txt).  The command line may look like this: 


… "PDF_MERGE:List_File:C:\temp\my_list.txt>c:\temp\result.pdf"

and the c:\temp\my_list.txt would look like this:

c:\temp\Product_Sales{BM:Sales||+||1||225;0;0>>By Product||-||0||0;0;0}.pdf

c:\temp\Region_Sales{BM:Sales||+||1||225;0;0>>By Region||-||0||0;0;0}.pdf

c:\temp\Product_Profits{BM:Profit||+||1||225;0;0>>By Product||-||0||0;0;0}.pdf

c:\temp\Region_Profits{BM:Profit||+||1||225;0;0>>By Region||-||0||0;0;0}.pdf

 

The information about the top-level bookmarks associated with each file is embedded within an optional {BM: } tag, just before the ".pdf" ending the file name. 

 

Each node in the top-level bookmark chain is separated by >>  and contains 4 elements separated by || (2 vertical bars):

1. Title: the text to appear as the label of the bookmark
2. Expand Status:  + to open the bookmark or to collapse it.
3. Style0=regular  1=Bold   2=Italic   3=Italic Bold
4. Color as RGB:  3 numbers between 0 and 255 separated by ";"
    Black=0;0;0  Maroon=225;0;0 etc. (see RGB #s at: http://web.njit.edu/~kevin/rgb.txt.html )


So the first line in the file merges Product_Sales.pdf and link its starting page to a "Sales" bookmark (expanded, bold, Maroon) and, below that, a "By Product" bookmark (collapsed, regular, Black).  The second file uses the same top node and adds a "By Region" Bookmark.
Notes:

  1. If the top nodes in the chain already exist, only the lower new nodes would be created.  This is why in the example above, the Sales and Profit nodes are each created only once. 
  2. If the merged pdf file contains bookmarks, they will be transferred under the lowest node in the specified node chain for the file.
  3. The resulting bookmarks are detected by the PDF_TOC command line argument, so you can automatically create a table of contents based on them.
  4. You can use field or formula names within the PDF_Merge command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  You can even do the same with the content of the text file specifying the files to merge.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be used.  In the case of specifying bookmarks during the merge process, this means that the title, style, and color of these bookmarks can be controlled via the Crystal report fields, parameters, and formula logic.

 

Using the Merged File Names to Generate Bookmarks

Particularly when using wildcards to merge files, but also when wishing to avoid the effort of manually specifying bookmark labels and styles, you can simply instruct Visual CUT to add bookmarks based on the file name of each merged pdf file.

To enable this functionality, you add a 3rd part to the PDF_MERGE command line argument:

… "PDF_MERGE:c:\{@Branch}\*.pdf >c:\temp\{@Branch} Reports.pdf>BM_By_FileName"

As shown in the example above, you simply add >BM_By_FileName to the end of the command line argument. 

In the example above, several reports may be bursted to different {@Branch} folders.  The last report may include a PDF_Merge command line argument so that each bursting step for that report will also take care of merging all the pdf files in the currently processed Branch and add bookmarks based on the file names being merged.

Obviously, the bookmark labels do not include the path to the pdf file nor the ‘.pdf’ extension.

 


 

Using the Merged File Names to Generate Multi-Level Bookmarks

Imagine you need to merge 6 employee files into a PDF with 3-level bookmarks.  However, you want to avoid using a text file to specify the multi-level bookmarks:

image

To do this, you embed the multi-level bookmark information inside the pdf file names like so:

image

 

The Bookmark information is contained within the [BM{}] portion. You can use the rest of the text in the file name for other purposes.  In the example above, the numbers at the start of the file name are used to ensure proper alphabetical sorting when using wildcards to specify the files to be merged.  For example: 
... "PDF_MERGE:c:\temp\0?? [BM{*.pdf>c:\temp\Merge_result.pdf>BM_By_FileName"

Each Bookmark level is specified inside a {} and has 4 elements separated by a ^ character:

1. Title: the text to appear as the label of the bookmark
2. Expand Status:  + to open the bookmark or to collapse it.
3. Style:  0=regular  1=Bold   2=Italic   3=Italic Bold
4. Color as RGB:  3 numbers between 0 and 255 separated by ";"
    Black=0;0;0  Maroon=225;0;0 etc. (see RGB #s at: http://web.njit.edu/~kevin/rgb.txt.html )


Merging 1-Page PDF Files into Layers in a Single PDF File

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to merge several PDF files into multiple layers inside a single pdf file.  This is particularly useful for mapping applications where users wish to turn on or off the visibility of certain map layers. 

Here is an example of such a merged file, opened in Adobe Acrobat reader  with the visibility of layers 1 (Streets Layer) & 3 (Stores) turned on:

image

 

 

The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_MERGE_Files_to_Layers:PDF_File_List>PDF_File_Target"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. PDF_File_List: comma separated list of the source files in the order they should be merged.
    If all source files share the same folder, you can specify the full path just for the first file.
    If a source file is not found, a warning is written to Failure.log and that file is skipped. 

 

2. PDF_File_Target: the file path & name for the resulting merged PDF file.

For example:
"PDF_MERGE_Files_to_Layers:c:\temp\File1.pdf,File2.pdf,File3.pdf>c:\temp\Result.pdf"


Dynamic File Names

As always, you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT. 


Using a Text File to Specify Files for Merging

If you have a text file containing the list of files to be merged, such as shown below, you can instruct Visual CUT to use the text within that file as the list of files to be merged using the key word "List_File:" followed by the path & name of the text file. For example:
"PDF_MERGE_Files_to_Layers:List_File:c:\temp\FileList.txt>c:\temp\Result.pdf"

image


Controlling Layer Name & Visibility

By default, the name of each layer is set to its source file name (without the .pdf portion) and the visibility of each layer is turned on. You can override these default settings by embedding the desired information inside a {OCG: }  token as demonstrated by the text file sample above. 

The OCG token is inserted just before the ".pdf" portion of each source file. 

The token contains 2 elements separated by || (2 vertical bars):

1. Layer’s name
2. Layer’s initial visibility (True or False).


 

Printing PDF Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to print a PDF file. This is useful in combination with the previously discussed option of merging PDF files (see page 136). 
It allows you to merge multiple reports, even if they use different page orientations, and then print and staple the combined output as a single print job.

 

PDF_Print

The command line argument structure is as follows:
"PDF_PRINT:PDF_File>Printer_Name>Page_Scaling>Auto_Rotate_and_Center"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. PDF_File: The PDF file you wish to print.
 

2. Printer_Name: the Windows name of the printer.
    Note: If you use "Default" as the printer name, the report gets printed to the default printer.

3. [Optional] Page Scaling: None, Fit, or Shrink (to fit paper size)

4. [Optional] Auto Rotate & Center: True or False


For example:
"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\Result.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02"

or

"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\Result.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02>Shrink>True"

 

Important Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.

For example, after you burst and merge multiple reports into a single PDF file for each Product Type (as described in Merging PDF Files), you can print and staple the resulting PDF file for each Product Type using the following command line argument:
"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\{@Product_Type}.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02>Shrink>True"

 If the current bursting cycle is for a Product_Type of "Gloves," the command line argument then gets processed as:
"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\Gloves.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02>Shrink>True"


and the combined output for just Gloves from 3 different reports (with different page orientations) would then be printed and stapled together.  The process would then continue to print and staple the output for the next Product Type.

Notes:
To control number of copies printed, use the Print_Copies command line argument. If the dynamic value is zero, the printout would be skipped.
To control print quality/speed, use the PDF_Print_Mode command line argument.


PDF_Clone_And_Print

You may need to print multiple copies within a single print job (perhaps you wish to staple all these copies together). In such cases you can use the PDF_Clone_And_Print argument.
It is identical to PDF_Print except for the addition of number of copies as the last element.

The command line argument structure is as follows:
"PDF_Clone_And_Print:PDF_File>Printer_Name>Page_Scaling>
          Auto_Rotate_and_Center>Copies"

For example:
"PDF_Clone_And_Print:\temp\Result.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02>4"

or

"PDF_Clone_And_Print:\temp\Result.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02>Shrink>True>4"

 

Important Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument, including the number of copies.
For example:
"PDF_Clone_And_Print:\temp\Result.pdf>\\myprintsrvr\LASER 02>{@Copies}"




 

Printing PDF Files To Multiple Printer Trays

You can instruct Visual CUT to split the printout of a single PDF file to multiple printer trays. For example, you may want to print the first page of a pdf file using a tray containing your company's letterhead, while the rest of the printout should use regular paper from another tray. 

 

Visual CUT provides two ways to split the printout of a PDF file to multiple printer trays:

  1. Use the PDF_Print_Split command line argument to specify the page ranges
  2. Use the PDF_Print_Split_Tag command line argument to indicate that Crystal (or any other process) has embedded text tags (#Tray::tray_name/number#) in the pdf on each page or on each page where a tray change should occur.

 

Using PDF_Print_Split

This command line argument structure is as follows:
"PDF_PRINT_SPLIT:c:\temp\Test.pdf>1::\\srv2\Laser3::Top||2to5::\\srv2\Laser3::Tray 2 ||6to999::\\srv2\Laser3::Bypass Tray"

The parameters (after the ":") are as follows:

1. PDF_File: The PDF file you wish to print.
 

2. Page_Range::Printer_Name::Tray_Name

The 2nd element can be repeated as many times as you need, with different page ranges, different trays, and even different printers.  Use "||" to separate each instance from the instance following it.


Page range can be specified as a single page or as a range, using 'to' to separate the numbers.

 

If you use "Default" as the printer name, the report gets printed to the default printer.

Trays can be specified using their names or using their internal numbers.

 

Important Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument. This allows you to dynamically control the page ranges that are sent to each printer tray!

To control print quality/speed, use the PDF_Print_Mode command line argument.


Using PDF_Print_Split_Tag

The advantage of this option is its ability to dynamically control paper trays using formula logic from within Crystal reports.  For example, it makes it easy to print the first and last pages in each group using one tray and print the rest of the pages from another tray. 
 

This command line argument structure is as follows:
"PDF_PRINT_SPLIT_TAG:c:\temp\Test.pdf>\\srv2\Laser3"

The parameters (after the ":") are as follows:

1. PDF_File: The PDF file you wish to print.
 

2. Printer_Name  (use "Default" to print to the default printer)

Visual CUT searches each page in the pdf document for text tags that look like:
#Tray::2# (in a case where the tray number is used) or
#Tray::Bypass Tray# (in a case where the tray name is used)

Typically, these tags would be placed as Crystal formulas on the report being exported to pdf. 

For example, this formula (placed in the page header of the report) would cause the 1st page to use tray 3 and the rest of the pages would alternate between Tray 2 and Tray 1:

WhilePrintingRecords;

Global StringVar gs_Printer_Tray;

 

IF gs_Printer_Tray = "" THEN gs_Printer_Tray := "3"

ELSE gs_Printer_Tray := Cstr(Remainder(PageNumber,2) + 1,0);

 

"#Tray::" & gs_Printer_Tray & "#";


Notes:

1.      set the font color of the formula to white, the tag would be invisible on the report as well as on the pdf file, but Visual CUT would still have access to it. Alternatively, if you keep the PDF_Tags_Delete_Default option in DataLink_Viewer.ini as True, Visual CUT removes the tag text after processing it.  Use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri and Bold/Italic).

2.      The tag doesn't have to appear on every page of the report.  Pages that don't have the tag would be printed to the paper tray last specified in previous pages.

 

3.      Tray numbers are not always obvious; "Tray 2" could actually be Tray #3 internally.  Hence, you should probably use Tray Names instead of Tray Numbers in the Tags.

4.      Visual CUT sets the print job names shown in the printer queue to reflect the page range and tray name.  This makes it easy to monitor the process.

5.      Make sure the printer is not setup to automatically select the paper source.

6.      To control print quality/speed, use the PDF_Print_Mode command line argument.


Controlling Print Quality/Speed

You can use the PDF_Print_Mode command line argument to control print quality and speed. The command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_Print_Mode:Quality_Option"

The possible Quality_Option values (after the ":") are
1 for Normal quality
2 for high quality
3 for highest quality


 

Adding Back-Pages

In some scenarios, you may need to add to each page in the exported pdf a standard back-page.  For example, invoices may require some legal language on the back of each page.
Assuming you have the standard back-page as a single-page pdf file, Visual CUT can automate the process of:

a)      Exporting the report to a pdf file

b)      Using the PDF_Insert_BackPage command line argument, Inserting the standard
back-page after each page and saving to a new or to the original pdf export 

c)      Printing the resulting pdf file via PDF_Print command line argument.

 

Since the PDF_Print command line argument is already described in the sections above, this section explains how the PDF_Inseret_BackPage command line argument is used:


Using PDF_Insert_BackPage

This command line argument structure is as follows:

"PDF_Insert_BackPage:c:\temp\Export.pdf||c:\temp\BackPage.pdf||c:\temp\Result.pdf"

The parameters (after the ":") are as follows:

1.                  PDF_File: The PDF file that needs a back-page added  to each page.

2.                  BackPage File: The 1-page PDF file to be inserted into the first file.

3.                  The Final File: (that’s the file you would use with PDF_Print)

 

Notes:

  1. If a Final File option is not specified, the process will simply update the source PDF_File.  For example: 
    PDF_Insert_BackPage:c:\temp\{Invoice_N}.pdf||c:\temp\BackPage.pdf"

  2. As always (as demonstrated in the example above), you can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT. 

 


 

Saving PDF Files to Image Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to take a PDF file and save it to an image file.  The supported image types are: BMP, JPEG, WMF, EMF, EPS, PNG, GIF, or multi-page TIFF.  Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.pdf>c:\temp\Invoice.bmp>BMP>72"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Save_As:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the PDF file (typically, this would be the exported file, but you can convert any PDF file).

  2. The path & name of the target image file

    Multi-Page Note: for TIF and G4 TIF export types, a multi-page pdf file results in a Multi-Page TIFF file. For all other image types, an image file for each page would be created with the page number at the end of the file name.  For example, if the Invoice.pdf file in the example above had 3 pages, Visual CUT would create 3 bitmap files: Invoice1.bmp, Invoice2.bmp, and Invoice3.bmp

  3. Image Type: BMP, JPEG, WMF, EMF, EMF+, EPS, PNG, GIF, HTML5, TIF, G4 TIF

  4. Image Quality in Dots Per Inch (DPI): a value of 72 will give the same result as Acrobat when the zoom level is 100%.

 

Notes:

TIF and G4 TIF are not supported on Windows XP or earlier versions.

 

as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"PDF_Save_As:{@export_File_Name}.pdf>{@export_File_Name}.bmp>BMP>72"


Adding Form Fields & Submit Buttons to PDF Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for invisible tags inside the pdf file (Crystal formulas with font color set to background color) and to replace them with form fields such as Text, Checkboxes, Drop-Downs, Digital Signature, and even Submit Buttons (to send form data as XML via email or URL). This means that you can use Crystal Reports to design pdf forms, and Visual CUT to generate and distribute these forms.

 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Form_Tags:c:\temp\Sales in {@Year_Parameter}.pdf"
or, to save to a new file:  
"PDF_Form_Tags:{@SourceFile}.pdf>{@TargetFile}.pdf"

The Crystal formulas act as tags for controlling the location, size, and content of these form fields.  Visual CUT adds the form fields and any required JavaScript code.  Users can then enter information into the pdf file, submit (via email or url), print, or save the completed form.

Sample PDF File with Form Fields & Submit Buttons

You can download a sample of such a pdf export with form fields at: 
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Form_Tags_Unsigned.pdf

image 

Sample Crystal Report with Formulas as Form Field Tags

You can download a sample report demonstrating the technique from:
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_PDF_Form_Tags.rpt

 

The sample report uses several formulas:

PDF_Form_Field_Product_Comment (GF2) provides short text area for each Product

PDF_Form_Field_Product_Checkbox (GF2) provides a checkbox to indicate if performance is OK

PDF_Form_Field_Product_Type_Comment (GF1) provide multi-line text area for each Product Type. 
PDF_Form_Field_Product_Type_DropDown (GF1) provides a DropDown to indicate required Action

PDF_Form_Field_Submit_Button_Email_XML (RF) Button to submit form data as XML via email 
PDF_Form_Field_Submit_Button_URL_XML (RF) Button to submit form data as XML via url 


PDF_Form_Field_Text_Secret (RH) provides a hidden form field (to include in XML)
PDF_Form_Field_Text_URL (RH) provides a visible but uneditable form field

PDF_Form_Field_Signature (RF) prompts for, accepts and displays the user's digital signature.

 

Setting Up a Crystal Report with pdf field tags

There are no restrictions on the number or names of the formulas you can use.  However, each rendered instance must provide a unique form field title (avoid dots). The formula text must be rendered all within the formula boundaries in a single line.  Use very small font sizes: 2 or even 1 to achieve this. 
Use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri andBold/Italic).

Obviously, you may not want to show the formula text on the resulting pdf file. You can turn the font color to White (or same as section background) to make the formula invisible. Better yet, if you keep the PDF_Tags_Delete_Default option in DataLink_Viewer.ini as True, Visual CUT removes the tag text after processing it. In order to allow Visual CUT to remove the tag text after it has been processed, be sure to replace any double quotes or parentheses in the tag text with single quote or square brackets.

 

Each formula instance (Group Footer/Header as well as Page Header/Footer formulas may have many instances) can trigger the creation of a pdf form field. The location (top left corner) of each rendered formula instance controls the location of the pdf form field.  The width and height of the form field is controlled internally -- not by the formula field size.

 

Note: besides Acrobat Reader, there are several 3rd-party PDF Viewers that allow saving PDF files after filling form fields. For example:
http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer



Formula Example from the Sample Report

The following page demonstrates and comments the structure of the required formula text for one of the formulas in the sample report. You can open the sample report to see the fully-commented syntax for the other form field types.


 

Here is the {@PDF_Form_Field} formula from the sample report at: 
www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Visual_CUT_9_PDF_Form_Tag.rpt

// Make the font size small (even 1 point). Text must stay in formula boundaries in SINGLE line!

// Turn the font color to White to make the formula invisible. Or, if PDF_Tags_Delete_Default in
// DataLink_Viewer.ini is True, tag text is removed automatically after processing.

// Location (top left corner) of the rendered formula instance control location of pdf form field.

 

// The formula always starts with "#Form_Tag::" and ends with "#"

"#Form_Tag::" +

"350;50" + "||" +   // field boundaries in points: width;height (or shift_x;shift_y;width;height)

{Product_Type.Product Type Name} + "_Comments" + "||" + // UNIQUE title of form field

"TEXT" + "||" + // type of form field: TEXT/DropDown/CheckBox/Submit_Button/Signature 

"0" + "||" + // max number of allowed characters.  Set to "0" if no restriction.

"NotComb" + "||" + // "Comb" or "NotComb" field (if Comb, specify max number of characters
                                   // above to create an equally spaced "comb" field effect)

"Left" + "||" +             // alignment:  "Left", "Center" or "Right"

"1;Inset;0;0" + "||" +    // Field Border: line width;style (Solid, Dashed, Beveled, or Inset);
                                        // length of dash;length of dash space 

"230;230;230" + "||" +             // Border color using RGB (0;0;128 = Navy Blue)

"255;255;255" + "||" + // Background Color ("255;248;220" = cornsilk1, "255;255;255" = White)

"0;0;0" + "||" +             // Text Color ((0;0;0 = Black)

// Possible font types: Courier, CourierBold, CourierBoldItalic, CourierItalic

                                                // Helvetica, HelveticaBold, HelveticaBoldItalic, HelveticaItalic

                                                // TimesRoman, TimesBold, TimesItalic, TimesBoldItalic

"CourierBold;10" + "||" + // Font type and size

// Initial Field Text Value (Use "" to specify an empty field)

iif({Product_Type.Product Type Name} in ["Saddles", "Locks"], "", "Comments on the information for " + {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + ": ") +  "||" +

"NoScroll" + "||" +       // Scroll or NoScroll

"MultiLine" + "||" +     // SingleLine or MultiLine

"SpellCheck" + "||" +   // SpellCheck or NoSpellCheck

// --- new options in 6.2002: ---

// tool tip shown when hovering over field. Use "Same_As_Text" to display Field Text value

"Product Type Comments [Mandatory if Action is 'Meeting' or 'Conference Call']" + "||" +

"False" + "||" + // Read Only status. If True, user can see but not change the value

"False" + // Hide Field? Useful when user should not see a submitted value

"#"          // The formula always ends with "#"

 

·         VC removes pdf processing tags from the pdf file (after processing) if PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini is left as True.  To ensure all tags are removed, use Replace() to change double quotes into single.  For example, the form field title can be:
Replace({Product_Type.Product Type Name},"""","'") + "_Comments"

·         To accommodate more text in the tag, you may embed references to fields/formulas in it.

·         To specify child form fields, specify a title of Parent_Field_title.Child_Field_Title.


 

Adding a Digital Signature Form Field

As demonstrated by the sample report, one of the supported form fields is a digital signature. The formula for the digital signature field is simple:

"#Form_Tag::" +

"250;50" + "||" +   // field boundaries in points: width;height

                   // (note: if 4 arguments are provided, they are treated as: shift_x;shift_y;width;height)

"Signature1" + "||" + // title of form field. Use something unique

"Signature" + "||" + // type of form field

"#"


When opening the pdf, the user is prompted by the field to digitally sign the document:


image 

 

After clicking the field and providing a digital signature, the user has the option to Lock the Document (so no other changes can be made to it without invalidating the signature). After saving the PDF to a new file, the field looks like this:

image




Populating Form Field Text or Description via ODBC Query

When dealing with multiline text form fields, you may need to populate the text of the field with very long text that might cause the tag content to spill over more than 1 line.  To address that scenario you may embed a directive to execute a SQL Query via ODBC inside the options for Initial Text or Field Description (tooltip) and Visual CUT would replace the directive with its dynamic result.

 

Here is an example of what the Crystal formula may look like:

"#Form_Tag::" + "350;50" + "||" +  {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + "_Comments" + "||" +  "TEXT" + "||" + "0" + "||" + "NotComb" + "||" + "Left" + "||" + "1;Inset;0;0" + "||" + "230;230;230" + "||" + "255;255;255" + "||" + "0;0;0" + "||" + "CourierBold;10" + "||" +

// Initial Field Text Value (populated via SQL Query

"{ODBC:Customers:: :: ::SELECT [Name] FROM [CUST] WHERE [Cust_ID] = 6}" +  "||" +

"Scroll" + "||" + "MultiLine" + "||" + "SpellCheck" + "||" +

"Product Type Comments [Mandatory if Action is 'Meeting' or 'Conference Call']" + "||" +

"False" + "||" + "False" +"#"  

 

The expression starts with {ODBC: followed by 4 elements separated by :: and

ends with }

1. ODBC DSN (Note: could be different from the DSN used for the Crystal report)

2. User ID (use a single space if not needed, as shown above)

3. Password (use a single space if not needed, as shown above)

4. SQL Statement

MS Access Example:
{ODBC:Customers::User_ID::Password::SELECT [email] FROM [Contacts] WHERE [Customer_ID] = '301'}

 

SQL Server Example:

{ODBC:CONTACTS::sa::xxxxx::SELECT AHD.ctct.Comments FROM

AHD.ctct where AHD.ctct.Comments IS NOT NULL}


Notes:

§  If the SQL statement returns multiple rows, Visual CUT takes care of concatenating the text from all the rows to a single string with carriage return and line feed as the delimiter.

§  The SQL statement syntax depends on your database.  For example, as shown in the samples above, MS Access uses [ ] around field/table names but SQL Server doesn't.

§  You would typically build the expression while using some field/formula values (not names) to control the WHERE clause.


 

Filling PDF Forms

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to fill the fields in a given PDF Form and save the result into a new PDF file.  Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_FORM:c:\temp\MyForm.pdf>False"

The parameters (after the "PDF_FORM:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. The path & name of the PDF form file (used as a template).
 

2. Flatten form fields (True or False)?  If True, as field values get substituted by formula values from the Crystal report, Visual CUT turns the form field into a static portion of the PDF file.  This means the field will no longer act as a field in the new pdf file.  It will simply behave as a static portion of the new PDF file.

Setting Up a Crystal Report to Act as a PDF Form Filler

Each field in a PDF form has a name ("title" in pdf lingo).  In order to fill (or substitute) the value of such a field, your Crystal report should have a string formula with the same name as the PDF form field.  For example, if you desire to fill a PDF form field called "f1-1", you should create a Crystal formula called "f1‑1" providing the desired value for that field. In order to supply a value for a checkbox field (as shown below), use "Yes" as the value for checked and "No" for the value for unchecked.
image
 

The Crystal formulas should be placed in the report header/footer if the value is the same for all records in the report.  It should be placed in Group Level 1 Header/Footer if the value changes for each Level 1 group and you are bursting (generating a different PDF file for each Level 1 Group).  As usual, you may suppress the formulas. 

 

Setting Up the Report in Visual CUT

In Visual CUT, simply set the report to export to PDF and specify the export file name. As usual, you may make the export file path and/or name dynamic (reflecting field/formula values from the report.  Note that if you use the PDF_FORM command line argument, Visual CUT will not export the report to PDF.  Instead, Visual CUT would substitute the form fields in the Form File (specified in the command line argument) and then save the result to the specified export file name.

 


Setting PDF Document Properties after Export (Automatic)

 

After PDF exports, Visual CUT sets the PDF document summary information according to the summary information set for the report in Crystal.     

image



This functionality, as well as the PDF Bookmarks functionality described in the previous section, are enabled by default.  To turn it off, use the Options dialog and uncheck the option of "PDF Exports include Document Properties and Bookmark Processing."


 

Flatten PDF Files

You can flatten form fields and annotations in pdf files via the command line argument of PDF_Flatten. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Flatten:c:\Before\*.pdf>>MyPassword>>c:\After\"
or  (for a case with no password):

"PDF_Flatten:c:\Before\*.pdf>>>>c:\After\"    
or (for a case without target folder:

"PDF_Flatten:c:\Before\*.pdf>>MyPassword>>"
or (for a case without password and no target folder:

"PDF_Flatten:c:\Before\*.pdf>>>>"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Flatten:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. PDF file(s) comma separated list. Can use wild cards!
  2. Password (leave blank if the pdf files are not password protected)
  3. Target Folder (leave blank if the flattened pdf files should replace the original files)

 


 

Setting PDF Document Properties

You can specify the pdf document properties via the command line argument of PDF_Properties. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Properties:c:\test.pdf>Ido>{@Invoice_N}>Invoice>Invoice>Ido>Millet Software"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Properties:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. PDF file(s):  comma separated list. Can use wild cards!
  2. Author of the PDF file
  3. Title
  4. Subject
  5. Keywords
  6. Creator
  7. Producer
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  8. Page Mode:    Normal (or blank)/Outlines/Thumbnails/FullScreen/OCG/Attachments
  9. Open Page      (1 is default)
  10. Zoom               (75 for 75%, 0 for default, -1 for fit in window, -2 for fit width)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

11.  Custom Properties (Name1::Value1||Name2::Value2)
For example, "…>Case Type::Abduction||Case Manager::Officer Krupke"
Any number of pairs delimited by || with a :: separating Key Name from Key Value.

Notes:

       …"PDF_Properties:c:\Inv\*.pdf,c:\test.pdf>Ido>>{@Invoice_N}>>>>Outlines>1>100"

·        Specifying Custom Properties is the same as manually specifying them in Acrobat Pro using File, Properties, Custom Tab. These properties show up in the list of document properties and can be useful for users and for document management systems.

Building an Index PDF Documents

You can build a full-text index for multiple pdf files via the command line argument of PDF_Build_Index. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Build_Index:c:\temp\dir1||c:\temp\dir2>c:\temp\Index.pdx>"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Build_Index:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. List of folders (separated by "||") containing pdf files to be indexed
    Notes:
    1. All pdf files found in these folders and all subfolder (recursive) will be indexed.
    2. Do not include a backslash at the end of each folder path.

  2. Index (.pdx) file path and name
    Notes:
    1. The pdx file will be deleted, if it already exists, when the process starts
    2. If an "Index" folder exists under the folder destination for the pdx file, that folder is deleted when the process starts because this folder needs to be created from scratch by the indexing process.
  3. Options: leave blank.  Reserved for future needs such as specifying maximum amount of time the process should require.  The default is 2 hours.

Notes:

On the Visual CUT machine, Acrobat Pro must be installed and the build index button must be located on the toolbar like this:
image

As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"PDF_Build_Index:{@Folders}>c:\temp\Index.pdx>"


 

Adding an Index File to a PDF Document

You can add an index (.pdx file) reference to a pdf document via the command line argument of PDF_Add_Index. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Add_Index:c:\test.pdf>c:\textMyIndex.pdx>PDX"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Add_Index:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. PDF file path & name
  2. Index (.pdx) file path and name (on the machine where the pdf file will be used)
  3. Index Label (must always be "PDX" - Other values would be converted to "PDX")

Note: Index file path can be specified as relative to the PDF file location. 
          For example:   ..\Index.pdx

 


 

Adding Named Destinations to a PDF Document

You can add named destinations to a pdf document based on its bookmarks.
A typical benefit from this is that a url link to the PDF can then direct the browser to open the pdf and position to the page where the named destination is located. For example:
http://www.milletsoftware.com/Download/test_Add_Destinations.pdf#Mountain__SlickRock


Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Add_Destinations:c:\temp\{@Region_Sales}.pdf>>>>BM>>"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Add_Destinations:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. Source PDF file (with bookmarks) path & name
  2. Target PDF path & name. If left blank, as in example, source file gets updated.
  3. BM (indicated the method used to add Destinations)
  4. Options (leave blank)

Notes:

·         Destination names reflect the bookmark hierarchy by chaining the labels with 2 underscores ('__') as separators. For example,  Mountain__SlickRock was assigned for the bookmark 'SlickRock' located under the top-level bookmark of 'Mountain'.

·         PDF_Bookmark_Tags is always processed before PDF_Add_Destinations, so you can include both in a single command line.

·         The browser needs to be set to Open rather than download PDF files in order to handle specified destinations.

Adding Multimedia to PDF Document

You can ask Visual CUT to add a sound file to be played when the pdf file is opened in Acrobat Reader via the command line argument of PDF_Add_Media. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Add_Media:Pdf_In>>Pdf_Out>>Media_File>>1>>X>>Y>>Width>>Height>>Options"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Build_Index:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. PDF File to open
  2. PDF File to Save As (leave blank if same as source file above)
  3. Media File (e.g. c:\temp\Greeting.mps)
  4. Page where the multimedia box would be added (currently, must be 1)
  5. X: horizontal offset of the multimedia box
    Note: relative to drop-down highlighted in image below. Can be negative (e.g. -20)
  6. Y: vertical offset of the multimedia box
  7. Width of multimedia box
  8. Height of multimedia box
  9. Media Type: currently must be "Sound"
  10. Options: leave blank.  Reserved for future needs.

Notes:

Acrobat Pro must be installed and the Add Multimedia dropdown must be located on the toolbar at the position indicated in the image below:
image

You may need to experiment with the coorindates (X, Y, Width, Height) to avoid conflict with existing objects on the page.
 

As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report. 
For example (all in 1 line):
"PDF_Add_Media:{@Catalog}>>{@Catalog_with_Greeting}>>c:\temp\Greeting.mp3>>
     1>>-20>>100>>140>>16>>Sound>>"


Importing Multi-Page TIFF Files into PDF Files

Imagine you wish to use Visual CUT to burst a Crystal report and email customers invoices as PDF files.  The customers wish to see documentation (scanned as multi-page TIFF files) included at the end of each invoice.  Since Crystal can only display the first page of such TIFF files, you need a way to append the related TIFF file at the end of each invoice, before emailing the resulting pdf file to the customer.

 

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to take a multi-page TIFF file and turn it into a pdf file or append it to the end of an existing pdf file. 
Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_From_TIFF:c:\tmp\Invoice_{@Inv_N}.pdf>{@Tiff_File}>0>True>True"

The parameters (after the "PDF_From_TIFF:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the PDF file (typically, this would be the exported file, but you can use any PDF file). In bursting scenarios, you would typically refer to the dynamic exported file name by embedding a reference to a field or formula (marked in blue in the example above).  

  2. The path & name of the TIFF file(s)
    A semi-colon (;) separated list of the TIFF files in the order they should be merged into the pdf file.  If all source files share the same folder, you can specify the full path just for the first file. If a source file is not found, a warning is written to Failure.log and that file is skipped. 
    Typically, you would use a field or a formula (marked in blue in the example above) from the report to dynamically provide the path and name of the TIFF file(s) related to the Group Level 1 in the current bursting step.  

  3. Scaling relative to original image size:   100 = original size. 120 = 20% larger.
    0 = requests automatic scaling of the image to fully occupy the page size.

  4. Append (True/False): set to true if the TIFF should be appended to the pdf file, if that target file already exists. Otherwise, if the pdf file already exists, it would be transferred to the recycle bin and the TIFF content would be used to create a new version of that pdf file. When Append is set to False, page dimensions are controlled by the TIFF image dimensions and scaling, rather than by the page dimensions of the "receiving" pdf file.

  5. Critical (True/False): controls what should happen if the TIFF file is not found.  If set to TRUE, Visual CUT processing would be aborted.  If set to False, only a Warning is logged but processing continues (if the Invoice pdf can't find a matching TIFF file, it would be emailed without that content).

 

Note: as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report. 

Importing Image Files as New Pages (Tag Approach)

Imagine Visual CUT burst an invoices report to PDF for emailing to each customer. Each customer may have multiple invoices and you wish to insert at the end of each invoice an image or multi-page TIFF file reflecting a scanned proof-of-delivery. Visual CUT can do this if you include on the last page for each invoice a tag specifying the image or multi-page TIFF file that should be inserted after that page in the exported pdf file.

Supported image types include: PNG, GIF, BMP, JPEG/JPG, PNG, GIF, WMF, EMF, TIF/TIFF

 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Insert_Pages_Tags:c:\temp\{@Cust}_Invoices.pdf"

Or

"PDF_Insert_Pages_Tags:c:\temp\{@Cust}_Invoices.pdf>>c:\temp\{@Cust}_Invoices.pdf"


If only one pdf file is specified (as in the top example), then the source file becomes also the target file. Otherwise, the resulting file is saved to the 2nd pdf file.

 

You can download a sample report demonstrating the technique from:
http://www.milletsoftware.com/Download/VC11_PDF_Insert_Pages_Tags.rpt


The formula acting as a tag can be placed anywhere on the report. It specifies what image files should be inserted as following pages.  In this sample report, the tag formula is called {@Insert_Pages_Tag} and is located in the page footer.  The formula name doesn't matter, but the logic should follow this example:

"#Insert_Pages_Tag::" +

"C:\temp\sample1.jpg;sample2.tif" + // list of files. Wild cards OK.  

"||" +  // Separator

"100" + // Scaling: 100 = original. 120 = 20% larger, etc. 0 = auto-fit to page

"#"

 

The formula text must be rendered all within the formula boundaries in a single line.  Use very small font sizes: 2 or even 1 to achieve this.  You may turn the font color to White (or same color as the background) to make the formula invisible.  

Notes:

1.      To ignore (rather than fail) cases where an image file is not found, use:
"PDF_Insert_Pages_Tags:c:\temp\Source.pdf>>Resulting.pdf>>[Ignore_Missing_Files]"

2.      In Crystal, use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri and Bold/Italic)

3.      As always, you can use field or formula names within the command line argument. The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the argument.

4.      In the list of files, if path is same, you may specify just the file name for subsequent files.

5.      The list of files can use wild cards (e.g. c:\scans\{cust_id}\*.tiff).

6.      Visual CUT can remove pdf processing tags from the pdf file after processing those tags.  This is controlled by an entry called PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. By default, this option is set to True.


 

Splitting PDF Files

Visual CUT provides two ways to split pdf files:

1.      Using pdf bookmarks, VC can create a new pdf file for each bookmark at a specified level and name the pdf file based on the bookmark labels and as well as based on Crystal report formulas.

2.      Using invisible text tags placed on the pdf pages (typically Crystal formulas with font color to make them invisible). These tags act as split directives indicating file names for the pages starting with the tag location and ending with the next tag. These tags can also direct Visual CUT to encrypt the resulting pdf files with different passwords. Visual CUT takes care or removing these tags from the resulting pdf files.

 

Splitting By Bookmarks

Imagine you have a pdf file with bookmarks at 2 levels: Product Type & Product. The bookmarks were generated during a Crystal report export by Visual CUT, or perhaps they are part of an existing pdf file.  Using the command line argument of PDF_Split_By_Bookmarks you can direct VC to Split the pdf to a separate pdf file for each bookmarks at a specified level, name the file based on the bookmark label, and even place the resulting file in a dynamically specified/created folder based on the bookmark name.
image

Here's an example of the command line argument structure (all in 1 line):
"PDF_Split_By_Bookmarks:c:\Sales.pdf>>2>>
c:\{[Bookmark_Name]}\Sales for {[Bookmark_Name]} in {[yyyy]}.pdf

 

The parameters (after the "PDF_Split_By_Bookmarks:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the source PDF file  
  2. The targeted bookmark level (level 2 in this example targets the Product level)
  3. The path & name of the split pdf file to create for each targeted bookmark

A {[Bookmark_Name]} reference gets replaced by the bookmark label. For example, Mozzie

A {[Bookmark_Chain_A]} reference gets replaced by a hyphen-separated sequence of bookmark labels leading to/including the targeted node. For example: Competition – Mozzie

 

 Notes:

·         For each targeted bookmark, a separate pdf is created from the page associated with the bookmark up to (but not including) the page associated with the next targeted bookmark.

·         If the target folder doesn’t exist, VC creates it on the fly.

·         Invalid file name characters are automatically substituted with valid ones.

·         If a path to the target folder is not specified, the path to the source file is used.

·         As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas, and VC would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report. In the example above, the {[yyyy]} gets replaced with the current year.

·         The process is very fast


 

Splitting By Embedded Tags

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for invisible tags inside the pdf file (Crystal formulas with font color set to background color) and to split the file into multiple pdf files. The following situations can benefit from this splitting of a pdf file (as opposed to bursting the Crystal report directly to multiple pdf files):

1.      Speed of bursting is VERY fast, particularly for huge pdf files with many group values.

2.      You can split the main pdf file based on any logic (e.g., level 4 grouping).

3.      You can split any pdf file, even if it was not exported from Visual CUT.

4.      You can "Print" reports to pdf before splitting (avoiding pdf export font issues) 

5.      Using {ppp} token, you can include number of pages in the name of each split file
 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Split_Tags:c:\temp\Sales.pdf>>True>>True>>False"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Split_Tags:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the PDF file  
  2. Compress the split pdf files? (set to False for faster execution)  
  3. Create missing folders? (set to False for faster execution)
  4. Assume Tag is always Nth text object on page? (set to True for faster execution) 

Within the pdf file, you should embed text tags (Crystal formulas) that indicate the page locations for starting a new split pdf file, and the path & name of that new file. 

Notes:

-          If the target folder of the split files does not exist, Visual CUT creates it on the fly.

-          In Crystal, use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri and Bold/Italic)


Here is an example of such a formula that can be placed, for example, in a Group Header section

// Set small font. Text must display within the boundaries in a SINGLE line.

// The page where the tag is detected becomes the first page of the split pdf

// The last page of the split pdf is the page before the next tag.

// If a single page has 2 Split Tags, only the first one is detected.

// {ppp} gets replaced by zero-padded number of pages in the split file (2 pages = '002')

// The formula always starts with "#Split_Tag::" and ends with "#"

"#Split_Tag::" +

"c:\" + {@Folder} + "\" + {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + ".pdf" + // Split PDF File

"#"


Notes: Visual CUT can remove pdf processing tags from the pdf file after processing those tags.  This is controlled by an entry called PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. By default, this option is set to True.  To ensure all tags are removed, use the Replace() function in Crystal to change double quotes into single quotes.  For example, the expression for the file name could be:
Replace({Product_Type.Product Type Name},"""","'")

 

Splitting and Protecting PDF Files By Embedded Tags

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for invisible tags inside the pdf file (Crystal formulas with font color set to background color) and to split the file into multiple protected pdf files. The following situations can benefit from this splitting of a pdf file (as opposed to bursting the Crystal report directly to multiple pdf files):

5.      Speed of bursting is incredible, particularly for huge pdf files with many group values.

6.      You can split the main pdf file based on any logic (e.g., level 4 grouping).

7.      You can split any pdf file, even if it was not exported from Visual CUT. 
 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure (all in 1 line):

"PDF_Split_Protect_Tags:c:\temp\Sales.pdf>>False>>True>>False…
        >>Owner_Password>>1>>1>>0>>1>>1>>1>>1>>0"


The parameters (after the "PDF_Split_Protect_Tags:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the PDF file
  2. Compress the split pdf files? (set to False for faster execution) 
  3. Create missing folders? (set to False for faster execution)
  4. Assume Tag is always Nth text object on page? (set to True for faster execution) 
  5. Owner_Password: Keep this password to yourself.  It provides full control over the PDF file.   Note: user password is provided in the Tag embedded in the pdf.
  6. Allow User to Print the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
  7. Allow User to Copy Text & Images from the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
  8. Allow User to Edit/Change the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 0 is typical.
  9. Allow User to Add Notes to the File: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
  10. Allow User to Print in Full Resolution: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
    Setting this to zero would force low-resolution printing, preventing the document from being distilled into a new unrestricted PDF document.
  11. Allow user to Fill Form Fields: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
  12. Allow Copy for Accessibility: (1=Yes, 0=No) 1 is typical.
  13. Allow user to assemble document: (1=Yes, 0=No) 0 is typical.

 

Within the pdf file, you should embed text tags (Crystal formulas) that indicate the page locations for starting a new split pdf file, and the path & name of that new file. 

Notes:

-          If the target folder of the split files does not exist, Visual CUT creates it on the fly.

-          In Crystal, use non-proportional font for the tag formula (avoid Calibri and Bold/Italic)


Here is an example of such a formula that can be placed, for example, in a Group Header section

// Set small font. Text must display within the boundaries in a SINGLE line.

// The page where the tag is detected becomes the first page of the split pdf

// The last page of the split pdf is the page before the next tag.

// If a single page has 2 Split Tags, only the first one is detected.

 

// The formula always starts with "#Split_Protect_Tag::" and ends with "#"

"#Split_Protect_Tag::" +

"c:\" + {@Folder} + "\" + {Product_Type.Product Type Name} + ".pdf>>User_Password"

// NOTE: to protect but not prompt the user for a Password, leave User_Password as blank. +

"#"


Notes: Visual CUT can remove pdf processing tags from the pdf file after processing those tags.  This is controlled by an entry called PDF_Tags_Delete_Default under the [Options] section of DataLink_Viewer.ini. By default, this option is set to True.  To ensure all tags are removed, use the Replace() function in Crystal to change double quotes into single quotes.  For example, the expression for the file name could be:
Replace({Product_Type.Product Type Name},"""","'") 

 


 

Compress PDF Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to compress a pdf file.   
Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Compress:c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}.pdf>>c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}_New.pdf"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Compress:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the existing PDF file (typically, this would be the exported file, but you can use any PDF file). In bursting scenarios, you would typically refer to the dynamic exported file name by embedding a reference to a field or formula (marked in blue in the example above). 

  2. [optional] The path & name of the new PDF file
    If you leave this part blank, Visual CUT would simply overwrite the pdf file with its new compressed version. For example:
    "PDF_Compress:c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}.pdf"
    Use that approach only if you have a way to recreate or restore the original file because the compress process might fail.

Notes:

As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas, and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.

 

PDF_Compress occurs before PDF_Protect to allow compressing and protecting in one command line.


 

Linearize (web-enable) PDF Files

A linearized pdf file can be opened faster from a url link because it is designed to open the 1st page even before the full document has been downloaded by the browser.

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to linearize a pdf file.   
Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"PDF_Linearize:c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}.pdf>>c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}_New.pdf>>Password"

The parameters (after the "PDF_Linearize:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the existing PDF file (typically, this would be the exported file, but you can use any PDF file). In bursting scenarios, you would typically refer to the dynamic exported file name by embedding a reference to a field or formula (marked in blue in the example above). 

  2. [optional] The path & name of the new PDF file
    If you leave this part blank, Visual CUT would simply overwrite the pdf file with its new linearized version. For example:
    "PDF_Linearize:c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}.pdf>>>>Password"
    Use that approach only if you have a way to recreate or restore the original file because the linearization process might fail. For example, while pdf exports from Visual CUT seem to go through the linearize process without a problem, I’ve seen some cases where pdf exports of the same report from Crystal Designer fail the linearize process.

  3. [Optional] Password.  Leave blank if the file is not password protected.  For example:
    "PDF_Linearize:c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}.pdf>>>>"

Or you may simplify this to:
"PDF_Linearize:c:\tmp\Inv_{@N}.pdf"

 

Notes:

As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas, and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.

 

PDF_Linearize occurs after all other pdf operations such as PDF_Merge and PDF_Protect.


 

Export to PDF via MS WORD

When exporting to PDF, the Crystal runtime might shrink and mishandle certain fonts. Exporting via Word fixes that issue and also adds options for generating Tagged pdf files and files that conform to the PDF/A standard.
Here is a comparison of two pdf exports, showing font shrinking problem (box in red) in PDF export from Crystal compared to no shrinking when exporting via MS Word:

image

 

You may elect to default to PDF exporting via MS Word by using the Options dialog: image

Alternatively, you can use a "PDF_Export_Options" command line argument to override the global (ini) setting.  For example:
"PDF_Export_Options:Word"

The options are:

  1. "" or Default – Uses the Crystal Runtime to export
  2. Word – Use MS Word to export to PDF (after internally exporting to MS Word)
  3. Tagged – Same as 2, but export as a Tagged pdf file
  4. PDF/A – Same as 2, but export as a PDF/A file
  5. Tagged and PDF/A – Same as 2, but export as a Tagged PDF/A file

 

For pdf exporting format, the options button  image  launches a PDF Export Options window showing the global (ini) setting, and providing choices for generating and saving the command line argument (if you need to override the global ini setting).

image

Notes:

If you specify Tagged or PDF/A options, the default behavior of setting PDF file properties and processing bookmark and link tags in the generated pdf file is skipped. This is because such post-processing would lose compliance with the PDF/A standard. So, unless you truly need a PDF/A file, you should use the lower-level options such as "Word" or the default Crystal Runtime pdf export. 

The machine must have MS Word with ability to save to pdf.

Excel Functionality


Note: PC must have MS Excel installed except for:

XLS_AutoFit
XLS_Auto_Filter
XLS_Range_Insert_File
XLS_Range_Insert_File_Split
Exporting to xlsx with Data Only option


Exporting to Excel 2007 (.xlsx) Files

If you specify an export file name with a .xlsx file extension, even though the specified export format is Excel 97, Visual CUT takes care of producing an Excel 2007 .xlsx file.

 

The process actually starts by exporting to a temporary .xls file. If there are more than 65,536  rows in the export, the content will be split across multiple tabs inside the temporary .xls file.
Visual CUT then converts the temporary .xls file to an Excel 2007 .xlsx file and merges all tabs into the first tab. The extra tabs are removed, and the temporary .xls file is deleted.

The overall effect is that when you specify a .xlsx file extension, you get an export to Excel 2007 format, supporting more than a million rows in a single tab and consuming much less disk space.

Combining Excel Bursting Exports into a Single Multi-Tab Spreadsheet

Visual CUT can create an Excel workbook with a separate tab (sheet) for each group:
image

 

Tip: right-clicking the VCR buttons to the left of the tab names launches a tab navigation list. This helps when the number or size of tab labels forces a scroll in order to see all of them.
 
The key to using this optional functionality is the naming of the export files:

¨    The name of the tab used for the individual sheets exported from each group is specified after the keyword ‘Tab!’
(within the export file name and before the ".xls" file extension). 
Note: Visual CUT ensures tab names are acceptable to Excel by truncating long (>31) names and converting :\/?*[] characters to "legal" alternatives.

¨    The name of the spreadsheet file holding these individual sheets is determined by what’s left when removing the ‘Tab!sheet name’ from the export file name.

 

For example, here is the export file name option used to generate the Excel file above:

c:\temp\Sales in {@Year} Tab!{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.xls

 

In this case, the highlighted area determines the sheet name inside the "master" spreadsheet and the rest of the text determines the "master" spreadsheet file name.
As usual, Visual CUT allows you to drag and drop any available fields or formulas to act as dynamic components in creating the file and sheet names.

 

If you want Visual CUT to e-mail the resulting file, then select the "Single Email" rather than the "Email for Each Group Level 1" option and specify the resulting file name in the Attach option. For the case above, the resulting file name is:  c:\temp\Sales in 1997.xls 


Adding Excel Exports as Tabs in Existing/New Spreadsheets (Briefing Books)

Besides bursting a single report into multiple tabs in a single excel file, Visual CUT can also export a whole report or burst a report and add the resulting excel sheet(s) to existing excel files. This allows you to schedule several reports (typically using a batch file) and generate "briefing books" of several reports in multiple tabs within a single excel file.  You would typically email the resulting excel file (at the end of the last scheduled step) to the recipients.
Note: you can use a Macro Enabled workbook (.xlsm) to host the tab, for further automation.

 

Let’s assume you need to burst 10 reports to 100 agents. You would start the first report (about Commissions) with a burst into an export file name option such as:

c:\temp\Monthly Reports for {Agent_Name} in {@Month_Year} TabInNewFile!Commission.xlsx

 

This would result in 100 excel files named like:

Monthly Reports for Richard Roper in April 2004.xlsx

Monthly Reports for Ido Millet in April 2004.xlsx

etc.

Each of these workbooks will have a single tab (Commission) showing the Commission information for that agent. Note: as always, the tab name can also be dynamic by dragging & dropping fields/formulas to the area directly after TabInNewFile! key word (case sensitive).

 

You would then schedule the next report (about Policy Cancellations) to burst using an export file name option such as:

c:\temp\Monthly Reports for {Agent_Name} in {@Month_Year} TabInOldFile!Cancellations.xlsx

 

The TabInOldFile! ensures the Cancellations tab with the report information would be added to the excel workbook created in the previous step.

 

Note: When using TabInOldFile!, if the workbook file doesn't exist, it would be created.

 

You would continue in the same way with the other 8 reports (scheduled in that order in a single batch file.  In the first 9 reports you will have no emailing but in the last one you will enable burst emailing so each agent gets their own "briefing book" as a multi-tab excel workbook instead of 10 separate excel files.

 

The scenario above assumes a bursting operation, but you can use the same exact approach in exporting whole reports to generate "briefing books".

 

Appending or Replacing Data for Existing Tabs

If TabInOldFile! encounters an existing tab, the export gets appended to the end of content in that tab.  If you use TabInOldFile_Replace! Visual CUT inserts the tab if it doesn't already exist, but replaces the content of the tab if it already exists. This allows other sheets to refer to the content (periodically refreshed by Visual CUT) of that tab.

Note: the file & tab naming conventions that apply to this functionality are the same as described in the previous section.


Controlling Excel Tab Colors

 When you specify tab names in excel exports via any of the methods described above, you can control the color of the excel tab by preceding the tab name with an RGB directive like this:
RGB225000000
The 3 sets of 3 digits following the RGB text specify the Red, Green, and Blue values (ranging from 0 to 255).  See RGB color values at sites such as: http://web.njit.edu/~kevin/rgb.txt.html

 

Visual CUT then takes care of coloring the excel tab according to the directive (and removing the directive from the tab name).

 

Here is an example of an export file name:

c:\temp\Sales Tab!RGB225000000{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.xls

 

The real power behind this feature is that the color directive can be a formula that dynamically sets the tab color based on performance as reflected in the report data.  For example:

c:\temp\Sales Tab!{@RGB_Tab_Color}{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.xls

For example:

Select Sum ({@value}, {Product_Type.Product Type Name})

Case is > 1000000: "RGB000255000"

Case is > 300000:  "RGB000150000"

Case is > 11000:   ""

Case is <= 11000:  "RGB225000000"

default:        ""




image 

Setting Up Print Properties for Excel Workbooks

You can instruct Visual CUT to change the print setup properties of an Excel workbook or a specified tab (sheet) inside that workbook.  The command line argument structure is as follows:

"XLS_Print_Setup:Excel_File>Tab>…"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

 

  1. Excel_File: the full path and name of the excel file.
  2. Tab: the tab (sheet) name.  Use 1 to target the first tab. Leave blank to target all tabs.
  3. Orientation:  Portrait, Landscape, or leave blank for no change.
  4. N Pages Wide: for example, use 1 to fit into 1 page wide.  Leave blank for no effect.
  5. N Pages Tall: for example, use 1 to fit into 1 page tall.  Leave blank for no effect.
  6. Left Margin: in inches.  For example, 0.25.  Leave blank for no effect.
  7. Right Margin: in inches.  For example, 0.25.  Leave blank for no effect.
  8. Top Margin: in inches.  For example, 0.25.  Leave blank for no effect.
  9. Bottom Margin: in inches.  For example, 0.25.  Leave blank for no effect.
  10. Header Margin: in inches.  For example, 0.25.  Leave blank for no effect.
  11. Footer Margin: in inches.  For example, 0.25.  Leave blank for no effect.
  12. Center Horizontally: Y for Yes.  Any other value, including blank, for no effect. 
  13. Center Vertically: Y for Yes.  Any other value, including blank, for no effect. 
  14. Print Grid Lines: Y for Yes.  Any other value, including blank, for no effect.

 

Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line arguments. 
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line.

 

For example (all in one line):
"XLS_Print_Setup:c:\temp\{Customer.Country}.xls>>>1>1>>>>>>>>>"

 

The command line above would be typical of cases where you burst a report to multiple excel files, and you wish to fit the printout (when a user opens the file in Excel) into a single page.

 

Note: since there are 14 elements, there should always be 13 instances of '>' separators.   

 


Auto Filter & Freeze Panes in Excel Exports

You can instruct Visual CUT to turn on the Auto Filter behavior within exported excel files.
The command line argument structure is as follows:
"XLS_AutoFilter:True"
For more advanced options, use the following command line argument structure:
"XLS_AutoFilter:A1>>A2"

 

The arguments are separated by >> and are as follows:

Spreadsheet Cell for Applying Auto Filter (Use Top-Left cell of the range)
Spreadsheet Cell for Applying Freeze Panes -- Rows above and Columns to the left get frozen.
                                                                               A2 freezes just the 1st row)

Note: leaving one of the two elements blank would result in processing only the non-blank argument

 

To process a file that is not the one being exported, specify the target file as the first argument:
"XLS_AutoFilter:c:\temp\test.xls>>True"
or
"XLS_AutoFilter:c:\temp\test.xls>> A1>>A2"

To target a workbook tab, change the first argument to target file||target tab like this:
"XLS_AutoFilter:c:\temp\test.xls||target tab>>True"
or
"XLS_AutoFilter:c:\temp\test.xls||target tab>> A1>>A2"


Column Auto Fit in Excel Exports

You can instruct Visual CUT to automatically fit the column widths in exported excel files.  This is useful in "Data Only" exports.  The command line argument structure is as follows:

"XLS_AutoFit:True"

 

For more advanced options, use the following command line argument structure:

 

"XLS_AutoFit:MaxColumnWidth>>31>>False"

 

The 3 elements after the ":" are separated by >> and are as follows:

MaxColumnWidth – fixed text

Maximum column width – a number between 1 and 255

Wrap Text True or False.  Control whether columns adjusted down to the specified maximum width should wrap their text.


Password Protecting Excel Workbooks

You can instruct Visual CUT to protect any number of Excel files.  The command line argument structure is as follows:

"XLS_PROTECT:Excel_File_List>Password"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

 

  1. Excel_File_List: comma separated list of the Excel files you wish to protect.
    If all files share the same folder, you can specify the full path just for the first file.
    If a file is not found, a warning is written to Failure.log and that file is skipped.
    Note: you can specify file names using wild cards.

 

  1. Password: up to 15 characters in length.

 

Important Note: you can use field or formula names within the command line arguments. 
The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line. Among other things, this allows you to easily protect individual Excel exports with different passwords for each group you are bursting.  For example (all in one line):

"XLS_PROTECT:c:\temp\{@Product}.xls>{@Product_Password}"

 


 

Protecting Excel Worksheets against User Viewing/Editing

As described at: http://spreadsheets.about.com/od/excel2007tips/qt/080428_lockcell.htm
Protecting data from change in Excel is a two step process.

  1. locking/unlocking specific cells in your spreadsheet.
  2. applying the Protect Sheet option. Until step 2 is completed, all data is vulnerable to change.

Visual CUT allows you to automate step 2 using the XLS_Protect_Worksheets command line argument.
 
Note: while XLS_Protect provides workbook access protection, XLS_Protect_Worksheets hides and protects cells from user editing. 

 

You will typically use XLS_Protect_Worksheets afterVisual CUT has populated an excel template worksheet with Crystal formula data (using XLS_Range_Insert).
 
The command line argument structure for XLS_Protect_Worksheets is as follows:

"XLS_Protect_Worksheets:Source_File>>Target_File>>Password"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

 

  1. Excel Source File (path & name).

  2. [Optional] Excel Target File (path & name).  If none specified, source file is updated.

 

  1. Password: up to 15 characters in length. If left blank, the user doesn’t need a password to unprotect the worksheets.

 

You can use dynamic references to field or formula names within the command line argument. For example (all in one line):

"XLS_Protect_Worksheets:c:\temp\{@Branch}.xls>>{@Password}"


 

Inserting File Exports into Excel Templates

Using XLS_Range_Insert_File command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to insert Excel (Data Only) exports into pre-formatted excel templates. See sample image1 & image2.

This approach has several advantages compared to XLS_Range_Insert (see next section):

1.      XLS_Range_Insert inserts data from formula values (limited to 65,534 characters). XLS_Range_Insert_File inserts data from files that can contain much more data

2.      If the target cell is not empty, the content is appended to the first empty area below.

3.      The method automatically detects the template row based on the target cell and the number of columns in the exported data. The format of all columns in the template row as well as the row height are applied to all inserted data.

4.      You can elect to also clone content from all other columns in the template row. This allows you to clone formulas that can refer to content in the inserted rows!

 

Here is an example of how the command line argument is structured:

"XLS_Range_Insert_File:C:\TEMP\Template.xlsx>>C:\TEMP\Template_Filled.xlsx>>
    c:\temp\export1.xlsx||Sheet1||B5||[Clone_Template_Row][Remove_Content_Top_Row]"

 

The elements (after the "XLS_Range_Insert_File:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:
1. Template excel file.

2. Resulting excel file.  In append scenarios, can be same as template file

3. Data source & insert instructions consisting of 4 "||" delimited elements:

a)      Excel (data Only) export file to be inserted

b)      Target sheet in template

c)      Target cell in template

d)     Options (may leave blank):

[Clone_Template_Row] is useful for cloning formulas outside template columns.
[Remove_Content_Top_Row] skips the top row of the inserted data.
[REPLACE] discards the data found starting with the target cell (instead of appending).


Notes:

a)      If the template range is a Table with sort and filter conditions, these choices are reapplied after the insert, so the populated table is sorted and filtered just as in the template.
See sample image1 & image2.

b)      If your template Table contains formula columns, sparklines, or any other content you wish to clone rather than overwrite, include a corresponding blank column in the excel export. You can use a formula that returns "" in Crystal to create such a blank column.

c)      You can specify multiple data source & insert instructions separated by a "^^" delimiter.

d)     Content below target cell gets pushed down as data is inserted.

e)      Row height of target cell is cloned to all inserted rows

f)       As always, the files path & name can contain dynamic references. For example:
"XLS_Range_Insert_File:c:\myTemplate.xlsx>>{@Result}>>{@DataFile}||Sales||E8||"

g)      You can fill templates in hidden sheets

h)      At the end of the process, Visual CUT restores the focus in the workbook to the original sheet and original selections in all sheets.

i)        The process can automatically handle cases where a Table contains a Summary Row.

j)        The process takes care of resetting data sources for pivot tables to the resulting workbook (instead of the original template workbook). This supports templates with pivot tables and charts. However currently this doesn't support cases where a Slicer is applied to multiple Pivot Tables/Charts. You can use PowerPivot tables to overcome that limitation.

k)      The [REPLACE] option allows you to maintain a template with prototype data. This ensures that design choices such as TopN filtering for Pivot Tables are not lost due to removing data from the template.

The following page shows images demonstrating this functionality.

Sample Input & Output

imageThe template workbook above contains conditional formatting for Revenue (Color Bars) and Lead Time (color scale from red to green) and is filled with data from an Excel (Data Only) export (with 7 columns) that looks like this:

imageWhile the Excel export contains 7 columns, the template workbook has an 8th column (column I) with a formula flagging late cases (Shipped date >= Required date).

Using the command line argument of:
"XLS_Range_Insert_File:C:\temp\Template.xlsx>>C:\Temp\Filled.xlsx>>
c:\temp\Data.xlsx||Sheet1||B5||[Remove_Content_Top_Row][Clone_Template_Row]"
the resulting workbook looks like this:
image


 

Splitting Workbook & Inserting into a Template (faster method)

If you need to burst one report and insert many resulting files into a template, XLS_Range_Insert_File_Split provides a faster process by processing a single Excel file as a source data and splitting it by the values in the first column of the spreadsheet.
Expect speeds of about 40 files per second.

Here is an example of how the command line argument is structured:

"XLS_Range_Insert_File_Split:C:\TEMP\Template.xlsx::9500>>
C:\TEMP\[1stColumnValue].xlsx>>c:\temp\DataSource.xls
||Sheet1||B5||[Remove_Content_Top_Row]"

 

The elements (after the "XLS_Range_Insert_File_Split:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:
1. Template excel file followed by :: and the last data row number in the template file. 

2. Resulting excel file.  The [1stColumnValue] token is replaced by the value in the 1st column, allowing each resulting file to have a dynamically controlled path & name.

3. Data source & insert instructions consisting of 4 "||" delimited elements:

a)      Excel (data Only) export file to be inserted (can be xls or xlsx)

b)      Target sheet in template

c)      Target cell in template

d)     Options (may leave blank):

[Remove_Content_Top_Row] skips the top row of the source data excel file.
[No_Shrink] skips the process of removing surplus rows from the template.

 

Keeping the Template File Small

The template file must be populated by at least as many rows as in the largest set of inserted rows. The process removes surplus rows. Template files with less rows keep the process faster. You can use a Crystal formula in GF1 to establish the maximum rows in any group:

NumberVar MaxRows;

Local NumberVar GroupRows := Count ({Employee.Last Name}, {Employee.Last Name});

IF GroupRows > MaxRows Then MaxRows := GroupRows;

And in Visual CUT refer to a Report Footer formula to dynamically point the process at a differently sized template:

NumberVar MaxRows;

Select MaxRows

Case is < 100: "C:\XLS_Range_Insert_File\Template99.xlsx::99"

Case is < 991: "C:\XLS_Range_Insert_File\Template990.xlsx::990"

Default: "C:\XLS_Range_Insert_File\Template9976.xlsx:9976"  ;

 

Notes

a)      The data in the 1st column is used only to drive the process (splitting and naming of the resulting files. It does not get inserted into the template.

b)      This functionality is currently available only in Visual CUT 11.

c)      Use Auto-Filter rather than Table in the template.

d)     Summary formulas below the template data range should use INDIRECT() to refer to the last cell in a column.  For example:
SUM(E5:INDIRECT("E" & ROW()-1)) instead of SUM(E5:E9776)

e)      Save the template file with the selected cell at the top rather than the bottom of the sheet.

f)       Performance is faster if report groups are sorted in Descending order of number of records per group.

 

Token Substitution

If you wish to replace the text content of certain cells in the template with dynamic information from each data slice, you can do so by expanding the content of the 1st data column like this:
Sales by Leverling^^[[Title]]->Leverling||[[Rows]]->46

 

The first part, before the ^^ is the content that would drive the new file names using the [1stColumnValue] token.
The following text is treated as From->To pairs, separated by || delimiters.

Here is an image demonstrating the tokens being substituted:

image

The Crystal report acting as the Excel (Data Only) export data source was sorted by Employee.  
The Suppress expression for the 1st column makes it visible only for first employee record:

IF OnFirstRecord Then False

ELSE {Employee.Last Name} = Previous({Employee.Last Name});


image

Inserting Crystal Values into Excel Templates

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to replace named ranges inside MS Excel spreadsheets with values of formulas with matching names. The file can then be saved to a new dynamically named file and emailed as part of a bursting Visual CUT process.

The advantage of this technique over directly exporting/bursting a Crystal report to excel spreadsheets is that you can keep and control all elements in the template spreadsheet. For example, the template spreadsheet may have formulas, conditional formatting, hidden columns, and macros.   

 

 Here's an example of the command line argument structure:
"XLS_Range_Insert:c:\template.xls>>c:\target.xls"

The arguments (after the "XLS_Range_Insert:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

1. The path & name of the template XLS file (containing named ranges).
 

2. [optional] The path & name of the resulting XLS file.  If the command line specifies only a template file, that file will simply be updated.

As always, the files path & name can contain dynamic references. For example:
… "XLS_Range_Insert:C:\temp\Master.xls>>c:\temp\{Faculty.Faculty_Name}_{[yyyy]}.xls"


Or, if the source file needs to be updated (without creating a new file:

… "XLS_Range_Insert:c:\temp\{Faculty.Faculty_Name}_{[yyyy]}.xls"

Specifying Named Ranges in the Excel Template and Matching Formulas in Crystal

To create a named range in excel, simply select the cell(s) and type a name for the range in the cell address area above column A.

To identify a formula in a Crystal report that should provide the value(s) for a named range, the formula name must start with VC_XLS_Range_Insert_  followed by the range name. 
For example, the formula VC_XLS_Range_Insert_Ref_J would insert values into a named range called Ref_J .


Notes:
- Visual CUT can handle named ranges even if they reside inside hidden tabs.
- Crystal’s formula string length is limited to 65,534 characters.
- In order for Visual CUT to recognize the value of the Crystal formula, it must be placed in:
   1. The Report Header or Footer or
   2. Group Header 1 or Group Footer 1 if the report is being burst by Visual CUT.

The named ranges must have a Workbook scope. If you create a named range and then make a copy of the sheet within the same workbook, you will need to use the Name Manager within Excel to rename and set the scope of the named range to ‘Workbook’.

Crystal Formula Content for Multi-cell and multi-row Named Ranges

For a single cell named range, the Crystal formula can simply return the desired text.

 

For multiple cells in a single row named range, the formula value must be a strings delimited according to the following structure:
- Multiple cells should be separated with a "||" delimiter.
- Multiple rows should be separated with a "&&" delimiter


The named range doesn’t need to have as many row cells as elements in the formula row. Visual CUT starts inserting cells in the left-most column of the named range and continues with as many cells there are in each formula row. 

The named range the template Excel spreadsheet should have at least 2 rows if the formula will provide more than one row of data.  Visual CUT will expand the named range to accommodate the number of rows.

Blank cell values should be provided as [vc_null]


Here is an example of this approach in the context of populating a named range (Ref_J) with faculty refereed journal publications.  The final formula simply returns the value of a global string variable that has been accumulated via other formulas:

GH1 Formula to reset the global string variable:

WhilePrintingRecords;

Global stringvar Range_Values := "";


Detail Formula
to accumulate the information into the Range_Values string variable:

 

WhilePrintingRecords;

Global stringvar Range_Values;

Local StringVar New_Range_Values;

Local stringvar ls_REF_J_Date;

IF IsNull({REF_J.Date}) Then

    ls_REF_J_Date := "[vc_null]"

else

    ls_REF_J_Date := {REF_J.Date}; 

 

New_Range_Values :=

{REF_J.Title} & "||" &

{REF_J.Journal Name} & "||" &

ls_REF_J_Date & "||" & 

"[vc_null]" & "||" &

ls_REF_J_Points ;

 

IF Len(Range_Values) = 0 Then

Range_Values := New_Range_Values

Else

Range_Values := Range_Values & "&&" & New_Range_Values;

 

 

Group Footer Formula:  {@VC_XLS_Range_Insert_Ref_J}
 with a name matching the named range in the spreadsheet:

WhilePrintingRecords;

stringvar Range_Values;

 

Populating Multiple Named Ranges

To populate multiple named ranges, you simply need to have multiple formulas in the Crystal report.  Each formula must be named (as explained above) to match the desired named range in the excel spreadsheet.

Visual CUT loops through all named ranges in the excel workbook and, if it can find a matching Crystal report formula, it will undertake populating the range with the formula value(s). 


In some cases, the data for different named ranges may require formulas in different Crystal reports.  You can simply create a multi-line batch file that calls one report and populates some named ranges, and then calls another report to populate other named ranges.

Notes:

 

 


 

Before & After Images

 

Here is what a portion of a template spreadsheet may look like
with a named range (Ref_J) selected:

 

image

 

 

 

And here is that same range in the resulting excel file after Visual CUT automatically populated and expanded it with data from the {@VC_XLS_Range_Insert_Ref_J} Crystal formula:

 

image


 

Transferring Tabs To Another Workbook

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to transfer tabs from one workbook to another and even rename the transferred tabs based on Crystal fields/formulas.  This is particularly useful when bursting report information into named ranges in a template workbook, and then gathering the resulting tabs into a single workbook with multiple tabs.

 

 Here's an example of the command line argument structure:
"XLS_Transfer_Tabs:[c:\my.xls||Tab1::Tab2]>>[c:\{@WB}.xls}||{@Tab1}::{@Tab2}]"

The arguments (after the XLS_Transfer_Tabs:) are grouped into two main parts, each surrounded by square brackets and separated by a ">>":

1. The first part specifies the source excel workbook and, after a || delimiter, the list of tab names (separated by :: from each other) that should be transferred to the target workbook. 

2. The second part specifies the same information, but for the target workbook.


Notes:

a)                  The target tabs can specify different names than the source tabs.  Renaming occurs based on the position within the list of tabs.

b)                  If the source workbook doesn’t exist, it gets created.

c)                  If a target tab already exists in the target workbook, it gets replaced.

d)                 Since this argument executes after XLS_Range_Insert, the two processes can be chained into one command line.

e)                  As always, the files path & name can contain dynamic references.

Splitting Excel Workbooks by Tabs

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to split an Excel workbook so each tab becomes a separate PDF or Excel file.

 Here's an example of the command line argument structure:
"XLS_Split_Tabs:c:\my.xlsx||PDF||c:\new_[Tab_Name].pdf||Landscape||True"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

  1. Source_WorkBook: path & name of the source excel file (e.g. c:\temp\Sales.xls)
  2. Target File Format: PDF or XLSX
  3. Target File: the path and name of the target file for each tab. The [Tab_Name] token gets replaced with the name of the tab.
  4. PDF Page Orientation: Landscape or Portrait
  5. Ignore Print Areas: True (include all content) or False (include Print Areas Content)

 


Notes:

a)                  Blank/Hidden tabs and skipped

b)                  If a target file for a given tab already exists, it gets replaced

c)                  Missing folders for target files are created automatically

d)                 For PDF format, the content of each tab gets fitted into a single PDF page

e)                  As always, the argument may contain dynamic references to fields/formulas.
for example:
…"XLS_Split_Tabs:c:\temp\Sales_in_{@Year_Parameter}.xlsx||PDF||
              c:\temp\Sales_in_{@Year_Parameter}_for_[Tab_Name].pdf||Landscape||True"

 

 


 

Splitting Excel Workbooks by First Column

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to split the first worksheet in an Excel Workbook so that the rows for each unique value found in the first column are split to a different workbook named based on the unique value.

For example, the following spreadsheet:

 image

would be split according to the unique values in the 1st column to create 2 workbooks called:
Job1.xlsx (with 3 rows) and
Job2.xlsx (with 2 rows)
The advantage over regular bursting is that the process is faster.

 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:
"XLS_Split_ByColumn:c:\my.xls||XLSX||c:\temp\||0||Replace||True||"

"XLS_Split_ByColumn:c:\temp\Maintenance_Summary_Page_for_Split.xls||XLSX||c:\temp\test3\||0||Replace||True||"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

  1. Source_WorkBook: path & name of the source excel file (e.g. c:\temp\Sales.xls)
  2. Target File Format: XLSX
  3. Target Path: the path (ending with a '\') to where the split files would be created. The names of the generated workbooks are based on the values in the first column of the Source Workbook
  4. Number of Header Rows in the Source Workbook. 
    note: can be 0 if the source workbook has no header rows..
  5. Action if target spreadsheets exist: Replace or Append
  6. Delete 1st Column?: True (delete it) or False (don't delete it)
  7. Options:
    - include the text [AutoFit] if you want to AutoFit column widths in resulting workbooks.


Notes:

a)                  Header rows (based on item 4 above) are transferred to all target files.

b)                  Missing target folder is created on the fly

c)                  As always, the argument may contain dynamic references to fields/formulas.

 

Generating Excel Pivot Tables

Visual CUT can automatically generate an Excel Pivot Table based on an existing or newly exported (Data Only) excel worksheet. This can be very valuable in cases where you want to give users an easy and familiar way to Slice & Dice the data.

The command line argument structure is as follows:
"XLS_Pivot_Table:Source_WorkBook>New_WorkBook>Tab>…"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. Source_WorkBook: path & name of the source excel file (e.g. c:\temp\Sales.xls)
  2. New_WorkBook: path & name of file to create (e.g. c:\temp\Sales_and_Pivot.xlsx)
    • if left blank, the Pivot table gets added as 1st tab in the existing WorkBook
    • if the style argument is not blank, the destination file should have .xlsx extension
      and the machine should have Excel 2007 or later
  3. Tab: the sheet name in the source workbook where the data block is. Typically: Sheet1
  4. Range Name: [Optional]. If blank, data with column headers is assumed to start at A1.
  5. Pivot/Tab Name: Pivot Table and New Worksheet Tab.   To Target an existing Tab, specify: PivotName||TabName||Cell_Address (for example, Pivot1||Sales||D20)
  6. Row Elements: field names separated by "||".  For example, "Country||City" would use Country as level 1 row group and City as level 2 row group
  7. Row Element Sort: a sort code for each row element specified above, separate by "||"
    • A for Ascending, D for Descending, N for No Sort
    • T# for TopN (for example T7 for Top 7), B# for BottonN (B12 for Bottom 12)

Last element (after "||") must specify the CAPTION name of the Column Controlling the Sort (e.g., "Revenue"). For example: "T5||D||Revenue" would show Top 5 countries and within that cities in Descending order based on "Revenue"

  1. Column Elements: field names separated by "||".  ("Employee||Product Name")
  2. Column Element Sort: same logic as for Row Element Sort
  3. Page Filter Elements: field names separated by "||".  ("Product Class||Product Type")
  4. Data Elements: separated by "||" and providing 4 sub-elements separated by "::"
    1. Field name – the column header from the raw data block (e.g. "Value")
    2. Caption - a user-friendly name. For example, "Revenue"
    3. Summary Type – current options include: Sum, Count, Average, Max, Min, or Var
    4. Format String – for example:  $#,##0,K or 0.0%
    For example: "Value::Revenue::Sum::$#,##0,K||Late::% Late::Average::0.0%"
    specifies 2 pivot table metrics. The ‘Revenue’ metric is a sum of the Value field, and is  formatted as thousands of dollars.  The ‘% Late’ metric is an average of the Late field and is formatted as percent. 
  5. Show Grand Totals: "Both", "None", "Rows", or "Columns"
  6. Show Subtotals: "None", "Bottom", or "Top"
  7. Style: same style names as in Excel, but without spaces (e.g. "PivotStyleMedium23"
  8. Show Bands: "Both", "None", "Rows", or "Columns"
  9. Show Blank Rows: "Yes" to insert a blank line after each group level 1 row.
  10. Hide Data Tab: "No", "Yes" (allow unhide), "YES" (no GUI option to unhide).
  11. Hide Field List: Yes hides the field list on the right side of the screen.
  12. Data Orientation: (optional)"Rows" (Default) or "Columns" (to show metrics side-by-side)
  13. Options (optional): various options separated by ‘||’ (e.g. Report_Layout=Tabular)

Let’s take as an example the following command line argument (all in 1 line):

"XLS_Pivot_Table:c:\temp\Before_Pivot.xls
>c:\temp\After_Pivot.xlsx>Sheet1
>>Revenue Pivot Table
>Country>T7||Revenue>Employee>D||Revenue>Year||Prod_Class||Prod_Type
>Value::Revenue::Sum::$#,##0,K||Late::% Late::Average::0.0%
>Both>Bottom>PivotStyleMedium23>Rows>Yes>YES>False"


That command line argument tells Visual CUT to take the "Before_Pivot.xls" file (which was generated by Visual CUT as an Excel Data Only export) and convert it to a new "After_Pivot.xlsx" excel 2007 file.  The data found in the Sheet1 tab

image


is used to generate a Pivot Table in a new tab called "Revenue Pivot Table":
image

Country>T7||Revenue
  set the rows to Top 7 Countries by Revenue
Employee>D||Revenue set the columns to Employees sorted Descending by Revenue
Year||Prod_Class||Prod_Type set the Page filters (top-left drop-downs)
Value::Revenue::Sum::$#,##0,K||Late::% Late::Average::0.0% set Revenue & % Late as metrics
PivotStyleMedium23>Rows>Yes set the style, banded rows, and a space after each row group
The YES>False at the end hides the tab for the raw data and doesn’t hide the field list.

Notes:

1.      A wizard for generating the command line argument is available for download from:
http://www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Pivot_Table_Wizard.xlsx

 

2.      Visual CUT takes care of auto-fitting column widths for both the raw data block for the pivot table as well as for the pivot table itself.

3.      If the information is sensitive, you can also password protect the workbook using a command line argument such as:  "XLS_Protect:c:\temp\After_Pivot.xlsx>sesame"

4.      XLS_Pivot_Table is always processed before XLS_Protect so you can generate the workbook with the pivot table, password-protect it, and email it using a single Visual CUT process.

5.      To support Style & Banded effects, the Visual CUT machine must have
Excel 2007 or later.

6.      The last Options argument currently supports only 3 Report_Layout directives:

Report_Layout=Compact / Report_Layout=Outline / Report_Layout=Tabular

Tabular uses field names instead of generic ‘Row Labels’ and ‘Column Labels.’

 

7.      The "Top" value for the ‘Show Subtotals’ option applies only to cases where the Pivot Table has a single Data element.  It also applies a compact Outline layout to the resulting Pivot Table.

8.      Sample report for exporting (to Excel Data Only) as a basis for generating a pivot table is available for download at:
http://www.milletsoftware.com/Download/Pivot_Data.rpt

9.      To handle excel exports that require more than 65,536 rows of data, you can simply specify a file extension of .xlsx (instead of .xls). For other situations (where the excel file is not exported from Visual CUT), you may use the XLS_to_XLSX command line argument described in the next section.

10.  You may specify multiple "XLS_Pivot_Table:…" arguments and Visual CUT will execute all of them in the order they are specified. If you wish to hide the data tab, set that option to Yes only on the last process that needs access to it.

 

 


Refreshing Data (Queries, Pivot Tables) from all Connections

Excel workbooks can use external data for Queries and Pivot Tables. You may need to automate the process of refreshing that data (causing all connections used by the workbook to retrieve the data from external sources such as databases or web services).
The command line argument structure is as follows:
"XLS_Refresh:Source_WorkBook>>New_WorkBook>>Sleep_Seconds"

Or, if you don't wish to save the updated source file:

"XLS_Refresh:Source_WorkBook>>>>Sleep_Seconds"
Or, if you if wish to save the updated source file and there's no need to wait for the data retrieval to complete (the query option of 'Enable Background Refresh' is disabled):
"XLS_Refresh:Source_WorkBook"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. Source_WorkBook: path & name of the source excel file (e.g. c:\temp\Sales_Before.xls)
  2. New_WorkBook: path & name of file to create (e.g. c:\temp\Sales_After.xlsx)
  3. Sleep_Seconds: number of seconds to wait after initiating the refresh (before saving)

 

Note: if New_Workbook is left blank, the process saves the source workbook after the refresh.

 



Running an Excel Macro

After exporting a report to Excel, you may wish to trigger a global excel macro (a macro that was created as logic that can apply to any open workbook) to process the generated data. Or perhaps you used TabInOldFile_Replace! to insert the excel export as a tab inside an existing workbook that has a Macro you wish to trigger.

The command line argument structure is as follows:

"XLS_Run_Macro:
Source_WorkBook>>New_WorkBook>>Macro_WorkBook>>Macro"

Or, if you don't wish to save the updated source file:

"XLS_Run_Macro:Source_WorkBook>>>>Macro_WorkBook>>Macro"

If the Macro is available through an add-on or resides in the source workbook, leave the Macro_Workbook argument blank:
"XLS_Run_Macro:Source_WorkBook>>New_WorkBook>>>>Macro"

Or, if there is no saving to a target file):

"XLS_Run_Macro:Source_WorkBook>>>>>>Macro"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. Source_WorkBook: path & name of the source excel file (e.g. c:\temp\Sales_Before.xls)
  2. New_WorkBook: path & name of file to create (e.g. c:\temp\Sales_After.xlsx)
  3. Macro_WorkBook: path & name of the workbook containing the Macro
  4. Macro: the name of the Macro to run

 

Notes:

1.      You may need to add the location of the source excel file to the list of trusted locations (using Excel’s Trust Center).

2.      If New_Workbook is left blank, the process does not save the source workbook after the process.  So if you want to save the updated workbook to the same path and file name, you must specify it.

3.      As usual, you can embed field/formula references in the command line argument.
For example,

"XLS_Run_Macro:{@Exported}>>>>C:\Excel\Global_Macros.xls>>MyMacro"





Replacing Content in Excel Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to replace any number of strings in an Excel file with specified substitutions. The replacement logic can use dynamic values from a Crystal field or formula. Also, by forcing a re-evaluation of the content in cells with replaced content, exported content in a cell can be turned into a dynamic Excel formula.
The command line argument structure is as follows:

"XLS_Replace:InFile||OutFile||find1>>replace1::find2>>replace2||Options"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source Excel file. 

 

2. OutFile: the file path & name for the resulting Excel file. 

            - If no OutFile is specified, the source file gets updated
            - if the target folder doesn’t exist, Visual CUT creates it
            - if no path is specified (just name) the path of the source file is used

3. Find & Replace Pairs: unlimited number of find and replace elements.
Each "find" element is separated from its "replace" element by a ‘>>’. 
Each pair is separated from the next pair by a ‘::

- To specify special string characters, such as Carriage Return or Line Feed,
    use Chr() expressions (e.g., Chr(10) or Chr(13).
- To remove strings, specify them in the ‘find’ and leave the ‘replace’ as blank


4. Options: Leave blank.  May be used for future enhancements.

 

For example, to replace ^= with = (useful for turning formula expressions into formulas, if in Crystal you export the expression starting with "^=", use this command line argument:

"XLS_Replace:c:\temp\Input.xlsx||||^=>>=||"
 
Dynamic Field Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


Exporting Formula Expressions to Excel, and Activating Them

Imagine you wish to export a Crystal report to Excel, and some of the cells in the export contain formula expressions like this: "=ROUND(C3*(1+($D$2/100)),2)"
The excel export would treat such cells as TEXT rather than as a formula that refers to other cells in the exported file. To activate the cell so it becomes an Excel formula, change the expression in Crystal so it starts with something unique. For example: "^=ROUND(C3*(1+($D$2/100)),2)"
Then, use "XLS_Replace:c:\temp\MyFile.xlsx||||^=>>=||" to activate the formula.

Convert XLS Files to XLSX (and merging sheets)

Using XLS_to_XLSX command line argument, you can ask Visual CUT to convert a file from .xls to .xlsx format. The key benefits are:

·         .xlsx files are not limited to 65,536 rows per sheet.  During exports to .xls, Crystal and Visual CUT create multiple tabs inside the workbook when there are more than 65,536 rows. The conversion to .xlsx can merge these multiple tabs into one tab

·         .xlsx files are smaller.  For example, an export to .xls that created two tabs (one tab with 65,536 rows and one tab with 56,027 rows) resulted in a 11.3MB .xls file.  After converting and merging to a single-tab .xlsx file (with 121,563 rows), the file size dropped to just 2.7MB.

 

The command line argument structure is as follows:

"XLS_to_XLSX:Input_xls_File>>Output_xlsx_File>>Merge_Tabs?"

For example: "XLS_to_XLSX:c:\temp\out.xls>>c:\temp\out.xlsx>>True"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. Input_xls_File: path & name of the source .xls file (e.g. c:\temp\Sales.xls)
  2. Output_xlsx_File: path & name of .xlsx file to create (e.g. c:\temp\Sales.xlsx)
  3. Merge_Tabs?: use a value of True to request that all tabs be merged into the first tab (tabs 2 and later are then removed).


Notes:

1.      If you simply specify an export file name with an.xlsx extension, Visual CUT executes an implicit XLS_to_XLSX conversion (it exports to a temporary .xls file, converts and merges sheets into the specified .xlsx file, and deletes the temporary .xls file. This means you do not need to explicitly specify an XLS_to_XLSX argument.

2.      The Visual CUT machine must have Excel 2007 or later.

3.      To ensure proper merging of multiple tabs, make sure the first column in the excel export is not blank.

4.      XLS_to_XLSX is executed beforeXLS_Pivot_Table. This allows a single command line to trigger exporting of a large data set to a multi-tab .xls file, conversion to a
single-tab .xlsx file, generation of a pivot table, and emailing of the resulting workbook.


 

Convert Excel Files to PDF

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to save an Excel file to a PDF File. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.xls>c:\temp\Invoice.pdf>PDF>0>1>Competition"

The parameters (after the "XLS_Save_As:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the Excel file (xlsx files are supported as well)
  2. The path & name of the target PDF file
  3. Save As Format (PDF)
  4. Optimized For Screen (1/0)
    a value of 0 would create a higher-quality (optimized for print) but larger pdf file.
  5. Ignore Print Areas: 1-True, 0=False
  6. Save Scope: Tab Name, or  0=Workbook, or Tab Number: 1=1st worksheet, 2=2nd, …
    note: currently, only a single value between 0 and 9 is acceptable,
    so you can save either the whole workbook or one of the first 9 tabs.

 

Notes:

 

If you wish to fit the tab content into a single pdf page, you may need set the Print properties for the tab to ‘Fit Sheet on One Page’.

As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"XLS_Save_As:{@file_name}.xlsx>{@file_name}.pdf>PDF>0>0>1"

The machine must have MS Excel 2007 or higher.  If 2007, it must have the
"2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS AddOn" which allows Microsoft Excel to save documents as PDF.  If you don’t already have that option enabled in MS Excel, you can download it from:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4D951911-3E7E-4AE6-B059-A2E79ED87041&displaylang=en

 

 


 

Convert Excel Files to HTML

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to save an Excel file to a HTML File. Here are example of the command line argument structure:

to convert the Competition tab:
"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.xlsx>c:\temp\Invoice.htm>HTML>0>0>Competition"
to convert a Pivot Table called Revenue, residing on a Revenue tab. No title:
"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\After.xlsx>c:\temp\Revenue.htm>HTML>>Revenue>Revenue"

"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\After_Pivot.xlsx>:c:\temp\Revenue_PivotTable.htm>HTML>0>Revenue Pivot Table>Revenue Pivot Table"


The parameters (after the "XLS_Save_As:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the Excel file (xlsx files are supported as well)
  2. The path & name of the target HTML file
  3. Save As Format (HTML)
  4. Pivot Table Title: Ignored if not targeting a Pivot Table. Set to blank to avoid a title.
  5. Pivot Table Name: Leave as blank or 0 if not targeting a Pivot Table
  6. Save Scope: Tab Name, or  0=Workbook, or Tab Number: 1=1st worksheet, 2=2nd, …
    note: currently, only a single value between 0 and 9 is acceptable,
    so you can save either the whole workbook or one of the first 9 tabs.

Notes:


The machine must have MS Excel installed.

A typical use scenario is to use Visual CUT to export & generate a Pivot Table, or fill a range or cell values in an excel template with formula values from a Crystal report. Then, embed the resulting HTML Save-As version of the populated excel file as an email message body using an [Insert_File:…]] directive.

As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"XLS_Save_As:{@file_name}.xlsx>{@file_name}.htm>HTML>0>0>1"

Or

"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\After.xlsx >c:\temp\Revenue.htm>HTML>{@Pivot_Title}>Revenue>Revenue"


 

Convert Excel Files to CSV

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to save an Excel file to a CSV File. Here are example of the command line argument structure:
"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.xlsx>c:\temp\Invoice.csv>CSV>>>1"

The parameters (after the "XLS_Save_As:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the Excel file (xlsx files are supported as well)
  2. The path & name of the target CSV
  3. Save As Format (CSV)
  4. Leave blank
  5. Leave Blank
  6. Save Scope: Tab Name, or  0=Workbook, or Tab Number: 1=1st worksheet, 2=2nd, …
    note: currently, only a single value between 0 and 9 is acceptable,
    so you can save either the whole workbook or one of the first 9 tabs.

Notes:

The machine must have MS Excel installed.

A typical use scenario is to use Visual CUT to export a report that contains a subreport. Such cases don't export well directly to CSV, but exporting first to Excel (Data Only) and then converting to CSV solves the problem.
 
As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual


 

Convert Excel Files to TEXT

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to save an Excel file to a TEXT File. Here are example of the command line argument structure:
"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.xlsx>c:\temp\Invoice.txt>TXT>Windows>NoQuotes >1"

The parameters (after the "XLS_Save_As:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the Excel file (xlsx files are supported as well)
  2. The path & name of the target CSV
  3. Save As Format (TXT)
  4. Text Format: MS-DOS or Windows
  5. Options: Leave Blank or use 'NoQuotes' to remove extra double quotes added by the excel export.
  6. Save Scope: Tab Name, or  0=Workbook, or Tab Number: 1=1st worksheet, 2=2nd, …
    note: currently, only a single value between 0 and 9 is acceptable,
    so you can save either the whole workbook or one of the first 9 tabs.

Notes:

The machine must have MS Excel installed.

A typical use scenario is to use Visual CUT to avoid wide text truncation when exporting to TEXT. By exporting first to Excel (Data Only) and then converting the result to a text file you avoid loss of data.
  
As usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual


 

MS Word Functionality


Note: PC must have MS Word installed.


Protecting MS WORD Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to:
a) allow viewing of a Word document only for user who knows the Open Password.
b) restrict the type of editing a user is allowed, unless the user knows the Modify Password.

A typical use scenario is when you have as a template document with form fields.  Visual CUT takes care of populating content in this template document using Word_Replace_Tags. Before emailing the resulting file to a customer, you may need to restrict the customer to only form fields modifications.

 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"WORD_Protect:c:\in.doc>>c:\out.docx>>OpenPass>>ModifyPass>>ModType"

The parameters (after the "WORD_Protect:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the source file
  2. The path & name of the Save-To file (this can be same as the original file)
  3. Open Password required to view the file
  4. Modify Password required to remove the modify restrictions
  5. Modify Type allowed for users without Modify Password. Valid options:
    1. Allow_Only_Form_Fields (user can only modify form fields
    2. Allow_Only_Comments (user can only add comments)
    3. Allow_Only_Revisions (user can only add revisions)


Notes:

 

as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"WORD_Protect: {@in}>>{@out}>>Sesame>>mod123>>Allow_Only_Form_Fields"


 

Inserting Crystal Values into MS Word Documents

Note: starting with Visual CUT 6.2002 (April 2010) this functionality is also available from the Graphical User Interface by simply selecting Word_Replace_Tags as the export format.

Using a command line argument you can instruct Visual CUT to replace references to Crystal field or formulas inside MS Word documents with values of these formulas.  The file can then be saved to a new dynamically named file and emailed as part of a bursting Visual CUT process.

The advantage of this technique over directly exporting/bursting a Crystal report to a Word document is that Crystal exports to Word tend to have formatting and editing problems. By creating your own Word document to act as a template, you ensure precise formatting and problem-free editing.

 

 Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"WORD_Replace_Tags:c:\template.doc>c:\Contract_{Cust_Name}.doc>NoAppend"

The parameters (after the "WORD_Replace_Tags:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. The path & name of the original MS Word file (containing references to Crystal formulas).
 

2. The path & name of the target MS Word file (after replacing references with values).
Note: if the target document is .docx the process is much faster and doesn't use MS Word.

3. optional Append (or NoAppend) directive: if you specify "…>Append" at the end of the command line argument, the populated template document content will be appended to the end of the target file,  if the target file already exists. If the target file doesn’t already exist, the target file is created.

Specifying Field/Formula References (tags) in the Word document

If, for example, you wish to reference a Crystal formula called {@Customer_Name}, you should use the following text inside your MS Word document:  #{@Customer_Name}# .   In other words, simply enclose the formula name in # symbols. 

Note that in order for Visual CUT to replace the reference with the value of the field/formula during processing, the field or formula must be placed in:
1. The Report Header or Footer if the report is processed Whole by Visual CUT, or
2. Group Header 1 or Group Footer 1 if the report is being burst by Visual CUT.



Notes:

 


 

Populating Word Tables with Crystal Formula Data

During WORD_Replace_Tags processing (see section above), you can instruct Visual CUT to also populate tables with data from Crystal formulas.  To populate the 1st table you name the formula Word_Replace_Table_1. To populate the Nth table in the document, name the formula Word_Replace_Table_N

Remember to place the formula in RH/RF section if not bursting or in GH1/GF1 section if the formula provides different data for each Group level 1 during bursting.  As always, the formula or the section may be suppressed.

 
The formula should contain a strings delimited according to the following structure:
- Table Rows should be separated with a "][" delimiter.
- Table cells should be separated with a "||" delimiter


The table in the template Word document should already have at least as many rows as you expect to populate.  Visual CUT will delete the extra rows.  This way, any formatting you applied to the table would be maintained.

 

In most cases, the final formula would simply return the value of a global string variable that has been accumulated via other formulas. For example, if you are bursting the sample report Visual_Cut_11.rpt and wish to populate the 1st Table in a Word document with information about the Product Name (1st column) and Revenue (2nd Column), you may use the following 3 formulas:

GH1 Formula to reset the global string variable:

WhilePrintingRecords;

If NOT InRepeatedGroupHeader THEN Global StringVar Table_1 := "";

 

GH2 section Formula to accumulate the information into the Table_1 string variable:

WhilePrintingRecords;

Global stringvar Table_1;

IF Len(Table_1) = 0 Then

// First table row. Separate cell values with "||"

Table_1 := {Product.Product Name}+ "||" + "$" + ToText(Sum ({@value}, {Product.Product Name}),0)

ELSE

// Additional row, so add it to the accumulated string variable (Table_1)

// after a "][" to indicate a new row

Table_1 := Table_1 + "][" + {Product.Product Name}+ "||" + "$" + ToText(Sum ({@value}, {Product.Product Name}),0)

 

Group Footer Formula to pass the string to Visual CUT:

WhilePrintingRecords;

Global StringVar Table_1;

 


Using the above scenario, a template document (c:\temp\Template.doc) that looks like this:


image


Can be used via the following command line (all in 1 line):

"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT 11\Visual_CUT_11.rpt" "WORD_Replace_Tags:c:\temp\template.doc>c:\temp\{Product_Type.Product Type Name}.doc>NoAppend"


In this case, you should set Visual CUT to burst this report. Any format would do since you would ignore the export and use the Word documents. Here’s what Gloves.doc looks like:

image

Replace Formatting in MS WORD Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to find and replace a specified format throughout a Word document.

This functionality was developed to allow an export from Crystal to Word to result in Double Underline (typical for totals in accounting reports). Since Crystal doesn’t have a double-underline, you can apply a Strikethrough in Crystal, and then convert it to Double Underline in the resulting MS Word export.

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"WORD_Replace_Format:c:\in.doc>c:\out.doc>Strikethrough>DoubleUnderline"

The parameters (after the "WORD_Replace_Format:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the source file
    (typically, this would be the exported file but you can convert any WORD file).
  2. The path & name of the Save-To file (this can’t be same as original file)
  3. Format to search for (currently, only Strikethrough is supported)
  4. Format to replace with (currently, only DoubleUnderline is supported)

 

Notes:

 

as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"WORD_Replace_Format:{@in}>{@out}>Strikethrough>DoubleUnderline"


 

Printing MS WORD Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to print a specified MS Word file. Using field/formula references, you can dynamically set the file to be printed, the printer to be used, and the number of copies.

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"WORD_Print:{@Word_File}>>{@Printer_Name}>>{@Copies}"
or

"WORD_Print:c:\temp\test.docx>>Default>>1"

The parameters (after the "WORD_Print:") are separated by ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the MS Word file
  2. The name of the destination printer, or Default
  3. The number of copies


Notes:

as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.


 

Printing MS WORD Files with Watermarks

You can print exported Word files with dynamic watermarks for each printed copy
(e.g. "Copy 1 of 4"). See sample image: http://screencast.com/t/oSaqXcqvidWF

If you also need to export to another file format, simply specify multiple export file names.
For example, c:\temp\{@Invoice}.pdf;c:\temp\{@Invoice}.doc


The command line argument structure:
"WORD_Print_Watermark:{@Word_File}>>{@Printer_Name}>>{@Copies}>>
       WatermarkText>>Font>> Bold>>Italic>> FontSize>>Width>>Height>>
       Rotation>>Transparency>>Options"


Example 1: (stretching to Watermark to length of 7.5 inches and height of 1.3 inches):

"WORD_Print_Watermark:c:\test.docx>>Default>>2>>Copy [[N]] of [[M]]>>
Calibri>>False>>False>>12>>1.3>>7.5>>315>>0.5>>"


Example 2 (62 point font size without width/height stretching):

"WORD_Print_Watermark:c:\test.docx>>Default>>2>>Copy [[N]] of [[M]]>>
Calibri>>False>>False>>62>> >> >>135>>0.5>>"


The parameters (after the "WORD_Print_Watermark:") are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the MS Word file
  2. The name of the destination printer, or Default
  3. The number of copies
  4. The Watermark text. Visual CUT replace [[N]] with the copy number and [[M]] with number of copies, so Copy [[N]] of [[M]] becomes Copy 1 of 4, Copy 2 of 4, etc. 
  5. Font (e.g. Calibri)
  6. Bold: True or False
  7. Italic: True or False)
  8. Font Size: in points. Note: gets stretched if Width and/or Height are specified!
  9. Width: in inches.  Stretches text to desired width. Leave blank or space to ignore
  10. Height: in inches.  Stretches text to desired height. Leave blank or space to ignore
  11. Rotation: Clockwise rotation in degrees. use 315 for diagonal, 0 for horizontal etc
  12. Transparency: from 0 to 1.  0.5 = semi-transparency
  13. Options: leave blank

Notes:

as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.


 

Convert WORD Files to PDF

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to save a WORD file to a PDF File. Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"WORD_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.doc>c:\temp\Invoice.pdf>PDF>0>0>0>1>0"

The parameters (after the "WORD_Save_As:") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the WORD file (typically, this would be the exported file or the File you created using WORD_Replace_Tags, but you can convert any WORD file).
  2. The path & name of the target PDF file
  3. Save As Format (PDF)
  4. Optimized For Screen (1/0): a value of 0 would create a higher-quality (optimized for print) but larger pdf file.
  5. Create Bookmarks (0=No, 1=by Word Section Headings, 2=by Word Bookmarks)
  6. Create Tagged (structured) PDF (1=Yes, 0=No)
  7. Substiture Bitmaps for Missing Fonts (1=Yes, 0=No)
  8. Use PDF/A Standard (for archiving purposes) (1=Yes, 0=No)

 

Notes:

 

as usual, any of these arguments can contain references to fields or formulas and Visual CUT would dynamically replace the reference with the value in the report.  For example:
"WORD_Save_As:{@file_name}.doc>{@file_name}.pdf>PDF>0>0>0>1>0"

In Visual CUT 11, if the last 4 options (Bookmarks, Tags, Bitmaps, PDF/A) are not used, and the source file is .docx (rather than .doc), then the process doesn't need MS Word, otherwise, the machine must have MS Word 2007 or higher. For Word 2007 you may need to download the "2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS AddOn" from:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4D951911-3E7E-4AE6-B059-A2E79ED87041&displaylang=en

 

 

 


Text Functionality

 

Splitting Text Files by Embedded Tags

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to look for tags inside a text file and to split the file into multiple files. The process is faster than regular bursting and can be useful for generating many thousands of files.

 

Here's an example of the command line argument structure:

"TXT_Split_Tags:c:\temp\ToolTips.txt>>Replace"


The parameters (after the "TXT_Split_Tags:") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

  1. The path & name of the text file you wish to split
  2. Desired action when split file already exists: Replace or Append

 

[[#Split_Tag::c:\temp\Some_File_Name.htm#]]<HTML> … … </HTML> [[#Split_Tag::c:\temp\Another_File_Name.htm#]]<HTML> … … </HTML>

Within the text file, you should embed text tags that indicate the split file path & name that should apply for the following text.  The structure and location of the tags should follow this example:

Notes:

-          The tag [[#Split_Tag:: … #]] comes before the text that would be written to that split file.

-          If the target folder of the split files does not exist, Visual CUT creates it on the fly.

 


 

Merging Text Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to merge any number of text files.  For example, this feature allows you to append text or csv exports to an existing files.  Another typical use scenario is to append a csv export (which doesn’t include column headers) to a single-line text file that provides the column headers.
The command line argument structure is as follows:

"TXT_MERGE:Text_File_List>Text_File_Target>Top_Rows_To_Remove"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">" and are as follows:

1. Text_File_List: comma separated list of the source files in the order they should be merged.
    If all source files share the same folder, you can specify the full path just for the first file.
    If a source file is not found, a warning is written to Failure.log and that file is skipped. 

 

2. Text_File_Target: the file path & name for the resulting merged file. If the path is the same as the first source file, you may specify just the file name.


3. Top_Rows_To_Remove: the number of top rows to remove from each file being merged into the first file. This is useful if the first file already provides column headers that should be removed from the following files.  Use ‘0’ to indicate no rows should be removed.

For example:
"TXT_MERGE:c:\temp\File1.txt,File2.csv,File3.csv>c:\temp\Result.csv>0"



Dynamic Field Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.



Replacing Content in Text Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to replace any number of strings in a text file with specified substitutions.  For example, this feature allows you to remove a Carriage Return and Line Feed at the end of csv file exports.
The command line argument structure is as follows:

"TXT_Replace:InFile||OutFile||find1>>replace1::find2>>replace2||Options"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source text file. 

 

2. OutFile: the file path & name for the resulting text file. 

            - If no OutFile is specified, the source file gets updated
            - if the target folder doesn’t exist, Visual CUT creates it
            - if no path is specified (just name) the path of the source file is used

3. Find & Replace Pairs: unlimited number of find and replace elements.
    Each "find" element is separated from its "replace" element by a ‘>>’ (or by '|>>|'). 
    Each pair is separated from the next pair by a ‘::

    - To specify special string characters, such as Carriage Return or Line Feed,
       use Chr() expressions (e.g., Chr(10) or Chr(13).
    - To remove strings, specify them in the ‘find’ and leave the ‘replace’ as blank

    - To insert file content instead of token references to the files, use [[Insert_File:…]]
      as the "find" element and "File" as the "replace element. If the file contains dynamic
      references to fields and formulas, use "File_Dynamic" as the "replace" element. For example:
          "TXT_Replace:c:\temp\Export{@Product.txt||||[[INSERT_FILE:...]]>>File_Dynamic||"
      In the text file, use tokens such as [[Insert_File:c:\temp\File2Insert.txt]] or
      [[Insert_File:c:\temp\{@File}]] to indicate where & what files should be inserted.
      Note:
If an inserted file has file tokens, they are replaced as well (the process is recursive).


4. Options: Leave blank, unless you wish to use a special option. 

-          Specify END if you wish the substitution to occur only at the end of the file.

 

For example, to remove Carriage Return and Line Feed at the end of a text file, use this command line argument:
"TXT_Replace:c:\temp\Input.csv||Result.csv||Chr(10)>>::Chr(13)>>||End"
 
Note: you may use '|>>|' instead of '>>' for cases where specified strings end/start with '>'.

Dynamic Field Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


 

Removing Blank or Short Lines in Text Files

Using a command line argument, you can instruct Visual CUT to remove blank or short lines in text files. This is typically useful when one of the text export formats generates a file with unwanted blank lines or lines with just delimiters.
The command line argument structure is as follows:

"TXT_Remove_Short_Lines:InFile||OutFile||Max_Length_To_Remove"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source text file. 

 

2. OutFile: the file path & name for the resulting text file. 

            - If no OutFile is specified, the source file gets updated
            - if the target folder doesn’t exist, Visual CUT creates it
            - if no path is specified (just name) the path of the source file is used

3. Max_Length_To_Remove: Lines with that specified length or shorter would be removed.


For example, to remove all lines that are only 3 characters or shorter:

"TXT_Remove_Short_Lines:c:\temp\Input.csv||Result.csv||3"
 
Dynamic Field Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


 

Removing GUIDs from png Files Referenced in HTML Exports

This approach is designed to address a use scenario where each time you export a report to HTML, image files are created (charts, logos, etc.) with different names. The references to these files use a GUID to make the file name unique, like this:
<img src="Sales{EF6A442D-0DDA-436A-A178-2410853A7E05}.png"
Where the Sales portion is based on the export file name.

 

In most cases, the image files actually don’t need unique GUIDy names and we can DeGUID (remove the GUID portion) from the file reference and from the actual png file name.

 

The DeGUID process detects if each png file is unique or a clone of another image within the same report (typical in cases of logos repeating on each page). If the png is not a clone (typical in reports with multiple charts), the GUID is replaced by an incrementing number (Sales_1.png, Sales_2.png, etc.). This ensures the local and web folders don’t accumulate unique GUIDy names each time the scheduled process runs. It also saves space because while Crystal exports the same logo on different pages as multiple png files, the DeGUID process in Visual CUT automatically consolidates these clones as a single file.

You can elect to either delete the GUIDy png files (typical in cases the images are static (logos).
Or you can elect to rename the png files to match the renamed references in the HTML source.

 

The command line argument structure is as follows (all in 1 line):
"TXT_DeGUID_png:InFile||Options"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source HTML file. 

 

2. Options:

DeleteLinkedFile to delete the referenced png files (Scenario 1 above)
RenameLinkedFile to rename (DeGUID) the referenced png files (Scenario 2 above).
Otherwise, None

For example, the following directive:

    "TXT_DeGUID_png:c:\temp\Sales.htm||RenameLinkedFile"
Would remove all GUIDs from png file references in the HTML export. It will also rename the referenced png files by removing the GUIDs from their file names.

 

More complex scenarios (you wish to rename references to a logo image to a static name that doesn’t depend on the export file name) can be handled by the more complex command line argument described in the next section (TXT_Replace_Tokens).

Dynamic Field Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.

Replacing Content in Text/HTML Files – Token Approach

This approach allows you to change the content of exported TEXT or HTML file.

The command line argument structure is as follows (all in 1 line):
"TXT_Replace_Tokens:InFile||OutFile||Start1^^End1^^replace1^^Location1^^Options1
::Start2^^End2^^replace2^^Location2^^Options2||Global_Options"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source text file. 

 

2. OutFile: the file path & name for the resulting text file. 

            - If no OutFile is specified, the source file gets updated
            - if the target folder doesn’t exist, Visual CUT creates it
            - if no path is specified (just name) the path of the source file is used

3. Find & Replace Directives: find and replace directives (separated from each other by "::").
Each directive has 5 elements separated by a ‘^^’:
- Start Token (in the example above, this would be <img src="

- End Token (in the example above, this would be "

- Replace with: text to replace the text found between start and end tokens
- Location: LAST for last found match, ALL for all, 1 for 1st found match, 2 for 2nd …

- Options: RenameLinkedFile if you want to rename a matching file.
                  DeleteLinkedFile to delete a matching file (if clean file name already exists).
                  Otherwise, None

4. Global Options: Leave blank




 

For example, the following directive:

 

    "TXT_Replace_Tokens:c:\temp\Sales.htm||||<img src="^^" border="0" width="52px"   
                                        height="32px"></div>^^LionHead.png^^ALL^^RenameLinkedFile||"
you can replace multiple image files, typically named as variations of:
Output_File{1A49A55D-544F-472F-B40F-5B7062C3D47A}.png   with a single image file.



 "TXT_Replace_Tokens:c:\temp\Sales.htm||c:\temp\Sales.htm||<img src="^^
" border="0" width="52px" height="32px"></div>^^MyLogo.png^^ALL^^RenameLinkedFile||"


 will change all references to an image with dimensions of 52x32 with a single static reference to MyLogo.png.  Due to the RenameLinkedFile directive all the temporary matching files such as
Output_File{1A49A55D-544F-472F-B40F-5B7062C3D47A}.png  

Will be renamed to MyLogo.png

This has 2 effects:

1.                  Less clutter in the export folder because multiple image files may be replaced by a single image file

2.                  Less files need to be attached to an email message or uploaded to a web server

3.                  The web server and the client browser can cache MyLogo.png, improving performance



Dynamic Field Names

You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


 

Inserting Base64-Encoded Files Inside Text/XML

This option was developed for a customer who needed to export invoice data to an XML file containing an embedded image encoded with Base64 (a method that converts from binary to text  representation). The XML file is then transmitted to a business partner using SFTP_Upload.

The process takes the following steps:

1.                  A TEXT export creates the XML file with a reference to a file that should be embedded at a particular location.  The reference has the following structure:
[Insert_File_Base64:file_path_and_name]]
for example,
[Insert_File_Base64:C:\Temp\Invoice_32556_image.pdf]]

2.                  Using a TXT_Replace_Base64 command line argument directs Visual CUT to search the XML file, locate such references, and replace them (including the surrounding tags) with the Base64 encoding of the specified file.

The command line argument structure is as follows (all in 1 line):
"TXT_Replace_Base64:InFile||OutFile||Options"


The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source text file. 

 

2. OutFile: the file path & name for the resulting text file. 

            - If no OutFile is specified, the source file gets updated
            - if the target folder doesn’t exist, Visual CUT creates it
            - if no path is specified (just name) the path of the source file is used

3. Options: Leave blank



Notes:

·         You can have any number of references embedded in the exported text file. Visual CUT will replace all of them.

·         You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT.  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


 

Changing Text File Encoding

This option was developed for a customer who needed to change the encoding of a text export from ANSI to UFT-8.

The command line argument structure is as follows:

"TXT_Encode:InFile||OutFile||fromEncoding>>toEncoding||Options"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a "||" and are as follows:

1. InFile: the file path & name for the source text file. 

 

2. OutFile: the file path & name for the resulting text file. 

            - If no OutFile is specified, the source file gets updated
            - if the target folder doesn’t exist, Visual CUT creates it
            - if no path is specified (just name) the path of the source file is used

3. The original and new encoding, separated by a ‘>>’. 

4. Options: Leave blank

 

For example, to convert from ANSI to UTF-8:

"TXT_Encode:c:\temp\ {@invN}.xml||c:\temp\{invN}.xml||windows-1252>>utf-8||"
or

"TXT_Encode:c:\temp\ {@invN}.xml||||windows-1252>>utf-8||"

Notes:

·         Valid encoding codes: us-ascii,unicode,unicodefffe,ebcdic,iso-8859-1,iso-8859-2,iso-8859-3,iso-8859-4,
iso-8859-5,iso-8859-6,iso-8859-7,iso-8859-8,iso-8859-9,iso-8859-13,iso-8859-15,windows-874,windows-1250,
windows-1251,windows-1252,windows-1253,windows-1254,windows-1255,windows-1256,windows-1257,
windows-1258,utf-7,utf-8,utf-32,utf-32be,shift_jis,gb2312,ks_c_5601-1987,big5,iso-2022-jp,iso-2022-kr,euc-jp,
euc-kr,macintosh,x-mac-japanese,x-mac-chinesetrad,x-mac-korean,x-mac-arabic,x-mac-hebrew,x-mac-greek,
x-mac-cyrillic,x-mac-chinesesimp,x-mac-romanian,x-mac-ukrainian,x-mac-thai,x-mac-ce,x-mac-icelandic,x-mac-turkish,x-mac-croatian,asmo-708,dos-720,dos-862, ibm01140,ibm01141,ibm01142,ibm01143,ibm01144,ibm01145,ibm01146,
ibm01147,ibm01148,ibm01149,ibm037,ibm437,ibm500,ibm737,ibm775,ibm850,ibm852,ibm855,ibm857,ibm00858,
ibm860,ibm861,ibm863,ibm864,ibm865,cp866,ibm869,ibm870,cp875,koi8-r,koi8-u

·         You can use field or formula names within the command line argument (just like you drag & drop fields & formulas into the various options in the 3rd tab within Visual CUT).  The dynamic content of these fields/formulas would be substituted into the command line argument.


ODBC Export Functionality


Visual CUT (for Crystal 9 and above) provides ODBC Export options that are not available in Crystal alone. As shown below, the ODBC Export Options dialog allows you to select Abort (default Crystal action), Append, or Replace as the action when the target table already exists:
image 

 

Note: the Table Name is controlled by the Export File Name (that option is not on the dialog shown here but on the main email/export processing options tab of Visual CUT). Since that option accommodates dynamic content, you can control the table name using fields/formulas in the report…



Append Functionality

By selecting append, you can add data to an existing table.  One use for this is for recording snapshots of data over multiple periods of time. For example, your database may show current inventory levels or current account balances but it is very difficult to generate a report that shows inventory levels or account balances at the end of each month for the last few years. By scheduling Visual CUT to run at the end of each month and append information reflecting the inventory levels or the account balances at that time, you enable easy tracking of that information over time.  In Data Warehousing jargon, this is called a snapshot data warehouse.

 

Another use scenario is to record the fact that certain records were processed by Visual CUT and to avoid duplicate emails.  For example, as orders arrived throughout the day, you can schedule Visual CUT to run every 5 minutes and email order confirmation messages to the customers. By appending to an ODBC table, you can record which orders have already been confirmed.  Alternatively, you can use the Skip_Recent command line argument described in the section 

Avoiding Duplicate Processing on page: 52.  

 

Another use scenario is to Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) data into a data warehouse or across data sources without needing expensive ETL tools or consultants.  

 

Replace Functionality

A typical use for the Replace option is to generate temporary tables for use by other processes or crystal reports.  For example, Crystal Reports can't aggregate other aggregate values (e.g., average group totals) and can't sort groups based on formulas that use aggregate values. However, you can create a batch file that calls Visual CUT twice: first to export a report with aggregate values to a temporary table and then to process a 2nd report that uses the temporary table as input.


Capturing & Processing Incoming Emails


Visual CUT can automatically capture incoming emails from your email server to a database table. A Crystal report using the data in that table can then be processed in Visual CUT to trigger reactions to that email, such as:

·         Export/Print/FTP/Email information or reports

·         Update databases using After_Success_SQL

·         Trigger other applications or Visual CUT processes using After_Burst_Batch

Use Scenarios

Here are a few examples of the types of workflow automation this enables:

·         Requesting a Report via a Simple Web Form or via Email:

o   A manager, employee, customer, or supplier can use a simple web form (no web application required) to request a report.

o   The information gets emailed to your email server

o   Visual CUT captures the email into the EMAIL_CAPTURE table.

o   A Crystal report using that table inside Visual CUT uses After_Burst_Batch to trigger another Visual CUT process by specifying a report to run, parameters, email destination, etc.

o   The triggered Visual CUT report runs and emails the output to the requesting employee/customer.

Note: using­ the same exact process, you can let customers request information or reports by sending an email. For example, a customer may request information about the status of their order, the balance in their account, etc.

 

Here is a sample email from ABP Reports’ Boomerang system, which uses this technique, allowing users to request reports via email by simply clicking on a hyperlink:

image


 

 

·         Updating a Database via a Simple Web Form:

o   A manager, employee, customer, or supplier can provide information (for example, complete a registration for an event or provide order status information) using a simple web form (no web application required).

o   A Submit button triggers an email with the form information to your email server.

o   Visual CUT captures the email into the EMAIL_CAPTURE table

o   A Crystal report using that table inside Visual CUT uses After_Burst_SQL to update another database table (for example, inserting the information into a REGISTRATION table. 

·         Collecting Customer Feedback & Updating a Database via Email Links:

o   You can use Visual CUT to burst Customer Satisfaction survey emails when a purchase, course, visit, RFQ, event, or tech support case is closed.

o   Inside the HTML email message you embed 5 mailto hyperlinks corresponding to ratings of: Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent

o   This allows the customer to simply click on one of these links to trigger an email back to you with the appropriate ratings.

o   Visual CUT captures the email into the EMAIL_CAPTURE table.

o   A Crystal report using that table inside Visual CUT uses After_Burst_SQL to insert feedback records into a CUSTOMER_FEEDBACK table.

·         Importing Data from Email Attachment into a Database Table:

o   Email with excel file attachment is captured and Visual CUT extracts the attachment to a specified folder.

o   1st Crystal report reads records from the Email_Capture table and bursts to a dummy VC_Skip_Export.

o   After_Burst_Batch triggers a 2nd report that uses Excel as data source, but redirects it (using Database_Path command line argument) to retrieve data from the email attachment file.

o   Visual CUT exports the data from the Excel file via ODBC and appends it to a specified table.

·         Requesting & Capturing Management Decisions Via Email:

o   Imagine you have a PO table with Purchase Order records that are first inserted with a status of ‘Requested’.

o   You can use Visual CUT to burst and email to the manager in charge of each department Approval Requests for these POs.

o   Attached to each emails you would provide a PDF file with detailed information about the requested Purchase Orders.

o   Inside the HTML email message body, you embed 2 mailto hyperlinks allowing the manager to trigger a Reject or Approve email back to you.
Note: APB Reports (a BI Consulting firm with impressive record of leveraging Visual CUT for a variety of use scenarios) implemented such a process for one of their clients. Here is what the email message looks like:
image

o   Here is the email message resulting from clicking on the Approve hyperlink:

image

o   Note that the email message contains an encrypted text. This ensures the integrity of the emailed information can’t be compromised on its way back to us. 

o   The encrypted text contains all the necessary data to identify the PO and indicate rejection or approval (each hyperlink has a different decision code embedded in the encrypted text).

o   The encrypted text for each emailto hyperlink is generated via a Crystal formula using the BlowFishEncrypt() function provided by the CUT Light UFL.

o   The email triggered by clicking on the Reject or Approve hyperlink gets sent to your email server

o   Visual CUT captures the email into the EMAIL_CAPTURE table.

o   A Crystal report using that table inside Visual CUT decrypts the text in the email message body (or subject line) using the BlowFishDecrypt() function provided by the CUT Light UFL.

o   Using After_Burst_SQL, Visual CUT then updates the status of the Purchase Order to ‘Approved’ or ‘Rejected’. The SQL statement may look something like this:
'UPDATE PO SET PO_Status = '& {@NEWSTATUS} & ','& (IF {@NEWSTATUS} = '8' THEN (' PO_COMMENT = '& "'PO approved by "& {@EMAIL} & "'")ELSE(' PO _COMMENT = '& "'PO rejected by "& {@EMAIL} & "'"))&' WHERE PO_ID = ' & {@PO_ID} & ' AND PO_STATUS = 6'

 

Triggering Email Capture

An Email Capture process gets triggered by running a report in Visual CUT using a command line with an "Email_Get:Directives_Key"argument.  For example (all in 1 line):

image

 

The Directive key is used to look up in the DataLink_Viewer.ini a matching key under the [Email_Get] section.

[Email_Get] ini Section

Each Directives Key can specify multiple directives separated by a ‘||’ delimiter:

[Email_Get] P1=Get_PO_Decisions P2=Get_Evaluation_Requests||Get_Camp_Feedback||Get_Booking_Requests

Notes:

1. The Email_Get process gets triggered BEFORE the report retrieves data from the database. 

2. The ODBC DSN used by the report is automatically used as the ODBC DSN target for loading captured emails into the target table. Visual CUT reuses the saved login information for the report in order to update the target email capture table. 

3. The target table is specified in the directive ini section (see next page).

4. The tables used by the report are not restricted to the email capture target table.

5. By default, processing is aborted if no new emails where inserted into the database and the previous run also resulted in zero inserted records (to protect against cases where the last data insert is not yet recognized by the report that immediately runs in the same automated process). To change that behavior, set Abort_Report_Process_If_No_New_Emails in the directive ini section to False.


 

Email Get Directive Sections

Each email capture directive must have its own ini section as follows:

[Get_Evaluation_Requests] // Required Entry. Not case sensitive. Example: Filter=To = "ido@MilletSoftware.com"  // Filter=(Subject contains "test" AND From like "*@MIlletSoftware.com*") OR (body Contains "test") Filter=(Subject contains "evaluation request") // optional. Default is 50 body lines downloaded for filtering. Reduce if no body filter. Increase if HTML message.  Body_Lines=1 // Required Entry. with 1440, only messages sent in the last 24 hours are captured Message_Sent_in_Last_N_Minutes=1440 Server=mail.milletsoftware.com // set PopSSL to True if TLS/SSL (encrypted communication) is used when getting emails from the server PopSSL=False // set Pop3STLS to True (and PopSSl to False) if unencrypted connection (typically port 110)  // automatically converts to a secure TLS connection via the STLS command.  Pop3STLS=False // Set Pop3SPA to True to use SPA authentication Pop3SPA=False Port=110 // If email server User id is not specified, it is assumed to be same as SMTP setting User_ID=ido@MilletSoftware.com // copy from [Options] section or leave blank to use same. If you need a different password, temporarily set the  // default SMTP password to the desired password. Save. Copy the encrypted Password, and then reverse.  Email_Password_Encrypted=ECDC1AABC705D61F04F6A16F61 // should captured emails (if successfully inserted into the table), be deleted from the email server? Delete_Email_From_Server=True // if specified, captured emails get saved as eml files to this folder (Safety Measure if you delete captured emails) Save_As_EML_To_Folder="C:\VC\Captured_Emails\" // if specified, attachments are saved as files to this folder. By default, if the file already exists, it gets overwritten.  Save_Attachments_To_Folder="C:\VC\Captured_Email_Attachments\" // optional. Default is False. If set to True, instead of overwriting, 4 characters are added to make the name unique // note: if set to True AttachmentList info captured to the database table would reflect the unique names  Save_Attachments_To_Unique_File_Names=True // Table where email records are to be inserted. NOTE: If an existing record is found from  // same Sender, same Subject, and same sending DateTime, the record doesn’t get inserted a second time. Table=Email_Capture Last_Success=12:14:56-12:15:13=00:00:17 InBox:11 / Targeted:8 / Inserted:6


 

Capturing Emails

The process targets email messages that are stored at the specified email server for the specified User ID. Obviously, each capture process may want to target only a subset of these messages. To keep the process as efficient as possible, the capture progresses through two main phases:

·         Header Download & Filtering

·         Targeted Download & Database Capture

 

The following sections provide more detail about these phases.

Phase 1: Header Download & Filtering

Visual CUT first downloads just the email headers (including first 50 lines of the message body) for all messages stored on the mail server for the specified User ID. While this process avoids the need to also download attachments, if you wish to keep the process fast, don’t let the Inbox for that User grow to too many messages.  You can manually delete old email messages in the server  Inbox,.  You can also set Delete_Email_From_Server to True, to automatically delete emails from the server after Visual CUT inserts them into the specified database table.

 

For backup purposes, particularly if you are just starting to use this process, if you elect to delete emails from the server, you should set the Save_As_EML_To_Folder option. Visual CUT would then deposit all processed emails (those that survived the Filter and Message_Sent_in_Last_N_Minutes  conditions) as eml files. These files can be opened in the free  Windows Mail or Outlook Express. All file attachments are embedded inside the eml files, so you can be secure in knowing you have an archive of the whole message.

 

The Filter and Message_Sent_in_Last_N_Minutes  take the initial set of partial downloads and produce a targeted subset of email messages that are then downloaded with full body as well as attachments. 

 

The Filter condition allows you to apply simple or composite conditions to any email property such as From, To, Subject, and Body. Here are a few examples:

Filter=Body like "Report Request*"
Filter=(Subject contains "PO Approved" OR Subject contains "PO Rejected") AND 
From contains "@MilletSoftware.com"
 

The expressions are not case sensitive
Supported operators: CONTAINS, LIKE, =, < ,>, <=, >=, <>

The "*" wildcard matches 0 or more occurrences of any character.

Parentheses can be used to control the logic.
 

 


 

Phase 2: Targeted Download & Database Capture

After establishing a subset of targeted emails, Visual CUT downloads the full content of these emails.  For each of these fully downloaded emails, Visual CUT takes the following steps:

 

1.      If Save_As_EML_To_Folder is specified, the full email message (with embedded attachments) is archived to the specified folder

2.      A connection is established to the database server used by the report via the ODBC DSN used by the report and the encrypted login information stored for the report.

3.      The existence of the specified table for capturing email information is confirmed

4.      If the same email message (same subject, send DateTime, and From info) doesn’t already exist in the table, the email information is inserted into the table.

5.      If the message got inserted into the table, and you set the Delete_Email_From_Server option to True, Visual CUT asks the email server to delete the message. 

 

 

Monitoring Results of the Process

If a failure occurs during the process, the usual failure alerts and logging processes apply.

If no failure occurs, Visual CUT updates the ini section for the processed directive with an entry such as this:
--------------------------------------
Last_Success=12:14:56-12:15:13=00:00:17 InBox:11 / Targeted:8 / Inserted:6
--------------------------------------
This allows you to see:

·         Start Time, End Time, and Total Time,

·         Number of Messages In the InBox

·         Number of Messages Targeted after applying Filter & Message_Sent_in_Last_N_Minutes  

·         Number of Messages Inserted to the Table (after skipping existing records)





 

Email Capture Table Structure

You can name a different table for each email capture directive.  But an email capture table must have the same data structure.

 

MS Access Table Structure

Here is the table structure for MS Access:

 

image

 

This table is included in the Visual_CUT_Log_Sample.accdb

If you can’t find it in the Visual CUT application folder, email me and and I’ll send you a copy.




SQL Server Table Structure

You can use Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54255
to move the structure & data of this table from MS Access to SQL Server.

 

Or, here is a script (provided by APB Reports) for creating the table structure in SQL Server:

SET ANSI_NULLS ON GO SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON GO SET ANSI_PADDING ON GO IF (SELECT TABLE_NAME FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES  WHERE TABLE_NAME = 'APB_DW_EMAIL_CAPTURE') IS NULL BEGIN CREATE TABLE APB_DW_EMAIL_CAPTURE ( [Email_N] [NUMERIC](15,0) IDENTITY(1,1)PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED, [Status] [VARCHAR](100) DEFAULT 'CAPTURED', [CaptureDateTime] [VARCHAR](100) NULL, [LocalDateTime] [VARCHAR](100) NULL, [UTCDateTime] [VARCHAR](100) NULL, [Subject] [VARCHAR](500) NULL, [FromCombo] [VARCHAR](200) NULL, [FromAddr] [VARCHAR](200) NULL, [FromName] [VARCHAR](200) NULL, [ReplyTo] [VARCHAR](200) NULL, [ToList] [text] NULL, [ToAddrList] [text] NULL, [ToNameList] [text] NULL, [ccList] [text] NULL, [ccAddrList] [text] NULL, [ccNameList] [text] NULL, [BccList] [text] NULL, [BccAddrList] [text] NULL, [BccNameList] [text] NULL, [PlainTextBody] [text] NULL, [HTMLBody] [text] NULL, [Header] [text] NULL, [AttachmentList] [text] NULL); END GO

Oracle Table Structure

 

Here is a script (provided by APB Reports) for creating the table structure in Oracle:

CREATE TABLE EMAIL_FEEDBACK_CAPTURE ( "EMAIL_N" NUMBER NOT NULL, "STATUS" VARCHAR2 (100) DEFAULT 'CAPTURED', "CAPTUREDATETIME" VARCHAR2 (100) NULL, "LOCALDATETIME" VARCHAR2 (100) NULL, "UTCDATETIME" VARCHAR2 (100) NULL, "SUBJECT" VARCHAR2 (500) NULL, "FROMCOMBO" VARCHAR2 (200) NULL, "FROMADDR" VARCHAR2 (200) NULL, "FROMNAME" VARCHAR2 (200) NULL, "REPLYTO" VARCHAR2 (200) NULL, "TOLIST" CLOB NULL, "TOADDRLIST" CLOB NULL, "TONAMELIST" CLOB NULL, "CCLIST" CLOB NULL, "CCADDRLIST" CLOB NULL, "CCNAMELIST" CLOB NULL, "BCCLIST" CLOB NULL, "BCCADDRLIST" CLOB NULL, "BCCNAMELIST" CLOB NULL, "PLAINTEXTBODY" CLOB NULL, "HTMLBODY" CLOB NULL, "HEADER" CLOB NULL, "ATTACHMENTLIST" CLOB NULL, "REC_DELETED" NUMBER DEFAULT 0, CONSTRAINT APB_DW_EMAIL_CAPTURE_PK PRIMARY KEY (EMAIL_N) USING INDEX TABLESPACE IPSINDEX ) TABLESPACE IPSDATA;  CREATE SEQUENCE EMAIL_N_SEQ START WITH 1 INCREMENT BY 1;  CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER EMAIL_CAPTURE_INSERT BEFORE INSERT ON EMAIL_FEEDBACK_CAPTURE FOR EACH ROW BEGIN  SELECT EMAIL_N_SEQ.NEXTVAL INTO :NEW.EMAIL_N FROM DUAL; END; /  COMMIT;

Inspect & Update Report Designs


Visual CUT 11 provides an integrated tool for inspecting and updating report designs.
See 4-minute video. It also supports generating & importing formula from excel into multiple Crystal reports. See 6-minute video.

To enable this option:

1.      Open Visual CUT's DataLink_Viewer.ini file in NotePad by starting Visual CUT and hitting
Ctrl-Shift-F1. Locate the following entry:
Enable_Report_Inspector = False
and change it to True.

2.      Make sure DataLink Viewer 2011 is also installed.


If these conditions are met, right-clicking a report in the Visual CUT grid would provide an Inspect & Update… option. As shown in the image below, this allows you to target a single report, a few selected reports, or all reports in a directory tree:

image


 

Report Inspection Grid

After selecting reports to be inspected, the results are presented in a grid allowing grouping, sorting, searching, exporting, and filtering. The grid shows various objects and expressions such as: Fields, Field Headings, Formulas, Groups, Group Formats, Running Totals, Sections, Selection Formulas, SQL Expressions, Subreports, and Text objects.

image

Each object can have multiple rows indicating its section locations within the report or subreports and documenting various expressions associated with it. The grid allows you to sort and filter on each of the column headers. For example, you can use the Expression Type column header to restrict the rows to specific expression types such as: Background Color, Database Field, Display String, Enable Can Grow, Enable Keep Together, Enable New Page After, Enable New Page Before, Enable Reset Page Number After, Enable Suppress, Enable Suppress If Blank, Enable Underlay Section, Evaluate Condition, Field Heading, Filter, Formula, Group Name, Group Number per Page, Running Total, Sort Direction, Special Field, SQL Expression, Text, Tooltip Text, etc.

As shown in the image above, formulas that fail to compile are presented with an error message.
In this case, the expression "test" + 1 fails to compile because 1 is a number rather than a string.

The 'Export' option (top menu bar) allows you to export the grid to Excel.

Find & Replace Text and Expressions

The 'Update Formulas' option provides two sub-menu options:
image

The image below shows the Find & Replace option in action:

image

The result is a fixed formula expression as shown below. The 'Pending' status and the light blue background color for the modified expression indicate the change hasn't been committed.

image


After selecting 'Update RPTs & Save to Temp Folder,the updated version of all modified reports is saved to a Date-Time stamped temp folder, and the grid reflects the status of those updates:
image 

Generate & Import Formulas from Excel

As demonstrated by this 6-minute video, the report inspector allows you to export formulas and sql expressions to excel, edit and generate new expressions, and import the results back into multiple Crystal reports. This is useful when you need to generate many formulas with simple variations in their expressions.

image 


To serve as a source for formula import, the excel file must be structured similarly to this image.
Columns C, D and E must host the information about the Object (the formula name),
Object Type ('Formula' or 'SQL Expression'), and Expression.

When initiating an import of formulas, Visual CUT would ask you how to handle cases where a formula with that name already exists. The options are to update the expression of the existing formula or to skip.


 

Monitoring Visual CUT Processing


Visual CUT provides several ways to monitor, log, and alert users about processing failures:

§  An email alert can be sent to a specified address when a failure occurs. 

§  Processing can be recorded in an ODBC database

§  Failures can be recorded in a Failure.log text file or presented in Message boxes

§  Email communications with the SMTP server can be logged to Visual_Cut.log

§  Job status information can be monitored by other applications by asking Visual CUT to signal successful or failed processing via text job status files.


This section discusses how you can use these options. 

 

Logging and Monitoring Visual CUT

‘Log Email Activity’ option

This option, located at the bottom-right corner results in logging of all e-mail activity, including failure and success outcomes, to Visual_Cut.log
This text file will be placed in the same directory where Visual CUT was installed (typically C:\Program Files\Visual Cut\).  It can be opened by Notepad or any word processor and is automatically created by enabling this option.  Here is what this log file looks like:


image

 

 


Silent Unattended Failure Option

When Visual CUT processes a report it may encounter various problems such as missing destination e-mail address, non-existing or invalid report file names, and missing export file names.  Such cases halt the execution and trigger an appropriate message box.

 

If you want to ensure that Scheduled/Unattended processing doesn’t stop when encountering such cases, open DataLink Viewer.ini (located where you installed Visual CUT and automatically created the 1st time you run Visual CUT) and specify the following option:

[Options]
Silent_Unattended_Failure=TRUE

 

This allows silent  logging and skipping of any failure and avoiding message boxes.  The details about each failure get logged into a text file (Failure.Log) located where you installed Visual CUT.  Here is an example of failure messages in this file:

image


Note:  If you turn on this option and you have a multi-line batch file that invokes processing of multiple reports, you may want, within your batch file, to have branching logic based on the success or failure of each line.  In order to respond (for example via Batch File IF THEN logic) to Success or Failure of Visual CUT processing, you can check for the existence of Success.txt (in the same directory where Visual CUT is installed) after each invocation of Visual CUT processing via a command line. 

You turn on this option by opening DataLink Viewer.ini (located where you installed Visual CUT and automatically created the 1st time you run Visual CUT) and specifying the following option:

[Options]
Create_Success_File=TRUE

 


Silent Attended Failure Option

This option is identical to the Silent Unattended Failure option discussed in the previous section.  The difference is that it applies to cases where Visual CUT processing is invoked interactively (by pressing the START button).  This is particularly useful in cases when the processing takes a long time and the user doesn’t want to be tied to the screen.

 

When Visual CUT processes a report it may encounter various problems such as missing or invalid destination e-mail address, non-existing or invalid report file names, and missing export file names. Such cases halt the execution and trigger an appropriate message box.

 

If you want to ensure that Attended (interactive) processing doesn’t stop when encountering such cases, open DataLink Viewer.ini (located where you installed Visual CUT and automatically created the 1st time you run Visual CUT) and specify the following option:

[Options]
Silent_Attended_Failure=TRUE

 

When this option is turned on, any errors (e.g., one of the Groups didn’t have an e-mail address associated with it) are recorded in Failure.log (a plain text file) instead of halting the execution with a message box.  See previous section for an example of what this log file looks like. 


Here is an example of such an error message in the Failure.log: 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An attempt to send e-mail failed for the following reason(s): No Recipient E-mail Address Specified
C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT_with_Deliberate_Email_Problems.rpt: 4/9/2003 1:06:43

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Avoiding Duplicate Processing 

Imagine you need to email "Order Received" (or "Order Shipped") confirmations to your customers.  You use Visual CUT to schedule bursting of a report grouped by Order_ID, selecting all orders that were received in the current day.  You wish to run the report every 30 minutes without repeating emails.

 

To solve this problem, you can use a command line argument that instructs Visual CUT to skip processing if the target export file already exists and was created less than N minutes ago.

For example, using the following scheduling string (or batch file):
______________________________________________________________________________
"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Skip_Recent:2880"

 

would cause Visual CUT to start processing the Visual CUT.rpt and burst the first group value ("Competition").  However, Visual CUT would skip this bursting step (and continue to the next group value) if the target export file exists and was created in the last 48 hours (2880 minutes).

In your 'Order Received' notification, you may not need to export and attach any file to the email notification.  However, in order to use the Skip_Recent functionality, you would instruct Visual CUT to export in each bursting step to a file name containing the Order_ID.  This file would then be used by the Skip_Recent logic, even though you will not attach the file to the email message.

Always Skip if Export File Already Exists (999999)

The maximum value you can provide is 2147483647 (more than 4K years). To skip processing if the export file already exists, regardless of its age, use the special value of 999999.

 

Non-Bursting Scenario:
You can take advantage of this functionality even in cases where no bursting is taking place by having the exported file name reflect the count or  maximum record number in a table. Using the Skip_Recent command line argument, you can then ensure that unless a new record has been added to the table (and hence the target export file name is new) Visual CUT processing would be aborted.

 

Alternative Approaches:
As alternatives to using Skip_Recent you can:

  1. Turn on the option to log Visual CUT processing using the functionality described in: "Record Processing to an ODBC Database" and, in your report, outer join to the MS_Log table to check if the current group value has already been successfully processed.    

  2. Use After_Success_SQL to generate an UPDATE sql statement to set the value of a "Processed" or "Date Sent" column.   

 

Avoiding Too Many Active Visual CUT Instances (Queuing)

Many Visual CUT users have increased their use of the tool to the point where several instances of Visual CUT may be actively processing reports at any given time.  In most cases, you can reduce the number of concurrent instances by simply combining multiple command lines into a single batch file.  In other cases, you can control the maximum number of active Visual CUT instances using the following DataLink_Viewer.ini entry:
-------------------------------------
[Options]

Maximum_Allowed_Active_Instances=4

-------------------------------------

When launching a new Visual CUT instance, if the number of active Visual CUT instances reached that maximum number, the new instance is placed into sleep. It "wakes up" every 5 seconds to check if it can launch. Once the number of active instances drops below the maximum allowed level, the new instance is allowed to launch.

Job Status Functionality

During unattended/scheduled processing, Visual CUT generates a job status text file, located by default in the main files folder, and named:
VC_Job_Status_N.txt (containing the error message) if a failure occurred
- or - 
VC_Job_Status_Y.txt if processing was successful. 
Visual CUT erases these files (if they exist) at the start of each unattended processing. 

Other applications that trigger Visual CUT processing via a command line call can check for the existence of these job status files as an indicator for processing status.  For example, a web application can use this option to invoke Visual CUT processing (e.g., an export to a PDF file with bookmarks) and then keep checking for one of the job status file names before continuing. If the success file (VC_Job_Status_Y.txt) is found, redirect the user’s browser to the resulting PDF file – if the failure file is found (VC_Job_Status_N.txt), present the user with the error message inside that text file. 


In order to support job status monitoring in cases where multiple instances of Visual CUT may be processing report requests at the same time, your application can specify a unique job status file name for each call to Visual CUT
For example, if your command line invocation of Visual CUT is:
"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Test\Report.rpt"     
   "JOB_STATUS_ID
:4523"
then the resulting job status file for that call would be 4523_Y.txt or 4523_N.txt

A DataLink_Viewer.ini file option (Job_Status_Path) under a [File_Locations] section allows you to override the default location (Visual CUT application folder) for the Job Status indicator files.  For example:
------------------------------------
[File_Locations]
Job_Status_Path=C:\Temp\
------------------------------------

Note: this functionality is disabled if the 'Generate Success and VC_Job_Status Text Files' option is turned off as in this image.


Failure Alerts via Email

The Visual CUT Option dialog allows you to specify an email address that should receive a message whenever Visual CUT encounters a processing failure. Here is an example of such a message:

image

 


Record Processing to an ODBC Database

In order to log processing to an ODBC database, you must create a table called MS_Log in the target database. This can be in MS Access, SQL Server, Oracle, etc.

 

MS Access Database Sample

image

Above is the table structure required for this table, when implemented under MS Access: A sample MS Access database is available for download. That sample database contains a form (with a subform) showing how you can view processing information, including bursting steps:

image


 

SQL Server Instructions

Here is a script for creating the table in SQL Server:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[MS_Log] (

[LogN] [int] IDENTITY (1, 1) NOT FOR REPLICATION  NOT NULL ,

[Parent_LogN] [int] NULL ,
[Rpt_Path_Name] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Proc_Start] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Proc_End] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Group_1_Value] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Status] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Failure_Reason] [nvarchar] (4000) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Warning] [nvarchar] (4000) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Export_File_Name] [nvarchar] (4000) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Email_To] [nvarchar] (4000) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Email_Subject] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[Command_Line] [nvarchar] (4000) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[User_ID] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL ,

[PC_ID] [nvarchar] (255) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS NULL

) ON [PRIMARY]

GO

 

SQL Server notes:

·         You can use Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54255
to move the structure & data of this table from MS Access to SQL Server.

·         for recent versions of SQL Server, replace [nvarchar] (40000) with [nvarchar] (MAX)

·         To ensure the User ID you use can access that table, make that user a member of the dbo_owner group in SQL Server.

You can create Crystal reports against this table.  You can even schedule these reports in Visual CUT to alert you about bad email addresses, failing, and slow (using the Proc_Start and Proc_End columns) reports.  

 


 

Process Logging Settings in Options Dialog

The following Visual CUT Options dialog allows you to specify the ODBC Data Source Name (DSN) where the MS_Log table resides and the User ID & Password (stored encrypted), if the data source requires a login. 

Checkboxes allow you to control whether logging should occur only for processing triggered via command line, only for processing triggered interactively (user clicks the START button), both, or neither. 

You can also specify whether records of successful processing should automatically be deleted (in cases where you wish to record only failures).

Note that Warning messages will not be logged to the database if the "Log Warnings" option is turned off.

 

image

 

 


 

Update a Database After Success (After_Success_SQL)

After Visual CUT successfully exported, printed, or emailed a report, you may want to update your database to reflect that information. For example, after bursting invoices to customers, you may want to update the records for these jobs to reflect the date of invoicing or the fact that an invoice was emailed. Besides providing useful information, these columns may also be used to avoid duplicate processing by incorporating them into the record selection formula in your reports.

 

To update a database after successful processing, you use the After_Success_SQL command line argument. The argument structure is as follows:
"After_Success_SQL:Type>>ODBC DSN>>User ID>>Password>>SQL Statement"
or to trigger multiple statements (each using a different ODBC DSN) repeat the 5 elements after a ^^^^ delimiter:
"After_Success_SQL:Type>>DSN1>>User1>>Pass1>>SQL1^^^^Type>> DSN2>>User2>>Pass2>>SQL2"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

1.   Type: the type of success step: Burst or Whole. Any other text (Skip) skips processing.

10.  ODBC DSN: The ODBC DSN providing access to the target database.  Note that the target database doesn’t have to be the same as the one used for the report.

11.  User ID: Leave blank if no user id is needed to connect to the ODBC DSN

12.  Password: Leave blank if no password is needed to connect to the ODBC DSN

13.  SQL Statement: the SQL statement to execute.  This typically include embedded references to fields/formulas that Visual CUT would replace with their dynamic values.
NOTE 1: if the SQL statement is blank, it simply gets skipped (no failure message).
Note 2: to specify multiple statements simply separate them with a '; '

 

For example, the following command line argument
----------------------------------------------------------------

 … "After_Success_SQL:Burst>>xTreme>>>>>>Update "JOBS" SET "Processed" = True, "Date Processed" = Date() WHERE "Job Name" = '{@Job}'"

----------------------------------------------------------------

Would trigger a SQL statement through the xTreme ODBC DSN, without user id and password, every time a bursting step is completed successfully. The statement would find the matching record in the JOBS table by comparing the Job Name column to the value of a {@Job} formula in the report. If one or more matching records are found, their "Processed" column is set to TRUE, and their "Date Processed" column is set to the current date. 

Note that the syntax above conforms to MS Access.  For other databases you may need to adjust the syntax.  For example, MS Access provides a Date() function.  MS Access also requires enclosing table and column names with double quotes, and literal strings with single quotes (as done around the value of the {@Job} reference).

 


 

SQL Server Example 1

Here is a simple SQL Server example (note the double quotes around table/column names and single quotes around string values:
"After_Success_SQL:Burst>>SQL2>>>>>>UPDATE "TCM93"."dbo"."VC_ship_notify" SET GF1_DASH_Update = CURRENT_TIMESTAMP WHERE "VC_ship_notify"."gf1_company_code" = 'PSI' and "VC_Ship_Notify"."GF1_ID_Ord" = '{@Order_ID}'"

 

SQL Server Example 2

Here is an example using SQL Server syntax. In this case, the user needed to INSERT a record into a SQL Server table after each bursting step.  The command line argument used was:

"After_Success_SQL:Burst>>CR_DSN>>>>>>{@SQL_Formula}"

No user id or password were specified above because the connection used NT Authentication rather than SQL Server authentication.


The {@SQL_Formula} was placed in Group Footer 1 and it's expression was for it was as follows. Note that you must surround string values with explicit single quotes. This was taken care of by the formulas. For example:  "'" & {@Some_Text} & "'"'insert into CrTestDatabase.dbo.NewRenewalFees ( ' &  'DOC_YEAR, ' &  'BUSINESS_NO, ' &  'BUS_LIC_NO, ' &  'CODE, ' &  'CLASSIFICATION, ' &  'NUMUNITS, ' &  'NUMSEATS, ' &  'RenewalFee, ' &  'HOCCRDue, ' &  'RenewalId, ' &  'HOCCRId, ' &  'REPORT_ID ' & ') ' & 'SELECT ' &  {@Year} & " as DOC_YEAR, " &  {@BusNo} & " as BUSINESS_NO, " &  {@BusLicNo} & " as BUS_LIC_NO, " &  {@Code} & " as CODE, " &  {@Classification} & " as CLASSIFICATION, " &  {@NUMUNITS} & " as NUMUNITS, " &  "0.00 as NUMSEATS, " &   {@RenewFee} & " as RenewalFee, " &   {@HOCCRFee} & " as HOCCRDue, " &  {@RecIdRenewal} & " as RenewalId, " &  {@RecIdHOCCR} & " as HOCCRId, " &  {@ReportId} & " as REPORT_ID"

Update a Database Before Report Runs (Before_Report_Run_SQL)

Before Visual CUT runs the report (but just after any Email Capture processes), you may want to update a database. For example, the report may use a temporary table that gets created via your SQL statement. The structure and logic of the Before_Report_Run_SQL command line argument is identical to After_Success_SQL earlier argument except that:
a) you may not refer to report fields/formulas, and

b) there is no Type (Whole/Burst) element.

The argument structure is as follows:
"Before_Report_Run_SQL:ODBC DSN>>User ID>>Password>>SQL Statement"
or to trigger multiple statements (each could use a different ODBC DSN) repeat the 4 elements after a ^^^^ delimiter:
"Before_Report_Run_SQL:DSN1>>User1>>Pass1>>SQL1^^^^DSN2>>User2>>Pass2>>SQL2"


 

Call a Web Service after Success (After_Success_HTTP)

After Visual CUT successfully exported, printed, or emailed a report, you may want to trigger a call to a web service. For example, you can use the EzTexting service to send SMS messages without needing to know the carrier associated with the target mobile phone number.

 

To automate this type of workflow, you can use the After_Success_HTTP command line argument. The argument structure is as follows:
"After_Success_HTTP:Type>>URL>>Tokens"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

1.                  Type: the type of success step: Burst or Whole 

2.                  URL to call the web service: this include any arguments expected by the web service

3.                  Tokens (Optional): if the web service responds with XML text, specifying the names of the XML nodes (separated by '||') allows the process to report back on the returned values of these tokens in the progress dialog (if the process was triggered interactively).

 

Note: if triggered interactively (command line argument is in the GUI), the progress dialog reports back on the status of these calls. Failures are also logged as warnings if Log Warnings is turned on (in the Log/Alert tab of the Options dialog).

 

Sending SMS Messages

For example, using the EzTexting service (500 free SMS messages per month) you can send SMS by following the instructions for constructing a url call. An example of such a url is:
https://app.eztexting.com/api/sending/?user=myUserID&pass=myPass&phonenumber=8141234567&subject=New Ticket&message=Printer 4 is down
a similar example using references to Crystal formulas, and skipping the Subject argument, is:
https://app.eztexting.com/api/sending/?user=UserID&pass=myPass&phonenumber={@Phone}&message={@Message}


The full command line argument (can be placed in the GUI area, in a batch file, etc.).
In a case where the full url is constructed as a {@URL} formula, and the optional Tokens argument is skipped, the command line argument (in a case of Burst rather than Whole) would simply be:

----------------------------------------------------------------

 "After_Success_HTTP:Burst>>{@url}"

----------------------------------------------------------------

This would trigger a separate SMS for each bursting step.  Visual CUT automatically inserts a delay (half a second) between each step in order to respect typical limits on message rates.


 



Trigger Dynamic Batch File after Success (After_Success_Batch)

After Visual CUT successfully exported, printed, or emailed a report, you may want to trigger a batch file to execute follow up processes that depend on a successful completion of the prior process. Or perhaps after a successful bursting of shipment notifications, you wish to send an email to the team responsible for handling invoicing.

 

To automate these type of workflows, you can use the After_Success_Batch command line argument. The argument structure is as follows:
"After_Success_Batch:Type>>Batch_File_Path_and_Name>>Show>>Wait"

The parameters (after the ":") are separated by a ">>" and are as follows:

1.                  Type: the type of success step: Burst or Whole 

2.                  Batch_File_Path_and_Name: The path and name of the batch file to trigger

3.                  Visibility (optional): The window visibility Show or Hide.  Show is default.

4.                  Wait for Batch to Finish (optional): Wait (default) or NoWait   

For example, the following command line argument

 "After_Success_Batch:Whole>>c:\Batch\Ship_Burst_Done.bat"
Would trigger the batch file after all bursting steps in the current process completed successfully.
Since the 2 optional arguments (Visibility & Wait) were not specified, the batch file window will be visible and Visual CUT will wait for the batch file process to finish.


Dynamic References to Fields/Formulas within the Batch File

A key feature is that you can embed field/formula names within the batch file just as you can within the Visual CUT 3rd tab options.  Visual CUT substitutes the appropriate values for these field/formula names before launching the batch file processing. 


Logging to a text file

Since a batch file can write to a text file, you can use After_Success_Batch to record successful processing to a text file. For example, the following batch file (C:\Batch_Files\Demo_Log_To_Text_File.cmd) uses @ECHO Off to turn off echoing the command lines to the screen, and then logs some text with references to fields/formulas to a specified text file. @Echo Off @Echo Sales report for {Product_Type.Product Type Name} in {@Year_Parameter} was processed successfuly {[yyyy]}/{[MM]}/{[dd]} {[hh]}:{[nn]} >> "c:\temp\My Log.txt"


This batch file is triggered via a command line argument of:
"After_Success_Batch:Burst>>C:\Batch_Files\Demo_Log_To_Text_File.cmd"
and the bursting steps get logged as follows:
Sales report for Competition in 2004 was processed successfuly 2015/05/18 07:49  Sales report for Mountain in 2004 was processed successfuly 2015/05/18 07:49  Sales report for Hybrid in 2004 was processed successfuly 2015/05/18 07:49  …


Table of Command Line Arguments

This table lists the optional command line arguments supported by Visual CUT. The order of the argument is not important, but they should follow the mandatory call to the Visual CUT executable, the execution mode flag (-e or –E) and the path & file name of the rpt file. The arguments should be enclosed in double quotes and be separated by a space.  For example: 
"C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual CUT.exe" -e "C:\Program Files\Visual CUT\Visual_CUT.rpt" "Skip_Recent:2880"

Argument

Purpose

Example

Data Source Options

Attempt_Logon_Without_Password

Override the ini setting

"Attempt_Logon_Without_Password:True"

User_ID

User ID

"User_ID:dba"

Password

Password

"Password:sql"

ODBC_DSN

Override all ODBC Data Sources

"ODBC_DSN:Test_Server"

ODBC_DSN_From_To

Override one ODBC Data Source

"ODBC_DSN_From_To:Production_Server>>Test_Server"

Table_From_To

Override Table Location (.csv)

"Table_From_To:Risk.csv >>Risk2.csv||Old.csv>>New.csv"

Database_Path

Set path to Access/Excel/Pervasive

"Database_Path:C:\Prop1\FILE.DDF>>c:\Prop2\File.DDF"

Oracle_Server

Oracle Server (Native Connection)

"Oracle_Server:Test1"

Connect_To_SQLOLEDB

SQL Server OLE DB Data Source

"Connect_To_SQLOLEDB:Server2>>Northwind>>False"

Strip_Table_Qualifiers

Remove table qualifiers

"Strip_Table_Qualifiers:True"

Report Parameters/Formulas

Parm1, Parm2, Parm3…

Set/Override Parameter Values

"Parm3:9/15/2005"

Set_Formulas1

Set Formula Expressions

"Set_Formulas1:{@^Name}>>>[dblq]Jane[dblq]|||{@^TwoAndTwo}>>>2+2"

 


 

Table of Command Line Arguments (Contd.)

Argument

Purpose

Example

Printing Options

Printer

Printer Destination

"Printer:\\server10\hp04" 

Printer_Only

Printer Destination

"Printer_Only:\\server10\hp04" 

Printer_Burst

Print Bursting Destination

"Printer_Burst:\\server10\hp04"

Printer_Burst_Only

Print Bursting Destination

"Printer_Burst_Only:{@Group_Printer_Name}"

Print_Copies

Number of Copies to Print

"Print_Copies:{@Label_Quantity}"

PDF_PRINT

Print a PDF File

"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\Result.pdf>\\server10\hp04"

PDF_PRINT_SPLIT

Print PDF file across paper trays

"PDF_PRINT_SPLIT:Test.pdf>1::\\s1\HP::Top||2to99::\\s1\HP::Bottom"

PDF_PRINT_SPLIT_TAG

Print PDF file across paper trays

"PDF_PRINT_SPLIT_TAG:c:\temp\Test.pdf>\\s1\HP"

WORD_Print

Print a Specified MS Word File

"WORD_Print:{@Word_Doc}>>Default>>{@Copies}"

WORD_Print_Watermark

Print with dynamic Watermarks

"WORD_Print_Watermark:c:\Invoice.doc>>Default>>>>{@Copies}>>
Copy [[N]] of [[M]]>>Calibri>>False>>False>>12>>1.3>>7.5>>315>>0.5>>"

Export Options

Export_Format

Export Format

"Export_Format:Excel 97"

Export_File

Export File

"Export_File:c:\temp\Invoice_for_{CustName}.xls"

Export_Mode

Export Mode (Burst/Whole or blank)

"Export_Mode:Burst"

Release_Shared_File

Avoid export failure when file is in use

"Release_Shared_File:True"

After_Export_Delay

Delay in Milliseconds

"After_Export_Delay:250"

 

 

 


 

Table of Command Line Arguments (Contd.)

Argument

Purpose

Example

Email Options

Email_Get

Capture Incoming Emails

"Email_Get:P2"

Email_To

Email To

"Email_To:{@Cust_Email}" or "Email_To:File:c:\Reps_Emails.txt"

Email_From

Email From

"Email_From:ixm7@psu.edu"

Email_Reply_To

Email Reply To

"Email_Reply_To:ixm7@psu.edu"

Email_CC

Email Copy To

"Email_CC:ixm7@psu.edu"

Email_BCC

Email Blind Copy To

"Email_BCC:ixm7@psu.edu"

Email_Attach

Email Attachment(s)

"Email_Attach:c:\Invoice_for_{CustName}.xls;c:\Instructions.pdf"

Email_Subject

Email Subject

"Email_Subject:Invoice for {Product_Name}"

Email_Message

Email Message (can be HTML)

"Email_Message:<html>Hi {customer_first_name}, ...</html>"

Email_Message_Save

Save body to a Text/HTML file

"Email_Message_Save:W:\Dashboards\Sales_Dashboard.html"

Email_Mode

Email Mode (Burst/Whole or blank)

"Email_Mode:Burst"

Email_Priority

Priority: Highest/High/Normal/Low/Lowest

"Email_Priority:Highest"  or  "Email_Priority:{@Priority}"

Email_Header

Custom Email Header(s)

"Email_Header:X-Sensitivity: 3"  or  "Email_Header:{@email_header}"

Email_SMTP_Server  

SMTP Server address

"Email_SMTP_Server:127.0.0.1"

Email_SMTP_Port  

SMTP Communications Port

"Email_SMTP_Port:26"

Email_User_ID

Authenticate to SMTP Server

"Email_User_ID:ixm7"

Email_Password

Authenticate to SMTP Server

"Email_Password:my_secret_password"

Email_Delay_MilliSeconds

Delay Email Processing

"Email_Delay_MilliSeconds:500"

Email_Send_Encrypted

Should emails be Encrypted

"Email_Send_Encrypted:True "                      

Email_Send_Signed

Should emails be Signed

"Email_Send_Signed:True "                            

Email_StartTLS

SMTP Server Requires StartTLS

"Email_startTLS:True"                                     

Email_Bounce_Address

Set destination for bounced emails

"Email_Bounce_Address:ido@MS.com"        

Email_SMTP_Domain

For SMTP integrated authentication

"Email_SMTP_Domain:Your_Domain"            

Email_Outgoing_Folder

For background (queue) emailing

"Email_Outgoing_Folder:C:\VC\Outgoing"      

 


Table of Command Line Arguments (Contd.)

Argument

Purpose

Example

PDF Processing (in the order they are processed if specified in the same command line)

PDF_Export_Options

Use MS Word as Export Engine

"PDF_Export_Options:Tagged and PDF/A"

PDF_FORM

Fill Form Fields in a PDF File

"PDF_FORM:c:\temp\MyForm.pdf>False"

PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels

Which Bookmarks Levels to Expand

"PDF_Bookmarks_Open_Levels:0"

PDF_LinkToWeb

Add web or email hotspot

"PDF_LinkToWeb:c:\test.pdf>1>99>40>60>50>10>http://www.IBM.com>>>0"

PDF_AddImage

Add an image with optional hotspot

"PDF_AddImage:{@pdf_file}>1>99>40>60>50>10>{@Link}>{@Logo}>1"

PDF_From_TIFF

Import multi-page TIFF into PDF

"PDF_From_TIFF:c:\tmp\Invoice_{@Inv_N}.pdf>{@Tiff_File}>37>True>True"

PDF_MERGE

Merge PDF Files

"PDF_MERGE:c:\temp\File1.pdf,c:\temp\File2.pdf>c:\temp\Result.pdf"

PDF_MERGE_Files_to_Layers

Turn pdf files into layers in a single file

"PDF_MERGE_Files_to_Layers:PDF_File_List>PDF_File_Target"

PDF_Insert_BackPage

Add standard content after each page

"PDF_Insert_BackPage:c:\temp\{Invoince_N}.pdf||c:\Legal_Page.pdf"

PDF_Bookmark_Tags

Add Bookmarks based on formulas

"PDF_Bookmark_Tags:c:\temp\{@customer}.pdf"

PDF_TOC

Add Table of Contents to PDF File

"PDF_TOC:1>40>11>6>5>2>c:\temp\Sales.pdf"

PDF_PAGE_N

Add Page Numbers to PDF File

"PDF_PAGE_N:2>10>10>11>Bottom>Center>Page_NofM>Sales.pdf>Helvetica"

PDF_PRINT

Print (stapled) a merged PDF File

"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\Result.pdf>\\server10\hp04"

PDF_CLONE_AND_PRINT

Print (stapled) multiple copies

"PDF_PRINT:c:\temp\Result.pdf>\\server10\hp04>2"

PDF_Print_Mode

Set Quality/Speed of Print

"PDF_Print_Mode:2"

PDF_PRINT_SPLIT

Print PDF file across paper trays

"PDF_PRINT_SPLIT:Test.pdf>1::\\s1\HP::Top||6to99::\\s1\HP::Bottom"

PDF_PRINT_SPLIT_TAG

Print PDF file across paper trays

"PDF_PRINT_SPLIT_TAG:c:\temp\Test.pdf>\\s1\HP"

PDF_FORM_Tags

Create Form Fields in a pdf file

"PDF_Form_Tags:c:\temp\Purchasing_List.pdf"

PDF_Flatten

Flatten Annotations and Form Fields

"PDF_Flatten:c:\temp\Forms*.pdf>>myPassword>>c:\temp\Results\"

PDF_Embed

Embeds file(s) in a PDF

"PDF_Embed:c:\Main.pdf<<c:\S1.pdf:: application/pdf::Spec1||c:\D1.jpg::image/jpg::Draw1"

PDF_Link_Tags

Add Link/Image based on formulas

"PDF_Link_Tags:c:\temp\{@customer}.pdf"

PDF_Link_Tags2

Embed & Link to Internal Files

"PDF_Link_Tags2:c:\temp\{@customer}.pdf"

PDF_Auto_File_Link

Detect file references and add links

"PDF_Auto_File_Link:c:\In.pdf>>.>>.pdf;.mp3>> (>>0>>)>>0;255;0>>True>>"

PDF_Auto_File_Link_Tokens

Detect/Add Links Matching Tokens

"PDF_Auto_File_Link_Tokens:..\media\MM##.wmv||..\Docs\DOC##.pdf"

PDF_Save_As

Saves a PDF File to Image File(s)

"PDF_Save_As:Test.pdf>Test.bmp>BMP>72"

PDF_Properties

Set PDF Document Properties

"PDF_Properties:pdf files>Author>Title>Subject>Keywords>Creator>Producer>PageMode>StartPage>Zoom"

PDF_Build_Index

Builds Index for all pdf files in folders

"PDF_Build_Index:c:\temp\dir1||c:\temp\dir2>c:\temp\Index.pdx>"

PDF_Add_Index

Adds an Index File Reference

"PDF_Add_Index:pdf file>index file>Index Label "

PDF_Add_Media

Add embedded Multimedia

"PDF_Add_Media:infile>>outfile>>media_file>>1>>X>>Y>>W>>H >>Sound>>"

PDF_Compress

Reduce Size of PDF File

"PDF_Compress:PDF_File>>PDF_File_Target"

PDF_Split_By_Bookmarks

Split a PDF based on bookmarks

"PDF_Split_By_Bookmarks:PDF_File>>Level>>Split File"

PDF_Split_Tags

Split a PDF based on formulas

"PDF_Split_Tags:PDF_File>>False>>False>>True"

PDF_Split_Protect_Tags

Split & Protect Based on formulas

"PDF_Split_Protect_Tags:c:\My.pdf>>False>>True>>False>>Owner_Password>>1>>1>>0>>1>>1>>1>>1>>0"

PDF_Sign

Add Digital Signature

"PDF_Sign:InFile>>OutFile>>Open Password>>Sig>>pfx File>> Password>>Reason>>Location>>Contact

PDF_PROTECT

Encrypt/Protect a PDF File

"PDF_PROTECT:Owner_Pass>User_Pass>1>1>0>1>1>c:\Sales.pdf"

PDF_Linearize

Web-enable for faster load in browser

"PDF_Linearize:PDF_File>>PDF_File_Target>>Password"

 

 Table of Command Line Arguments (Contd.)

Argument

Purpose

Example

EXCEL Processing

XLS_Print_Setup

Set Excel Print Options

"XLS_Print_Setup:c:\temp\{Customer.Country}.xls>>>1>1>>>>>>>>>"

XLS_Save_As

Save Excel File to a different format

"XLS_Save_As:c:\temp\Invoice.xlsx>c:\temp\Invoice.pdf>PDF>0>0>0"

XLS_AutoFilter

Auto Filter and/or Freeze Panes

"XLS_AutoFilter:True" or  "XLS_AutoFilter:A1>>A2"

XLS_AutoFit

Fit Column Widths in Excel

"XLS_AutoFit:True" or  "XLS_AutoFit:MaxColumnWidth>>31>>False"

XLS_to_XLSX

Convert multi-tab xls to 1-tab xlsx file

"XLS_to_XLSX:c:\temp\In.xls>>c:\temp\Out.xlsx>>True"

XLS_Pivot_Table

Generate an Excel Pivot Table

"XLS_Pivot_Tablet:…see user manual for arguments…"

XLS_Range_Insert

Formula Content -> Named Ranges

"XLS_Range_Insert:c:\template.xls>>c:\target.xls"

XLS_Range_Insert_File

Insert Data into formatted templates

"XLS_Range_Insert_File:{@Template}.xlsx>>C:\TEMP\Filled.xlsx>> c:\temp\Data.xlsx||Sheet1||B5||"

XLS_Range_Insert_File_Split

Fast split & insert Data into formatted templates

"XLS_Range_Insert_File_Split:{@Template}.xlsx::9500>>C:\TEMP\Template_Filled.xlsx>>
c:\temp\Data.xlsx||Sheet1||B5||"

XLS_Replace

Replace & Activate formulas

"XLS_Replace:c:\temp\Input.xls||Output.xlsx||^=>>=::ab>>cd||"

XLS_Refresh

Refresh Queries and Pivot Tables

"XLS_Refresh:c:\source.xls>>c:\target.xls>>Sleep Seconds"

XLS_Run_Macro

Run Excel Macro

"XLS_Run_Macro:c:\source.xls>>c:\target.xls>>Macro_Workbook>>Macro_Name"

XLS_Transfer_Tabs

Transfer and Rename Tabs

"XLS_Transfer_Tabs:[{@F1}.xls||Tab1::Tab2]>>[{@F2}.xls||{@Tab1}::{@Tab2}]"

XLS_Split_Tabs

Save each Tab to PDF or Excel file

"XLS_Split_Tabs:{@F1}.xlsx||PDF||{@F1}_[Tab_Name].pdf||Landscape||True"

XLS_Split_ByColumn

Split by unique values in 1st column

"XLS_Split_ByColumns:{@F1}.xls||XLSX||c:\temp\||0||Replace||True||"

XLS_Protect_Worksheets

Protect content against viewing/editing

"XLS_Protect_Worksheets:Source_File>>Target_File>>Password"

XLS_Protect

Password Protect Excel Files

"XLS_Protect:File_List>Password"

 


 

Table of Command Line Arguments (Contd.)

Argument

Purpose

Example

MS Word Functionality

WORD_Replace_Tags

Replace Formula tags with Values

"WORD_Replace_Tags:c:\temp\Template.doc>c:\temp\Contract_{Cust_Name}.doc"

WORD_Replace_Format

Replace Formatting

"WORD_Replace_Format:c:\A.docx>c:\B.docx>Strikethrough>DoubleUnderline"

WORD_Print

Print a Specified MS Word File

"WORD_Print:{@Word_Doc}>>Default>>{@Copies}"

WORD_Print_Watermark

Print with dynamic Watermarks

"WORD_Print_Watermark:c:\Invoice.doc>>Default>>>>{@Copies}>>
Copy [[N]] of [[M]]>>Calibri>>False>>False>>12>>1.3>>7.5>>315>>0.5>>"

WORD_Protect

Restrict  Viewing / Modification

"WORD_Protect:{@inFile}>>{@inFile}>pwd1>>pwd2>Allow_Only_Form_Fields"

WORD_Save_As

Save a Word document to PDF

"WORD_Save_As: {@file_name}.doc>{@file_name}.pdf>0>0>0>1>0"

TEXT/HTML Processing

TXT_Split_Tags

Splits a text file into multiple files

"TXT_Split_Tags:c:\temp\File.txt>>Replace"

TXT_Merge

Merges Text Files

"TXT_Merge:c:\temp\File1.txt,c:\temp\File2.csv>c:\temp\Result.csv>0"

TXT_Replace

Replace Content in a Text File

"TXT_Replace:c:\temp\Input.csv||Output.csv||Chr(10)>>::Chr(13)>>||End"

TXT_Remove_Short_Lines

Remove blank or short lines

"TXT_Remove_Short_Lines:InFile||OutFile||Max_Length_To_Remove"

TXT_Replace_Tokens

Replace Content in a Text/HTML File

"TXT_Replace_Tokens:File||OutFile||Start^^End^^replace^^Location^^Options
                          ::Start2^^End2^^replace2^^Location2^^Options2||Global_Options"

TXT_DeGUID_png

Clean png file refs in HTML Exports

"TXT_DeGuid_png:HTML_File||Options"

TXT_Encode

Change text file encoding

"TXT_Encode:c:\temp\{@Invoice}.xml||||windows-1252>>utf8||"


 

Table of Command Line Arguments (Contd.)

 

Argument

Purpose

Example

Miscellaneous

After_Burst_Batch

Interweave Reports Output

"After_Burst_Batch:C:\VC_Prod_Type.bat>>Hide>>NoWait"

After_Export_Batch

Trigger Batch file after export

"After_Export_Batch:C:\temp\Archive_to_RAR.bat>>Show>>NoWait"

Before_Report_Run_SQL

Update DB Before Report  Run

"Before_Report_Run_SQL:MyDSN>>>>>>Update "JOBS" SET "Processed" = 0 WHERE "Email" = 'Not Yet' "

After_Success_SQL

Update DB after Processing

"After_Success_SQL:Burst>>MyDSN>>>>>>Update "JOBS" SET "Processed" = 1, "Date Processed" = Date() WHERE "Job Name" = '{@Job}'"

After_Success_HTTP

Trigger web service

"After_Success_HTTP:Burst>>{@URL}"

After_Success_Batch

Trigger Batch File

"After_Success_Batch:Whole>>c:\temp\Ship_Notifications_Burst_Done.bat>>Show>>Wait"

Before_Export_Batch

Trigger Batch before export

"Before_Export_Batch:C:\temp\Archive_Previous_Exports.bat>>Hide>>Wait"

Encrypted_Password_Set_Entry

Set Named Password

"Encrypted_Password_Set_Entry: H:\DataLink_Viewer.ini>>Options>>Encrypted_Password_FTP>>sesame"

Proxy

Delegate Processing to DLV

"Proxy:DLV" or "Proxy:dlv" or "Proxy:dlv_snapshot"

SQL_Extract_Files

Extract Files from Database

"SQL_Extract_Files:SG>>>>>>Picture>>c:\temp\>>Id>>.png>>Select * From Students>>False"

Skip_Recent

Avoid duplicate processing

"Skip_Recent:2880"

JOB_STATUS_ID

Control Job Status File Name

"JOB_STATUS_ID:4523"

FTP_Download

Download files from FTP server

"FTP_Download:Passive_1>>www.IBM.com>>milletso>>Encrypted_Password_SFTP>>/public/test/*.pdf>>c:\temp\"

FTP_Upload

Upload Files to FTP Server

"FTP_Upload:Passive_1>>ftp.abc.com>>user>>pass>>{@Export_File}>>/public_html/Download"

SFTP_Upload

Upload Files to SFTP Server