1. What is CRChart?
CRChart is a replacement charting library for Crystal Reports. It adds significant new charting capabilities for Crystal Reports designers and developers.
2. What is the CRChart interface? How does CRChart work?
CRChart works by parsing special macro commands that are passed into any of the Chart Title fields commonly found in Crystal Reports. For example, inserting the string “@SWAP 1” into the Chart Footnote field will cause that chart to perform a ‘pivot’ operation and swap the series and group information. These commands are stripped from the title fields so they never actually appear on the chart.
We chose this methodology for the following reasons:
a) The Chart title fields are universally accessible. They are available in all editions of Crystal Reports and also all versions of the Report Designer that come with Visual Basic and/or Visual Studio .Net.
b) They can be accessed from the ChartObject class, which means they can be set and utilized at runtime.
c) It keeps our add-on functionality ‘clean’ in terms of interfacing with the various products/versions/patches of Crystal Reports that are out there.
3. What are the main features of CRChart?
The macros in CRChart break down in 4 prime categories:
• Data Manipulations
Pivot functions, user-defined data series, user-defined chart labels, and so on.
• New Data Visualizations
BoxPlots, Error Bars, Pareto Charts, 3D Scatter charts, and so on.
• Runtime Commands
Setting axis values/colors/shapes on the fly and/or conditionally, and so on. Any Crystal Reports field or function can be used as a parameter of the CRChart macros that will be properly evaluated at runtime.
• Presentation Enhancements
Drop Shadows, Alpha channel transparency, user-definable annotations, and so on.
4. What versions of Crystal Reports does CRChart work with?
CRChart works with Crystal Reports versions 8.0, 8.5, 9, 10, 11 (XI), 11.5 (XI R2), and 2008.
5. Is CRChart 100% compatible with my existing Crystal Reports?
Yes. Your existing reports with charts in them will look like they always have. The Chart Expert and Chart UI in Crystal Reports work like they always have. If you don’t use the special macro commands in the title fields then you will notice no difference in your charting functionality.
6. How is CRChart licensed and sold?
CRChart (USD $1499):
Our basic CRChart software. formerly CRChart Developer. Provides you with an unlimited license for all developer, end-user and viewer seats connected to one Production server with unlimited processors. Also includes 60 days unlimited first-tier technical support and software updates/upgrades.
CRChart Enterprise (USD $2499): Our advanced CRChart software, formerly CRChartPlus. It includes all the features of CRChart/Developer plus an additional 30+ macros for the advanced developer. It also includes ONE free year of tech-support and upgrades along with 4 hours of consulting/customization/training services.
CRChart or CRChart Enterprise Additional Server License (USD $999): Provides licensing for an additional server using your CRChart or CRChart Enterpise software.
CRChart or CRChart/Enterprise Maintenance and Support for 1 year (USD $300): Provides all CRChart or CRChart Enterprise software updates/upgrades along with technical support for one year.
7. What kind of technical support is there?
Each product you buy from us comes with 60 days free technical support. You may contact us by phone during normal business hours or by email. We also have a user-forum where you may post problems/comments/questions and share ideas with other CRChart customers.
Beyond the 60 days you may purchase a 1 year support/maintenance agreement from us. The cost of this agreement is USD $300
8. What kind of bugs/issues will you respond to?
Three D Graphics will respond ONLY to the following types of bugs/issues:
a) Those related to the CRChart macro commands and the effect of these commands on the appearance of a chart.
b) Differences in behavior/appearance between running CRChart vs. running the ‘original’ chart library (i.e. a problem that occurs when using our library but does not occur if you use the original library that came with Crystal Reports).
We will not officially respond to chart problems that occur in both our product and the original chart library – those are considered bugs in Crystal Reports that are just being faithfully reproduced due to our 100% compatibility feature.
We will not officially respond to problems in creating reports/tables/queries that might happen as a pre-cursor to creating a particular graph.
9. Will CRChart run on Solaris/Linux/AIX/HP-UX?
No. CRChart will work only with Crystal Reports products deployed on Windows.
10. Can I use CRChart inside of my Visual Basic application that uses Crystal Reports?
Yes. You can set CRChart macros using the ChartExpert that comes with Crystal Reports. You can also access these fields programmatically via the ChartObject class. This is how you can use the CRChart macro commands to change chart properties at runtime.
11. I am using the ‘free’ version of Crystal Reports that ships with .NET. Can I use CRChart?
Not really. There is no support in this "crippled" version of Crystal Reports for getting at the title strings so there is no easy way to embed the CRChart macros. You would need to upgrade to the Advanced or Developer editions of Crystal Reports to get full use out of CRChart. If you have the Advanced or Developer editions of Crystal Reports then you will have access to the ChartObject class that allows you to programmatically access the CRChart macros.
12. I program in .NET, but I use Crystal Reports Developer Edition. Can I use CRChart?
Yes! Advanced or Developer editions of Crystal Reports have access to the ChartExpert and to the ChartObject class. This means that you have the full ability to use CRChart and do runtime programming.
13. How up-to-date is CRChart in regards to ‘hot fixes’ and maintenance releases from Crystal Decisions?
Very up-to-date. Most chart bug fixes are immediately incorporated also into CRChart. We also get advance editions of upcoming CR patches/builds so we have plenty of opportunity to confirm compatibility between CRChart and new versions of Crystal Reports.
14. What is your upgrade/maintenance policy?
For each CRChart product you own you may choose to purchase a 1-year upgrade/maintenance agreement from us. During the length of this agreement you will be given access to all new versions of this product.
15. Can I use a title field to specify a chart title I want to see AND also use it to send CRChart Macro Commands?
Yes. Simply add a ~ to the end of your title and then add as many CRChart macro commands as are needed.
16. I have multiple copies of Crystal Reports and multiple development environments which include Crystal Reports (such as Visual Studio .Net) on my PC, how many copies of CRChart Developer do I need?
One. The single-seat license for CRChart covers any and all report designers you might have on your machine (whether they are in a Visual development environment or in a ‘regular’ Crystal Reports product).
17. We have multiple developers working on multiple applications that include Crystal Reports. What do we need to buy?
) Your company must buy ONE copy of the CRChart Developer so that any/all applications you deploy may use our royalty-free runtime version.
b) Each developer who will be using the macro language (either in designer mode or via the ChartObject interface) must have a CRChart Seat License (reminder: One seat license comes with CRChart Developer)
18. My team builds reports which we publish on the web using Crystal Enterprise and RDC. What do we need to buy?
a) Your company must buy one copy of CRChart Developer so that any/all web servers, report viewers, report services (like Crystal Enterprise or RDC) that are physically located in one location may utilize the CRChart enhanced reports your team created.
c) Each developer who will be using the macro language (either in designer mode or via the ChartObject interface) must have a CRChart Seat License. One seat license comes with CRChart Developer and additional seat licenses may be purchased at a discounted rate.
19. What happens if I open a report built with CRChart on another computer that is running a version of Crystal Reports without CRChart?
If your report has no charts in it or has charts that never used CRChart macros then there will be no difference: the reports will look identical.
If your report has charts in it that only use CRChart commands that are marked as ‘compatible with original’ then your reports will still look the same! Certain CRChart features can be serialized into your .rpt file and viewed successfully even when opened by a version of Crystal Reports that does not have our product installed.
If your report has charts in it that use CRChart commands that are marked as ‘NOT compatible with original’ then the charts in your reports will look different. The report will not cause a crash, but it will likely draw differently and treat the CRChart macro commands like regular chart titles.
20. What is the file in Crystal Reports that CRChart replaces to enable its macro capabilities?
It is chart engine file SSCSDK80.DLL.
In Crystal Reports 11, this file is usually located in:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Business Objects\3.0\bin
In Crystal Reports 10, this file is usually located in:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Crystal Decisions\2.5\bin
In Crystal Reports 9, this file is usually located in:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Crystal Decisions\2.0\bin
In Crystal Reports 8.0 or 8.5, this files is usually located in:
C:\Program Files\Seagate Software\Shared
21. I don’t see the chart feature I need listed. Can you help me?
We are very interested in adding new capabilities to CRChart. If you have a good idea for a feature, please send it to us. If it makes sense, we’ll try and add it to our next version.
We are also available for ‘customization’ of CRChart. Our engineering team can quickly add almost any data-visualization you can dream of. For new feature consideration or customization terms/fees please contact us.