Knowledgebase & FAQ

How to customize RecFind Reports


With the introduction of version 4, RecFind commenced using Crystal Reports to produce it's reports. By doing so RecFind now provides the ability for customers to also utilize the Crystal Reporting features to create customized reports. There are two ways you can use Crystal Reports with RecFind.

  1. you can customize the report templates that are produced using RecFind’s reporting module, or
  2. you can create totally new reports accessing the database directly

Both methods are discussed in detail below.

These procedures have been confirmed using Crystal Reports V7 and V8.

Method 1: Customize existing templates

If your requirement is to change the presentation of information (i.e. move fields, add color, remove certain information) modifying the template is the ideal solution. If you need to make major changes to the data presented on the report, please refer to the section ‘Creating a new report’ below.

Within the RecFind directory you will find a directory called ‘reports’. Within this directory you will find directories called ‘standard’ and ‘custom’.

The Standard directory contains the templates that RecFind uses. We do not recommend changing any files within this directory. Installation of service packs and new product version may overwrite any changes you have made.

The custom directory is provided for the storage of any customized Crystal Report templates.

To create a customized report, make a copy of the existing report template (from the standard directory) and copy it to the custom directory, taking note to copy any required sub-report templates.

Please note that you may have to change the report template’s file attributes to not be read-only.

Then load the template using Crystal Reports and make the necessary changes.

How to run your customized template
Once you have completed customizing the new report, to use the new template within RecFind, users select the custom option at the base of the reporting module, see screen shot below.

When clicking the Preview button, they will then be presented with a dialog box to select the desired template.

Using the Browse button, the user can select the desired customized template from the custom directory, or navigate to an alternative location. Once the user clicks OK, the report will be generated and displayed.

Method 2: Creating your own Crystal Report

This document isn’t intended to provide instruction on the usage of Crystal Reports, however due to the way information is stored within the RecFind for Windows database there are some special requirements that you need to be aware of.

As RecFind stores some information in that database in a binary or raw format, you need to convert the information for it to be readable to the end-user. Although not totally necessary, it is recommended that prior to creating a report, you create an SQL Query using the Crystal SQL Designer. Using the Crystal SQL Designer tool, you can write the necessary SQL statement to retrieve the data, then you create a report based on this Query.

Queries for SQL Server
Within the SQL Server database, all RecFind keys are stored as binary. To convert this binary information to user readable information, you use the convert function. For example:

select convert(char, doc_registration), doc_author from std_doc

Queries for Oracle
In the case of Oracle, most fields are stored in a raw format. To make the information readable you must use the hextochar function. For example:

select hextochar(doc_registration), hextochar(doc_author) from std_doc

Please note that you can not produce a report on user/logon information. As logon information includes contains password information, it is encrypted for security reasons.

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