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Crystal 9 MICR line problem when printing from PeopleSoft

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Hoping to get some feedback from some Crystal Reports experts out there.

We are using the PeopleSoft (Oracle) ERP application, which uses Crystal for some of its reporting requirements, for example - cheque printing.

We are upgrading the PeopleSoft application from v9.0 to v9.1 and in the process, we are upgrading a few things too, like:

- from Crystal 2008 to Crystal 9
- NT server from 32-bit to 64-bit

PeopleSoft uses its own runtime program to access the Crystal application, passing on
the parameters that Crystal requires, i.e. report name, printer destination, etc.

To cut the long story short, we are printing cheques via Crystal.  It prints everything quite nicely - except for the bottom part that has the MICR details.

The problem is that it is not decoding the MICR line field formula, which is:

     ~**1M~(8M~(s0p8h10v0s0b100T
     + C113031C A014D052A 8376D31218C
     + ~(19U
     + ~(s1p8.04vb16901T

As I mentioned eariler, we're now trying to print from a 64-bit NT server (upgraded from a 32-bit server) to a 32-bit HP LasertJet 4100N printer that has a SIMM/DIMM cartridge installed. (see attached image) HP LaserJet 4100N
We've contacted jetcapslabs and they have sent us a disc that contains the 64-bit printer driver and MICR fonts, which we've installed on the 64-bit NT server that houses the printer server.

If we print directly from Crystal 9, the MICR line is printing well.

However, when we print from PeopleSoft (that uses their runtime program to trigger Crystal), the decoding is not occuring for the MICR line and it's printing it like this:

~**1M~(8M~(s0p8h10v0s0b100TC113031C A014D052A 8376D31218C~(19U~(s1p8.04vb16901T

Also, would I be able to tell the font based on that formula?

Will appreciate very much any assistance.



Many Thanks
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Question by:jr2410
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13 Comments
 
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:James0628
ID: 37836154
> - from Crystal 2008 to Crystal 9

 That is not an upgrade.  That would be going backwards several versions.  There was CR 9, then CR 10, then CR XI, then CR 2008.

 Maybe you just wrote it backwards and it was CR 9 to CR 2008.  Or maybe you meant CR 8, instead of CR 2008.

 It would probably be good to get the versions nailed down.

 As for the MICR problem, I've never used MICR, but as a starting point, when you say that it works from CR 9, but not from PeopleSoft, are both of those being run from the same computer?

 If so, does that computer have the drivers for that printer installed?

 Is that the default printer in the report?  If not, or you're not sure, you could try opening the report in CR, selecting that printer and saving the report.

 James
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Author Comment

by:jr2410
ID: 37836192
James, firstly, many thanks for your reply.

You're right.

Got the versions in the wrong order. Apologies.

We are upgrading from Crystal 9 (1991-2002 [version 9.2.3.884]) to Crystal 2008 (version 12.1.0.892).

If I run the report straight from Crystal [both versions] and print it from there, all's well [i.e. they both printed the MICR line correctly].

I printed them to the cheque printer that is available on the network.  Hence, all I did was to:

- define that network printer on my desktop
- then selected that printer from Crystal [but not as a default] and all printed well from there [from both versions]



Many Thanks
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:James0628
ID: 37836298
Are you running PeopleSoft from the same computer?

 Did the MICR work with the old version of PeopleSoft, using CR 9, on that same printer?

 James
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Author Comment

by:jr2410
ID: 37836313
Are you running PeopleSoft from the same computer? Different server.

Did the MICR work with the old version of PeopleSoft, using CR 9, on that same printer? Yup, the MICR work with the old version of PeopleSoft (which is the current Production environment - - we haven't gone live with the new version of PeopleSoft - - still in the testing phase, which is where we're experiencing this MICR problem), using CR 9, on that same printer.



Many Thanks
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:James0628
ID: 37836505
If you're running PeopleSoft from a different computer, does that computer have the same printer drivers installed?  Just checking.

 Beyond that, I don't know what to suggest.  Hopefully someone else will have some ideas.

 James
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Author Comment

by:jr2410
ID: 37836547
The 64-bit printer drivers and fonts, which came from the SIMM/DIMM manufacturer, have been installed, as per my initial post.

James, your assistance is very much appreciated.

Yes, I do hope so too that someone would be able to assist in resolving the issue.

We are also trying a few more options (process of elimination), albeit to no avail at this stage.
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Accepted Solution

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DansDadUK earned 400 total points
ID: 37837014
I've no knowledge of Crystal or PeopleSoft, just some comments on your "MICR line field formula".

Assuming that the "~" character is translated (at some stage) into the ESCape character (0x1b), all apart from the first fragment looks like PCL5 escape sequences to select a font (the MICR font?), print some data, then select another font (Times New Roman 8.04 point):

Q-27672111-a.prn-analysis.txt

I've no idea what the first fragment (<Esc>**1M) is; it's not a standard PCL escape sequence, but it may be a proprietary JetCaps extension?
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:DansDadUK
DansDadUK earned 400 total points
ID: 37837064
... and I think that the "~" character is the standard "Alternate Escape Character" (another proprietary PCL extension used by JetCaps).
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Assisted Solution

by:DansDadUK
DansDadUK earned 400 total points
ID: 37837100
>> ...  the decoding is not occuring for the MICR line and it's printing it like this ...

As the printer is printing the escape sequences (which use the non-standard Alternate Escape Character (AEC)) and text, this implies that the unit (the JetCaps DIMM, presumably) that is supposed to intercept and interpret this non-standard-PCL is (form some unknown reason) not doing it.


>> ... would I be able to tell the font based on that formula ...
As I've already mentioned, the second font selection sequence appears to be for the (standard) Time New font which is resident on all modern LaserJet printers.
I can only assume (since it does not match the selection sequence for any of the standard printer-resident fonts) that the first font selection sequence is for the MICR font on the DIMM.

Most LaserJet printers (including the LJ4100?) can print off a 'PCL Typeface List' via one of the menu items available from the front panel menu system).
This list shows the available printer-resident fonts, and a representation of their selection sequences.
It MAY (I don't know) also show details of fonts available on add-on sources (like your DIMM).
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:DansDadUK
DansDadUK earned 400 total points
ID: 37837171
... and just to check the printer itself, attached is a test print file containing a modified version of the original "formula":

(a) The first part includes the original sequences (using the "~" AEC character) after a few CarriageReturn-LineFeed pairs (to move the cursor down from the unprintable region).

(b) The second part includes the same sequences (after a few more CR-LF pairs), but with the AEC replaced by the standard 0x1b escape character, and followed by a 'printer-reset' sequence (this standard sequence will end the 'job' and cause a page eject).

On a normal LaserJet, I'd expect the following output:

(a) The original sequences printed as plain text (as you say they already are).

(b) The second sequences should be interpreted, rather than printed, so only the "C113031C A014D052A 8376D31218C" data will be  printed - not sure what font will be used, since the font selection sequence is not for a standard printer-resident font, but it will probably be Courier, since this will match the 'fixed-pitch' part of the selection sequence.

To test this, and assuming that the printer is TCP/IP connected, send the contents of the test file direct to the printer using the 'lpr' command from a Windows command-prompt session:

lpr  -S printer-IP-address  -P any  mytestfile.prn

where:
printer-IP-address is the TCP/IP address of the printer
mytestfile.prn is the name of the test file (as downloaded and saved on your system).
Q-27672111-b.prn
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LVL 100

Assisted Solution

by:mlmcc
mlmcc earned 100 total points
ID: 37840666
SInce CR9 is strictly 32-bit, It wouldn't surprise me if it was a 32/64 bit issue.  You say it prints fine from CR9 stand-alone so that may not be a player however it could be for PeopleSoft.

Any idea what version of Crystal PeopleSoft is installing?

mlmcc
0
 

Author Comment

by:jr2410
ID: 37841044
Guys, thanks so much for the responses.

Very very much appreciated.

We've identified the following causes of the issue:

- The MICR line not being decoded was due to the generic printer driver (PCL5) that was intalled on the 64-bit server. Our infrastructure guys uninstalled that and installed the 32-bit printer driver instead [but just for that special cheque printer].

- The above fixed up the font issue.  However, it was truncating the MICR line. What we had to do was to adjust the Crystal Report by expanding the area where the MICR line is being printed. The assumption here is that the new PeopleSoft Crystal runtime program has changed in the new version that has affected it.


mlmcc, the PeopleSoft version that we're upgrading to uses Crystal 2008.

Guys, can't thank you enough.

Thanks so much for all the assistance and input!
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LVL 100

Expert Comment

by:mlmcc
ID: 37841111
CHanging printer drivers can cause issues like truncation

mlmcc
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