Crystal Reports & Parameters Just what can they do vs what they cannot do?

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If a parameter in Crystal Reports can be set to dynamic and the value is "editable" (which apparently means you can't type in the value when it is dynamic only pick the value from the list)  then what way if there is one can a user manually type in a value and have the value posted directly and pass it to the report.

If Filtering with the filter button is one way or if using STATIC Parameter the other way is there a third way to manually enter in a value to pass through to the report?

In past versions Crystal Reports had more flexible options....and it seems by now you would think that they could code a way to users to generate a manually entered value that would instantly query a list similar to the first 3-4 characters entered. SO as you type a value say "CLA" for CLARKE anything that starts with"CLA" would show up in a picklist. I am not a programmer so what do I know but  when running a report it really helps.

If anyone knows of the best way I can simplify a report for users so they can see the least amount of records. How would I stage the report or set up the SQL in an order that can hand off records in the least bulky amounts for them to access.

Ideally it would be perfect to set up a dynamic parameter with a custom entry window that pulls records immediately upon keystroke. If SAP is not thinking of this someone needs to get them on the phone. I have customers leaving the product because they found another tool that could....frustrating. When was the last time SAP took a long look at one of their biggest and most productive products of all time and gave it some serious updates?
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Commented:
Editable refers to the ability to change the value from the viewer without having to refresh the data.
This is only available when you run from the BOE viewer in BO Enterprise through the BO LaunchPad portal interface or through a similar 3rd-party interface that provides the capability.  When using that method there is a series of tabs on the left=side of the viewer one of which is for parameters.  You can change any or all (as allowed by the editable option) from that tab then rerun the report avoiding the prompt screen and avoiding a having to click the refresh button which some viewers do not provide.

Whether you can type in a value or not depends on how the parameter is set up.  Dynamic by the nature are expected to be pulled from the list of available values where as static since the list doesn't change can allow the user to enter a value.

In both cases quickly typing the first several letters of a value such as SOUT for south put the cursor in the list at the first value that starts with SOUT.  How many letters you can type depends on your speed, type s l o w l y and you may only get one or 2 letters to take.  Type quickly and I can get 5 or 6.

Long lists in the Crystal viewer can be set to automatically split the list into pieces and a secondary drop down is provided which has values like ABLE - BAKER, BAKES-CANDY, etc thus allowing you to further limit the list before looking for the appropriate value.

You can also setup filters which will look for STARTS WITH the letters you type and the report would show all the records where the parameter starts with SOUT

Crystal has its place in the SAP stable of reporting tools.  They also have other tools that provide other capabilities such as Web Intelligence, Lumira Discovery, Lumira Designer, etc.

Crystal can also be controlled from user-developed applications or one of a myriad of third-party report viewing and scheduling tools that are available.  Properly built a viewing application can provide the user with any kind of parameter lists or selections that they can think of.

Crystal Reports 20xx is a desktop tool for building reports.  The viewing is handled by other tools that provide or can provide much of what you are looking for.

mlmcc
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Commented:
So with Business Objects Enterprise I have more flexibility in the control of what can be done even though in Crystal the limits are pretty clear. Only static allows for custom value entry vs Dynamic where values are filtered and picked? Thank you sir most thorough answer I believe I have ever seen. This will get some usage on the forum.

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