I just returned from Dallas where I attended the 2009 Global BusinessObjects Conference. This was sponsored by ASUG. It was a great conference, well organized, with very high quality content. If you aren’t a member of ASUG, I’d strongly encourage you to join to benefit from this strong user community.
I focused on attending Crystal Reports and Xcelsius sessions, and meeting with partners and customers. It was great to meet up with some familiar faces, and make new friends.
There were many great presentations, but my favorites were:
- Kurt Reinhart of Crystal Advantage who focused on how to make your Crystal Report implementations more successful by using features such as SQL Expressions to push business logic down to the database. PPT.
- George Peck of the Ablaze Group (author of Crystal Reports the Complete Reference) talked about how he used Crystal Reports to address the challengine real-world requirements of assigning volunteer drivers at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
- I lost track of all the presentations that Kevin McCann of Virtual Consulting had, but the one I enjoyed most was how to build a dynamic dashboard in an hour using Xcelsius, Universes, and Query as a Web Service. It was great to get the complete end to end overview of how to best wire up your dashboard to live data.
With other members of the Crystal Reports Special Interest Group (CR SIG) we presented ‘Unchugging Crystal Reports for Optimal Performance’ where we talked about:
- Leveraging the database server to do as much work as possible.
- SQL Commands to use hand-tuned SQL to fetch data.
- The multi-pass reporting model and how to remove the need for a pass by avoiding ‘Page N of M’ in your report.
- Manual running totals as a potential optimization instead of running total fields.
- Report bursting indexes for use with the new Saved Data Selection Filter in Crystal Reports 2008.
- Splitting one report with multiple unlinked subreports into separate reports, then using the Report Parts Viewer to display multiple report parts on a web page.
Finally a big thank you to the Xcelsius team who hosted a great party on Tuesday night where we had a chance to mingle with Xcelsius customers and partners like Antivia, Centigon, Everything Xcelsius, and Xcelsius Journal.