Friday, June 15, 2012

How To: Set a Default Date Parameter In Crystal Reports [Field Notes]


I have a report that I'd like to be able to query the date range for. However, I'd also like to have a default value of "today" so that when I run it on a schedule, etc. it's just me passing in a different parameter, and not changing the actual record selection process.

Crystal Reports doesn't have a default mechanism to do this. It appears to be pretty sought after in the Crystal community, but I haven't seen any solutions that would allow one to, say, use a variable like "currentdate" as the default for a date field.

I found a helpful blog post on Cogniza which I modified a little bit to fit my situation.

Step 1: Create Parameters
We're going to create two parameters. The first I'm going to call "NamedDateRange" and the second I'm going to call "CustomDateRange".

NamedDateRange Parameter
This should be an optional string parameter. Add list items like "Today", "Yesterday", "This Month", etc.

CustomDateRange Parameter
This should be an optional date or date range parameter for custom values to be entered.

Step 2: Create the DateRangeSelection_FromParameters Formula
We need a formula to hold the results of our parameters (this will make it nice and clean in the RecordSelection formula, which I prefer.)

Basically, my logic here is the following:
  • If the NamedDateRange has a value, we'll use it.
  • Otherwise, we'll use the CustomDateRange
  • If neither has a value, we'll default to today's date.
  • Also if NamedDateRange has a wacky value, we'll default to today's date.
Thus, the formula is:

{DateFieldInMyTable} in ( 
if not hasvalue({?NamedDateRange}) then 
    if not hasvalue({?CustomDateRange}) then currentdate
    else {?CustomDateRange}
if {?NamedDateRange} = "Today" THEN currentdate
else if {?NamedDateRange} = "Yesterday" then (currentdate - 1)
else if not hasvalue({?CustomDateRange}) then currentdate
    else {?CustomDateRange}

Step 3: Create the Record Selection Text

Due to our use of the formula earlier, the record selection text is as simple as:

{DateField} in ( {@DateRangeSelection_FromParameters} )

Where DateField is the name of whatever DateField you're comparing.

Step 4: Set the Default Value When Running a Report
I'm tackling this using Crystal Reports Server 2008, so this step will apply mostly to that specific setup.

  • Upload the report to Crystal Reports
  • Set the database configuration options, etc.
  • Right-click on the report and select "Properties"
  • Under the "Default Settings" section, click "Parameters".
  • Click Edit for "NamedDateRange" and enter "Today".
Now "Today" will appear as the default selection, so if the user just hits OK, they will see that it generates for today. 

NOTE: Because of the work we did with our formula earlier, even if both fields are left blank, the report will generate for today. A nice touch.

Step 5: Set the Default Value When Scheduling a Report

  • These steps are essentially the same as step 4. Schedule the instance as you normally would do, but in the "Parameters" section, select "Today".

And with that, we have a Crystal Report that will default a date range to Today while allowing other custom date ranges as well!



  1. Thanks Sir,you have saved me..

    1. Glad that you found this helpful, Phani! Please let me know if I can improve on it or make it easier to understand -- this is one of my popular posts so I want to ensure it's as helpful as possible.

  2. How would you implement this if your sql statement uses the start- and end date parameter instead of the Record Selection?

    1. Can you provide me with a little more information? If you let me know what you're trying to accomplish in some more detail I may be able to help.

  3. Of course, i have a report which uses a sql statement to select some data from a MySQL database. In this statement I use a start- en enddate to prevent that all the data is pushed to my report.
    It would be great if I can use you method in the report but the problem is that in the sql select statement it is forbidden to use the if statement.
    I hope a made myself clear.

    1. Hi Martin,

      If the MySQL Database is the only database you're using for the report, the best practice in my opinion would be to add the MySQL database in the Crystal Reports designer as a data source instead of using a SQL statement to select data. This way, you allow Crystal Reports to automatically translate its record selection into the appropriate MySQL SQL statement.

      This would you to use the method above.

      Please let me know if this isn't an option for you, and if so, why not -- that would help me understand your situation a little better.

  4. Thanks for you feedback I will try this today.


Keep it classy, folks.