Friday, July 21, 2006


Couple of days ago I got an opportunity to involve in a java project. Even I didn't write a java code in 3,4 years, I desperately wanted to dig it inside. What I believe is for developers there's a time they take a decision and select the technology stream to proceed their career. Sometimes it happens naturally according to the materials gather around the person. In my case I choose Microsoft and started to develop in VB. Considering Microsoft, today C# has become my favorite language. Now I feel I always had a liking to java all through these 4,5 years in my development career even I didn't know it.

I think i didn't have much choice those days when .Net took the IT world by a storm. Everybody talked about the beauty of .Net. When I look back i just realized for the last 2 years I never thought about any other technology except .Net. In the recent past has made a huge impact in this industry than any other, and it proceeds.

When talking about .Net Vs Java Or Microsoft technologies Vs Open source always it has been a hot topic. I found this thread in forum which is very interesting and there are lot of stories inside this thread which is useful to us as Developers, as a 3rd world country or else as a nation.

It's worth post a separate article about this. So I won't express my ideas deeply regarding this. Anyway I like both the technologies. Microsoft and Open source. And I don't like to compare these two. Definitely there are advantages and drawback in both over one another.

It's very nice to have strong representations of both the communities in SL. Sri Lanka .Net forum has been doing a good job for the past 2 years. Tech Ed and VS 2005 Launch was great. Open source community is also blooming up. is still limited to events. It'll be more active if they start a forum. If so developers will gather around it more and more and community will become more stronger.

I wish best of luck to both the communities and dreaming of something comes out by the unity of these two local communities as a nation.


Monday, July 17, 2006


Couple of days ago one of my friends called me and told that he needs to find some good .net guys urgently & is there anyone I know ?

He said they selected some out of received CVs and conducted interviews. Since their company is looking for a degree as the minimum paper qualification, they've short listed Cvs of software engineers only who has at least a Bachelor's Degree.
Some of those who had over 4 years of industrial experience with over 1 year .net experience. After interviewed 16 applicants they could select only 1 but that one is also not up to the level they expected.

They had called CVs for the position of Senior Software Engineer but some of applicants were not even fit for the position of a Trainee software Engineer. They've mentioned as "A good understanding of OOP concepts" but didn't know what an
abstract class is or how to Overloading methods.

I told him there might be something wrong in your recruitment process...something wrong with the way they selected
those CVs. "Don't you call for an interview for someone who has a Bachelor's degree with over 4 years of industrial
experience and having worked in the biggest outsourcing company in SL?" He replied...

Is it this hard to find couple of good .net resources? Is it true?

There was one of my friends looking for a break who has worked with me in my previous work place. Unfortunately he hasn't had a Degree. not even a certificate except a MCP. I told about him to my friend. He finished the conversation by
taking my friends CV without a hope.

After 2 days my friend who's looking for .net developers called me and said he has just interviewed my friend who wants to take a break from his current work place. "He is kind of a guy we were looking for. he's easily got through
the technical interview. I recomended him and through to the second interview with the Management. Hope management won't consider the minimum paper qualifications. I might neglected hundreds of CVs like this only because they didn't have a Degree." Hs said.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Adding User-defined Function Libraries to Crystal Reports

Crystal comes with it's own number of Functions that can be used in formula field objects. While crystal provides a huge number of functions that are useful to developers, there are mechanisms to enhance the product with user defined functions libraries. It comes with the ability to accept new functions you develop to meet your needs.

Both available syntaxes (Crystal syntax and Basic syntax) have a branch with additional functions on the bottom of the middle tree. User-defined functions can be added to the additional functions branch of the tree just like if they were existing crystal reports functions.

Creating a user-defined function library

There are two types of function libraries supported by Crystal. Dynamic link libraries and COM Automation server. These libraries can be written in several languages. Dynamic link libraries are usually written in C and must include those files shipped with Crystal. you can also download these files from Crystal Decisions support site.

How to create a project to write functions?

It's really simple and you don't need to worry about interface definitions. Let's write a small function using Visual Basic.

- Create a ActiveX DLL project in Visual Basic
- Add a function named "DateFormat" to your class module or copy the following code.

Public Function DateFormat(ByVal sDate As String) As String
DateFormat = Format(sDate, "dd/MMM/yyyy")
End Function

- Save the project with a meaningful name. Make sure it starts with "CRUFL". For now let's name it as "CRUFLformat"
- Go to --> Make and compile your project into ActiveX DLL (Which will serve as an automation server for Crystal Reports)
- Copy the CRUFLformat.DLL into a directory(better if Windows or crystal reports directory) and register it using regsvr32 exe.

Using it in Crystal Reports

- Create a new report using a database you prefer.
- Insert a formula field. Formula window must appear with 3 panes.
- In the middle pane, go to the Additional functions branch andd you'll see DateFormat function. use it to format the date in a date field.
- Edit the function (changing the date format) and see the difference

I will ...

Couldn't write in the blog for a long time.
Just saw where I stoped. hmm...It was damn right.
I thought I'll update the blog regularly from today onwards.