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Do you have a patched developer suite installation? I remember that we had a similar problem which was related to the order of installed patches.
If you have designer and developer patches, first install the designer patches and after this the developer patches.
In our case the designer patches contains older reports related files.
Sorry for the slow reply. I've been trying a number of different things to get this to work.
I reinstalled Developer as suggested but we don't have a patched version so there were no additional patches to apply. I re-ran the installer anyway to see if it would update anything.
I couldn't find any reference to Developer patches that might fix this issue in metalink.
I also tried messing with the JVM options to give it more memory etc but that didn't help.
After using the Designer diagnostics trace I got the arguments it uses to run the same report from the command line.
This resulted in the same issue. So at least it was consistent from Designer as well as the command line.
This suggests it is a reports issue rather than Designer.
Running the reports trace didn't provide any extra information. Found a bug that suggested changing any formula columns to not return NULL.
Tried updating the report to fix that too but no joy.
I will post here if I discover the solution.