What users are saying about
740 Ratings
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Top Rated
472 Ratings
740 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 100

SAP Crystal

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472 Ratings
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Score 8 out of 100

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft BI

If the client you are dealing with already has existing Microsoft licensing agreements, selecting the Microsoft Stack may be a no-brainer. However, truly understanding the client's needs is the most important place to start versus selecting the technology stack. B2C clients that need a visualization tool may need to look elsewhere if you are looking for a data visualization tool, as costs for licensing are high at the time of writing.
No photo available

SAP Crystal

Crystal reports is a great Business Intelligence tool for any midsize business that prefers to keep its data in-house instead of in the cloud. The learning curve for parsing data source and creating first reports could be a bit steep at the beginning, but then the cost savings are invaluable. The reports generated by Crystal are easily manipulated according to different requirements and further analyzed by the recipients.
Frank Hunt profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft BI
7.8
SAP Crystal
8.1
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft BI
7.5
SAP Crystal
8.5
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft BI
7.8
SAP Crystal
7.8
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft BI
8.0
SAP Crystal
8.0

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.2
SAP Crystal
7.8
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft BI
7.9
SAP Crystal
7.4
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft BI
8.2
SAP Crystal
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft BI
7.9
SAP Crystal
7.5
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft BI
8.6
SAP Crystal
7.8

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft BI
7.8
SAP Crystal
8.1
Publish to Web
Microsoft BI
8.0
SAP Crystal
7.8
Publish to PDF
Microsoft BI
8.4
SAP Crystal
8.9
Report Versioning
Microsoft BI
7.6
SAP Crystal
7.6
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft BI
7.0
SAP Crystal
8.1
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft BI
7.8
SAP Crystal
7.9

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft BI
7.6
SAP Crystal
7.5
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft BI
8.0
SAP Crystal
7.6
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft BI
7.5
SAP Crystal
7.1
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft BI
7.4
SAP Crystal
7.7

Access Control and Security

Microsoft BI
8.1
SAP Crystal
7.7
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAP Crystal
7.8
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft BI
7.7
SAP Crystal
7.7
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft BI
8.3
SAP Crystal
7.5
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft BI
8.3
SAP Crystal
7.8

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft BI
7.9
SAP Crystal
7.1
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft BI
7.9
SAP Crystal
7.5
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAP Crystal
6.7
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft BI
7.8
SAP Crystal
6.9
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft BI
8.0
SAP Crystal
7.4

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft BI
7.6
SAP Crystal
7.0
REST API
Microsoft BI
7.5
SAP Crystal
7.4
Javascript API
Microsoft BI
8.1
SAP Crystal
7.0
iFrames
Microsoft BI
7.3
SAP Crystal
7.1
Java API
Microsoft BI
7.8
SAP Crystal
7.0
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft BI
7.5
SAP Crystal
6.9
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft BI
7.4
SAP Crystal
6.6

Pros

Microsoft BI

  • The layout of Power BI is very intuitive. Someone that is familiar with Excel and working with Charts and Graphs in that environment will find the learning curve a rather short one to start using Power BI.
  • I like the way Power BI fits an assortment of users and how the functionality that you engage is replicated in Excel, that being Power Query and Power Pivot. So what you learn in one tool can be readily applied towards the other which allows you to more effectively apply your training.
  • I appreciate how Microsoft is working to develop tools that go a long ways to empowering the end user. Prior to Power BI I would have had to consult with a "BI" professional to develop a dashboard. With Power BI I don't have to consult with anyone, I can work to put together the dash board I want and using a tool set that is really robust and allows me to engage an enormous amount of data. It's provides a great deal of flexibility and the types of data I can connect to.
  • Updates...Microsoft is working diligently to keep Power BI current with monthly updates. They do a really good job of listening to the end user, if there is functionality not currently present just give them a month or so.
  • Just to be clear, even though it's easy to get going right out of the gate with Power BI it provides plenty of opportunities to create some really sophisticated reporting solutions. With DAX in Power Pivot and M language in Power Query, you are provided with plenty of head room to do some really amazing things in Power BI.
  • Training...there are resources across the web for learning and growing your skills and Power BI. And what's even better is the majority of those resources are free.
  • Data engagement, when presenting the data to the end user Power BI goes a long way to allowing that end user to engage the data and begin to identify root cause by simply interacting with the graph/chart/data set. It allows for really fluid engagement. Prior to Power BI so many times during the presentation of data we often times ended the engagement with that data with more questions than what were answered. With Power BI, more often than not, the end user is able to get answers to the questions by simply clicking on the data in the graph/chart/dataset to see the details. This tool really does have the capacity to make you look like a rock star.
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SAP Crystal

  • Great visualization for static format & precise tasks: For presentation to senior management /ex-co/vendors where concise decisions need to be made, Crystal is a nice choice to slide data into presentable views.
  • Diverse data source connect: We have used it to write reports using data from DB2, SQL, Progress, Excel spreadsheets, XML data, Access, and Lotus Notes databases. It can also be used to join different database types together in one report.
  • It uses the "recurring bands" structure for page layout which is efficient and fungible for generating different types of reports. Crystal doesn't require that we set up a metadata layer before creating reports and provides direct access to tables and dimensions.
Rohit Narang profile photo

Cons

Microsoft BI

  • Report Builder 3.0 shipped with MSSQL 2012 is a nice free tool but our client users sometimes encounter problems such as the tool automatically shut down without saving the changes being made. We haven't implemented the new RB with MSSQL 2016 yet thus cannot comment on the latest version.
Haibo Yang profile photo

SAP Crystal

  • The option to export to Excel is very picky about report format to get a clean export. Once you know the tricks for setting up a report for this export, it's not hard to do, but it can be very tedious if the report has a lot of elements. This is the way it's been for years and SAP has indicated that it's not something that's going to be changed.
  • Crystal requires that a user knows how the data they're reporting on is configured in the database - it's not really suited for a "casual" user, but for someone with at least some technical skills in relation to databases. This is not something that can or should necessarily be changed, but it is something that potential users need to be aware of.
  • Other than new types of database connections, SAP has indicated that they will not be upgrading any functionality in "classic" Crystal. They instead have chosen to focus on upgrades to Crystal for Enterprise. The problem with that is that it requires the SAP BI Platform - either SAP BusinessObjects or SAP Crystal Reports Server.
  • One of the major things that's not being upgraded is the Charting libraries, which were last updated in the early 2000's, before SAP purchased Crystal. So, Crystal doesn't have newer chart types available.
Dell Stinnett-Christy profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.0
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft BI is fundamental to our suite of BI applications. That being said, Northcraft Analytics is focused on delighting our customers, so if the underlying factors of our decision change, we would choose to re-write our BI applications on a different stack. Luckily, mathematics are the fundamental IP of our technology... and is portable across all BI platforms for the foreseeable future.
Lee Cullom profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 10.0
Based on 19 answers
I have made my career off Crystal Reports. Business Intelligence is a niche area of Information Technology that combines technical knowledge and an understanding of how a company uses information. Crystal Reports is the most solid, flexible and reliable business intelligence tool I have worked with, allowing me to work on projects in a variety of markets and industries, from the financial to educational, to telecommunications to governmental. Understanding how to use Crystal Reports as part of a Business Intelligence career gives you the tools you need to better connect businesses to their data, deliver quality and productive solutions, and allow you the report developer to build the experience and skills to build a reputable career in the high demand world of Business Intelligence Reporting.
David Deitch profile photo

Usability

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 5 answers
Usability is great. This product will make most feel right at home. I feel like this question should be asked from two points of view:1. Creator of reports, Data Models, Views etc: Most Advanced users will still rate the usability as very high. Its capabilities are still robust. However when compared to other Enterprise Class products it will not do many of the advanced application queries. 2. End user, Consumer: All end users will feel right at home. Many will be able to create connections to already created data models and other external publicly available sources like twitter, Facebook, World Health order etc... These connections are then in turn very very easily available to publish to SharePoint and Power BI. It took me a while to understand what I think is Microsoft's strategy. This will handle all but the most of robust needs. Much like many American made cars and my favorite Corvette, Microsoft is fast, has it own break downs from time to time but all of these are really to tolerate when the price is considered and the next one up that can out perform it is three to four times as much money makes this an easy one to still recommend
Sean Warren profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 8.1
Based on 22 answers
Crystal is very robust, but not always easy to use. It create wonderful looking reports, and so deserves a high rating. However, I have to take a couple of points off for the simple fact that I cannot hand it to a user and expect them to be able to do development with it.
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Reliability and Availability

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 8.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Performance

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 2 answers
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can drag at times. We created two report servers and placed them under an F5 load balancer. This configuration has worked well. We have seen sluggish performance at times due to the Windows Firewall.
Robert Goodman profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 8.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Support

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.1
Based on 6 answers
While support from Microsoft isn't necessarily always best of breed, you're also not paying the price for premium support that you would on other platforms. The strength of the stack is in the ecosystem that surrounds it. In contrast to other products, there are hundreds, even thousands of bloggers that post daily as well as vibrant user communities that surround the tool. I've had much better luck finding help with SQL Server related issues than I have with any other product, but that help doesn't always come directly from Microsoft.
Jacob Saunders profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 4.7
Based on 15 answers
The support community can be difficult to navigate. I've also run into issues with my login. The SAP system has a bizarre mechanism for validating users that requires users to have what is called an S-ID. A basic ID may not give you access to all the features in the portal. The limitation may include not being able to perform a simple task like downloading patches and updates. This isn't a big deal for single user license but for teams it can be a pain.
Nathan Patrick Taylor profile photo

In-Person Training

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 10.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Online Training

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.5
Based on 2 answers
I have used on-line training from Microsoft and from Pragmatic Works. I would recommend Pragmatic Works as the best way to get up to speed quickly, and then use the Microsoft on-line training to deep dive into specific features that you need to get depth with.
Sean Brady profile photo

SAP Crystal

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Implementation

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.6
Based on 7 answers
We are a consulting firm and as such our best resources are always billing on client projects. Our internal implementation has weaknesses, but that's true for any company like ours. My rating is based on the product's ease of implementation.
Jacob Saunders profile photo

SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal 8.8
Based on 14 answers
Just like any other implementation: When designing the differing reports, get end users' input, make sure to design the reports so that they display the information that the company requires, in the best and clearest way possible.
Test, test, test, revise when needed, and, particularly, do sufficient training so users are comfortable using Crystal Reports!
John Suit profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft BI

Looking at the visualization portion of BI, there are three types of tools.
  1. Programming packages. Free and powerful, they let you make any diagram, at the cost of difficulty of use.
  2. Specialist software like Tableau and Microsoft BI. This is the best choice in most cases due to ease of use and quality of output.
  3. More generic software offered by the big IT companies, often part of a BI suite. There's really a lot of variety here. Use this when it fits the workflow and you are already using the relevant software. But, personally, I'd still use the specialist software.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

SAP Crystal

As I said before I never used a reporting tool before Crystal Reports but I have since used SSRS. Crystal Reports blows SSRS out of the water. The reports look nicer and it was easier, faster, and better to create a report in Crystal Reports. Prior to using Crystal Reports I wrote reports by coding them using RPG on the iSeries. I could never go back to doing that.
Janet Fawcett profile photo

Return on Investment

Microsoft BI

  • Business users easily learned self service BI with training and what to do and what not to do with self service BI
  • Learning curve for Powerpivot and other office 365 tools for IT team who already knew about data warehousing concepts is steep
No photo available

SAP Crystal

  • Employee Empowerment - Now that our Crystal Reports are written and published, all of our team members have access to run the same reports across the company. Previously, there was only 1 point person in charge of running reports, which took a lot of time away from other job duties.
  • Increased Employee Efficiency - One of the Crystal Reports my company uses has allowed me to take a task that took 3 days to complete and cut the time down to 4 hours. There was a lot of manual data collection and calculations that were done, which has also led to less errors.
  • Accurate real-time data - Since Crystal Reports are very quick to run, we are able to give real time data to our customers rather than maintaining oudated databases in other systems such as Excel.
Shannon Odland profile photo

Pricing Details

Microsoft BI

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Microsoft BI Editions & Modules

Edition
Power BI$0
Power BI Pro$102
  1. per user per month
Additional Pricing Details

SAP Crystal

General

Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional

SAP Crystal Editions & Modules

Edition
SAP Crystal Reports 2016 - Full version$4951
SAP Crystal Server 2016 1 NUL$8692
SAP Crystal Server 2016 5 CAL$8,7443
SAP Crystal Reports Viewer 2016$04
SAP Crystal Reports 2016 - Upgrade$2954
  1. per user
  2. per named user
  3. per 5 concurrent users
  4. per user
Additional Pricing Details
* SAP Crystal Reports 2016 Viewer allows you to view static data within a SAP Crystal Reports file. * SAP Crystal Reports 2016 - Full version allows you to create powerful, richly formatted, and dynamic reports from virtually any data source, delivered in dozens of formats, in up to 28 languages. If you already have an older version of Crystal Reports, buy a license for SAP Crystal Reports 2016 - Upgrade at a discounted, upgrade price. * SAP Crystal Server 2016, 1 NUL includes 1 license of: SAP Crystal Reports 2016 - SAP Crystal Server 2016 - SAP Crystal Dashboard Design 2016. * As an add-on to SAP Crystal Server 2016 1 NUL, SAP Crystal Server 2016 5 CAL allows you to support a wider, intermittent audience of end users, up to five logged on at the same time.

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft BI
8.3
SAP Crystal
8.1

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI
8.0
SAP Crystal
10.0

Usability

Microsoft BI
7.0
SAP Crystal
8.1

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft BI
9.5
SAP Crystal
8.0

Performance

Microsoft BI
7.0
SAP Crystal
8.0

Support

Microsoft BI
7.1
SAP Crystal
4.7

In-Person Training

Microsoft BI
6.9
SAP Crystal
10.0

Online Training

Microsoft BI
8.5
SAP Crystal

Implementation

Microsoft BI
9.6
SAP Crystal
8.8

Scalability

Microsoft BI
SAP Crystal
7.0

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