- Detailed invoices calculating shipping, installation and delivery
- A central point for developers to generate templates for end users
- Flexible range of output
- The way you design templates is kind of hodge podge
- Unpredictable output from time to time
- A bit confusing for non-technical people, requires a lot of trial and error
SAP Crystal Review: "Crystal Reports is not for casual users, but provides an excellent tool for professional report design."
- Crystal is very good at presenting the data exactly how you want it. There is a robust set of options for formatting and presentation.
- It can connect to a wide variety of data sources. We primarily use SQL sources. As a DBA, I generally prefer to have Crystal access views rather than people writing direct queries, but the option is there to do both.
- There are lots of options for data manipulation once the data set is in Crystal. For example, if you pull some raw data out of a sales table, there are a great many ways to calculate, manipulate, and transform the data into whatever you need.
- The learning curve in creating content in Crystal Reports can be steep. This is not a tool that I feel should be wielded by casual users.
- Crystal isn't great anymore for ad-hoc reporting. At one point in my career, I used Crystal for ad-hoc reporting, but with the advent of web-based and visual reporting tools that can be wielded by the general user population, I wouldn't even think of going to Crystal for one-off type reports.
- Crystal Reports doesn't have its own scheduling component. So you'll need to either code up or buy a separate solution for report distribution.
- Track activity for new prospective customers
- Analyze sales quantities and revenue over time
- Highlight errors in data entry
- Generate invoices
- Track receivables
- Provide historical analysis of products used for blog articles
- Automate follow-up for newsletter subscribers
- Crystal allows you to connect to virtually any type of data that is available.
- Crystal Reports has a rich ecosystem of third party products that extend its capabilities. My site lists dozens of tools that provide viewing, scheduling and managing reports, along with formula UFLs that can let your report interact with your operating system and other applications and services.
- Crystal, especially the more recent versions, let you create virtually any desired layout with the ability to locate objects anywhere and move them based on conditions in the data.
- Crystal uses the classic "recurring bands" structure for page layout. I find this efficient and very flexible for generating different types of reports.
- Crystal doesn't require that you set up a meta data layer before creating reports. It gives you direct access to your tables and fields.
- The interface in Crystal Reports, while sophisticated, is still primarily designed for end users rather than a programmers.
- Many of us would like to see the RPT Format stored in something open (like XML) rather than in a closed and proprietary format. It would be great for users, but probably not a realistic business decision.
- The charting engine is functional but has been left behind by some of the visualization tools out there. Of course, these visualization tools often can't create classic reports
- Page layout doesn't include the ability to add a structured table object. Tables have to be created with lines and boxes.
- It enables the creation of reports through a simplified and useful visual interface. During the creation of the reports you can already have a view of what is being set up.
- Ease of reporting, with the possibility of using data of various types of connections to the most varied types of databases.
- It supports large amount of data, processing them efficiently and quickly.
- Its formulas can be easily created, with a language based on SQL its use is very simple.
- It has a good help menu with many examples to use its formulas, which is very useful in several moments of its use and also facilitates its learning.
- The use for graphing sometimes is not simple, since the data type often needs to be very standardized to be accepted in the use of graphics.
- Information on solving more complex problems is more difficult to find among the community of users who use the program.
- The lack of local training can make it difficult to learn advanced items, even though their use is simplified in general.
- Ability to build a lof of informational reports, which being finished once, could be executed and refreshed with just a single click
- Integration with lots of third-party products. We are using it in conjunction with Microsoft Office
- Does not requires a deep knowledge of the system to start developing simple reports
- Customer support could be better
- Complex reports require a lot of time to find the cause of errors because error messages are not very informative
- Creation of complex reports is not very straightforward and could be tricky
Does not work so good for manufacturing reporting as it requires big data engineers to be engaged, which requires more time to develop reports
- Crystal Reports pulls from existing data sets to minimize the redundancy of data entry.
- With Crystal Reports we can customize forms and create templates to be used over again across different departments.
- Creating custom reports helps us with analyzing expenses and work flows as well as the budget expenditures.
- Crystal Reports is a powerful tool, therefore requires advance skills of how to use the software properly.
- With its versatility, it is difficult to learn how to use as it applies specifically to our products. For example, we use CR on 2 different products (accounting and construction management). Training for report writing in the product does not transfer over to use within the other.
SAP Crystal Reports helped us in delivering highly formatted, quality reports that were based on an operational (transaction) database.
- Supports a variety of data sources. One could even use and Excel spreadsheet as a database!
- Provides the option for writing custom SQL command for fetching report data. This is one of the most powerful features as you can tune your SQL, make enhancements to the report or do any other changes to the SQL, when there's a need, without having to modify the actual data tables or database elements.
- Its ease of use.
- Adding sub reports makes the reports run very slow. It basically affects the performance of the reports. This should be improved.
- An option for version control can be provided as part of the suite.
- Not used by many companies. When you compare the job openings for other reporting tools such as Cognos, SSRS, SAP Webi, Tableau etc., with this tool, there are less openings for SAP Crystal Reports. They should focus on marketing the product to many companies so that the people with technical skills in Crystal do not migrate to other skills.
- Better exporting results for reports using Excel outputs.
- Reports using operational data.
- Reports that require high formatting needs.
- The Crystal Reports Runtime (SDK) is very powerful.
- Crystal Reports itself is very powerful, so the combination of powerful reports + powerful SDK is very compelling.
- The ability to use dynamic expressions to control almost any aspect of report behavior and layout. For example, control visibility, formatting, sizing, and placement of any object or section using dynamic expressions.
- Dynamic expressions are not limited to a single statement. Can use variables, and control structures. In other words, full programming language (Basic-like) to control report layout and content.
- Beyond hundreds of built-in functions, you can build or purchase 3rd-party User Function Libraries (UFLs) that can extend the power of the tool in useful and creative ways.
- Critical Mass and Network Effects: millions of licenses sold, report libraries integrated into 3rd-party software packages, tech support forums, consultants, training materials ...
- Deployment options: can use as agile solution with direct connectivity to practically any data source or move into Enterprise-level deployments using data and security layers.
- The tension between Enterprise-level solutions and Agile-level solutions for BI within SAP seem to cause feature stagnation. Not much has been enhanced in the last several years even though many opportunities for obvious improvements exist.
- Because of feature stagnation, momentum is shifting to alternative BI tools such as SSRS, Power BI, Tableau, etc.
- SAP seems to like hiding useful tech support information behind a fence. Folks without support contracts can't access KBA Numbers or SAP Note IDs even though they are useful for situations such as understanding recent bug fixes.
- Reports can also be easily delivered through the Crystal Reports Server or BusinessObjects.
- It is a WSIWYG design tool, allowing you to see what you are doing as you do it. You can customize the design with your own ideas and need.
- Flexible Windows and Web application features support development.
- Crystal can also handle very large volumes of data very well as its processing engines are optimized to do so.
- Rules applied to the selection and manipulation of data can have unexpected results, leading to manual troubleshooting of report design and database queries.
- Working with lines and boxes is not as flexible as, say, Microsoft Word.
- New Users needs training to use it effectively.
- A more intuitive interface for linking databases and database tables would be helpful for those that are new to databases and report writing.
- SAP Crystal has the ability to look across multiple data sets and pull together intuitive reports based on designated criteria.
- Once the report attributes are assigned within the system, it is easy for users to create custom reports and save them for the future.
- It makes analyzing large amounts of data easy by clearly organizing everything according to custom labels you have applied within the database.
- I found that, while this was extremely easy for me to use since I have a technical background, it was difficult explaining the process to non-technical users. More in-depth training material might be helpful.
- This is not about the usage of the product itself, but in regards to pricing- it seemed the packages were all or nothing, and It would have been nice to pay per individual user license.
- I would love to see a better way to access Crystal reports on the go. This would be especially helpful when traveling to client and partner meetings.
It addresses the issues experienced by inferior products not being able to share, distribute, and run needed reports (high volume) on a daily basis.
- You can easily navigate within the Central Management Console to access a plethora of very powerful functions i.e. (Security, Users, Groups, Scheduling, Distribution, Delivery Formats, Business Views, Triggers, etc.)
- In my previous experience outside of SAP a lot of products are very difficult to learn and apply. SAP Crystal Server is laid out in a very intuitive way and it makes learning and application fluid.
- End users can easily access the end user portal and view, schedule, run, and distribute reports with the click of a mouse. This allows data to flow much more efficiently throughout the organization.
- SAP Crystal Server allows a seamless connection to your organizations production data which allows for a smooth transition from basic reporting to publication in a few short steps.
- I would like to see graph features to be improved. SAP has made leaps and bounds over the years and I know they will get there.
- I would like to see SAP products bundled for a more turn key solution.
- Customized reports are great because they not only allow you to tailor the data and results to you needs but also allow the flexibility of changing reporting structures if needs change.
- Multiple user access and permissions are essential to control who has visibility to what data as well as providing a common hub for everyone to collaborate and communicate about the data.
- Relatively inexpensive compared to other products out there. This really goes hand in hand with their customer support because you feel like you're getting a much more expensive product for the quality of the program as a whole.
- Although the reporting structure is highly customizable, it is essential to have a developer who is well versed in coding the reports for you in SAP Crystal Server. This isn't so much a problem with SAP Crystal because in order to get customizable reports, you really need to know how to work the system which is very flexible.
- Data security needs to be tweaked within each report for different audiences and so if you need different vendors or deliverables to have different security settings, then you need to set this up within each report that you generate.
- From what I hear about how the licensing model is set up, there is a bit of layering confusion. Apparently, once your business licenses the software, you must then create different licenses for various users and vendors. I could see this getting confusing especially with different add-ons and multiple users.
- Rich in features and support system is also good.
- Support various databases and sources like Oracle, MS SQL server, Excel etc.
- Sharing report with SAP Crystal is easy with good security
- More complex reports are time intensive.
- New user finds a lot of difficulties in creating reports.
- Sharing a report in an organisation is very important, and only a single person can edit in one time. Mailing the report is not a good idea, there should be a option of using cloud-based sharing.
1) Reports look clean and professional.
2) Integration with databases helps a lot.
3) The customized template as a user wants, easy to create and make an attractive look.
4) Visualisation of data in different ways - graphical or in simple words.
- Custom calculations and filtering - it can be complicated to program, depending on how your input tables are linked, etc., but pretty much anything is possible.
- Design - Most of our reports are fairly simple, but you can get pretty complex with the display of reports, with spacing, page breaks, color, etc.
- Coding - The formulas use a SQL-based language, which is fairly easy to navigate. There is also a UI that enables users to create formulas without direct language of code, but familiarity definitely helps.
- The newer version (XI) stalls when it processes multiple "gift summary" fields from Raiser's Edge. I'm not sure if this problem exists when connecting to any other software, but we had to re-code a number of our reports so that these "gift summary" fields were used in sub-reports, then fed back to the main report. Once we did that, the report ran instantly and didn't stall.
- The UI is not very user-friendly for non-coders. I think it's fine, but there is a pretty steep learning curve for new users.
- There are very few opportunities for training on Crystal Reports at an advanced level. If you want to learn more about the program, and you already have an intermediate level of experience with it, you'll basically just have to teach yourself.
- Customizable form appearance
- Allows you to write complex functions
- Reads multiple data sources
- Can't use a "lookup table" - have to join/link data sources
- Sometimes will misread the data type from a source table
- Not compatible with .xlsx format
Overall, CR helps us do things that we can't do in Excel. It adds a visual/design element to data analysis, and allows us to sort/screen/drill down/analyze data with great efficiency.
If the cons I mention are critical, CR will not be able to overcome them. You have to find a workaround or use something else.
- I like the fact that I can do a lot of cosmetic changes to the reports without having to have in-depth developer training.
- Crystal Reports connects to a wide range of data sources, including OLE DB, which makes it widely usable.
- Crystal Reports also integrates with a wide range of technologies such as Java, therefore it makes it easy for developers to write code in a language they are use to.
- In order to obtain features such as mobile access or scheduled notifications, one would have to upgrade to Crystal Reports Server, which increases its cost.
- In order to take advantage of the advanced features of Crystal Reports, a developer is needed, thus further increasing the cost.
- Allows us to generate custom formulas to present complex data in an accurate format.
- Provides a comprehensive means to modify font types, sizes, and formats to present to internal and external customers.
- Allows us to present data from multiple SQL database tables and views, and allows us to customize formulas if data is not stored in the SQL database.
- Formatting of fields and text boxes allows consistency among sections.
- Would like even more flexibility in exporting reports to Excel, although I understand Microsoft has some control over this.
- Still difficult sometimes to line up boxes/fields vertically across multiple report sections.
- Drawing lines sometimes present issues when spanning multiple sections.
- Pixel perfect output. We're capable of replicating complicated forms, writing checks using MICR font, etc. If it has to look good, it's Crystal Reports.
- The formula editor is very powerful. Some more expensive solutions, including those from SAP, don't offer the power that Crystal Reports offers out of the box.
- Portability of format. For the first 10 years or so of Crystal Reports, you had to be on the same version of Crystal Reports as your target audience. This has since been corrected and now you don't have to wrestle with having a client on an old version while you are on a newer version.
- Exporting is a big problem. Going to Excel is a common request, but the default of making it look like Crystal Reports isn't what the clients want, and the "data only" format is limited as to what it can do. Overlapping fields cause exports to fail badly.
- The Crystal viewer (which I'll include as part of Crystal here) has flaws, such as growing fields longer than their length in Native Crystal.
- Subtotalling and running totals still don't support everything I need to do, so we fall back to manually adding a variable, incrementing it, printing it, and clearing it, all manually. They both work fine for standard numeric fields, but not so well for formula results.
- Easy formatting, drag and drop.
- Relatively similar GUI to Word, very developed GUI.
- Well-documented, easy to Google.
- Not intuitive - steep learning curve.
- Need to be able to have a sub-report within a sub-report. This is a major missing piece.
- Need to be able to copy sub-reports and paste.
- Less appropriate for serious programmers who don't need the GUI.
- Great for highly formatted reports
- Bad for analyzing lots of data
- Grouping sections are really useful.
- The grid in the designer report is perfect.
- You can modify the report directly on the preview tab.
- I had some problems with the display incorporating reports on web pages.
- Graphs can be more attractive.
- Renew a little the designer mode.
- Crystal Reports is extremely flexible. You can connect to pretty much any type of database as well as multiple databases at one time as long as there is a field to join the two sets of data.
- The layout is easy to use and extremely versatile. You can insert tables, grouping, color changed headings and background. There is a multitude of charts, graphs, and tables that can be inserted to make reports more visually appealing.
- Data can be displayed in many different ways using formulas, charts, colors, images, etc.
- While the layout is easy to use, it should be improved to work with touchscreens. Some of the fields are small and with many laptops, tablets and touch-enabled PCs in the workplace today, it would be nice to not need a mouse.
- Exporting is a bit bulky. There should be some options for quick exports to common types like pdf, xls, etc. I would frequently export to xls, so a saved preference that allows me to click that button and auto-export would save time when creating multiple exports.
- Sharing can be bulky as well. I typically download reports and email. An integration with Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, etc would be helpful.
- Allows scheduled distribution of reports. This allows our team to capture data and deliver it when it is desired by the team without forcing an internal staff member to have to manually gather the data and distribute it on time.
- Flexibility in destinations. Crystal server allows us several convenient options for delivering our reports and data. This means we have no wasted time by internal staff emailing or sending data to clients or other internal staff, allowing them to focus on more demanding tasks.
- Our biggest complaint is that if a report has to be modified, our experience is that the entire schedule has to be redone for these changes to effectively be delivered to our end users.
- The support of SAP is hands down one of the best.
- The easy report handling feature is good.
- Being a SAP product, chances of getting an error is significantly lower.
- It needs great expertise to properly operate this product.
- Too many updates are not good for an average user.
- There are many features that are too confusing.
SAP Crystal Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About SAP Crystal
SAP Crystal Screenshots
SAP Crystal Videos (4)
SAP Crystal Downloadables
- Read a summary of SAP Crystal solutions for small to midsize businesses
- SAP Crystal Reports 2016 Supported Platforms, detailing operating systems, languages, desktop hardware, virtualization and cloud support.
- Detailed information for SAP Crystal Server 2016’s supported platforms, such as Windows and Linux OS, browser, LDAP and hardware support
- Check out these SAP Crystal Reports success profiles
- SAP Crystal Reports 2016 User Guide - a comprehensive guide on all aspects of how to use CR
- A list of the languages supported with SAP Crystal Reports
- A summary of the data sources and connections tested with SAP Crystal Reports 2016
SAP Crystal Integrations
SAP Crystal Competitors
|SAP Crystal Reports||$495||per user|
|SAP Crystal Server NUL||$869||per user|
|SAP Crystal Server CAL||$8,744||per seat|
SAP Crystal Reports Viewer is available for free. It allows static data to be viewed within an SAP Crystal Reports file.
SAP Crystal Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
SAP Crystal Technical Details
|Operating Systems:||Windows, Linux|
|Mobile Application:||Apple iOS, Android|
|Supported Languages: ||English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Portuguese, Swedish, Polish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Thai, Czech, Hungarian, Slovakian, Turkish, Romanian, Slovenian|