September 15, 2014
Score 8 out of 10
8, 8.5, 9, X, XI
Overall Satisfaction with Crystal Reports
Crystal reports was used as an ODBC connector and user interface for many Hotels to report on their transaction level details and other historical and active database records.
- Quickly query data from multiple tables
- Ability to drill down into the lowest level details of transactions and records
- Simple setup and UI with ability to save dictionaries, customized based on the tables being accessed
- Although it is a simple quick way to report on multiple records it doesn't have a great graphical interface for the reports. It is pretty much just the raw data you get back.
- The dictionaries are great but they need to be set up and maintained. If they are not, many times tables and fields are displayed in their code name. This is hard to work with if you are not familiar with database table structure and naming conventions
- The default language is Crystal and while it is very easy for beginners it does not apply or translate into any other reporting or coding language. There is an option to use basic SQL.
I have used TOAD, Oracle, and a few other larger scale data query tools but, and it may be because they handle more data, they became to complex. Too many tables and much more maintenance required
I don't work at the same place but i think it would be silly not to renew. It provides an easy, authenticated solution, that works, is quick, and is easy to maintain.
It is widely adopted. It serves as the connector between the sales database and the accounting database. This allows for auditing of not only actual and forecasted data between systems but also incentive eligibility and accuracy. Just about every department is using it to run daily and weekly reports showing data that either is key to the operation of their job or key in reporting on financials.
Real Time is great. It refreshed in seconds and is only dependent on the refresh of your database. If you have transaction data going through, you will be able to see this immediately. There was some confusion when windows was upgraded to mostly 64 bit as the installation needed to be on both ODBC drives. Switching between data sources was really quick and easy, just need to set up DSN connections to various sources. without dictionaries not as user friendly for the average user.
Report sharing and distribution was extremely easy but we didn't have security issues pertaining to use of it. It was only installed on computers where known users were working. We integrated security with the data sources so login details were based on credentials for the source data. Formatting could be tricky sometimes, or lack there of but you can always export to excel and drop the data into a pre-formatted report.
I didn't use these. Either we didn't have them as an option, or what i had was not very great because i tried all the templates and graphs and i never ended up using them to present anything
I think Crystal Reports is a great tool, relatively simple to deploy, and cost effective. If you are looking for a tool to use as a UI, that can quickly turn out simple reports for auditing and tying back data, it is a good solid option. Since it connects to your database it is flexible enough to handle changes that in other tools would impact performance structure.
Evaluating Crystal Reports and Competitors
Yes - The reporting the was included with our Informix databse and Delphi Marketvision reports. We were able to interface Crystal with both reporting systems with simple ODBC setup configuration.
- Product Usability
- Prior Experience with the Product
- Analyst Reports
Analyst Reports - When you are reporting on large amounts of data, Crystal was extremely fast and proficient in pulling transaction level details in matter of seconds. This allowed for more complex analysis and ability to drill down further into details without being time consuming. When answers are needed on the fly, any canned report could be written with parameters so just a quick refresh will produce data to support any decision.