SAP Crystal Reports - Still great but slowing down
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October 31, 2019

SAP Crystal Reports - Still great but slowing down

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

SAP Crystal Reports

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Crystal

SAP Crystal Reports is used throughout our company. It allows us to present consistent and branded reports to all of our internal and external clients. It also allows us to have standardized cost reporting. Prior to implementing SAP Crystal Reports, we had different sites presenting clients with their own custom cost reports. Many of these were done in Excel and there was no consistency across our organization. SAP Crystal Reports has replaced those and now we provide one consistent and branded report.
  • Crystal Reports allows us to create a consistent template for all of our reports.
  • Crystal Reports and Server allows us to house a repository for all of our reports to make them easy to find and update when necessary.
  • Crystal Reports can connect to a wide variety of data sources.
  • Crystal Reports can be a little daunting when first implementing. There are a lot of nuances in learning how to truly master this software and it can be frustrating at times.
  • There are a lot of features in Crystal Reports that do not always work as expected. You may find yourself searching the Web for how to get the results that you want.
  • Crystal Reports does not provide updates on a regular basis. New concepts and ideas may be a while in implementing.
  • The initial setup can be frustrating. There are times when you need to go outside of the install package to make it work with particular data sources, etc. It is not always a 100% install.
  • We were able to provide enterprise wide reporting from our ERP system which saved our site analysts time saved between downloading data and presenting it in Excel. We saved roughly 250 man hours per month with a single soltution.
  • Some sites would spend 2 hours daily just importing data into an Access database and reporting out. Crystal eliminated all of that time.
Crystal does provide access to a lot of data sources. The problem comes in setting up those data sources. You do not always get the correct driver in the install package and will need to go out and find your own drivers and install them. The install process itself is where the issues lie. There are also times when systems may be updated and Crystal Reports drivers are not updated in a consistent manner so it will break your connections. It is generally not too difficult to implement a fix but it is frustrating.
You can publish Crystal Reports to a report server and this allows all of your technical users access to the files themselves. End users have the ability to run the reports with read only access and export out to a variety of sources (i.e. PDF, Excel, HTML, Word). But your technical users can update the base file itself and keep one version published on the report server for consistency.
For standard pixel perfect reporting, our company still uses Crystal Reports. It allows us to continually provide standard reporting to our clients. For dashboards, we are moving towards Microsoft Power BI. Power BI allows similar collaboration, but generally has better features for dashboards. Power BI also allows us to publish multiple reports and dashboards into a single app for our end users.
If you want easily controlled and formatted reports to provide a consistent platform across your organization, Crystal Reports is an excellent program. You will need to be willing to put in some effort up front for install and learning the program, but once you are up and running, it does provide a great way to provide standard reporting. It gives you the ability to allow all of your employees access the same data, in the same format at any time.

SAP Crystal Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
9
Customizable dashboards
6
Report Formatting Templates
10
Drill-down analysis
9
Formatting capabilities
10
Report sharing and collaboration
10
Publish to Web
10
Publish to PDF
10
Report Delivery Scheduling
7
Delivery to Remote Servers
9
Javascript API
5
Java API
5