Great for highly formatted reporting, but not the most fun to work with
Updated January 09, 2018

Great for highly formatted reporting, but not the most fun to work with

Molly Lippsett | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Crystal

We build Crystal Reports that are used in a third party software to extract data via the GUI from our SQL database. The reports themselves are being managed by one department (me) but are accessed by the whole business. We use Crystal Reports to generate client forms.
  • 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.
I have to use Crystal Reports with our third party software, and it does make the pretty formatting easy, but it's actually less intuitive than the software with less of a GUI.
  • Less appropriate for serious programmers who don't need the GUI.
  • Great for highly formatted reports
  • Bad for analyzing lots of data

SAP Crystal Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
Not Rated
Customizable dashboards
Not Rated
Report Formatting Templates
6
Drill-down analysis
Not Rated
Formatting capabilities
9
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Not Rated
Report sharing and collaboration
7
Publish to Web
Not Rated
Publish to PDF
9
Report Versioning
Not Rated
Report Delivery Scheduling
5
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Not Rated
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Not Rated
Predictive Analytics
Not Rated
Multi-User Support (named login)
Not Rated
Role-Based Security Model
Not Rated
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Not Rated
Responsive Design for Web Access
Not Rated
Mobile Application
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Not Rated

Using SAP Crystal

1 - We use Crystal Reports to create client-facing reports of our data - individualized action item reports etc.
1 - Basic knowledge of the software functions/formatting and how to connect to data
  • Additional formatted reports
  • Compliance Report
  • Inputs Report
  • Audit Report
  • We tried to use it to create xmls for data exchange but the built-in formatting made it not useful

Evaluating SAP Crystal and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
It is what is used by our database software, built by another vendor. We had no choice.
I would use a more variable reporting software, probably SSRS or even a data visualization tool like Looker or Tableau

SAP Crystal Implementation

I wish there were walk-through tutorials - none of Crystal Reports is intuitive
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled
  • User adoption
  • Runtime engine hard to install
  • Installation is not intuitive (have to search for setup file)

SAP Crystal Support

I don't even know where to look for SAP support - the most helpful resources are StackOverflow articles written by users, the SAP documentation is hard to find and even harder to use.
ProsCons
None
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Problems left unsolved
Not kept informed
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
Slow Initial Response
Yes - Still has not been resolved, reported over a year ago
They were extremely helpful in helping me transfer my license to another machine, but I had to contact them by email - online support took me a million different places and wasn't helpful

Using SAP Crystal

I can use it very well now but it took me a couple years to get here.
ProsCons
Like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Not well integrated
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Lots to learn
  • The Formatting box that is set out just like Word is great, very intuitive.
  • Formula editor is very easily set up with examples and operators easily found.
  • Page settings give more options than I could ever even desire, so many wonderful choices!
  • Basically you have to Google how to do anything, even just how to connect to a data source, the wizard is crap.
  • Sub-reports need to be highly used, and therefore should be more accessible (copy paste, format within the report).
  • Changing from portrait to landscape is sooooo tedious and painful, you need to manually extend every field and every field within every sub-report and vice versa, it would be easier doing it physically on paper - it's that bad.