It does a lot, but it can take a long time to do it
Darian Rawson profile photo
Updated July 17, 2018

It does a lot, but it can take a long time to do it

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Crystal

We use Crystal Reports to generate reports in the form of PDFs and also online reports of usage of our products, along with generating invoices, quotes, packing lists, and other terms and conditions agreements with our sales and support of our order fulfillment processing. We use this product across a range of multiple sites and products.
  • 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 is just about the only product I have used in this category. I have not encountered any other product that fits within the bounds of technical requirements, licensing or flexibility with the technology we have. I am sure there are other options and other products but it's kind of a double edged sword here, in that this is so big it becomes both a weakness and a strength.
I have only used Crystal Reports within one stack configuration, although I have used it across multiple services and client end points. As far as I have seen, the results work real-time with our custom designed back end databases and data points merging product indexes along with customer and supplier information.
From the standpoint of an end user, we can create practically any report necessary for our end users so it works well for them. It may be a lot of trial and error on our part, but practically anything can be done that we need to do. So at the end of the day that's what brings us back to this product and solution.
SAP Crystal Reports is well suited for a long term ROI when you can afford to implement a lot of time on the back end setting up criteria for reporting to benefit over the long term, meaning the next 12-36 months. It can take considerable time to implement on the back end so I wouldn't suggest this for small agile teams or products.

SAP Crystal Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
3
Customizable dashboards
7
Report Formatting Templates
7
Drill-down analysis
5
Formatting capabilities
5
Integration with R or other statistical packages
5
Report sharing and collaboration
5
Publish to Web
5
Publish to PDF
5
Report Versioning
5
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
Dedicated iOS Application
Not Rated
Dedicated Android Application
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Not Rated

Evaluating SAP Crystal and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
The single largest factor in contributing to our choice to go with Crystal as a product in our tool set was that we had previous experience using it, and it was almost impossible in the time allotted to find something that checked all the boxes we needed for our team and our clients.
There really didn't seem to be many competitive alternatives. However, if we did it again, I would think that at this time the landscape is different and what people expect in terms of custom reports has changed as business owners are now of a younger generation and many of the solutions made using Crystal can be replaced with cheaper alternatives.