Crystal Reports presents data in a crystal-clear way!
John Suit | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated July 19, 2018

Crystal Reports presents data in a crystal-clear way!

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

SAP Crystal Reports

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Crystal

Crystal Reports is used by the IT Director and System Administrator to create and present customized reports to Managers, End users, and customers. We utilize Prophet 21 software for managing our wholesale distribution (and counter sales) business, and Crystal Reports allows us to modify customer forms and internal reports as needed to present information concisely and correctly!
  • 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.
  • SSRS
SSRS does allow us to design and schedule SQL-based reports, but Crystal Reports offers so much more customization, particularly in formula building and conditional formatting. Plus, Crystal reports can integrate other data formats besides SQL, in the event we need to design a custom report that uses multiple database formats.
Crystal Reports connects to a myriad of data formats, many that we will never use! Our primary data source is SQL Server 2012, and some SQL Server 2016, and, infrequently, Microsoft Access. Crystal connects seamlessly to our SQL and Access via ODBC with no issues.
Report distribution is key for us, primarily through scheduled reporting. Exporting to the appropriate format (Excel or PDF) without losing any of the formatting is a positive as well!
Perfect when using SQL Server databases, or when integrating SQL databases and MS Access databases in the same report. I also recommend Crystal Reports for generating forms for clients and end users, as the use of parameters and data-specific conditional formatting (show/hide fields, etcetera) allows us to design one 'report' for multiple uses!

SAP Crystal Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
9
Customizable dashboards
Not Rated
Report Formatting Templates
10
Drill-down analysis
10
Formatting capabilities
10
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Not Rated
Report sharing and collaboration
10
Publish to Web
Not Rated
Publish to PDF
10
Report Versioning
10
Report Delivery Scheduling
10
Delivery to Remote Servers
Not Rated
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
Single Sign-On (SSO)
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
REST API
Not Rated
Javascript API
Not Rated
iFrames
Not Rated
Java API
Not Rated
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Not Rated
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Not Rated

Using SAP Crystal

2 - Information technology. Reports are used to enhance the functionality of our Prophet 21 ERP application. The Prophet 21 application provides some standard reports, but the utilization of Crystal reports to access the SQL data allows us to better hone in on the important data, and customize our various Order and Invoice forms as needed.
2 - Ideally, the user(s) will have some basic database skills, whether it me in SQL Server, Microsoft Access, or similar. As well, some basic formula knowledge is helpful when creating customized formulas from within Crystal Reports. Finally, some knowledge of our business's typical Operations and workflows are critical when deciding what fields to include in a Crystal report, and how to best format and present the data,
  • Utilize the program to create more customized reports from our TimeClock Plus application.
  • Use more conditional formatting to allow us to use the same report(s) during different time periods and/or for different specific categories.
  • Export the data from Crystal Reports into Microsoft Excel to further 'massage' the data.
  • Generation of Sales Orders for customers
  • Generation of Invoices for Customers
  • Reporting of current and historical sales by location
  • Create specific Section suppression formulas to display vendor-specific images based on the data being retrieved
  • Allow date-sensitive campaigns to appear on customer forms that can be suppressed/displayed based on a date range.

Evaluating SAP Crystal and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
I have in depth experience using Crystal Reports, all the way back to version 5 in the mid 1990s! Although the expected improvements in the various features of the product were a key factor in our decision to use Crystal Reports, the reality is that familiarity with the product, and it's longevity in the marketplace, are the key reasons we use Crustal Reports.
Not sure what we could do differently. We do use SQL Server Reporting Services on occasion, but that is primarily used to generate a reusable data set that can be then accessed via Crystal Reports. This allows us to 'tweak' the retrieval criteria in the native language that the data exists in, while Crystal reports exceeds in the presentation and performance.

SAP Crystal Implementation

Just like any other implementation: When designing the differing reports, get end users' input, make sure to design the reports so that they display the information that the company requires, in the best and clearest way possible.

Test, test, test, revise when needed, and, particularly, do sufficient training so users are comfortable using Crystal Reports!
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled - We implemented Crystal Reports to extend the reporting functionality of our Prophet 21 ERP solution. The built-in reports of Prophet 21 were limited, and did not allow customization. One lesson learned was that it was critical to get end users' input when testing the parameter-driven functionality of the Crystal Reports. As well, we had to make sure we fully trained all users on the new reports and how to retrieve the data they wanted, and that it was accurately requested!
  • Getting end users' input into the layout and design of the new reports.
  • Training end users on how to utilize the Parameters and sort/grouping options available when running various reports.