Crystal reports has been around for many years and is widely considered one of the premium reporting solutions around. Now in Version 11 Crystal continues to provide a robust reporting solution – rich with features including strong data access – Crystal reports has a lot going for it.
With an integrated visual report designer which includes access to a varied set of layout and design controls –reports can be created in next to no time that can then be shared and deployed within your organisation.
Whilst the product does come with a learning curve – anyone with some experience of database analysis should be upto speed fairly quickly. Arguably some features may be more aimed at the developers among the audience – but those requiring simple report production are equally supported.
Crystal includes some nifty features for the designer to aide speedy report production including a dependency checker that finds broken links, formula errors, and dependency issues before reports are published and distributed. The product also comes with a number of wizards that simplify common reporting tasks such as connecting to a data source, selecting, grouping, sorting, and summarizing data.
Analysis can be produced either in data view or using diagrams and over the years crystal have developed extensive charting support for their report writer.
Typically organizations that use reporting solutions such as crystal will look at integrating reports into a wider technology suite (i.e. deploying onto the web or as part of a scorecard solution) – Crystal reports benefits here from the crystal family and itegrates seamlessly with a number of it’s stable mates to build up a holistic reporting solution.