Following Up on Brendan’s Crystal Post

Brendan has an interesting post about Crystal “from an insiders perspective.” 


Crystal Reports is reporting software that’s marketed well to business decision-makers; Crystal is a household name when it comes to reports!  Most developers, however, work to avoid Crystal Reports like the plague.  Crystal is marketed well to people who write the checks, but not to people who write and implement the reports.  I think a “perception of value” scenario is sometimes at work, too, where something that costs a lot must be very valuable — therefore expensive Crystal Reports must be a great reporting tool.  Following that logic: if we charged people a membership fee to read the blogs on CodeBetter.com they’d percieve the content to be more valuable and worthwhile.


Brendan’s post has another little kernel of wisdom in there . . . the guru points out that Crystal wants to stay ahead of Cognos.  If that’s the gauge Crystal uses, developers don’t do handstands over working with Cognos either.  If it’s between Cognos and Crystal, I’ll gladly take Excel and custom charts any day!


Which brings me to Reporting Services from Microsoft and what a welcome addition it is to the enterprise reporting landscape.  Is it perfect?  No.  Is it better than the alternatives?  Seems to be — although I’m no Reporting Services guru.  They work fine on my machine, though, which is more than I can say for my frustrations with Crystal!

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13 Responses to Following Up on Brendan’s Crystal Post

  1. Preved says:

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  2. Alena says:

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  3. Grant says:

    Yeah, chill out! If anything, you should feel sorry for me… I mean… it’s my OWN site and all I can do is just post stuff to my OWN blog. This is ridiculous. Anyway, while I’m up here, anyone have any good skinny on Cognos vs Micrsosoft?

  4. Mike says:

    Give the guy a break man!

  5. Brad Hamilton says:

    Ha! Sorry but that is really funny. Here are all these people leaving comments and stuff and you are sitting there reading them… and then you chime in and say “I lost my password”. You are hilarious!

  6. Grant says:

    Sorry guys! I lost the fricking password to my own blog! Crap! I called the host and I got an answering machine… so when I emailed them for the password they sent me the wrong one. I still haven’t got this worked out yet, so if any of you guys have ideas… let me know.

    Thanks and with love,
    Grant

  7. Travis says:

    It’s been over a year since the last update. Grant where are you?

  8. Steve says:

    We have been using reporting services, for only the price of Visual Basic Std ($99), since its inception. we haven’t had one problem yet. not one. even with the two service releases. there are an avg of 79 reports run per day between two different facilities and a T1. it also works great with citrix. if you are a MS shop and using sql server there is no question as to the choice.

    We have a quality erp that uses crystal and its horrendous data dictionaries. I cringe everytime someone asks me to add a field or change a report. change a datasource and all your fields disappear.

    We are close to an upgrade of the quality erp and it uses cr 11. We priced out three copies of cr pro 11 at $600 each. This is a crazy price for just a report writer. I got Visual Studio Pro 2005 for $700. Personally, I think our time would be better spent rewriting the small number of reports that need altering in reporting services and just forget about crystal altogether.

  9. Thomas Jackson says:

    Have any of you checked out Eclipse? If so, check out BIRT – their business intelligence and reporting tools product. Its pretty good.

  10. Travis says:

    Dont make me un-subscribe! Update this blog or else! :-)

  11. Nathan says:

    I beg to differ on your remarks on Cognos. Their new application, “ReportNet”, is a complete do over from Impromptu and a breath of fresh air in the reporting world. It is completely web enabled and so much more powerful and intuitive that BO’s Crystal. I will not say much about Microsoft other than their BI offering (SQL Server, Analysis Services, Excel) are a joke in the BI community.

  12. Crystal Reports is a report designing tool. There are many much better report designer tools (ActiveReports anyone?). Heck, I’m much better off with a custom aspx page than a web-based Crystal report.

    Crystal Enterprise and MS Reporting Services are competing products that deal more with scheduling and delivery of reports, with the execution of the reports occurring on the server. Since Crystal Reports forms the basis of Crystal Enterprise, you know it must suck. And it does, for the most part.

    V1.0 product or not, MS Reporting Services is much better architected (extensible via alternate data sources, renderers, etc.), which means you’re much less likely to end up building yourself into a corner.

  13. You know, this brings up a good question. When I mention Reporting Services, everyone says “It’s not there yet” So, what’s missing? It certainly works, so what’s there so far is in the right direction. But, are there any side-by-side comparisons of the two?

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