SAP Crystal Reports Review

The SQL and report scheduling in version 2008 and the XLSX workbooks in version 2013 are the features I consider most valuable.

What is most valuable?

  • Version 2008 – SQL & report scheduling
  • Version 2013 – XLSX workbooks

How has it helped my organization?

It quickly delivers consumer-focused prototypes and delivers results and code to R&D.

What needs improvement?

  • It needs better graphical visualizations.
  • It needs a better Crystal Viewer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for about 16 yers

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Often at the end of a heavy Crystal Reports/Excel day, both Crystal Reports and Excel will crash with various memory issues. Crystal Reports sometimes has problems emailing and you get a MAPI error. You will get “corrupt” reports after running successfully for a couple of years, and then have to recreate. Sometimes, for no known detectable reason, 2008 will just “vanish” and I will have to restart it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am the only person using it, so I haven't had to scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

For installing, upgrading and billing issues, support is great. But for “how do you do this” type of questions, Ken Hamady on LinkedIn is wonderful.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have a product built on the Business Objects environment and also offer Crystal Reports instructions to connect to another product via JDBC. In-house analytics is primarily Microstrategy with Tableau scattered about.

I use Crystal Reports because Business Objects, MicroStrategy, and Tableau are too limiting for me. I analyze data and processes using real-time data.

How was the initial setup?

The last install was a few years ago, and if I don’t remember much about the upgrade (to a new laptop), then the upgrade is pretty much straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I haven't evaluated any other solution, and I have no intention of switching.

What other advice do I have?

It's the most reasonable solution available. If you are looking for a SQL-only product, then this one is not it – go look at SQL Analyzer, or Squirrel. If you want a full package of collecting, analyzing and presenting, then this is the package for you. However, you do need to have a programming angle to really understand the capabilities and power.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

2008 & 2013
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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