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.


Valuable Features

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

Improvements to My Organization

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

Room for Improvement

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

Use of Solution

I've been using it for about 16 yers

Stability Issues

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.

Scalability Issues

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

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.

Previous Solutions

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.

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.

Other Solutions Considered

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

Other Advice

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.

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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