SAP Crystal Reports Review

It can be learned by a power user to satisfy their analytical needs without IT support.


What is most valuable?

I value it's ability to satisfy most demanding reporting requirements with ease. No complex programming or tweaking of properties. It can be learned by a power user to satisfy their analytical needs without IT support and, the expert developer can deliver advanced functionality with ease. Mature and works as expected.

How has it helped my organization?

Like any tool, the value is derived by how the users use it. I have worked in many organizations and the usage differs, the following are the most value additions I have come across.

  • Third party logistics - monitoring their KPIs and highlighting exceptions. 
  • Marketing services - generating and emailing thousands of routine reports to it's customers with Crystal Enterprise
  • Healthcare industry (Software as a Service) - manage huge report portfolio with a relatively small development team.

What needs improvement?

The functionality is not evolving much over newer releases. The limitation of the original row based model is still there, and there's no easy way to draw tables. I would very much like to see full multi-dimensional reporting capability. The primitive capabilities have not been improved over the last 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were some no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've experienced no issues with performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to scale for our needs.

What other advice do I have?

It was very good, but now the competition is overtaking, and SAP seems to use it as a cash cow.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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