[24hoursupport] Crystal Reports -- opinions?

  • From: "Ron Allen" <chizotz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 22:04:26 -0500

This is probably mainly for the other database pros and programmers on the
list :)

Until recently, I've only had to use Crystal Reports once or twice for
simple reports. Over the past few days, though, I have been attempting to
use Crystal Reports 8 to create a complex report against an Oracle
database. My standard procedure has been to generate a dataset using
SQL/SQL Plus directly on the Unix server, then FTP the file down to my
local machine and import it into Access for reporting or, in many cases, to
provide specific pre-qualified datasets for user applications I have
created in Access. Not the most ideal way to do things, perhaps, but it
works well while putting a minimum of load on an already strained server
and network.

After struggling with Crystal for a few days, I'm beginning to wonder if my
problem is due to my inexperience with the tool, or if the tool itself is
poor. Crystal has a reputation as being an industry leader, and I went into
the project happy to be gaining some experience in using it. Now I can't
help but ask if Crystal is an industry leader because it deserves to be or
because no one is competing with them.

Four questions:

(1) is it even possible in Crystal to have a conditional sum calculation
field in one group footer, and a sum of that field in another group footer
as well as a sum of the second field in the report footer? I have been
unable to get even the second sum field working. This is very easy to do in
Access, but the documentation I have found on the Crystal web site seems to
suggest that this is impossible in Crystal. Suggestions on how to proceed?

(2) I had been considering investing in Crystal Reports Developer to
supplement Visual Studio for my own development needs. Now I wonder if that
is advisable. Does anyone have any experience with the developers
components, and can they recommend for or against going with Crystal for
this? Microsoft includes a cut-down version of Crystal with Visual Studio
.NET but I understand the full developers version offers much more

(3) What other major reporting tools are even available? I realized tonight
that, while I've heard of a lot of different tools, I've seen or heard
nothing I can recall about any reporting tool other than Crystal Reports!

(4) Finally, I know this is probably not the best forum for this type of
question. Yet I see no Oracle/SQL Server/Crystal Reports forums available
after doing a brief web search. Anyone know of a forum or list where these
questions might be more appropriate?

Thanks to any who respond.


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