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Crystal Reports Questions

Hello Crystal Reports Team,

Please see some of the issues and questions I have had about the software.

  • 1) CR doesn’t seem to be great at creating reports where each page needs its own custom design (like a magazine). Any ways to make this easier?
  • 2) CR has issues when you use multiple datasets. It seems to want you to create sub reports for every query. Are there easier ways for this too?
  • 3) Is there a way to add expressions that tell whether or not a picture is to be shown?
  • 4) The graphs and charts on the report are going to use custom images. Is that possible to create?
  • 5) Are there any syntax guides for Crystal Syntax?

We are currently using Visual Studio Report Designer and SSRS which creates RDL reports. What are the main benefits over SSRS? We are definitely interested in your software but we need to know for sure if it can create something similar to a magazine layout.

So far we have looked into Microsoft Publisher, Indesign, Active Reports, and Telerik Reports.

1) Microsoft publisher and Adobe Indesign can't connect to a dataset so we can't use that.

2) Active Reports would work great but its too expensive for the software that distributes reports automatically.

3) Telerik reports seems similar to Crystal Reports but its more expensive so we weren't sure what the differences are.

The main reason why we would want to switch reporting applications is because Visual Studio has a 96 DPI limit so when we print reports the images look terrible. We worked with a graphics designer to design the way our reports look, however, we can't find an application suited to build a report that looks like a magazine and can handle at least 300 DPI.

Please let me know what you think. If we can get your software to do what we need then we will probably buy it.

Thanks!

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1 Answer

  • Feb 15, 2017 at 09:19 PM

    Hi Shea,

    #1. No CR is more fro repetition of data in a structured format. Page after page is same layout. Unless you use a subreport then you could structure each page independent of the previous but with limitations.

    #2. Correct stay away from DataSets, MS limits how you can access them so your memory usage doubles or more for each set.

    XML is pretty much unlimited so export your data to XML then it can be used easily and 10 meg or more in size. Requires the XSD to be embedded in the XML file.

    Gets tricky when linking multiple XML files, CR is a relational database reporting tool so you need to be able to link the data sources, even when using subreports when possible.

    #3. Conditional suppression formulae can be used for suppressing images.

    #4. No. Use a trial version of CR to see what charts are supported. To expand on this though you can drop an image on the page and have it be in the back ground (Water Mark kind of).

    #5.Go to Help.sap.com and download the Crystal Reports help file ( chm format ), it's close to Visual Studio Basic syntax which can be used also. Or if you have CR hit the F1 key for more help.

    There is a .NET SDK available for CR which will help you to alter reports interactively using Report Application Server (RAS). You can get the SDK here:

    https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/BOBJ/Crystal+Reports%2C+Developer+for+Visual+Studio+Downloads

    There may be other SAP products though, try this link:

    http://www.sap.com/solution/platform-technology/analytics/business-intelligence-bi.html

    Possibly WEBI or Lumira may work for you, WEBI is more like Crystal but Lumira has things called Story Boards which is more likely to fit what you are asking for. Not sure if Lumira is DPI limited but it's all Java and HTML5 in the backend.

    Don

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