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Opinion needed: Crystal Reports vs. anything else vs. One's own implementation

P: n/a
LP
Hi,
I will be taking on a new project developing a web-based "reporting system".
The first requirement I got from BI group is "we just want to look at the
data". Basically, there is a huge database, and they want certain people to
be able to drill down to the data they want, perhaps a few graphs here and
there, and then extract selected data to an Excel file or a flat file for
further analysis. As of now there are a handful of parameters that they want
to filter on.
My question is for something straight forward as this, is it worth going
into Crystal or any other reporting tool? I never had a good experience with
Crystal; and their export to Excel option in .NET version renders an excel
file useless for any further data analysis (it does bunch of cell merges and
who knows what else). Is there any other reporting tool easy to use and
program against that can accomplish these requirements (especially export to
Excel feature). Or should I just develop my own web application with
DataGrids and some charting components? I would really appreciate to hear
your opinions.
Thank you in advance.
Nov 16 '05 #1
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14 Replies


P: n/a
"LP" <lp@a.com> wrote in news:#8**************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl:
My question is for something straight forward as this, is it worth
going into Crystal or any other reporting tool? I never had a good
experience with Crystal;


Biggest problem with crystal is that reports are limited to ~50,000
database rows. Any queries that return > 50,000 rows will kill IIS +
Crystal.

To get around this limitation, you'll have to do all your calculations on
the server end and return a nicely formatted result set. This may or may
not be a good solution depending on how beefy your SQL server is.

--
Lucas Tam (RE********@rogers.com)
Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
Nov 16 '05 #2

P: n/a
Make sure you read the RS newsgroups before making the jump. From what I've
been reading, RS has more than its fair share of problems exporting to
Excel. Remember, it's a 1.0 product and it usually takes MS a few releases
before they have something stable and feature complete.

"Scott Allen" <sc***@nospam.odetocode.com> wrote in message
news:h5********************************@4ax.com...

Do you have a SQL Server license? If so, you should get SQL Server
Reporting Services a try as you'll have a license for it also. As far
as Reporting Tools go - it's not too bad.
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/reporting/default.asp

--
Scott
http://www.OdeToCode.com/blogs/scott/

On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 22:40:50 -0500, "LP" <lp@a.com> wrote:
Hi,
I will be taking on a new project developing a web-based "reporting system".The first requirement I got from BI group is "we just want to look at the
data". Basically, there is a huge database, and they want certain people tobe able to drill down to the data they want, perhaps a few graphs here andthere, and then extract selected data to an Excel file or a flat file for
further analysis. As of now there are a handful of parameters that they wantto filter on.
My question is for something straight forward as this, is it worth going
into Crystal or any other reporting tool? I never had a good experience withCrystal; and their export to Excel option in .NET version renders an excelfile useless for any further data analysis (it does bunch of cell merges andwho knows what else). Is there any other reporting tool easy to use and
program against that can accomplish these requirements (especially export toExcel feature). Or should I just develop my own web application with
DataGrids and some charting components? I would really appreciate to hear
your opinions.
Thank you in advance.

Nov 16 '05 #3

P: n/a
I agree that Crystal sounds like overkill for your requirements.
Why not cut to the chase and export directly to Excel?

Here are some examples:
http://SteveOrr.net/Articles/ExcelExport.aspx
http://SteveOrr.net/Articles/ExportPanel.aspx
http://SteveOrr.net/export.aspx

--
I hope this helps,
Steve C. Orr, MCSD, MVP
http://SteveOrr.net
"LP" <lp@a.com> wrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
Hi,
I will be taking on a new project developing a web-based "reporting
system".
The first requirement I got from BI group is "we just want to look at the
data". Basically, there is a huge database, and they want certain people
to
be able to drill down to the data they want, perhaps a few graphs here and
there, and then extract selected data to an Excel file or a flat file for
further analysis. As of now there are a handful of parameters that they
want
to filter on.
My question is for something straight forward as this, is it worth going
into Crystal or any other reporting tool? I never had a good experience
with
Crystal; and their export to Excel option in .NET version renders an excel
file useless for any further data analysis (it does bunch of cell merges
and
who knows what else). Is there any other reporting tool easy to use and
program against that can accomplish these requirements (especially export
to
Excel feature). Or should I just develop my own web application with
DataGrids and some charting components? I would really appreciate to hear
your opinions.
Thank you in advance.

Nov 16 '05 #4

P: n/a
LP
>Any queries that return > 50,000 rows will kill IIS +
Crystal.

that's really good to know. I can see them wanting to export all data for
1st quater which is about that record count.
As far as MS Reporting services from what I saw it is truely is MS version 1
product.
I am leaning towards just developing straight forward web application and my
own export to Excel functionality.
Thank you all!
Nov 16 '05 #5

P: n/a
MS Reporting Services allows the user to dynamically drill down on related
data and create simple graphs, etc. It would take a great deal of effort to
duplicate that functionality on your own. I would reccomend using RS for ad
hoc decision support queries, and then parallel to that could be some more
presentation quality reports that you implement yourself using Crystal or
ASP.

"LP" <lp@a.com> wrote in message
news:OI**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
Any queries that return > 50,000 rows will kill IIS +
Crystal.

that's really good to know. I can see them wanting to export all data for
1st quater which is about that record count.
As far as MS Reporting services from what I saw it is truely is MS version

1 product.
I am leaning towards just developing straight forward web application and my own export to Excel functionality.
Thank you all!

Nov 16 '05 #6

P: n/a
rk
The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the crystal
components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling after
some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It
is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
client app exits.

Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted
this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
that there is no clear cut resolution to that.

Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).

--rk

Nov 16 '05 #7

P: n/a
The thing that makes Crystal Reports confusing is that there are sooo many
versions of it out there and you never know which version someone is talking
about in these posts.

Here is my take on things: CR.NET is considered an upsell product. Thus, you
get it free in the box with the hopes that you'll upgrade. Given that, the
retail versions are much better. The latest version of Crystal, XI, has many
upgrades and bug fixes and the report processing performance has been
improved and has better exporting. All around it's a much better product.
Unfortunately, CR.NET 2003 isn't such a hot product and continues to give CR
a bad name. Of course, CR isn't perfect - no question about that. But
without a doubt the latest version XI is a big step forward. Plus, they have
it available as a free 30 day download on their site.

The problem I have with RS is that it is a 1.0 product and it has a lot of
problems, but people recommend it like it's reporting nirvana. I've yet to
use a MS 1.0 product and have it run without a hitch (or any company's
product for that matter). Reporting Services is great if you want to do
simple reports and are willing to do lots of manual coding to fill in the
gaps that MS left out. I see people on the newsgroups saying, "RS is great!
You need to try it out. I got my reports to run in no time." Everything is
great when you run a few wizards. But then when you dig a little deeper into
the feature set you see questions like, "Hey, I want to do X and it won't do
it. Why not?"; "Why do my Excel/PDF exports keep getting screwed up?"; "Why
is SQL Server performance so slow now?"; "How do I make it read from a
DataSet?" and "Why does it cost $20K to support ASP.NET Forms
Authentication?" There are usually three common answers to these questions:
1) Write your own custom extensions, 2) Rewrite your stored procedures to do
all the work RS won't do, and 3) Wait for a future version. Let's hope your
customers are patient while you do all this extra coding or wait till it
gets fixed in a future version. Plus, if you plan on doing any heavy
reporting with it then you need to put it on a separate server ($5K license)
or else your SQL box will get hammered b/c it is resource intensive. It's
only free for companies that don't have much SQL activity.

All in all, I think RS definitely makes a lot of aspects of writing reports
easier. In fact, the Table object is pretty damn stellar and nothing else
compares to it. RS is a great tool that can crank out a lot of reports very
fast. But it's a 1.0 product that is still missing a lot of features. I've
seen NG posts from people saying, "I convinced my manager/client to go with
RS and now it doesn't do the things I assumed would work. Someone help!" The
answer is "it will be fixed in a future release". RS still needs a few more
versions under its belt before it can be recommended carte blanche to
everyone.
"rk" <kr*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g14g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the crystal
components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling after
some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It
is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
client app exits.

Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted
this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
that there is no clear cut resolution to that.

Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).

--rk

Nov 16 '05 #8

P: n/a
The thing about SSRS is that if someone has already paid for a SQL
Server license - then they own SSRS. Many people on the groups don't
realize this. It's fiscally prudent to at least evaluate what you
already own.

--
Scott
http://www.OdeToCode.com/blogs/scott/
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 15:22:05 -0800, "Brian Bischof"
<Br***@NoSpamBischofSystems.com> wrote:
The thing that makes Crystal Reports confusing is that there are sooo many
versions of it out there and you never know which version someone is talking
about in these posts.

Here is my take on things: CR.NET is considered an upsell product. Thus, you
get it free in the box with the hopes that you'll upgrade. Given that, the
retail versions are much better. The latest version of Crystal, XI, has many
upgrades and bug fixes and the report processing performance has been
improved and has better exporting. All around it's a much better product.
Unfortunately, CR.NET 2003 isn't such a hot product and continues to give CR
a bad name. Of course, CR isn't perfect - no question about that. But
without a doubt the latest version XI is a big step forward. Plus, they have
it available as a free 30 day download on their site.

The problem I have with RS is that it is a 1.0 product and it has a lot of
problems, but people recommend it like it's reporting nirvana. I've yet to
use a MS 1.0 product and have it run without a hitch (or any company's
product for that matter). Reporting Services is great if you want to do
simple reports and are willing to do lots of manual coding to fill in the
gaps that MS left out. I see people on the newsgroups saying, "RS is great!
You need to try it out. I got my reports to run in no time." Everything is
great when you run a few wizards. But then when you dig a little deeper into
the feature set you see questions like, "Hey, I want to do X and it won't do
it. Why not?"; "Why do my Excel/PDF exports keep getting screwed up?"; "Why
is SQL Server performance so slow now?"; "How do I make it read from a
DataSet?" and "Why does it cost $20K to support ASP.NET Forms
Authentication?" There are usually three common answers to these questions:
1) Write your own custom extensions, 2) Rewrite your stored procedures to do
all the work RS won't do, and 3) Wait for a future version. Let's hope your
customers are patient while you do all this extra coding or wait till it
gets fixed in a future version. Plus, if you plan on doing any heavy
reporting with it then you need to put it on a separate server ($5K license)
or else your SQL box will get hammered b/c it is resource intensive. It's
only free for companies that don't have much SQL activity.

All in all, I think RS definitely makes a lot of aspects of writing reports
easier. In fact, the Table object is pretty damn stellar and nothing else
compares to it. RS is a great tool that can crank out a lot of reports very
fast. But it's a 1.0 product that is still missing a lot of features. I've
seen NG posts from people saying, "I convinced my manager/client to go with
RS and now it doesn't do the things I assumed would work. Someone help!" The
answer is "it will be fixed in a future release". RS still needs a few more
versions under its belt before it can be recommended carte blanche to
everyone.
"rk" <kr*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g14g2000cwa.googleg roups.com...
The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the crystal
components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling after
some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It
is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
client app exits.

Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted
this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
that there is no clear cut resolution to that.

Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).

--rk


Nov 16 '05 #9

P: n/a
And u certainly don't have to multi-post this to every newsgroup. posting to
the crystal newsgroup would be sufficient.

--
Regards,
Alvin Bruney [Microsoft MVP ASP.NET]

[Shameless Author plug]
The Microsoft Office Web Components Black Book with .NET
Now Available @ http://www.lulu.com/owc
----------------------------------------------------------
"Scott Allen" <sc***@nospam.odetocode.com> wrote in message
news:1k********************************@4ax.com...
The thing about SSRS is that if someone has already paid for a SQL
Server license - then they own SSRS. Many people on the groups don't
realize this. It's fiscally prudent to at least evaluate what you
already own.

--
Scott
http://www.OdeToCode.com/blogs/scott/
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 15:22:05 -0800, "Brian Bischof"
<Br***@NoSpamBischofSystems.com> wrote:
The thing that makes Crystal Reports confusing is that there are sooo many
versions of it out there and you never know which version someone is
talking
about in these posts.

Here is my take on things: CR.NET is considered an upsell product. Thus,
you
get it free in the box with the hopes that you'll upgrade. Given that, the
retail versions are much better. The latest version of Crystal, XI, has
many
upgrades and bug fixes and the report processing performance has been
improved and has better exporting. All around it's a much better product.
Unfortunately, CR.NET 2003 isn't such a hot product and continues to give
CR
a bad name. Of course, CR isn't perfect - no question about that. But
without a doubt the latest version XI is a big step forward. Plus, they
have
it available as a free 30 day download on their site.

The problem I have with RS is that it is a 1.0 product and it has a lot of
problems, but people recommend it like it's reporting nirvana. I've yet to
use a MS 1.0 product and have it run without a hitch (or any company's
product for that matter). Reporting Services is great if you want to do
simple reports and are willing to do lots of manual coding to fill in the
gaps that MS left out. I see people on the newsgroups saying, "RS is
great!
You need to try it out. I got my reports to run in no time." Everything is
great when you run a few wizards. But then when you dig a little deeper
into
the feature set you see questions like, "Hey, I want to do X and it won't
do
it. Why not?"; "Why do my Excel/PDF exports keep getting screwed up?";
"Why
is SQL Server performance so slow now?"; "How do I make it read from a
DataSet?" and "Why does it cost $20K to support ASP.NET Forms
Authentication?" There are usually three common answers to these
questions:
1) Write your own custom extensions, 2) Rewrite your stored procedures to
do
all the work RS won't do, and 3) Wait for a future version. Let's hope
your
customers are patient while you do all this extra coding or wait till it
gets fixed in a future version. Plus, if you plan on doing any heavy
reporting with it then you need to put it on a separate server ($5K
license)
or else your SQL box will get hammered b/c it is resource intensive. It's
only free for companies that don't have much SQL activity.

All in all, I think RS definitely makes a lot of aspects of writing
reports
easier. In fact, the Table object is pretty damn stellar and nothing else
compares to it. RS is a great tool that can crank out a lot of reports
very
fast. But it's a 1.0 product that is still missing a lot of features. I've
seen NG posts from people saying, "I convinced my manager/client to go
with
RS and now it doesn't do the things I assumed would work. Someone help!"
The
answer is "it will be fixed in a future release". RS still needs a few
more
versions under its belt before it can be recommended carte blanche to
everyone.
"rk" <kr*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g14g2000cwa.google groups.com...
The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the crystal
components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling after
some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It
is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
client app exits.

Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted
this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
that there is no clear cut resolution to that.

Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).

--rk

Nov 16 '05 #10

P: n/a
I definitely agree that people should evaluate Reporting Services. You would
be silly not to. But when you see a guy say, "I need to do a lot of
exporting to Excel and I typically have 50,000+ records.", then RS is not
the best choice. The Excel export routines have lots of bugs and the 50,000+
records will kill the server unless you spend $5K for an extra license. I
guess I get frustrated b/c I also see people on the NGs say, "I convinced my
manager to use RS and now I'm in trouble." People need to properly evaluate
a tool before making a decision about whether it works or not. You can't
just run a couple wizards and think that all your problems have been solved.
But then again, for people who upgrade without actually doing any testing
then the rest of their project is probably in bad shape as well. :-)

I'm going to start looking at Beta 2 of .NET 2005 soon and I'm curious about
what's new. My guess is that some bugs have been fixed but there is probably
a lot of missing functionality still (after all, they are programmers, not
gods). Version 3 will probably be when Reporting Services is mature enough
to for most projects.

If you want a diversion, I found an interesting "Joel on Software" article
about how software development takes ten years before its right. The first
verion is "bleeding edge" and only the adventurous should try it. The second
version is lots of bug fixes (a new SP every six months) and people argue
about which features should get added first. Version 3-5 is when it becomes
stable and gets mass market adoption. Then version 6+ is when you get cool
new features that are more of bonuses rather than necessities. It's very
interesting reading:
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articl...000000017.html
Take care.
"Scott Allen" <sc***@nospam.odetocode.com> wrote in message
news:1k********************************@4ax.com...
The thing about SSRS is that if someone has already paid for a SQL
Server license - then they own SSRS. Many people on the groups don't
realize this. It's fiscally prudent to at least evaluate what you
already own.

--
Scott
http://www.OdeToCode.com/blogs/scott/
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 15:22:05 -0800, "Brian Bischof"
<Br***@NoSpamBischofSystems.com> wrote:
The thing that makes Crystal Reports confusing is that there are sooo manyversions of it out there and you never know which version someone is talkingabout in these posts.

Here is my take on things: CR.NET is considered an upsell product. Thus, youget it free in the box with the hopes that you'll upgrade. Given that, theretail versions are much better. The latest version of Crystal, XI, has manyupgrades and bug fixes and the report processing performance has been
improved and has better exporting. All around it's a much better product.
Unfortunately, CR.NET 2003 isn't such a hot product and continues to give CRa bad name. Of course, CR isn't perfect - no question about that. But
without a doubt the latest version XI is a big step forward. Plus, they haveit available as a free 30 day download on their site.

The problem I have with RS is that it is a 1.0 product and it has a lot ofproblems, but people recommend it like it's reporting nirvana. I've yet touse a MS 1.0 product and have it run without a hitch (or any company's
product for that matter). Reporting Services is great if you want to do
simple reports and are willing to do lots of manual coding to fill in the
gaps that MS left out. I see people on the newsgroups saying, "RS is great!You need to try it out. I got my reports to run in no time." Everything isgreat when you run a few wizards. But then when you dig a little deeper intothe feature set you see questions like, "Hey, I want to do X and it won't doit. Why not?"; "Why do my Excel/PDF exports keep getting screwed up?"; "Whyis SQL Server performance so slow now?"; "How do I make it read from a
DataSet?" and "Why does it cost $20K to support ASP.NET Forms
Authentication?" There are usually three common answers to these questions:1) Write your own custom extensions, 2) Rewrite your stored procedures to doall the work RS won't do, and 3) Wait for a future version. Let's hope yourcustomers are patient while you do all this extra coding or wait till it
gets fixed in a future version. Plus, if you plan on doing any heavy
reporting with it then you need to put it on a separate server ($5K license)or else your SQL box will get hammered b/c it is resource intensive. It's
only free for companies that don't have much SQL activity.

All in all, I think RS definitely makes a lot of aspects of writing reportseasier. In fact, the Table object is pretty damn stellar and nothing else
compares to it. RS is a great tool that can crank out a lot of reports veryfast. But it's a 1.0 product that is still missing a lot of features. I'veseen NG posts from people saying, "I convinced my manager/client to go withRS and now it doesn't do the things I assumed would work. Someone help!" Theanswer is "it will be fixed in a future release". RS still needs a few moreversions under its belt before it can be recommended carte blanche to
everyone.
"rk" <kr*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g14g2000cwa.googleg roups.com...
The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the crystal
components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling after
some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It
is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
client app exits.

Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted
this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
that there is no clear cut resolution to that.

Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).

--rk

Nov 16 '05 #11

P: n/a
"LP" <lp@a.com> wrote in message
news:OI**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
Any queries that return > 50,000 rows will kill IIS +
Crystal.

that's really good to know. I can see them wanting to export all data for
1st quater which is about that record count.
As far as MS Reporting services from what I saw it is truely is MS version
1
product.
I am leaning towards just developing straight forward web application and
my
own export to Excel functionality.
Thank you all!

Does it have to be web based?

I reckon access is still one of the best reporting tools around.
Exporting data to excel would be simple, although working with it in access
is often better if you have a lot of data.

The old cognos impromptu and powerplay were fairly good.
You needed a fair bit of knowledge to set the reports up.
Not looked at recent versions.

--
Regards,
Andy O'Neill
Nov 16 '05 #12

P: n/a
LP
> And u certainly don't have to multi-post this to every newsgroup. posting
to
the crystal newsgroup would be sufficient.

No I certainly don't have to. Why didn't you only reply to crystal NG then?

"Alvin Bruney [MVP]" <vapor at steaming post office> wrote in message
news:%2***************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl... And u certainly don't have to multi-post this to every newsgroup. posting to the crystal newsgroup would be sufficient.

--
Regards,
Alvin Bruney [Microsoft MVP ASP.NET]

[Shameless Author plug]
The Microsoft Office Web Components Black Book with .NET
Now Available @ http://www.lulu.com/owc
----------------------------------------------------------
"Scott Allen" <sc***@nospam.odetocode.com> wrote in message
news:1k********************************@4ax.com...
The thing about SSRS is that if someone has already paid for a SQL
Server license - then they own SSRS. Many people on the groups don't
realize this. It's fiscally prudent to at least evaluate what you
already own.

--
Scott
http://www.OdeToCode.com/blogs/scott/
On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 15:22:05 -0800, "Brian Bischof"
<Br***@NoSpamBischofSystems.com> wrote:
The thing that makes Crystal Reports confusing is that there are sooo manyversions of it out there and you never know which version someone is
talking
about in these posts.

Here is my take on things: CR.NET is considered an upsell product. Thus,
you
get it free in the box with the hopes that you'll upgrade. Given that, theretail versions are much better. The latest version of Crystal, XI, has
many
upgrades and bug fixes and the report processing performance has been
improved and has better exporting. All around it's a much better product.Unfortunately, CR.NET 2003 isn't such a hot product and continues to giveCR
a bad name. Of course, CR isn't perfect - no question about that. But
without a doubt the latest version XI is a big step forward. Plus, they
have
it available as a free 30 day download on their site.

The problem I have with RS is that it is a 1.0 product and it has a lot ofproblems, but people recommend it like it's reporting nirvana. I've yet touse a MS 1.0 product and have it run without a hitch (or any company's
product for that matter). Reporting Services is great if you want to do
simple reports and are willing to do lots of manual coding to fill in thegaps that MS left out. I see people on the newsgroups saying, "RS is
great!
You need to try it out. I got my reports to run in no time." Everything isgreat when you run a few wizards. But then when you dig a little deeper
into
the feature set you see questions like, "Hey, I want to do X and it won'tdo
it. Why not?"; "Why do my Excel/PDF exports keep getting screwed up?";
"Why
is SQL Server performance so slow now?"; "How do I make it read from a
DataSet?" and "Why does it cost $20K to support ASP.NET Forms
Authentication?" There are usually three common answers to these
questions:
1) Write your own custom extensions, 2) Rewrite your stored procedures todo
all the work RS won't do, and 3) Wait for a future version. Let's hope
your
customers are patient while you do all this extra coding or wait till it
gets fixed in a future version. Plus, if you plan on doing any heavy
reporting with it then you need to put it on a separate server ($5K
license)
or else your SQL box will get hammered b/c it is resource intensive. It'sonly free for companies that don't have much SQL activity.

All in all, I think RS definitely makes a lot of aspects of writing
reports
easier. In fact, the Table object is pretty damn stellar and nothing elsecompares to it. RS is a great tool that can crank out a lot of reports
very
fast. But it's a 1.0 product that is still missing a lot of features. I'veseen NG posts from people saying, "I convinced my manager/client to go
with
RS and now it doesn't do the things I assumed would work. Someone help!"
The
answer is "it will be fixed in a future release". RS still needs a few
more
versions under its belt before it can be recommended carte blanche to
everyone.
"rk" <kr*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g14g2000cwa.google groups.com...
The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the crystal
components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling after
some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
client app exits.

Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
that there is no clear cut resolution to that.

Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).

--rk


Nov 16 '05 #13

P: n/a
>Why didn't you only reply to crystal NG then?
cuz i needed you to see the reply and there aint no telling which newsgroup
you were reading.

The real issue is that your post pollutes the newsgroup space with material
that may not be related to the particular newsgroup. When others need
information and try to google the newsgroup, your posts and others like it
make it difficult to find results. This can all be avoided if we learn to
post correctly.

--
Regards,
Alvin Bruney [Microsoft MVP ASP.NET]

[Shameless Author plug]
The Microsoft Office Web Components Black Book with .NET
Now Available @ http://www.lulu.com/owc
----------------------------------------------------------
"LP" <lp@a.com> wrote in message
news:%2***************@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
And u certainly don't have to multi-post this to every newsgroup. posting

to
the crystal newsgroup would be sufficient.

No I certainly don't have to. Why didn't you only reply to crystal NG
then?

"Alvin Bruney [MVP]" <vapor at steaming post office> wrote in message
news:%2***************@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
And u certainly don't have to multi-post this to every newsgroup. posting

to
the crystal newsgroup would be sufficient.

--
Regards,
Alvin Bruney [Microsoft MVP ASP.NET]

[Shameless Author plug]
The Microsoft Office Web Components Black Book with .NET
Now Available @ http://www.lulu.com/owc
----------------------------------------------------------
"Scott Allen" <sc***@nospam.odetocode.com> wrote in message
news:1k********************************@4ax.com...
> The thing about SSRS is that if someone has already paid for a SQL
> Server license - then they own SSRS. Many people on the groups don't
> realize this. It's fiscally prudent to at least evaluate what you
> already own.
>
> --
> Scott
> http://www.OdeToCode.com/blogs/scott/
>
>
> On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 15:22:05 -0800, "Brian Bischof"
> <Br***@NoSpamBischofSystems.com> wrote:
>
>>The thing that makes Crystal Reports confusing is that there are sooo many >>versions of it out there and you never know which version someone is
>>talking
>>about in these posts.
>>
>>Here is my take on things: CR.NET is considered an upsell product.
>>Thus,
>>you
>>get it free in the box with the hopes that you'll upgrade. Given that, the >>retail versions are much better. The latest version of Crystal, XI, has
>>many
>>upgrades and bug fixes and the report processing performance has been
>>improved and has better exporting. All around it's a much better product. >>Unfortunately, CR.NET 2003 isn't such a hot product and continues to give >>CR
>>a bad name. Of course, CR isn't perfect - no question about that. But
>>without a doubt the latest version XI is a big step forward. Plus, they
>>have
>>it available as a free 30 day download on their site.
>>
>>The problem I have with RS is that it is a 1.0 product and it has a lot of >>problems, but people recommend it like it's reporting nirvana. I've yet to >>use a MS 1.0 product and have it run without a hitch (or any company's
>>product for that matter). Reporting Services is great if you want to do
>>simple reports and are willing to do lots of manual coding to fill in the >>gaps that MS left out. I see people on the newsgroups saying, "RS is
>>great!
>>You need to try it out. I got my reports to run in no time." Everything is >>great when you run a few wizards. But then when you dig a little deeper
>>into
>>the feature set you see questions like, "Hey, I want to do X and it won't >>do
>>it. Why not?"; "Why do my Excel/PDF exports keep getting screwed up?";
>>"Why
>>is SQL Server performance so slow now?"; "How do I make it read from a
>>DataSet?" and "Why does it cost $20K to support ASP.NET Forms
>>Authentication?" There are usually three common answers to these
>>questions:
>>1) Write your own custom extensions, 2) Rewrite your stored procedures to >>do
>>all the work RS won't do, and 3) Wait for a future version. Let's hope
>>your
>>customers are patient while you do all this extra coding or wait till
>>it
>>gets fixed in a future version. Plus, if you plan on doing any heavy
>>reporting with it then you need to put it on a separate server ($5K
>>license)
>>or else your SQL box will get hammered b/c it is resource intensive. It's >>only free for companies that don't have much SQL activity.
>>
>>All in all, I think RS definitely makes a lot of aspects of writing
>>reports
>>easier. In fact, the Table object is pretty damn stellar and nothing else >>compares to it. RS is a great tool that can crank out a lot of reports
>>very
>>fast. But it's a 1.0 product that is still missing a lot of features. I've >>seen NG posts from people saying, "I convinced my manager/client to go
>>with
>>RS and now it doesn't do the things I assumed would work. Someone
>>help!"
>>The
>>answer is "it will be fixed in a future release". RS still needs a few
>>more
>>versions under its belt before it can be recommended carte blanche to
>>everyone.
>>
>>
>>"rk" <kr*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>>news:11**********************@g14g2000cwa.google groups.com...
>>> The biggest issue with Crystal running on a server is that the
>>> crystal
>>> components keep leaking memory and it leaves the server crawling
>>> after
>>> some time (at least that's what we have encountered on our server). It >>> is alright with a client-server app where crystal is running on the
>>> client side in which case the memory gets released as soon as the
>>> client app exits.
>>>
>>> Apart from that there are issues with deploying it - it works on some
>>> systems and fails with some license issue on others (I have also posted >>> this issue and of course, there was no response). There are numerous
>>> posts regarding this issue and its resolution but one thing is clear
>>> that there is no clear cut resolution to that.
>>>
>>> Given the lack of support on Crystal I would advise for a home grown
>>> system or RS (I am sure it will only improve with time).
>>>
>>> --rk
>>>
>>
>



Nov 16 '05 #14

P: n/a
LP
> Does it have to be web based?
Well no, but that the direction we want to go. Despite web app limitations,
it's much less headache when it comes to deployment, maintainance, version
control in Intranet enviroment that is. And with smart clients you can
overcome some UI limitations, for example I came accross:
http://www.databeacon.com/Products/smartclient.htm
this looks promising.
I reckon access is still one of the best reporting tools around. I don't mean to start controversy here..., but Access could be the best
reporting tool in the world, but it's still practicly single user(I know not
really, but it Really is), desktop application. If anyone wants to do any
serious "enterprise" system development and look worthy in your clients
eyes, then one should stay away from access. I know the classic arguement of
"the best tool for a job" screwdriver vs. hammer or pickup truck vs. bicycle
kind of thing... but you can get so far on a bicycle with a screwdriver in
your pocket..

"Andy O'Neill" <ao***************@lycos.co.uk> wrote in message
news:e6******************@fe3.news.blueyonder.co.u k... "LP" <lp@a.com> wrote in message
news:OI**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
Any queries that return > 50,000 rows will kill IIS +
Crystal.

that's really good to know. I can see them wanting to export all data for 1st quater which is about that record count.
As far as MS Reporting services from what I saw it is truely is MS version 1
product.
I am leaning towards just developing straight forward web application and my
own export to Excel functionality.
Thank you all!

Does it have to be web based?

I reckon access is still one of the best reporting tools around.
Exporting data to excel would be simple, although working with it in

access is often better if you have a lot of data.

The old cognos impromptu and powerplay were fairly good.
You needed a fair bit of knowledge to set the reports up.
Not looked at recent versions.

--
Regards,
Andy O'Neill

Nov 16 '05 #15

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