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SHould I use Crystal Reports or Active Reports?

P: n/a
VMI
I know this may not be the best NG for this, but I feel you guys know more
about this than any of the other NGs.

I need to build several simple reports (over 50 of them and they get their
data from sql server) and I was wondering whish of these is the better tool
.. We're still not sure if they'll be loaded from an existing VB6 application
or if I'll have to make a separate module for them (in .Net).
In general, which is the better tool? Since they'll be part of another
application (the VB6 module or the .Net module), we don't want the client to
spend more money on licencing fees (except the $$$ I spend on the copy of
Crystal or Active Reports to develop the reports).

Any help is appreciated.
Feb 10 '06 #1
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3 Replies


P: n/a
On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 13:54:29 -0500, "VMI" <vonchi_m AT yahoo DOT com>
wrote:
I know this may not be the best NG for this, but I feel you guys know more
about this than any of the other NGs.

I need to build several simple reports (over 50 of them and they get their
data from sql server) and I was wondering whish of these is the better tool
. We're still not sure if they'll be loaded from an existing VB6 application
or if I'll have to make a separate module for them (in .Net).
In general, which is the better tool? Since they'll be part of another
application (the VB6 module or the .Net module), we don't want the client to
spend more money on licencing fees (except the $$$ I spend on the copy of
Crystal or Active Reports to develop the reports).

Any help is appreciated.

In my opinion the answer to your question depends on how you intend to
create the reports:

1. Crystal Reports is primarily designed to be used by a person who
creates reports without calling them from a program. Using Crystal
Reports from this developer's point of view isn't a good solution if
you must populate and display the reports from an application.

2. On the other hand Active Reports is designed primarily to be used
from within an application. It has events that can be triggered, etc.
to let you do some decision making while generating the output. The
last time I used Crystal Reports it was not capable of doing that.

Otis Mukinfus
http://www.otismukinfus.com
http://www.tomchilders.com
Feb 11 '06 #2

P: n/a
> 1. Crystal Reports is primarily designed to be used by a person who
creates reports without calling them from a program. Using Crystal
Reports from this developer's point of view isn't a good solution if
you must populate and display the reports from an application.


We are doing exactly this, but you are right: Crystal isn't too bright
when it comes to the "push" model, although it's not bad for simple
requirements.

Crystal basically lets you build a report from an XSD file (which you
can generate from an ADO.NET DataSet. Then at run time you can build
data into that same "shape" of DataSet and then push the data to
Crystal, along with the report (rpt) file you built in the designer.

It works just fine, but the Crystal .NET objects don't allow you a lot
of control at run time. You basically design the report and then push
data at it.

If you have more complex requirements then maybe something else would
be better.

Otis: Could you provide a link to Active Reports? I've never heard of
it, and we would love to have an alternative to Crystal.

Feb 11 '06 #3

P: n/a
On 11 Feb 2006 10:25:46 -0800, "Bruce Wood" <br*******@canada.com>
wrote:
1. Crystal Reports is primarily designed to be used by a person who
creates reports without calling them from a program. Using Crystal
Reports from this developer's point of view isn't a good solution if
you must populate and display the reports from an application.


We are doing exactly this, but you are right: Crystal isn't too bright
when it comes to the "push" model, although it's not bad for simple
requirements.

Crystal basically lets you build a report from an XSD file (which you
can generate from an ADO.NET DataSet. Then at run time you can build
data into that same "shape" of DataSet and then push the data to
Crystal, along with the report (rpt) file you built in the designer.

It works just fine, but the Crystal .NET objects don't allow you a lot
of control at run time. You basically design the report and then push
data at it.

If you have more complex requirements then maybe something else would
be better.

Otis: Could you provide a link to Active Reports? I've never heard of
it, and we would love to have an alternative to Crystal.


I sure can.

http://www.datadynamics.com/forums/64/ShowForum.aspx

The nice thing about Active Reports is that you can build reports in
code from "boilerplate" sub reports.

I did a gig with an orphanage a few years ago that needed to keep
reports on the care of their children that matched up with state and
fed laws, so as you can imagine they were complex and many of them had
the same wording from one form to another.

To make things easier we were able to do a lot of "design" on the fly
design based on the content of the variables in the report.

By the way, I don't work for them. I just think they have a product
that is superior to Crystal Reports.

As for Crystal Reports, it has it's place. I once worked at a place
with a dedicated report designer who worked only with Crystal using
SQL queries. In that environment Crystal Reports does well.

Otis Mukinfus
http://www.otismukinfus.com
http://www.tomchilders.com
Feb 12 '06 #4

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