General discussion


comparison of Reporting tools

By Mr Cranny ·
has anyone performed a comparison of MS SQL Server Reporting Services agains Crystal Reports? Issues of interest focus on ease of management, reporting functionality an ease of report writing.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

A little...

by cnieboer In reply to comparison of Reporting t ...

On the surface this is what I see, I haven't looked into it with great research.

Free Deployment with SQL Reporting Services vs. costly enterprise deployment with Crystal reports

Difficult but powerful developer environment with Resporting services. Crystal a little easier to use for the average report writer with little technical knowledge.

Collapse -

Book on the subject...

by sysadmin In reply to comparison of Reporting t ...
Collapse -

Inquiring minds want to know...

by ZoomZoom In reply to Book on the subject...

I'm also very curious about other peoples experiences with the 2 reporting packages. We tried Reporting Services only to find we couldn't get it to work on the web without ponying up for Enterprise level of SQL Server at a huge expense. We are now experimenting with CR v.11 - which seems to be a lot better suited to the web than the last time we touched Crystal (v. and much cheaper than upgrading SQL Server. We still have some bugs to work out though, but CR seems to have good potential.

Collapse -

We use SQL Reports

by stephen.doughty In reply to Inquiring minds want to k ...

Reporting from applications has always been difficult. We had used Crystal V8 and Active Reports before the release of SQL Reporting. We find SQL better for a few reasons.
The caveat I'll put around this is that we did the comparison at Crystal V8, we are a Microsoft.Net shop, and our backoffice is all Microsoft. We also did not have an experienced Crystal developer.

* Integration into Visual Studio IDE is seamless, so report development is easy and intuitive for developers
* We always had deployment problems with Crystal and ActiveReports, but SQL just seems to work
* The portal provides a heap of easy to find functionality (eg scheduling, subscriptions, snapshots) - I'm not saying that Crystal doesn't do this, but it all seemed easier with SQL
* SQL exposes a good set of services for integration of reports into applications.

Again, putting the above caveats around this, we've gone SQL.

Be a kind of interesting situation if you run Business Objects though...


Collapse -

Gentlemen choose your weapons!

by Spanr In reply to We use SQL Reports

I have used Access and Crystal extensively (both great reporting tools in their own right, both with some frustrating shortcomings), and have reviewed Reporting Services.

Crystal, despite its shortcomings is designed to provide a tool for developing paper-based reports. More recently it has branched into providing the ability to publish these reports using the web.

Reporting Services, from my look, provides a great tool for developing web views of data, but lacks the ability to provide the "polished" finish I demand for paper, certainly with the "ease" (I use that word with some reserve) offered by Crystal.

The Crystal development environment is purpose built, while Reporting Services is a bolt on to the .Net development environment.

There are number of third party delivery systems if the Crystal offering is too rich - if anyone is interested try for one of the better systems.

In my opinion, and afterall that was what was requested, Reporting Services has potential but it has a way to go yet. Crystal has been around forever and is the result of a business focused on one thing.

Oh dear, do I sense another Mac vs PC discussion?

All the best to you all.



Collapse -

Book on the subject...

by kevin ngobola In reply to Book on the subject...

Thanks for the site, it is a great resource,

Collapse -

I was a Crystal developer

by Catadmin In reply to comparison of Reporting t ...

I actually like Crystal better from a report development perspective. CR is intuitive and I learned it in 3 days. Of course, I didn't have to worry about learning the web publishing part of CR.

I don't like RS's pre-formatted report designs. I prefer to figure out where I want my columns and what subtotals I want (instead of using the prefab "Subtotal columns" choice that the wizard gives you). The Report Designer in SQL RS is very difficult to use without a help file. I would definately recommend getting a Reporting Services book from a local bookstore also. The help file is nearly inaccessible from a word search point of view and no where near as useful as the SQL Server Books Online.

That being said, RS has much more functionality than I've experienced with Crystal. It just seems much more robust. There are things, I'm convinced, that you can do in Crystal that you can't do in RS, but the reverse is true as well. And RS has that wonderful capability of nesting tables, matrices, and list boxes that is finally starting to prove its worth to me.

The question, I guess, ends up being "is the functionality and robustness of the program worth spending the weeks/months/years it'll take you to learn it"? If you'd rather stick with something that doesn't take a PHD to understand, then definately go with CR.

On the other hand, if you like a challenge, RS is definately that.

Hopefully, the menus, the help file and all other things that I currently "hate" about RS will be resolved in the release coming out with SQL Server 2k5.

BTW, someone else let me know about these resources for the differences between the two reporting tools. They are very interesting from a technical standpoint.


Collapse -

Cost was the decider

by pfarnell In reply to I was a Crystal developer

We decided to start a new project's reporting side by using Reporting Services. The big driver for us was cost. Crystal gets very expensive for more than 5 users but Reporting Services needs an appropriate SQL licence. The only issue we found was lots of users use lots of CPU so eventually we ended up running the Reporting Services on a seperate server to our application, but still saved lots of money.

Collapse -

comparison of Reporting tools

by mcp111 In reply to comparison of Reporting t ...
Collapse -

We have both - heres the comparsion

by damon In reply to comparison of Reporting t ...

Hey Mr Cranny,

We have both products and have this to say.

Crystal Reports -
Advantages - extremely powerful and amazing resources available (developers etc)
Disadvantages - Cost to implement, may be high on hardware resources

Reporting Services
Advantages - cost efective and easy to deploy
Disadvantages - lack of developer (at least in the short term) but has the backing of MS so will be a comparable product in 18-24 months

We have Crystal reports for our specif reporting requirements and those that we require a certain degree of interaction, Reporting services are used for standard finacial reports which are used frequently.


Related Discussions

Related Forums