Crystal Reports Tutorial for Beginners

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Introduction to Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports is developed by SAP. Crystal Reports is a Windows-based report writer solution. SAP Crystal Reports is a Business Intelligence tool. It is used by developers to create report and dashboards using both SAP and non-SAP data sources with less line of codes.

This Business Intelligence tool enables the end users to generate a report that has visualizations and implement new business requirements. It reduces dependency on report developers.

What is Crystal Reports?

SAP Crystal Reports can be connected to any relational database.  Simple as well as advance reports can be generated for end users. It is mostly used by the CEO and Managers for pixel perfect report.

Data visualization tools such as geographic maps and graphs communicate helps in understanding data analysis.

Crystal Reports can be generated of many formats like Microsoft Word and Excel, e-mail and over the web. Advanced Web reporting allows members to view and update shared reports inside a web browser.

Application and web developers can save time by generating reports in their applications. Adding a report to an application is supported by .NET and JAVA.

History of Crystal Report

  • In 1991, Crystal report was originated by Terry Cunningham and the Cunningham Group.  Crystal report was originally called as “Quik Reports”. This report generator was basically brought when there was no commercial report writing tool for their accounting software.
  • In 1994, version 1.0 was created. Crystal Services was owned by Seagate Technology. To form the Information Management Group of Seagate Software, Crystal Services was combined with Holistic Systems and later it was named as Crystal Decisions and also a version 4.0 was produced through 9.0.
  • In 2003, Crystal Decisions was owned by BusinessObjects. It also produces version 10, 11 and 12.
  • In 2007, SAP-owned Business Objects.
  • In 2011 version 14 was released as released Crystal Reports 2011.

Versions and editions

Version Release Date Ownership Edition
1 Crystal Services
2 1992 Crystal Services
3 1994 Crystal Services
4 1995 Crystal Decisions
5 1996 Crystal Decisions
6 1997 Crystal Decisions
7 1998 Crystal Decisions
8 2000 Crystal Decisions D,P,S
8.5 2001 Crystal Decisions A,D,P,S
9 2002 Crystal Decisions A,D,P,S
10 2003 Business Objects A,D,P,S
XI (11) 2004 Business Objects D,P,S
XI R2 (11.5) Nov 24, 2005 Business Objects D,P,S
2008 (12) Mar 31, 2008 Business Objects D
2011 (14.0.x) Aug 31, 2011 SAP SE D
2013 (14.1.x) Aug 29, 2013 SAP SE D
2016 (14.2.x) Mar 08, 2016 SAP SE D
  • A=Advanced Developer, D=Developer, P=Professional, S=Standard

Features of Crystal report

It has an interactive design environment.•        Data can be mashed-up.

•        For creating a report, Wizards can be used.

•        It can Drill down in runtime.

•        Autosave the work.

•        It has an Editable preview window.

•        It can move, resize, and multi-select objects.

•        It has many Custom templates.

•        A component can be reused.

 Installation Requirements for Crystal Reports

  • PC with AMD or Intel-based processors, Dual Core CPU, 2 GB RAM.
  • 4GB hard drive space for English and 8 GB for all languages.
  • Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012.

Languages available

English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Romanian, Russian.

Technical Specifications

  • Hardware Requirements
  1. Intel Pentium III or equivalent processor
  2. Minimum 512 MB RAM
  • Disk Space –
  1. 2 GB for default installation with the English language
  2. 4 GB for default installation with all languages installed

Advantages of Crystal report

  1. Flexible and customized report

Highly formatted, pixel-perfect reports can be created using SAP Crystal Reports. It provides high-level design interface and efficient workflows.

  1. Powerful report delivery options

Personalized reports can be generated for end-users according to their language and format.

  1. Data source connectivity

A connection can be created directly for information. Data sources include Native, ODBC, OLE DB, and JDBC connectivity to relational, OLAP, web services, XML, enterprise data sources, and salesforce.com.

  1. Expanded support for Excel

Full advantage can be taken of Excel file format, by making single worksheet without exceeding multiple worksheets.

  1. Windows operating system compatibility

SAP Crystal Reports software 2013 is certified compatible with Microsoft Windows 7.

  1. Mobile compatibility

Reports can be checked in mobile devices.

  1. SAP Crystal Reports, Adobe Flash and HTML 5 integration

SAP Crystal Reports allows developers to get data from various sources.

Disadvantage Crystal Reports

  1. Must Upgrade to Crystal Reports Server for Advanced Functions

Initially, small businesses were attracted to Crystal report and an affordable price. To get more features like instant mobile access, dashboards or scheduled notifications, they need to be upgraded.

  1. Not Business User-Friendly

SAP typically buys technology instead of innovating it. Huge numbers of the interface are used to generate Crystal report, which includes a report designer and a dashboard designer.  A business user cannot have the advantage of generating Crystal report, as it requires experienced Crystal report developers.

  1. Weak Data Security and data governance

When reports are generated, security is built. If a report is accessed by two different users, then the developer modifies the security for each report by creating duplicate reports for each user. This whole process is very time taking and has a high-security risk. If any changes are made then the developer has to apply a security setting in each report.

  1. Licensing Model is Confusing- and Costly

Many businesses have considered Crystal report confusing due to its licensing model. It has many versions as well as features.

Reference:
https://www.tutorialspoint.com/crystal_reports/crystal_reports_overview.htm

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