Article by Dean Forster
Crystal Reports allows you to generate business intelligence reports from various data sources. It the most advanced and popular report creating tool, which is now also available bundled with several other application software, such as, Microsoft Visual Studio. Crystal Reports allows access to any data source with native ODBC, OLE DB, and JDBC connectivity to relational, OLAP, XML, legacy, and enterprise data sources, which include Oracle, IBM DB2, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, and Informix. The latest version of the tool, Crystal Reports XI, provides you with the updated data driver features for XML, JDBC, IBM DB2, and Exchange, letting you have the incredible data access options.
Crystal Reports was originally developed by Crystal Reports Inc. The company produced the versions from 1.0 through to 3.0. Seagate Software consequently acquired Crystal Reports, and renamed it Crystal Decisions, and produced versions 4.0 through to 9.0. In December 2003, Crystal Reports was acquired by Business Objects, and so far have produced versions 10.0 and XI. Version XI is presently in its second release.
Crystal Reports provides you with presentation quality reports, and saves you time in designing and distributing the reports. The powerful report writer produces “what you see is what you get” business decision reports that can provide your company with instant decision making capability, there-by providing you with increased profitability. You can generate quick custom reports, with great looks. The features allow you to easily create the looks of your report presentation documents. You can select your favourite type face, font size, and text colour, and enhance the layout by applying lines, choosing borders and shades. You can provide further enhancement by choosing embedded pictures, diagrams, and logos. Crystal Reports allows you to use tables, cross-tabulations, or one of the many graph styles, which could be used to communicate your business information. The drill-down feature allows you to get to the sections of the detailed report. Just by clicking the report objects, the tool provides you with a series of linked information which has led to the initial information.
Crystal Reports provide unparalleled flexibility in report creation. It provides you with step-by-step process with the help of expert wizards, which guides you in creating the report. You could also find a “Private Tutor” incorporated in the report writer, and this provides you with online help as you proceed. Your finished reports could be run at any pre-determined time, without any attendance. Even you could schedule the run based on time and dates, taking into consideration business holidays. You can find out more about crystal reports at http://www.crystalreportsprofessional.com
Crystal Report allows you to embed sub-reports within your main report, which would mean that, you can embed a customer sales account history report in a sales highlight report. Building special conditions would let you print the sections of the report to produce different report information print-outs from the same report. Crystal Reports allows you to format your reports, by which you may provide summary information in a single cell, instead of using column formats, there-by making it easy to read the report. The report writer provides you with more control over your report design, letting you customise your report.
With more than more than 35 data drivers, and with the flexibility that it offers, Crystal Reports is one of the best report writing tools in the world.