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ReportSmith vs. Crystal Reports

(This is a repost)

For my app (Delphi 1.0), I will have to create a considerable number
of reports. I'm not sure whether I should use ReportSmith (which comes
with Delphi), or whether I should rather use Crystal Reports instead.
QuickReports seems a bit too limited to me.

If you have any information or experience with one or the other (or
both !) of these products, I would very much appreciate your comments.

A bunch of questions came to my mind when thinking about what
capabilities I would like to have in the reporting tool. If you have
any input on one or several of my questions, please let me know.

1) suitability for complex reports, power, flexibility

2) limitations

3) ease of report creation (for developers)

4) ease of report creation for end users who need to create their own
reports. How difficult will it be for someone with no
software-specific skills to create reports ?

5) In Delphi you can pass variables to ReportSmith. Is it also
possible to pass variables to Crystal Reports ?

6) Support for derived fields. Can they be used for record selection
and grouping ?

7) Can "empty" lines (lines in which all fields are empty) be
suppressed ?

8) Is it possible to do sums and other evaluations for various levels
of grouping in the same report  (for instance sum per day / per month
/ per year) ?

9) Is there any support to do print previews at runtime ? (a previewer
with zoom and pan would be nice...)

10) Is it possible to do outputs to files ?

11) Is it possible to create output files in Microsoft Word format
(and maybe other popular formats). Can this be automated from within
Delphi ?

12) What about load-time performance, speed ??

13) What's the distribution size of Crystal Reports ?
 (ReportSmith 2.52 is 5 diskettes, I think)

Thanks

Thomas

(101615.1...@compuserve.com)

 

Re:ReportSmith vs. Crystal Reports


I'm not a Delphi user (I just happened to be passing) but here is my
experience with CR under VB

Quote
m...@spectraweb.ch (Thomas Marti) wrote:

>A bunch of questions came to my mind when thinking about what
>capabilities I would like to have in the reporting tool. If you have
>any input on one or several of my questions, please let me know.

>1) suitability for complex reports, power, flexibility

Yea, pretty good latest versions have sub-reports (reports within
reports) etc.

Quote

>2) limitations

Lots

Quote

>3) ease of report creation (for developers)

The more complex, the more difficult. I've had problems with complex
reports over many (5+) tables at the same time.

Quote

>4) ease of report creation for end users who need to create their own
>reports. How difficult will it be for someone with no
>software-specific skills to create reports ?

You could give them example reports etc but I wouldn't recommend it. Best
thing I've seen for this is a new product called 'Business Objects'.
Totally excellent.

Quote

>5) In Delphi you can pass variables to ReportSmith. Is it also
>possible to pass variables to Crystal Reports ?

Not in the versions I've used but maybe v5.0 can

Quote

>6) Support for derived fields. Can they be used for record selection
>and grouping ?

Yes

Quote

>7) Can "empty" lines (lines in which all fields are empty) be
>suppressed ?

Yes

Quote

>8) Is it possible to do sums and other evaluations for various levels
>of grouping in the same report  (for instance sum per day / per month
>/ per year) ?

Yes

Quote

>9) Is there any support to do print previews at runtime ? (a previewer
>with zoom and pan would be nice...)
Yes

>10) Is it possible to do outputs to files ?
Yes

>11) Is it possible to create output files in Microsoft Word format
>(and maybe other popular formats). Can this be automated from within
>Delphi ?

Yes (I assume it comes with a control for Delphi)
Quote

>12) What about load-time performance, speed ??
Impressive

>13) What's the distribution size of Crystal Reports ?
> (ReportSmith 2.52 is 5 diskettes, I think)

No idea

Hope this helps

Ronan G. Warde

Re:ReportSmith vs. Crystal Reports


Thomas Marti <m...@spectraweb.ch> wrote in article
<4vv76b$...@mephisto.imp.ch>...

Quote
> For my app (Delphi 1.0), I will have to create a considerable number
> of reports. I'm not sure whether I should use ReportSmith (which comes
> with Delphi), or whether I should rather use Crystal Reports instead.

I have used both ReportSmith and Crystal Reports in VB and Delphi.  By far,
Crystal Reports and the VCL component in version 4.5+ was better than
ReportSmith.  In the most recent systems I have written, variables are
easily passed to the VCL component from Delphi.  I no longer write reports
for the systems I produce - our end-users have been trained to create their
own.  If your tables are relationally correct and have a good number of
indexes, CR will handle 90% of end-user needs.  Sometimes, in order to
create more complex reports that summarize more than one data table, you
will need to have you application query and summarize before turning over
reporting to CR (a universal problem with this catagory of reporting tool)

Good luck...

Chuck

Re:ReportSmith vs. Crystal Reports


Charles,

Quote
>In the most recent systems I have written, variables are easily passed to the
>VCL component from Delphi.

May I ask how you achieve that? This is something I'm trying to do.

Thanks!

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