I NEED A NEW REPORTING TOOL!!!!!!

Hi all,

Ok Ive definitely had it with Quick reports.... Ive gotten authorization to have a look at Crystal Reports so that we might purchase it but I have heard that it is sometimes limited in its capabilities (this may just be from earlier versions than the current one).

Has anyone used Crystal Reports extensively and can tell me the pluses and minuses and all that  or can someone suggest a better reporting tool that is quick and easy to use but still has the power I need...

At the moment we are using D4 likely to be on D5 soon and we are using Paradox and FlashFiler databases likely to switch to Oracle in the future.

thanks

Gabe

P.S. Please don't answer this question until I let you know whether your answer is acceptable... I will let you know from your comments...
GabeinOZAsked:
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philipleighsCommented:
I was using VB/CR about 3 or 4 years ago, and I remember CR being very slow, and you couldn't embed it in your own window. (It's own frame had a unique look and feel that you couldn't change if memory serves me).

Maybe it's a hot potato now, so this is really just a "listening" post (cringe).

Let me know if this is good enough for an answer! hehe.  :-)

Cheers,
Phil.
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simonetCommented:
Hi, Gabe.

you're right about QR: it's like wearing handcuffs while programming (not that I know anything about wearing handcuffs!!!).

My company will be acquiring Crystal Reports in a few weeks. I hasn't been even evaluated yet, but we need to buy it anyway because our largest client needs us to deliver CR-aware solutions.

I have, however, evaluated another reporting tool that I liked VERY MUCH: ReportFX, from SoftwareFX (the same guys who created ChartFX). I have a demo version of it I can send you if you leave your e-mail. It's a sure winner and evaluating it is surely worthwhile.

Yours,

Alex
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GabeinOZAuthor Commented:
Hey Alex long time no see....

That would be really great.....how much is the registration for it?

Our boss is pretty cool on the idea of CR as well because of the way clients can create their own reports with it...but like you said, we've not used it so I'm leary of how it will work for our end.  

Send the eval to gabe@rostima.com ...

Thanks mate

Gabe
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kokhooCommented:
Hi... Alex if is not to troublsome, can you sent me a copy of the demo you mention, I'm also in the mist of looking for a better reporting tools.

Anyway I'm giving you my email address

ckh2629@netscape.net

Thanks...
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simonetCommented:
The file was sent last night. Let me know if you got it.

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RBertoraCommented:
Crystal reports is your only real other option, and when I used it 2 years ago, it had its funnies like chopping off the las number of a long floating point value.. (we had to convert all floating points to strings and padd the buggers... what a mess) .. any way I have to admit that even that version is better than qrep 3.

My biggest pain at the moment wit Qrep is that reprint group on new page does not work, indeed the page counter does not work 100% ethier.. if you print the page counter on every detail , you will notice that some details that appear on teh same physical page have different page numbers... (that is a real mess)

go for CR

Rob ;-)
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karooCommented:
Gabe,

used CR in last 2 projects, short summary:

Plusses:
+ Easy and relatively quick to create reports.
+ Nice exporting functionality, i.e. export to html, rich text etc.(exporting to some formats may mess with the report layout)
+ Extensive Stored Procedure support for more complicated reports.
+ Strong filtering, sub-selection capabilities.
+ Users can create their own reports (yea right:)
+ subreporting strong
+ Crystal support is OK

On the other side.
- If you are retrieving a lot of rows it can be very slooow (design reports will to retrieve limited amount of rows, try to avoid left outer joins, use db indexing!)
- each report page is handled as a bitmap, don't even try printing on a dot-matrix printer. (we had to raise min requirements to include either LaserJet or inkjet printer)
- crpe32 report engine heavy on memory
- learning curve (on the more intricate reports)
- install has to be expanded to include ODBC driver, params, report engine etc.
- Can't change the SELECT or FROM clauses of a CR (with good reason though)

all in all:
Professional looking reports.
Pains in the buttocks is proportional to the difficulty level of the report - hey but that's the same with all reporting tools.

I would use cr again.

good luck:)
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GabeinOZAuthor Commented:
ok thats alot of good information karoo....one more elaboration.....you mentioned odbc drivers.....is crystal reports only run through odbc? or will it handle native paradox tables?

thanks
Gabe
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simonetCommented:
Gabe, did you receive the file I sent oyu last night?

Alex
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GabeinOZAuthor Commented:
Yeah I did mate and I had a look at it but it appears that it uses the odbc as well doesnt it?  Id really like to stay away from using the odbc if possible and especially if its just gonna be for our reports.

Thanks

Gabe
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karooCommented:
Gabe,

I've only used CR with Interbase and SQL server, can't comment on ODBC for Paradox but I would think it does. It's one of the "penalties" for using a third party reporting tool - I have to add it's not a big thing to install and configure the ODBC driver (especialy if your'e using an Install tool i.e. Installshield).
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bozo7Commented:
Gabe,
I am using ReportBuilder Pro 4.2 from DigitalMetaphors. I really like it alot. Very flexible. Works with many different databases. I am currently using Paradox and Oracle with it. It can also do straight from a text file.

www.digital-metaphors.com

Bozo
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GabeinOZAuthor Commented:
Ok Bozo I have looked at the tool you suggested.... looks really good but looks like a big learning curve and I just dont have the time.....

we have made the switch to crystal reports and have ordered version 7 but in the meantime I am getting a head start with version 6 and I have a question regarding it.... look for "Crystal Rep printing Group header"
question....

As for this one I think Karoo has offered the most help in the direction I am leaning although really all of you helped me....Thanks for all the help guys...

Gabe
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