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Benefits of Crystal Reports over Access

Posted on 2006-06-19
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what are the benefits of using crystal reports versus access?  i am a CR 8.5 user, and have been reading up on Access because i've never used it.
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Question by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
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by:Jim Horn
Jim Horn earned 150 total points
ID: 16936861
It has been explained to me that Access Reports is about 80% Crystal Reports, so if you have an Access project you might as well use Access Reports, otherwise if you are using something else (say VB) and need to choose, Crystal Reports is the reporting engine of choice, as you can deploy it without the overhead/requirement of reporting within the Access container.

Hope this helps.
-Jim
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by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 16936900
when i write a CR report, i do it directly in CR.  we do use an application which uses CR reports, so of course i would have to use CR to write or edit a report for that application.
but i am also writing other reports in CR that are independent of that application... so that's when i wonder why CR instead of Access.

i guess anyone who wants to run an Access report must have Access installed... right now everyone has CR installed, and we also are working on a web interface for CR reports...
so there are some differences in regard to use.  but are there things CR can do that Access can not?  or performance differences?
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TommyTupa earned 350 total points
ID: 16937184
I've done complex reporting in MS Access and  Crystal Reports (among others) and IMHO MS Access is about 20% of what Crystal Reports can provide.  Imagine driving a 1970s VW your whole life than being given a brand new M series BMW. The VW works just fine.  Gets you from here to there.  But get in the BMW and you experience a whole new level of driving possibility.

One example is database connection options.  On this surface it may appear that they both can connect to any database.  However when you go deeper you see that Crystal allows far greater flexibility.  Forget about the fact that Access can connect via linked tables or pass through queries.  Crystal goes eons past this.  You can use udl's , command objects, direct SQL, ttx files, text files, native connectivity, and on....  Now take the database connection options example to any other feature; conditional formatting; exporting, ranking, sorting, grouping, headers and footers. aestheticically pleasing reporting.  Access can do all this but Crystal goes far far deeper.  You can't know how deep until you actually use the tool.  

This link may help for a start:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/Crystal_Reports/Q_21888487.html
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