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MS access VS Crystal Report

Posted on 2008-10-21
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Hi All,

I want to develop an application, this application will process information stored in database, these process includes inserting and retrieving data  from the database, print result in tables and  doing some calculation, also printing  these data in predefined  reports template, but also I want to give the user the ability to modify these report templates as he wants.

I have seen similar application developed in MS access but the user can't change the report format or structure, I thought may be crystal report can  assist me doing it, I thought also doing it through a VB application and make it integrated with crystal report through its VB controls.

so what do you think and what you recommend me..shall I go to crystal report and develop a VB application on top of it? or shall I stick to MS access?


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Question by:I-Can
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5 Comments
 
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:jppinto
ID: 22769230
This all depends on the size and compexity of your database, number of users, number of reports, etc.

If your database is to serve just a few users, mantain your database in Access, put some forms to help the users select the data they want on the reports, make some custom reports for each user.

If on the other end, the database is used by a lot of users, has big amounts of information, you could invest in some VB application using Cristal Reports for better reporting experience.  You should in this case, migrate the database to SQL. Don't forget, for you to have a good VB application, you need to invest some time/money on it.

jppinto
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Accepted Solution

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mlmcc earned 225 total points
ID: 22770200
So long as they have Access on their machine and you don't lock the database from them, they should be able to make changes to the reports.

Allowing the user to change a Crystal report would require them to have a full blown copy of Crystal.

If you expect to be maintaining the database and the reports for them then you have a synchronization issue so that you get all the changes they make.

mlmcc
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LVL 74

Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 22770843
Always a tough choice.

At the low to medium levels (Sort, Group, Filter (Select), Formatting, Printing, Parameters) they are pretty much the same, AFAIC.
At the higher levels (More complex reporting) crystal reports starts to pull ahead.

In my company we use both.
For the Access databases I develope, I use the Reports in Access.

However, we have a lot of Apps that are not Access based.
Great Plains, Abra, and some proprietary stuff,... they all use Crystal, because Crystal can handle almost any data source you throw at it.

So if you are going to be using Access primarilly, then use Access reports.

As soon as you start using disparate programs that require Reporting, start thinking about Crystal.

JeffCoachman

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Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 150 total points
ID: 22775724
You can do a bit with Access reports, but you cannot change the "layout" (i.e. move this field .5 mm to the left, etc). You can change Recordsources, Groupings, Sortings, etc etc etc ... you can show/hide controls and subreports, alter the report's Headings ... etc etc.

So as others have said - it depends entirely on what you're looking to do. If all you want is for endusers to be able to change filters, headings etc then Access should work fine. Otherwise it's on to Crystal (or some other reporting engine).
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Author Closing Comment

by:I-Can
ID: 31508371
thanks a lot.
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