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Business Objects InfoView or web interface using Crystal Visual Studio?

I was all set to go ahead with my plan to use BusinessViews for some reports and SQL Views for others but alas it is not yet to be...

I just came out of a meeting with my supervisor and now I need to look into the pros and cons of using Visual Studio to get the same results that I can get from InfoView - namely the ability to requery the database and change the parameters at run-time.  Am I saying that right - is it Visual Studio that can do that?  The crux of the matter is the price of the licenses from SAP - we don't want to pay that much when we might have the talent in house to create a web interface that can accomplish the same thing.

Thank you.
Lisa
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lcallah93
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lcallah93
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mlmccCommented:
Before exploring what is it you are trying to do?

If you only need to view reports when a user requests then you can probably build an application to do that relatively easily.

Depending on the nature of the reports and the parameters you can either build an application which calls the reports and uses the Crystal interface to handle parameters or you could build your own forms to handle parameters and pass them to the database.

One advantage of using your own form is you could to some degree enforce some level of row security on the database thus limiting what the user can see.  You can also restrict access to certain reports or report types based on user id or other considerations.

Another advantage of your own form is you can have dynamic and cascading parameters regardless of the version of Crystal.

Another advantage of your own application is the ability to change it as needed to meet new requirements and include new reports.  
Depending on the complexity of the applicatiion you may also want to look at 3rd-party viewers and other tools  This list is by no means all of the available tools but it does have a good variety
http://www.kenhamady.com/bookmarks.html

If you are looking for the ability to schedule reports for overnight running or emailing to users then you might want to look at the tools on that list with that capability.  There are some good ones at trelatively low-cost.

A simple viewing application is not that difficult to write and doesn't take that much coding.  I have written very simple ones in a few hours.

mlmcc
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lcallah93Author Commented:
As always, thank you for your reply.  

The interesting thing is that we already have Crystal server with 5 concurrent licenses that is currently only used as a scheduler that generates PDF files nightly.  We are looking into expanding our reporting services to include the ability for our development officers to query the data, hence this issue.

It sounds like the creation of your own form will accomplish the same end as buying additional licenses for Crystal Server - namely allowing users to request data based on criteria and also allowing them to requery.

One more question - I have no Visual Studio experience and am hoping I can still write the report in Crystal 2008 and then just hand it off to the programmer to put it up on the web.  Is that how it works?
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mlmccCommented:
It should be that easy.  There is a fair amunt of help at the Crystal site and the Crystal samples.  They even include sample viewing programs.

mlmcc
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