crystal reports vs crystal dashboard tool (SQL Server)

Hi folks,

I am sure you guys get this question a lot but I am trying to understand what is the best way to utilize crystal dashboards( currently have xcelsius but are upgrading soon). We want to be able to create dashboards for management but I am unsure of the best approach. We are currently using MS SQL server.

Here are my questions:

It is in my understand that Xcelsius/dashboards does NOT connect directly to SQL server. Please confirm this
Crystal reports is more of a reporting tool and dashboards is more of a KPI view of the business. The problem is dashboards is very 'excel based from what I know' I would rather assign variables and connect it to a table with some variables.
If you can't connect it what are some other options to get sql data fed through crystal reports and then ultimately to crystal dashboards.


I know these questions are not very organized but I am at the end of my rope on how crystal dashboard works. I am very familiar with crystal reports.

any help would be great!
gilweber3Asked:
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mlmccCommented:
Xcelsius was, I believe, limited to use with Excel.

The new version has its own spreadsheet tool embedded and can use other datasources.  It is intended to be used with a universe but it can connect directly to other data sources.

Here is  a link to the SAP/Crystal for Dashboards knowledge base.
Apparently you cannot connect directly to MS SQL but have to go through a universe, a web service or XML

http://scn.sap.com/message/14363249#14363249

mlmcc
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PortletPaulfreelancerCommented:
>>Xcelsius was, I believe, limited to use with Excel.
maybe a very long time ago.

I use Xcelcius and the data is supplied by queries from either Oracle of MS SQL  via xml and not requiring a universe. One 'difficulty' is the designer is 'off-line' and uses its internal spreadsheet as source which make it a little cumbersome at that point. We also have deployment issues getting the right files into exactly the right place; another 'difficulty' but both can be overcome.

Our direction is html5 due to its broader mobile appeal and use of Xcelcius for me is decreasing. I haven't yet seen or looked at Crystal Dashboards.

{+edit: clarify the xml path}
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mlmccCommented:
I believe the new Dashboards is headed to HTML5

mlmcc
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gilweber3Author Commented:
Paul,

I think you are correct, unfortunately I am not a 'programmer' I know sql and some crystal but I have not messed with XML much. Not sure if this is something I should invest time in to learn.
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PortletPaulfreelancerCommented:
I should add my involvement with Xcelsius is mostly solution design, others do the needed  technical work. Unable to say if you should or shouldn't get involved in XML/Web Services.

Pleased to hear they are heading toward html 5.
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