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Cystal Reports Automation Software

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Last Modified: 2014-12-18
Hello,

For many years, and across a few companies, I have used a tool called Christiansteven software for distributing Crystal Reports. The Crystal reports are built, pointed at the warehouse, and the software simply distributes the reports via a scheduler. The software also has the facility to divide a single parameter driven report by groups and deliver each group separately, and has the usual options for delivering via email, to drive.. etc etc.

I love this software, but they have recently adopted a pricing model that makes the software unreasonably expensive to utilize going forwards.

Therefore my question - what is your solution to the problem of automating Crystal Reports?

Thanks
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
There are multiple tools that can do what CRD is doing for much lower price. The features you mentioned are available even in the free R-Tag version. For $299 you can get a version with support.  Check Ken Hamady's comparison for details:
http://kenhamady.com/cru/comparisons/desktop-scheduling-engines

Here is the feature matrix, which will allow you show main features in  a table:
http://kenhamady.com/desktopschedulers.pdf
Mike McCrackenSenior Consultant
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Agree.  ALso depending on your particular needs and your programming prowess, it is not too difficult to write your own tool.

mlmcc

Author

Commented:
Thanks so much for your comments.
We would need support, and cost is ok, just not the £3,000 a year we are currently being billed.

Does anybody have a personal recommendation?

Thanks
Mike McCrackenSenior Consultant
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
How many users do you have?
How many concurrent?

What features do you really need?

mlmcc
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
I mentioned R-Tag, but I was part of the development team so I am biased.

Author

Commented:
One user currently, but max maybe 3 users. One installation on a server. Definitely need the ability to take one report grouped by a recipient, and deliver a group to each recipient. That's it really, it's not especially complicated what we do here to be honest. We would need support though as much of our business is cloud based, so we have little IT support in house, plus much of what is sent externally absolutely has to go out (think Invoices and the like) so when reporting falls over it desperately needs picking up asap.

Thanks so much for your guidance here
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Commented:
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Author

Commented:
Hello,

Thanks very much for your continued help here, it is appreciated.

I would personally prefer a desktop solution, but I have no real basis for preference so if web based is most appropriate so be it.

I am going to install and experiment will trials of both Jeff-net and r-tag. The video was of great help, and the set up there was familiar enough that I am sure we can use it.

The process is known as "Bursting" in CRD which we use currently, there is another schedule type we use known as "Data Driven" and it differs that Bursting for each group runs the report, attaches the .pdf to an email, sends the email to the destination, whereas Data Driven runs the report for each group, delivers a .pdf for each group, but then attaches all the individual pdf's so a single email for delivery. (for example, single invoices are sent direct to customers, but a team leader would want to receive a separate report for each person on his team that he might or not share with the individual team members, but he wouldn't want to receive a separate mail for each team report, if that makes sense)

I am also interested in the SSRS suggestion as I believe it is a common solution for our particular environment. Our data is stored in a warehouse, and we create stored procedures with SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2, then bolt Crystal onto these Stored Procedures, then distribute these Crystal Reports via a distributor. If actually you think with this in mind SSRS is the best approach I am keen to take this on, it is something I wouldn't mind adding to my modest skillset anyways.

Again, thanks very much
Mike McCrackenSenior Consultant
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Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION

Author

Commented:
Hello,

Again, thanks so much for your help. I think I have enough to read through and make a decision here.
I am massively reassured that there are alternative solutions to the problem of report distribution.

Thanks again

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