business intelligence - what is a typical /standard business objects toolkit for an organization ?

fairly new to being a team member on the BI team but have a fair understanding of Business Objects / BI.

We have Business Objects XI 3.0 (Web Intelligence), but not Crystal Reports. I've been using XI and building reports, the tool is great but generally speaking it's for simple to medium complex list based reporting - nothing terribly fancy or complex. Although someone with a great deal of experience can make it sing, just not the opera . . .

We're moving to BI Suite in the near future (which has Crystal Reports), but just wondered if you would expect an organization with complex reporting needs to not have Crystal Reports (or something similar).
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAsked:
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Not sure why you think WebI is limited.

True its intended audience is for end user reporting but that doesn't mean that in the hands of an experienced report writer that it can't be used for complex reports.

I have written some fairly complex reports in WebI.  I have translated complex reports from Crystal to WebI.

Both tools have their place in your reporting arsenal.  WebI is easier to use for the reports you indicate especially since Crystal is more free form.  However WebI allows you to use multiple independent queries more easily than Crystal.  It also can have multiple tabs.

Crystal really requires a trained developer since its power lies in the formulas and coding that is possible.  Crystal also generally requires a better understanding of the database.

I have found some reports easier to write in Crystal because you have more control over the execution of the formulas but I haven't found a report I can't do in WebI though sometimes it requires a tweak of the universe to provide the information I need or the use of multiple queries.


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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:

excellent, thanks for the helpful information,

So I wasn't so much saying WebI wasn't useful or couldn't be used for some complex things, I was just surprised to find out that Crystal Reports was not in our arsenal. Because we recently "punted" and told the director that "oh, sorry, we can't do that in XI".
Jim HornMicrosoft SQL Server Data DudeCommented:
>if you would expect an organization with complex reporting needs to not have Crystal Reports (or something similar).
I think this is the question here..

I wouldn't put a direct relationship between complex reporting and Crystal.
In my experience (some overlap with mlmcc) companies have software because
It's free, such as Access (with Office Professional) and SSRS (with SQL)
Using mlmcc's phrase, there was  once an excellent opera singer in {software}, so the company has {software}
The company purchased another company or product, and that software came with it.
Then put all the above together, and somebody estimated what it would take to rewrite/convert {software} into something better, and the price tag was never something the business could justify, so it never happened
{Software} is part of a third-party product the company uses, and rewriting it in other {software} would invalidate certain warranties / service agreements.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:

thanks for the insight, very helpful as well. So my initial question when I arrived was "Where are the complex reports?", because all I saw was simple list-based reports. I do now see some complex reports, but recently when we told the director, "sorry, that's too complex for WebI", I was like "there's got to be a way", and not having Crystal Reports landed me here.
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 250 points for mlmcc's comment #a40946003
Assisted answer: 250 points for jimhorn's comment #a40946169
Assisted answer: 0 points for gadsden_consulting's comment #a40946187

for the following reason:

great, good to hear from the experts, thanks !
In BO 3.1 Crystal was a separate tool so you had to purchase it separately.

In BO 4.x they have changed the licensing mechanism so it include 2 versions of Crystal.  Crystal Enterprise (works with the new UNX universes) and Crystal 2013 as a stand-alone version to deal with the older UNV universes and allows you to use tables and views in the database directly.

Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:

great, thanks again.
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
great, good to hear from the experts, thanks !
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