Crystal Decisions

http://www.crystaldecisions.com

Crystal Decisions is a growing Canadian company that has been around for over 10 years. They provide various reporting solutions.

A growing portion of my time at work has been spent learning the Crystal Decisions products inside out. I have been focusing on Crystal Reports (for designing the actual reports) and Crystal Enterprise (for delivering reports to the Enterprise). CE is a web-based system where it's a breeze to schedule and deliver reports (e.g. every morning at 6:00am calculate the sales per region for the previous day and email it in PDF format to the sales team). As well, it's very easy to set up sophisticated filtering security rules, not only at the report level but also at the row/column level... so that the same report can be run only once, but different people get to see different pieces of the data. Another nice part is that the source code is available for the web-based interface (ePortfolio). Unfortunately it's written in CSP which is basically ASP with Crystal's modifications. Not my favorite language (Perl), but at least the code base is very clean and well organized. CSP supports either VB Script (the default) or JavaScript, both on the server side. First time I've seen JavaScript used on the server like that. Kind of interesting... can you imagine server side JS generating client side JS that generates client side HTML that...

Crystal also organizes Crystal Decisions User Group meetings, which are hosted by some of the major clients. A pretty big eye opener, to see representives from big $2 billion companies show how they are rolling out Crystal Reporting.

The other major part of Crystal's offerings is are their analytical solutions, for doing AnalyticalProcessing ? and OLAP Cubes ?. Interesting stuff.

--Wim


Update: they recently got bought out by Business Objects, so the above link will redirect you to http://www.businessobjects.com



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