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A Comparison of Enterprise Reporting Tools

Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence

Adam Getz
Practice Manager, Business Intelligence
DCS Consulting, Inc.
DCS Consulting - Corporate Overview

About DCS Consulting:


DCS Consulting is a Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing (BI/DW)
professional services firm specializing in providing highly experienced
consultants.
Located in Washington DC Area.
SAP Business Objects Extended Business Partner.
Our customers range from DOD and Federal Civilian clients to Health
Care, Financial Services, Consumer Goods, & Energy.
Technology Expertise:
SAP Business Objects
Visual Cue
DOMO
CGI Momentum Financials

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA 22079 | P: 703-863-7202 | info@dcsfederal.com | www.dcsfederal.com
What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is focused on reporting and analysis of data residing in either enterprise data
warehouses (EDW) and/or data marts.

Operational Reports
Displays data with rich presentation and within a
structured layout (i.e. rows and columns). Crystal Reports
Primary Tool: Crystal Reports

Query and Analysis


Interactive methods to query data, present data in an ad-
hoc manner, and to find information on an as-needed
basis.
Web Intelligence
Primary Tools: Web Intelligence

Dashboard Management
Graphical interfaces and real-time methods to provide
guided analysis and to intuitively monitor organizational
metrics.
Primary Tool: Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius)
Dashboards
(formerly Xcelsius)

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Crystal Reports vs Web Intelligence (WebI)

 Crystal Reports can access data directly from a data source or through a Universe

 Web Intelligence must access data through a Universe

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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Crystal Reports

When to Use Crystal Reports?

 Ideal Tool for:


Complex, highly-formatted report design
Creating canned report templates
High volume report distribution (publications)
Tight web / application / portal integration
Offline/online report viewing

 Less than Ideal for:


Out-of-the-box web-based report design
Ad-hoc query & analysis
Self-service reporting

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA 22079 | P: 703-863-7202 | info@dcsfederal.com | www.dcsfederal.com
Web Intelligence (WebI)

When to Use Web Intelligence?

 Ideal Tool for:


Web-based report design
Ad-hoc query & analysis
Offline/online report viewing
Answers unpredictable questions
Providing access to novice/casual users

 Less than Ideal for:


Highly-formatted reports
High volume report distribution (publications)
Tight web / application / portal integration

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA 22079 | P: 703-863-7202 | info@dcsfederal.com | www.dcsfederal.com
Crystal Reports

Crystal Reports
Crystal Reports: Operational Reporting Tool Designer

 Perfect solution for canned or published reports

 Create high-fidelity, pixel-perfect reports

 Access almost any data source

 End users view, print, and export reports

 Multiple deployment options:


Crystal Reports Designer: Client developer tool (Most Common)

Crystal Report Server: Web-based environment for organization-wide use

Crystal Reports
Preview

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Crystal Reports - Features

Intuitive Report Development Template Expert

 Report Templates

 Design Wizards

 Experts
Formatting
Grouping / Sorting
Section Group Sort Expert

Data Access

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Crystal Reports - Features

Numerous Methods for


Report Viewing and Interaction

 Advanced / Hierarchical Grouping

 Running Totals Hierarchical Grouping

 Parameters

 Alerting

 Guided Navigation

 Sorting Controls

 Hyperlinks

 Drill-Downs

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Crystal Reports - Features

Data Access to Most Common Data Sources

 Relational Databases
Oracle IBM DB2
Sybase MS SQL Server
MySQL MS Access
Informix

 Common Business Applications


ACT! Salesforce.com

 Spreadsheets
MS Excel Lotus 1-2-3

 Groupware / Email
Exchange Lotus Notes

 Text files, XML files, and OS Event Logs


 ODBC, OLE DB, and JDBC Sources
 Web Services
 Business Objects Universes and Repositories

In addition report authors can write their own SQL commands. Crystal Reports provides a long
list of available data sources

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Crystal Reports Developer Features

Powerful Formula Language and Custom Code Environment

 Crystal or Basic syntax (very similar to Visual Basic)

 240 Functions that Control


Calculations: Median, Mode,
Standard Deviation, etc.

Reporting Formatting

Complex Logic

 Custom Functions

 Formula Expert

Through Code, Developers can Program


Developers can Control Using Either Basic or
Formatting, Selection, Crystal Syntax
Calculations, and Logic

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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Crystal Reports - Features

Advanced Programming Capabilities

 Interface Solution Deployment Kits (SDKs):


J2EE .Net COM

 Integration of Reports
Web Applications Client / Server Apps
Portals

 Embedded Reporting Components

 Custom Add-ins
Create custom add-in modules Develop and Integrate Custom Add-Ins
Shows up under Add-ins menu in Crystal Reports Advanced Charting
Implement custom workflows Report Distribution
Web Publishing
 User Function Libraries (UFL) Version Control
Extend function library of Crystal Reports Custom Workflow
Call external executable (exes) from inside the report

Integrated Development Environments (IDE)


MS Visual Studio BEA WebLogic Workshop
Borland JBuilder Borland C# Builder

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Web Intelligence (WebI)

WebI: Web-Based Query & Analysis Web URL

 No Client Installation Necessary for WebI

 Leveraged through Internet Browser

 Users ask business questions New Web Intelligence


Document

 Users develop reports / charts / ad-hoc queries

 Ability to drill-down, drill-up, drill-through

 Filter and prompt data

 Intuitive to end-users

 Data source must be a Universe!

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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Web Intelligence - Rich Client

WEBI Rich Client: Off-line Query & Analysis WebI Rich Client
Full Client Installation
Off-line Logon

 Same Functionality as Web Intelligence


Users develop reports / charts / queries
Users ask business questions of data
Ability to drill-down, drill-up, drill-through
Filter and prompt data
Same
Intuitive to end-users
Reporting
Interface as
 Client Installation on Desktop WEBI
Installed from Infoview Portal

 Off-line Access of Data

 Access to Universes and Excel Files

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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BusinessObjects Universe

Universe: Semantic Middleware Layer / Metadata

 Business Representation of a Database


Resides between a database and reports/queries
Provides an interface to create ad-hoc queries

 Foundation of Web Intelligence (WebI) Reports

 Optional Data Source for Crystal Reports

Universe -
Translates
Databases into
Business Terms

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WebIntelligence - Designer

Self Service Reporting Ad Hoc Query Creation

 Generates Answers to Business Questions

 Ideal for Business Users and Analysts Run Query to


View Results
 Intuitive Drag & Drop Interface

Web Intelligence Designer


Drag & Drop Data Fields and
Filters to Document

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WebIntelligence - Features

Highly-Interactive Charts and Data

 Convert Data into Charts and Graphs


 View Data Graphically or in a Table

Data Displayed in a Chart

Data Displayed in a Table

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WebIntelligence - Features

Drilling Results

 Analyze the Detailed Data behind the Displayed Results


 Performing On-Report Analysis
 Types of Drilling
Drill-Down
Drill-Up
Drill-Through

Drill Results to a Lower


Level of Detail

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA 22079 | P: 703-863-7202 | info@dcsfederal.com | www.dcsfederal.com
WebIntelligence - Features

Drilling Results

 Analyze the Detailed Data behind the Displayed Results


 Performing On-Report Analysis
 Types of Drilling
Drill-Down
Drill-Up
Drill-Through

Drill Results to a Lower


Level of Detail

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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Crystal vs. WebI Product Comparison

Business Objects
Crystal Reports
Web Intelligence

Primary Function Operational Reporting Query & Analysis

Report Author IT, Developer Business User, Data Analyst

Report Consumer Information Consumers Information Analysts

Web-Based
Report Design Tool Wim32 Desktop Client
Desktop Rich Client

Formatting Precise, Pixel Perfect Formatting Basic Formatting

Direct to Data Source


Data Access Universe Only
Universe

Operational reporting
Ad-hoc query & analysis
Pre-built report templates
Typical Use(s) Self-serve reporting
High-volume publishing
Unpredictable questions
Predictable questions

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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Questions

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA 22079 | P: 703-863-7202 | info@dcsfederal.com | www.dcsfederal.com
DCS Consulting - Contact Us

DCS Consulting, Inc.


9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA 22079
703-966-5831
Adam Getz
adam.getz@dcsfederal.com
WWW.DCSFEDERAL.COM

Check out www.bi-insider.com

DCS Consulting, Inc.


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