Crystal Reports 2008 is a dynamic Enterprise Reporting tool. The reports can be scheduled, shared and viewed within SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. Its powerful chart engine helps the user visualize and explore corporate data and drill down through data hierarchies.
It is also possible to embed several other reports (sub reports) within a single Crystal Report or to fire off a sub report on demand when required. In this way a lot of information can be stored within a single report. Crystal Xcelsius Dashboards can also be embedded and called from within a Crystal Report on demand.
Crystal Reports has a very powerful formula editor which allows the use of coding with the Basic language. It is also excellent for printing presentation documents with its pixel perfect print engine. Crystal Reports can also connect to numerous data sources including SAP BusinessObjects universes and SAP R3.
However this tool is not an ad hoc tool like Web Intelligence or Voyager and it is not recommended that a user attempts to drag and drop fields in an ad hoc way. It requires some technical skill to develop with it beyond a simple report. That said, for Enterprise Reporting with large and complex reports it is a powerful workhorse. It utilises a cache server and provides page on demand functionality. For example if a report runs to 300 pages and the user requires page 197, then Crystal can serve up that single page without having to download the whole document.