Crystal Reports 2008 displaying a sample report
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Terry Cunningham and the Cunningham Group originated the software in 1991. Crystal Services Inc. marketed the product (originally called "Quick Reports") when they couldn't find a suitable commercial report writer for their accounting software. After producing versions 1.0 through 3.0, Crystal Services was acquired in 1994 by Seagate Technology. Crystal Services was combined with Holistic Systems to form the Information Management Group of Seagate Software, which later rebranded as Crystal Decisions and produced versions 4.0 through 9.0. Crystal Decisions was acquired in December 2003 by Business Objects, which produced versions 10, 11 (XI) and version 12 (2008). SAP acquired Business Objects on October 8, 2007 and released Crystal Reports 2011 (version 14) on May 3, 2011.
Several other applications, including Microsoft Visual Studio versions 2003 through 2008, at one time bundled an OEM version of Crystal Reports as a general purpose reporting tool. Microsoft discontinued this practice and later released their own competitive reporting tool, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).[verification needed] Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 is still available as add-on software.
Crystal Reports allows users to graphically design data connection(s) and report layout. In the Database Expert, users can select and link tables from a wide variety of data sources, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Oracle databases, Microsoft SQL Server databases, Microsoft Access databases, Business Objects Enterprise business views, and local file system information. Fields from these tables can be placed on the report design surface, and can also be used in custom formulas, using either BASIC or Crystal's own syntax, which are then placed on the design surface. Formulas can be evaluated at several phases during report generation as specified by the developer.
Both fields and formulas have a wide array of formatting options available, which can be applied absolutely or conditionally. The data can be grouped into bands, each of which can be split further and conditionally suppressed as needed. Crystal Reports also supports subreports, graphing, and a limited amount of GIS functionality.
Supported data sources
- Databases such as PostgreSQL, Sybase, IBM DB2, Ingres, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Interbase, Btrieve and Oracle
- Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel
- Text files
- XML Files
- Groupware applications as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise
- SAP: BW, Info Sets, Tables, and Business Objects Universes
Crystal Reports came integrated with Visual Studio versions prior to 2010. Crystal Reports competes with several products in the Microsoft market, such as SQL Server Reporting Services, XtraReports, ActiveReports and List & Label. Crystal Reports is also accessible outside of the Microsoft market, for instance allowing Java developers to build applications with Crystal Reports components.
- Crystal Reports official site
- "Meet the Team". Retrieved 2012-10-11. "That's what initially motivated his family business, The Cunningham Group, and his brother Terry to begin building [...] Crystal Reports in 1991."
- "Crystal Reports links dBASE and Paradox data". Data Based Advisor. September 1, 1992. Retrieved 2009-07-09. "Crystal Services says that they will address both the installation problem and the documentation omission in the new version. [...] Crystal Reports is being marketed by them and Borland International [...]"
- "Seagate to acquire Crystal Services". San Jose Mercury News. 1994-05-11. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- Peck, George (2008). Crystal Reports 2008: The Complete Reference. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 566. ISBN 978-0-07-159098-3. Retrieved 2009-07-09. "Not only was Crystal Reports bundled with earlier versions of Visual Basic..., but every Professional or higher version of VS.NET, up to and including Visual Studio 2008, includes an option to install Crystal Reports as well...."
- "Support for Crystal Reports for Visual Studio".
- G. Taylor, Allen (June 3, 2008). Crystal Reports 2008 For Dummies (1st ed.). For Dummies. p. 396. ISBN 0-470-29077-3.
- Peck, George (June 19, 2008). Crystal Reports 2008: The Complete Reference (1st ed.). McGraw-Hill Osborne Media. p. 968. ISBN 0-07-159098-6.
- McCoy, Cate; Maric, Gord (2002). Mastering Crystal Reports 9 (1st ed.). Sybex. p. 639. ISBN 0-7821-4173-0.
- Crystal Reports official site
- Crystal Reports official community site
- 3rd-party software tools for Crystal Reports
- Crystal Reports for Visual Studio, information and free download at SAP