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Crystal Reports VS straight SQL/ASP

Advice needed…. I have been maintaining and completing continued development on a proprietary database built using ‘.ASP’ and SQL. A new company assisting in the marketing of this database has suggested using Crystal Reports instead of writing reports directly in SQL. I’m not certain a see a real benefit to doing this if you know how to write the code yourself. The only thing I really noticed in my research on Crystal Reports is that it seems to simplify the use of charts versus text reports. Is there anyone that has worked with both methods that has an opinion on Crystal Reports vs straight SQL/ASP? Thanks!
I’m no expert in Crystal Reports by any stretch of the imagination but I absolutely DETEST their way of generating the SQL Query. I dislike (with a passion) the fact that I can’t alter the actual command that would be coming out of Crystal to make changes that are needed on occasion. I much prefer ACCESS for designing the actual Query because at least (as pathetic as it is in many respects) it says "Oh you’re an expert … go ahead and create the pass-thru query and I’ll just execute it for you." Crystal forces you to use what they offer and forces you to live with their limitations. I’ve found a happy medium with Crystal in that I can just create VIEWS that have complicated queries that are easier for more to just type up, then I have Crystal use the VIEW for the report instead of hitting the underlying tables. Not sure if something like that might help you or not. Just my opinion,
If you’re going to do real reporting you’ll need something other than just text output. It works fine for me, but I’m a dba and don’t want/need to code robust visual solutions for myself. That said, I have had experience running CE and I would not want to ever do it again. Thier product does not scale well, costs insane amounts to purchase and maintain and is in general a poor reporting platform all around. Since you’re running SQL Server you could take advantage of Reporting Services and not use CE….
i do not use CR myself, but in diagnosing performance problems on other peoples servers, CR queries come up often. if this is an important server, ie, one where a poorly written query might impact your company’s business,
consider writing your report queries yourself, and check the execution plan carefully,
do not let some third party automatically generate it for you,
unless it was your intent to shut down the server
I have extensive experience with both Crystal Reports and SQL Server. If you are planning to do reports in volumne (and especially if they’re complex), Crystal Reports is worth the effort in setting up. The BEST way to use Crystal Reports with SQL Server is to write Stored Procedures with parameters. ASP is great to use if it’s doing the job and not taking too much of your time.