A Comparison of Enterprise Reporting Tools

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1 A Comparison of Enterprise Reporting Tools Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence Adam Getz Practice Manager, Business Intelligence

2 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 Page: 2

3 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). Primary Tool: Crystal Reports Crystal Reports Query and Analysis Interactive methods to query data, present data in an adhoc manner, and to find information on an as-needed basis. Primary Tools: Web Intelligence 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) Page: 3

4 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 Page: 4

5 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 Page: 5

6 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 Page: 6

7 Crystal Reports Crystal Reports: Operational Reporting Tool Crystal Reports 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 Page: 7

8 Crystal Reports - Features Intuitive Report Development Template Expert Report Templates Design Wizards Experts Formatting Grouping / Sorting Section Data Access Group Sort Expert Page: 8

9 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 Page: 9

10 Crystal Reports - Features Data Access to Most Common Data Sources Relational Databases Oracle Sybase MySQL Informix IBM DB2 MS SQL Server MS Access Common Business Applications ACT! Spreadsheets Salesforce.com MS Excel Lotus Groupware / 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 Page: 10

11 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 Control Formatting, Selection, Calculations, and Logic Developers can Program Using Either Basic or Crystal Syntax Page: 11

12 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 Shows up under Add-ins menu in Crystal Reports Implement custom workflows User Function Libraries (UFL) Extend function library of Crystal Reports Call external executable (exe s) from inside the report Develop and Integrate Custom Add-Ins Advanced Charting Report Distribution Web Publishing Version Control Custom Workflow Integrated Development Environments (IDE) MS Visual Studio BEA WebLogic Workshop Borland JBuilder Borland C# Builder Page: 12

13 Web Intelligence (WebI) WebI: Web-Based Query & Analysis Web URL No Client Installation Necessary for WebI Leveraged through Internet Browser Users ask business questions Users develop reports / charts / ad-hoc queries New Web Intelligence Document Ability to drill-down, drill-up, drill-through Filter and prompt data Intuitive to end-users Data source must be a Universe! Page: 13

14 Web Intelligence - Rich Client 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 Intuitive to end-users Client Installation on Desktop WEBI Rich Client: Off-line Query & Analysis WebI Rich Client Full Client Installation Off-line Logon Installed from Infoview Portal Off-line Access of Data Access to Universes and Excel Files Same Reporting Interface as WEBI Page: 14

15 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 Page: 15

16 WebIntelligence- Designer Self Service Reporting Ad Hoc Query Creation Generates Answers to Business Questions Ideal for Business Users and Analysts Intuitive Drag & Drop Interface Run Query to View Results Web Intelligence Designer Drag & Drop Data Fields and Filters to Document Page: 16

17 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 Page: 17

18 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 Page: 18

19 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 Page: 19

20 Crystal vs. WebI Product Comparison Crystal Reports Business Objects Web Intelligence Primary Function Operational Reporting Query & Analysis Report Author IT, Developer Business User, Data Analyst Report Consumer Information Consumers Information Analysts Report Design Tool Wim32 Desktop Client Web-Based Desktop Rich Client Formatting Precise, Pixel Perfect Formatting Basic Formatting Data Access Direct to Data Source Universe Universe Only Typical Use(s) Operational reporting Pre-built report templates High-volume publishing Predictable questions Ad-hoc query & analysis Self-serve reporting Unpredictable questions Page: 20

21 Questions Page: 21

22 DCS Consulting - Contact Us 9048 John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA Adam Getz Check out John Sutherland Lane, Lorton, VA P: Page: 22

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