Comment of the week - Sql Server Reporting Services vs. Crystal
A while ago, I posted this about how much a55 I think Crystal Reports sucks. A long time ago, back at like v.7, I thought Crystal was a decent product. And to be honest, it still is a decent product. But it comes with a lot of baggage and has a lot that just makes it lame. So I had almost total consenus on the Crystal Reports w/ .NET sucks side, I think there are two people that disagree. Ignoring the fact that SSRS is very new product and Crystal has been around forever, I think side by side it's a slam dunk. But one big mouth said this: (NOTE: I'm only posting a comment that was publicly posted on my site. So hopefully the guy won't be a cry baby about it and throw a temper tantrum over it)
"Either you guys are idiots or you have never used Crystal and don't realize the minimal functionality that SQL Reporting Services offers. I have spent the last week evaluating SSRS and am greatly dissapointed. I came up with a list of over 250 items that SSRS could not do. As for all you Access reporters, your probably the only people to ever purchase Microsoft's "Bob" product. "
So the guy claims to know enough about Crystal to have cataloged over 250 features that SSRS doesn't have. That means that including the features he'll admit it does have, he knows way more than 250 features. I think that would qualify you as a fairly advanced Crystal user if you'll pardon the oxymoron. And he spent one week with SSRS. And the only conclusion he can draw is that SSRS is definitely lacking those features and that it couldn't possibly be that he just doesn't know how to use them, right? And far be it from me to say anything positive about Access, but come on, being a hard core Crystal user still means you're the report ***, and that gives you credentials to snob no one. Certainly not Access developers and certainly not Bob users. Is he really claiming Bob was lame but Crystal Reports isn't? Pulllleeezz. But if you read the context of the comments, the people were pointing out that Access, as lame as it is, provides more effective funcionality. The fact this can even be debated speaks volumes don't you think? Is Access supposed to be first and foremost a report writer? Last time I looked it's main purpose was as a relational database (more precisely, a database that anyone can build with, that causes major headaches for the people that will inevitably be brought in to clean up the mess it made) not a report writer. Reports are one of its features but one would certainly expect that a mature product who's sole purpose is report writing ought to be a little better than a RDBMS product with reports added in.
So I offered a challenge, I asked him to post just 20 of his 250 features that CR can do that SSRS can't. I'll see if they really can't be done and post the results. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it. If he's wrong I'll point out what an a33hat he is. I actually believe there are probably 20 or so features missing, but certainly not major ones. Even assuming there were really 250 features missing, how many times do you need 250 features for a report? Typically you need Grouping, Subreporting, charts/graphs, conditional formatting, functions and the like. He didn't comment as to his evaluation of how each stacked up there - for reasons that are obvious. Anyway, I believe his 250+ number about as much as I believe in the easter bunny so although *someone* could probably post 20 things lacking, I doubt he can. One of us is very wrong here and hopefully it's not me. We'll have to wait and see.