"Crystal Reports" is a Business Intelligence (BI) application used to create custom reports from a variety of data sources. The package includes the major features needed for a business to create an efficient reporting environment, such as global and secured data access, dynamic platform for report designing/formatting, report viewer, and application integration. This allows the application to be enterprise-wide, available to users, and to support data reporting from report creation to upload and execution. The main purpose of Crystal Reports is to allow users to pull their desired data from a data source, such as an Oracle or MS SQL Server database, and present the data in a repeatable and organized way. Crystal Reports provides you with a powerful, dynamic, and actionable reporting solution that helps you to design, explore, visualize, and deliver reports via the web or embedded in enterprise applications.
Values Proposed by Crystal Reports:
Powerful Report Designing: Report authors benefit from a complete set of layout and design controls to create highly formatted, interactive, and professional-looking reports. They can use the standalone designer or the design tool integrated within Microsoft Visual Studio without leaving the development environment. Designers also have complete control of the report layout as well as many formatting options to display their data how they see fit in a custom and uniform way. Custom parameters can also be used in the reports to filter data by allowing users to enter values or choose from a pick list, providing more flexibility.
Flexible Application Development: Crystal Reports can also integrate the data from multiple databases so users are not constricted to using one data source or one database or database type (MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL Server, etc) in a report. Developers can leverage cross-platform support for both .NET and Java. HTML is generated directly by Crystal Reports, allowing developers to focus on application business logic, rather than tedious, time-intensive hand coding. Separation of application development and report design tasks allow developers to focus on application development, while the report authors can focus on report design. This provides flexibility, as many companies store their data in different places and on different systems.
Efficient Report Management and Delivery: Reports are previewed in HTML and published to the web for easy and controlled sharing- allowing for better business decisions at all levels of the organization. Reports can also be exported and repurposed in the most popular formats, such as PDF, Excel (.xls/.xlsx), and RTF. The IT group can centralize the management of operational reporting, while distributing the report authoring function to the lines of business.
Crystal Reports has two key sets of components:
Report design components.
Report execution components.
The following diagram presents an example, at a high level, the components of Crystal Reports.
Crystal Report’s flexibility and features have enabled business to navigate processes efficiently and successfully transform the data into information that our users can access. A reliable reporting system is critical for utilizing and presenting the data that you store and Crystal Reports has everything that you need.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org and https://www.sap.com