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WebFocus versus Crystal Reports

WebFocus versus Crystal Reports

WebFocus versus Crystal Reports

We're attempting to make a decision for our web reporting solutions between WebFocus and Crystal Reports.  Would anyone have comments comparing the two products who has had experience with both of them?  How do they compare in terms of ease of usage, performance, learning curve, ability to complete the task, tasks you haven't been able to complete, and likes and dislikes.  We have some simple reports, and some complex, using subqueries, and at times, requiring 10 joins or more, nested reports, using SQL or the scripting language with the product.  We will need to distribute some of the reports via the web or email.  We'd appreciate your comments.

RE: WebFocus versus Crystal Reports

Our department (and whole company with 75,000+ employees) was and is evaluating Focus (WebFocus) vs. Crystal and though I don't have statistics in front of me, I can relate my experiences to you as a developer who was tasked with administrating Crystal and developing in Focus. We had Focus already. We stuck with Focus and continue to this day. Focus is far more "robust" (if I can use that worn-out buzz-word) - it can crunch complex code far better than Crystal, but be fore-warned. Focus can do simply tasks, but it takes some programming know-how to run programs efficiently. Cystal is pure point-and-click designed solely for the end-user. Focus was designed for the end user too, but it can do so much more.

Here is a story to help illustrate: The mananger of a team I use to be on, got the bright idea that all the Focus reports should be converted to COBOL. Keep in mind, it takes about a third of the code and even less time to develop a program in Focus than COBOL. One programmer worked on converting a Focus program and it took him 9 months and when I left that team, the COBOL program still wasn't spitting out the right numbers. And this COBOL programmer was very good - a former contractor with 20+ years of experience; one of the best I've been around.

So if you want to do simple, little reports with small amounts of records, use Crystal. BUT, if you want to do that AND more complex reports, use Focus.

I am currently the sole IT support for a WebFocus system. Even though it was implemented before I arrived, Crystal was evaluated along side with WebFocus. WebFocus won out, hands down. I can tell you, from my exposure to Crystal (admittedly, it is not as much as my exposure to Focus), that Crystal doesn't have the capabilities to do what we do in WebFocus. It is not very fexible and powerful enough. Go with WebFocus and let me know what you think.

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