You use Crystal Reports to create, change and run reports. But what if you have a user who doesn’t need to create reports or even change them. This user just wants to refresh the reports and view/print/export the results. Does he need another copy of Crystal Reports? Do you need to configure an expensive web server?
The most cost effective method for letting users run reports on demand is to install a third-party client-based viewer. And I am amazed at how many Crystal Reports users are completely unaware that these are available, despite the fact that they are offered by a dozen different vendors. Some users the “Viewer” that is put out by SAP and get discouraged because it won’t allow refresh. But every third party viewer I know of allows you to refresh the data.
So every September I review the different viewers available and update a fixed page on my blog site. This year there are 9 vendors in the review. The fixed page provides a brief introduction to each product including what sets it apart. I have also created a detailed feature matrix (PDF) that shows some of the specifics for comparison like prices and the install base. There is even a glossary of features in case you aren’t familiar with the terminology. The tools being compared are:
Crystal Corral by Groff Automation
cView by Chelsea Technologies
ViewerFX by Origin Software
RV by Climate 27
Report Runner Viewer by Jeff-Net
Logicity Pro by SaberLogic
Easy View by Easy Street Software
RTag Report Viewer by RTag
DataLink Viewer by Millet SW
If you have already tried one of these products, or are currently using one, I would love to get your feedback.