After reviewing a few more BI products, I have decided to focus my comparison of Crystal alternatives on true reporting tools rather than the broader category of BI tools. My guiding question is still this:
If I were to switch from Crystal Reports to another product, what features would I gain and what features would I lose?
I found that several of the leading BI tools provide primarily high level summary and/or visualization. They don’t have the ability to create the day-to-day operational forms (invoices, purchase orders, custom reports). I create these every day in Crystal Reports. So I have dropped some of the tentative columns in the original grid and replaced them with two more true reporting tools, Jasper Reports and Cognos Impromptu.
The two new columns have been started but are not completed yet. I was able to fill in the rows that describe each tool’s basic approach, but I don’t know all of the detailed features that each supports. If anyone has a working knowledge of these tools and is willing to fill in some of the feature rows, that would be a great help.