What Crystal Reports product(s) do you need?

Saturday 27 November 2021 @ 8:43 pm

I recently helped a new user who wanted to purchase Crystal Reports, but wasn’t sure what product(s) to buy. He had read about a server component, a ‘developer’ component and a viewer, but wasn’t sure what the names were or which he needed. The SAP website didn’t clear things up for him.

“I saw an architecture diagram that broke it into tiers, but that did not help.”

This isn’t the first time I have had this type of question, and I thought my response might help other users.

There are three levels in the Crystal product line (four if you count the Business Objects Enterprise level) but most users only need one, SAP Crystal Reports. That is all I use. Here is the main product page. This is often called the Report Designer or the Developer, but the official name is SAP Crystal Reports. It is the only product that lets you create a Crystal Report.

You can currently buy 2 different editions:

2016 (32-bit)
2020 (64-bit)

If you get a free trial from the product page I think you will get 2020, but if you buy it you can choose either edition. I currently use 2016 because the 64-bit product is relatively new. I also use lots of third party tools that aren’t ready to jump to 64-bit and I don’t want to leave them behind.

The other products are Crystal Server and SAP Crystal Reports Viewer. Crystal server is a web portal that lets people run the reports from their browser. But, you still have to create them in Crystal Reports and then publish them to the portal.  This product can get quite expensive.

The Crystal Reports Viewer is free but is pretty much useless in my opinion. It lets you open reports, but only those that are saved with data. You can’t refresh reports unless you are logged into CR Server.  There are plenty of inexpensive third-party viewers out there so not many of my customers bother with the SAP Viewer. Here is a list of the ones I review each year.

If you have any questions about the Crystal Reports product line, let me know and I will try to help.









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Jeff-Net
Recrystallize Pro

Crystal Reports Server