[thelist] Creating Online Reports - suggested tools

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Wed Dec 11 08:30:01 CST 2002

Hi Gary,

I use Brio pretty extensively.  It has some quirks - but it's a pretty
good online reporting tool. It lets you build reports that are pretty
close to 'applications' by allowing extensive use of a proprietary
implementation of JS.  Because it makes use of a browser plug-in it
will also let you return a greater sheer volume of data to a user than
some other methods. [e.g. Using ASP you can return what? A couple thousand
table rows to an IE user before it 'breaks'?  With Brio I can return
several hundred thousand records. {Yeah - I know - whether that's of value
to the user is another discussion.  ;-)  }]

Business Objects is fairly popular as well.  I haven't used it very much.
So far I haven't seen any examples of fancy 'scripting' cabailities - I
don't know if it can do that or not.

I haven't used Crystal Reports for over 2 years now.  2.5 years ago I
would have said it was the worst piece of worthless crap masquerading
as software it had ever been my misfortune to use. (I had pretty strong
feelings about it - can ya tell?) ;-)  It may have been a bug in that
version. It may have been a poor installation at that company. I dunno.
I do know that reports built in Crystal were 'unstable' once the table
join became 'too complex'.  There didn't seem to be a set pattern for
when you crossed that 'complexity' threshold ... but you knew when you
crossed it.  Here's what happens ... you are working on developing a new
report ... you run your test report - it returns 500 records.  You make
no changes, you just run it again - it returns 4,675 records.  You make
no changes, you just run it again - it returns 4 records.  *&^*^&^* !!
Try to debug a report in that environment!  I ended up using it to dump
Oracle tables to disk where I would load them into dBase III+ and run
my reports in R&R --- because that was 'stable'. It's most likely a
better product now -- but it *really* sucked when I was trying to use it.



-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Swanson [mailto:gswanson at daystarinc.com]

I was wondering what, if any, online report tools people would suggest.
These could be either ones site developers use, or the client themselves
use.  Also any thoughts on how well Crystal Reports works.

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