Crystal Decisions release new reporting solution

Crystal Decisions Inc. unveiled the newest version of its reporting solution Monday designed for use in Java and .Net development environments to provide tight integration of reporting into enterprise Web applications.

Crystal Reports 9 delivers reports to wireless devices and portals while providing dynamic end-user access, interaction, and modification, according to company officials. New features include a Report Application Server designed to allow Web developers to tightly integrate reporting into enterprise Web applications to allow end-users to view, interact with, and modify at run time without increasing overhead, said Tony Wind, CTO of Crystal Decisions in Palo Alto, Calif.

"You can create an ad hoc application ... and then talk to our middle tier report application Web server and create that object on the fly," Wind said.

Another new feature is designed to allow developers to integrate parts of report content into business workflow so end-users can access information via wireless devices, portal,s and Microsoft Office documents, Wind added.

"They actually can ... take any object in a report like a chart or a grid of data or a map ... and they can just seamlessly put that in their Web page and write text around it," he said.

With the new release, developers can share and reuse existing reporting components across multiple reports for single-point updating and more productive report development and integration. Developers also can incorporate Crystal Reports to Crystal Enterprise for the delivery of information in a highly scalable environment with inherent system manageability, scheduling, and security, Wind added.

The new features in Crystal Reports 9 will improve enterprise data access and analysis processes, said Dan Vesset, an analyst with IDC. The ability to easily integrate reporting into enterprise Web applications, combined with ease-of-use capabilities for end-user report interaction and modification, will help free up developers' time and increase overall productivity, Vesset added.

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