Crystal Reports vs SQL Reporting Services

Hi all! May I ask which is better to use: Crystal Reports or SQL Reporting Services? Thanks to all.
12/29/2005 12:43:20 AM 7043 articles. 0 followers. Follow

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What are your reporting needs?  This will likely dictate one solution over another moreso than anybody's personal recommendations.

My personal experience with Crystal (9.x and below) is that you'll be struggling for a while to get reporting that even works (especially web-based reporting).  Reporting Services, on the other hand, has always just worked for me.  But, there are certainly limitations with both products.

So, my personal preferences are in the following order.  When I come across a business need that prevents the use of one product, I consider the next one in the list:

1. Reporting Services

2. ActiveReports

3. Crystal Reports

4. Custom coding

A View Inside My Head
12/29/2005 7:52:31 PM

Thanks Jason, Im currently working on a web application system using ASP.Net and I'm using the Crystal Reports that are bundled with Visual Studio .Net. But our company are planning to switch to Reporting Services, that's why Im trying to figure out which is better. Can anyone tell me both products strong points and advantages (besides the info in the  product documentation). Thanks a lot and Happy New Year to All!


12/30/2005 12:40:09 AM

There is another option: LogiXML (  When our company was seeking a .NET WEB reporting solution to round out our customer-centric business software we looked at Crystal, SQL Reporting Services, Excel, Access, various third party components and..... nearly.....developed our own. 

Each product definately had its pros and cons but we selected LogiXML for many reasons.  High on our list was ease of use for our programmers yes, but more importantly, our customers.  We could not believe how quickly, effectively and easily we could get reports running off our application and our customer's have a high degree of flexibility to analysis the data from reports we have built.  Seemed like a win/win to us. 

Considering our application is pure .NET and LogiXML the same it was a simple decision.  Our programmers were given the final say and they agreed that LogiXML was the smart choice for us.

Since then we have been thrilled by the level of service as we are more than just another number in a support queue when we have questions!  Which doesn't happen often as its a very intuitive product offering. 


1/4/2006 1:26:02 AM

There's a decent comparison of the two at

Something else to consider are the licensing/deployment scenarios.  CR .NET isn't designed to be installed on a shared host.  Reporting Services is technically a component of SQL Server, and must be installed on the same box as SQL Server (this includes installing IIS on the same machine, a concept which makes many network admins cry).  If you want to install SSRS on a different machine, you'll need an additional SQL Server license, even if you don't install SQL Server on that machine.

If my post is your answer, please mark it as the answer. It will bring good karma.

Crystal Alliance
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1/4/2006 2:19:37 PM

Practically speaking, with MSRS or any other reporting software, I was not able to install SQL Server and the reporting server on the same box: 

Both will compete against processor power and even worse SQL Server is taking memory very aggressively.  I am working with SQL Server 2000 and it doesn't release the memory even after the query is finished and data is returned.  Most of the time memory is the #1 factor for speed so it isn't recommended to limit the memory for neither SQL Server nor IIS/MSRS.  The last but not the least is about security.  It isn't a good idea to use a shared box if you are planning to use the box as a web server available to outside.

1/4/2006 4:05:24 PM

For production scenarios, my recommendation is to have reporting services on its own machine.  This does require an additional SQL Server license, so I also install SQL on that machine (though that is not absolutely required--the license can be paper-only), but use it only for the catalog. 

Reporting Services is then able to pull data from any datasource, be that another SQL Server, Oracle, Informix, or anything else that you can connect to (using ODBC, OLEDB, etc).

A View Inside My Head
1/4/2006 5:04:46 PM

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