Hey, you are not alone on this one. If someone decides to use a vendor for their reporting needs, try Windward Reports.
The nice part about them is that the integration of their engine and the design of a template is really easy. And you don't need a special skill set to use them (yeah being able to use crystal reports is on job descriptions and resumes).
If you know Microsoft Office then you know how to create reports. Their software lets end users use tags and drag and drop to format the template on the go. This really helps eliminate the back and forth between devs and end users.
Anyways, Windward offers two weeks free trial, so if you guys want just give them a try.
Great article. You mention source control, since the report files (*.rpt) are binaries what source control do you use? We have been using Subversion but the company has just moved to Git and Git doesn't play well with binaries ie merging
We use TFS for all of our source control, including binaries. I'm not overly familiar with SVN and Git, but I've heard of the difficulties w/ merging. You can also use SkyDrive/DropBox as well, e.g. your repo is in your SkyDrive acct, fork it to local drive, and your commits are essentially just replacing the existing files w/ the new ones.
Yea another area that frustrates me to no end is when I have to optimize a query someone built using a query builder. I'll hear someone complain that SQL should never have to be written in a text editor, then they'll come to me with some garbage statement that's killing the server that they can't get optimized. I take it and either make it work or re-write it. Oh well, it's a paycheck.
Though it hasn't been necessary for me to wear the CR hairshirt for a few (glorious) years, I feel your pain and appreciate your insight. I never got over the nagging feeling that the designer was a collective of parts (I hesitate to call them modules) that didn't want to work together - like conjoined twins with independent limb syndrome. Thanks for sharing your hard-won experience.
Thanks! I completely agree with the designer comment; it feels fragmented at best. I first started in CR before I was a dev, so I had no idea about sites like CP, so aside from one book I purchased, it's been lots of trial and error to come to some best practices (at least my version of them, anyway ). Congrats to your hopefully extended sabbatical from the CR world.
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 26-Sep-16 18:43