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Difference Between Crystal Reports and Business Objects

Crystal Reports vs Business Objects

Crystal Reports is a popular software application applied in business intelligence for designing and generating reports, pulling data from a wide range of sources. Crystal Reports is widely used by various software applications as the default reporting tool. Most popularly, it is bundled with the Visual Studio suite from Microsoft as an OEM variant, obviously with reseller rights. Crystal Reports is currently developed by Business Objects Company, a division of SAP, having originally been developed by Crystal Services Inc. and have undergone two acquisitions through the years, notably by Seagate Technology in 1994 and later by Business Objects in 2003.

Business Objects on the other hand is a portfolio of enterprise software dealing with business intelligence, and was originally started by the French company with the same name in the early 1990s. The first version of the enterprise software was the Business Objects Skipper SQL 2.0x, launched in 1990. Notably as a company, Business Objects was the first to specifically focus on enterprise-wide business intelligence deployments. Currently, as a business, Business Objects operates as a division of the SAP Company but not as a separate company.

Product Features and Versions

Current versions of both products have very identical tools in terms of functionality and there’s quite a bit of overlapping of features, given that both products are developed by divisions of the same company. Both have several tools for report design, development, visualization and publishing that allow for compelling report generation both by power and entry users alike. The tools not only offer report generation functionality but also business intelligence modeling and much more.

Some prominent Crystal Reports tools and features include advanced report publishing, NET report modification SDK, XML reporting, built-in barcode support functionality, enhanced web services data drivers, flash integration tools, interactive report viewing, multi-lingual reporting, dashboard design integration and adobe flex integration among others. A viewer control shipped with Crystal Reports allows users to preview reports on the desktop and a web viewer control tool. There are also tools that enable report access from Business Objects XI, as well as embedded reports.

Business objects (version XI) can be used to run reports locally off desktop applications without the need for a server based data source and this is one of its major strengths.

Crystal Reports as a product, was originally developed by Crystal Services Inc. while Business Objects was a product of the French Company Business Objects.
Business Objects was the first product to focus on enterprise wide BI deployments as Crystal Reports focused more on report design and publishing.
Crystal Reports has tools for accessing reports from the Business Objects XI software.

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