With the release of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 there are two versions of SAP Crystal Reports available:
- SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and
- SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise
The first question we usually come across is: Why are you releasing two versions? The reason behind the two versions is due to the need to innovate alongside the need to continue providing our existing customers with the ability to use CR as they have in the past. We have been working on this new version of Crystal Reports for about 4 years. We felt that, with the release of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0, it gave us a unique opportunity to release the new designer to a target audience of customers who leverage the BI platform and connect to data from SAP BW. As mentioned, we wanted to continue providing the features with which our existing customers were familiar. As such, we needed to continue delivering Crystal Reports in it's current form as well. In the future, many of the features with which are customers are familiar from Crystal Reports 2008 will move into the Crystal Reports for Enterprise designer; however, this will take a few minor releases to achieve. Even when we have closed the major gaps between Crystal Reports for Enterprise and Crystal Reports 2008, we will continue to deliver and support minor enhancements to the Crystal Repots 2008 / Crystal Reports 2011 line of products. This will be required as not every feature from the designer and associated SDKs will be moved into the Crystal Reports for Enterprise product line.
You can read more about the Crystal Reports strategy with both designers in my colleague Blair's blog.
Thus, we move on to the purpose of this article.
What are the differences between these two versions? When should I use which version?. In this article you will find answers to these questions so you can take full advantage of SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 by knowing when to utilize SAP Crystal Reports 2011 or SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise or both.
SAP Crystal Reports 2011 is an incremental update to Crystal Reports 2008 with the addition of a few new features. It is focused on providing existing customers with the functionality they have in Crystal Reports.
Only a few new features have been added to SAP Crystal Reports 2011:
- New Read-Only Report Format
- Export to XSLX from the report designer and viewer
- Integration with Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012. This is provided by a seperate product download. See the following link:
SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise is the newly designed version of the Crystal Reports designer. This version is focused on streamlined report design, reporting against the new BI 4.0 semantic layer and SAP BW data. SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise is the foundation for all future releases of Crystal Reports.
- The user interface has been completely redesigned offering a streamlined interface to allow the creation of reports with reduced amount of effort.
- Semantic layer support is improved. With SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise you can create reports against the new BI 4.0 common semantic layer
- From SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise you can connect directly to a SAP BEx query using SAP BICS connectivity.
- SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise processing servers in BI4.0 support native 64 bit.
- Multilingual capabilities have been improved as you can translate all text-based elements, and all translations can be managed and scheduled at the platform level by the Translation Management
- New BI platform alerting framework can leverage alerts created in SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise. This allows users to manage their alert subscriptions on their own, thus reducing management overhead on the report designers.
|Learn More about SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
Check out this video, this blog, and these educational videos.
|Forward Looking Statements|
The content in the table below contains forward looking statements regarding future releases of SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise. Anything that is denoted as a planned feature could change at any point in time. Every effort will be made to keep these statements up-to-date according to the most current SAP Crystal Reports roadmap.
|Functional Area||BI 4.0 SP4||[Planned] BI 4.1||Future Minor Release|
|Create Reports on top of unmodeled data (i.e., direct to data)||Directly access data sources including simplified connection authoring, deployment and administration||Additional data sources are planned for direct access||More data sources and connection management features will be considered|
|Crystal Reports specific APIs for report creation and consumption *||REST and AJAX APIs offering report navigation, Odata service, export functionality and report embedding. Review of existing application workflows is recommended to insure support through these new APIs||APIs and service to embed Crystal Reports into HANA|| Planned improvements to both the REST and AJAX API to make them more comprehensive
|Expose and interact with reports from Live Office||Currently not planned|
|Locate documents via platform search|
|View Time Filtering (formerly provided by Business Views)||Planned via Common Semantic Layer|
|Dynamic Data Connections (e.g., via Business Views)|| Currently not planned
|Scheduled LOVs||Planned via Common Semantic Layer|
|User Function Libraries (UFL)||Planned|
|Custom Functions||Available within a report (not shared through the BI repository)||Available within a report (not shared through the BI repository)||Available within a report (not shared through the BI repository)|
|OLAP Grid / OLAP Cube Report|| Only possible thorugh the Common Symantic layer
|| Only possible thorugh the Common Symantic layer
|Label Creation Wizard||Currently not planned|
|Geographical Maps||Possible via Dashboard Design Integration|| Possible via Dashboard Design Integration
|SAP ERP Data Access||Available via the Common Semantic Layer. Direct table access from ECC is still not possible||planned support for optional parameters with no default values||Available via the Common Semantic Layer|
|Oracle, Sieble, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft Integration Kits||Currently not planned|
|Saving Crystal Reports functions, images and text objects to the BI repository||Research in Progress|
|Read-Only Report Format (RPTR)||
|| Research in Progress
|Designer Hyperlinking Wizard||Research in Progress|
|Designer Performance Information Dialogue||
|| Research in Progress
|Save Export Options in Crystal Reports Designer||
|CR 2008/2011 Dynamic Cascading Prompts||Automatically converted to static prompt (can be converted to semantic layer prompt)||Automatically converted to static prompt (can be converted to semantic layer prompt)||Automatically converted to static prompt (can be converted to semantic layer prompt)|
|Database Synonyms||Currently not planned|
|Report Template||Research in Progress|
|SQL Commands (freehand SQL)|
|Verify Database options|
|Right to Left HTML viewer|
|Add subreports based on any supported datasource|
|OpenDoc Post method|
|SQL Expressions||Currently not planned|
|OLE Objects||Currently not planned|
Submit enhancment requests for SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise here
|There is no Java or .NET SDK to create standalone 2 tier applications or to create applications that create or modify SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise, however applications can be created with the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 SDK to use the BI4.0 platform servers to manage, schedule and view reports for both SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise.|
|Data source||SAP Crystal Reports 2011||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|Direct data access drivers (RDBMS)||direct access to major DB vendors|
|Direct data access drivers (OLAP)||only BEx queries|
|Legacy universes (unv)||limited|
|Business Views||only for cascading prompts|
| Direct JDBC/ODBC access to HANA.
Refer to the following article:
|Direct data access to Hadoop|
|SAP Crystal Reports 2011||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|User Interface||Same as Crystal Reports 2008||New interface i.e. tabbed toolbar, smart guidelines, smart default formatting|
|SAP Crystal Reports 2011||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|Processing Servers||32 bit||native 64 bit|
|New platform Alerting framework||Not available||Alerts are leveraged to new platform alerting framework|
Servers can be run side by side on the same server. SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 server install package installs both set of servers by default. Reports created in SAP Crystal Reports 2011 will processed on the 32 bit servers, reports created in Crystal Reports for Enterprise will be processed by the 64 servers.
|Feature||SAP Crystal Reports 2011||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|SAP BW connectivity||Via MDX||Via BICS to BEx queries|
|SAP ERP connectivity||Available||Available via authored universe (except direct ECC tables)|
|Multilingual capabilities||Managed via SAP BW||Managed via SAP BI 4.0 Translation Manager|
|SAP prompting||Via online prompting and Personalization||Via new Semantic Layer no RRI neither Personalization|
|SAP Toolbar||Available||No longer relevant|
|BW Publisher||Available||Reports are no longer saved to BW|
|Life Cycle Management||Via BW Publisher and NetWeaver Transports||Via BI 4.0 Life Cycle Manager and Netweaver CTS+|
In the future SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise will be merged into one version; SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise is the foundation for future versions. In BI 4.0 you can choose to leverage one version or the other or both depending on features and data connectivity needed.
SAP Crystal Reports 20011 and SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise can run side by side on the same desktop client.
In general if you are currently using Crystal Reports 2008 and you want to leverage the new semantic layer and the new BI4.0 platform then SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise is the version of choice. If you require report creation API, SAP ERP direct table access then SAP Crystal Reports 2011 is the version of choice.
The following table summarizes general recommendations on which version to use based on the data access required:
|Data Source||General Recommendation|
|SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 relational universe (unx), olap universe (unx)||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|SAP NetWeaver BW 7||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|Analysis Views||SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise|
|SAP NetWeaver BW 3.5||SAP Crystal Reports 2011|
|Business Views||SAP Crystal Reports 2011|
|Direct RDBMS or OLAP access||SAP Crystal Reports 2011|
|SAP ERP||SAP Crystal Reports 2011|
|Live Office||SAP Crystal Reports 2011|
If your reports are in the BI platform, all Crystal Reports 2008 are automatically upgraded to SAP Crystal Reports 2011 when you use the BI4.0 Upgrade Manager tool.
Once your reports are in SAP Crystal Reports 2011 format, you can upgrade the reports at your own pace. (SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise can run side by side on the same machine) In BI4.0 when you open a SAP Crystal Reports 2011 report in SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise a wizard appears to help you change the database connection to a Universe (unx) or BICS (BW connectivity).
The wizard will also detect any features that are in the report that are not supported in Crystal Reports for Enterprise. These missing features are listed previously in this article.