Hi all, here I present my short list of good reasons to hate Crystal reports. This is basically about why working with Crystal Reports is the definitive punishment for every developer. After many fights with the Business Objects support people - we eventually became friends - I am tired of hoping the thing will actually start working as supposed to, so here goes the list (They had it coming):
(6) If you jump onto an ongoing project, if they produce some reports, they are using Crystal Reports.
(5) When your users go print some Crystal reports, if you're not extremely lucky, they got a number of blank pages in between or at the end of the report. And you get the complaints. It's important to underline here that the only reason you are using Crystal reports is to get easily printable reports (e.g. You usually have your users to select which pages to print from the print preview, discarding the blanks, which sucks).
(4) In older versions of Crystal reports (8,9) there is a maximum number of sub-sections for a given "details section" you can programmatically access. If you exceed that maximum number, there's no way in hell you can programmatically edit the options of the exceeding sub-sections. Moreover, before you discover this and you need to set some sub-section option (e.g. make it invisible) if you try to get the section code from the section index you'll keep modifing the options of some other section, as -once you exceed the maximum- the section codes you get back restart from the first sub-secion in loop.
(3) The simpler the task you're up to looks, the more blood you'll have to sweat.
(2) The excel export of a report is the worst thing ever in the history of computing, often looking either like an abstract work of art or a scrabble game.
(1) Once you report is finished, every time your boss wants something new in it (e.g. a new column) you're screwed.
Crystal Reports is the most frustrating and fragile technology you will be ever called to deal with. Why should someone bother learning how to use Crystal reports if with the same effort you can produce better results from scratch?