Integra Comparison with Crystal Reports
The Integra solution is very different from Crystal Reports for a number of reasons, principal among which is the fact that Integra provides a solution for integrating Lotus Notes with Microsoft Office while Crystal utilises its own reporting engine. As a result with Integra, users can utilise office documents as a part of their Lotus Notes based business processes as well as using Excel or Word and PDF as a vehicle for reporting. So while Crystal provides just reporting using its own engine, Integra's leveraging of Office provides tremendous extra flexibility.
Key differences between Integra and Crystal Reports include the following:
- Integra supports multi-value fields & response document hierarchies which Crystal does not. For instance this means Notes documents with multi-value fields can result in multiple rows being created in Excel
- Integra is a Zero footprint solution – no installation is required on workstations or servers or the set up of ODBC connections to Notes on each workstation as is the case with Crystal.
- Through the optional use of Integra's event driven programming model, Integra provides a depth of access to data and computational capability which is unique in the industry allowing more complex reporting challenges to be addressed using Integra rather than Crystal.
- Crystal does not support the obtaining of data from complex structures like parent/response hierarchies maintaining the hierarchy of the documents.
- Integra can import data from Word, Excel and TXT files in addition to its exporting functionality whereas Crystal is just a reporting tool
- Integra allows further analysis of the report in Excel using your Excel skills (data modifications in Word or Excel can be controlled or allowed depending on the business needs)
- Out-of-the-box support for export to PDF, mail enablement of reports, updating of Notes data, attachment of reports into Notes documents, doclinking etc
- Integra supports usage through a Lotus Notes client, a web browser and on a scheduled basis.
- Complexity - Crystal Reports is a tool that is complex in nature and requires a person well trained in its use to generate reports. The level of skill and experience required by a user to define reports, export/import sessions in Integra is significantly lower than that for Crystal Reports. In addition, the Integra Quick Reports product allows end-users with the most basic level of skills to define their own Excel reports and Word based mail merge letters and labels using a very simple 4 step wizard.
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