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SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and the 20-year roadmap – Update #5

SAP Crystal Server 2011 – Update #7

Yesterday, we announced SAP Crystal Server 2011.  This is the successor product to SAP Crystal Reports Server 2008, and is based on the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.0.

We’re updating it to be a complete, entry-level BI solution by adding SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to the already long list of BI solutions included with this product.

The major new features of this release include:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer for end-user driven search and exploration.
  • Completely new hierarchically aware and multi-source semantic layer including the new Information Design Tool which is use to author Universes.
  • Lifecycle management to promote reports, dashboards, and other objects from dev to test to production systems.
  • New systems monitoring and managment including a monitoring dashboard and a JMX interface for monitoring probes.
  • Enhanced integration for Microsoft Sharepoint allows BI consumption to be deeply integrated into Sharepoint.
  • Multilingual reports and dashboards.  Now a single report or dashboard can be rendered in multiple languages thanks to integration with the included Translation Manager utility.
  • Next generation Crystal Reports.  Crystal Reports for enterprise is a version of Crystal Reports that’s only included with our server products.  It’s optimized for data access from a Universe semantic layer and features improved usability, simpler Universe based data access, and a modernized look and feel.

Also included with SAP Crystal Server 2011 are:

  • Java API
  • .NET API
  • Live Office client
  • BI Workspace for creating composite dashboards of multiple individual reports and dashboards
  • Business View Manager to ensure compatibility with existing SAP Crystal Reports Server content
  • Data Federation Administration tool to setup and manage multiple data sources to be consumed by the Universe semantic layer
  • Integration with SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and SAP Crystal Dashboard Design 2011.

So given all this new capability, you would think we’re increasing prices.

But we’re not.

SAP Crystal Server continues to be one of the best values in Business Intelligence today.  Pricing starts at 5 named users for $2,495 US.

Once you get started with Crystal Server, all the content you create can be migrated into to other products based on the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform like SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, or the SAP BusinessObjects BI Package.

The product will be available for trial and purchase in July 2011.  Customers of SAP Crystal Reports Server with a current support agreement will receive and upgrade to SAP Crystal Server 2011 for free.

Check out the screen shots below of various components of the product:

Smart Guidelines in SAP Crystal Reports for enterprise

Smart Guidelines in SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise (above)

Query panel built in to SAP Crystal Reports for enterprise

The Query Panel in SAP Crystal Reports for enterprise (above)

Defining joins with the Information Design Tool

Reviewing joins in the Information Design Tool (above)

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is designed for casual business users

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is designed for business users to self-serve answers to their own business questions (above)

BI Launchpad is an upgraded version of the old InfoView portal

BI Launchpad is an upgraded and renamed version of the old InfoView portal.

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13 Comments

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  1. Joshua Fletcher
    Hi Blair,

    This is a very exciting release of Crystal Reports Server, with so much more added functionality.

    Any whitepapers, or can you comment, on the differences between Crystal Reports Server and Edge BI4?

    To me, I can only see a gap in Web Intelligence, and maybe the Edge with Data Integration product?

    Thanks,

    Joshua Fletcher

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    1. Blair Wheadon Post author
      Hi Joshua,

      I think you just figured out the topic for my next blog 🙂

      In that I’ll summarize the deltas between SAP Crystal Server, the 3 editions of Edge BI, and the SAP BusinessObjects BI Package (aka BusinessObjects Enterprise).

      Supporting whitepapers will be available in July.

      Cheers, Blair

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  2. Uffe Ekberg
    Hi, good news but I wonder if .Net FW 4.0 is a supported platform?
    We would like to use CRS2011 in VS2010 with FW4.0, is this possible?
    (0) 
    1. Blair Wheadon Post author
      Hi Uffe,  The .NET API for Crystal Server 2011 is formally tested and supported with .NET FW 3.5, and supported in .NET FW 4.0 under what we call ‘compatibility support’ – which means that while we don’t explicitly test with that version of the FW, we support it pursuant to the vendors (Microsoft’s) assurance of compatibility with the tested version.

      Thanks, Blair

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  3. Garrett Fitzgerald
    I’m a bit confused now. I’m using Crystal Reports Server 2008 to run reports off our Oracle and MSSQL-based line-of-business systems. Up above, it says that CRS2011 is optimized for Universes. Does this mean that we can’t upgrade to CRS2011 without completely changing the way we do reports?
    (0) 
    1. Blair Wheadon Post author
      Hi Garrett – thanks for the question.  I’ll do another post on coexistence and compatibility, but unlike past CRS releases, this one features 2 reporting engines and 2 design tools.  CR 2011 works great with all your existing reports.  But CR for enterprise is the new design tool that is optimized for use with Universes.  We will be adding direct to data support to CR for enterprise in a coming point release.  You can upgrade to CS 2011 without changing any of your existing reports, and adopt Universes only if you choose to.  Thanks, Blair
      (0) 
  4. shreyans surana
    On my seacrh CR server 2011 adheres to the supported platform guide for BI 4.0. Is that true ?

    I also found that the PAM for BI 4.0 SP02 does support IIS. The same is not supported in Bi 4.0, BI 4.0 SP01.

    So is there an SP 02 for CR server 2011  ?

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  5. Virgil Rucsandescu
    I am a little bit confued too – in the “Crystal Server 2011 Installation Guide”, IIS is not listed in the list of web application servers supported.

    In the same guide, Tomcat 6.0 is listed as the “default” web application server, so during the installation process, how can I choose IIS?

    Please don’t get me wrong, I am really happy with IIS being supported, but I already spent a few days trying to learn Tomcat because IIS was not listed in the “Installation Guide”… Is there any other newer/better version of this guide?

    http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/crs2011/en/crs2011_install_win_en.pdf

    (0) 
    1. Blair Wheadon Post author
      Hi Virgil,

      This is an error of omission on our side.  The installation guide will be updated to include IIS in the next few weeks.

      Thanks, Blair

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      1. Blair Wheadon Post author
        Hi Virgil,

        Unfortunately my original response omitted an important detail.  IIS is only supported when using the Integration Option for Microsoft Sharepoint (IOMS).  This software is included with Crystal Server, and is an upgraded version of the old Sharepoint Portal Integration Kit (PIK).  The IOMS is effectively the .NET/IIS version of the BI Launchpad (aka Java Infoview).

        If you’re not using IOMS, then we do not support IIS.

        We are updating the supported platform doc for both Crystal Server and the BI Platform 4.0 to clarify this important point.  The install guide for Crystal Server 2011 is also being updated.

        I apologize for the confusion around this.

        Thanks, Blair

        (0) 

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