TARGET Reports vs. Crystal Reports

In the world driven by information, it would be hard to find a more significant business task than data analysis and reporting.  Although this highly competitive market offers a number of high quality reporting tools, SiMX TARGET Reports should be a product of choice for a large segment of users and tasks.

This article intends to prove this point by comparing TARGET Reports with one of the leaders in the reporting tools industry: Crystal Reports from Business Objects.

Unlike Crystal Reports, which tends to cover virtually any reporting task and therefore is overwhelmingly complex, TARGET Reports is concentrated on the well defined management reporting workflow typical for the majority of business organizations.

Such a “targeted” reporting solution enables business users to easily produce reports avoiding involvement of trained technical specialists thus significantly reducing the overall reporting costs.

Extensive analysis of corporate management reporting workflows demonstrated that most of the reporting tasks are based on data aggregation. Virtually any summary report setup could be divided into three independent parts: a) data access, b) data processing, and c) presentation.


Data Access

The typical reporting tasks usually involve multiple data sources distributed among various databases and other data storages. Modern technology offers a variety of data access drivers providing access to virtually any data source.

Data Processing

Despite the possible complexity of the reporting algorithms the principle structure of a data processing setup is identical for most of reports and consists of the three components:


Aside of the artistic features and free positioning of reporting elements on the page the principle presentation forms are also limited and fall into two categories with a few variations inside each of them:

TARGET Reports offers interactive means (as opposed to wizard-based approach) for setting the data-related setup and lets selecting/change the desired presentation form on the fly. It is the shortest way of achieving the goal for users concerned about the content of the reports (as long as reports look professional and are easy to read) rather then on their layout features.

 Feature Comparison

Crystal Reports offers two main workflows for designing reports: a wizard-based step-by-step walkthrough for fast and easy generation of typical reports and free editing for producing custom arbitrary reports. Crystal Reports allows creation of multiple reports, but does not support integration of multiple reporting elements into one reporting document.

TARGET Reports addresses mainstream management reporting tasks offering an extremely easy-to-use environment for generation of professional easy-to-read reports. Unlike Crystal Reports, where the WHAT to report is mixed with HOW, TARGET Reports provides a complete separation between the two with complete automation of the HOW part.  This means that the user can concentrate on WHAT to report and is able to change HOW with just a couple of clicks.

Related Sections

Getting Started

User Interface

Setting Up a Report: Step by Step

Samples and Walkthroughs

Programmer's Reference