Crystal Upgrade Aims for the Enterprise

Crystal Enterprise 9 features tools to make reporting and analysis processes reusable.

Crystal Decisions Inc. on Wednesday will release version 9 of Crystal Enterprise, its business intelligence and information delivery platform.

With it, the Palo Alto, Calif., company is intimately linking analysis and reporting capabilities in an effort to press its case that Crystal software should be considered a fundamental part of an enterprises IT infrastructure. Officials said such a platform can improve both decision making and business profitability.

On the business performance front, Crystal Enterprise 9 includes Alert Notifications to help users monitor changes in key information.

Enhanced versions of the Crystal Reports and Crystal Analysis designers are designed to streamline use of the software. New features include deeper integration with the Excel spreadsheet, increased control over report presentation and connectivity to Hyperion Corp.s Essbase OLAP server. A set of formatted OLAP reports also is supposed to make creating and using OLAP reports quicker.

Several components enable the reuse of elements of reports, including a Custom Functions feature, report templates, and the new Command Objects that enable users to write and reuse custom SQL queries.

The new Ad Hoc client provides report creation, design and analysis capabilities in a Web client.

New features for developers include Report Parts, which allow developers to embed specific sections of a report, such as a chart, into Web applications. The suite includes .Net and Java software developer kits.