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Business Intelligence Tools - Pros & Cons

Product:   CRYSTAL REPORTS
Vendor: Business Objects
One of the most familiar tools for developers, through it's long association with Microsoft and Visual Studio.
PROSCONS
Stores the data source properties within each report. Each data source can also have its own connection information. Scalability, for large-scale app need to either purchasing additional licenses or change app to work with Crystal Enterprise to get the needed performance
Veteran in the field and supports almost every conceivable reporting requirement there is. Limited object model
Supports connecting to DataSets and reporting from XML files without writing any additional code. Arcane proprietary language for formulas and formatting.
Has versions for developers as well as business users. Not well integrated with programming.
Single point of entry architecture to pull data from the data source. Connects to a myriad of data types and join them together to form a single result set. Inability to do real dynamic run-time code-created reports
Product:    MS SQL SERVER REPORTING SERVICES
Vendor: Microsoft
An add-on to SQL Server, a native reporting tool for SQL Server. Report designer runs within Visual Studio .NET Targeted primary at the .NET developer.
PROSCONS
Cost: Cheapest enterprise BI solution if you are using MS SQL Server as a back-end. Report designer is a little rough on the edges especially when it comes to selecting the tables, joins etc from data source.
A single report can retrieve data from multiple heterogeneous databases and render it to make it look like it's from a single source. Very resource intensive, can consume large amount of server memory.
Open architecture in terms of developing custom data sources. It has no end-user applications that would make it easy for non developers to create a report.
Reports can share a common data source. By sharing a common data connection, you lose the granularity of being able to control individual reports.
Multiple delivery methods and formats. You design a generic report and reporting server takes care of exporting it into HTML, Excel, PDF, war, TIFF, CSV and XML format. Doesn't have some of the formatting features found in other reporting tools. For example, SSRS reports can't have more than one type of text in a single text box.
Uses ADO.NET, which includes, out of the box, drivers for Oracle, Jet (Access), OLEDB and ODBC Individual reports don't have the flexibility to have the data source modified during runtime
Product:    COGNOS
Vendor: IBM
Delivers complete range of BI capabilities: reporting, analysis, scorecarding, dashboards, business event management as well as data integration.
PROSCONS
Easy to use and flexible with easy reports formatting. Lack of out-of-the-box source control integration.
Robust with a good performance Inadequate Error Handling: Error messages are nearly impossible to decipher.
FrameWork Manager: One of the best-in-class meta-data repository. Model Bias: Report development requires universes -- basically a data model.
Can work with both Unix data server and MS Windows out of the box. Poor Parameter Support: Parameter support is terrible in BOXI WebIntelligence reports.
Product:    ORACLE BI
Vendor: Oracle
Oracle's set of business intelligence tools consisting of former Siebel business intelligence and Hyperion business intelligence offerings.
PROSCONS
Completely Web-based authoring tools. Unintuitive tasks and interface in both Answers and the Administrative Tool.
Interactive and integrated dashboards Prompting capabilities are limited and cumbersome.
Strong administrative capabilities. Lags pure-play vendors on recent innovations such as Office integration, BI Search, and Vista Gadgets.

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