Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Journey of Crystal Reports

For one of the recent assignments, I had to dig out the entire history of the world famous reporting product “Crystal Reports”, as it originated, transformed, and evolved into what we see as SAP Crystal Reports 2011 today. Here is the brief summary of the same:

Crystal Reports is a business intelligence application used to design and generate reports from a wide range of data sources. Started as Crystal Services Inc. in 1989, the company developed this product as a commercial report writing tool for their accounting software. They released three initial versions of the product as Quik Reports (1990), Quik Reports 2.0 (1991) and Quik Reports 3.0 (1992).

Then, after acquisition by Seagate Technology Inc in 1994, the company was named as Seagate Software. The product was also renamed and launched as Seagate Info 4.0 in 1995. In 1995, Seagate Software decided to have collaboration with Holistic Systems (acquired by Seagate technologies Inc.) forming Information Management Group of Seagate Software. Under this collaboration, the product was rebranded, and users enjoyed 5 versions, namely Crystal Reports 4.5 (1996), Crystal Info 5 (1997), Seagate Crystal Info 6 (1998), Seagate Info 7 (1999), and Seagate Info 7.5 (2000). (And yes, the name was changed almost after every release; they were just not able to find the right name for it!!).

In year 2001, the company Seagate Software was again renamed as Crystal Decisions. It then released the versions Crystal Enterprises 8.0, Crystal Enterprises 8.5 (2001) and then Crystal Enterprises 9.0 (2001) in quick successions.

Then it was again acquired by famous Business Intelligence solution provider BusinessObjects in 2003. The first version released after this acquisition carried the same naming format as its earlier trend, Crystal Enterprise 10.0 in year 2004. Then the product was released with revised names as Crystal Reports XI R1 (2005), and Crystal Reports XI R2 (2006).

With acquisition of BusinessObjects by SAP in 2007, this product again witnessed change of name. It was released as Crystal Report 2008 (2008).

The latest release is named as SAP Crystal Report 2011.

For details on future roadmap of this product, and what users can expect from SAP for this product, here is the SAP Crystal Reports 2011 and the 20-year roadmap.

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