• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Foreword

Foreword

Information Drives the Internet

When people hear the word “report,” chances are that they think of some relatively boring, corporate financial information. Well welcome to the world of Crystal Reports, in which a report can be anything from a telephone bill to a bank statement, a customer invoice to a list of out of stock products, a portfolio of market equities to an airline timetable, an analysis of file space on a hard drive to a list of top selling books—the list is limited only by your imagination.

Since its first release in 1992 and its bundle as the reporting engine in Visual Basic in 1993, Crystal Reports has been used by millions of people to take information from almost every conceivable data store and format it to allow people to more easily and quickly view and understand that data.

By coincidence, 1992 was also the year that the Internet moved away from being solely a defense and academic network with the appearance of the first commercial Internet service providers. In the 10 years since its inception, the Internet has dramatically changed the way we think about and use information, but we have still only just scratched the surface. With the maturing of wireless broadband and PDA technology, the next five years will see the Internet make more difference to our everyday lives than ever before. Every one of us will expect all the information we receive as consumers (bills, statements, payment histories, appointment, schedules, and more) to be delivered over the Internet, and literally, into the palm of our hands. We will then expect more details and analysis of this information to be available via a variety of devices—PDAs, cell phones, and home PCs.

Hence, two technologies that had very separate beginnings more than 10 years ago have now converged. Crystal Reports has evolved from a Windows report writer to a full-fledged Web technology that can deliver information from server-side databases, easily and seamlessly, within new and existing Web sites. If you consider how much of the content on the Web is underpinned by data coming from various databases, you will then start to imagine the huge return on investment that can be made using a tool like Crystal Reports—which makes many additional people much more productive at creating the Web pages that service millions of Internet users every day.

Version 9 of Crystal Reports is a huge step forward for Windows and Web report writers alike, and this book will help those of you already acquainted with Crystal Reports understand just how big that step forward is. However, one of the best things about Crystal Reports 9 is that although it is simple enough for the novice user to start using immediately, it also has a huge depth of functionality that will service you well as the information you are trying to present gets more complex and the users consuming your reports get more demanding. So if you have never used Crystal Reports before, this book will help you understand just how valuable it will be to you, both immediately and into the future.

The Internet revolution is far from being over and is really just picking up the pace. Its future will be dominated by the challenge to deliver information from a tremendous collection of disparate data stores spread across the globe to millions of end users seeking accurate and reliable information. I can think of no better way to take up the challenge than by arming yourself with this book and a copy of Crystal Reports 9.

Donald MacCormick, Director of Crystal Applications at Crystal Decisions

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint