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Chapter 21. Ad-Hoc Application and Excel... > Introducing Ad-Hoc Reporting Concept...

Introducing Ad-Hoc Reporting Conceptually

Too many competing definitions of ad-hoc reporting exist to dispense with any introduction. This chapter does not pretend to address the larger question of defining ad-hoc as a concept, but rather seeks to place the Crystal Enterprise Ad-Hoc tool into context. Simply put, Ad-Hoc reporting or queries are impromptu questions you put to the data to extract answers. Although many permutations exist, from systems that enable the end user to directly query source data in raw form to accessing OLAP cubes, from tools for very SQL-savvy users to point-and-click tools, from preformatted or unformatted query tools to tools that enable pixel-level formatting, many tools and definitions exist in the marketplace.

Crystal Enterprise's Ad-Hoc tool most facilitates end-user Crystal Reports development and modification through a Web browser. Whether the data source is a database, prebuilt Business View, or another Crystal Report, the result is always a Crystal Report. Although Crystal Analysis provides end users great interactivity, its exclusive connectivity to an OLAP data source helps you categorize it as an Analytic rather than Ad-Hoc tool.


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