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Foreword

Foreword

Crystal Reports version 10 was officially launched in January 2004, which is fitting because the month was named for the Roman god Janus. Janus is the god of gates, doors, beginnings, and endings. Crystal Reports version 10 has been released in a time of change marked by a key ending and some exciting beginings.

On December 11, 2003, Business Objects acquired Crystal Decisions. Although Business Objects and Crystal Decisions were perceived as direct competitors, Business Intelligence users knew these companies essentially offered complementary products. Both companies approached the problem of presenting data to users in different manners. Business Objects had focused on empowering end users to develop and manipulate data in an ad hoc interface. Crystal Decisions had focused on providing users with the capability to create highly formatted printed documents. Depending on their end-user needs and data requirements, many organizations use both Business Objects and Crystal Decisions products to meet their diverse reporting needs.

The launch of Crystal Reports 10 represents the end of Business Objects and Crystal Decisions as separate companies. This release marks the beginning of a new company that unites best of breed reporting and analysis solutions to meet the needs of the entire spectrum of Business Intelligence consumers and developers.

Crystal Reports version 10 includes the best of the nine previous versions of Crystal Reports—the de facto standard of report writers—and introduces new technologies to solve new business challenges. The new Java version of the Crystal Reports Print Engine, available in the Developer and Advanced Developer versions, provides developers with the capability to embed Crystal Reports technology in Java applications. Crystal Reports 10 has also significantly improved its integration with Crystal Enterprise and has fully leveraged the metadata and repository services offered by Crystal Enterprise 10. This integration makes Crystal Enterprise 10 a great timesaver for developers who want integrated security, fault tolerance, and scalability in their Web-based reporting applications.

By working closely with the Development and Quality Assurance teams on the Crystal Reports 10 project, I was able to witness the unwavering commitment to ensure new features provided the maximum benefit in meeting user needs. I was amazed at the number and variety of testing scenarios that were inspired by real customers who use Crystal Reports. This experience reminded me that there are things that Crystal Reports does so well that most of us take the depth of the product for granted.

Readers of this book will find that it is the source of information on the features, functions, and capabilities of Crystal Reports 10 from a perspective of what customers want to do with the product. This book has been written by the members of the Business Objects Presales Team who can best apply our technology capabilities to solve your real-world business challenges. These creative and ingenious people will share with you their knowledge to help you meet your customers' needs. Like the mythical reign of Janus, we hope that Crystal Reports version 10 ushers in the beginning of the Golden Age of Reporting.

Nigel Stoodley

Regional Technical Director

Business Objects

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