An Oracle blog about PeopleSoft Technology

Reporting in PeopleSoft Without Crystal Reports

Matthew Haavisto
Product Management Director

As you’ve probably heard, PeopleTools 8.55 will not support the use of the Crystal Reports product with PeopleSoft. (Click here for more information).  Most of you know that we’ve been talking for years about ways to move away from Crystal Reports.  The obvious alternative has been to migrate your reports to Oracle BI Publisher.  I’m writing this post to help you understand that you have other options, and that we think that in many cases, there is an even better solution that will give your users more relevant and timely information.

Conventional reporting tools are used to create and publish static reports.  That is, they query the database and present information as a snapshot in time.  One of the problems with this approach is that important data can become instantly stale and not secure. 

Contemporary reporting is changing, however, and we feel that customers should re-evaluate how they can take advantage of some of the new reporting and analytic capabilities that PeopleSoft offers.  New options exist that help make reporting a strategic part of enterprise business processes.  In fact, you can easily incorporate business intelligence and real-time analytics directly into business process flows as an integral part of the application user experience. 

Using this more modern approach, designers are able to provide users relevant information directly in context of related business activities.  In this way, the user doesn’t have to “look up” information or pull up a report.  Instead, the application system provides the information directly on the page, or as part of a process, which leads to better decisions.  With modern PeopleSoft reporting capabilities, the data is fresh and secure because it never actually leaves the system. 

Take this approach to decide whether you need to replicate every one of your static reports from Crystal Reports in BI Publisher.  We believe that many older, static reports can be repurposed as online, real-time analytics rather than simply rewritten in a new reporting tool.

Chief among these exciting PeopleSoft reporting capabilities are the new Simplified Analytics and updated Pivot Grids.  These new features enable users to produce analytics and reports right in the context of their transactions, providing more agile and powerful analytics that result in better decision support.  In addition, these new reporting tools are easy to use and put power in the hands of end users and business experts.  Functional users won't have to rely on technical professionals to generate the reports they need.  With these tools, data can be sliced and diced as required, as well visualized in different ways to gain greater understanding of the information presented.

PeopleSoft applications teams will also be delivering new reports and analytics using these tools, so customers will get many new reports as they continue to take new application images.  Again, this means even fewer Crystal reports that need to be recreated.

Of course enterprises will still need conventional reports for things like Period Close and other regulatory reporting.  In those cases, customers can indeed convert old Crystal Reports into BI Publisher reports.  However, we believe that after thoughtful analysis, the number of such reports that need conversion into traditional formats and uses will be much smaller than you may have originally anticipated, and that most business needs will be better served with newer tools for producing on-line, real-time, business analytics. 

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Comments ( 7 )
  • IT Blog Sunday, April 17, 2016

    I heard this kind of story before even some of my friend complaining the same thing, but there still some good thing that crystal report can give I think it just need to upgrade it's features based on users experience. And they should act fast.

  • guest Monday, April 18, 2016

    We did not have any choice in removing Crystal. The vendor that owns Crystal no longer supports it with PeopleSoft. You can still license Crystal, of course, and you can still use it, but we cannot provide support for it with PeopleSoft. This change has been coming for over 2 years and we've made many announcements about it. The main point of this post is that customers may want to look at a different, more effective way of reporting--one that is performed directly in the context of business processes. Of course this isn't a replacement for all report types.

  • ranjan raja Friday, May 6, 2016

    Oracle BI Publisher is another option.

  • Matthew Friday, May 6, 2016

    Ranjan: Yes BI Publisher is a good option to replace many Crystal Reports. What we are advocating is that customers thoughtfully analyze their reporting needs in light of new capabilities. For certain types of reporting, BI Publisher would be a good candidate. In other cases, we feel that users would benefit more from live, in-context analytics provided by Simplified Analytics.

  • guest Monday, December 12, 2016

    What about Business Objects? Is it still supported?

    Regardless, what Oracle product one should migrate to from BOE?


  • Matthew Wednesday, December 14, 2016

    Business Objects comes from the same company as Crystal and is not supported for the same reasons. As for replacing BO, the same principles apply as mentioned in the blog post. Evaluate whether your current reports can be replaced with Simplified Analytics, Dashboards, and Pivot Grids. For point-in-time reports used in processes like Period Close, you could use Oracle's BI Publisher.

  • Larry Wednesday, October 18, 2017
    With a little leg work Crystals can still be salvaged post 8.54. What is no longer delivered is the "Crystal" process type, nor are the PeopleSoft ODBC libraries that Crystal uses to connect to the database via PSquery.

    Create a new custom process type to invoke an app engine via command line. The app engine then calls a DLL assembly registered on the proc scheduler which invokes SAP Crystal Runtime (not pscrrun.exe). The Crystal object needs it's DB source updated to connect directly to the database. (PSquery is no longer in the equation). The app engine and DLL pass parameters to and from, in order to control the process status in process monitor.

    This is essentially using Crystal Reports as a 3rd party product with PeopleTools so, yes, it is not supported by Oracle. However, Crystal is a much more robust and easy to use reporting tool when compared to BI Publisher.
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