Thursday, August 7, 2008

Worst software of all time

I just had to dive back into Crystal Reports after a ten year absence as part of a major system rollout where we came up short a few reports.

It was a case of "we kept your room just as you left it"

I could see virtually no difference between the CR in VS 2005 and CR 6 which was what I last used.

Software productivity has improved by orders of magnitude over the past 10 years. With C# I now spend time building functionality which 10 years ago I would have spent in C++ tracking memory leaks and converting between the seven different types of string! Yet CR remains in the dark ages. Working with it is like going back to a pre-Google era.

How can a product be this old and you still can't reliably copy and paste more than one element? How can there be no 'align' and 'make same size' feature? How can you have to type in coordinates and sizes manually to make things line up? I remember 10 years ago how CR would crash whenever you attempted to do virtually anything. They seem to have fixed all these bugs, but that has left no time to add any new functionality, or even make the existing functionality work decently.

They have added the facility to read a .NET DataSet as opposed to forcing you to access stored procs and tables directly. Great. But it turns out this is unreliable.

The whole thing is an archaic, bodged up creaky mess. The dialogs are confused, confusing and badly thought out. You can't nest a subreport in a subreport for God's sake!

CR might be free with VS 2005 but it's not worth it. It is a massive time-sink, like SharePoint.

Somebody please do the decent thing and take this piece of pimply shit out and blow what passes for its brains all over the sidewalk.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Why not use SQL reporting services for that? It has an actual capability to report against a service, which can provide much better seperation of concerns (i.e. seperate presentation from data).