We are setting up mirroring our Salesforce to mySQL using CopyStorm.

One object in particular will be mirrored with no deletion (all data ever will accumulate in mySQL while in Salesforce it will be deleted after 1 month due to space considerations).

So mySQL is literally ending up as our "current Salesforce data" plus ALL data on ObjectX "ever" ongoing.

My general thought was "we point Crystal Reports at this SQL data and do our reporting".

Is anyone doing anything remotely like this and have any advice, either on another product, or anything related? This isn't necessarily for heavy BI purposes, but once the powers that be master reporting on ObjectX outside of SF, the next iteration will be to do even more reporting "offline".

The one alternative could be JasperReports, though I've JUST started looking at that.

I haven't used a product like Crystal Reports in over a decade, so I wish to ask those who may be doing something along these lines with their Salesforce data.

Thanks for any insights.

Update 2014-08-19: JasperReports, watching a few videos of it in action, seems like you are using QuarkXpress or PageMaker to write a simple report. That doesn't seem like a solution to me. Still researching...

Update 2014-10-31: Company is moving forward with a full BI solution - MicroStrategy - after all has been said and done. The prep work in MS is ... intense ... but the end result is a reporting and BI platform that is insanely powerful.

  • IMO, this sounds possibly too broad to be an excellent fit for this forum. That said, I've heard Good Things about Crystal Reports, although I haven't personally used it. – sfdcfox Aug 19 '14 at 15:23
  • I'm tending to agree that I may need to push this to a more appropriate forum... – AMM Aug 19 '14 at 18:14

There are plenty of reporting/BI solutions out there, Crystal Reports and Jasper Reports are the most common in their niche (Visual Languages and .NET for the former, Java for the later), but both of them require you to have middle to export level of SQL and programming knowledge, from your description you apper to be looking for something stand alone (so you don't need to program much), and easy to use, i recommend you to try several reporting tools (many have free trials) starting with DBxtra, which is easy to use and doesn't require you to have programming knowledge and it requires a minimum of SQL knowledge, in fact it's so easy to use that you can create a report by pure drag and drop in 10 minutes or less.

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  • Excellent - thanks for the feedback, will be checking out DBExtra and then any I can find similar to it. I already found "Pebble" which is insanely simplistic and technically looks like someone ripped off Excel's crosstab functionality (very literally). It just unzips and then wants a database/user/password and does it's thing. Thanks again. – AMM Aug 25 '14 at 19:19
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    It looks good, but the functionality that Pebble offers it's mostly DBxtra's pivot grid (dbxtra.com/documentation/#topic/report-designer/pivot-grid/…) and DBxtra offers much more like Maps, dashboards, automatic publication of reports on the web (with the Report Web Service) and automatic unatended exporting and emailing of reports, among others. – Miguel Garcia Aug 27 '14 at 15:25
  • I've moved on now to trying Crystal Reports. So far, I'm TOTALLY unimpressed with anything I've demo'd as far as an end user being able to use it without having to go to SELECT writing. :-P – AMM Aug 29 '14 at 20:54
  • Ended up for the company's needs going to MictoStrategy. HUGE front end configuration investment, but the end users are blown away by the product otherwise. – AMM Oct 31 '14 at 14:50
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    I'm glad you found a solution that fits rightly your needs. :-) – Miguel Garcia Nov 3 '14 at 22:21

I don't recommend Crystal. Their support is impossible to reach -- nonexistent -- thank to the SAP acquisition years ago. If you run Crystal in the cloud for Salesforce reporting, it blows out API calls and the reports take forever. While I'm technically adept, you pretty much need to hire a consultant to create every report you need. Conga has been a great solution -- though their recent upgrade to Conga 8 has made using a lot of images in reports impossible. They now cap timeout at 2 minutes. Hence, I'm shopping for a new solution that enables the user to design visually appealing reports and include images. (We report lists of executives with small profile photos.) I welcome suggestions . . .

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  • Heh, thanks for the insight/experience on Crystal. MicroStrategy (our current solution) is insane on the front end as far as configuration is concerned (any "wizard" as far as pulling in data backed up from Salesforce is useless, even with just default SF objects, because it tries to autolink same-named fields - therefore you must manually create every single "attribute" and "metric" you ever want to report on). You can NOT simply point to SQL and grab a few columns and report... nooooo. ;-) – AMM Oct 31 '14 at 14:49

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