From OLAP to SaaS: The evolution of Reporting
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Databases have many strengths, but reporting isn't one of them. They are notoriously bad at producing sequentially calculated output - SQL was not built to deal with sequential calculations.
So as soon as databases appeared, reporting tools weren't just desirable, they were essential. Crystal Reports is one such reporting tool.
Crystal Reports was established in 1984. To have survived for this long in the competitive world of software is a major achievement and testament to the continual evolution of the product.
And in that evolution, we can see the evolution of reporting in general.