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Business Objects' Crystal Reports Professional

New Features

CR Professional lets you create hierarchical data groupings for easier navigation through reports. The company has improved integration with its Enterprise Repository and added programmer-set prompts so users can choose from a data source rather than rely on static prompt values.

If you publish reports to the Web, you'll find the new HTML preview function invaluable. Unfortunately, you can't publish directly to a Web server over WebDAV or FTP. And reports exported to HTML and PDF still lose all their interactive features, such as hierarchical grouping navigation and drill-down functions.

Sift, Shift, Lift

Business Objects sent me a copy of Professional XI to test at the RSM Experts lab in Montreal. Installation was wizard-guided and led to the Start page. From here, I could customize one of 30 standard reports, or create my own report using a blank design page or one of four report-creation wizards. The Start page provides a list of recently opened reports, as well as links to online resources and product-support features.

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