Mark, it's interesting to see this project unfold, please do keep us up on
events there.

(Ready for some acronym soup?)  Crystal Reports is heavily tied to .NET
these days.  Microsoft has selected CR for integration with Great Plains, so
there is a high level of commitment to the CR/GP/.NET links.  It shouldn't
be a problem to create a middle-tier which interfaces data from both GP and
UD into CR via ADO.NET.    ADO.NET is _not_ ADO, which was basically
supposed to be an upgrade to ODBC.  In addition to other things, ADO.NET is
really a data hub which allows you to create a source-independent set of
tables and relations.  The end result is that CR doesn't know or care where
the data is coming from, it comes from an ADO.NET data model.  How you get
the data into ADO.NET is up to you.

My recommendation is to take a look at the Pick Data Provider .NET from
Raining Data, another product which has endorsement from Microsoft.  Pricing
is very reasonable, it's stable, well documented and supported.  Since there
are questions about other interfaces working with U2 from .NET, like RBO's,
UniObjects, UniODBC, etc, it seems reasonable to choose a connectivity
module that was written for the purpose.  Using technology that is endorsed
by Microsoft from end to end should give you some political leverage as
well, since that seems to be a priority with management there.

[Ad] Here at Nebula R&D, we can prototype a report on a T&M basis, even
going all the way back and forth between GP, MV, and CR.  I honestly have no
idea how long it would take without looking at this closer, but the tools
are available, we have everything here, it's just a matter of connecting the
dots.  (Nebula R&D is an authorized Raining Data reseller and MSDN Universal
Developer.)  If you'd like to contract for more specific work, we now have
highly qualified people available to do this sort of work (MS MVP/MSDE
trainer/developers), and we'll be happy to take a back seat and let you get
the glory as projects are completed.

Good luck.

>-----Original Message-----
>[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Mark Johnson
>Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 11:51 AM
>To: U2 Users Discussion List
>Subject: Crystal Reports
>One of my clients wants to connect Crystal Reports to their UD 
>database to apparently give greater access to the data that 
>they sometimes deem as hidden and only accessable through me.
>This client converted to Great Plains 6 weeks ago (SQL based) 
>and their CR experts were struggling with duplicating some of 
>the more mundane reports that already exist in UD. A monthly 
>sales tax summary (by jurisdiction) took the GP guy 3 days 
>futzing with CR using GP's data.
>How much trouble are they going to get in trying to use MV'd 
>data from the UD system (ODBC) if they have so much trouble 
>with more 'normalized' data. Everyone seems to think that CR 
>is a magic pill and once attached to a SQL database, the 
>sophisticated reports simply roll off.
>I'm trying to strongly propose a data warehouse concept 
>whereby the day's sales data gets exported and updated into 
>their prior application for the sake of the multitude of 
>existing, proven reports in MV. If these guys took 3 days for 
>a simple tax report, how can CR fabricate temporary tables for 
>the sake of these consolidated sophisticated MV reports?
>I'm just interested in hearing of some experiences. This 
>client is too stubborn to go back from GP and may even 
>disregard their entire MV system completely. I really have 
>nothing to lose if I insult them. 
>Thanks in advance.
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