Report Migration from Crystal to SSRS Case Study

The Client

The client is a multinational shipping company that requires on-demand financial reporting.

Reporting is an invaluable competitive advantage to this client helping them gain insight and make better business decisions.

The Challenge

The client was shutting down Crystal Reports and needed reports to be migrated to SSRS. This was part of a larger platform standardization effort from a variety of platforms onto Microsoft’s BI suite.

The project was broken into two sprints. When the first sprint was complete, super users began testing the reports while Optimus developed the second set.

After sprint two, Optimus had enough feedback to finalize the first batch of reports making for a very efficient transition.

Key Challenges

– Migrating undocumented reports.

– The business process was not captured in any document, therefore we needed to exert significant effort in learning about the domain.

– There was complex business logic for each report requirement.

– Most reports were multiple-level, drill-down reports.

The Process

  1. Understand the client’s needs, their database and data structure.
  2. Working on reports being actively used on a daily basis by a large user group.
  3. Creating workarounds for the different capabilities of Crystal Reports and SSRS.

How Optimus Helped

The original reports in Crystal Reports were entirely undocumented. This posed a challenge because it was unclear where the data for each report came from and how it was compiled.

To overcome this challenge, Optimus reverse engineered the reports in Crystal and recreated them in SSRS. While doing so, Optimus created documentation to explain data sources, parameters, sorting requirements, etc.

The second challenge was that these reports were live and being used by a large user group on a daily basis. To manage the migration, Optimus developed
and published the reports to a group of super users.The super users then used the reports daily until they were approved for deployment.

There were also a few technical challenges as Crystal Reports has different functionality than SSRS. By using some customized C# scripts, Optimus was able to reproduce Crystal Reports functionality in SSRS.

Overall, the report migration project was successful because it had minimal impact on users (in fact the new reports were faster) and was delivered on time and under budget.