Hey, I would like to make it AS EASY AS POSSIBLE for a user to choose which fields from specific tables to view, and then view these fields (with the proper primary keys maintaining their status) in something like a datareport.
Now I've fooled with Crystal Reports trial version, and it seems VERY difficult to set conditions or view things properly: If you have a Title, First, Middle, Last Name... how do you show them without any spaces that ate designated for them? Group By?
Also, how easy is it for a user, who knows NOTHING about the tables, to just pick and choose fields from multiple tables and have the outcome show the proper records from each table VIA Crystal Reports?
In my opinion, Crystal Reports is fine for the "power user" that wants to manage their own data, and is willing to spend a few hours figuring out how to do that management. It will allow them to make things happen with a minimum amount of effort, and at a reasonable cost.
I don't know of any tool that does this well for J. Q. User, that doesn't know a mailing label from a shipping envelope. There are too many things that the user needs to understand in order to effectively use a general purpose reporting tool for anyone I know to write a truly simple report writer. There is just too much gap between the blank paper and the finished product for any software I can imagine to bridge that gap successfully.