Crystal Decisions offends many in the BI world because it is focused on reporting. Many in BI have fought long and hard to assert that BI is more than reporting. It is, but let's face it, you're collecting data in the data warehouse for (1) reporting, (2) ad-hoc access, (3) feeding other systems or (4) automated decisions/operations. Reporting is the biggest use of BI and Crystal is the most widely used specialized reporting tool out there. While it may not be fit for ad-hoc interactive access, when your reporting needs go beyond what the OLAP tools can do, Crystal is a natural follow-on for a data warehouse environment.
I'll also say that I find many in BI who take the very opposite view and do see Crystal as the de-facto access tool.
For more information, check out searchCRM's Best Web Links on Reporting.
This was first published in October 2001