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  1. #1
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    Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    I was wondering if anyone here has used Crystal Xcelsius with Excel and if you have, what is your opinion? Is it worth the $500 investment?

    Thanks.
    Pooja

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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    Hi pooja,

    Never heard of it before but, since you can download a fere trial version, why not give that a whirl and see if the product meets your needs?
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  3. #3
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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    It definitely seems to do so! I was just wondering if someone had actually purchased it and found some bugs that you can't usually see in the trial version...

    Thanks.
    Pooja

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    Yes I use it and purchased it several years ago before they were bought out by Business Objects earlier this year. First impression is WOW but as you start to use it I find it really annoying that they do not support some trivial Excel features (some of which aren't documented). I'm sure I'm on their tech support's black list as a pain-in-the-butt customer for hounding them so much. Their support is responsive though so they get credit for that. How useful is it depends on what you want to do - for some things it is trivial to get a cool looking Flash app, for others it's a bear (or I don't understand their tricks even after reading help many times).

    Right now I'm working on making a Flash version of a large Excel app I have (which uses VBA). Since Xcelsius reads/imports the Excel file I first have to strip out all my VBA, much of the formatting, replace my named ranges with the format they understand (which is not a documented bug), and other things that are annoying. For most people this probably isn't much of an issue since they start from a plain Excel file. I just wanted some simple checkboxes that include/exclude certain values from being totaled and I use SUMPRODUCT (which is a supported formula - not all are). I can't get this to work and am waiting for tech support to reply.

    Since you have to use their library of components (checkboxes, lists, charts, etc) it's obvious when you see a project done in Xcelsius as they all look alike. You can combine your own Flash with one of theirs in the same project however but can't directly use your own Flash objects in the Xcelsius .swf file.

    Overall, it's cool and a great idea, but if I had time to learn ActionScript in Flash, I'd much prefer doing it myself (but then I'm a geek programmer).

    Deb

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    To answer the 2nd part of your question - the trial version is the same as the regular version. It has bugs like all other software, some documented (if you ask) others not. There is a list on their site of the supported Excel formulas (about 123 so far).

    When you install it, it registers your PC on their database so you can't just install it on multiple PCs. Occasionally their master database seems to hiccup and I get an error when I run Xcelsius that my copy isn't registered. It lets you run it 4 times before stopping so sometimes I just do that before calling them to kick-start their database again. With the single developer license which I have you can install it on one main PC and one backup. I recently got a new laptop at work so I'll have to call them when I want to install it on this new PC since it won't match whatever ID number they use to recognize my old PC (some combo of PC MAC address or other number + the product's serial number I guess).

    Deb

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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    Thank you for the response! Definitely answers some of my questions about this product. I'm going to play around with the trial version for a bit more before purchasing...

    Thanks again.
    Pooja

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    They just released version 4.5. The Standard package is $195, Pro is $495 and Workgroup starts at $7500 with a different licensing schemes. I saw a special for $99 recently on the Standard version. The tech support people are very good (for a change since so many companies are horrid at this). There is now a Dummies book on this product too.

    Deb

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    Re: Crystal Xcelsius (2002 SP3)

    I know! I picked up the book two days ago and for a beginner like me with this product it's a pretty good one!

    Pooja

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