The time spent planning a deployment of Crystal Enterprise directly relates to the success of that deployment. In other words, failing to plan is planning to fail. This year in North America, 77% of IT software deployment projects will fail due in part to inaccurate requirement gathering, inexperienced project team members, and insufficient executive interest and sponsorship.
All too often, the average scenario when deploying Crystal Enterprise consists of placing the Crystal Enterprise application CD into the CD drive, double-clicking setup.exe, crossing fingers, and hoping for the best. Whether the person in charge of deploying Crystal Enterprise is an experienced system administrator or a novice at deploying applications to a small or large group of users, certain steps can be taken to increase the deployment success and adoption of Crystal Enterprise.
With its flexible system architecture and SDK, Crystal Enterprise provides organizations with the capability to build uniquely customized information delivery environments scaling from a single-user or workgroup to enterprisewide deployments with tens of thousands of users. Because of this broad scope of functionality, project teams will find themselves planning to deploy an enterprise reporting environment as well as providing application development support to customize the user interface. This is, of course, assuming an organization chooses not to use one of the out-of-the-box Crystal Enterprise end-user interfaces.
The first part of this chapter defines a project management planning approach that will enable a Crystal Enterprise system administrator or deployment manager to form a framework around which a Crystal Enterprise deployment project can be successfully built and delivered, thus increasing the rate of success.
The second portion of the chapter focuses on the specific topics related to actually deploying Crystal Enterprise, from organizational reporting requirements to server sizing and architecture.