Frequently Asked Questions                

Q.   Who uses CrimeStar Software ?
Q.   Can CrimeStar be used in a Network Environment?
Q.   Is CrimeStar a Client/Server application?
Q.   Can CrimeStar handle Big databases?
Q.   What is the maximum size of a CrimeStar RMS database?
Q.   Can I upgrade from the Professional Edition to the Enterprise Edition?
Q.   Can data be exported from the Crimestar system?
Q.   Can I create my own Custom Reports?
Q.   What kind of hardware should I have to run CrimeStar RMS?
Q.   What operating system do I need to run CrimeStar RMS?
Q.   Do I need any other third party equipment or software to use CrimeStar RMS?
Q.   Our agency has several years of data in another system, can it be converted?
Q.   Will Crimestar pre-load the code tables with our state Offense or UCR Codes?
Q.   CrimeStar RMS has many more features than what I need, is there a more basic version?
Q.   How is CrimeStar RMS licensed?
Q.   Why does CrimeStar software cost less than most other LE software products?
Q.   Can I obtain a maintenance support agreement?
Q.   Will I get any updates to the software at a later time?
Q.   Does Crimestar Corporation provide on-site training?


Q. Who uses CrimeStar Software ?
A.

Crimestar Software is used primarily by hundreds of small and medium sized county and municipal law  enforcement agencies in various states throughout the US. While these agencies represent the majority of Crimestar customers, the product has also been licensed for use by considerably larger organizations such as the;
  
* United States Army - Directorate of Emergency Services / Law Enforcement
* United States Department of Commerce - National Inst. of Standards & Technology (NIST)
* United States National Parks Service - Division of Law Enforcement
* United States Coast Guard
* State of Texas Attorney General - Law Enforcement Division 
* New York City (NY) Police Department
* Houston (TX) Police Department
   
Crimestar software is also being used by various specialty law enforcement agencies such as College and University Police, Indian Tribal Police, Park Rangers and Regional Narcotics Task Forces.  In most cases CrimeStar is used as a complete organizational records management system.  However, in some cases it is used as a specific records or investigations tool by specialty personnel or departmental units, such as Narcotics Officers, Gang Investigators, Crime Analysts and Community Policing specialists.
 

Q. Can CrimeStar be used in a Network Environment?
A. YES! - CrimeStar is designed to function in either a stand alone or network environment. In fact the Professional Edition of CrimeStar is network independent, allowing you to use virtually any kind of network that will permit you to "MAP" a drive and share it or make that drive available for both read/write operations to the workstation computers running the CrimeStar program.
 
Q. Is CrimeStar currently a Client Server application ?
A. It depends on which edition of the program you are referring to: 

Professional Edition:  In the truest sense of Client Server, NO. CrimeStar professional edition is a simple LAN based application. The application software runs on your desktop computer, while the database can either reside on the same computer in a stand alone environment, or on a different computer designated as the "Server" in a network environment. This simple design approach does not require the use of a separate database server program. This in turn minimizes program and system complexity as well as the costs that are sometimes associated with these high power database engines.

Enterprise Edition: Yes,  this edition is a true high volume, high performance Client/Server system that utilizes the Microsoft SQL Server database engine.  This edition of the product is scalable to handle very large agencies or agencies with multiple-substation facilities and provides excellent database integrity and security.
 
Q. Can CrimeStar handle BIG databases ?
A. YES! - While the Professional Edition of CrimeStar does not use a client server database engine, it does have a high powered database engine of its own. With all databases performance tends to degrade as database size increases. CrimeStar is no different, however CrimeStar can handle files which contain 100's of thousands of records with impressive speed. Of course, the power and speed of your computers and the saturation level of your network play a major role in overall system speed.  The Enterprise Edition of CrimeStar does use a high power client server database engine that can handle extremely large volumes of data (usually Terabytes).
 
Q. What is the Maximum Size of a CrimeStar database ?
A. BIG! - CrimeStar's database actually consists of many different data tables. The database tables used with the Professional Edition  can grow to a maximum of 2 Gigabytes each (this is a limitation imposed by the Microsoft database used by Crimestar Professional Edition and not by Crimestar itself), the maximum size of the database can potentially be many (hundreds of) gigabytes of data as multiple database tables are used.   Because of this capacity, CrimeStar Professional edition is capable of handling the volume of data created by most law enforcement agencies.  The Enterprise Edition of Crimestar uses a client server database engine that has no 2 Gigabyte table limits and is capable of growing much larger with database sizes entering into the multiple terabyte range.

  IMPORTANT CAUTION RE: Digital Photos & Professional Edition  * 

While a 2 gigabyte ( 2 billion bytes ) maximum table size can hold thousands of normal records an obvious exception to this is where the database storage of digital photos are concerned.  A normal database record that consists only of text fields may be, for example, 1,000 bytes long.  
Thus mathematically a 2 gigabyte table capacity would be able to hold 2 million records (2,000,000,000 / 1,000).  However, with the increasing pixel resolution of digital cameras many digital images can be very very large.  If a single digital image is, for example, 1 Megabyte (1,000,000 bytes) of data then a table with a 2 gigabyte capacity can only hold 2,000 images (2,000,000,000 / 1,000,000) before reaching capacity.   So if you intend to capture high resolution booking or evidence images where each image may be rather large, or if you intend to store a moderately large volume of digital images in the database so those images are available for instant recall and display, then it is highly recommended that you use the Enterprise Edition of Crimestar where no such 2 gigabyte table size limit exists.
   
Q. Can I upgrade from the Professional Edition to the Enterprise Edition ?
A. Yes! - The pricing for Crimestar RMS is structured so that the Professional Edition is less expensive if you are purchasing only a few licenses.  If you are purchasing more than just a few licenses then the Enterprise Edition becomes more cost effective.   If you initially license the Professional Edition and later decide that you want to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition, you only pay the difference in cost (if any) for the same number of Crimestar licenses.  In other words, when you upgrade from the Professional Edition to the Enterprise Edition you get a 100% credit for the money you have already spent to license the Professional Edition of the software.  Depending upon how many Professional Edition licenses you agency has purchased, you upgrade to the Enterprise Edition may be FREE.
         
* The Crimestar Enterprise Edition requires the use of separate client server database software which,( if not already owned), must be licensed separately from those respective vendors.
   
Q. Can data be exported from the CrimeStar system ?
A. YES! - All Professional Edition CrimeStar data is stored in "DBF" type tables which can be read by other popular desktop applications such as Word Processors and Spreadsheets using standard ODBC connectivity.  Enterprise Edition data is stored in a SQL type database and can also be read using ODBC and other popular reporting tools and programs.  Additionally, CrimeStar® supports certain specific export functions which can be used to create and save files in different formats.
 
Q. Can I create my own reports ?
A. YES! - CrimeStar has a built in report generator so you can build your own simple reports.  Beyond the built-in capabilities of CrimeStar, data can be accessed by many "off the shelf" reporting programs, such as Crystal Reports, R&R Report Writer etc.    Once this data is exported it can be used in conjunction with other Analytical and Crime Analysis tools.
 
Q. What kind of hardware should I have to run CrimeStar ?
A. CrimeStar's absolute minimum specifications are very modest.  As a general rule, if you can run Windows 98se or higher you can probably run Crimestar!  Please read or System Requirements Page for more specific information.
   
Q. What operating system do I need to run CrimeStar ?
A.

All CrimeStar products are true 32 bit software application which requires a true 32 (or 64)  bit operating system such as Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8 or Windows 10. 

* CrimeStar will not work with Windows 3.1, Windows95 or Windows NT. 

While older versions of Crimestar software may run on Windows 95 or Windows NT, continued support for these operating systems has been phased out.
 

Q. Do I need any other third party equipment or software to use CrimeStar?
A. Generally No.   The Professional Edition CrimeStar is completely self contained using a desktop DBF type database.  The Enterprise Edition requires the customer to license separate commercial client server database software such as Microsoft SQL Server. 

If however, you wish to take advantage of certain features within the program you may need additional equipment or software not supplied by Crimestar Corporation.  This optional equipment could consist of a Barcode Scanner, Digital Camera.  To use the Diagramming features that CrimeStar is capable of you should consider licensing an OLE compliant diagramming tool such as SmartDraw, Visio, Easy Street Draw and others.  These diagramming products are not provided by or licensed by Crimestar Corporation, however Crimestar will work with many of them.
 

Q. Our agency has several years of data in another system, can it be converted ?
A. Generally speaking, YES.   Each software program or system has its own method or format in which data is stored.  Due to the wide variety of systems and file formats each data conversion task is different. Some conversions are easier than others and in some cases the data can not be converted without considerable time, effort and expense.  The cost to convert your data to the CrimeStar system must be quoted on a case by case basis. Please contact us for more information about conversion services.
 
Q. Will Crimestar pre-load the code tables with our State Offense or UCR Codes ?
A. In most cases Crimestar either already has or can get the offense codes that are used in your particular state from an existing Crimestar customer.  Those codes can then be easily imported into your database.  Having said that, there will likely be some local regulations and ordinances that you will still need to enter, however this can usually be done in about an hour.  Having said that, consider the following points:
  1. If we don't have the state offense codes to provide back to you, it is likely we can get a copy of another Crimestar user's code tables. Contact Crimestar Technical Support for more information.
     
  2. Our experience has shown that most law enforcement agencies only use a very small fraction (100-200) of the thousands of statutory codes that are published within their respective state.  Combine this with the fact that there may be county and municipal offense codes that must be entered as well and it is obvious that simply entering the most common codes state or otherwise is not as big of a task as one might imagine.
     
  3.  As for UCR codes, we adhere only to the published FBI national standard for UCR reporting thus the UCR codes used by the system are defined internally based on those published FBI standards.
Q. Crimestar RMS has many more features than what I need.  Is there a more basic or simplified version available?
A. Yes. Crimestar RMS is available in a basic or "lite" edition, where some of the less common features have been removed.

Q. How is CrimeStar Licensed ?
A. CrimeStar RMS is licensed per concurrent user. What does that mean ? Because CrimeStar is distributed via the internet, we have no way to control the number of computers it is installed on. What we can control is the number of concurrent or simultaneous users accessing the database.

Example: If your agency purchases 7 user licenses, you can install CrimeStar on as many networked computers as you wish within your agency, however the software will prohibit more than 7 people from using it at any one time. When the 8th person attempts to sign-on to CrimeStar they simply receive a message as follows: "Sorry, There are already 7 users accessing the system. Please try again later."   When one of the original 7 users sign out and closes CrimeStar the license they were using then becomes available for someone else to use. 

The concept is actually simple.  The more licenses you purchase, the more users that will be allowed to access the central CrimeStar database at the same time, but you don't necessarily have to purchase a license for every networked computer you have, unless you want all of those computers to be able to run CrimeStar simultaneously. This permits great flexibility at a minimal expense for your agency.

If you intend to run CrimeStar on a single non-networked computer, you only need 1 user license.  If however you intend to (or do) run CrimeStar on more than one non-networked computer, a license must be obtained for each non-networked computer where CrimeStar is installed.

* Note, the license agreement distributed with the CrimeStar software shall supersede any information listed herein.
 

Q. How much does CrimeStar cost per concurrent user ?
A. The current price for CrimeStar is published on our Prices web page.  Generally speaking Crimestar is one of, if not the, least expensive fully featured packages available.  Additionally, Crimestar's update and support costs are among the lowest in the industry.

* This price is subject to change without notice !
 
Q. Can I incrementally add concurrent user Licenses ?
A. YES. There is no penalty or advantage to licensing a few concurrent users, then adding concurrent user licenses as needed.
 
Q. Is this licensing method common ?
A. NO. Most companies in the public safety market tend to price their software per installation or per computer or even by your city population. In some cases the price they quote fluctuates up or down depending on what they know your budget (which is public information) to be, or how much they think they can get! We don't believe in that kind of subjective and often discriminating price methodology. That is why publish our prices and stick to them.
 
Q. Why does CrimeStar software cost less than most other LE software packages?
A. The answer to this question has its roots in our product and marketing philosophy.  Since our company is privately owned and has no debt, no loans or venture capital investors to repay and since we maintain very low marketing and operational expenses, we have the luxury of being able to charge less for our products than most other mainstream companies in this business.   We understand that public safety budgets are often tight and that organizations often struggle to provide service to their respective communities while maintaining fiscal moderation.  We also understand that the real cost of an information system is not just the initial license cost but also the recurring long term cost for support and maintenance.  

Crimestar software products are priced at a level which provides our customers with an excellent value! 
 

Most software products in this market cost considerably more to license and maintain than Crimestar, but don't necessarily provide any more reliability or capability than we do.  If your only consideration is price, we have no doubt that you can probably find a few products that are less expensive than Crimestar too.  However, when you consider all the great features, flexibility and capabilities that our solutions offer, it becomes increasingly clear that Crimestar software represents a great "bang-for-the-buck" for law enforcement agencies both small and large!  
    
Q. Can I obtain a maintenance support agreement for CrimeStar ?
A. Yes. Crimestar Corporation offers and encourages an annual software support and maintenance agreement to ensure that your agency will receive our product updates and technical assistance when needed.  Unlimited technical support is provided via both e-mail and/or voice telephone and is provided for an annual fee per user license purchased.  Additionally your support maintenance agreement allows you to contribute to and receive all bug fixes and minor future product upgrades and enhancements without any additional charge.   

To resolve technical issues, you should first check the published resources such as online help files and manuals.  If after consulting those resources you still need technical assistance you can contact Crimestar for additional help.
 

Q. Will I get any updates to the Software at a later time ?
A. Licensed users with paid support agreements are entitled to all bug fix and minor update releases.  While Crimestar Corporation does not make any specific promises or guarantees as to how many releases will be made available annually, we generally release several per year.
  
Q. Does Crimestar Corporation provide on-site training ?
A. On-site training is not included as part of the license agreement for CrimeStar.   Most CrimeStar customers have found the product to be intuitive enough to not need on-site training.  However, where customers absolutely require system training, Crimestar Corporation can be separately contracted to provide on-site assistance and training at a rate of $1,000 per training day, plus expenses.  While we charge for travel expenses we don't bill the daily rate for days spent traveling.  Often a 1 day on-site training session will require a total of 3 days (1 Travel day + 1 Training Day + 1 Travel day) for our personnel.  Our daily rate is based on time spent on-site, regardless of the number of agency personnel trained.

This rate is very competitive as many professional training centers charge as much as $200 per person attending the training class!   Check out our On-Site Training Page for more information
 



 

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