What Visual Studio Developers Should Know About Crystal Reports 2008
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by Julia Lerman
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Crystal Reports 2008 and Visual Studio Integration

Visual Studio 2008 and "Crystal Reports 2008 Basic" - not much new

Visual Studio 2008 Professional includes "Crystal Reports 2008 Basic." The Standard and Express versions of VS2008 do not include the bundled Crystal Reports.

 "Crystal Reports 2008 Basic" is quite different than "Crystal Reports 2008." The Basic version has the same feature set as the previous version (that was embedded into Visual Studio 2005). In fact, if you look at Crystal Reports section of the Visual Studio MSDN documentation (Development Tools and Langauges/Visual Studio/ Tools and Features/Crystal Reports), the list of "What's New" is as follows:

·         ClickOnce deployment supports the HomeSite attribute and is now available for x64 bit machines.

·         Crystal Reports Basic for Visual Studio 2008 supports both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

·         Support for the .Net 3.5 Framework.

Crystal Reports 2008 Upgrade

So where are all of the new features? They are in the commercial version of Crystal Reports 2008 which is a $295 upgrade.

Since the licensing has changed dramatically, there is only one version of Crystal Reports 2008 which lets you use the standalone package as well as the integrated design tools in Visual Studio. Previously, there were a variety of licensing options to sort out and choose from and I think simplifying and having just one license was a great strategy for Business Objects.

Visual Studio 2008 Integration - not quite yet

Crystal Reports 2008 does not yet integrate with Visual Studio 2008 but an upcoming update will provide this integration. You will need to watch the Business Objects website for more information on this. Although Visual Studio 2008 is currently available through MSDN, it will not be officially released until Feb 28, 2008 so this minor setback probably does not impact a huge number of developers.

Visual Studio 2003 and Visual Studio 2005 - yes you can

Crystal Reports 2008 does integrate with Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2003. I still have VS2005 on my development machine, so I have been able to at least get started learning the new features.


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