Business Objects has an impressive looking matrix about
report compatibility on their website. It can be a little daunting. Here are
the highlights for Visual Studio developers.
Reports built with the previous versions of Crystal Reports
that were bundled with Visual Studio (2002, 2003 and 2005) will be compatible
with Crystal Reports 2008 Basic that is built into Visual Studio 2008. And
those older reports will port over to Crystal Reports 2008. However, and this
is important to be aware of, Crystal Reports 2008 reports will not port to Crystal Reports Basic. According to Business Objects: “One can upgrade from Crystal Reports Basic to Crystal Reports 2008 but it is not possible to go the other way. Even though Crystal Reports Basic was released after Crystal Reports 2008, one cannot upgrade to a Crystal Reports Basic project as this would break the edition subset rule.” Translation: if you create a report in the standalone designer, you won’t be able to work with it in the embedded designer in Visual Studio.
You can see the detailed information about report
compatibility in this Business Objects blog: What is the Crystal Reports
After installing Crystal Reports 2008, I opened up a report
intensive Windows Forms application in Visual Studio 2005 and was greeted by
this conversion wizard.
I did not find that my Crystal Report files were backed up,
but there was a backup of the project file. This is because the references of
the project were modified. I recommend manually backing up the rpt files in
I ran a simple report and it was fine. I then tried to run a
very complex and data intensive report and did have a small heart palpitation
when I got an error message telling me that "the request could not be
submitted for background processing." As far as I know, this is Crystal's "unhandled exception" message and there are a number of solutions you
can find on the web that will work if you happen to have the same underlying
problem as that particular developer. Crystal Support doggedly worked with me
until they were finally able to duplicate the problem which seems to be a
special scenario and they are working on a bug fix. Unfortunately, I have still
been unable to fix that report, but expect that I will eventually be able to
discover the root cause of the problem or just rebuild it in CR2008 and will
just rebuild it in the meantime.
If you make a change to an existing report and save it, you
will get a notification that the report is about to be updated to a newer
version and cannot be reverted.