Understanding the Crystal Reports Object Model
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Published: 11 May 2009
Often times, when developers think about Crystal Reports, they think about a stand-alone designer and reports running in a sandbox. This is a common misconception and often leads to logic placed on reports that should have been handled in code. In this article Jeff discusses the basics of the Report Document Model and Report View Model with the help of comprehensive explanations and screen shots.
by Jeff McWherter
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Many of the reporting applications that I have worked on have had many business rules that called for complex logic to manipulate specific aspects of the reports. In order to maintain the business rules easily, we want to abstract as many of these business rules out of the report as we can, and include them in external code before the report is rendered. In this article we will discuss the business objects (no pun intended) that Crystal Reports 2008 includes and how you can harness the power to create reports that are dynamic and customized for your needs.

Common Programmability Tasks

The Crystal Reports reporting API is very large, and handles many business use cases for enterprise and small business reporting applications. The two major objects that developers work with for rendering Crystal Reports with an application are the CrystalReportViewer and the ReportDocument. There are two types of CrystalReportViewer objects within Crystal Reports 2008. One is found inside of CrystalDescisions.Windows.Form assembly and is used for WinForms, and the other is found inside of CrystalDescisions.Web and is used for ASP.NET.

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User Comments

Title: poor article   
Name: Hamid
Date: 2009-07-22 2:09:38 AM
I have VS.NET 2008 and there isn't "Format Graphic" when right-click on picture and just there is "Format Object" and there isn't any formula button (X+2 button) in it. It would be a good point if you inform readers about some exceptions.
Thank You
Title: API is powerful, but...   
Name: David (hand-on)
Date: 2009-07-17 2:34:02 PM
This article is a great starting point for all Crystal developers not very familiar with the Crystal API. You can really program whole report instead of using standard design.
But it is such a headache to support those reports. Contrary to the goal of this article - declare separation of business rules and presentation - this approach just mixing both together. I would use stored procedures where it is possible (unfortunately it is quite often a DBA privilege)
Title: Windward > Crystal Reports for Easy to Use Business Reporting   
Name: G-ram
Date: 2009-05-22 6:27:11 PM
While Crystal Reports maintains its role as the leader in reporting software it still challenges non technical users, if you want to overcome this issue come Demo Windward reports here
Title: useful article   
Name: santosh
Date: 2009-05-14 8:12:16 AM
very good article
please provide advanced crystal reporting concepts also

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