Welcome to my article describing the resources I use when developing Crystal Reports for ASP.NET environments. These resources include some of the code snippets, websites, direct links, and other bits and pieces that I turn to when creating a Crystal Reports web solution.
This article should be helpful for folks just starting to do Crystal Reports for .NET development as well as for experienced .NET developers. I am assuming you use Visual Studio .NET for your development, utilizing the version of Crystal Reports included with Visual Studio .NET.
Business Objects’ Interactive Enterprise Reporting Object Model
Business Objects recently unveiled an interactive Enterprise Reporting Object Model section of their support website. It can be found at http://support.businessobjects.com/global/interactive/xi/om/default.html. While located in the Crystal Reports XI area of the website, and based on the XI object model, it is backwards-compatible for older versions of Crystal Reports. So it should be useful for ASP.NET developers using any version of Crystal Reports.
The interactive start helps you as a beginning developer decide which approaches to take with your application. Utilizing a flowchart, you are presented with options on what type of application is being developed. As you select different options, a representation of the object model and references display on the right-hand side of the page. This interactive part is most helpful when first getting used to the object model.
As you become familiar with the object model, it becomes easier to go directly into the documentation to which this model points. For instance, if you are creating a .NET Windows Forms application you select the CR.NET (WinForm) box under number 2. Clicking on that will display an information box on the right. There’s also a graphic you can click on that will display the API information. From there you will see a graphic representation of the objects.
There are also examples of the object functions as well as links to specific documentation. For example, click here for an explanation of the ReportDocument class and links to specific documentation. It’s a great way to discover the Crystal Reports documentation available from the Business Objects web site that is specific to your application.