Lessons Learned: Sorting out Crystal Reports 2008 Versioning, Service Packs and Deployment
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Published: 24 Sep 2008
Abstract
Moving reports in a sizable application from Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2005 to Crystal Reports 2008 can be a frustrating transition. This article provides guidance based on the lessons the author has learned from her development experience. After providing a brief history and comparison of different versions of Crystal Reports, she examines the development of applications using Crystal Reports under Windows Vista 64 bit and gives some tips to avoid potential problems along with a brief outline of Redistribution of Reports.
by Julia Lerman
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Introduction

Since I began developing with Visual Basic around 1996 or 1997, I have been using some form of Crystal Reports (CR) to design reports. As CR has evolved over time, I have had to frequently spend more time than I would like to remember not only updating my development environment and reports, but supporting clients with new runtimes. I am sure that my move from Crystal Version 6 directly to Crystal Version 8.5 will go down in history as my worst-ever upgrade experience. But with that behind me, I battle on and have remained loyal because Crystal has always allowed me to create great reports for my clients.

At the start of this year I wrote an ASPAlliance article entitled "What Visual Studio Developers Should Know about Crystal Reports 2008." At the time, the existing version of CR 2008 was not yet compatible with VS2008 and you could only use the embedded version that came "in the box." Since then, an update has been released and it is now possible to use CR 2008 (with many more features than the embedded version) in Visual Studio 2008.

I have just gone through moving a big application from VS 2005 to VS 2008. This was pretty easy except for the fact that I had ported all of the reports up to the bundled version of Crystal that comes with VS 2008 and then to the full blown version of Crystal 2008. I did all of this on a 64bit version of Vista. Additionally, this app is a Windows application and relies on ClickOnce for updates, which provided a few more pain points for me until I got everything all sorted out.

It was a time consuming transition mostly because I was winging it and was missing some key information and am hoping to help you avoid the same pain by providing guidance based on my lessons learned.


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