Compatibility issues with CR Runtime across versions?

In contemplating upgrading CR for our IT dept's light report generation, I am wondering what the issues might be with distributed reports between Ver. 7/8 reports, and v10.  Currently, to run CR 7/8 compiled reports, a CR Runtime engine must be installed on the target workstations.  Is this case with CR 10 and 2008?
Also, if CR 10 or 2008 uses a local runtime engine to execute distributed reports, will the newer version runtime execute older, non-updated reports as well?
Thanks...
michaelheffernanAsked:
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Kurt ReinhardtSr. Business Intelligence Consultant/ArchitectCommented:
Well, for version 10, there's no such thing as a compiled report.  That functionality went away with version 9.  Business Objects, as a company, really wants people to serve up reports in a managed environment, preferably through one of their Enterprise products (Crystal Reports Server, BusinessObjects Edge or BusinessObjects Enterprise).
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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Yeah, so would I but there's the issue of these 100s of reports we have and continue to get from our programming unit.  So I guess we're stuck with v9.
Were there at least some improvements to v9 over v8?
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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Addendum: I cannot see doing the enterprise solution for two guys in a small IT department.  Question: reports done with stand-alone v10 or v11, are they in some way distributable?  
Okay, no executable, but a .rpt file.  What do we do with an .rpt file unless some runtime engine is installed to run it?  
Thanks...
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Kurt ReinhardtSr. Business Intelligence Consultant/ArchitectCommented:
My mistake - the compiled report feature went away even earlier than 9.  Also, I don't know if you can even download the Report Distribution Expert for CR 8.5 anymore, so it might be a moot point. There are third party viewers that let you run reports.  Check out http://kenhamady.com/bookmarks.html.

How many users do you anticpate running these reports, both total and the maximum concurrency?
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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Hm.  Good question: up to 100 individual users, prob never more than 50 concurrent....
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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Of course, what is a "viewer"? Many of these reports feature user-defineable fields (date span, fleet ID, etc.).  Do these third party viewers facilitate this?
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Kurt ReinhardtSr. Business Intelligence Consultant/ArchitectCommented:
At minimum, a viewer is a small application that lets one open and view a Crystal Report (with saved data), without needing to actually have Crystal Reports installed.  It is to a Crystal Report as the Adobe Acrobat is to a .pdf document.

There are several viewers, however, that not only let you view a static report (one that has already been run), but actually run reports within them.  Any one of these might replace the functionality of a compiled report, however, the user will need to have access and permissions to the database in order to run the reports.  Ido Millet's DataLink Viewer (http://www.milletsoftware.com/DataLink_Viewer.htm) is very functional, for example.
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Kurt ReinhardtSr. Business Intelligence Consultant/ArchitectCommented:
In regards to "user-defineable fields", I'm assuming you mean input parameters in that a user will run a report, be prompted for a parameter, such as a Fleet ID and input it. Is that correct?  If so, a viewer that lets you connect to the db and run a report should include this functionality.
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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
Thank you; invaluable insights.
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michaelheffernanAuthor Commented:
I believe you are "Ken"?  May I ask, where *should* I go to get questions like these about CR answered... I tend not to contact BO as I am not looking to spend 1000s on something we don't need (we are just supplementing the reams of reports from the prog. group).  I hate to keep pestering you with these trivial questions....
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