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How do I deploy a vb 6.0 application using  Crystal Reports XI ?

Posted on 2008-11-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Typcially I just use MS Visual InterDev and create an msi file.  I've researched several articles and some say use the same just make sure to use the Merge modules and some say that you can't use MS VI, you need to use a third party appn' like InstallShield, etc.  If I use InterDev and include the merge modules, I get several errors and just when I think it's working, I try and deploy to the user community and I get errors indicating controls like craxdrt.dll are missing.....

What are your recommendations and how easy is it to create an Installshield file?  I've already tried, however, it seems a bit complicated.....

Your suggestions are appreciated!  Thanks!
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Question by:coenewnes
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22940236
Your problem most likely is not in the installation authoring tool, but in CR itself - see this thread: http://msmvps.com/blogs/williamryan/archive/2004/11/07/18148.aspx - note the number of people who spoke up.

Because of CR being so unreliable, the only way is to try every way and find the best one - which may be different for every other project. The best of course would be to drop CR - in that thread you will find the alternatives. It's understood that changing reporting platform is a huge step, but if you are in business for long run, it will pay off.

For me personally, two observations were enough: (1) CR being shareware included in VS.Net, with c'mons thrown at me (2) CR working only in Wizard mode, without normal design tools. I remember how I couldn't beleive what I saw and looked for some setup flaw that maybe failed to install them. Once I realized that it's just not there, I had it gone forever.
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by:coenewnes
ID: 22941151
At this point in time I don't have the time to switch reporting tools.  Is there a way I can get InstallShield to work or any other 3rd party tool?  Like I mentioned, Installshield seems pretty complex, but perhaps someone has some notes that will quickly assist?

Thanks...
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22941407
Installshield creates quite robust installations. There's not general answer; you would have to look at each case individually. Installshield has a trial, you can download and try for yourself if it works, how easy and so on. There are also free msi-authoring tools (google for msi authoring). Visual Studio 6, including its installer-authoring tool, is not quite outdated, maybe you would have better success with more up-to date tool.

One thing you can do is try new installations on virtual machines with different platforms.

By the way, I don't quite understand why you mention visual interdev. If I'm not mistaken, Interdev was a tool in visual studio 6 for authoring web pages, how is this related to installations of VB6 programs? I think what you use is this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa718352.aspx
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22941852
I've already tried  Visual Studio 6 authoring tool (Microsoft Visual Interdev) that creates msi's.  This is the one that is giving me problems.  Microsoft Visual Interdev can be used for all sorts of applications, including web development, deployment applications, merge modules, distribution units, database projects etc...
As I mentioned above, Visual Interdev is the same as Microsoft Visual Interdev...The link you included above is included in Microsoft's Visual Interdev......
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22942040
This is not very significant for the purpose, actually the question of using the terms... I think what you call Visual Interdev is in fact Integrated Development Environment (IDE), shared by several Microsoft applications. One of them is indeed Visual Interdev, which, according to Wikipedia and Microsoft itself , is web development component. Visual Studio Installer is is still separate product, even though it shared the IDE with Interdev. In the same way, in later versions of Visual Studio (2003 and later) all types of projects are also sharing the same IDE, but still VB and VC# are different things.
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22945249
We used Visual InterDev with our VB6/Crystal application and had no problems once we identified all the Crystal files that were required.

What version of Crystal?

I believe though am not positive that the Merge Modules are for .Net applications not VB6.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22946094
As my title describes "Crystal Reports XI" Release 2.........
Can someone give me a definitive answer regarding this?  I've been working on this deployment for the past 2 days now and seem to be getting all sorts of conflicting information!  Do you know which crystal files need to be included to satisfy this deployment?

Thanks.....
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22946192
look at this one - the problem was different, but I think the symptoms were similar
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22946254
Sorry, missed the version in the title.

I don't know with CR XI.  The list hasn't been published.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22951786
I decided to go back to the InterDev msi creator that I originally started out with and try a few more things.  It compiled fine and installed fine on a user pc, but when I try to view a report (within my vb 6.0 application) I get Error 339 "Component crviewer.dll or one of its dependancies is not correctly registered or a file is missing or invalid".  I checked to see where in the registry it was going to:  C:\Program Files\Business Objects\Common\3.5\Crystreportviewer115\ActivexControls\crviewer.dll.  Then I went to my developer pc and checked the registry.  I had one as above and also one in C:\Program Files\Business Objects\3.0\Crystalreportviewer115\ActiveSControls\crviewer.dll.  I'm wondering if when I did my upgrade from 4.6 all the way up to XI SP2 (looks like I got some SP 4  in there as well, which I think might be for .net) that it used one of the SP4 crviewer's?  I checked the version of Crystal reports and it comes up as 11.5.8.826 which I believe is SP2.  If I'm using the CrystalReports11_5_RDC_Runtime.msm, does it reference any of those crviewer's or is it wrapped within?  Should I remove the registry references on my developer pc and then rebuild?  This is kind of confusing to me, I appreciate all your help???????  Thanks!
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22951880
without seeing your pc, I would do this: ensure that crviewer.dll registered by the installation on user's machine is the same version as the one registered on your developer machine and referenced by your project.
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22951889
...also, on user machine run regsvr32 crviewer.dll and see if it helps.
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22953334
Make sure your references in the application are all for CR XI and none for CR4.6

mlmcc
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by:coenewnes
ID: 22953361
I checked in the registry of the pc I installed this application on and it is the same version (or the one that my program uses).  Why is there several copies in several different locations?  I ran the "regsvr32 crviewer.dll" and I got "LoadLibrary ("crviewer.dll") failed.  The specified module could not be found".

Is there a difference between Crystal 11 and Crystal XI?  I had to install SP 1 for XI, then SP2, SP3 and finally SP4.  Not sure that I needed to install SP3 and SP4.  Could this be causing problems when trying to register on other pc's?  I have about 18 different copies, see attached.  When I check in my registry I am finding several copies and as I mentioned above some are in:
C:\Program Files\Business Objects\Common\3.5\crystalreportviewers115\ActiveXControls\
C:\Program Files\Business Objects\3.0\crystalreportviewes11\ActiveXControls

I am running out of options..........
crviewer.bmp
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22953493
With such a mess, maybe it would be wise to try on clean PC. I use clean virtual machine from virtualbox, reset with one click, then it's clean, then try to install.
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22953778
All references are for Crystal XI, but I noticed that I have a component for Viewer Library 11.0,
when my product version of Crystal XI is 11.5.8.826.  If I add 11.5 it doesn't appear to change the tool box for the viewer and it won't let me remove the 11.0.    Do you know if much has changed from 11 to 11.5?
components.bmp
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22953840
The change from 11 to 11.5 was to allow use in VS2005 and .Net 2.0 framework.

To delete the reference you need to delete the viewer and add the new one in.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22953880
Are you confident that this is what's causing the problem?
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22953892
CR XI is CR 11.  I don't think there is an SP4 for CR XI R2.

CR XI 11.5 is release 2

mlmcc
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22953943
> I don't think there is an SP4 for CR XI R2.
Capture-11-13-00001.png
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by:coenewnes
ID: 22954512
I tried removing the crviewer.dll for 11 and replaced it with 11.5, however it didn't look like the actual control changed at all.  Now I get an error when I try to run the viewer....429 ActiveX component, can't create object.  Is there a different method to open this report other than "OpenReport"?
    '
    ' Set the file path according to the locn stored in the database
    '
    Reportname = DIR_REPORTS & "\Packslip.rpt"
    Set CRRep = CRRap.OpenReport(Reportname, 0)   <------ it errors out here
    Exit Sub
       
PrintLoadError:
    optPrinter.Enabled = False
    MsgBox (Err.Number & " - " & Err.Description)
    Exit Sub
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22955177
It would surprise me if they changed the viewer except to handle the changes in VS2005.

That sounds like a permissions issue either on the 1.5 viewer or a temp directory.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22955461
Checked permission issues on the viewer and the directory that the report sits on and both have
enough privileges.......Is there a difference between the file "crviewer.dll" and "CRviewer.dll"?
This may be the cause for the problems I am experiencing....not sure.  I think what I may have to do is to uninstall Crystal completely and reinstall just 11.5.......
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22956744
You might.  Worth  a try

mlmcc
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by:coenewnes
ID: 22980322
Well, after a few days of frustration and reinstalling 11.5 several times, and even trying to use Installshield, I still have no success.  I ended up going back to Crystal 4.6 and once again, it compiles fine on my machine (development pc), but as soon as I try to deploy it to the user community, it fails  with "Error 1904 C:\windows\system32\crystl32.ocx" failed to register.  So I try and register it on that machine using regsvr32 c:\windows\system\32\crystl32.ocx and I get "Load Library Module ("C:\windows\system32\crystl32.ocx" failed - the specified module could not be found.....I even went into the registry and found an entry as C?\windows\system32\crystl32.ocx and removed the "?" and tried to install the application and I get the same Error 1904......
This is so ridiculous.......does anyone have any final suggestions?  I appreciate all of your inputs!  Thanks!
Any clues?
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22980696
The suggestion is to use merge modules. I just repackaged 3rd party application that was using CR 11. I removed all CR-related DLL's from their installation and instead inserted merge modules downloaded from Crystal. The dll's in the merge modules had higher version than what was originally in the 3rd party's installation. All worked with flying colors.
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22980834
Does Crystal 4.6 uses merge modules?
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22980995
all I see is what's available at http://service.sap.com/sap/bc/bsp/spn/bobj_download/main.htm . I don't see version 4.6 at all there.
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22981018
> Does Crystal 4.6 uses merge modules

From the way you asked this, maybe you don't quite understand what is merge module. Merge module is a complete set of all runtime components, complete with files, registry settings and whatever else might be needed, packaged into a single file that is supposed to be integrated into the installation as a whole. Those are the same dll's etc that would be found by, say, package and deployment wizard, but this set is created by software vendor itself (crystal reports in this case) and is guaranteed to be complete. When merge module is available, it's practically always recommended to use it rather than individual dll's.
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22981146
Merge modules were introduced with CR9.  There are no merge modules for earlier versions except for the ones InstallShield developed for CR8.5.

CR4.6 is from VB6 and before.  It was probably first added with VB3 or 4.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:coenewnes
ID: 22981163
As I explained above, I went back from Crystal XI to Crystal 4.6, not really something I wanted to do, but
my thinking was that if I gave up upgrading this control, I could just work with the old version of Crystal and be able to deploy this application.  
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by:mlmcc
ID: 22981392
Good luck.  I think CR4.6 was for Win3.1 or at best Win95.

To deploy CR4.6 you will have to figure out all the required files and build the install package.

mlmcc
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 22981555
By the way, in vb6 you can add "data environment" and also Data Report element. If you were able to go back to cr 4.1, chances are, Data Report would suffice as well. Menu Project / Add Data Report.
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Accepted Solution

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coenewnes earned 0 total points
ID: 23043127
I ended up going back to the original Crystal 4.6 (comes with Visual Studio 6.), changed what I needed to in the Crystal report, recompiled and copied the new exe to the user community and it worked.  There was definately no option to upgrade to .Net (especially now...) and there are other items in our mandate that need higher priority.  I believe the problems I experienced are due to old compilers and old controls...
Thanks for all the discussion, please close!
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 23044004
> please close!

you usually close by yourself - see http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi407
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