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Compile against CR2008 without having it installed?

Posted on 2010-08-24
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We are using Crystal Reports 2008 (version 12) to design reports on our Report Designer system.  On our Build system, we have a front end coded in VB.NET (VS2008) that references Crystal Reports assemblies for constructing parameter objects and loading the CrystalReportViewer control. However, we cannot compile the front end on our Build system.  Will installing the CR2008 runtime package on our Build system be sufficient to compile our front end with the proper CR2008 (version 12) assembly references, or do we need to buy and install a licensed copy of CR2008 on the Build system in order to compile our front end?

Note: We do not want to use the Crystal Reports Basic version bundled with VS2008.
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Question by:HICKORYTECH
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Expert Comment

by:tickett
ID: 33515995
Yes- the runtimes are all you need.

L
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Author Comment

by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33516244
That would be very good news indeed.  We're going to go ahead and try this tomorrow, and will of course come back here with the results.  Thanks!
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by:msd1305
ID: 33517674
Crystal Report Client Application is required only to create reports. If you already have .rpt files ready then all you need is runtime.

Here, it doesnt matter which version you created your .rpt files in. You might have created your rpt files in crystal 10 but it will work with any other runtime versions.
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by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33520974
Thank msd1305!  Maybe this is a separate question, but now I am wondering if that runtime flexibility works in the direction of forward compatibility as well - i.e., if reports created in Crystal 12 would work fully and completely with the CR Basic 10.5 runtime?  We have presumed the answer is "no", which has been the primary motivating factor in asking the original question rather than just installing the 10.5 runtime on our server.
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by:tickett
tickett earned 500 total points
ID: 33521259
It depends what functionality and features you have within your report. I have been able to create reports in CR 2008 and then use them in CR XI (and applications which employ the CR XI runtimes).

However, i believe any functionality which did not exist in previous versions of CR will not work.

Hope that helps!

L
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Author Comment

by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33521408
That's what I thought.  We definitely want to be able to utilize all of Crystal Reports 2008's functionality and not be limited to what the bundled 10.5 supported.  (e.g., no support for native Oracle Server datasources would be a deal-breaker by itself)

Back on the original question, we intend to be testing the 12.x runtime on our build system this afternoon, so I should be back here to either accept solutions or else ask followup questions shortly thereafter.
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by:msd1305
ID: 33521516
It will work. We have the same environment. Crystal reports developed using Crystal 2008 but application is using Crystal 10 runtime (bcoz of 64 bit server) . And it is working fine without any problem.
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by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33521853
Okay, we're now looking into testing that as well (installing the 10.5 runtimes alongside the 12.x runtimes on a server to see if the front end application will work AND the reports will have full 12.x functionality).  I have a hard time seeing how the latter can work when the report viewer object will by definition be loaded from the 10.5 assembly, but it would certainly be nice if somehow it does work.
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by:tickett
ID: 33521874
I think the key is that not much functionality has been introduced with each new release of CR (quite a bit of enhancements with the developer app, but not so much with the actual report functionality- i "think" :)

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by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33526524
Installing the 12.x runtimes on our build system has not worked thus far, as there's no way to add a reference to them in our projects in Visual Studio 2008.  They do not show up in the .NET tab of the Add References dialog, and browsing directly to the location of the Crystal mentions within the GAC does not allow them to be added (I guess it doesn't see those references as valid assemblies).  I then tried the Visual Studio Integration tool from SAP's website in the hopes that might expose the 12.x runtime assemblies to the Add References dialog, but the tool doesn't even show the 12.x runtimes as an option for selection (whereas it shows them on the system with the full Crystal Reports 2008 installation, so it seems like a licensing issue).  The DLLs do not appear under C:/Program Files/Business Objects either (or at least not by the expected names).

We're going to try installing the 10.5 runtimes alongside the 12.x runtimes on a server in the morning, but would welcome any further ideas on the issues encountered today.
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by:msd1305
ID: 33527349
add the DLLs from c:/windows/assemblies folder. It works. Becaus ethis is only runtime, it doesnt keep DLLs in Business Objects folder. DLLs are directly installed as assemblies.
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Author Comment

by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33531034
Actually, I'd already tried adding the DLLs from C:/Windows/Assembly yesterday - it apparently can't be done, at least not on any of our systems here, because what is shown in the file browser are not DLLs.  They can't be added via the VS2008 Add Reference dialog, and can't be copied out to another location via Windows Explorer.  Drilling into that folder from the command line reveals a hidden folder tree, but I wouldn't hazard a guess as to whether individual files within that tree could be copied to another location and then referenced with any success.
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HICKORYTECH earned 0 total points
ID: 33534276
The solution of using the 10.5 runtime on the server and still getting the benefit of all of CR2008 (version 12.x) capabilities didn't pan out either, I'm afraid.  For example, reports using native Oracle datasources wouldn't work (complained about crdb_oracle.dll being missing).  Once we took the step of moving our licensed CR2008 to the build system and recompiling with the CR 12.x assemblies, those reports began working.

At this point it appears that we have no choice but to obtain an additional CR2008 license for the build system.
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by:msd1305
ID: 33534882
are you using oracle 11g client?
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Author Comment

by:HICKORYTECH
ID: 33534906
Oracle 10g.
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by:mlmcc
ID: 33536254
Since CR2008 uses a NAMED USER LICENSE you could install a single copy on 2 machines so long as the same user does the report development and the build.

mlmcc
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