Cristal reports protect layout

Posted on 2012-03-13
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Had placed a post regarding this subject, however it was not feasible solution. I have a report (Crystal Reports. Rpt file) in standalone, which is loaded from an external file whenever it is printed. I Want the layout of this report could only be edited for me. Is there any way to protect (encrypt or any other form, put it as read only ...) this file so that it can only be edited by its maker.
Question by:rflorencio
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LVL 101

Expert Comment

ID: 37714568
If you upgrade to CR 2011 you can save report files as RPTR files.  These cannot be editted or changed by anyone (including you) and can only be opened in specialized viewing programs.  They also cannot be saved or exported from the viewer to RPT files.

The DataLink viewer from Millet Software also can protect report files


Author Comment

ID: 37715286
RPTR is not option, because i need protect layout content, prevent any user can edit it.
LVL 101

Expert Comment

ID: 37715421
That is the puirpose of the RPTR format.  No one not even you can edit it.  You do changes in the original rpt file (which is not distributed or available to anyone except the developers).  

When it is ready you create an RPTR file from it and distribute that with the application and the appropriate viewer.

Even with Crystal on the user's machine, they cannot open the RPTR file to even look at it.

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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

vasto earned 250 total points
ID: 37715731
RPTR is a static report. Nobody can edit it even you. The user may be able to refresh it but not to change it (even the connection to the database).  All this was already mentioned by mlmcc  ...

As of now there are no other ways to protect crystal report files. The viewer mentioned by mlmcc cannot protect reports. Don't fall in that trap with RPZ files, you will get in trouble.

What do you want to hide ? Do you have business logic or you want to be able to deploy the report to a client but to keep the exclusive rights to change it ?

Author Comment

ID: 37741464
I want deploy a report to a client but keep exclusive rigths to change it.
LVL 101

Expert Comment

ID: 37741903
We have given you the method.  The RPTR format available in CR 2011 is the onlyway you can deploy a report file and have it protected from being changed.

Other than saving it as RPTR and using that file in the applicaiton, there is no difference n how you deploy the application and report files.

LVL 101

Accepted Solution

mlmcc earned 250 total points
ID: 37762929
According to Ken Hamady, the DataLink viewer is now one  of a few viewers that can use the RPTR format

If your concern is preventing a customer from using the report in several environments or machines or trying to sell/give the report to other potential customers then as far as I know the changing of the format to RPTR (CR2011) or RPZ (DataLink) does not prevent that.

Also, if you were to use the DataLink method, you would have to provide licenses for the viewer to all the users thus increasing the cost of the solution.

PLease note, regardless of the method you choose to protect a report, there is always somebody, who given the right incentive and enough time and computing power, who will try and eventually break through the protection scheme.  If it is lucrative enough someone will try to steal it.

Vasto has pointed out that the DataLink viewer has a weakness in the protection scheme.  I am unaware of the issue and don't know if the statement is true or not.  I see no reason why he would say something that is not true.  The RPZ is a password protected compressed file.  


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