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Creating a link to a Crystal Report on a desktop through Crystal Reports Server?

In the past users have used Crystal Reports Icons on their desktop to point to a report. Users run the report version that they have on their desktop to provide a report to the customer.  In this case it is an Invoice Report. This report is on three different users in three different formats. Each report has been modified over the years. None of the report formats consistent.

Now I told the user .....that they have Crystal Reports Server and that it was the best way to maintain the reports in a centralized manageable location. I consider myself a great salesman in regards to Crystal products. The customer wants to maintain the report in CRS but only have a link to the desktops to this report......I told them I was not sure this would work. Could all these users still point to a centralized rpt file that is maintained not only in CRS but could be run from their desktop.......WITHOUT HAVING TO ......log into the CRS and utilizing its security. I know I have pressed the issue......they are not budging. They want to do it the way they have always done it. Heaven forbid someone takes a 15 minute training.

Can this be done......? You expert opinion very appreciated.
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Mike McCracken

All reports in CRS are stored and in a central location.  Thus a copy on their desktop would not be guaranteed to be the same as the copy in CRS.  

They would have to either maintain the report within CRS and then save a copy to the desktop  or maintain it as currently done and republish to CRS when they make changes.

The issue in both cases is which version is the correct one.
If they are the only people who run their copy, then there is no real reason to put it in CRS.  However, unless they plan to outlive the company and remain with the company forever, at some point they will leave and the history/knowledge of the report may get lost in the transition.

Another thing to consider is why do they have their own format for the report?
If it is just the order of the columns then probably not a big deal.  If they are using personalized selection, formulas, fields, etc, how do you know the data presented is "unbiased".

One other thing to think about is why do they have their own version which is apparently being maintained outside the normal software maintenance system.  Are they allowed to change the report when they want to or do changes have to meet an approval board?  If they leave who will inherit responsibility for these reports?

mlmcc
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Kurt Reinhardt
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Thank you sir that was great help.