Crystal Reports from the end-user's perspective

Quick question (I think) about basic functionality of Crystal Reports -

I've got an ASP.net website which uses SQL Server as a back-end.  

I need to write some simple reports - which I generally do as printer friendly .aspx pages.

If I create a report using Crystal Reports, would the end users be able to view it with the same ease that they can view .aspx pages?  

Ie:  I want to be able to redirect to a report, and have the users view it just like another webpage without needing to install any tools, etc on their computers - they should be able to simply click a link and see the report.

Does Crystal Reports work like this?
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mbizupAsked:
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vastoCommented:
Yes
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mlmccCommented:
>>If I create a report using Crystal Reports, would the end users be able to view it with the same ease that they can view .aspx pages?

Yes, except you will have to install the Crystal runtimes on the webserver or the user's machine.

>>Does Crystal Reports work like this?
No.  It requires a set of tools/files to be installed on the server

This tool may help but I think the same runtimes are still required
http://www.recrystallize.com/merchant/details.htm

mlmcc
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mbizupAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the detailed answer, mlmcc.

<<
Yes, except you will have to install the Crystal runtimes on the webserver or the user's machine.
>>

So are Crystal Reports generally used on company intranets (for example), where you have more control over the users' machines?

From what you explained my understanding is that for a site with a wider range of users,  printer-friendly .aspx pages would be the best option.
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mbizupAuthor Commented:
Actually, I think I get it - if you install the runtimes on the webserver, the users wouldn't need it on their own machines (?)
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vastoCommented:
The user will see the report as a regular page. Crystal runtime components installed on the server will generate the page. Hence , you need the runtime installed on the webserver but for the user this will be like any other page
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mbizupAuthor Commented:
That makes sense...

Thanks!
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mlmccCommented:
Be careful, Crystal has licensing and if you are exposing the reports outside your company's intranet, you need additional licensing.

SO if your intent is to provide reports to customers over the internet or even logged into your system there are additional licensing requirements

See this article from SAP for details
http://www54.sap.com/solution/sme/software/analytics/crystal-reports/implement/licensing.html

mlmcc
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