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I’m excited to announce that my technical guide for Crystal Reports .NET 2005 and 2008 is now available. This is the only resource available that gives you in-depth details for how to integrate Crystal Reports into your .NET 2005/2008 applications.

 

This book is a revision of the 2004 book, “Crystal Reports .NET Programming”. It was the number 1 selling Crystal Reports book on Amazon.com during 2005 and has received over two dozen five star reviews. I took everyone’s comments about the previous edition to really improve this new release. The first thing I did was move the C# code from the back of each chapter into the main content. The C# programmers were complaining that they didn’t like flipping pages to find the C# code listings. Now, the C# code and VB.NET code are side by side. I also improved upon the data connectivity chapters. I made the code samples easier to integrate into your own applications and I added coverage for new features such as printing from LINQ data sources, object collections, and DLLs. You can copy and paste code samples directly into your own application with no changes.

 

I wanted to keep things fun, so I added some topics that I thought would keep even the most experienced .NET developers interested. I show you how to create add-ons for Crystal Reports 2008. This lets you add your own menu options to the CR 2008 toolbar and have it call your .NET code to manipulate the current report. For example, you can have a menu option which automatically re-formats a report for different groups of users. In the book, you will learn an undocumented trick that lets you add javascript to each report object on a web page. For example, you could have any report object’s onMouseOver event or onClick event call custom code in a javascript library. This gives you unlimited client-side functionality that isn’t possible with the standard report designer. If you really want to get sophisticated, and you have CR 2008 or CR XI R2, you can use the RAS SDK to tap into a much more extensive object model than what you get from just using the .NET SDK. If you’re developing for mobile devices, learn how your users can access reports on any mobile device with internet access. Great stuff!

 

I’ve been buying technical books for over two decades and my favorite ones are by the authors who write about what they learned ‘in the trenches’. After spending $50 on a technical book, I deserve more than a revision of the help file. In this book, I put “Best of the Forum” sections throughout each chapter. This is a collection of my favorite posts to the book’s online forum. This lets you see the problems that everyday users are having and how to solve them. I figure that its better to learn about these problems early so that you don’t have the same headaches in your own project.

 

Since I’m a self-publisher, and I own the content, I can get creative with how I distribute the book. I don’t have to follow the rules that big publishers enforce on their writers. After getting many emails from people saying that they wanted an electonic version of my books to read online, I took my three Crystal Reports books and converted them into a WordPress blog (using a cool C# program I wrote). I created a membership-only area of the website where subscribers can read all my books in one place. This lets members make comments/suggestions about each chapter and I can improve upon it. In 2009 I will be publishing my book on Crystal Reports 2008 (the stand-alone version) and each chapter will go into the blog as I write it. Members can read the chapters months before the book gets published. Just a couple months ago I added a members-only forum. This lets members talk amongst themselves and post questions and answers. Since you only have access to this forum if you are a member, you know that the people creating posts are serious about their reports (and it keeps out the spam). You can find out more about reading my books online by clicking this link: http://members.CrystalReportsBook.com/

 

You can get more details about the book at the Amazon.com page for Crystal Reports Encyclopedia: .NET 2005/2008. Oh yeah – if you’re not a .NET developer, but you’re using Crystal Reports standalone, you might want to check out my previous book, Crystal Reports Encylopedia: Professional XI Reports. On Amazon, it has 8 five star reviews.
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