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Crystal Reports Licensing Q&A

I’ve received a number of questions lately on the Crystal Reports license. To ensure the community can benefit from the answers, I decided to put these in a FAQ form in my blog.

1.  Can I take and publicly reproduce screenshots of Crystal Reports?

In the vast majority of situations, yes.  To ensure clarity and transparency, we recently made a change to the Crystal Reports for Eclipse 2.0 SP1 and coming Crystal Reports 2008 SP2 EULA to put a hard-to-access policy in plain type in the EULA.  This change explicitly grants usage rights to screenshots of the Crystal Reports application and the Crystal Reports wordmark as long as they’re not used in commercial training material.

2.  What is the Crystal Reports Wordmark? 

Its a formatted graphic like these examples.



3.  What is commercial training material?

This is material used to accompany a public, commercial training course.

4.  Can I take screenshots for internal training purposes?

Yes.  This is not considered commercial training material.

5.  Can I take screenshots for a book I’m writing on Crystal Reports?

Yes.  Books are not considered commercial training material.

6.  I’m in the commercial training business.  What are my options for training material?

There are a few choices:

  • You can use your own training material without screenshots.
  • You can purchase courseware from approved courseware providers Element K and Axzo Press.

7.  I’ve read that this license is more restrictive for training.  Is this true?

This new license actually removes a limit on public training by addressing a problem in the old license.  The old license was a named user license only, and didn’t accomodate the fact that training labs had multiple named individuals using a single workstation at different times.   This problem was solved in the old license with the sale of an additional Classroom License Agreement that was in addition to the software for each workstation which allowed named user licenses to be used in a training class environment.

We’ve removed the Classroom License Agreement, and added a new Training Workstation license type to the standard Crystal Reports EULA.  This allows public training to be done with Crystal Reports licenses with no additional purchase.

8.  What is SAPs strategy around Crystal Reports training?

We depend on partners and independent 3rd parties to deliver virtually all Crystal Reports training.  Encouraging the use of approved training material is how we promote consistent standards within the Crystal Reports ecosystem. 

9.  I’m worried that with the SAP acquisition Crystal Reports licensing will become more restrictive.

I can’t predict the future, but I can share how things have evolved in the past.  Looking back to the version 8.5/9 days when the product was owned by Crystal Decisions, we had a very complicated and restrictive license with processor restrictions, content distribution restrictions, application redistribution restrictions, and API restrictions.

Looking at the license now, we have a very simple, transparent model.  We’ve eliminated over the last few years almost all of these restrictions.  All while the product was acquired by 2 companies (Business Objects then SAP).

Fromt the product management side, we will strive to evolve the license according to the principles of fairness, simplicity and transparency.

10.  Where can I get more information?

See the Crystal Reports License Whitepaper for a summary of how licensing has changed since V8.5.

See the new Crystal Reports for Eclipse 2.0 SP1 EULA here.  Crystal Reports 2008 SP2 will use the same license when this is released in Q3 2009.

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  • The Xcelsius Engage 2008 EULA stipulates that “Connected Presentations may be used only for users’ internal business purposes and
    not pursuant to a commercial sale, rental, or lease of the Connected Presentations (whether alone or in combination
    with another program or product)”.

    If someone develops canned RPT reports as part of a commercial application and if these reports contain embedded Xcelsius produced flash files which are connected via the the RPT files themselves, this would be a violation of the EULA according to the above terms.

    However your document says “Embedding Xcelsius Flash models in a Crystal Reports 2008 report does not trigger the Xcelsius viewing
    license as long as the Xcelsius model retrieves its data from the Crystal Report”.

    This interpretation is different than the terms of the Xcelsius license and the EULA is all that matters for someone purchasing a license.

    How can we make it this more clear in the EULA itself?

    • The EULA also says that “4.1.6 BusinessObjects Xcelsius Enterprise Interactive Viewing. Other than Crystal Reports Access, a BusinessObjects Xcelsius Enterprise Interactive Viewing license must be acquired to access, view or use Connected Presentations”

      So the document is correct and the Xcelsius interactive viewing license does not apply to connected presentations that access data from Crystal Reports.