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Report Designer Component – Background

The RDC is a com based technology that replaced the Crystal OCX activeX control (Crystl32.ocx) which in turn replaced the Crystal VBX (Crystl.vbx). In it’s infinite simplification, the RDC consists of three dlls; craxDrt.dll, craxDDrt.dll and crviewer.dll. With the RDC, it was possible to create reports at runtime (Report Design API (RCAPI)) using what is called the embeddable designer and the craxDDrt.dll. Use of RCAPI was always based on special licensing. E.g.; craxDrt.dll was part of the free runtime, craxDDrt.dll never was. The licensing model changed with each version of Crystal Reports eventually ending up at Crystal Reports XI release 2, with the simple requirement that any site that had craxDDrt.dll deployed, had to obtain Crystal Reports XI release 2 designer. CraxDDrt.dll, is also employed by Crystal Reports in the VB 6 Crystal Reports Designer IDE. This allowed for the creation and modification of Crystal Reports without exiting the VB 6 IDE.

Report Designer Component in VS .NET

First, note that the RDC was not tested and is thus not supported in any version of  VS .NET. For more information see Using the Report Designer Component in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, page 4. The term “Not supported” in this case, means that best effort support will be provided, however should a “bug” be found, it is up to the developer to prove that this bug is reproducible in a supported environment, i.e., VB 6, C++, etc. Also, keep in mind that the RDC was deprecated in Crystal Reports XI release 1 and thus there are no updates for Crystal Reports XI release 2. Thus new features, such as dynamic parameters will not work in your RDC based application. Also, support for Crystal Reports XI release 2 ends in June of 2010. Finally, the RDC has been retired in Crystal Reports 2008 (12.x). For more details regarding the RDC life cycle, see the article Crystal Reports RDC Statement of Direction. You will still find the craxDDrt.dll and crviewer.dll in Crystal Reports 2008 as well as in all the versions of Crystal Reports that bundle with VS .NET. E.g.; Crystal Reports version 10.5 (Crystal Reports Basic for Visual Studio 20080) and Crystal Reports 10.2 which bundled in Visual Studio .NET 2005 as well as Crystal Reports 9.1 which bundled with VS .NET 2003. As mentioned in the Background section above, craxDDrt.dll was used in VB 6 for the creation and modification of reports within the VB 6 IDE (as well as at runtime when using RCAPIs). In Visual Studio .NET craxDDrt.dll is also used for report creation and modification in the .NET IDE. However unlike VB 6, there is no licensing model for craxDDrt.dll that ships with the .NET bundles.  E.g.; it is not allowed, to use the component in any runtime application.

Crystal Reports Runtime Licensing Details

As per the End User License Agreement (EULA), the customer is licensed to use, deploy, and distribute Crystal Reports runtime software. For Crystal reports 10.2 (bundles with VS .NET 2005), “Runtime Software” means the version specific files and application program interfaces (APIs) specified in the Crystal_Runtime2005.TXT file provided with the Software.” 

Crystal_Runtime2005.TXT can be found in the c:program files usiness objects2.7 in directory.

For Crystal Reports Basic for Visual Studio 2008 see Crystal_Runtime2008.txt file located in c:program files usiness objectscommon2.8 in.


** July 27, 2010 Update **

This update stems from the forum post Crystal Reports 2008 Viewer where the developer is asking if he can use the RDC in a VB 6 application. Note that version 12.x RDC is not licensed to be used in development under any circumstances. Does not mater what language. Also, note that with CR 2008 (v. 12.x), you will only find the crviewer.dll and the craxDDrt.dll. CraxDDrt.dll always required extra Report Creation API license anyhow.

Useful Licensing Links

Crystal Reports for Visual Studio .Net

Licensing and support for Crystal Reports for Visual Studio

Crystal Reports Licensing Information

Announcing Crystal Reports Developer Advantage runtime license

Crystal Reports 2008 Developer Advantage by SAP

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