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Delphi Prism, how to setup the environment for Crystal Reports 2008 and BOBJ Enterprise R3 development.

With my first blog on Delphi Prism, I wasn’t sure if I would actually get any views or just hear the sounds of crickets chirping. Happily no crickets.
Today I want to discuss the best practice in setting up your development environment when creating Business Objects Enterprise and/or Crystal Reports applications using Delphi Prism.

Before I get into that I would like to make two other comments. Firstly this is a little more “fluff” then I usually like to do. I am more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy; get my hands dirty and get to work. However I guess before we start cooking we do have the boring task of having to shop for the ingredients. But never fear, my next blog will cover creating a REALLY simple Crystal Reports viewer application, I will even try to include screen shots!

Secondly I would like to solicit feedback, especially if you are a Delphi developer. What would you like to see me cover? What questions do you have? I will do my best to answer your questions!

So you want to set up the development environment where do you start?

First of all it is best to install Delphi Prism first. Delphi Prism installs the Visual Studio 2008 shell and our installers will see this shell and update it with our components. This makes things brain-dead simple for you.

As for our software I recommend installing Enterprise before installing Crystal Reports. The reason for this is you can think of the Crystal Reports SDK being a subset of the Enterprise SDK.

When installing Enterprise you have to consider if you are going to work with all the software on one machine, or if you are going to hit a remote Enterprise server. If you are a smaller shop, consulting, creating a demo or just testing you may elect to have the Enterprise server on the same machine you are developing on. Larger organizations usually have test/sand box Enterprise systems deployed which report writers and other users are working on.  If everything is on one machine then install Enterprise first, then Crystal as per the install guides and you are ready to go. If you are developing against a remote server then do a custom install of Enterprise selecting the Web Tier Components to install. Then do a full install of Crystal Reports.

So what do you do if you have installed Delphi Prism last? Fortunately this is not bad; you are just going to need to do a “change” on the install of our software. Firstly go to the Window’s control panel, select “Add or Remove Programs” and then select “Change” for Enterprise and then Crystal Reports. For Enterprise under Web Tier Components do a reinstall of the “BI Platform .NET Web Component Adapters. With Crystal Reports select “Crystal Reports 2008 for Visual Studio”.  Both of these options if already selected may require you to remove it and then go back and reinstall it.

At this point your development environment should be ready to go! All that is left is to get our hands dirty with the SDK but this will be for next time, hopefully early next week!

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