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Why shouldn’t I use Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 with SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.0 products?

If I put the question other way round then it may make sense to most of us, so let me put it that way – Why should I use Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 with SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.0 (BI4.0) products? Have any thoughts on this? If not, then surely you do not want to miss this.

Recently, I was upgrading one of my projects to use BI4.0 .NET SDK, which was introduced with SP02 as MSI (Windows Installer), as I mostly deal with Crystal Reports and RAS.  Installing MSI lead to a strange problem with my Visual Studio 2010 (VS), as it didn’t integrate the viewer, but fortunately VS already had Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 (CRVS2010) integrated with it, so I was left to conclude that I can use CRVS2010 viewer for viewing the Crystal reports residing in the repository of BI4.0.

Though development machine showed good affinity with whatever it was using, until a point when I discovered that it’s not able to connect to RAS. With lot of troubleshooting and efforts, I finally discovered that CRVS2010 is no good for connecting to BI4.0. Another investigation revealed that BI 4.0 has Crystal reports viewer as well. Now as far as references are concerned I learnt that we can’t use assemblies or SDK of CRVS2010 for communicating with BI4.0.

Did this come as a shock? To me it was a shock as I was thinking CRVS2010 was meant to be used with BI4.0 as it was released much before BI4.0 and Crystal Reports 2011 doesn’t contain So, what’s up with CR 2011 and .NET SDK – actually, any SDK? so from where was I suppose to borrow the viewer control. Why can’t we use this combination?

Having learnt it hard way I found following as the reasons why the combination doesn’t /shouldn’t work:

  1. CRVS2010 isn’t meant for Enterprise products, though it comes with RAS (InProc RAS, there’s a huge difference between InProc and Managed RAS).
  2. Its missing SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise assemblies. For e.g. BusinessObjects.Enterprise.* and
  3. Assembly versions are different. CRVS2010 (13.x) and BI 4.0(14.x). Mixing the references isn’t recommended (though sounds silly but is one of the important reasons).
  4. APIs have changed with every version. CRVS2010 may not understand CORBA communications.

Reasons could increase but I find above being the prominent. Now it calls for a conclusion, one simply shouldn’t use CRVS2010 with any of the BI4.0 products. For e.g. SAP Crystal Server 2011, SAP Crystal Server 2011 OEM Edition and SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.0.

Additional References:

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