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VS.NET and Crystal Reports Licensing

Okay. I've been blousing around the help files and my hard drive, and I cannot make sense of the Crystal reports that comes with VS.NET. My specific search terms were crystal report license. The first hit is the actual license agreement, which I attempted to read and understand.

Can someone offer me an interpretation to whit: I want to create an application, create some reports, and then distribute the application and the reports and therefore some sort of report runtime for displaying the reports.

Is this license allowing me to do that, or am I only allowed to create the reports and have to purchase a seperate license to distribute the runtime etc.

Any help at all is much appreciated.

Geoff Bennett
Thursday, May 22, 2003

I don't know but that kinda makes sense in the grand scheme of things.

They can keep hiring you to make reports, or they can get their own darn Crystal Reports program!

Brian R.
Thursday, May 22, 2003

Have you seen this page?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Note that as of May 1, the Crystal licensing is now a lot more reasonable.  More here:

Thursday, May 22, 2003

These rules apply to any environment that the components are used in not just .Net.  Here are the rules:

You don't need any extra licensing to:

    - distribute the runtimes for use in applications that opens or runs reports from any location. 

    - use the report components on the server side of a server-client application.  You DO need written PERMISSION to use in this case though, as per this page:

You DO need a license to do either of the following:

    - distribute the designer component which allows end users to design and modify reports in your app.

    - use the components as part of an "automated report distribution" application.  This per the page R1ch pointed out.

Here is how to possibly work the rules (you may want to search for finer print on the subject before applying):

    - "Web or Server App" rule: Make a thick client app that seperately downloads the report file and the data and puts them together on the client.  This would technically be running the report on the client.

    - "Designer Component" rule: there is no way around this, make your own darn designer or use ActiveReports!  It's a hundred bucks per distribution though and a mighty nice designer imho.

    - "Automated Report Distribution App" rule:  This one seems the most ambiguous because, what exactly is "Distribution"?  I can have one process drop report files in a directory and another process can come along and pick them up and email them.  This would more likely be covered under the "Server App" rule so a good solution is this:

Have the server process run queries to generate recordset(s) and then save them in binary format inside an xml document (bin.64 format).  Package the rpt file in another element in the same xml doc.  Email the entire xml doc to clients that have your viewer app installed.  No crystal components are used on the server. 

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Sorry, the last step to the last solution is to have the client viewer open the xml doc, load the rs and report and then had the rs to the report.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Arrg...HAND the rs to the report... I'm spastic, what can I say?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Thanks everyone for the replies. I have read the licensing agreement, but cannot make sense of it. It seems to start out speaking seperately about a windows client application vs server applications, but when they start talking about the runtime, the lines got blurry for me. I couldn't tell if I needed to license the runtime etc etc.

Anyway, even after reviewing the updated license terms, it still does not appear to state their position any clearer regarding my case, which I would think is fairly common.

What I am to gather from the material that I've read and the comments posted is: I can create an application including crystal reports, and distribute the runtime and the reports FOC, with the exception of registering my .NET edition of CR with them. Yes?

Geoff Bennett
Thursday, May 22, 2003

Where are the reports actually being /run/ from?

if(on client machine)

}else if(on server)

What is FOC?

Me Again
Thursday, May 22, 2003

FOC - Free Of Charge ;)

"Where are the reports actually being /run/ from?"

Client machine. User hits preview button or chooses from the reports menu. Report runs and is displayed in window on client machine. User hits print button and skips ever so gaily to the printer to retrieve the previously previewed preview.

I would most likely include the reports as a resource, not seperate .rpt files.

Geoff Bennett
Friday, May 23, 2003

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