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Pro Crystal Enterprise / BusinessObjects XI Programming

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Pro Crystal Enterprise/BusinessObjects XI Programming shows you how to create customized solutions using the Business Objects/Crystal Enterprise object model. Here youll see the object model utilized to create professional-quality tools like on-demand web services, report metadata extraction, scheduling, security, and user management.

Author Carl Ganz explains in detail how to build advanced reporting solutions for Crystal Enterprise/Business Objects XI. He shows how to integrate CE/BO XI with .NET 2.0 and Visual Studio to create more flexible, tailored, and responsive reporting solutions than have previously been possible. In short, youll surpass what you thought you could achieve, and learn to create almost any imaginable reporting solution that Business Objects XI can handle.

BusinessObjects XI is a powerful middleware server product that allows you to distribute your Crystal Reports and BusinessObjects reports to the enterprise. Out of the box it offers an intuitive, feature-rich front end that allows system administrators to load reports to the repository as well as schedule them to run, track report histories, send notifications, monitor events, and many other features as well. It also offers a powerful object model that allows you to create custom solutions for your enterprise applications. It is this object model that is the topic of this book.

Though the interface is quite intuitive, the object model definitely is not. While the documentation and sample code have improved dramatically since the first release, it’s still not at the quality level worthy of a product in this price range. My hope is that this book fills in that gap. BO XI does not offer the solutions out of the box that SQL Server Reporting Services offers. Currently, it’s the Catch-22 of the reporting world. BusinessObjects offers a slick, mature interface with a clumsy server object model (with no canned service-oriented programming solutions) and a poorly documented programming interface. SQL Server Reporting Services offers an ever-improving-but-stillnot-close-to-a-Crystal-Reports-replacement interface with awell-documented and easy-to-use object model with server solutions provided right out of the box.

Crystal Reports was first released in 1991 and has been bundled with Visual Basic starting with the 3.0 release in 1993. This relationship has continued through the 2.0 release of Visual Studio .NET in 2006. Of course, since Microsoft released SQL Server Reporting Services in 2002, where the Microsoft/Crystal relationship is ultimately going still remains to be seen. In 2002, Crystal Decisions released the first version of its enterprise server known as Crystal Enterprise 8. This was really version 1 of the enterprise product as the number 8 was used to keep the version numbering in sync with the incarnation of Crystal Reports on the market at the time. In 2003, Business Objects purchased Crystal Decisions and began the rebranding effort toward the BusinessObjects name. The current incarnation of the server product, BusinessObjects XI Release 2, is a synthesis of server technologies that supports both Crystal Reports XI and Business Objects 6.5. The Crystal Reports product has even been enhanced to access BusinessObjects universes.
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