KEEP THE REPORT. SWITCH THE ENGINE.
Crystal Reports is a popular tool for designing and creating complex reports and for embedding reports within Windows applications. Crystal Reports has long been the reporting tool of choice by Visual DataFlex developers for in-house corporate use and by Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) for embedding reports into commercial application packages.
Reports created with Crystal Report Designer are integrated into Visual DataFlex applications by means of the Crystal Report Design Component (RDC) interface. The RDC is a COM component, which uses ActiveX controls to allow developers to run a report and dynamically control report settings.
The RDC interface was used until Crystal Reports version XI. In 2006, Business Objects (acquired by SAP in 2007) announced that the RDC interface would no longer be enhanced or delivered in future Crystal Reports products and that new versions of Crystal Reports would be based on Microsoft's .NET. Visual DataFlex does not support working with .NET-based components. As a result, even though new versions of Crystal Reports are being made available by SAP, Visual DataFlex users cannot use them.
This change in Crystal Reports left DataFlex developers with two challenges: a) to preserve their legacy reports without redesigning them, and b) to locate a replacement reporting tool with the same feature set as Crystal Reports.
The Mertech Solution
Mertech used a two-step approach to address both challenges: 1) Mertech built support for .NET within Visual DataFlex, 2) Mertech developed a compatibility layer to integrate Crystal Reports with existing Visual DataFlex code.
The result is Flex2Crystal. Flex2Crystal allows seamless integration of new Crystal Reports versions with Visual DataFlex and allows developers to continue to use their existing reports. In other words, Crystal Reports is no longer a dead end for DataFlex users!
- Provides seamless integration with VDF Studio and applications
- Allows newer versions of Crystal Reports to be adopted without
changing source code
- Is a cost-effective way to protect investments in Crystal Reports
- Ensures support for new features as they are added to Crystal
- Does not compromise on report launching or data fetching
- Supports VDF version 12 (the first version to use RDC)
through the latest versions
- Is easy to install and distribute
- VDF 12 or higher
- SQL database and a Mertech driver (FLEX2SQL for MS SQL Server, FLEX2SQL for Oracle, FLEX2SQL for MYSQL, or FLEX2SQL for PostgreSQL) or DAC’s driver. Flex2Crystal will not work with embedded databases.
- Crystal Reports 2008/ Crystal Reports version 12 or above. Note that if the existing version of Crystal Reports is lower than Crystal Reports 2008/ version 12, user must purchase a new Crystal Reports license. To upgrade to Crystal Reports 2011/version 14, user must provide proof of Crystal Reports license (eg. serial #). One Crystal Reports 2011 named user license is required for each developer license. Mertech provides a pricing package to upgrade to Crystal Reports 2011/version 14.
The latest Flex2Crystal download is available in our product Downloads area. You will need to register or provide your email if you have already registered for any other Mertech product. Then, in the product listing, look under .NET-based product section and click on Flex2Crystal. The Flex2Crystal download is a 30 day full-use license, therefore, no registration code needs to be generated for the end user to be able to test. After 30 days, contact Mertech Sales. If needed, the software may be removed through the Window’s control panel, uninstall program feature.
See the Flex2Crystal Whitepaper for more detailed product information.