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14.01 Introducing the Report Objects

Part I of this book taught the details of how to use the Crystal Reports embedded designer to create professional reports. When a report is complete, its design and layout stays the same every time it was run. The data that it prints will change, but the report format is locked. With Crystal Reports .NET, reports have the flexibility to be dynamic. .NET programmers have full access to the properties of a report and the underlying report objects. These properties can be read and many of them can be overridden. You get the power to create a reporting solution that takes user input and customizes each report prior to printing it. This can range from changing the formatting of report objects, modifying the grouping and sorting, and changing the data source. The more you learn about runtime customization, the more you will find out what you can do. This chapter serves as the foundation for building your knowledge throughout the rest of the book.

The reason why you have so much power to modify reports is because .NET treats every report as an object-oriented class. The entire object model is exposed to your .NET program. Whether you program with VB.NET...

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