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19.13 Deploying Reports

Deploying Reports

After working hard to build your reporting solution and test it on your computer, you will certainly want to deploy it to the end users computer. Although Microsoft advertises that .NET installations are no more difficult than an “XCOPY” deployment, this is only true if you use 100% .NET managed components. If your application has any non-managed components, you are required to create a deployment package to install it on the client’s computer. This creates setup files that include all the mananaanananged and non-managed components and is responsible for installing them on the client computer.

Prior to Visual Studio 2005, installing Crystal Reports on a client’s computer typically consisted of creating a deployment package and including the appropriate merge modules within the package. The merge modules selected for deployment depended upon which functionality of Crystal Reports you used. Unfortunately, this caused two big problems. The first problem is that people were required to decipher which merge modules were necessary and they could install the wrong ones. Secondly, since the merge modules were optional, you never knew what had been previously installed on a client’s computer and you could assume something was there when it wasn’t. And the fact that...

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