Article by Sanjesh Reddy
Crystal Reports Offline Viewer is a desktop client application that allows a crystalreports.com user to view Crystal Reports files while disconnected or offline. To view a report file offline, without the presence of an Internet connection, use the export button while viewing a report on crystalreports.com, and then save the.rpt file on your local hard drive. The report can then be accessed by opening Crystal Reports Viewer and browsing to the report.
Every Crystal Reports Offline Viewer is connected to a crystalreports.com account by the Administrator and is able to view specific reports and dashboards they are authorized to access. But keep in mind that a Crystal Reports Offline Viewer is not able to publish reports. A Crystal Reports Offline Viewer is only allowed to view the reports uploaded by the Administrator.
Crystal Reports Offline Viewers are separated into two categories: Members and Guests. Adding Members is the standard recommended way of sharing reports and other documents with new users. Members can only view a single crystalreports.com account and can be promoted to Administrator status. Guests are a limited user-type distinction used in special cases where a new user does not need to follow standard account membership rules. Guests have the option of viewing multiple crystalreports.com accounts, but cannot be promoted to Administrator status by an account Administrator.
Once you start creating Crystal Reports and begin to sharing them with your user community, it can be expected that not all of them will have copies of Crystal Reports themselves nor will they be licensed on any of the enterprise (or web) Crystal Reports distribution systems. If the current budget doesn’t allow for securing any of those licenses, there is still a viable method to share your Crystal Reports – that is with the free offline Crystal Reports Viewer. The free Crystal Reports Offline Viewer is a free standalone.rpt file viewer that allows users to open, explore and view reports straight from their desktop when working both off and online. They can generate customized views of the data without the need of a report designer or report engine. Report sharing is also possible via email or with crystalreports.com as discussed above.
The offline viewer is available for free download for registered users of crystalreports.com or directly from the Business Objects web site at the following link: http://businessobjects.com/products/reporting/crystalreports/viewer/en/register.asp. By distributing this viewer to your user community, they will be able to view reports that you have created, interact with them, print them, email them and/or export them into different formats. Figure 17.14 highlights the Crystal Reports Viewer with one of the Chapter 8 sample reports.
Crystal Reports Offline Viewer has a freeware version with the ability to save reports in PDF format. The viewer can also display photo images. A microfiche is a 4 by 5 inch (10.2 by 15.2 cm) piece of photographic film. There are certain security problems related to the web version of crystal reports. The installation file can be considered as light since it’s only 40MB.
Sanjesh G. Reddy writes for http://www.reportviewers.com and is knowledgeable in many software and hardware packages. He has also written for other websites, including http://www.recovasset.com.
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