Tuesday, 5 February 2008

.NET Reporting

I've had a chance now to look into reporting for .NET and it's the first time I've been dissappointed. The general reporting tools aren't much chop but lucky for us they've included Crystal Reports from Busiess Objects. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact this is a standard reporting tool and most of my developers are having no trouble getting the hang of the new version. The application I've been developing is all but complete and while I haven't taken the best development approaches due to prototyping I'm very pleased with the resulting code and application. What has dissappointed me is something I would have thought should be trivial, though it probably shouldn't come as a suprise. Deployment. Just deploying your web application isn't enough. Installing the crystal reports distributable isn't enough either and neither are the things you might try after that. I had to go searching the internet for an hour to find that I had to look through the install files to locate some files and copy them into the installation web application root for it to work. There was no documentation on this, no clear indication of what to do. I suppose with most environment's I've worked with there have been problems like these so I shouldn't be too dissappointed.

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