The Report Application Server (RAS) is a set of components that enable developers to take advantage of the report-design capabilities of the Crystal Reports engine. These components enable developers to build applications that include report design, modification, and viewing functionality and can be accessed through a Web browser. RAS is the replacement and evolution of previous single threaded object models and Crystal Products such as the Report Designer Component (RDC) and the Crystal Reports Print Engine (CRPE).
In version 10 of the Crystal Suite of Business Objects products, the standalone RAS is called the Crystal Enterprise Embedded edition. RAS is built using client/server technology. The server components consist of the application logic that interfaces with the reporting print engine. The client components consist of the RAS Software Developers Kit (SDK) that communicates with the RAS via TCP/IP and the Viewers SDK that exposes a number of report viewers each suiting particular application needs. The RAS is a multithreaded server with both .NET/COM and Java object models.
The RAS and Viewers SDKs are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 32, "Crystal EnterpriseViewing Reports," and Chapter 33, "Crystal Enterprise EmbeddedReport Modification and Creation." This chapter introduces the sample applications provided around Crystal Enterprise Embedded and provides some configuration information.