Crystal Decisions has a long partnership history with Microsoft. This has continued with Microsofts .NET platform. This chapter provides an overview of the various .NET reporting technologies that are available both within Visual Studio .NET and with Crystal Reports 10.
Microsoft .NET is a next-generation platform that enables developers to create programs that transcend device boundaries and harness the connectivity of the Internet. .NET and the tools and languages that compose it are the foundation for building Windows-based components and applications, creating scripts, developing Web sites and applications, and managing source code.
Many of the terms used in this chapter are specific to the Microsoft .NET solution or the Visual Studio .NET development environment. Before you learn the Crystal components, review some of the key .NET technologies that are relevant to Crystal Reports developers:
XML Web Services:
A Web Service is a unit of application logic providing data and services to other applications. Applications access Web Services via ubiquitous Web protocols and data formats such as HTTP and XML, with no need to worry about how each Web Service is implemented. Web Services combine the best aspects of component-based development and the Web, and are a cornerstone of the Microsoft .NET programming model.
ASP.NET is a set of technologies in the Microsoft .NET Framework for building Web applications and XML Web Services. ASP.NET pages execute on the server and generate markup such as HTML, WML, or XML that is sent to a desktop or mobile browser. ASP.NET pages and ASP.NET XML Web Services files contain server-side logic (as opposed to client-side logic) written in Visual Basic .NET, C# .NET, or any .NET-compatible language.
ADO.NET is an evolutionary improvement to Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) that provides platform interoperability and scalable data access. Using Extensible Markup Language (XML), ADO.NET can ensure the efficient transfer of data to any application on any platform.
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a lightweight and simple XML-based protocol that is designed to exchange structured and typed information on the Web. The purpose of SOAP is to enable rich and automated Web services based on a shared and open Web infrastructure.
For more detailed information on the Microsoft .NET solution, refer to Microsofts Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp.