Crystal Reports and Visual Studio 2010

If like me, you have a “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” relationship with Crystal Reports and have made a significant investment in reporting with their tools, you might be digging around the VS2010 RC looking for Crystal.

CR has been embedded into Visual Basic and Visual Studio for many versions. My experience goes back as far as Visual Basic 4, but in fact it started in 1993 with VB 2!

But it’s not in VS2010 RC. Well, kinda not in there.

Crystal Report is included in the project item templates:


But when you select it, something odd happens. Rather than a designer, you will get this window:


So it’s still available as a free extension to VS, just not built in. It’s odd that Crystal isn’t listed in the Extensions gallery that you can access through the VS2010 Extension Manager (on the Tools menu) or online at

There’s an extensive blog post on the SAP website about Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 which also lists new features, including a WPF report viewer.

I haven’t tried any of them out yet. What I’m most interested in is the design time experience with Entity Framework graphs. In VS2008, neither CR nor MS Reports recognizes navigation properties. A quick look at MS Reports (rdlc) in VS2010 suggests that this hasn’t changed. I’ll have to dig further at some point.

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14 thoughts on “Crystal Reports and Visual Studio 2010

  1. julie,

    I will definetely buying your second EF book . I hope you include poco objects as well as generating entity framework using the code only, database only,model only, etc.Are they any good tutorials on using poco??I am a big oop fan!! By the way I was told by one sap person

    crystal reports will include a

    silverlight beta product around the same time visual studio 2010 will be introduced… By the way I always recommend your book on the silverlight site and I saw your book recommended on the msdn data driven site as well….I wish your book came out earlier…..Take care

  2. Hi Bill. Oh yes POCOs in the book. I did a series on Repositories with POCOs and a pair of webcasts (look for them on and lots of pepole have been blogging about repositories with EF POCOs.

    Thanks for pointing folks to my book. 🙂


  3. I hate Crystal. Its a pain especially when dealing with form printing. I am trying out Stimulsoft and seeing if its going to work but so far so good.

  4. What I’m looking for is how to disable VS2010 from trying to convert the solution from using an older version of Crystal! If you’re like us, we have no interest in converting and it will, in fact, only break things on the production server if we do!

  5. We’re trying the embedded version of Crystal Reports for our VS2010 environment in WPF. The design mode seems to work, but connecting with our EDM objects yields a blank report. Is there some way that the data Context must be specified to the report page?

  6. Hi Steve,

    I’m not sure what the problem could be and can’t stop to investigate. Could you try on the CR forums and then leave another comment here as to the issue/solution?

  7. Thanks, Julie – I’ll try leaving a note on the SAP CR forum; was wondering if this was intended to work, or if it is just one of our wishes. If I find out, I will post the solution.

  8. Here is the solution >>>

    go to tab "File" >>> "Properties"

    select "Application" from left list

    and change the value of "target framework" to ".Net framework 4"

    then restart the application and

    enjoy using Crytal Report 2010

  9. I have had the same problem viewing a crystal report in WPF. My app runs SSRS and Crystal. Below is the code for viewing a crystal report. Data binding is separate.

    private void view_crystal()


    string ballType = this.cmbBallType.Text;

    string reportName = this.comboBoxReportName.Text;

    viewer vr = new viewer(reportName,ballType, this.datePickerFromDate.SelectedDate.Value, this.datePickerToDate.SelectedDate.Value);



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