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How to Convert Crystal Reports to ActiveReports.NET, a Leading .NET Reporting Tool

Suppose you are a Crystal Reports(r)* user and looking for a more modern and flexible replacement. In that case, ActiveReports.NET is an enterprise reporting solution that comes with an updated utility to convert your existing reports to ActiveReports.NET. That means you don't need to recreate your reports from scratch. This blog walks you through the ease of using the ActiveReports.NET Import Wizard to convert your reports.

ActiveReports.NET installation creates some shortcuts in your Start Menu, including an ActiveReports 16 Import item.

ActiveReports 16 Import

Note: To run the Import Wizard, you need to have Visual Studio and Crystal Reports* for Visual Studio installed on your machine. When you launch the Import Wizard, you are presented with:

Import Wizard

This wizard is also used to convert Access and SSRS reports and turn an Excel sheet into a report. Select the Crystal Reports* option and click Next

On the following screen, select the source directory where your *.rpt files are stored. The wizard will recognize and list your files. You have the option to convert some or all of them:

Select Crystal Reports File

You are asked to do two things on the following screen: provide the output directory and choose your output report format. The output format corresponds to ActiveReports.NET's three report types

Select Output Format

Each report type has its benefits and strengths. Page and RDL reports are based on SSRS RDL reports. They are very powerful and include several controls and features not available in Section Reports, including Table, Maps, and BandedList. Another benefit of Page and RDL reports is that they don't rely on GDI+ for rendering. That means you can use RDL/Page reports painlessly on .NET Core/5/6 and that deploying to a Linux machine is much simpler with these report types because neither libgdiplus installation is required nor complicated system configurations.

On the other hand, Section Reports are very flexible and allow you to run custom code as various events are triggered throughout the rendering process. Section Reports are also similar to Crystal Reports* as they are banded type reports with headers and footers for each Report, Page, and Group section and a Details band that iterates your data. Section Reports are also supported on .NET Core/5/6 and deployed to Linux but with some limitations and requiring some systems configurations

If you are unsure which report type will be best to work with, the wizard offers you the choice to convert a report to both Section Report (*.rpx) and Page/RDL (*.rdlx). 

Clicking Next will start the conversion process. When we look at the output directory, all our files are converted, and we can see that Payslips.rpt was converted to both .rpx and .rdlx extensions. 

Updated to ActiveReports

If the Wizard finds any inconsistencies or limitations in the conversion, it will be noted in the associated log file. 

General Limitations

Due to differences between products, the extent to which your reports are converted depends on your specific report layout.  

  • Any controls, functions, and text formats that ActiveReports.NET does not support are not imported
  • The shadow property of a control is not imported while converting a report
  • The OLE object is not imported in ActiveReports.NET as it is treated as PictureObject in the object structure of Crystal Reports*

If you are in the market for a powerful yet flexible reporting solution, learn more about ActiveReports.NET features by visiting our Online Demos. Or download the latest version of ActiveReports.NET. /activereportsnet/download

*Crystal Reports® is the registered trademark of Business Objects, S.A.


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