Over the years, we've heard about the requirement to protect report designs, and have taken a few, mostly unsuccessful attempts at addressing this.
In SAP Crystal Reports 2011, we've delivered a much more effective solution to this problem. This is what the new export to RPTR feature is for.
RPTR is a read-only RPT file. It cannot be opened by any report design tool, but it can be opened and executed by most of our viewers.
The objective of this feature is to create a mechanism for partners and developers to share their reports, while preventing downstream users from modifying them. Here's a couple of examples:
1) A reseller wants to promote their report design skills without giving away some of their design techniques, so they export their report to RPTR with saved data to demonstrate to their prospects with SAP Crystal Reports Viewer 2011.
2) An ISV includes with their application some reports, but they don't want end users to modify them for support reasons. So the ISV exports the reports to RPTR and they're viewed with the .NET 4.0 report viewers (Webform, Winform, and WPF alls upport RPTR).
Viewers That Support RPTR Files
These viewers can open and execute RPTR files:
SAP Crystal Reports Viewer 2011
Viewers included with the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Platform (including SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI and SAP Crystal Server)
All viewers included with SAP Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010, including the Winform, Webform, and new WPF viewer.
Data Source Considerations for RPTR Files
While all data sources are supported with RPTR files, there are some special considerations around datasource set location.
Set location is disabled for RPTR files. If you need to modify the datasource location at runtime, we suggest the following techniques:
Use ODBC or OLEDB data connection, and ensure the DSN used is exactly the same as the one used at design time.
Use an ADO.NET data connection, and push the data into the report.
Other Considerations for RPTR
Manually renaming the RPTR file to a RPT file won't make it readable.
There is no way to convert a RPTR file back to a RPT file. It's a one-way trip.
Data refresh, printing, exporting, prompting all behave the same way as an RPT file.
In the viewers, you cannot export to RPT if you're viewing a RPTR file.
That's a quick summary of the RPTR feature - give it a try and let us know what you think!