Crystal Reports 2010 has a huge redistributable

So today I investigated reporting options for Employee Scheduling Pro. I had previously used Crystal Reports 2008 for Visual Studio 2008 with some success. It felt clumsy and bloated, but it worked. Overall, considering my previous experience and the ‘industry standard’ it has become, I was planning on using it.

Come to find out, Visual Studio 2010 didn’t ship with Crystal Reports as previous versions did. It included a link to Business Object’s site for a beta2 of the Crystal Reports 2010 for Visual Studio 2010. It’s still free, but is very late– it’s still not released, even though it was supposed to be released in Q4 2010 and it’s late in Q1 of 2011… Regardless, I looked at downloading this beta to evaluate if it was still useful, but I found that the redistributable is 72MB!!! In comparison, the CR2008 redistributable is roughly 17MB…. 72MB to add a few reports to an otherwise simple app? I don’t think so… In addition to this, I find that CR2010 requires .NET 4.0, which forces me to bloat my installer more and eliminate OS support(such as W2K)… I don’t know about you, but I really don’t think a 100MB+ download is acceptable for an Employee Scheduling Software tool…

Fortunately, I had a good alternative. DevExpress, which is the toolkit I’ve used for my Win Forms controls, also has a reporting control that’s actually included in my subscription. Upon investigation online, it appears XtraReports is pretty decent– and it can even import existing Crystal Reports which will be useful for other projects that I may want to upgrade in the future… In comparison, XtraReports will add a couple megabytes(even less once compressed in the installer). I’ll also have the added bonus of having a report viewer that’s skinned in the same manner as the rest of Employee Scheduling Pro.