Thursday, February 09, 2006

Crystal Reports for Eclipse and Open Source Support

There have been a couple questions regarding the strategy for Crystal Reports for Eclipse so I wanted to respond here. While we haven't released final pricing and availability details at this time, the fundamental strategy is to provide Eclipse developers with the well-known, proven, and powerful Crystal Reports embeddeded reporting functionality.

Crystal Reports for Eclipse builds on our heritage of providing bundled report design functionality with Microsoft (Visual Basic, VisualStudio.NET, and VisualStudio 2005), Borland, BEA, and IBM IDE's. We also include a limited scalability version of our report processing engine to get people started with their projects. In order to unlock the scalability, customers can purchase either the Crystal Reports Developer edition, Crystal Reports Server, or BusinessObjects Enterprise depending on their requirements.

Crystal Reports for Eclipse is not an open source project. We are not releasing the source code. However, we are providing a community web site, forums, and open lines of communication like this blog to rapidly respond to customer requests. We are providing developers software for no charge for design and testing (see below for more details). We are a member of , we are a Gold sponsor of EclipseCon, and we will continue to be an active supporter of the open source community. We believe we provide a solid combination of commercial software and support for the open source community with this initiative.

Our intention is to release the project similar to how open source projects are released using a 'release early and often' type of strategy. We have released a technical preview already. We will make a available a beta version as well before the final release later this year.

Building on our heritage and experience in providing integrated reporting into IDE's, we believe Crystal Reports for Eclipse will deliver superior report design, data access, and flexibile deployment options compared to any reporting tool on the market--open source or not.

We will provide the Crystal Reports for Eclipse software for no charge for developers. Developers can design reports and build applications for no charge. The preview software that's available now is very similiar to how developers will experience the final version. It's freely available! When a developer deploys the application on a server, we will offer low cost deployment licenses (with technical support) for integrated report viewing as well as higher end solutions for mission critical reporting and business intelligence applications. Exact pricing has not been released at this time. Note that Crystal Reports Developer is available for $595 US which allows for component-based report viewing. See the information sheet here for more details on these options.

We believe we'll provide all the benefits of an open source project without the risk of smaller vendors counting on you the developer paying support and services revenue to survive.

I'd like to encourage everyone to download the preview and give it a try for yourself. Please give us feedback on our product and/or our approach and help us help you.


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