Sunday, July 30, 2006

What a beautiful day for a launch!

I am writing this post a few hours early because I am finding it difficult sitting here in anticipation...waiting to spread the news. Tomorrow, Monday July 31 2006, marks the official release date of Crystal Reports for Eclipse. I will be working like a busy little beaver tomorrow to ensure that all of the pieces are in place so that everyone of you has access to this great piece of software. We plan to make this product available on a number of different sites, so I wanted to take the time to explain what the end-user can expect when they download the product from the different sites:

  1. If you choose to download the product from a non-Business Object's site (e.g. www.eclipseplugincentral.com) your reports will appear in the designer with a small report footer watermark saying "Register for free at www.businessobjects.com/eclipse to remove this message". Users who receive this message can go to the URL mentioned in the message and register for free. They will then be able to download a small plugin (8KB) which can be added to their Eclipse install to remove the message.
  2. If you use Eclipse's built-in Update Manager to install Crystal Reports for Eclipse you will need to follow the same steps outlined in #1 to remove the watermark
  3. If you download the all-in-one build or plug-in zip package available on the Business Object's site (http://diamond.businessobjects.com/eclipse) these will already have the watermark removed
So, you may be asking yourself, what does this allow me to do? What do I get when I remove the watermark? Well, in short...pretty much anything. You can build web-based or rich-client applications which can be used for internal corporate consumption, extranet sites, or even your own personal projects. Whatever you want to do the choice is up to you?

So what about the limitations you ask...well, in web-based applications your application will be limited to a single-server deployment with the free license. As well, you cannot bundle the runtime files in an application which is intended to be sold or distributed outside your organization. Finally, there will be no free technical support included with product. You will still have access to our forums and developer content on the Diamond site, however if you wish to speak with a support representative you will likely want to upgrade to our Professional version. That's right...I said Professional version..."What the heck is the Professional version?" you may be wondering. This is likely the first time you have ever heard me mention that there will be 2 versions of this product. So let me take a step back and give you the low-down of what we will be offering with our Crystal Reports for Eclipse product line. Tomorrow, we will actually be launching our Crystal Reports for Eclipse Basic edition. A few weeks later we will follow this up with a Crystal Reports for Eclipse Professional edition. What does this mean for you, the end user? Well, here's the breakdown of what you get:

1) Crystal Reports for Eclipse Basic edition - includes embedded Report Designer, IDE tooling, license to deploy on a single server within your organization
Cost to the End User:FREE!

2) Crystal Reports for Eclipse Professional edition - includes embedded Report Designer, IDE tooling, ability to deploy in a multi-server deployment, more powerful engine (up to 5 times more throughput than Basic) and 2 Customer Support incidents.
Cost to the End User:$495/server

That's right. You read correctly. Everyone can now create their Java applications using the most powerful reporting engine on the planet, and deploy them into production...without ever paying a dime!

We hope that you are as excited with this news as we are. With these two editions of Crystal Reports for Eclipse we provide the developer with all the tools they need to quickly and easily integrate a presentation layer within their applications. Additionally, we provide them with the flexibility to choose the best engine for their solution. Even to move up to our Crystal Reports Server or BusinessObjects Enterprise platforms, without having to change the reports.

So, please keep an eye out for the release announcements tomorrow and give it a try. You have nothing to lose.

Talk with you later,
Sean