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Crystal Reports to Stay in Visual Studio

Although Microsoft launched its own enterprise reporting tool last week, the software giant will continue packaging the competitive Business Objects Crystal Reports tool inside the Microsoft Visual Studio developer suite for now and into the next Visual Studio release, code-named "Whidbey."

Crystal Reports integrates with Visual Studio .NET to allow developers to create interactive reports from with the Visual Studio environment. SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services, launched in late January, is also heavily integrated into Visual Studio. Many observers expected that it would displace the Business Objects product in Visual Studio, if not in the current version at least in the Whidbey version, which is scheduled for a late 2004 or early 2005 release.

"Crystal Reports has been part of our product offering for more than 10 years. We are committed to Crystal Reports for the current release of Visual Studio, as well as the next release," David Lazar, Microsoft director of product management for developer tools, said in a statement provided for a Business Objects news release.

Business Objects billed the Microsoft decision as an endorsement by Microsoft of the Crystal Reports technology for use with Visual Studio .NET.

Microsoft officials presented the decision as giving customers a choice within Visual Studio and as a way to protect customers' existing Visual Studio-based projects that already use Crystal Reports. Visual Studio includes a Developer Edition of SQL Server 2000, which now includes the Reporting Services.

"We want to make sure that customers can still move those solutions ahead," said Tom Rizzo, director of SQL Server product management. "We didn't want to strand customers if they had existing solutions. We hope that in the future, people will take a look at both."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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