Exploring the Development Environment

Visual Studio .NET provides a rich integrated design environment for developing Windows and Web applications, and there are a number of components and shortcuts to help us integrate Crystal Reports into Windows applications.

To begin, in the toolbox under the Windows Forms section, you will find the CrystalReportViewer, which we will be working with a little later. When you draw this viewer on a Windows Form, you can set a number of properties and use the viewer to display a preview of your report, as shown in Figure 4-2.

In addition to the CrystalReportViewer, there is also a ReportDocument component available in the components section of the toolbox. We use this component to add strongly typed and untyped reports to a form, for use with the viewer mentioned earlier. (Don't be too worried about it at the moment, as we'll cover that a little later in the chapter.)

Figure 4-2

Finally, the majority of our report integration will take place in the code view of the form, as shown in Figure 4-3.

All of the properties, methods, and events related to Crystal Reports object models and integration can be set and modified through this view, as well as through the Properties window.

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