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Chapter 34. Introduction to the Crystal ... > Understanding the Crystal Enterprise...

Understanding the Crystal Enterprise Object Model

Crystal Enterprise was designed from its inception to be extensible. Rather than provide a “black box” product, the folks at Business Objects made sure that they had a layer on top of the core Crystal Enterprise (CE) services that consisted of a Software Development Kit (SDK). A developer armed with a bit of Crystal Enterprise knowledge can customize the look, feel, and functionality of the product or simply create his own solution from scratch. This chapter provides an introduction to using the Crystal Enterprise SDK to extend the out-of-box product to meet new requirements and challenges.

Previous chapters introduced the core Crystal Enterprise services. These services, including the CMS, Page Server, and Job Server, each perform a set of reporting-related functions. Also, it has been illustrated how clicking through the Web Desktop and Crystal Management Console applications makes these services perform their jobs. Perhaps what hasn't become apparent yet is that there is a layer between the CE services and the applications you've seen. This layer consists of the Crystal Enterprise SDK. Each and every feature that CE supports is available via its SDK—the SDK is the entry point for driving CE to do its job. When the Search button in Web Desktop is clicked, or the Add User button is clicked in the Crystal Management Console, those applications are making a call to the Crystal Enterprise SDK, which in turn talks to the various services to perform the requested operation.


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