by November 4, 2006 0 comments

Reports come in various sizes and shapes: simple top to down tables, nested
master/sub tables and charts and graphs. They are needed for various purposes
too, for instance to include with other documents, making presentations,
distribution to various people and so on. A good reporting platform would come
with support for all these elements and Active Reports for .NET is one such

Active Reports for .NET 3.0 integrates with both Visual Studio .NET 2003 and
2005 with code-behind support for VB.NET and C#. VB.NET developers can script
the reports to make them more interactive for the end user. All reports can be
previewed as you code them, with design-time data binding to all kinds of data
sources. Developers can use the familiar UI of Visual Studio.NET and build
dynamic and interactive reports quickly. 

Price: $1,499 (Professional Edition)
Meant For: .NET developers
Key Specs: Create reports from any backend and export to a variety of formats
Pros: Interactive reports, connects to any backend with a provider
Cons: None
Contact: Data Dynamics, Ohio, USA
RQS# E42 or SMS Buy 131142 to 6677

Reports can be created either at design time or during run time. For
instance, an application may have several reports that have a fixed set of
parameters on which they operate, like generating periodic performance reports
of various departments. These can be created at design time by the developer
with fixed format and input parameters. Still other reports would be generated
on the fly and they even let the end-user pick from a set of available options
before generating a report. Both these methods of generating reports are
available with Active Reports.

Active Reports for .NET bundles features to let you add a Table of Contents
as well as Bookmarks and Thumbnails for your reports. To do this, all you need
to do is use the Report Viewer control on your Windows Form designer. These
features (TOC, etc) can be setup from the Report Viewer control’s properties,
either in the designer or in code. The Report Viewer also has a Web Viewer
analog that allows you to view reports over a Web browser.

Add the Data Dynamics Chart Control (bundled with the Active Reports package
and a wizard takes over to configure the parameters for your chart be it a bar,
pie, doughnut, funnel or a dozen other kinds. Then data bindings are setup and
the chart can be previewed at design time itself. Reports generated by your
applications using Active Reports can be exported in a variety of formats,
namely Excel, PDF, RTF, HTML, TIFF and plain text. For each of this, the
component provides controls that can be dragged on to the designer form (or
accessed using just code) and used directly. Deployment can be made using XCopy.

The Active Reports control can connect to different backends for data, create rich reports with graphs and tables, and display them across different pages

Bottom Line: A quick and strong alternative for reporting needs in
.NET applications.

Sujay V Sarma

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