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Evaluating Reporting Tools for .NET

I am currently doing some research on reporting features provided /
compatible with dotnet features. Our current application has excel
reprots that are emailed both with an without scheduling through a web
front end that uses coldfusion as well as asp. There are custom vb
compnents that generate the data as well as stored procs on a sql 2k
servers that produce the data. The requirement is for excel reports
and pdf reports, web viewing if possible that are data concentric with
totals, subtotals and formatting with header and footers. There is no
need for any kind of charts. However, i think it is imperative
scheduling and on the fly report generation is possible. Currenly as
reports are emailed the user cannnot really change the report in any
way.

We will use ADO for access and ODBC is not being used. Web controls
should be highly desireable for client to request and view reports on
the web .

I haev come across the following products.

- SQL Reporting Services
- Actuate
- ActiveReports
- Crystal Reports
- AESPOSE.Excel

The three main ones that stand out are crystal reports .net , sql
reporting services and active reports. Seems as though people are
complaining about the high maintenance as well as overhead for the
Crystal Reports. On the other hand i also read the Active reports does
not have an extensive API and provides buggy features with a poor GUI.
I couldn't much feedback on SQL reporting services but it seemed to
be pretty simple database server concentric.

I would really appreciate it if someone can point me in the right
direction and give me some feedback.
-
Mohammad S Khan
ms******@hotmail.com
Jul 21 '05 #1
3 1758
I posted my opinion on the subject a while ago and while hardly a
'scientific' sample, I think you can get some feedback about what others
think.

I like ActiveReports but would really recommend Reporting Services if you
can - it's a dream.

--
W.G. Ryan MVP (Windows Embedded)

TiBA Solutions
www.tibasolutions.com | www.devbuzz.com | www.knowdotnet.com
"Mohammad S Khan" <ms******@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:52*************************@posting.google.co m...
I am currently doing some research on reporting features provided /
compatible with dotnet features. Our current application has excel
reprots that are emailed both with an without scheduling through a web
front end that uses coldfusion as well as asp. There are custom vb
compnents that generate the data as well as stored procs on a sql 2k
servers that produce the data. The requirement is for excel reports
and pdf reports, web viewing if possible that are data concentric with
totals, subtotals and formatting with header and footers. There is no
need for any kind of charts. However, i think it is imperative
scheduling and on the fly report generation is possible. Currenly as
reports are emailed the user cannnot really change the report in any
way.

We will use ADO for access and ODBC is not being used. Web controls
should be highly desireable for client to request and view reports on
the web .

I haev come across the following products.

- SQL Reporting Services
- Actuate
- ActiveReports
- Crystal Reports
- AESPOSE.Excel

The three main ones that stand out are crystal reports .net , sql
reporting services and active reports. Seems as though people are
complaining about the high maintenance as well as overhead for the
Crystal Reports. On the other hand i also read the Active reports does
not have an extensive API and provides buggy features with a poor GUI.
I couldn't much feedback on SQL reporting services but it seemed to
be pretty simple database server concentric.

I would really appreciate it if someone can point me in the right
direction and give me some feedback.
-
Mohammad S Khan
ms******@hotmail.com

Jul 21 '05 #2
Crystal - the oldest, is designed to make .NET programmers look bad. Well ..
what I mean is, it's hardly programmable, besides the fact that you can
databind to it, the fact that it's databindable looks like a hack more than
a ground up thought. You can mess up page settings in the IDE, and the way
it rounds decimals is different from programmable languages (5.5 is 6, not
5).. True you can add a field at runtime but it's hardly intuitive. And it
gets VERY expensive with it's web version.

ActiveReports.NET et. al. - is cheap, programmable, very WYSIWIG, but you
need Vstudio to create a report- i.e. a .net developer will always develop a
report - not a report writer. Plus it has issues with source control - it
tries to change itself as you open it - and other issues. And there's no rpt
file; there's an rpx file that gets compiled into a dll for deployment. But
it is very easily portable to the web - although not very customizable
(atleast not as customizable as I'd like it to be). And it really doesn't
have too much built into it as Sql Server Reporting Services do - as far as
a reporting portal goes - (batched reports etc.?) - all that plumbing is
going to be your headache - but you can develop something exactly custom to
your needs. Plus no charts/graphs - you need to get a graphing package for
that - but you don't need that huh?

Active Reports can do Excel, it can do pdf.

What might suit your needs depends on what your needs are but above is
enough info !! :)

- Sahil Malik
http://dotnetjunkies.com/weblog/sahilmalik

"Mohammad S Khan" <ms******@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:52*************************@posting.google.co m...
I am currently doing some research on reporting features provided /
compatible with dotnet features. Our current application has excel
reprots that are emailed both with an without scheduling through a web
front end that uses coldfusion as well as asp. There are custom vb
compnents that generate the data as well as stored procs on a sql 2k
servers that produce the data. The requirement is for excel reports
and pdf reports, web viewing if possible that are data concentric with
totals, subtotals and formatting with header and footers. There is no
need for any kind of charts. However, i think it is imperative
scheduling and on the fly report generation is possible. Currenly as
reports are emailed the user cannnot really change the report in any
way.

We will use ADO for access and ODBC is not being used. Web controls
should be highly desireable for client to request and view reports on
the web .

I haev come across the following products.

- SQL Reporting Services
- Actuate
- ActiveReports
- Crystal Reports
- AESPOSE.Excel

The three main ones that stand out are crystal reports .net , sql
reporting services and active reports. Seems as though people are
complaining about the high maintenance as well as overhead for the
Crystal Reports. On the other hand i also read the Active reports does
not have an extensive API and provides buggy features with a poor GUI.
I couldn't much feedback on SQL reporting services but it seemed to
be pretty simple database server concentric.

I would really appreciate it if someone can point me in the right
direction and give me some feedback.
-
Mohammad S Khan
ms******@hotmail.com

Jul 21 '05 #3
Hi Mohammad,

There is also XtraReports out there that does both (pdf, xls) and much more
and it is a really cool product:
Check out www.devexpress.com/reports.

--
Miha Markic [MVP C#] - RightHand .NET consulting & development
SLODUG - Slovene Developer Users Group
www.rthand.com

"Mohammad S Khan" <ms******@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:52*************************@posting.google.co m...
I am currently doing some research on reporting features provided /
compatible with dotnet features. Our current application has excel
reprots that are emailed both with an without scheduling through a web
front end that uses coldfusion as well as asp. There are custom vb
compnents that generate the data as well as stored procs on a sql 2k
servers that produce the data. The requirement is for excel reports
and pdf reports, web viewing if possible that are data concentric with
totals, subtotals and formatting with header and footers. There is no
need for any kind of charts. However, i think it is imperative
scheduling and on the fly report generation is possible. Currenly as
reports are emailed the user cannnot really change the report in any
way.

We will use ADO for access and ODBC is not being used. Web controls
should be highly desireable for client to request and view reports on
the web .

I haev come across the following products.

- SQL Reporting Services
- Actuate
- ActiveReports
- Crystal Reports
- AESPOSE.Excel

The three main ones that stand out are crystal reports .net , sql
reporting services and active reports. Seems as though people are
complaining about the high maintenance as well as overhead for the
Crystal Reports. On the other hand i also read the Active reports does
not have an extensive API and provides buggy features with a poor GUI.
I couldn't much feedback on SQL reporting services but it seemed to
be pretty simple database server concentric.

I would really appreciate it if someone can point me in the right
direction and give me some feedback.
-
Mohammad S Khan
ms******@hotmail.com

Jul 21 '05 #4

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