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Report recommendations please

P: n/a
I'm writing a VB2005 program that needs to generate some printed
output, including a main table. At present I'm doing this output
simply as a text file, which works well enough to allow printing via
eg NotePad, but there are a couple of important refinements that I'd
like to add: one or more images per page and, ideally, some slightly
better control over the appearance of the output, ie use of colour,
different fonts etc.

Crucially, the structure and content of the output won't be known
until runtime.

My dilemma is that I want only somewhat better control over the output
than at present but I'd prefer not to spend many hours learning how to
do run-time design with one of the major reporting tools like Crystal
(which I know next to nothing about right now). But my impression is
that trying to control reasonably detailed printing using just the
native VB2005 commands is going to be a lengthy and time-consuming
approach also.

So, my question is whether there is any basic reporting control that
anyone can recommend that might be limited in its capabilities, but is
nonetheless suitable for run-time report definition?

(Ideally it would be good to have PDF output but this would be a
nice-to-have.)
Jan 29 '07 #1
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10 Replies


P: n/a
I use the DevExpress controls which include a report generator which is
extremely simple to use and is extremely powerful. You may or or may not
have a budget for 3rd party tools, but if so, it's worth a look.

Here is a link directly to their reporting solution:
http://www.devexpress.com/Products/N...s/XtraReports/

Note that I am in no way associated with Developer Express. I'm just a
satisfied user.

"John Dann" <ne**@prodata.co.ukwrote in message
news:cm********************************@4ax.com...
I'm writing a VB2005 program that needs to generate some printed
output, including a main table. At present I'm doing this output
simply as a text file, which works well enough to allow printing via
eg NotePad, but there are a couple of important refinements that I'd
like to add: one or more images per page and, ideally, some slightly
better control over the appearance of the output, ie use of colour,
different fonts etc.

Crucially, the structure and content of the output won't be known
until runtime.

My dilemma is that I want only somewhat better control over the output
than at present but I'd prefer not to spend many hours learning how to
do run-time design with one of the major reporting tools like Crystal
(which I know next to nothing about right now). But my impression is
that trying to control reasonably detailed printing using just the
native VB2005 commands is going to be a lengthy and time-consuming
approach also.

So, my question is whether there is any basic reporting control that
anyone can recommend that might be limited in its capabilities, but is
nonetheless suitable for run-time report definition?

(Ideally it would be good to have PDF output but this would be a
nice-to-have.)

Jan 29 '07 #2

P: n/a
John Dann wrote:
I'm writing a VB2005 program that needs to generate some printed
output, including a main table. At present I'm doing this output
simply as a text file, which works well enough to allow printing via
eg NotePad, but there are a couple of important refinements that I'd
like to add: one or more images per page and, ideally, some slightly
better control over the appearance of the output, ie use of colour,
different fonts etc.
How about constructing it with HTML, for the zero-budget option?

Andrew
Jan 29 '07 #3

P: n/a
On Mon, 29 Jan 2007 08:00:03 -0800, "Matt F"
<mf****************@nospam.nospamwrote:
>I use the DevExpress controls which include a report generator which is
extremely simple to use and is extremely powerful...
Thanks for that - I'll take a closer look,

Just to clarify - yes a relatively inexpensive (up to $200-300 max per
seat) third party .Net control would certainly be considered.

And let me underline that for this application I'm really not
interested in design-time interfaces for the reporting tool, ie
wizards, report designers available to users etc. What's much more
important to me here is ease-of-use in defining reports at run-time
(ease-of-use also very much implying good, accessible documentation.)
Jan 29 '07 #4

P: n/a
IMHO, you should not be afraid of using crystal. It is very easy to handle
and there is no reason to buy a licence for a different Report generator if
you have one.
"John Dann" <ne**@prodata.co.ukschrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:cm********************************@4ax.com...
I'm writing a VB2005 program that needs to generate some printed
output, including a main table. At present I'm doing this output
simply as a text file, which works well enough to allow printing via
eg NotePad, but there are a couple of important refinements that I'd
like to add: one or more images per page and, ideally, some slightly
better control over the appearance of the output, ie use of colour,
different fonts etc.

Crucially, the structure and content of the output won't be known
until runtime.

My dilemma is that I want only somewhat better control over the output
than at present but I'd prefer not to spend many hours learning how to
do run-time design with one of the major reporting tools like Crystal
(which I know next to nothing about right now). But my impression is
that trying to control reasonably detailed printing using just the
native VB2005 commands is going to be a lengthy and time-consuming
approach also.

So, my question is whether there is any basic reporting control that
anyone can recommend that might be limited in its capabilities, but is
nonetheless suitable for run-time report definition?

(Ideally it would be good to have PDF output but this would be a
nice-to-have.)

Jan 29 '07 #5

P: n/a

John Dann wrote:
I'm writing a VB2005 program that needs to generate some printed
output, including a main table. At present I'm doing this output
simply as a text file, which works well enough to allow printing via
eg NotePad, but there are a couple of important refinements that I'd
like to add: one or more images per page and, ideally, some slightly
better control over the appearance of the output, ie use of colour,
different fonts etc.

Crucially, the structure and content of the output won't be known
until runtime.

My dilemma is that I want only somewhat better control over the output
than at present but I'd prefer not to spend many hours learning how to
do run-time design with one of the major reporting tools like Crystal
(which I know next to nothing about right now). But my impression is
that trying to control reasonably detailed printing using just the
native VB2005 commands is going to be a lengthy and time-consuming
approach also.

So, my question is whether there is any basic reporting control that
anyone can recommend that might be limited in its capabilities, but is
nonetheless suitable for run-time report definition?

(Ideally it would be good to have PDF output but this would be a
nice-to-have.)

There was a post on this group recently for PDF: http://
groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.vb/
browse_frm/thread/f4eec3fc8011402e/c75e4e9731067049#c75e4e9731067049

The 4th post (Tom Leylan) has some links you might find useful.

Jan 29 '07 #6

P: n/a
"msdnuniv" <nb@nowhere123.comwrote in
news:Oo**************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl:
IMHO, you should not be afraid of using crystal. It is very easy to
handle and there is no reason to buy a licence for a different Report
generator if you have one.
Crystal has an upgrade option for VS.NET users - I believe you can get the
full Crystal XI developer package for ~350.00.

The full version of crystal is a MAJOR improvement over the bundled
version.

The biggest advantage that I've seen with Crystal is that it can report off
multiple database and it has the ability to write generic, non-database
specific reports (i.e. you can fill the report using a dataset)
Jan 29 '07 #7

P: n/a
lose the training wheels and learn Crystal Reports or Reporting
Services.

a developer who works with databases that can't use one of those two
programs is close to worthless.

sorry; but I speak the truth.

I've been doing reporting for 10 years; I really like Reporting
Services... but I wish that they would make 'forms services' or
something similiar for data entry.

-Aaron


On Jan 29, 7:53 am, John Dann <n...@prodata.co.ukwrote:
I'm writing a VB2005 program that needs to generate some printed
output, including a main table. At present I'm doing this output
simply as a text file, which works well enough to allow printing via
eg NotePad, but there are a couple of important refinements that I'd
like to add: one or more images per page and, ideally, some slightly
better control over the appearance of the output, ie use of colour,
different fonts etc.

Crucially, the structure and content of the output won't be known
until runtime.

My dilemma is that I want only somewhat better control over the output
than at present but I'd prefer not to spend many hours learning how to
do run-time design with one of the major reporting tools like Crystal
(which I know next to nothing about right now). But my impression is
that trying to control reasonably detailed printing using just the
native VB2005 commands is going to be a lengthy and time-consuming
approach also.

So, my question is whether there is any basic reporting control that
anyone can recommend that might be limited in its capabilities, but is
nonetheless suitable for run-time report definition?

(Ideally it would be good to have PDF output but this would be a
nice-to-have.)
Jan 30 '07 #8

P: n/a
John Dann wrote:
So, my question is whether there is any basic reporting control that
anyone can recommend that might be limited in its capabilities, but is
nonetheless suitable for run-time report definition?
My suggestions would be:

- consider HTML (as already suggested in another response). It's easy to
construct, you probably know how to use it already, and it gives you fairly
good control over the presentation. It's not going to give you PDF output
without third-party (and probably awkward-to-use) components however.

- I'd also take a look at the ReportViewer. This allows you to create report
layouts by selecting Add New Item in a VS2005 project and then selecting to
add a Report. The layout can then be fed into the ReportViewer which is able
not only to display the report but also save it to disk in various formats
(including Excel and PDF). All the bits are already included in VS2005.

HTH,

--

(O)enone
Jan 30 '07 #9

P: n/a
Many thanks for all the responses.

I've tracked down something called Siberix Report Writer
(www.siberix.com), which generates PDF (and XPS) documents. This looks
promising for my particular application and is available at a good
discount for small businesses. I'll give it a good workout on a trial
basis but interested to hear whether anyone else here has tried it -
good or bad comments??

JGD
Jan 31 '07 #10

P: n/a
and why won't you use the built in reportviewer control?

aka reporting services?

lose the training wheels, NooB
oh, are you 'too smart' to do real report development???

ROFL

-Aaron

Jan 31 '07 #11

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