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SQL Reporting services

MS SQL Reporting services sounds interesting.

How well does it hand printed reports?  I keep reading about the web delivery, web services and export options (and that's great) but some people still want a hardcopy.

Yes, we currently use Crystal Reports.

Andrew
Thursday, April 01, 2004

It will publish to PDFs or DOCs for printing

Damian
Thursday, April 01, 2004

>>It will publish to PDFs or DOCs for printing

Not very well then!

Tony Edgecombe
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Okay, if not PDFs or Excel, what would you recommend.

Of course I guess you could always print from the web page, if that's what floats your boat.

Steve Barbour
Thursday, April 01, 2004

I was interested in this too, but read that it required Developer Studio.  Is that true?  Maybe when I'm more curious.

Lee
Thursday, April 01, 2004

I just fired this up the other day and was really impressed with it.  From what I saw, you need Visual Studio 2003 and .Net to get this working.  I am sure you could do it on your own with only the compiler but I do not recommend it. 

Matt Watson
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Our development group recently met with some MS pre-sales engineers about Reporting Services.  They indicated that you can print directly to the printer (no PDF or Excel), but it requires a little work.  They also indicated that there is a sample application available that show you how to do this.

Canuck
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Currently you do need developer studio, but the spec for the file format is available and supposedly several vendors are working on report editors.  Cognos is the only one I know off the top of my head though.

Steve Barbour
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Thanks.

It sounds like export to PDF then print is the way to go.  Slightly annoying, perhaps, but good if you're trying to wean your users off paper.

Andrew
Thursday, April 01, 2004

>>Okay, if not PDFs or Excel, what would you recommend.

The trouble with using an interim format like PDF, Doc or XLS is that the applications that print these documents are designed to be used on a clients workstation, as soon as you try and use them to print unattended from a service then you start to encounter lots of problems.

I must admit I am staggered that a reporting tool needs some tweaks to output directly to a printer, go to any financial, government or health organisation and you will see the volume of paper they produce is vast.

Tony Edgecombe
Friday, April 02, 2004

I am at a health organization and we are well on our way to being completely paperless, electronic billing, electronic medical records, digital imaging for radiology, etc.

We still use paper reports of course, but we don't just spew them out blindly.  If someone wants a paper version they can hit the print button themselves.

Sorry, don't mean to sound bitter, I've just spent the last two years weaning folks off of paper reports.  It's a complete waste of money to print a report that you're only going to glance at, and report server's built in ability to export to other formats means that folks can easily manipulate the data from the report.

Although I will admit that until I found the adobe speed up program I absolutely loathed PDFs.

Steve Barbour
Friday, April 02, 2004

You can print directly from a client application if you call the web service on the report server and have it return an EMF image. You can then use normal GDI+ printing in .NET to print it. The results are very good, however it's a little fiddly to implement at first and the docs on this particular subject are very poort.

Edward Forgacs
Sunday, April 04, 2004

I was very dissapointed to find that this tool doesn't recognise my regional currency setting.  It uses $ regardless.

Although I easily avoided the issue by not displaying a currency symbol, this is a huge shortcoming.  What were they thinking?

Brady Kelly
Thursday, June 24, 2004

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