Choosing Your Reporting Tool
Okay, once again I bring up the topic of reporting. Namely, because it seems as though there's no one best solution from what I've read here.
I use crayons and plain white paper.
AFAIK MS Reporting Services will play nice with your Firebird DB through ODBC.
Just me (Sir to you)
I'm about to look at different charting and reporting objects, and you might want to look at ComponentOne VSVIEW Reporting Edition. If it's as good as their FlexGrid object, it might be a good solution.
Reporting services can report from OLEDB/ODBC services, but Reporting Services itself uses a SQL Server back-end, and requires (a) SQL Server license(s). If you don't currently use SQL Server in your enterprise then it can be an irritation.
So far I haven't run into any show stoppers with ActiveReports (...yet). They seem to be a smallish company so their longevity might be a factor. We have created a pretty complicated web reporting system with user selectable criteria and grouping using ActiveReports over the last couple of months. Most of the problems we have ever had have been minor and are usually fixed relatively soon. They do release new versions rather often.
I tend to output my data in an XML format and apply an XSL transform to it - Then display it in a browser or embedded IE control in an app. Works well for my needs
I would love to just use XML and XSL, but every single report we build always has some fancy nested 'group by' and summary data that requires an advanced reporting tool.
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