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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.

Most of you say that Crystal is a pain to use (the 'Devil's spawn someone said).  From what we've been attempting to do, we're finding that to be true as well.  In addition to making .net reporting more difficult, they've also make the licensing confusing as hell.

On MS Reporting Services, you are restricted to IIS and MS SQL.  So, we're ruling that out for the moment because we have a Firebird database.

So, what are the shortcomings of Data Dynamics' ActiveReports product?

Minority Report
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

I use crayons and plain white paper.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

AFAIK MS Reporting Services will play nice with your Firebird DB through ODBC.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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 think right now the worst thing about it is that you can't create subclasses of their Report class because if you do Visual Studio no longer recognizes it and you can no longer use the report designer on it. This is suppsed to be fixed in the next major (pay for it) upgrade.

Using the report designer is almost as good as using Access' report designer. Their query system allows you to put in variables that can be replaced later, we are currently using this technique to add on to where and group by clauses on the fly.

Overall there are anoyances but in comparison to Crystal Reports they can easily be worked around.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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

Dan G
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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.

Crystal support is great, but I just want a tool with fewer bugs.  Right now, Crystal is crashing aspnet_wp.exe when a strongly typed report is loaded inside a namespace.

I could scream right now.  AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2004

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