I am now seriously looking for alternatives to writing my own Reporting tools in X#.
Although it is nice to know how to handle printing 'stuff' in the .NET Framework, it also seems rather stupid not to take full advantage of professionally produced reporting software tools.
I have so far found these for me to follow up on :- DevExpress, Qlik, WinWard, and Syncfusion. And of these I am not yet sure if Qlik is actually stand alone 'free' of the .NET framework. The others mention .NET specifically and seem to be more what I think X# guys would like / need.
PLEASE would you post me any details and comments you may have about these named tools, or indeed any others you have heard of that may be of help to xBase guys.
Details of cost may also prove useful - and if FREE actually means 'free' etc., etc.
Although I still need your help as requested previously, I would like to report back to you on some very nice progress made this evening with 'DevExpress' reporting tools - Designer and Viewer.
Because I have had some experience with VS and Microsoft's 'Reporting Services' I managed to quickly fumble my way to a working X# example from an old database (SQL) without much trouble. AND, the 'DevExpress' installed tools have effectively timed out from months back - still works however. This experience was better for me than MS Reporting Services I used previously.
Sorry that the report is so basic and simple - BUT - the main point was getting all the parts to work effectively together, and not the complexity of the SQL query used.
Here is the printed report in the Viewer :-
And here is the screen capture of the query I specified :-
Now the look / see of the Designer on screen :-
Finally, the full page seen in the Viewer - sorry it does not scale well, but it will give the idea. Check the bottom two corners of the paper page, for auto-added page numbering and date etc. :-
And since this stuff is so nice (beautiful almost) I will try to include a partly collapsed shot of the Report Designer :-
Now then guys, the point to all this is that there seems to be some quality Report and Printing tools out there for us to find and use - AND - we can leave the wheel for others to reinvent (again!).
I will keep you informed of progress with reporting with .NET in X#.
we can leave the wheel for others to reinvent (again!).
if you meant me with one one of the others: Yes, I have to write my own reporting enginge, but based on VPE from Ideal Software and to maintain compatibility with the lots of reports I have from my "old" VO applications.
It is simply not possibile to rewrite all the reports I have written in the last 20 years and that are (partially) modified by the users itself.
It will be easier to port over my reporting engine from VO... But of course, I don't expect that anyone will follow my route <g> (even if I plan to publish the sources as I did for the VO ones for some people that used VPE also).
P.S. I know a few people here that are using a reporting tool called "Stimulsoft" are are very happy with it - so happy that they are using it also with VO applications.
Actually the idea of the 'wheel' was being applied to myself
I was going to write a basic report generator based on my Printing class for Cologne, in X#. Like you I liked the idea that I could then basically print anything, whenever I wanted - BUT - I did not have a graphical designer !
However, after my experiences last evening with 'DX' tools (DevExpress) I am firmly convinced that any new stuff for X# should be done with quality third party software. Oh! and don't forget that in between my VO/Vulcan printing I was paid for two years plus to create Microsoft Reporting Services reports etc.. This has further coloured my view of things.
Please don't think that everything I write, say, or hint at, is pointed in your direction.
Luckily I no longer have reports to carry over from VO, as I had in the past.
Also, with no disrespect to RP2/RP3, I think the modern tools for printing and reports seem quite superior - which of course they should be.
Thanks for the tip regarding 'Stimulsoft', I will look into it.
Phil Hepburn wrote: Also, with no disrespect to RP2/RP3, I think the modern tools for printing and reports seem quite superior - which of course they should be.
Interesting remark. Makes me wonder, what "new" one may invent to solve tasks which in essence are already defined, once for all. The job of a hammer is hitting a nail, defined some thousand years ago, and realised more or less "static" for the last 100 years
(BTW, there's also "Telerik", somewhat similiar to Stimulsoft...)
it has nothing to do with X#, but we are in the chit-chat section here:
many things have changed in the last 100 years about hammer and nail. First, nails are used a lot less than 100 years ago, and for professional use there are pneumatic nailing machines now. Only in the DIY, where such machines are too dangerous and too expensive, the hammer has survived as tool to put a nail somewhere.
And so it is with reporting, I think. Some of my customers are not requiring static reports anymore, but the possibility to drill down to more detail when required, so most sophisticated reports are window-only and have the possibility to copy to Excel.
Thanks for the 'Telerik' suggestion - I will follow it up.
The 'Stimulsoft' leads was very interesting and looks to be high quality - seems to cost a bit however, but then any quality software tool will not come either cheap or FREE I guess. These reporting tools save a LOT of our time I feel. The company is in Tallin, Estonia.
I understand your comments on "nothing new, so why change things" etc., etc.
Haven't you noticed, VERY few tasks are new and yet EVERYTHING has changed. That is what I have been fighting for well over tens years - just trying to catch up that is.
Recently I have assessed (noticed) that the harder I try to catch up, the further behind I seem to fall
Oh! and by the way, I am at best a quality 'DIY'er, and yet I have a 'brad' gun. Yes, they are not even called nails any more - the ones I use as nails that is.
However, the old hammer is good for getting old floor boards up. So if I have a hammer, everything looks like a floor board.
I counted the other day in my small workshop, and I have 35 power tools. Yes, it shocked me as well. And there may even be an extra one or two lurking somewhere.
Funny ol' world,
Cheers and Happy New Year for this evening/morning.
We are using Dev Express, we have 100s of reportpro reports; but looking for a friendly interface to the user, we configure grids that allow them from a SQL (advantage database ADT) query to change the orders, groups, filters(complex), sums, pivot table, in the grid and the user can export to several file formats or to do a report preview to be printed or to be send by email.
You can put the titles (header, footer) with a layout, all this with no use of the report designer.
Another pros that we found are:
use 2d barcodes like PDF417 and QR code that we use.
use of dashboards.
send controls that you use to the report (pivot, list, etc.)
they update the product constantly, we like that (We like that too from X#).
We do not install yet the DevExpress report designer, We only have few hardcode reports with DevExpress.
For now, lets just start with the database side of things.
Can guys with DBFs use DevExpress (DX) Reporting ? Do they need to have ADVANTAGE ? Or can they use the "Fox Pro 9.0" software driver - that Dieter showed in a 'DevShare' event a few years back. At the Cologne conference I would like to have an option for DBF guys to use DX reporting tools. I have not used DBFs in ten years and no longer have any here to test out - and I am not going backwards to do a test ;-0) This PC is to stay "DBF free"!
Yes, its good that both DevExpress and XSharp keep us refreshed with new versions.
I am working on the customer experience (UX) with a suitable GUI etc.,etc., but I am starting from scratch with DX tools. Looks to me as though we should have more conference sessions on this topic in years to come - there is a LOT to show and discuss, it would appear.
All the best for 2018 - hope you have a better year health wise.
I have visited the link and gotten the information. There is now a suitable entry in my eNotes for Cologne.
On a personal note, it does not seem to be the way I will choose to go, but I am trying to include as many options for colleagues as possible.
Not an easy topic this one, on Creating and Printing Reports. Quite 'HUGE' in fact, and I would expect to see more sessions at Conference on reporting in the future. We need knowledge and experience from other colleagues out there, those doing it! Maybe Oscar would like a trip to see us once again
I will work on what you say and let you know when I need your help.
Have been a bit busy over the last few days - lots of strange things happening here locally in Newport!
I will revisit the ODBC dialog screen again soon - to see what is available.
Annoying thing is that we had this all working well a few years back - lots of things changed since then however.
Also, now that DevExpress guys have been so VERY kind as to let me officially use their WPF/Reporting tools for the Cologne conference, (thanks DX guys) there does not seem to be a ODBC option in the report Wizard.
I will do some checking and testing - fingers crossed.
[ .. Note the DX guys have made this a VERY special deal for me for the Cologne Conference - do NOT try this at your home !!! .. ]
Oh! just so that guys know what I am doing in preparation for Cologne in April, I will give DevExpress a good trial since I have the licence till May 2nd. - BUT - because these reporting tools are so powerful, flexible, and hence complex, there is no way I will be able to check out more than DX for this Forum and the attendees.
I tried installing the free SyncFusion tools as well, but there was so much duplicated toolbox related stuff in Visual Studio that my system seemed to grind to a halt ! So I made the decision to remove all installs apart from DX and now VS is working quite reasonably.
I am trying to contact Nick (Friend) for his help with DX, as he is a 'long time' user, but he seems not to be returned yet from Colombia, South America.