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The HTML Report Engine

, 23 Jun 2006 CPOL
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The HTML report engine is a .NET class library which helps in generating well formatted HTML reports.

Sample HTML Report

Generated HTML Report

HTML Report Generator - Sample Application Screenshot

Demo Application Screenshot

Introduction

The HTML Report Engine is a .NET class library which helps in generating well formatted HTML reports. It can take any DataSet as its report source. Reports can have sectional data contents and bar charts.

Background

Crystal Reports is a reporting tool that comes along with VS.NET, but designing and deploying a Crystal Reports report in your application is a bit complex. Though this HTML report engine utility has only limited number of features, it can produce awesome reports with no complex designing and coding work involved.

Using the code

It’s a generic reporting utility which takes as a report source, a DataSet containing at least one DataTable. The class library contains three main classes:

  • Field
  • Section
  • Report

The Field class contains report field information like report column name, column header, background color, and so on.

The Section class holds information about a section like ‘group by’ column name, title prefix, background color, charting information, and so on.

The Report class contains all the methods and properties required to render an HTML report. In this class, a few CSS (Cascaded Style Sheet) classes are used to format the report content. The following code sample explains how to use this utility in your application:

//Include the namespace
using HTMLReportEngine;

//Create report object and set properties.
Report report = new Report();
report.ReportTitle = "Issue Report";
//Create a DataSet ds and fill it before using this code.
report.ReportSource = ds;

//Create Section
Section release = new Section("Release","Release: ");

//Create SubSection
Section project = new Section("Project","ProjectID: ");

//Add the sections to the report
release.SubSection = project;
report.Sections.Add(release);

//Add report fields to the report object.
report.ReportFields.Add(new Field("TicketNo", "Ticket", 50, ALIGN.RIGHT));
report.ReportFields.Add(new Field("CreatedBy", "CreatedBy", 150));
report.ReportFields.Add(new Field("AssignedTo", "AssignedTo"));
report.ReportFields.Add(new Field("Release", "Release", 200));
report.ReportFields.Add(new Field("Project", "Project", 150, ALIGN.RIGHT));

//Generate and save the report
report.SaveReport(@"C:\Data\Report.htm");

Class properties and methods

Field
PropertyTypeDescription
FieldNameStringA column name in the DataSet.
HeaderNameStringString to be displayed as column header.
WidthIntWidth of the column in pixels.
AlignmentALIGNText alignment of the field. Default is ALIGN.LEFT.
BackColorColorColumn background color.
HeaderBackColorColorColumn header background color.
isTotalFieldboolIf true, the field is included for total. Default is false.
Field()ConstructorThere are eight overloaded constructors available.
Section
PropertyTypeDescription
GroupByStringColumn name on which group by is to be applied.
TitlePrefixStringPrefix text for section header.
BackColorColorSection header background color.
GradientBackgroundbooltrue – to display gradient color; false – to display plain background color. Default is false.
IncludeTotalboolDisplay/hide Total row.
SubSectionSectionSubsection of type Section.
IncludeChartboolDisplay/hide chart.
ChartTitleStringChart title text.
ChartShowAtBottombooltrue - show chart at bottom (after data rows); false – show chart at top. Default is false.
ChartChangeOnFieldStringChart Y-axis field, usually text field.
ChartValueFieldStringChart X-axis field, must be a numeric field. Default is record count.
ChartShowBorderboolEnable/disable chart border.
ChartLabelHeaderStringChart label column header text. Default is ‘Label’.
ChartPercentageHeaderStringChart percentage column header text. Default is ‘Percentage’.
ChartValueHeaderStringChart value column header text. Default is ‘Value’.
Section()ConstructorThere are three overloaded constructors available.
Report
PropertyTypeDescription
ReportTitleStringReport title text.
ReportSourceDataSetReport source is a DataSet. The DataSet must contain at least one DataTable with data.
SectionsArrayListCollection of report sections. Each element is of type Section.
ReportFieldsArrayListCollection of report fields. Each element is of type Field.
ReportFontStringReport font as string.
TotalFieldsArrayListCollection of column names to be listed in Total row. Each element is of type string.
IncludeTotalboolDisplay/hide Total row.
IncludeChartboolDisplay/hide chart.
ChartTitleStringChart title text.
ChartShowAtBottombooltrue - show chart at bottom (after data rows); false – show chart at top. Default is false.
ChartChangeOnFieldStringChart Y-axis field, usually text field.
ChartValueFieldStringChart X-axis field, must be a numeric field. Default is record count.
ChartShowBorderboolEnable/disable chart border.
ChartLabelHeaderStringChart label column header text. Default is ‘Label’.
ChartPercentageHeaderStringChart percentage column header text. Default is ‘Percentage’.
ChartValueHeaderStringChart value column header text. Default is ‘Value’.
GenerateReport()MethodGenerates the HTML report and returns it as a StringBuilder object.
SaveReport(string fileName)MethodGenerates the HTML report and saves it to disk with the given file name.

Formatting the report

Including totals

This report engine supports multiple SUM fields for a report. And the SUM can be displayed on demand in any of the sections added to the report. The SUM field must be of type numeric. The following code explains how to add SUM fields:

//Add Total fields
report.TotalFields.Add("Project");
report.TotalFields.Add("ProgressedHours");

//Set IncludeTotal property of the sections to true
project.IncludeTotal = true;
release.IncludeTotal = true;

Total Fields Sample

Adding charts

This engine can produce bar charts. The developer has to provide only the ChangeOnField and ValueField as input. If the developer has not given any ValueField, the record count will be taken as the Value. Changing the ChartShowAtBottom property would let your charts come either at the top or the bottom of the section.

//Set Chart properties
release.ChartChangeOnField = "Severity";
release.ChartValueField = "ProgressedHours";

release.ChartTitle = "Severity-Wise report";
release.ChartLabelHeader = "Severity Type";
release.ChartValueHeader = "Hours";
release.ChartPercentageHeader = "Progress";

Aligning fields

Field texts can be aligned to Left, Right, or Center. By default, the text alignment is set to Left.

//Set field Alignment
Field field1 = new Field();
field1.Alignment = ALIGN.RIGHT;

Specifying colors

The developers are allowed to change the background colors of section headers, column headers, and column data. Section headers can have gradient backgrounds by setting the GradientBackground property to true.

//Specifying Colors
//Main Section header color
release.BackColor = Color.WhiteSmoke;
release.GradientBackground = true;

//Sub Section header color
project.BackColor = Color.GhostWhite;
project.GradientBackground = true;

//Field Colors
field1.HeaderBackColor = Color.LightSlateGray;
field1.BackColor = Color.Gainsboro;
field2.HeaderBackColor = Color.LightSlateGray;
field2.BackColor = Color.White;
field3.HeaderBackColor = Color.LightSlateGray;
field3.BackColor = Color.Gainsboro;

Points of interest

It is recommended that you specify the column width for all report fields except one. That one may be a variable text field. The field without column width will automatically fit into the remaining space available in the table.

There is a simple way to export data to MS Excel. You can open the generated HTML file in Internet Explorer, right click on the report, and select 'Export to Excel'. Done!

History

  • Version 2.0 - Added features for formatting and to allow multiple Total columns in the report.
  • Version 1.0 - Initial version.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Ambalavanar Thirugnanam
Architect BNY Mellon
India India
Ambalavanar, working as a .NET Solutions Architect at BNY Mellon (iNautix), Chennai. Enjoys designing and developing UI & highly scalable apps.

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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Laxmikant_Yadav20-Dec-11 20:17
memberLaxmikant_Yadav20-Dec-11 20:17 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
gopalrajput24-Aug-11 2:38
groupgopalrajput24-Aug-11 2:38 
GeneralGroup wise Details Pin
ashu21885-May-11 9:52
memberashu21885-May-11 9:52 
QuestionPrinting Pin
s_e_jean27-Dec-10 2:45
members_e_jean27-Dec-10 2:45 
AnswerRe: Printing Pin
ashu21885-May-11 7:19
memberashu21885-May-11 7:19 
Generalheader on each page Pin
ArielR19-Feb-10 11:06
memberArielR19-Feb-10 11:06 
GeneralFantastic article! Question about having multiple subsections within a section Pin
Patel Hardik14-Mar-09 14:47
memberPatel Hardik14-Mar-09 14:47 
GeneralRe: Fantastic article! Question about having multiple subsections within a section Pin
Ambalavanar Thirugnanam14-Mar-09 19:57
memberAmbalavanar Thirugnanam14-Mar-09 19:57 
Thanks Patel.
We cannot have multiple subsections within a section using this utility.
You may have to rewrite some part of the code to achieve this.
Cheers!

-----------------------------
Go far with your knowledge...
Further with google...

GeneralAwsome Article Pin
rmarkram24-Oct-08 1:13
memberrmarkram24-Oct-08 1:13 
GeneralChart on report section Pin
Watever4422-Aug-08 11:46
memberWatever4422-Aug-08 11:46 
GeneralRe: Chart on report section Pin
Watever4422-Aug-08 11:56
memberWatever4422-Aug-08 11:56 
GeneralRe: Chart on report section Pin
Ambalavanar Thirugnanam22-Aug-08 21:12
memberAmbalavanar Thirugnanam22-Aug-08 21:12 
QuestionMulti-page reports? Pin
mlyons1-Jul-08 19:30
membermlyons1-Jul-08 19:30 
AnswerHtml report Pin
Member 285513523-May-08 18:10
memberMember 285513523-May-08 18:10 
GeneralVery Innovative! Pin
Illogic1-Oct-07 18:16
memberIllogic1-Oct-07 18:16 
GeneralATGrid Report Control Pin
etcell30-Jul-07 18:42
memberetcell30-Jul-07 18:42 
GeneralOrder of sections Pin
JACK0245926-Jun-07 5:18
memberJACK0245926-Jun-07 5:18 
QuestionNice work...but I have 1 question Pin
bcpdrp25-Jun-07 13:22
memberbcpdrp25-Jun-07 13:22 
AnswerRe: Nice work...but I have 1 question [modified] Pin
Member 222654227-Sep-08 4:31
memberMember 222654227-Sep-08 4:31 
AnswerRe: Nice work...but I have 1 question Pin
gg423713-Nov-09 0:16
membergg423713-Nov-09 0:16 
GeneralHTML & Unicode Pin
cesarsouza19-Jan-07 15:25
membercesarsouza19-Jan-07 15:25 
GeneralNice innovation Pin
GanesanSenthilvel29-Nov-06 22:44
memberGanesanSenthilvel29-Nov-06 22:44 
GeneralReport Definition Pin
graham.lock6-Sep-06 22:44
membergraham.lock6-Sep-06 22:44 
GeneralHtml Report Pin
Terryjsz14-Jul-06 4:37
memberTerryjsz14-Jul-06 4:37 
GeneralGood Job Pin
Michael A. Barnhart15-Jun-06 7:00
memberMichael A. Barnhart15-Jun-06 7:00 

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