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I am currently trying to figure out a short path to print an electric bill.
One option that i could come up till now is googling a present electric bill template and loading it with PictureBox item,later on trying to print texts taken from database onto this PictureBox item.
 
Another option is to use Crystal Reports or ReportViewer to design a similar template by hand and filling the fields via database again for printing purposes.
But I don't know which way is better,easier.Because my time is limited and so does my knowledge also.
 
Any experienced person to give me his opinions about this would be welcome.Thanks beforehand.
Posted 12-Feb-11 2:45am
Edited 12-Feb-11 3:06am
Henry Minute223.5K
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Henry Minute at 12-Feb-11 9:07am
   
I don't know where the link in your question was supposed to go but as it simply led back to your question I have deleted it. Please replace it with the correct link if it is important to the question.
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Solution 1

Well, let's assume that you mean you have created an application which, as part of its process, has to print a report that looks like an electric bill.
 
From what you've said you already have the data so the decision i spurely about presentation. You mention grabbing an image of a report that lookslike what you want and then layering your data on top of this. Doesn't sound like a decent option to me.
 
Then you talk about Crystal Reports or ReportViewer either of which would do the trick. You could also look at creating a pdf from the data - that always works well. This[^]might help: iTextSharp (you'll need to dig through that link toget to it) is very versatile and produces great output.
 
You will, however, have to do some work to make this happen: there is no magic bullet solution: just as your time is limited so is everyone else's: if you are not prepared to invest the time to learn then why would anyone spare the time to help you?
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hasan_basri at 12-Feb-11 9:55am
   
Thx for your interest digiman.Indeed you widened my horizon about this subject.Just gotta see some more ideas and comments.
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Solution 2

If you are happy with doing all calculations / data displays via your front end application and displaying your report as an image then it is fine.
 
The Crystal Report / Report viewer approach, however, is a more sophisticated one.
You can directly bind your data fields to the report (after they are loaded from the database, of course) You can add calculations / formulas to the report.
There are export to excel / pdf and other file format facilities
 
However, there is an overhead of mainting such reports.
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Solution 3

An open source and easier-to-implement alternative to crystal reports is DaReport as in here[^]. Of course, compared to Crystal reports, it is less sophisticated, but serves extremely well for small scale reports or bills, in your case.
I have used it in one of my commercial projects to print detailed reports including dynamic pictures etc., and it comes with a report designer so that you could prepare different templates for any kind of bills
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Solution 4

I recommend Crystal reports because you can do customizations easily. Also take a look at this one.
 
Advantages of Crystal Reports[^]
 
Free Attachment
 
Building an Invoice Application with ASP.NET and Crystal Reports[^]
 
EDIT
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Resources
 
Crystal Reports Runtime Packages[^]
 
hasan_basri wrote:
Should any additional libraries be installed on client machine for crystal reports to work? Is .net framework enough? i.e. could a software print a report using crystal reports on a computer that nothing else is installed beyond .net framework?

Yes dude, you need to install the run-time packages for the crystal reports in client machine where the application installed. So pick the right version of run-time package in the mentioned link.
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MCY at 13-Feb-11 5:18am
   
I used crystal reports once or twice, but there is a point I wonder: Should any additional libraries be installed on client machine for crystal reports to work? Is .net framework enough? i.e. could a software print a report using crystal reports on a computer that nothing else is installed beyond .net framework?
MCY at 14-Feb-11 15:30pm
   
oh, thanks.

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