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Posted 2 Jul 2009


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Microsoft Visual Studio® PARTNER SOLUTION BRIEF on ActiveReports

2 Jul 2009CPOL3 min read
ActiveReports Reporting and Business Intelligence Suite for Microsoft® Visual Studio®.NET Development System

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ActiveReports Reporting and Business Intelligence Suite for Microsoft® Visual Studio®.NET Development System

By GrapeCity, inc.

“If I had had to create the entire solution from scratch, without the help of ActiveReports components, I simply wouldn't have been able to do it.”

Daniel Reber, Lead Architect, Precision.BI, LLC

Business Needs

Good quality reporting and business analyses have always been the workhorse of serious .NET business applications. Over the years, reporting requirements have moved up from being a rudimentary listing of records to progressively more complex reports and analysis, based on a variety of data sources, multiple media formats and varied business user requirements. Today, any reporting and BI toolset should be able to span a wide range of reporting and business analysis needs, enabling end users to go from standard reporting to dashboard overviews to deep interactive analysis.

Business Challenges

Before ActiveReports was launched, building and integrating highly scalable, customizable and fast performing reporting features for any .NET application was a challenge. The existing reporting tools were difficult to program, had inflexible architectures and had expensive deployment options that made high quality report development and deployments a pain for .NET developers. As the industry matured, developers are faced with a challenge to migrate their applications and end users to meet business reporting and business analysis requirements.

Technical Challenges

.NET developers love the ease of programming using the Microsoft Visual Studio development system. Yet, the earliest versions of Visual Studio did not offer a formal integration interface as it does today. Therefore, it was technically challenging to extend the IDE to offer additional tools and designers to help in report design. ActiveReports was the first product at the time to come out with a report builder. Today, it continues to leverage the excellent integration platform that the Visual Studio.NET product has become to offer: unparalleled ease of use and power to software developers with its tightly integrated reporting and business intelligence tools.

Microsoft Solution

ActiveReports for .NET and other reporting tools leverage Microsoft technology to the maximum. All tools have been developed using managed C# and include integrated report builders within Visual Studio.NET and Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet software export capabilities. The re-architected version of ActiveReports uses Microsoft SQL Server® Report Definition Language (RDL) as its Reporting Format, instead of using proprietary formats as other reporting tools typically do.

ActiveReports was the first reporting tool to fully leverage the code behind, event based Visual Studio programming model for almost every reporting feature. In a poll of 100+ respondents, almost 38% respondents voted the nearly unlimited customization capability as their favourite feature.

Today, ActiveReports and other products in the suite have over 50,000 registered users world wide and still growing with new products and new frameworks to offer complete reporting and business intelligence needs for .NET developers.


  • In the 2009 customer surveys, the ability to create almost any kind of production reports because of the tight Visual Studio. NET integration and extensive programming model and high overall quality were named as favourite features.
  • Fast Performance and Multi-language support from the ground-up have enabled customers globally to implement scalable, international solutions on top of Microsoft’s .NET platform.
  • The new tools in the suite that cover business reporting and business analysis means that customers can use a single toolset to span the complete BI lifecycle,

We believe that by leveraging the Microsoft stack and going broad and interoperable within the reporting and business intelligence category, we will be able to maximize the business value for us and for our customers.

We already feature great support for Microsoft Excel integration and have based our new reporting tool on Microsoft’s Report Definition Language (RDL) format making it an excellent choice to use on top of Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. Our products can be used with Microsoft’s MVC and LINQ programming frameworks and we are working on introducing Silverlight™ and other new Microsoft technologies into our product roadmap.

Download Microsoft's PDF version.


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


About the Author

Marketing GrapeCity, Inc.
United States United States
GrapeCity is the world's largest component vendor. Along with Data Dynamics and FarPoint Technologies (recently acquired by GrapeCity), we have over 500,000 users of products built by us and our Tools Partners. GrapeCity was founded in Japan in 1983 and adopted the software components market as its key focus area. Starting with its own VBX components, to OCXs, ActiveX and now .NET, Java and Ajax components and developer tools, we have developed deep, global expertise in the developer tools business for the last 25 years.
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