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What goes around comes around, and justice grinds slowly.
It appears I have some report generation in my future for a couple of projects. I know a limited Crystal Reports version used to ship with VS 6 (yeah, that far back). I'm curious what everyone *here* uses these days. What do you hate, what will you tolerate? I'd ask what do you love, but then, I've never heard of anyone loving a report generation tool.
I have two needs - the first is to be able to generate ad hoc reports against a couple of internal databases. People want to play with generating their own reports, so I need something relatively simple to use.
The second is more production oriented for a manufacturing system. They'll be a canned set of reports generated on an order by order basis.
Yes, I did a google search, but all I get are myriads of pages listing the top 10 report tools and direct links to the company pages.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
SSRS is the bomb for you. And from a simple report you can export to Excel so people can 'play' with the report. It works. Butttttt...... It really takes someone who understands databases and being able to setup and get it working right. This means usually a programmer/DB Analyst. Probably you.
with that said. If your end users want to do more than just 'play' with the data. If they want to create their own visuals you probably need to research PowerBI (Microsoft) or Tableau. I have worked extensively with both. I prefer Tableau. Mainly because I am more familiar with it. But they both have their good and bad points. They are both fairly expensive.
as always ymmv. But that is my .02
To err is human to really elephant it up you need a computer
I've never heard of anyone loving a report generation tool.
As he noted, I made his life very easy. We don't need not stinkin' crystal reports.
It is corporate-agnostic. It'll work for insurance claims or pizza orders. The generating their own reports is (via the input fields) by creating SQL filters on-the-fly. Also, line, bar, and pie charts - but as it turns out, no one wanted them once they became available.
I've been using FastReport VCL (Delphi) forever.
I like that the reports are in XML, we were able to transform a ton of reports simply.
It has a Client Side Report Designer, if needed (We have shipped it a couple of times).
It has a server based solution as well...
And of course, there is the .NET version, which I assume you are interested in.
We have also leveraged the SCRIPTING language to get some VERY custom reports, and cause report page links to open records in our application!! Kinda cool features, IMO.
I've mostly worked with CR and unlike everyone else here, actually like it. For newer projects, we've been using DevExpress. It's a little pricey but it's easy to work with, has tons of documentation, and tons of options. We use their pivotgrid control for ad hoc reporting and it works great. You get what you pay for.
Unfortunately, you also get bloat/dependency from using third-party tools.
"Go forth into the source" - Neal Morse
"Hope is contagious"
For some reason people love to knock Crystal Reports and I used to be one of them ( way back ) , but if you spend some time learning it you can create very complex and powerful reports, if you're after sexy looking reports maybe look elsewhere but for informative down to the metal reports I think it's very good. It supports the usual while / do / for loops, arrays ( albeit one dimensional ) so the limit is your imagination. As for integration with dotnet I don't know what is available these days.
"I didn't mention the bats - he'd see them soon enough" - Hunter S Thompson - RIP
We use CRW (Crystal Report Writer) for our Windows desktop application. We use it 3 different ways:
1) have our own UI for parameters that are passed to the RPT file
2) run a RPT file directly, only passing in the connection string.
3) generate data external to the RPT file, then pass in the dataset to the RPT.
Either way, we have a common dialog for displaying the results that all 3 methods use.
We also provide a custom reports option. A user can use CRW to create any custom report they want, drop the RPT into a specific folder, and the program will show its name in a drop-down list for them to run it. However, 100% of the time they pay us to do the custom report for them.
I like CRW because of it's ease of use for beginners, yet powerful enough for whatever I want to do.
Keep all things as simple as possible, but no simpler. -said someone, somewhere