Suvarna Garge (Editor)


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License  proprietary
Developer(s)  Data Dynamics, now GrapeCity
Stable release  11 / 15 November 2016; 2 months ago (2016-11-15)
Platform  Windows Forms / ASP.NET / .NET / Microsoft SQL Server / HTML5
Type  Business Intelligence, Reporting

ActiveReports is a .NET reporting tool used by developers of WinForms, ASP.NET, and HTML5 applications. It was originally developed by Data Dynamics, which was then acquired by GrapeCity. ActiveReports is a set of components and tools that facilitates the production of reports to display data in documents and web-based formats. It is written in managed C# code and allows Visual Studio programmers to leverage their knowledge of C# or Visual Basic.NET when programming with ActiveReports.


Among the components included with ActiveReports are exports to file formats such as PDF, Excel, RTF, and TIFF. The main components are a Visual Studio integrated report designer, and an API that developers use to create customized reports from a variety of data sources. ActiveReports Standard Edition also includes a Visual Query Designer, a customizable Windows Viewer control, an HTML5 Viewer control, and a WPF Viewer control.

The integrated report designer handles three types of reports:

  • Section Reports with banded sections like the original ActiveReports (reminiscent of Microsoft Access reports)
  • Page Reports with a fixed layout for forms
  • RDL Reports with a continuous page layout like the original Data Dynamics Reports (uses Report Definition Language)
  • The Professional Edition of ActiveReports includes the Standard Edition tools plus an End-User Report Designer control that developers use to host the report designer in their own Microsoft Windows applications to let end users create and modify reports. It also includes a server-side ASP.NET web viewer with Flash, PDF, and HTML viewer types; ASP.NET HTTP Handlers that export reports to HTML or PDF format without custom code; a Silverlight viewer; and advanced PDF encryption and rendering features.

    ActiveReports Server

    ActiveReports Server is a scalable server platform with built in load balancing. It provides a secure and extensible report server to publish reports designed in ActiveReports. A comprehensive RESTful API enables integration of the responsive HTML5 Report Portal for end users to view, schedule and export reports.

    Features new to version 11

  • Optimized rendering for two times faster first page load times, 1.5 times faster PDF export file generation and 60% smaller peak memory footprint.
  • Added composite charts to RDL and Page reports to enable merging of line, bar, and area plots on the same chart with multiple Y axes.
  • Added JSON data provider that allows reports to consume data from JSON files, web services and REST API.
  • Added CSV data provider that allows reports to consume data from comma separated, tab separated, and other plain text files.
  • Improved the XML data provider with an XML Query Designer with a tree view of the data.
  • Added an Excel import wizard that can also be an intermediary for importing layouts from other reporting tools.
  • Added PDF printing pre-sets and optimized the PDF export for shorter export times and smaller output files.
  • Added galley mode to the HTML5 viewer so that wide and long reports can be viewed as a single, scrollable sheet.
  • Added new properties to the API: PageReportDesignerActions (End User Designer), OverwriteOutputFile (rendering extensions), and OptimizeStatic (PDF).
  • Added the Micro QR Code symbology to the barcode control.
  • Features new to version 10

  • Replaced the Matrix with the new Tablix data region to allow users to create stepped matrices, merge cells vertically, and use multiple adjacent row and column groupings.
  • Added the Word rendering extension for DOCX format exports.
  • Added style sheets for RDL and Page reports.
  • Improved integration between ActiveReports Server and the developer version of ActiveReports so that developers can execute reports on the server and use shared data sets.
  • Created a new lighter layout engine for faster rendering and fewer formatting and layout challenges.
  • Features new to version 9

  • Added Layers, groups of controls that you can lock or unlock, add or remove, show or hide for complex layouts.
  • Added the Visual Query Designer, a graphical interface that allows users to interactively build queries and view the results.
  • Added the Table of Contents control to display an organized hierarchy of report headings and labels along with their page numbers in the body of a report.
  • Improved Excel Rendering Engine for better exporting performance and precise layout accuracy.
  • Added independent rounded corners for Shape and CrossSectionBox controls in Section Reports.
  • Added support for mouse-controlled resize handlers for overflow areas in Page Reports.
  • Improved reporting engine for better performance and smaller memory footprints.
  • Features new to version 8

  • Added touch support for the Windows and WPF Viewer.
  • Added the Maps report item for spatial and analytical geographical representation of data with support for views, projections, vector layers, and Virtual Earth tile layers from the Microsoft Bing service.
  • Added the HTML5 viewer with touch and gesture support.
  • Updated reporting engine optimized for speed.
  • Expanded barcode support for GS1 Composite symbology including RSS14Stacked and RSSLimited barcode styles, and added MicroPDF417 options to control compaction and segments.
  • Added ActiveReports Server as an optional add-on that supports multi-tenant reporting, security extensibility, data caching, and report optimization features.
  • Features new to version 7, service pack 1

  • Added a WPF Report Viewer.
  • Added a PDF/A export option for report archiving.
  • Features new to version 7

  • Added Page-Based Reports with advanced data regions including charts, tables, and crosstabs that can be mixed within the same report section, eliminating the need to use subreports in most instances.
  • Table Control
  • Matrix Control
  • Support for Visual Studio 2012
  • Advanced Printing Support: Scale pages, add page watermarks, print multiple report pages on a single sheet (N-up).
  • Persistent Licensing makes the installed system remain licensed until the license is manually deactivated, making upgrade to maintenance releases easier.
  • Features new to version 6

    Latest Service Releases

  • Microsoft Silverlight Report Viewer
  • Windows Azure reporting in partial trust and full trust modes
  • ASP.NET medium trust support
  • Support for Visual Studio 2010
  • Support for .NET Framework 4.0 Client profile
  • Utility to convert from Crystal Reports (2005 and 2008) to ActiveReports
  • Standard Edition

  • Cross-section box and line controls that span report sections
  • Quality and performance improvements
  • New Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) barcode styles
  • External style sheets
  • Designer snap lines
  • Granular control over text boxes and labels
  • 64 bit support
  • also support for various things

    Features new to version 3

    ActiveReports Designer

  • Design-time preview tab
  • Component tray for design-time work with .NET data providers
  • Report Explorer support for parameters and calculated fields
  • Design-time support for custom parameters
  • Design-time unbound fields
  • Windows Forms Viewer

  • Users can add annotations
  • Linked reports open in tabbed pages
  • Web links open within the viewer
  • Reporting Engine

  • Chart control supports seven new chart types
  • Funnel
  • Pyramid
  • Gantt
  • Kagi
  • Point and figure
  • Renko
  • Three line break
  • ReportInfo control for page N of M or report run dates
  • Professional Edition

    Includes all of the Standard Edition features, and adds the following:.

    End-User Report Designer

  • Allows developers to host the designer in Windows Forms applications
  • Provides end-user report editing capabilities
  • Provides easy access for saving and loading report layouts
  • Allows developers to monitor and control the end user's design environment
  • Allows developers to customize the designer to the needs of end users

  • WebViewer control with Flash, HTML and PDF viewer types can be used on ASP.NET pages
  • Allows quick viewing of ActiveReports on the web
  • Provides printing capability with the Flash viewer and Acrobat Reader
  • Provides an RPX HTTP Handler so that reports on the web server are available via hyperlink and are run and displayed in HTML or PDF
  • Provides a Compiled Report HTTP Handler so that reports compiled in an assembly on the server are available via hyperlink
  • Supported document formats

  • Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf);
  • HTML Web Page (*.html);
  • MHTML Single-File Web Page (*.mht);
  • Rich Text Format (*.rtf);
  • Microsoft Excel Workbook (*.xls);
  • Plain Text (*.txt);
  • Comma-Separated Values (*.csv);
  • Image formats: (*.bmp, *.jpeg, *.gif, *.tiff, *.png, *.emf).
  • Included report items

  • SubReport
  • Chart
  • Text Box
  • Label
  • Line
  • Picture
  • Check Box
  • Page Break
  • Report Information
  • Rich Text Box
  • Shape
  • Bar Code
  • Cross Section Line
  • Cross Section Box
  • OLE Object
  • 3rd party controls (charts, grids, calendars, etc.)
  • Matrix
  • Table
  • Banded List
  • Bullet
  • Calendar
  • Container
  • Formatted Text
  • Map
  • Overflow Placeholder
  • Sparkline
  • Table of Contents
  • Awards and recognitions

    May 15, 2015 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity wins Best In Show in the User Experience category

    February 27, 2015 - Ranked #6 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2014-2015

    May 15, 2014 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity (dba ComponentOne) wins Best In Show in the User Experience category

    February 28, 2014 - Ranked #5 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2013-2014

    October 15, 2013 - Other Hot Products recognition in Best Microsoft Windows Development Printing/Reporting Tool of 2013

    May 15, 2013 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity wins Best In Show in the User Experience category

    May 15, 2013 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity wins Best In Show in the APIs, Libraries & Frameworks category

    February 27, 2013 - Ranked #4 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2012-2013

    May 15, 2012 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity wins Best In Show in the Libraries & Frameworks category

    April 30, 2012 - Ranked #11 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2011-2012

    May 15, 2011 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity wins Best In Show in the Components category

    February 28, 2011 - Ranked #6 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2010-2011

    November 29, 2010 - Finalist in the 2010 Best of Connections Awards: Visual Studio Developer Products

    May 15, 2010 - SD Times 100 GrapeCity wins Best In Show in the Components & Libraries category

    March 26, 2010 - Ranked #7 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2009-2010

    May 7, 2009 - Finalist in the 2009 asp.netPRO Readers' Choice Awards

    March 13, 2009 - Ranked #4 and #5 in the 2008 ComponentSource Bestselling Publishers List

    March 13, 2009 - Ranked #2 in the 2008 ComponentSource Bestselling Products List

    February 9, 2009 - ActiveReports Customers Give .NET Reporting and BI Tools High Ratings

    June 2, 2008 - SD Times 100 Finalist in the Components category

    May 15, 2007 - SD Times 100 Finalist in the Components category

    February 9, 2007 - 2006 ComponentSource Bestselling Publisher

    February 9, 2007 - 2006 ComponentSource Bestselling Product

    May 15, 2006 - SD Times 100 Winner in the Components category

    Known Issues

    In the past, ActiveReports was known to be unable to handle large reports. This issue was ongoing across years and versions. Since that time, development efforts have focused on improving large report handling in every release.

    ActiveReports can be used in many ways, so each project can have a number of reasons for consuming memory. In newer versions, CacheToDisk and CacheToDiskLocation properties were added for PDF exports. Some other considerations that may cause too much memory use in section reports include:

  • Large or repeated images on every page
  • Subreports in repeating sections instantiated in the wrong event so that many new instances are created instead of one
  • Summaries in header sections that delay rendering
  • Report and Document object instances not released from memory
  • References

    ActiveReports Wikipedia

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