When you install ActiveReports 6, report design templates are added to the Visual Studio® installed templates list. In your Visual Studio project, open the Add New Item dialog to access the report templates. You can choose from code-based or xml-based report templates, or choose the Access Import Wizard to convert your existing Access reports.
Learn More: Adding ActiveReports to Project | Adding ActiveReports Components | Converting Microsoft® Access® Reports
The ActiveReports designer makes it easy to start designing great looking reports quickly. The Designer tab puts all of your design elements in one place: the dockable Report Explorer keeps all report sections, fields, parameters and report settings at your fingertips; the ActiveReports toolbox, also dockable, allows you to drag and drop a powerful set of controls onto your report and customize them. The Preview tab lets you see how your reports will look at run time without running the project.
Learn More: Reports Explorer | Toolbox Controls
ActiveReports makes report design even easier with the new controls and design-time features:
- Drop one of the CrossSection controls into any header section, and it automatically grows dynamically and stretches across any intervening sections to its related footer section.
- Snap Lines allow you to glide your controls freely and visually align them with other controls instead of snapping to a grid. (SnapToGrid is still available in Report Settings.)
- Double-click inside the ActiveReports TextBox control or select it and press the F2 key to edit text directly in the control instead of using the Properties window.
- The TextBox and Label controls now allow text padding, and have new TextJustify styles: Distribute, and DistributeAllLines.
- Continuing formatting down a page with scant data, for example, a green bar report, is as easy as setting the RepeatToFill property on the Detail section to True.
The Professional Edition of ActiveReports 6 features a royalty-free, fully customizable end-user report designer control for Windows Forms. This allows you to host the report designer in your own Windows Forms applications and allow your end users to create and modify their own reports. You can also combine the Designer control with the included Toolbox and Report Explorer controls and the Visual Studio PropertyGrid control to give your end users full reporting functionality. The installation comes with a functional sample project that you can use as a starting point for your own application.
The award-winning success of ActiveReports is based in a large part on the nearly unlimited programming flexibility of the ActiveReports architecture that enables .NET developers to create almost any kind of report they can imagine!
The simplicity of the event-based ActiveReports model means that you can customize and generate a report document from scratch without ever using the report design templates or report design environments. You can change the report layout (e.g. add, move, remove, or hide controls or entire sections), change formatting (color, style, etc.), merge documents, even update rendered pages in the AfterPrint event, all at report run time.
The Page class has Draw methods as part of the public API that allow you to render text, images, and shapes, and other areas of the public API let you add or remove pages from a document, and merge or overlay pages from different documents into one report document.
The End User Report Designer also provides a public API that gives you full control of its functions in your application, with public events and properties that make it fully customizable. The Toolbox comes with its own API so that you can implement a custom toolbox with your end-user report designer. A sample is provided in the installation.
Class Library Reference | ActiveReports Events | Developing an ad hoc reporting system
ActiveReports allows you to use VB.NET or C# script to port your custom logic to report layouts. This permits layouts saved to report XML (RPX) files to serve as stand-alone reports. By including scripting before you save the report layout as an RPX file, you can later load, run, and display the report directly to the viewer control without using the designer. In conjunction with RPX files, scripting allows you to update distributed reports without recompiling your project.
Assembly-based scripts allow you to localize every element of the UI.
Currency and Date Formatting:
- TextBox controls
- Chart controls
- Report classes
- Viewer control
- Flash viewer control
- End User Designer
The included Viewer control for Windows Forms allows you to offer your end users report zooming and previewing, multiple tabs for viewing hyperlinks, split-page and multi-page views, a Table of Contents pane, A Thumbnails pane with thumbnails of report pages, text searches, and annotations. You can customize the toolbar with extra buttons, and hide features that you don't want to use. Add the control to your Visual Studio toolbox and drop it on a form to get started.
ActiveReports 6 Professional Edition now includes a Silverlight report viewer. Designed for report viewing in Microsoft Silverlight 4 and higher, the ActiveReports Silverlight report viewer is simple, lightweight, flexible, localizable, and easy to customize for quick deployment. It includes these features:
- Lets you load reports from a file, document stream, ASPX page, RPX Handler, or WCF service.
- Provides end-users with a toolbar with Table of Contents (TOC), Thumbnails, Print, Search, Zoom, and Navigation buttons, plus you can add your own custom buttons.
- Supports Silverlight printing, plus adds a print-to-PDF option.
- Supports full UI customization with Themes and Localization.
- Includes pre-localized satellite assemblies for Chinese, Japanese, and Russian locales.
- Supports out-of-browser viewing (see included OOB sample).
ActiveReports 6 Professional Edition now includes a Flash-based report viewer that you can use to provide a seamless, interactive report viewing experience and one-touch printing using the widely-adopted Adobe Flash Player already installed on most end user desktops. Choose from pre-defined themes (including Office, Windows XP, Vista and Windows Classic) and enhance the viewer experience by controlling the printing, paging, table of contents, thumbnail views and other options with the extensive client-side API. The Flash Viewer can even be localized with one of several included locales. If your language is not available, you can translate it for us and we will integrate it into the product.
This feature requires Adobe Flash version 10 or higher.
ActiveReports 6 supports reporting within Microsoft Windows Azure cloud services in full and partial trust modes. PDF and Excel export filters work under partial trust with certain features requiring full trust. For more information, see Windows Azure Support.
ActiveReports 6 supports ASP.NET Medium Trust environment, with some restrictions. Understanding that many web hosting environments do not grant Full Trust, we have done our best to improve your ASP.NET reporting experience.
The ActiveReports toolbox includes a chart control that supports all of the most commonly used 2D and 3D chart types, including XY charts and financial charts. With advanced charting features like custom axes, annotations, markers, legends, and constant lines, you can create any chart you need. Using code, you can natively export charts to various image formats.
You can use the ActiveReports Parameters collection to pass values directly into a textbox or a chart on a report, or to choose what subset of data from your data source to display in a particular instance of a report, or to pass values from a main report into a subreport. ActiveReports allows you to collect values in three ways: prompt the user for values, get values from a main report and pass it to a subreport, or collect values from a Web form or a Windows form.
In ActiveReports, you can use group headers and footers to section off portions of data in your reports, or if necessary, you can embed a report in another report using the Subreport control. Once you place the Subreport control on a report, you attach a report object to it in code. You can pass parameters to the subreport from the main report, ensuring that data related to the main report displays in each instance of the subreport.
Learn More: Subreports | Grouping
ActiveReports includes tools for exporting your .NET reports to popular formats like Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel, RTF, HTML, Text and TIFF. You can use them in both Windows-based and Web-based applications. Provide export options for your users, or have your application create the exports automatically. With a separate DLL for each export format, you are free to use and deploy any combination.
The well-known PDF reporting features of ActiveReports just got even better in the Professional Edition. While exporting .NET reports to PDF, you can now digitally sign your reports with a hidden signature or with visible text and graphics. Personalize your signature using sixteen attributes. Use the signature to validate the report author, and a Certification Level attribute to control user access. Use the new Time Stamp feature to create third-party authorized versions of your documents. These features are fully compatible with Adobe's new security guidelines.
With ActiveReports, printing your reports is not only easy but powerful and fast. You can configure duplex printing, print multiple copies and configure page orientation both at design time and at run time.
ActiveReports has always had excellent integrated barcode functionality to save you time and effort. The latest version supports six new barcode symbologies. You can use the new Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) styles to encode Composite Component (CC), extended EAN, and UPC information in less space. The new styles are RSS14, RSS14Truncated, RSS14Stacked, RSS14StackedOmnidirectional, RSSExpanded, and RSSExpandedStacked.
ActiveReports comes with a Crystal Reports® Conversion Wizard that supports the conversion of Crystal Reports (version 2005 and 2008) to ActiveReports 6 reports. Due to differences between products, the extent to which your reports are converted depends on your specific report layout. Similarly, you can convert Microsoft® Access® reports into ActiveReports format by running the ActiveReports Microsoft Access Import Wizard.
With ActiveReports, you can set up styles and apply them to various controls within your reports, and then save the styles to an external XML file for use in other reports. Then, if you want to distribute the same reports with a different look, simply change the style sheet instead of changing fonts and colors and sizes on individual controls in each report.
ActiveReports Professional Edition includes a help file for the end-user report designer that you can distribute to your end users out of the box. You can also use the included Innovasys HelpStudio 3 User Guide project to customize and compile your own CHM or PDF file. (Requires HelpStudio version 3)
Learn More: Deploying Help | Customizing Help
When you buy ActiveReports and related products, you are getting a market leader product, and the confidence of knowing that for the last decade, over 50,000 developers have adopted and enriched the product with their experience and skills and have contributed to a global online knowledge base with innumerable links, articles, forum discussions, comparisons, blogs and emails.
KnowledgeBase | Support Forum
With ActiveReports, you create reports within Visual Studio and compile them directly into the executable. You also have the option of using the XML-based RPX report format with script so that you can distribute reports without compiling them into the application. You can distribute ActiveReports assemblies using XCopy deployment or place them in the Windows global assembly cache (GAC). The object model provides the reporting engine as a single, managed, strong-named assembly.
Windows Deployment | Windows Deployment(Standard Edition) | Windows Deployment(Professional Edition)