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   ► KBProgrammingVB.NetTool Basics   Print This     
  From the December 2008 Issue of Prestwood eMag
VB.Net Tool Basics:
VB.Net Report Tools Overview
Posted 13 years ago on 11/26/2008 and updated 12/31/2008
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Languages Focus: Report Tools Overview

Built-In: Some development tools have a reporting tool built-in and some do not. For example, typically desktop databases such as Paradox and Access have a built-in reporting tool and typically that reporting tool is used with nearly every application built with it. A built-in reporting tool makes development of reports across many clients and applications consistent and therefore easy.

Add-On: Development tools that do not have a built-in reporting tool need to use either a currently bundled report writer, or one of the popular reporting tools that integrates well with the development tool. For example, popular reporting tools include Crystal Reports, ReportBuilder, and MS SQL Reporting Services (tied to MS SQL).

VB.Net Report Tools Overview

Microsoft includes ReportViewer Starting with Visual Studio 2005. You can even surface this .Net solution in your VB Classic application if you wish.

For WebForm applications the client target is the browser (a document interfaced GUI), a common solution is to simply output an HTML formatted page with black text and a white background (not much control but it does work for some situations).

For WinForm applications, Crystal Reports is still very popular with VB.Net developers because it has been bundled with Visual Basic since VB 3, it's overall popularity, and compatibility with many different development tools.

The Crystal Repots Tie to Microsoft

Microsoft has bundled various versions of Crystal Reports with many of their products. Crystal Reports is a good choice and very popular with many development tools. Choosing Crystal Reports is safe and you will always be able to find developers that can handl Crystal Reports.

An Incomplete History of VB.Net Reporting

You should always consider what reporting tools are currently bundled and what tools historically were bundled.

Visual Basic Express Edition 2008

  • No reporting tools bundled.

Visual Studio.Net 2008 Standard Edition

  • Reports Application project template
  • Visual Studio Report Designer
  • Visual Studio Report Wizard

Visual Studio.Net 2008 Pro Edition and above

Same as standard plus:

  • Crystal Reports for Visual Studio

More Info


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Code Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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