We have used XtraReports in a number of our previous solutions (Web and WinForms projects). We've found it to be:
- Highly Customizable
- Easy to deploy
For most of the basic reporting requirements you can be up and running very quickly – There are many webcasts available on the DevExpress support site that show you how to handle basic reporting functions. When I first purchased XtraReports I had my first functional web report up and running within an hour after watching a couple of the tutorials.
One of the main advantages of XtraReports is that that it produces native .NET classes and any custom coding can be done in C# or VB.NET. For us this is an enormous advantage when we bring in a new developer on a project. Instead of having that developer learn an arcane reporting language with a steep learning curve he's able to jump right in and start coding almost immediately! Another plus is that it cost less than the other 3rd party reporting tools that we evaluated. We don't have to spend a lot of money when we bring in another developer on a project.
XtraReports has a designer that installs right into the Visual Studio UI and becomes available when you select a new XtraReport class or report wizard. The report wizard will generate simple reports out of the box or you can design the reports by hand by setting up a dataset and then simply dragging report elements on to the form. To run the reports you just place a report control and toolbar on a page and it renders when you call the page. If you need customization it is very easy to go in to one of the report events and code there exactly the same way you would with any other .NET class.
When it comes to deployment it's a snap! Since the reports are basically .NET classes all you have to do is include that class in the deployment package along with all of your other classes. As of yet we've had zero problems with deployment on the applications we've developed.
Another plus is that both Web and WinForms reports use the same designer and produce basically the same class structure so jumping back and forth between web and WinForms is very easy.
The current project we are working on involves a web based management and reporting system for a firm that sells emergency medical devices; future versions may also contain a WinForms module that will also require reporting.
The application is two layered: There is a management module for the contracting firm to set up client configuration and track the client information - The other layer is sold to the purchasers of the medical devices in order to monitor device information, maintenance and inspections schedules. Both modules will require extensive reporting.
The development platform will be ASP.NET 2.0 and the data store will be Microsoft SQL Server. We have selected DevExpress XtraReports as the reporting engine for the web based side and the WinForms module that will be developed in the future.
McTaggart Consulting is a small consulting company that specializes in .NET solutions for small to medium size companies.
Our main focus is on custom ASP.NET and WinForms applications. Most of our applications involve some form of reporting utilizing the .NET framework.