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RAD Studio Reporting with Fast Reports - Questions and Answers - Part I

Michael Philippenko

Thanks a lot all atendees of our webinar with Embarcadero Technologies. We hope than you are got new uesful information and as usually publishing questions and answers from this event.

Q: Can an Excel report include formulas?
A: Not yet, but we're planning to impliment such feature.

Q: A program may have many responsibilities, many steps, report-generation being only one of them. After generating the report, the program should be able to continue on immediately with its remaining responsibilities, with no left-over impact on the program's available memory and CPU time. So, is it possible to detach a report from the program that generated it?
A: You can create reports in threads.

Q: Can you force FastReport 5 to respect XLS/XLSX worksheet cell boundaries (e.g., EVERY cell in column B has exactly the same width), so that each (non-empty) worksheet cell contains exactly one value of the appropriate type (number, text, date, etc.), and each worksheet column is sized to fit?
A: Sorry, not clearly understand what do you mean.

Q: Can you design a report to fit cleanly into Excel cells, one value per cell, without page boundaries?
A: Yes, we have matrix export to excell so each object will be in separete cell.

Q: is there an upgrade path for EDN version to pro?
A: Delete Embarcadero Edition. And setup Pro one

Q: Question for David. When do we expect XE7 ????
A: When it's done. ;-)

Q: will all these exports be avialable with the XE6 version of FastReports?
A: Do you mean Embarcadero edition ?

Q: Question for David. When do we expect XE7 ????
A: http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/43677 Check out the roadmap.

Q: Yes the embarcadero Edition not Pro
A: No, XE6 uses FR4 version. We're planning to deploy FR5 starts from XE7.

Q: I assume the code and events are not avaialbe with the Embarcadero version?
A: Yes, the script is not available in EDN version. You can always look at differences between editions here: http://www.fast-report.com/en/products/report-for-delphi-fastreport-4-feature-matrix.html/

Q: I have an issue with Barcodes ... when I try to print a Barcode type Code 39 trough FR4 and when I assign a short number like a 1 .. I can't read with a barcode scanner ... do you know why happen this ?
A: This can be because of printer resolution. You can try to set Zoom property or BarWideRatio property.

Q: Oops... part 2. The web-report needs to export to pdf
A:  Live Demo is available on our web-site - with export to pdf: http://www.fast-report.com:8097/

Q: Can you please show us how to incorporate a FR report into a Windows Service application. The application is multi-threaded so the report must be thread-safe.
A: Not just now :) Anyway you need Enterprise Edition for web-reporting

Q: Are there example reports included with FR4? Learn by example, easier to modify a report that almost does what I want, would make it easier to get into.
A: Yes, the main demo has a lot of report. You don't need even to install components to try them. You can find compiled demo with reports here http://www.fast-report.com/en/download/fast-report-vcl-5/ - Demo - link

Q: Where in XE5 or 6 is FR demo reports (actual srce reports, not compiled).
A: If you need an examples about how to use Fast Report from code you can find them in Demo folder after install components. But if you need only to see report , the main demo will work. It has a designer and report templates, so you can always open any template and see how it works.

Q: Where in XE5 or 6 is FR demo reports (actual srce reports, not compiled).
A: FR4 install can be found in the registered user download area via EDN downloads menu

Q: I'm still a bit confused. What exactly comes withe XE6? Is the VCL version FR4? Is the FMX version the same as the FMX 2 they show on their web site, or is it an older version? What exactly comes free with XE6?
A: FR4 VCL & FMX comes with XE6

Q: I realize you are showing the VCL version. Does the FMX version work pretty much the same way? Important differences?
A: Just another good question :)
Here you can see comparison table of different FastReports - FMX and VCL
http://www.fast-report.com/en/fast-report-comparison/
More over: compare possibilities of FastReport FMX for different OS: http://www.fast-report.com/en/fast-report-fmx-comparison 
So difference is present.


Q: Upgrade or new license when you update from the freebe in XE6 to FR5?
A: You can compare prices on the FastReport site - to move to FR5.

Q: I see the prices for the products as you've shown them, but the real question is "Is there an upgrade price to move from Embarcadero to the FR5, or do you essentially get a new license with Fast Reports?"
A: It is really new license

Q: Can we use C++ script in FR5?
A: Yes, there are 4 types of script languages C++/pascal/Basic/JavaScript.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the use FastReport 5 in C++ Builder compared with Delphi? We
Thanks.
A: Absolutely the same.

Q: Will you be offering a "Distinct Count" function in a group section ?
A: No such function - you can do this at the SQL statement level.

Q: How about my Distinct Count question from above ?
A: Added to ours TODO list.

Q: Crystal Report has distinct count
A: Thanks

Q: Along with SUM AVG COUNT
A: Thanks

Q: Are you planning to include Logfont?
A: No plans for now.

Q: Currently when I tried to declare Logfont: TLogFont; it raised an error "Unknown type TLogFont". Are there plans to support TLogFont?

A: Do you mean in Fast Script ? Fast Script unfortunatly doesnt support structures.

Q: yes in FastReport events coding
A: Unfortunatly you can't. Structures arent supported in Fast Script yet.

Q: Is there a difference between the FastReport included with RadStudio and the paid versions from FastReport?
A: Yes, compare: http://www.fast-report.com/en/products/report-for-delphi-fastreport-4-feature-matrix.html/

Q: why is fast report designer so different from fast report.net
A: Because there are two absolutely different products :)

Q: I thought fastreprot will now have something like fastreort.net but so i dont think so , i would rather enjoy working on fastreport.net
A: There are two different products. With vary possibilities, platform, etc. Many customers waited these features.
Q: i meant highlighting by condition
A: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=c4-feed-u&list=PLZiHwzd4brhQhi8RfziKQX7v0Xp6Cxx0b
Q: Its the good old fast report 4 nothing special

Q: is the highlight feature restricted to cell only or can they be extended to row as well
A: Are you mean interactive of highlighting by conditions?
Q: but you said its intended for those who have used fast report and do you really think they are so naive
A: There are many changes which you can see in examples only :) Interactivity, web, etc. We think that our customers - professional developers who really can estimate new features :)

Q: I licensed the XE4 FR but am moving to FMX for new stuff - why not include both like EMB does?
A: FR4 comes with XE6

Q: did I miss the comparison with MS-SQL Reports - I heard it asked but not answered
A: We have not direct comparison with VCL, but there are something like: http://www.fast-report.com/en/fast-report-net-vs-rdl/

Q: Ia there a limitation to use with Interbase Togo Embeded ? Use one or two connexion ?
A: IBLite is only for mobile and limited to one connection. IBToGo is not limited on # of connections.

Q: If use Fast Report into a Database RadStudio application, Fast Report share the connection or need is separate connection ?
A: It can share.

Q: Which version are coming with XE7?
A: Fast Report 5
Q: Can the VCL and FMX version coexist?
A: Yes

Q: Is there a way to convert existing FastReport 4 reports to version 5?
A: You do not need convertor. There are converting on a fly - when you opening in FR VCL 5

Q: FastReport has a upgrade for embarcadero edition to full edition?
A: No, Embarcadero edition is free version for RAD Studio users. We don't have any upgrades from this version.

Q: FastReport has a upgrade for embarcadero edition to full edition?
A: There are no any discount for Embarcadero Edition customers.

Q: web-reporting is datasnap reporting???
A: No, its an internal components.
Q: Can you show an example using a dialog page with object tfrxDBLookupComboBox ?
A: Not ready just now. Remind us - we will prepare it and may be place to our demo and on our youtube also

Q: Can ReportBuilder reports be converted?
A: Yes, we have a module ConverterRB2FR.pas you need to include it in uses section of your application. And after that you can use LoadFromFile method in TfrxReport component to load Rave report.

Q: what about a .NET version?
A: All is good with .Net version :) You are welcome

Q: Can FR4 & FR5 coexist?
A: No

Q: I have a bunch of Rave Reports embedded into applications (not used the form designer). How easy is it going to be to convert these?
A: We have a module ConverterRR2FR.pas you need to include it in uses section of your application. And after that you can use LoadFromFile method in TfrxReport component to load Rave report.
Q: Thanks on the RAve Reports question
A: :D

Q: can we see crystal converter in action
A: You can download on web-site :) By the way wait for 5.1 version soon - it will imptoved

Q: Is FR5 in RAD Pro XE6 and or Delphi XE6 Pro?
A: FR5 Embarcadero Edition will come with XE7.
Q: Is FR5 in RAD Pro XE6 and or Delphi XE6 Pro?
A: Yes, It supports starts From Delphi7 and up to XE6.

Q: It seems the webinar is for people already using fastreport, but around 50% of the audience never used fastreport. How about some getting started information...
A: Yes, we didnt expect such many new people. The video is for people who already using FR4 and shows the differences between versions.

There are will be enough to place FRXReport component on your application form and doubleclick - very easy to start and create first report. It takes about ten minutes.
I can offer just now our Youtube channel with short lessons https://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=c4-feed-u&list=PLZiHwzd4brhQhi8RfziKQX7v0Xp6Cxx0b
Anyway we will prepare soon something like "FastReport - getting started"
Q: Can you supply some links to getting started information, examples and the likes? Or will there be another webinar for beginners?
A: Of corse you can take a look at our youtube chanel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=c4-feed-u&list=PLZiHwzd4brhQhi8RfziKQX7v0Xp6Cxx0b

Q: Does the conversion happen based on file extension or an internal version number? Is there a new default extension for FR5 reports?
A: FR5 uses old file extensions and determinate version by internal version number.
Q: Where on the website is the Crystal Converter? Is it new with FR5 or was it avaliable with FR4 as well?
A: http://www.fast-report.com/en/faq/26/#233

Q: I just tried to run the Crystal Converter and it hangs on open - never even shows anything...
A: Not all the versions of CR supports now

Q: When you announced a updated designer for FR5, I expected a litte bit more face lift of the gui. But it seems that it still has XP style.
A: It still supports D7 - that is why
Q: Will XE7 be supported by FR4?
A: No.

Q: Can the end user of our software create it's own reports? (run time report builder)
A: Yes, there are report designer for end-users - you can provide it to your customer
Q: does it also work in C++. If yes, is the scripting also in C++ ?
A: Yes, it is compatible with C++Builder. You can setup it to C++Builder. It is supported as well with full functionality

Q: Can the end user of our software create it's own reports? (run time report builder)
A: Yes - you can use a runtime report designer and call if from your application. This lets users to create reports. Also as developer you can set restrictions for what the customer/user can do in the reports you deliver with your app. Developers have custom control for their users.

Q: what about ActiveReport Converter ?
A: We don't have such convertor , yet.

Q: Is there a reliable way to convert Quick reports to Fast Reports?
A: Yes, it is possible:
http://www.fast-report.com/en/faq/13/#113
We plan improve this convertor at nearest time.
Q: Is there a Crystal Report converter too?
A: FastReport supports converters - QuickReports, RaveReports, ReportBuilder, Crystal Reports, etc. Check the FastReport web site for the complete list of report converters. http://www.fast-report.com/public_download/fr5.vcl/Converters.zip
But this version works with not all the CR versions yet, will be updated with FastReport 5.1

Q: What should be the minimum XE version in order to use FastReport?
A: Did you mean FastReport Embarcadero Edition? - it comes with every XE*. And also all other editions of FastReport support all Delphi XE* (from XE to XE6)
Q: I'm using Delphi XE with QuickReport. Can I migrate to FastReports on Delphi XE or I need to upgrade to a newer version?
A: QuickReport and FastReport are not compayible.  You can convert visual part of the report by using ConverterQR2FR.pas module. Just add it in uses section and use LoadFromFile method of TfrxReport component. But we do not know - what kind of reports did you use, not all possible to convert. Anyway you will need convert reports and remake some parts of the reports manually(Like script and expessions). We recommend use new component (FastReport) in new projects.

Q: Is it possible to automatically convert Fastreport.VCL => Fastreport.NET reports?
A: Conversion is possible. Same layout. Code/logic is not converted.

Q: From my expirience, converters aren't really an option for automatic conversion. It should be done manually.
A: Yes, some parts like expressions or scripts should be converted manually. Converters can convert only visual parts.
Q: What is the user expirience developing reports in Fastreports.NET compared to Fastreports VCL. Is it similar or there are significant differences?
A: If you mean "architecture" - there are absolutely different, but we are trying to make them as close as possible.

Q: Fastreports is really good reporting tool. Too bad it wasn't the part of Delphi in earlier versions. It would save us much time :-).
A: :D

Q: how much does it cost to upgrade from fr4?
A: This depends on your edition. Go to the customer page and you'll see the upgrade price./info

Q: It's ok for me that you think about building a FMX version. But can I be sure that the main focus still stay on VCL? This is very improtand form me!
A: We are working on VCL as well as on FMX. Updates coming soon

Q: Are there some changes in FR5 that belongs to UniCode. I have some applications that also use unicode (Chinese etc.). Sometimes I had problems, that not all windows fonts are supported well...
A: Starts from Delphi 2010(first unicede Delphi version) Fast Report compleatelly supports unicode.
Q: Are there any isues when creating reports in threads...
A: Yes, you can find more information in Fast Report Programmers manual. Part «1.22 Multithreading».
Q: Aree there webinars or seminars or videos an the net available for showing how to use a fast report
A: Yes, here: https://www.youtube.com/user/FastReportsWorld

Q: Charts are not working here too. Recompile will not bring the success... I use the newest fast reports enterprise and the newest teechart vcl components (including source)...
A: Can you write to support@fast-report.com with discription of the error ?


Q: Using the recompile wizard only provide TeeChart4 to TeeChart9 the actual version is TeeChart 2014. What shoul I select? Is TeeChart 2014 supported?
A: TeeChart9

Q: Why are Denis not join DDD in Germany?
A: We should code, make updates, fixes, answer aupport questions. Denis coming to Be-Delphi in Antwerp, Belgium, DDD Piacenza, Italy and DDD  Amsterdam, Netherlands at 10th-12th of June. (Done)

Q: Tred to install, trial but too little disk space for it :-(
A: Ok - thanks Alf. Time for a 4TB hard drive :)
We're planning to change our installation tool soon, so 3+TB problem will be fixed
Q: Do new Fastreport run on Delphi 2006 or only last versions of Delphi?
A: Yes, FastReport VCL supports Delphi 2006 also

Q: can be considered as an alternative to Microsoft SQLServer ReportingServices ?

A: http://www.fast-report.com/en/fast-report-net-vs-rdl/

Q: THis is perfect timing as I am converting reports from QucikReport to Fast Report now.
A: Great!

Q: A reliable way to convert even simple Rave reports is a major requirement - if we had that now we would move to fast Reports today!
A: Yes, you can use ConverterRR2FR.pas module. just include it in app uses section. And use LoadFromFile method of TfrxReport component.
Q: ConverterRR2FR didn't even convert simple Rave reports I'm afraid
A: We will reconstruct it soon. There are some problems with it.

Q: I can send some of our Rave reports but I have sent questions to the email you supplied before and I never got an answer to any of them. Can you provide a specific name and email address please?
A: Me: michael@fast-report.com, Den: den@fast-report.com

Q: Migration courses would be great.
A: We will prepare.


Q: Any other English training dates in Europe as I'm in SF on 10th June?
A: Oh... Italian seminars - in Milan 24th of June and Rome 25th http://www.fast-report.com/it/news/323/


Q: The webinar seems to be concentrating on the new features in the product rather than how a new user can set up a basic report. Is this how the webinar will continue?
A: Yes, this webinal is showing features of the new version. We didnt expect so many people not familiar with Fast Report.


Q: Is there a reliable way to convert Rave reports to Fast Reports?
A: Yes, you can use ConverterRR2FR.pas module. just include it in app uses section. And use LoadFromFile method of TfrxReport component.


Q: As I said before ConverterRR2FR does not work on even simple Rave reports. Please let me know when a reliable conversion program will be available.
A: We will fix it in FastReport VCL 5.1 very soon.

Q: The webinar seems to be concentrating on the new features in the product rather than how a new user can set up a basic report. Is this how the webinar will continue?
A: Yes, this time we targetted on new features of new version. But we can make another webinar "how to start reports with FastReport". Will it interesting to you? For today I can give you link to out youtube channel with short lessons of FastReport VCL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?feature=c4-feed-u&list=PLZiHwzd4brhQhi8RfziKQX7v0Xp6Cxx0b

Q: OK - youtube channel looks interesting and yes a basic reporting webonar would be good.
A: Ok.
Q: Are there any training courses available in Europe?
A: Yes. We will run training day in Belgium 10th of June on Be-Delphi basis and with Be-Delphi help. See on Be-Delphi.com web-site.

Q: Will the training in Belgium be in English?
A: Yes, English

Q: As I said before ConverterRR2FR does not work on even simple Rave reports. Please let me know when a reliable conversion program will be available.
A: Can you send some of the Rave reports you have to us on support@fast-report.com ? Maybe you have different version of Rave reort. We will chack what we can do.


Q: I can send some of our Rave reports but I have sent questions to the email you supplied before and I never got an answer to any of them. Can you provide a specific name and email address please?
A: You can write directly to me at den@fast-report.com


Q: There is an opportunity to gain many customers, like us, who are using other reporting tools. We need reliable converters and basic training - can you please provide both?
A: Well. We will make some "migration cources"

Q: Fast report is a great product, i use it a lot. Can you add a new little feature in the designer, i want to be able to focus the tool box when i press the enter key on a component. This will speed up when i need to change component name. Thanks
A: Thank you for idea
Q: Sorry, question to david i, can i have a grouping and ungrouping object feature like the one in Fast Report Designer :D
A: (Y) :)

Q: Are there published rules for manual conversion
A: Not yet


Q: I just noticed that FR5 report files also have the .fr3 extension; so, how can we tell what's using the new format and what is not (for downward compatibility with FR4.X)?
A: We have a version number stored in the report file.


Q: Do reports written in FR4.x need to be converted?
A: No, all old FR4 reports will be converted on the fly when load old report file.

Q: Is there limitations for converting Report Builder ?
A: You can convert visual part only.

Q: I have 3 computers I use for programming: my office pc, home pc and a laptop. It is needless to say that I don't use all computers at the same time; only one at any given point in time. Having said that, can I buy a single license and install it on all three of my computers. I'm sure you know that RAD Studio allows you to do that (I think on up to 5 computers).
A: The same situation with FastReport

Q: What about web reporting? Are there any news about make reports available by the browser ?
A: See web reporting here http://www.fast-report.com:8097/


Q: What about a complex and exact developer+user manual for FR5 VCL, with every methods, events, properties? When do you plan to release it?
A: Have you mean it http://www.fast-report.com/en/download/documentation/ ? Press the last point. We have User manual, Programmer manual and Developer manual. Some of the new features already included in Fast Report 5 user manual. You can download it from our site on Fast Report 5 download page.

Q: It is FR5 VCL stable enough to use it in real applications? :)
A: Yes, more over. Soon we will run v.5.1 with some fixes.

Q: is there an updated version of Fastreports for the version that came with XE5. I have problems with charts not working. the last comment I got on forum was a new version has fix. So how do I update the XE5 embarcadero fastreport version? Thanks!

A: FrxChart object has source codes you can always recompile it manually. But yes, we'are panning to update EDN versions this week , because it has some new fixes.

Q: I have not used fast reports. How can you add this to a delphi App?
A: Just add TfrxReport component from Fast Report components palette on the form and after you can call report designer by double clicking on the component.
Q: I have not used fast reports. How can you add this to a delphi App?
A: Just place "FRxreport" component to your application form and doubleclick it :)

Q: is there a converter from Report Builder to Fasr Report?
A: Yes, you can use ConverterRB2FR.pas module. just include it in app uses section. And use LoadFromFile method of TfrxReport component.
Q: where is this converter?
A: You can find it in Fast report LibDXX folder.
Q: it would be great an example of how to create a report..expecially for new users:)
A: FastReport has a YouTube channel with lots of beginning videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/FastReportsWorld/videos

Q: We neeed fastreport on IOS and ANDROID when will get? its so important...
A: We are still considering support of IOS, but we faced some issues when started migration. But it's still possible that we make Ios version of Fast Report FMX.

Thanks a lot for good questions! Anyway you can write us anytime.

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