Without reporting it is impossible to carry on business in any sphere of life. Bureaucracy is an irresistible part of human society. Whether it's steel plant or a school facultative - reports are needed everywhere: accounting, statistical, operational. Since the modern world strongly computerized - reports are also conducted electronically. Create reports in large quantities would be very difficult without special programs - report generator.
FastReport report generator appeared in the early days of this kind of software, and became a real hit among Delphi programmers. And with the advent of version .NET Framework - it also became widespread among the adherents of the Microsoft platform.
The name FastReport was created for a reason. This report generator is indeed one of the fastest in compiling complex reports. This can be said to be its main advantage over other competitors.
As noted above, the FastReport report generator is designed for different platforms. In fact, these are different products with the same ideology and similar implementation. There are products to work with such frameworks as VCL, FMX, Lazarus, .NET , .Mono.
FastReport features can be described for a long time, so we will consider the most important ones:
The core is the engine of the report generator that allows you to create:
- Reporting from code - thanks to FastReport's public library methods, you can easily create reporting objects and change their nature. In this way, you can create a complete report without a report designer. However, this needs to be understood on the basis of reporting principles;
- Multi-page report - as the template is filled with data, the report is divided into pages. But you can create multiple templates - pages in a report. So you create essentially several reports within one;
- Web reports - web reports are supported. Depending on the target platform, it can be a solution for ASP .NET (Core) or a Report Server for VCL. You will be able to view reports in a browser, go to the press and to perform exports in the available formats. In addition, it is possible to distinguish between access to reports on a report server (for VCL);
- Inheritance - a mechanism that allows you to use a basic template in many reports. Thus, we can minimize the work of creating the same type of reports or reports with a corporate title;
- Cross-table - the ability to use spreadsheets - a popular tool for data analysis
- Interactive reports - reports that respond to user actions. For example, clicking on the item will result in appearance of detailing the table or hiding / opening list;
- Subreports - the ability to embed one report to another. In fact, when placing an object Subreport on the page, it creates a pattern on a separate page. Number subreports are not limited to;
- Export- option to convert the report to one of the many popular formats:
- Adobe Acrobat (PDF);
- Rich Text;
- Excel 2007;
- Excel 97;
- Microsoft Word 2007;
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2007;
- OpenOffice Calc;
- OpenOffice Writer;
- Microsoft XPS;
- Image (Jpeg, PNG, BMP, GIFF, TIFF, Windows metafile);
- Sending by Email – the ability to send the report by email
- Interface - a modern Ribbon interface is convenient for easy access to controls. This type of interface is used in Microsoft Office since 2007;
- Ability to embed in an application - report designer made a separate program (library) that allows you to run it on its own, or to include in your custom application;
- Preview mode - in the Report Designer, you can view reports in built form. This mode also allows you to export the report, print, send email;
- Master – there are a lot of masters available in the designer, which accelerate the process of creating the report. For example, a new report wizard allows only a few steps to create the finished sample report with a data connection. A wizard for creating a data source - creates a connection to the database, and in a few clicks;
- Plug-ins - the abilities of the report designer can be extended with plugins. Basically these are plugin - connectors for quick connection to the data source, but there are also plug-ins that add new objects to be placed in the report.
- Template pages of bands - the ideology of building a page report based on the Band - special containers for data, which are divided by purpose and have individual behavior. For example, band "Report Title" is displayed at the very beginning, at the top of the page only once. A Band "page title" appears at the top of each new page, but it is below the title on the first page of the report. Also band exists for the data output are repeated for each entry in the table, band groups, and other cellar band;
- Functions and variables - in the report, you can use a variety of built-in and user-defined functions for data transformation, as well as variables. Variables can get values from the outside report that allows you to control the logic of the report from the user application;
- User form - before you build a report, you can deduce a user form, or several in a row. These forms are needed to determine the value of report variables, or to set the conditions for data filtering;
- the report has a built-in script that allows you to access any of the report's objects and properties. This means you can do everything with the report: filter the data, change the logic of data output, convert data, add and delete objects, and more;
- XML format - the report template is an XML format, although it is extended. In this way, you can easily find the direction in the report template, when you browse through the familiar markup language in the text editor;
In conclusion, we can say that due to the wide toolkit, multi-platform and the presence of a script built into the report, FastReport report generator can satisfy almost all user requests and are a universal solution for a wide range of tasks in the field of electronic document management.