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Jonathan Morris
Jonathan Morris

FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3: A Review and Comparison with Other Reporting Tools


FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3: A Comprehensive Review




If you are looking for a fast, reliable, and flexible reporting tool for your .NET applications, you might want to check out FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3, the latest version of the popular reporting solution from Fast Reports Inc.




FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3



In this article, we will review what FastReport .NET is, what are its benefits and features, how to use it, and what's new in the 2017.4.3 release.


Introduction




What is FastReport .NET?




FastReport .NET is a standalone reporting tool that allows you to create application-independent reports for your .NET projects.


It supports both Windows Forms and ASP.NET applications, and can be used with any .NET framework from 2.0 to 4.x.


FastReport .NET provides a powerful visual report designer that lets you design and modify reports using drag-and-drop, wizards, and dialogs.


It also provides an online report designer for ASP.NET that enables you to create and edit reports in a web browser.


Additionally, it offers a code-based report engine that allows you to generate reports programmatically using C# or VB.NET.


What are the benefits of FastReport .NET?




Some of the benefits of using FastReport .NET are:


  • It is compatible with any database and data source, including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, XML, JSON, CSV, Excel, Access, etc.



  • It supports various types of reports, such as tabular, cross-tabular, master-detail, subreport, chart, map, barcode, rich text, etc.



  • It allows you to add dialogue forms and scripts to your reports to prompt for parameters, handle user interactions, and perform complex data processing.



  • It enables you to view, print, and export your reports to many common document formats, such as PDF, HTML5, RTF, XLSX, DOCX, ODT, CSV, TXT, BMP, PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, etc.



  • It has a reasonable price and licensing policy that includes royalty-free runtime report engine and designer.



  • It is customizable and extendable through its open source code and plugin architecture.



It supports RDL format for import and export of reports What are the main features of FastReport .NET?




Some of the main features of FastReport .NET are:


  • It has a rich set of report objects, such as text, picture, shape, line, checkbox, matrix, table, list, chart, map, barcode, etc.



  • It supports data grouping, sorting, filtering, aggregating, and highlighting.



  • It allows you to create calculated fields and expressions using built-in functions or custom code.



  • It supports conditional formatting and styles for report objects.



  • It supports multiple languages and cultures for report localization.



  • It supports report inheritance and templates for report reuse and standardization.



  • It supports report events and notifications for report customization and integration.



  • It supports report security and encryption for report protection and distribution.



How to use FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




How to install FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




To install FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3, you need to download the setup file from the official website or from the NuGet package manager.


The setup file contains both the report designer and the report engine for Windows Forms and ASP.NET applications.


You can choose to install the components for either .NET framework 2.0 (NetFx2) or .NET framework 4.x (NetFx4), or both.


You can also choose to install the source code and the documentation for FastReport .NET.


The installation process is simple and straightforward. You just need to follow the instructions on the screen and accept the license agreement.


After the installation is complete, you can launch the report designer from the Start menu or from Visual Studio.


How to create a report with FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




To create a report with FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3, you have three options:


  • Using the visual report designer



  • Using the online report designer for ASP.NET



  • Using the code-based report engine



Using the visual report designer




The visual report designer is a standalone application that allows you to design and modify reports using a graphical user interface.


To use the visual report designer, you need to launch it from the Start menu or from Visual Studio.


You can then create a new report or open an existing one from a file or a database.


The visual report designer has four main sections:


  • The report tree that shows the structure and hierarchy of your report.



  • The data dictionary that shows the data sources and fields available for your report.



  • The report page that shows the layout and appearance of your report.



  • The object inspector that shows the properties and events of the selected report object.



To design your report, you can use the toolbar and the menu to access various commands and options.


You can drag and drop report objects from the data dictionary or the toolbox to the report page.


You can resize, move, align, and arrange report objects on the report page using the mouse or the keyboard.


You can edit the properties and events of report objects using the object inspector or the property editor.


You can preview, print, and export your report using the preview tab or the export dialog.


You can save your report to a file or a database using the save or save as commands.


Using the online report designer for ASP.NET




The online report designer for ASP.NET is a web-based application that allows you to create and edit reports in a web browser.


To use the online report designer for ASP.NET, you need to add a reference to the FastReport.Web.dll assembly to your ASP.NET project.


You also need to add a WebReport control to your web page and set its properties accordingly.


You can then launch the online report designer from your web page by clicking on the Edit button of the WebReport control.


The online report designer has a similar interface and functionality as the visual report designer, except that it runs in a web browser and uses HTML5 and JavaScript technologies.


Using the code-based report engine




The code-based report engine is a class library that allows you to generate reports programmatically using C# or VB.NET code.


To use the code-based report engine, you need to add a reference to the FastReport.dll assembly to your .NET project.


You also need to create an instance of the Report class and set its properties accordingly.


You can then use various methods and properties of the Report class to define your report structure, data sources, objects, expressions, events, etc.


You can also use various classes and interfaces of the FastReport namespace to manipulate different aspects of your report, such as data connections, data bands, data fields, report objects, export filters, etc.


Finally, you can use the Show, Print, or Export methods of the Report class to view, print, or export your report. How to connect to any database and use any data source with FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




One of the advantages of FastReport .NET is that it can connect to any database and use any data source for your reports.


To connect to a database, you need to create a data connection object and set its properties, such as connection string, provider name, login, password, etc.


You can use the built-in data connection editor or the connection string builder to help you create and test your data connection.


You can also use the data connection wizard to automatically create a data connection based on your database type and settings.


To use a data source, you need to create a data source object and set its properties, such as data connection, command text, command type, parameters, etc.


You can use the built-in data source editor or the query builder to help you create and modify your data source.


You can also use the data source wizard to automatically create a data source based on your data connection and table selection.


You can add multiple data connections and data sources to your report and use them in different report objects.


You can also use other types of data sources, such as XML, JSON, CSV, Excel, Access, etc., by using the appropriate classes and methods of the FastReport.Data namespace.


How to add dialogue forms and scripts to your report with FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




Another feature of FastReport .NET is that it allows you to add dialogue forms and scripts to your report to enhance its functionality and interactivity.


To add a dialogue form, you need to create a dialogue form object and set its properties, such as title, size, position, buttons, etc.


You can use the built-in dialogue form editor or the form designer to help you design and modify your dialogue form.


You can also use the dialogue form wizard to automatically create a dialogue form based on your parameter selection.


To add a script, you need to write your script code using C# or VB.NET syntax in the script editor or the code window.


You can use the built-in script editor or the code editor to help you write and debug your script code.


You can also use the script wizard to automatically generate script code based on your event selection.


You can use dialogue forms and scripts to perform various tasks, such as prompting for parameters, validating input, handling user actions, performing calculations, manipulating report objects, etc. How to view, print, and export your report with FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




The final step of creating a report with FastReport .NET is to view, print, or export your report to your desired format and destination.


To view your report, you can use the preview tab of the report designer or the online report designer, or the Show method of the report engine.


You can use the toolbar and the menu of the preview window to access various options and commands, such as zooming, navigating, searching, printing, exporting, etc.


To print your report, you can use the print dialog of the preview window or the Print method of the report engine.


You can use the print dialog to select your printer, paper size, orientation, margins, copies, etc.


You can also use the print settings editor or the print settings wizard to help you configure your print settings.


To export your report, you can use the export dialog of the preview window or the Export method of the report engine.


You can use the export dialog to select your export format, file name, location, options, etc.


You can also use the export settings editor or the export settings wizard to help you customize your export settings.


FastReport .NET supports many common document formats for export, such as PDF, HTML5, RTF, XLSX, DOCX, ODT, CSV, TXT, BMP, PNG, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, etc.


What's new in FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




New features and improvements in FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




The 2017.4.3 release of FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 introduces some new features and improvements that enhance its performance and usability.


Some of the new features and improvements are:


  • A new barcode type: QR Code Micro



  • A new export filter: PowerPoint 2007 (PPTX)



  • A new property for text objects: Angle



  • A new property for matrix objects: KeepRowsTogether



  • A new property for chart objects: Legend.MaxWidth



  • A new property for map objects: Map.ScaleBar.Visible



  • A new event for report objects: BeforePrintOnFirstPage



  • An improved algorithm for text wrapping and alignment



  • An improved algorithm for cross-tab layout and rendering



  • An improved algorithm for rich text rendering and exporting



  • An improved compatibility with RDL format and SSRS reports



  • An improved compatibility with Excel format and Excel reports



  • An improved compatibility with HTML5 format and HTML5 reports



  • An improved compatibility with PDF format and PDF reports



  • An improved compatibility with various databases and data sources



  • An improved user interface and user experience for the report designer and the online report designer



  • An updated documentation and help system for FastReport .NET



Bug fixes and optimizations in FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3




The 2017.4.3 release of FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 also fixes some bugs and optimizes some aspects of the reporting solution.


Some of the bug fixes and optimizations are:


  • A fixed bug that caused an exception when using the online report designer in Internet Explorer



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect rendering of text objects with angle property



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect rendering of matrix objects with keep rows together property



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect rendering of chart objects with legend max width property



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect rendering of map objects with scale bar visible property



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect export of rich text objects to PDF format



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect export of map objects to HTML5 format



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect import of RDL reports with subreports



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect import of Excel reports with formulas



  • A fixed bug that caused an incorrect connection to Oracle database with Unicode characters



  • An optimized performance and memory usage for large and complex reports



  • An optimized performance and memory usage for data processing and rendering



  • An optimized performance and memory usage for export filters and formats



Conclusion




In conclusion, FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3 is a powerful reporting tool for .NET applications that offers many benefits and features.


It allows you to create application-independent reports for Windows Forms and ASP.NET applications using any .NET framework from 2.0 to 4.x.


It provides a visual report designer, an online report designer, and a code-based report engine for designing and generating reports.


It supports any database and data source, various types of reports, dialogue forms and scripts, and multiple document formats for viewing, printing, and exporting reports.


It also introduces some new features and improvements, as well as fixes some bugs and optimizes some aspects, in the 2017.4.3 release.


If you are interested in trying out FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3, you can download it from the official website or from the NuGet package manager.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about FastReport .NET NetFx2 NetFx4 2017.4.3:


  • Q: How much does FastReport .NET cost?



  • A: FastReport .NET has different pricing plans depending on the number of developers, the number of servers, and the type of support. You can check the pricing details on the official website.



  • Q: How can I get technical support for FastReport .NET?



  • A: FastReport .NET offers various options for technical support, such as online documentation, forums, blogs, videos, webinars, email, phone, chat, etc. You can choose the option that suits your needs and preferences.



  • Q: How can I learn more about FastReport .NET?



  • A: FastReport .NET provides various resources for learning more about its features and functionality, such as tutorials, demos, samples, articles, books, etc. You can access these resources on the official website or on the GitHub repository.



  • Q: How can I customize and extend FastReport .NET?



  • A: FastReport .NET is customizable and extendable through its open source code and plugin architecture. You can modify the source code or create your own plugins to add new features or functionality to FastReport .NET.



  • Q: How can I share my feedback or suggestions for FastReport .NET?



  • A: FastReport .NET welcomes your feedback and suggestions to improve its quality and usability. You can share your feedback or suggestions through the official website, the GitHub repository, or the social media channels.



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