|Developer(s)||Data Dynamics, now GrapeCity|
11 / 15 November 2016
|Platform||Windows Forms / ASP.NET / .NET / Microsoft SQL Server / HTML5|
|Type||Business Intelligence, Reporting|
ActiveReports is a .NET reporting tool used by developers of WinForms, ASP.NET, and HTML5 applications. It was originally developed by Data Dynamics, which was then acquired by GrapeCity. ActiveReports is a set of components and tools that facilitates the production of reports to display data in documents and web-based formats. It is written in managed C# code and allows Visual Studio programmers to leverage their knowledge of C# or Visual Basic.NET when programming with ActiveReports.
Among the components included with ActiveReports are exports to file formats such as PDF, Excel, RTF, and TIFF. The main components are a Visual Studio integrated report designer, and an API that developers use to create customized reports from a variety of data sources. ActiveReports Standard Edition also includes a Visual Query Designer, a customizable Windows Viewer control, an HTML5 Viewer control, and a WPF Viewer control.
The integrated report designer handles three types of reports:
- Section Reports with banded sections like the original ActiveReports (reminiscent of Microsoft Access reports)
- Page Reports with a fixed layout for forms
- RDL Reports with a continuous page layout like the original Data Dynamics Reports (uses Report Definition Language)
The Professional Edition of ActiveReports includes the Standard Edition tools plus an End-User Report Designer control that developers use to host the report designer in their own Microsoft Windows applications to let end users create and modify reports. It also includes a server-side ASP.NET web viewer with Flash, PDF, and HTML viewer types; ASP.NET HTTP Handlers that export reports to HTML or PDF format without custom code; a Silverlight viewer; and advanced PDF encryption and rendering features.
- 1 ActiveReports Server
- 2 Features new to version 11 
- 3 Features new to version 10 
- 4 Features new to version 9 
- 5 Features new to version 8 
- 6 Features new to version 7, service pack 1 
- 7 Features new to version 7 
- 8 Features new to version 6
- 9 Features new to version 3
- 10 Features
- 11 Professional Edition
- 12 Supported document formats
- 13 Included report items
- 14 Awards and recognitions
- 15 Known Issues
- 16 References
- 17 External links
ActiveReports Server is a scalable server platform with built in load balancing. It provides a secure and extensible report server to publish reports designed in ActiveReports. A comprehensive RESTful API enables integration of the responsive HTML5 Report Portal for end users to view, schedule and export reports.
- Optimized rendering for two times faster first page load times, 1.5 times faster PDF export file generation and 60% smaller peak memory footprint.
- Added composite charts to RDL and Page reports to enable merging of line, bar, and area plots on the same chart with multiple Y axes.
- Added JSON data provider that allows reports to consume data from JSON files, web services and REST API.
- Added CSV data provider that allows reports to consume data from comma separated, tab separated, and other plain text files.
- Improved the XML data provider with an XML Query Designer with a tree view of the data.
- Added an Excel import wizard that can also be an intermediary for importing layouts from other reporting tools.
- Added PDF printing pre-sets and optimized the PDF export for shorter export times and smaller output files.
- Added galley mode to the HTML5 viewer so that wide and long reports can be viewed as a single, scrollable sheet.
- Added new properties to the API: PageReportDesignerActions (End User Designer), OverwriteOutputFile (rendering extensions), and OptimizeStatic (PDF).
- Added the Micro QR Code symbology to the barcode control.
- Replaced the Matrix with the new Tablix data region to allow users to create stepped matrices, merge cells vertically, and use multiple adjacent row and column groupings.
- Added the Word rendering extension for DOCX format exports.
- Added style sheets for RDL and Page reports.
- Improved integration between ActiveReports Server and the developer version of ActiveReports so that developers can execute reports on the server and use shared data sets.
- Created a new lighter layout engine for faster rendering and fewer formatting and layout challenges.
- Added Layers, groups of controls that you can lock or unlock, add or remove, show or hide for complex layouts.
- Added the Visual Query Designer, a graphical interface that allows users to interactively build queries and view the results.
- Added the Table of Contents control to display an organized hierarchy of report headings and labels along with their page numbers in the body of a report.
- Improved Excel Rendering Engine for better exporting performance and precise layout accuracy.
- Added independent rounded corners for Shape and CrossSectionBox controls in Section Reports.
- Added support for mouse-controlled resize handlers for overflow areas in Page Reports.
- Improved reporting engine for better performance and smaller memory footprints.
- Added touch support for the Windows and WPF Viewer.
- Added the Maps report item for spatial and analytical geographical representation of data with support for views, projections, vector layers, and Virtual Earth tile layers from the Microsoft Bing service.
- Added the HTML5 viewer with touch and gesture support.
- Updated reporting engine optimized for speed.
- Expanded barcode support for GS1 Composite symbology including RSS14Stacked and RSSLimited barcode styles, and added MicroPDF417 options to control compaction and segments.
- Added ActiveReports Server as an optional add-on that supports multi-tenant reporting, security extensibility, data caching, and report optimization features.
- Added a WPF Report Viewer.
- Added a PDF/A export option for report archiving.
- Added Page-Based Reports with advanced data regions including charts, tables, and crosstabs that can be mixed within the same report section, eliminating the need to use subreports in most instances.
- Table Control
- Matrix Control
- Support for Visual Studio 2012
- Advanced Printing Support: Scale pages, add page watermarks, print multiple report pages on a single sheet (N-up).
- Persistent Licensing makes the installed system remain licensed until the license is manually deactivated, making upgrade to maintenance releases easier.
Features new to version 6
Latest Service Releases
- Microsoft Silverlight Report Viewer
- Windows Azure reporting in partial trust and full trust modes
- ASP.NET medium trust support
- Support for Visual Studio 2010
- Support for .NET Framework 4.0 Client profile
- Utility to convert from Crystal Reports (2005 and 2008) to ActiveReports
- Cross-section box and line controls that span report sections
- Quality and performance improvements
- New Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) barcode styles
- External style sheets
- Designer snap lines
- Granular control over text boxes and labels
- 64 bit support
also support for various things
Features new to version 3
- Design-time preview tab
- Component tray for design-time work with .NET data providers
- Report Explorer support for parameters and calculated fields
- Design-time support for custom parameters
- Design-time unbound fields
Windows Forms Viewer
- Users can add annotations
- Linked reports open in tabbed pages
- Web links open within the viewer
- Chart control supports seven new chart types
- Point and figure
- Three line break
- ReportInfo control for page N of M or report run dates
Includes all of the Standard Edition features, and adds the following:.
End-User Report Designer
- Allows developers to host the designer in Windows Forms applications
- Provides end-user report editing capabilities
- Provides easy access for saving and loading report layouts
- Allows developers to monitor and control the end user's design environment
- Allows developers to customize the designer to the needs of end users
- WebViewer control with Flash, HTML and PDF viewer types can be used on ASP.NET pages
- Allows quick viewing of ActiveReports on the web
- Provides printing capability with the Flash viewer and Acrobat Reader
- Provides an RPX HTTP Handler so that reports on the web server are available via hyperlink and are run and displayed in HTML or PDF
- Provides a Compiled Report HTTP Handler so that reports compiled in an assembly on the server are available via hyperlink
Supported document formats
- Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf);
- HTML Web Page (*.html);
- MHTML Single-File Web Page (*.mht);
- Rich Text Format (*.rtf);
- Microsoft Excel Workbook (*.xls);
- Plain Text (*.txt);
- Comma-Separated Values (*.csv);
- Image formats: (*.bmp, *.jpeg, *.gif, *.tiff, *.png, *.emf).
Included report items
- Text Box
- Check Box
- Page Break
- Report Information
- Rich Text Box
- Bar Code
- Cross Section Line
- Cross Section Box
- OLE Object
- 3rd party controls (charts, grids, calendars, etc.)
- Banded List
- Formatted Text
- Overflow Placeholder
- Table of Contents
Awards and recognitions
February 27, 2015 - Ranked #6 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2014-2015
February 28, 2014 - Ranked #5 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2013-2014
October 15, 2013 - Other Hot Products recognition in Best Microsoft Windows Development Printing/Reporting Tool of 2013
February 27, 2013 - Ranked #4 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2012-2013
April 30, 2012 - Ranked #11 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2011-2012
February 28, 2011 - Ranked #6 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2010-2011
November 29, 2010 - Finalist in the 2010 Best of Connections Awards: Visual Studio Developer Products
March 26, 2010 - Ranked #7 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2009-2010
May 7, 2009 - Finalist in the 2009 asp.netPRO Readers' Choice Awards
March 13, 2009 - Ranked #4 and #5 in the 2008 ComponentSource Bestselling Publishers List
March 13, 2009 - Ranked #2 in the 2008 ComponentSource Bestselling Products List
February 9, 2009 - ActiveReports Customers Give .NET Reporting and BI Tools High Ratings 
June 2, 2008 - SD Times 100 Finalist in the Components category
May 15, 2007 - SD Times 100 Finalist in the Components category
February 9, 2007 - 2006 ComponentSource Bestselling Publisher
February 9, 2007 - 2006 ComponentSource Bestselling Product
In the past, ActiveReports was known to be unable to handle large reports. This issue was ongoing across years and versions. Since that time, development efforts have focused on improving large report handling in every release.
ActiveReports can be used in many ways, so each project can have a number of reasons for consuming memory. In newer versions, CacheToDisk and CacheToDiskLocation properties were added for PDF exports. Some other considerations that may cause too much memory use in section reports include:
- Large or repeated images on every page
- Subreports in repeating sections instantiated in the wrong event so that many new instances are created instead of one
- Summaries in header sections that delay rendering
- Report and Document object instances not released from memory
- ActiveReports 11, Faster Reporting for the Enterprise
- 2015 SD Times 100 Winner
- Ranked #6 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2014-2015
- 2014 SD Times 100 Winner
- Ranked #5 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2013-2014
- Other Hot Products recognition in Best Microsoft Windows Development Printing/Reporting Tool of 2013
- 2013 SD Times 100 Winner
- 2013 SD Times 100 Winner
- Ranked #4 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2012-2013
- 2012 SD Times 100 Winner
- Ranked #11 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2011-2012
- 2011 SD Times 100 Winner
- Ranked #6 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2010-2011
- Finalist in the 2010 Best of Connections Awards: Visual Studio Developer Products
- 2010 SD Times 100 Winner
- Ranked #7 in the ComponentSource Bestselling Product Awards for 2009-2010
- Finalist in the 2009 asp.netPRO Readers' Choice Awards
- Ranked# 4 and #5 in the 2008 ComponentSource Bestselling Publishers List
- Ranked #2 in the 2008 ComponentSource Bestselling Products List
- ActiveReports Customers Give .NET Reporting and BI Tools High Ratings Archived February 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2008 SD Times 100 Finalist
- 2007 SD Times 100 Finalist
- 2006 ComponentSource Bestselling Publisher Winner
- 2006 ComponentSource Bestselling Product Winner
- 2006 SD Times 100 Winner
- Official website
- ActiveReports Server
- Microsoft Solution Brief on ActiveReports Suite
- Microsoft Case Study on ActiveReports Suite
- ActiveReports Bestselling Product Awards at ComponentSource
- EggheadCafe for .NET developers on ActiveReports
- Crystal Reports vs ActiveReports
- Business Wire:GrapeCity ActiveReports 6 Adds Support for Silverlight Reporting and Enhances Windows Azure Reporting
- Business Wire:GrapeCity Announces New Upgrade-To-Suite Options for ActiveReports Customers; New Hot Fix for ActiveReports 6
- Business Wire:GrapeCity Releases ActiveReports 6, Latest Version of the Premier .NET Framework Reporting Tool for Microsoft Visual Studio
- Business Wire Press Release:GrapeCity-Data Dynamics Announces New ActiveReports/BI Suite for .NET
- Business Wire Press Release:GrapeCity acquires Data Dynamics