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Sunday, January 11, 2009

What Is Client-Side Reporting

What Is Client-Side Reporting

What Is Client-Side ReportingShort Description
Client-side reporting is not a new phenomenon. No matter what platform you use for development, you need some way or other to produce reports. This chapter will explore the new client-side reporting features provided by Visual Studio (VS) 2005 and the forthcoming release of VS (Visual Studio 2008) and build a sound foundation for using them throughout this book. From here on, if you see a reference to “VS,” I mean to say both VS 2005 and Visual Studio 2008.

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…Client-side reporting means producing reports on a local (client) computer rather than on a central server. When Microsoft (MS) introduced MS Access 1.0 in the early 1990s, producing reports simply and with minimal effort became possible. As we moved through the decade, the era of web reporting raised new challenges as the Web became ever more popular for delivering information. Although it was easy enough to produce reports and display them on web pages, other issues, such as printing attractive reports, were not easy to resolve. Visual Studio now has built-in support for creating professional-quality reports for various clients.
Before VS 2005, Microsoft provided various choices for client-side reporting. The most common is the Crystal Reports (CR) add-in from Business Objects. If you come from the world of Visual Basic 6, then you’ll also know Data Report Designer. With the introduction of Reporting Services (RS) at the client-side with VS 2005, Microsoft has given developers a serious tool for producing reports. Don’t worry if you are already skilled with CR-in Chapter 12, we’ll look at CR and RS in action side-by-side to help you transition to RS.
Efforts by Microsoft to provide an alternative to CR prior to VS 2005 were, at best, filling the blanks and were no serious challenge to the capabilities of CR. The .NET platform with Visual Studio came as a real opportunity to provide a simple architecture to produce clientside reports with access to all sorts of data. This book teaches you how to use VS 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 RS for all your reporting needs through hands-on practice with the software. Before we start using RS, though, let’s look at reporting architectures and environments in general.

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