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HTML Report Writing

Posted on 2005-04-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Age old problem of writing Reports in HTML.

Basically, i'm faced with writing an Invoice Report.

The report consists of invoice lines and pictures.

It needs to satisfy this criteria;

1) Needs to have page numbers at the top of each page
2) Needs to paginate at the correct location on the page
3) Needs to print out pictures will accompanying comments

Now, basically, i can fudge this in HTML and ASP.NET (probably) but it's just headache-city and the pictures aren't a standard height and the comment text needs to be truncated at the maximum height of the picture...etc etc....

Without any external active x controls, what should i use for these reports?

should i even consider writing a clientside application for printing these reports, using crystal reports perhaps?

Any brainwaves out there?

Prefereably don't want to spend any money.
Question by:Type25
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Expert Comment

ID: 13858640
I'm sure you can use Crystal Reports, and it should already be on your computer.  But I have never used it, so I don't know how easy that would be for you to do.  Another option is to make a mail merge in Microsoft Word.  Then you can save your data in a comma delimited file that the word document would use as the datasource for the mail merge.  Then you just go to word and perform the merge.

Author Comment

ID: 13858658
There's no guarantee they have office unfortunately.

My problem with using crystal reports is i'm in a slight rush to say the least and i know nothing about it.

That's why i think i'm going to be forced into using asp.net to produce something.......won't be fantastic though.
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

laotzi2000 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13858665
What database do you use?

If you're using sql server, I'd recommend sql server reporting service,
it is free if you have sql server license.
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Author Comment

ID: 13858678
SQL 2000.

Briefly looked at the reporting services in sql however again, time is my problem.   How difficult is it to pick up?
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 13858817
If you just want some simple functions, it won't be very difficult.

If you can follow a good example, i believe you can begin using in one or two days.
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 13859066
I'd use crystal reports, it's not too difficult once you get started, also easily integrated with asp.net, no need for client-side controls either.

There is a Crystal Report TA on EE too, they are real good about noob questions :-)
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 13861251
If you use Crystal Reports on a Web Server you have access to, it should'nt be
that hard to setup. But if your web site is hosted by a hosting company, I don't know
if you will be able to use Crystal Reports. I have a web site hosted by DiscountASP.net
and have not be able to get it to use CR. You need to create a setup and deployment
project and run it on the web server before you can use CR:

"There's a lot of setup and installation of modules that needs to be done before Crystal Reports .NET will work." >>
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 13861270
Yeah, forgot to mention that, setting up CR on my webserver was a PAIN in the REAR!

Expert Comment

by:Fred Goodwin
ID: 13862198
SQL Reporting is very simple.  It took me about 15 min to understand it.  There is a wizzard that you can use and it will get you a basic report.  Beyond that custom reports are very simple.  There are only 8 or 9 controls and they are pretty simple (one is a line).  You can probably deploy and create your report in a day.  The install isnt bad and now with sp2 out it provides client side printing via the web.  The fact that it is free is a great plus too.

Author Comment

ID: 13864605
Ah....  we are infact deploying this to an external web-server.  I do would like to learn CR but i can't really learn while charging by the hour :)

May have a quick look into SQL Reporting Services.

Thanks for the suggestions, will 'report' back soon. (bad pun, sorry)


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