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How to design report that works on different devices and different OS

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-11-11
Hi Experts,

I am looking for a technology proposal for the following requirement that I need to satisfy.
Requirements
We have to generate a report out of set of XML's with different UI options of expand collapse, filters, paging, scrolling, etc
This report should be usable on windows OS(desktop and phones), mac (IPAD and IPHONES) and android (smart phones) for offline use.
If it is a web based solution, it should work on IE 8 (html5 may not be supported) and above and across various major browsers like safari, Mozilla, chrome, etc..
We have a restriction on using open source third party plugins such as JQUERY or any licensed apps that need to be purchased
Current Solution
Currently we have a solution that renders the XML using XSLT and java script.
However we have a restriction of XML's cannot be opened and rendered in chrome because of security restriction (which we can overcome by passing a command line argument but is not very convenient for end users)
Also this solution has issues when we need to support different versions of browsers (IE 8 and above), plus safari and mozilla on IOS and android devices since we cannot use JQUERY (not approved)
Thoughts
One of the ongoing thoughts that I have is to build a .NET solution (win forms or WPF) and provide option to export the report as HTML or PDF
However I am not sure how much out of box (boiler plate) solution is available if I were to export the data from .NET controls to PDF or HTML and the amount of effort involved since we need quick links, TOC, extra in the HTML report or PDF report
We have 4 weeks of time to finish the entire development


Please share your thoughts and experience on this topic
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Question by:Karrtik Iyer
5 Comments
 
LVL 84

Accepted Solution

by:
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 501 total points
ID: 40412658
Publish as a PDF and be done with it.. The customer is way to restrictive to accomplish their aim.  This is like calling in a mechanic and just giving him a monkey wrench and asking him to fix several cars with just this tool.
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Karrtik Iyer
Karrtik Iyer earned 0 total points
ID: 40412701
Thanks David, this was the same thought I had which I had mentioned in my thoughts section of the question, however wanted to hear from people like you.
Thanks once again.
Karrtik
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

by:COBOLdinosaur
COBOLdinosaur earned 501 total points
ID: 40418260
I think the answer from David is dead on.  You have a set of requirements that can be satified, but as I read them I was thinking it would involve 3 to 5 developers and take about 6 months.  A 4 week deadline is totally unrealistic even if you had 50 developers.  

There are times when the client needs a reality check and trying to do this to that set of requirements in that timeframe is just going to make you look incompetent.  The first thing I learned about project management is when to tell the client NO! ... not going to happen in this universe. (of course you have to say it with a smile after buying them lunch).

Cd&
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Slick812
Slick812 earned 498 total points
ID: 40419733
greetings Karrtik Iyer, , , Since you already know about the "renders the XML using XSLT and java script" web page option, and that is not a "universal" solution in ALL of the browsers (chrome not working in native), so that is the most obvious to me.
To me the big difficulty in development would be the GUI with changes as - "with different UI options of expand collapse, filters, paging, scrolling"

In javascript there are some DOM XML parsers like "DOMParser", also there is the AJAX setup in javascript which was made to do XML parsing and object "xml tag" retrieval.
So you could do non-framework javascript to do the "expand collapse, filters, paging, scrolling" functions for the XML sections that need to be filtered and viewed.

Not sure about the "complexity" of the XML source, or the GUI display to users for a straight-forward or more complex operations from the user touch screen. So that would determine the development time.

You might consider a Server-Side XML parsing solution, that would AJAX the server supplied HTML from an XML source to the <div> in the browser for the user to see and then change with touch controllers.

Not sure if you have money to burn, but there are now many service companies that do full "mobil" development and produce apps for iPhone, android, and windows mobil devices that all do the same thing.
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LVL 15

Author Closing Comment

by:Karrtik Iyer
ID: 40434597
Answer given by David Johnson has been mentioned as one of the approaches that I have already thought of in my question itself. Hence I consider it as an answer.
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