Syncfusion Report Viewer Control

Written by rsolberg on. Posted in All, Software Development, Technology

I’ve recently been exploring many of the Syncfusion controls and one that jumped out to me as potentially being very useful is the Report Viewer control. Many companies and development shops out there want to make you think they are the ones who have nailed the perfect reporting platform and the fact of the matter is I don’t believe any of them have truly nailed anything. I’m not saying their products are garbage, I’m simply pointing out the obvious that is not obvious. You see every project and every business demand is unique and having a one size fits all approach is difficult. Larger organizations attempt to work around this by having huge investments into database systems from Oracle and Microsoft with nice reporting features like SQL Reporting Services. But what about small businesses without the capital to invest into these platforms?

Small businesses have the same demands for data as the enterprise businesses, but they generally lack the technical expertise to pull of the solutions and they more importantly lack the capital. This puts small businesses at a pretty distinct disadvantage and I believe this is generally the niche that component developers like Syncfusion are trying to capitalize on. So what do I think about the Report Viewer control?

Syncfusion says the following about the Report Viewer control:

Essential Report Viewer is a viewer component for displaying reports defined in Microsoft’s RDL format (2008 or 2008 R2) from within your WPF and Silverlight applications. Using Report Viewer, you can display tabular, graphical, or free-form reports that make use of relational, multidimensional, XML, and object data sources. With client-side reports, just refer the viewer to an RDL(C) file and a data source, allowing it to process and render the report. With server reports, point the viewer to an RDL file on the SSRS server to render the report.

Generally I have found the control to be promising, but I have been disappointed by a few things along the way. I’ll digress. Syncfusion has done an absolutely phenomenal job showing you how to take their controls and embed them into new .net projects. You can easily build a net ASP.NET MVC web application with the requested Syncfusion controls and sample code in the matter of minutes after installation. They are ahead of Infragistics and Telerik in this space. Syncfusion technical support has also been fairly responsive through their support system. I love sending code samples to support about as much as the next guy, but I’ve not felt like fingers have been pointed by support and they generally do a good job of resolving issues (I’ve had two support tickets).

Here are some code snippets that will be useful as you get started. One of my requirements is that I did not want my users in the web application to be asked for a username and password to execute the report which is why the GetModel() function is important.

ASP.NET MVC CONTROLLER ASP.NET MVC VIEW

I have run into a situation where a report that outputs data to a basic table will simply not render anything. I’ve not spent much time trying to get under the covers on this yet to learn what is happening or not, but I do know the report renders just fine on a Reporting Services server. You may need to add a special JavaScript file before your closing HEAD tag as well to support the version of jQuery you are utilizing.

You can pull the code from GitHub. GitHubCloneIt

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