Application Server Solutions for Microsoft IIS and ASP.NET
       solutions   products   partners   company   support   downloads         store
ServletExec Self-Help: FAQ
Back to Search >  Back to Search Results

Faq ID 322
Product BlueDragon
Category Known Limitations and Workarounds
Question Is there any reporting solution (such as CFMX 7's CFREPORT and Report Builder) in BlueDragon?
Answer BlueDragon does not bundle a reporting solution. That said, there are alternatives available (including free ones) that may meet the needs of most seeking a reporting solution.

It's worth clarifying that the reporting solution provided by CFMX 7 does not necessarily serve the needs of all those looking for reporting. Any such solution must please several constituents: the report builder (and is that a developer or an end user?), the report viewer (does it produce the kind of reports they want? and in their desired format?), and the developer (integrating the report with their CFML to populate it with data gathered in a CFML page, if indeed that's even needed.)

Some have found the CFMX 7 solution wanting in one or more areas, and even if we came up with exactly the same solution, we know we would not please all users.

Therefore, reporting is an area where we feel it best to instead point out alternatives for your consideration. Some of them work quite easily and are free for deployment. Some may not integrate directly with CFML, but then for some reporting needs, that may not be as important as simply being able to "provide web-based reports" or create a PDF, excel file, word document, or chart for some given data.

There are many alternatives out there, but 3 we will discuss here (as samples) are: JasperReports (a free java solution), Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Services (which can be used for reporting against more than just SQL Server), and LGX Report (the latter may not be well known, but it's a very interesting solution for those running on .NET, including BlueDragon.NET). It's worth keeping in mind that even a Java shop might choose to leverage a .NET solution (running separately), or vice-versa.

JasperReports

JasperReports is an open source (and commercially supported) reporting solution for the Java platform. Available from either http://jasperreports.sourceforge.net/ or http://www.jaspersoft.com/, it is both a reporting server and also a report builder. The reporting server is offered as a set of java libraries, which like any java solution can be implemented in the Java versions of BlueDragon (though not BlueDragon.NET, since .NET does not support Java classes unless recompiled using J#). The steps offered at the sites mentioned could be used by a BlueDragon user experienced with integrating Java and CFML. Admittedly, it's not as clean as having them bundled, which is something we could consider. Until then, those with an interest in trying this approach should know that it's available. A Google search on jasperreports will identify many articles and other resources to aid in the use of this tool.

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services

SQL Server Reporting Services (http://www.microsoft.com/sql/technologies/reporting/default.mspx) is a free add-on to SQL Server 2000 and a bundled component of SQL Server 2005. Providing both a reporting server and a report builder (including one for developers and one for end users), it is (especially as of the 2005 release) a very complete solution. An important point to keep in mind is that it can be used not only for querying/reporting against SQL Server but many other databases as well, including Oracle, ODBC databases, and more. The licensing is similar to (though separate from) licensing for SQL Server itself. Again, there is no direct integration currently in BlueDragon, but for the need to create reports and serve them over the web, this could provide most of what a developer/organization needs.

.NET 2.0 ReportViewer Control

New in .NET 2.0 is a "ReportViewer Control". Available free both as an add-in to Visual Studio 2005 and also as a redistributable for use on servers running .NET, you can use the control to access reports built with the available Report Designer (also a free add-in to VS) or via SQL Server Reporting Services. (The former approach is called "local" mode while the latter is called "remote" mode report processing.)

The local mode works much like the Report Builder and CFREPORT tag in CFMX 7. A developer lays out the design in the designer which produces an xml file (an .rdlc as opposed to .cfr) which is then referred to in the control (rather than the CFREPORT tag), and data is identified in code on the web page to be passed to the control to produce the report. All this could concievably be done in CFML, since with BlueDragon.NET, it's possible to call upon any .NET object and replicate what an ASP.NET page can do.

This setup can also produce PDFs and Excel spreadsheets, and more.

Learn more at:

LGX Report

LGX Report, from LogiXML (http://www.logixml.com/) is a suite of reporting solutions, including a free "Liberator Edition" (http://www.freereporting.com/). Build entirely on and for .NET, it provides both a reporting server and a report builder. Like the above, it can create outputs in multiple formats and is easy to use. Again, there is no direct integration currently in BlueDragon, but for the need to create reports and serve them over the web, this could provide most of what a developer/organization needs.

As we explore and experiment with these and other reporting solutions, we'll offer more information (either in this FAQ, or a technote, or the docs). We hope this helps folks get started in exploring available options.



   
company media information terms of use privacy policy contact us