From the Realm of Reports and Documents: Preference and Usage

Reporting tools are widely used to support decision making. Companies use them for financial consolidation, for evaluation of strategies and policies and often just for plain reporting. ComponentOne Reports for WinForms provides all the tools you need to meet the reporting, printing, previewing, and exporting needs. You can add Microsoft-Access style database reporting. It allows to create attractive reports easily in tabular or graphical format with data from a database or any other source. In addition to this, you can create complex hierarchical documents with automatic word index, TOC generation, data binding, and more. You can also export, print, or preview your reports and documents. ComponentOne Reports for WinForms provides two distinctly different methods for generating reports.

  • Using the C1Report component
  • Using C1PrintDocument

While many existing reports can be correctly generated using either method, there are some important key points which should be kept in mind before actually selecting the one for your needs.

Flexible Data Binding

If your documents contain mostly data that comes directly from a database (possibly including images, grouping, aggregates, etc.), then C1Report is a good option. You can create the reports using the designer and deploy them without writing any code. It's efficient and easy to do. In addition to this, you need not to change the layout of your report every time as per the updations in your database. Once the report is bound to a database, all the changes will be reflected in your report as soon as you preview the same.


Let us consider the data to be collected by a Firm. Since the records of available Stock would be directly added in the database, one should use C1Report so that the changes in the database would be reflected in the report without any modification in the design of the report.

Microsoft Access and Crystal Report Compatibility

If you have already worked with Microsoft Access or Crystal Reports, you should use C1Reports as you need not to learn much to get the application working. In addition to this, you can easily import Access report files (MDB) and Crystal report files (RPT) with the click of a button using the C1ReportDesigner.


Banded Report Model

C1Reports uses a banded report model based on groups, sections, and fields. The banded report model allows for a highly-organized report layout. Therefore, it allows placing the fields in banded sections.


On the other hand, C1PrintDocument is a free flowing document similar to Microsoft Word and one can use it to simply place elements on a blank drawing canvas.

Layout Formatting

If your documents require complex layout tasks, including a lot of rich text, variable page orientation, layouts that change between sections, or lots of long pieces of text that don't come from a database, then C1PrintDocument can be better. C1PrintDocument gives you more control and power, but it does require a bit more work.


Powerful Table layouts

One should use the C1PrintDocument if there are tables to layout elements in your documents. You can easily apply styles to tables; modify row and column headers, and more. In addition to this, tables support an Excel-like object model, with a logically infinite number of columns and rows. Simply accessing a table element instantiates it, so you never have to worry about specifying the correct table size.

Multiple Page Layouts

If your requirement is to use several page layouts accommodating different paper sizes, page settings, number of columns and page headers in your reports, it is recommended to use C1PrintDocument. You can easily predefine and select these layouts at run time by setting a single property.

Flexible Sizing and Positioning of Elements

Using C1PrintDocument, document element size and position can be specified as absolute values, relative to other elements’ sizes and positions, or as simple expressions combining absolute and relative values. For example, you can specify the width of an element as a percentage of the parent element or of the current page width. Therefore, if the positioning of the elements in your report is dependent on the neighboring elements, you should use C1PrintDocument.

GDI+ Text Rendering

Using C1PrintDocument, you can render text using the GDI+ text API by setting one property – with GDI+ text rendering text looks similar to text in Microsoft Office 2007 and matches the default text layout in XPS. Therefore, if your requirements are very restrictive to the GDI+ text API, you are recommended to use C1PrintDocument. These are the basic preferences one should note for his needs. Know more about the usage in Docs.
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