The ActiveReports product family consists of ActiveReports. NET (from now on AR. NET) and ActiveReportsJS (from now on ARJS). Suppose you want to integrate a reporting solution into a .NET desktop application, such as WPF or Windows Forms, or build a long-running service application that distributes reports on a schedule. In that case, AR. NET is an essential choice. However, if you are to develop a web application that offers reporting features, then both AR. NET and ARJS could be suitable for that purpose. This article provides a comparison of two products by multiple factors that should be taken into account for making the decision on which product to use.

.NET and JavaScript Reporting Solution Architecture

AR. NET is written on C# and runs against .NET runtime. Reports are initialized, processed, and exported on the server-side of a web-application. Thus, AR. NET can only be used within a .NET web-application. Here is a simple sequence diagram of a typical AR. NET based application:

How to Choose Between ActiveReports.NET and ActiveReportsJS

ARJS is written in typescript, compiled to JavaScript, and runs on the client-side of a web application in the browser. Thus, ARJS is back-end-agnostic and can be used together with a wide variety of back-end solutions - node.js, PHP, etc. Here is the sequence diagram:

How to Choose Between ActiveReports.NET and ActiveReportsJS

Developer Tools: Report Designers for Report Templates

Both products include the report designer that lets developers build report templates.

AR. NET offers the Visual Studio-integrated report designer that you can use to add and modify reports within your .NET web application's structure. Also, AR. NET offers the standalone designer application for Windows that you can utilize to create, modify, and save report templates as external files. It could be practical if you are using an IDE other than Visual Studio, for example, Visual Studio Code.

ARJS provides a cross-platform standalone designer application that you can run on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems. Also, the AR. NET installation includes the standalone Report Viewer application, Theme Editor, and Import Tool.

Data Sources: Options for .NET and JavaScript

ARJS supports connection to a JSON data source at design-time. The JSON data provider offers many options that allow you to easily set up the connection to a REST API, OData, or GraphQL end-point supplying query parameters and HTTP headers. The code can provide the array of JavaScript objects to be used as the data source at runtime.

AR. NET supports connections to MS SQL Server, ODBC, OLE DB, XML, CSV, JSON data sources at design-time. At runtime, the code can supply the collection objects or DataSet/DataTable/DataView instance to be used as the data source. Also, AR. NET supports custom data providers' implementation that you can use to bind a report to a database of your choice.

Report Types: RDL, Page, and More

ARJS supports RDL and Page Reports and can convert AR. NET reports to ARJS.

AR. NET includes RDL and Page reports and the traditional standalone and code-driven section reports.

Report Items for .NET and JavaScript

AR. NET and ARJS report items for Fixed Page and RDL reports are the same. The only difference is that ARJS does not support the FormattedText and Map controls. Besides, AR. NET supports custom report item implementation that you can use to build custom visualizers such as specific charts.

Web Components

Both AR. NET and ARJS include the Report Viewer and Report Designer components that you can integrate into a web application. The Report Viewer allows users to preview and export reports, and with the web designer, users can modify existing or create new report templates. AR. NET Viewer and Designer components communicate with the server-side to save, load, pull the output, and export reports. ARJS components do not depend on the server-side, and thus they are more flexible than AR. NET ones.

.NET and JavaScript Exports

AR. NET supports the export of a report's data to CSV and JSON and the export of the report's layout to BMP, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG pictures, PDF, Word, HTML, and Excel documents. Besides, AR. NET supports custom export implementation.

ARJS only supports export to PDF, HTML, and Excel documents.

Licensing and Pricing

The AR. NET license is developer-based, and the single license is applicable for an unlimited number of deployments. Report Viewer and Report Designer components are part of the Professional Edition. You can check the pricing information on our website.

The ARJS license is free for all development use; it can be used freely by an unlimited number of developers. It is licensed based on runtime deployment for each hostname. It offers competitive pricing per hostname, domain, or an unlimited number of domains. Visit our website for more information.

Moving Forward with .NET and JavaScript Reporting Solutions

AR. NET is ideal for .NET developers who are creating web or desktop enterprise applications. ARJS is a framework and back-end independent reporting solution for all modern web, SaaS, and mobile applications.

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