How to Choose Between ActiveReports.NET and ActiveReportsJS

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 schedule.

In that case, AR.NET is an essential choice. However, if you build a web application that offers reporting features, both AR.NET and ARJS could be suitable for that purpose. This article compares these two products by multiple factors that should be considered to decide which product to use.

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

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

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Developer Tools

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 use the 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.

In addition, AR.NET installation includes the standalone Report Viewer application, Theme Editor, and Import Tool.

Data Sources

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 supply the array of JavaScript objects to be used as the data source at runtime.

AR.NET supports connection to MS SQL Server, SQLite, 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

ARJS supports Continous Page and Fixed Page Reports.

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

Report Items

AR.NET and ARJS report items for Page reports and RDL reports are the same. The only difference is that AR.JS does not support Map control, and instead of the FormattedText control, ARJS has the RichText control. Besides, AR.NET supports custom report item implementation that you can use to build custom visualizers such as particular charts.

Web Components

Both AR.NET and ARJS include the Report Viewer and Report Designer components that you can integrate into a web application. 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.

Exports

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

AR.JS only supports export to PDF, HTML, and Tabular Data (CSV) documents.

Licensing and Pricing

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.

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.

Conclusion

AR.NET is ideal for .NET developers who create web or desktop enterprise applications. ARJS is a framework and backend independent reporting solution for all modern web, SaaS, and mobile applications.

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