Last week we rolled out ActiveReports 10. This is a major version release which brings a lot of new features for our developer audience as well as our end users. The developer version of ActiveReports gets a new Tablix data region to enable complex cross-tab visualizations, a new DOCX rendering extension to export reports using the Open Office Document format, Stylesheets and other features and enhancements to make the life of a developer easier. Apart from the new look, the Server gets more control and data governance features for use with reports that developers design. They can now use Server Data Sources and Server Data Sets while hosting reports and executing them from the server.

Developer ActiveReports

Let's take a quick dive into some of these new features.

The Tablix Data Region

The new Tablix data region takes the design of cross-tabs to the next level. With the Tablix, you can show simple tabular data or complex pivot data with adjacent columns, merged cells and all.

DOCX Rendering Extension

The DOCX rendering extension allows documents exported from RDL and Page Reports to include dynamic data from the report layout design, such as automated TOC. It also uses fewer text boxes in the export, which gives the resulting document a more natural flow.

Style Sheets for RDL Reports and Page Reports

Section Reports have had Style Sheets for some time, but with ActiveReports 10, RDL and Page reports also get Styles Sheets to further facilitate formatting reports along with Themes to make them consistent across your organization or product. As a developer, you can change these through code using the API to enable customer-specific formats using the same report layout.

Remote Report Execution and Performance

With ActiveReports 10, developers can use the WPF and WinForms viewers to execute reports from ActiveReports Server. This brings distributed execution and load balancing all the way down to typical Client/Server applications. It also allows Windows OS applications to use server features. As always, performance is a key area that we keep optimizing. We have shaved off quite a few seconds from the already fast ActiveReports engine to make the first page response times and document export processes faster. For more information about these features, visit the What’s New page.

ActiveReports Server

With the server acting as host for reports designed with the developer version of ActiveReports, many new server features work in conjunction with the ActiveReports developer report designer.

Server Data Sources and Server Data Sets

Over the years, our customers have been asking for a way to govern data across their enterprise and still allow their report authors and developers the capability to design reports. Server Data Sources and Server Data Sets allow DBA’s to do just that. RDL and Page Report designers can use Server Data Sources and Server Data Sets hosted on the server to design the reports and publish them to the server. The Server takes care of the execution of these reports, whether you view them from the WinForms viewer or one of the web viewers.

The RESTful API

We all know that not all projects are the same. Developers always need a way to change the behavior or user interface to match up with what the end user requires. So the Server provides them with a comprehensive RESTful API to allow developers to manage all aspects of the report deployments, execution and access.

New Look and Responsive Administrator Dashboard

Many of our users are now completely mobile and need to be able to access the server to manage as well as work with the reports. Not only does the new look have a minimalistic approach, it is a fully responsive HTML5 site designed to be accessed from any device (mobile or desktop). For more information about these features, visit the Server What’s New page.