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How to painlessly design ActiveReports with PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is one of the most commonly used open source data sources. It has an interface that makes it easier to use than MySQL. Recently one of our customers asked how to bind ActiveReports to a PostgreSQL database, so I decided to write this blog article to help other customers who work with PostgreSQL.

ActiveReports 11 Server - New Web Designer

Last week we hosted a webinar to introduce the new web designer. The goal of this webinar was to provide a hands-on session taking attendees through the steps to create:

Miss our webinar? We've got you covered.

UPDATE: On August 9th, one of our Product Managers, Mateen Firoz, presented a free webinar introducing the new features of ActiveReports 11 Service Pack 2.

What's New in ActiveReports 11 Service Pack 2?

Usually, we save major new features for major version releases, and just fix issues and tweak things in service packs. But this time, we added a lot of features and enhancements to both ActiveReports Developer and ActiveReports Server. Plus we added a major feature to ActiveReports Server: a sleek new Web Designer. It is easy enough for newbies to use, but with all of the advanced features and RDL reports that developers and experienced report authors want. Read on to see what else we've included.

The New Web-Based End User Designer

ActiveReports Server has always had a web designer for business users. We created the web designer to enable end users to build reports from scratch or modify existing reports using nothing more than a browser. We presumed that these end users knew little to nothing about databases and query languages.

Lookup Function

Data sources for business applications reside in different data systems like CRM, Accounting and Financial, HRM, SCM, Ticket Management, Inventory Management Systems, and a host of others depending on the industry.

HTML5 Viewer Enrichment

We're really excited about the ActiveReports 11 Service Pack 1 release. I think you'll like what we've done to improve the HTML5 viewer. In addition to adding user-requested tweaks and fixes, we've added several brand new features: SVG rendering, frozen row and column headers, and chart tooltips. Here are details on these features.

Visual Studio 2017 Support

Update: We've released Service Pack 1. You can download it here:

Page-Level Summaries

How you add page summaries depends on the type of report you're using. Here is how to add page summaries to each type of report.

Run-Time Data in the HTML5 Viewer

First, it helps to understand how the ActiveReports HTML5 viewer works. As a JavaScript component, the HTML5 Viewer runs on the client browser. It gets its report output from an ActiveReports 11 Web service (ActiveReports.ReportService.asmx). This is why you can't modify report data sources and pass in parameters using server-side code (.vb or .cs).

Run-Time Images

ActiveReports lets you modify images at run time. How you do it depends on the type of report you are using, so I'll break it down by report type.

The What, Why, and How of Layers

The Layers feature has been around since ActiveReports version 9, but maybe you haven't really checked it out yet. It is a feature that is exclusive to ActiveReports, and revolutionizes a number of scenarios, so I thought I'd share some of these with you.

Interview with a Returning Customer

This is an interview with Jeff S on his experience with ActiveReports versus a competitor, and why he chose ActiveReports.

ActiveReports 11 - Faster Reporting for the Enterprise

ActiveReports 11 was released on November 15, 2016. The release includes updates to both ActiveReports Developer and ActiveReports Server. This is an important release that ticks a number of milestones on our road map:

Label Reports

You can create reports with data arranged in columns and rows to print on label sheets. Let's take a look at how to do this with each type of report.

Upgrade Old COM Reports to Version 11

If you use the COM version of ActiveReports and would like to migrate to the .NET platform and use ActiveReports 11, you are in the right place. You can pull all of your layouts in, leaving only the code to update manually. The process is, basically, save, load, update code.

In Windows Forms applications, you can print reports without previewing them using the Print method that is implemented as an extension method for the SectionDocument and PageDocument classes.

Disappearing Designer

In certain circumstances, the ActiveReports designer that integrates with the Visual Studio IDE does not display. Here are the possible causes, and how to fix the issue.

PDF File Cannot Be Found

We often get questions about the following error when trying to download a generated PDF on the web: