GrapeCity, Inc., publishes the ActiveReports product line. This FAQ covers per-server licensing for ActiveReports Server.

How is ActiveReports Server Core licensed?

A: ActiveReports Server Core is licensed on a per-server basis with no per-user fees and no run-time royalties! You purchase a perpetual license, meaning you pay one time and use the license for as long as you want. The optional Annual Maintenance service provides unlimited technical support through email and phone, and access to all service releases and major releases that are made public within one year from the date of purchase.

Q: I have a SDLC based deployment with development and test environments which are running on different servers than the production server. Do I need to pay for licenses for each server?

A: No, once you purchase the license for the production server, you can install the product in your production environment as well as your development and test environments. You do not need to get additional licenses for those servers. Please note, each active production server deployed in the production environment requires its own license.

Q: Is ActiveReports Server Core royalty free?

A: Yes, with ActiveReports Server Core, you never have to pay run-time royalties, ever.

Q: If I need to scale out to support a large number of users, do I need to buy another Server license at the same price?

A: ActiveReports Server Core has a Managed Agent-based architecture that provides built-in scalability without additional licensing costs. You can scale out by adding up to 5 Managed Agents that work with the main server to share the processing workload and help scale out. You can add up to 5 Managed Agents per ActiveReports Server Core. If you reach the five agent limit when deploying ActiveReports Server, please contact GrapeCity Support to discuss what additional components you need to scale out further with optimal performance.

Q: Do you have a pricing model for software companies that want to distribute ActiveReports Server Core licenses to their customers as part of their applications?

A: Yes. Please contact us.sales@grapecity.com for pricing.

Q: I have many developers working on an application. Do I need to install the ActiveReports Server Core on each of the developer machines?

A: No, the ActiveReports Server is a server-based platform. Your developers can interact, integrate, and develop with it using the web-based administrative dashboard and web services APIs provided. They do not need to have the server platform on their local machines.

Q: Can I upgrade from my ActiveReports Developer licenses to ActiveReports Server Core?

A: No. The ActiveReports Server Core is a separate server platform that extends the ActiveReports Developer product with enterprise grade features. The ActiveReports Server Core works with your ActiveReports Developer license and requires a separate license. It is not a replacement for what ActiveReports provides. ActiveReports Server Core includes an SDK that developers can use to embed the out-of-the-box server features into their applications.

Q: Why should I consider adding ActiveReports Server Core to my ActiveReports applications?

A: ActiveReports Server Core can host ActiveReports and Data Dynamics Reports (.rdlx) as well as instantly add these features to your existing applications:

  • Centralized rendering and report browsing support.
  • Scalable server-side storage and role-based security.
  • Out-of-the-box scheduling and distribution features.

You get all of these server-side features out of the box with minimal additional effort. See the ActiveReports Server page for more details.

In addition, you can now offer rich ad hoc self-service reporting to your end users with the optional ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On.

Q: What is the difference between the End User Report Designer that ships with ActiveReports Professional and the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On for business users?

A: The End User Report Designer included in the ActiveReports Professional edition for developers can be used to customize the user interface and the database tables and fields in code before exposing these features to users at run time. The users typically are technical and they understand technology and database concepts.

By comparison, with the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On, IT or technical staff generates and customizes logical data models derived from the underlying database. These data models provide a familiar business context to business users and allow them to use the rich browser-based ad hoc report designer to design and deliver reports without involving IT.

Here is a tabular comparison:

ActiveReports End User Report Designer ActiveReports Server Report Designer
WinForms-based, requires installation Web-based, only requires a browser
Customizable API No Customizable API
Target Audience: developers and power users Target Audience: power users & non-technical users
Requires knowledge of SQL queries to retrieve data Queries dynamically generated based on report
Data from XML, Data Objects also available Only data from DataModels is available
Wide array of controls Only user-friendly controls (Tables/Charts)
More report types Easy to use, interactive, drag-and-drop interface
Scripting capabilities No scripting in reports

Q: Can existing reports designed with the ActiveReports developer version be modified with the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On module?

A: Yes, users are able to modify RDL reports which use shared datasources and semantic models using the web designer included with ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-on whether the report was initially designed in the web designer or by a developer. The ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-on does not support modification of Section Reports.

Q: Can I use the browser-based ad-hoc ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On without the ActiveReports Server Core module?

A: No. The ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On requires the ActiveReports Server Core module. The advanced drag-and-drop Report Designer works very closely with the server to take advantage of the logical model of the database and uses it for report storage, execution, and report security. However, you don’t have to ever show the server to your end users. The included ASP.NET controls and Web services enable seamless integration with your existing applications.

Q: Do I need to buy the ActiveReports developer version to use and integrate the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On with my web application?

A: No, the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On requires the ActiveReports Server Core product, but does not require the ActiveReports developer version. You can have either one, or both can co-exist in your application.

Q: Can I buy the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On only and just use the ad-hoc reporting features?

A: No, the ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On is an optional add-on module which requires the ActiveReports Server Core to provide its features. To use the ad-hoc reporting features you need to purchase both the ActiveReports Server Core and ActiveReports Server Report Designer Add-On.

Q: Do I need to pay for annual maintenance apart from the license price?

A: Yes. Annual maintenance is an additional component and is highly recommended. Not only does it provide you with unlimited technical support through email and phone, but it also allows you access to all service releases and major releases that are made public within one year following your purchase. This turns out to be very cost effective in the long run and keeps your application running smoothly and improving as we add new features to the product line.