Writing a new reporting engine is challenging that will work for people in real-world situations. As I’ve learned over the last three years – the problems aren’t just about having a cool designer and rendering data into tables or charts. (Trust me on this one. One day I’ll explain all the other components that have to go into an enterprise-level reporting framework)
In any case, it’s amazing to see someone take this task on: Today I found out that Tomasz Kubacki started his MonoReports project.
He’s got a 6 minute video on youtube. Now the video doesn’t have any audio – So, below the embedded video I’ve pointed out some things that I found interesting while watching
Defining Datasets in code
Screenshot below says it all. Looks to be very easy to create a dataset in C# code. If you’ve seen my AX SSRS Screencasts you know how important “data methods” in C# are for AX SSRS Reporting – so I am glad to see how easy it is below.
A Nice Color Picker
Finally my limited ability in the Polish language has a use. It is curious that only some parts of the UI are localized this way – not sure what is causing that.
Field Data Binding
Based on the video it looks like only a single dataset can be bound to fields in the report – but that may only be an initial limitation because the project has just started.
Export to PDF
A must-have feature. Great to see it enabled now.
Reports from Code
Ah now this is interesting – the report can be seen as code also. It looks similar to how in Windows Forms there is a designer that ties back into a code model and quite unlike SSRS where reports live in their own RDL world completely distinct from code. One of the advantages of the code-based model is that it should enable some advanced control of the report layout dynamically – which is not possible to do with SSRS.