Reporting - Early Access Preview (v20.1)

Reporting Team Blog
05 March 2020

We are about two months away from the official v20.1 launch – time to update all of you on what we’ve accomplished so far this year…

Before we get into it – a quick reminder: If you are an active Universal or DXperience subscriber and want to test upcoming v20.1 features before our official release, you can download the Early Access Preview build via the DevExpress Download Manager. Please let us know how well the new functionality described herein addresses your business requirements. Your feedback will help us fine-tune our implementation prior to the official release. 

Early Access and CTP builds are provided solely for early testing purposes and are not ready for production use. This build can be installed side by side with other major versions of DevExpress products. Please backup your project and other important data before installing Early Access and CTP builds.

This EAP may not include all features/products we expect to ship in our v20.1 release cycle. As its name implies, the EAP offers an early preview of what we expect to ship in two months.

Multiple Supported Platforms - WinForms, WPF, ASP.NET (MVC, Core)

Report Designer - Report Localization

You can localize a report so that it incorporates design and text variations for different languages and cultures. Localized values are stored in REPX files.

Our Localization Editor was designed to expedite the report translation process:

Localization Editor

To explore this feature in greater detail, please view our online Localization Support in Web Report Designer demo.

For a comprehensive tutorial, please refer to our Localize Reports help topic.

Report Designer - Embed PDF Documents

We added a new XRPdfContent report control to our Report Designer. This control allows you to embed pages from an external PDF file into a report document. PDF content is rendered on separate pages and uses its own page size.

Embedding PDF by using the XRPdfContent control

For more information, please refer to the XRPdfContent Class help topics.

If you have a usage scenario you’d like us to consider for future builds, please answer the following survey question:

Report Designer - Updated New Parameter Dialog

We’ve updated the look and feel of our WinForms Add New Parameter dialog. Its user interface is now the same across all supported platforms:

WinForms Report Designer - New Parameter Dialog

Excel Export – Html-Inspired and RTF Content Support

XRLabel (with the AllowMarkupText property enabled) and XRRichText controls (bound to RTF and/or HTML data) now preserve content formatting when exporting a report to Excel.

For more information, please refer to the Export To XLS and Export To XLSX help topics.

JSON Data Source Parameters - Wizard and Expression Support

We updated the JSON Data Source Wizard. You can now add path, query and header parameters to JSON web service endpoints. We also added support for expressions in JSON parameter values (so you can pass report parameter values to resulting requests).

Please refer to the Bind a Report to JSON Data help topic for a complete tutorial.

Data Source Wizard - JSON Data Source Parameters Expression Binding

To explore this feature in greater detail, please view our online JSON Data Source Parameter Bindings demo.

New Features Tour in our Web Report Designer

We published Reports Localization and JSON Data Source - Parameter Bindings online demos to better demonstrate new features. Here’s a brief preview of the demos:

New Features Tour in JSON Data Source - Parameter Bindings online demo

Localization Support

JSON Data Source - Parameter Bindings

We’d love to get your thoughts on these two demos:

ASP.NET Core Reporting

Pango-based Drawing Engine on Linux / macOS

Thanks to your feedback we discovered that the use of the GDI+ engine produces different results on Windows and Linux/macOS (where libgdiplus is used). In this development cycle we focused on parity in terms of document rendering quality and PDF export regardless of the target platform (be it .NET Core or .NET Framework) or operating system used to host Reporting apps.

We have a few open issues with the libgdiplus GitHub repository. While we wait for solutions, we’ve explored Cairo and Pango (libraries that are well-known within the open-source and Linux user community). The following table summarizes our preliminary results:

  • Text Cut Off

v19.2 (Ubuntu Linux, libgdiplus) v20.1 (Ubuntu Linux, Pango+Cairo)
Export to Image Export to Image v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export to Image v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
Export to PDF Export to PDF v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export to PDF v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
  • National Characters

v19.2 (Ubuntu Linux, libgdiplus) v20.1 (Ubuntu Linux, Pango+Cairo)
Export to Image Export to Image v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export to Image v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
Export to PDF Export to PDF v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export to PDF v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
  • Bold Text

v19.2 (Ubuntu Linux, libgdiplus) v20.1 (Ubuntu Linux, Pango+Cairo)
Export to Image Export to Image v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export to Image v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
Export to PDF Export to PDF v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export to PDF v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
  • Text Alignment

v19.2 (Ubuntu Linux, libgdiplus) v20.1 (Ubuntu Linux, Pango+Cairo)
Export to Image Export to Image v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export To Image v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo
Export to PDF Export to PDF v19.2 by using libgdiplus Export To PDF v20.1 by using Pango+Cairo

We encourage you to review the following Knowledge Base article if you’d like to use this new drawing engine within your app: ASP.NET Core Reporting - How to enable Cairo and Pango-based drawing engine.

Microsoft Azure Reporting

Azure Support for .NET Standard

We published our DevExpress.AspNetCore.Reporting.Azure NuGet package - .NET Standard-specific analog of the DevExpress.Web.Reporting.Azure package (allows you to store temporary document data within Azure Storage).

The DevExpress.AspNetCore.Reporting.Azure package can also be obtained via the DevExpress Reporting installer.

PDF Export - Various Enhancements for Azure Web Apps

We’ve enhanced our PDF export engine for Azure Web App hosting. It now includes the following functionality:

Enable the static AzureCompatibility.Enable property at application startup for testing purposes.

Your Feedback Counts

As we mentioned earlier, your feedback matters. If you own an active Universal or DXperience Subscription, please download our Early Access Preview and share your experiences with us.

Showcase Your Apps on DevExpress.com

Highlight your business app and share your development experiences with the DevExpress community. To include your app in our upcoming App Showcase, please forward an application screenshot to clientservices@devexpress.com and tell us which DevExpress products you currently use within your organization.
Michael Gibson - PatTrac
Michael Gibson - PatTrac
for the Embedded PDF component,will these features be available in 20.1?

1. We would like the embedded PDF form fields to be editable in the Preview.
2. We would like the ability to push data to the PDF form fields prior to Previewing.

5 March 2020
Dmitry Tok (DevExpress Support)
Dmitry Tok (DevExpress Support)

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your interest in this feature.

We did not try to address this usage scenario (form field editing for an embedded PDF document). You can implement a form field designer using the instructions described in the following blog post: How to Create an AcroForm Designer with DevExpress Reports and PDF Viewer. To populate PDF form fields with data before display, please refer to the following help topic:  How to: Fill an Interactive Form with Values. The combination of these two tech documents will allow you to embed a PDF file into a report.
11 March 2020
Dirk Maes
Dirk Maes

Will it be possible to print a report in a certain localization language without changing the Thread.CurrentCulture? For example print a scheduler in French when the application UI is in Dutch.

And even crazier, will it be possible to change the language based on a parameter or datasource field?
For example, printing a schedulerreport for all the employees of the company (with a group on employee primary key), but the ones where the language field of the employee = Dutch are printed in Dutch and the ones where employee language = French are printed in French?

Thank you.

11 March 2020
Dmitry Tok (DevExpress Support)
Dmitry Tok (DevExpress Support)

Hi Dirk,

I greatly appreciate your feedback.

We designed this functionality to operate based on the CurrentCulture property value. And yes, we plan to add a way to generate a report document in a required language without changing that property programmatically. We are considering a parameter, an expression binding, or even a toolbar action. 

Thank you for sharing the second scenario as well. This requirement is not covered yet and I'll discuss options with the development team.


19 March 2020

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