WinForms Grid Based Reporting (Coming soon in v15.2)

Thinking Out Loud
23 November 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a short blog about our upcoming Grid-based reporting solution for our WPF product line. As is always the case when we announce a new feature for a specific .NET platform, one of the questions on people's minds was whether the same capability will be introduced for WinForms. The good news is that yes, it will. 

Before I describe grid-based reporting for WinForms, let me give you a quick background..

Over the years, we've had great feedback on the grid's ability to print and render its contents (If you've used DevExpress WinForms controls in the past, you'll know that printing support is a long-standing feature). For many, this feature reduces the need to create pre-built custom reports, since end-users are able to customize the display of data within the Grid (sort, group, aggregate, add/remove columns) and then print/export the customized view. Though extremely popular, there has always been an Achilles heel to our Printing System - that being the ability to fully customize the output (be it to paper or exported to file).

Well, with our v15.2 release, we've taken ad-hoc grid-based reporting to a new level and given you a way to quickly create a report (both design and runtime), customize the report (or delegate customization to an end-user) and then send the report to a printer or export it to various formats with just a single button click.

WinForms Grid Based Report Generation
This new report generation engine supports a variety of grid features, including grouping, sorting, filtering, data summaries, appearance settings, etc.

You can generate a report at design time by adding the ReportGenerator component from the Toolbox onto your form, and then selecting the Generate Report command from the component's smart tag.

WinForms Grid Based Report Generator
The Report Generation Wizard that is invoked will allow you to...

  • Select the Grid View against which to generate the report (only the standard Grid View is presently supported).
  • Specify layout, grouping and appearance settings for the report (to simplify setup, changes are immediately reflected in the preview pane).
  • Specify the report's title.

WinForms Grid Based Report Wizard
The new report is automatically added to the current project. You can then customize it using our award-winning Report Designer within the Visual Studio IDE.

WinForms Grid Based Report Designer
The report designer allows you to...

  • Preview, print and export the report
  • Modify report element layout
  • Modify report element appearance 
  • Apply data grouping, sorting and filtering
  • Add totals
  • Add page numbers and system information;
    And so much more...

At runtime, you can either display the report's output within its print preview window or you can delegate report customization to end-users via the DevExpress End-User Report Designer

Note that you can generate a report in code -  with a single call to the GenerateReport static method...

XtraReport report = ReportGenerator.GenerateReport(gridView1);

And to generate the report using report generation options available in our Report Generation Wizard...

ReportGenerationOptions options = new ReportGenerationOptions();
options.PrintGroupFooter = DefaultBoolean.False;
// ...    
XtraReport report = ReportGenerator.GenerateReport(gridView1, options);


We'd love to get your feedback on grid-based reporting. How likely are you to use this feature?

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