Often we see requests from our Telerik Reporting clients to produce PDF or HTML representations of tabular data in order to be able to print the data on paper and/or to create a document. Although this is a common scenario, the proper tool or product has to be used in order to get the best possible results.
Telerik Reporting supports these document formats, but often it is mistaken for a format conversion tool (say HTML to PDF), rather than a report generation tool, only because it supports these two formats. We also see a common misconception that Telerik Reporting is an instrument for creating documents. Even though Telerik Reporting can do this, there is an overlook of what the purpose of a reporting tool is.
A reporting tool gives you the ability to design and create reports by pulling live data from a database, and then analyze it on the spot, by using cross tabs, charts, aggregates, conditional formatting, or other means. Obviously, Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF do not offer such data analysis options. The purpose of a document creation tool, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, is to create a customized document, by giving you the power to tailor every single aspect of the document, be it text, image, table, or their relation and position on the page. In addition, these work with static data/content (the one you have typed in). Excel is very good for analyzing data; however the data used is static, rather than dynamic, contrary to reporting solutions.
The overlapping concept between all these programs is that the outcome is a document, even with a reporting tool: once a report is produced, it can be exported to Word, Excel or PDF to become a document.
We acknowledge that the difference between documents and reports is rather slim, so we decided to offer you a free whitepaper which discusses these differences in detail. In Reporting 101 – Understanding the Why, What and How of Reporting Solutions we try to clearly establish what a reporting solution is, how reports differ from documents, why you should adopt a reporting solution for your organization, and how Telerik Reporting is the perfect fit for delivering the business critical reports you need.
Review Reporting 101 – Understanding the Why, What and How of Reporting Solutions now and share your feedback. If you would like to see more whitepapers on Telerik Reporting, please share your ideas here.
Vassil Petev is a Product Manager at Telerik. Loves gadgets, sailing, skiing and DJing.