The latest release of Telerik development tools brings the anticipated web-based Report Designer widget. It empowers you to bring report editing functionality to your end users right from your web applications. It also brings a lot of UX improvements compared to the classic Report Designer and its tooling.
Web-Based Report Designer Control
We realize just how important this tool is to providing a smooth experience to your end users. They often need to change predefined reports a bit, perhaps skewing the layout, changing a field formula or adding conditional formatting. And they prefer to accomplish this without leaving the comfort of the apps that you create for them to use, with care.
Now you can try the *preview* release of this designer, which we built from the ground-up with these scenarios in mind. We have to do quite a bit more to make it fully functional, on par with the desktop design tools, but we believe we are on the right track.
It has fine-graded drag-and-drop functionality to layout and re-parent all items and sections. It has a toolbox to add a new item instance of all supported types. It has a Report Explorer pane that gives a great view of the report structure, plus it now incorporates the Data Source components into it. And finally, you have a well thought out Properties pane that is much more user-friendly than the one from the Visual Studio IDE that we are all accustomed to. Once done with the necessary edits, you can examine the rendered report using the built-in report preview functionality. That said, this designer is already capable of basic edits made by the end users, which is one of their most common requirements.
Want to give it a try? Please, install Telerik Reporting R3 2019 and jump to the Visual Studio examples solution. Note that the designer’s backend requires.NET Core, so VS 2019 is the best choice here. Start the CSharp.AspNetCoreDemo app and change the address to the page called webReportDesigner.html—that’s it!
Now give the designer a test run and most importantly, as it is a preview, send us your feedback! Simply leave a comment on this post or send us your thoughts in the dedicated feature request on our feedback portal. We are constantly listening to the Telerik community and using your feedback to further shape the designer. We realize how necessary all wizards and popup editors are, so these will get rethought and implemented, but any notes from you are our most valuable assets for the continuous improvement of the designer.
A NuGet package targeting both full .NET framework and .NET Core is available in order to facilitate the designer integration into your application. More info on this can be found in the documentation.
Oh, and if you are enjoying our Report Server, you can preview this new design option by first enabling it on the Configuration page, section Designer. This will show an additional toolbar button on the Reports page, which starts the edit for the currently selected report. The designer is tweaked so that you can not only Save, but Revert and Publish the report as well. Take a look and, you know, tell us what you think.
Flexible Parameters and Document Map Areas
As requested now, those two areas can be easily moved at the edges for all HTML5-based report viewers so that you can please your app designer. The feature is controlled through the viewers' APIs. No CSS or templates should be modified. And, yes, this flexibility is available for Report Server users. Navigate to the respective section in the Configuration page to change the default positioning.
We did not leave behind report generation machinery. Two changes that are worth noting here:
- The first one concerns the different data visualizations that use the same data source definitions in the boundaries of the same report. Until now, each one of these pulled its copy of the raw data. Now, they will share one and the same instance of such data to save bandwidth and precious time to the end user. Surely, this applies to the Report Server report generation engine also.
- The second one improves the scalability of the remote report generation engine. This is the engine responsible for the report rendering and caching behind the HTML5-based web report viewers, desktop viewers in remote mode and the live report preview of the Report Server. The cache invalidation and clearing got a significant rework so that the engine is more responsive and scalable.
For more information, please go check the full release notes for both Reporting and Report Server! Once you've done that, give it a try for yourself—and don't forget to have fun!