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Comparison of RadGrid and Telerik Reporting

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Scott asked on 02 Nov 2010, 05:21 PM

I've started down the path of Telerik Reporting in the past week, and have found that many of the limitations listed below have workarounds in Telerik Reporting, but are built-in features of RadGrid.

Column Sorting
Show/Hide Columns based on user selection
Exporting (having trouble with CSV in Reporting)
Paging (web version of Reporting doesn't page well)
Customizing the Report Viewer

So given that we are not doing complex CrossTab reports and all reports will be on the web, would you recommend that we switch to RadGrid? I understand you are biased towards your department, but I'd like some supporting evidence to back my claim that we should switch to RadGrid.

Thank you,

Scott McNeany

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answered on 05 Nov 2010, 09:05 AM
Hi Scott,

Telerik Reporting product itself cannot be compared to a grid control as it is so much more. Probably the closest item you can compare it to is the Table item, but it is far more complex than grid as well. I would try to list its main features and advantages over a grid control.

Telerik Reporting's Table item is built on a concept different than the regular grid components. While the grids are usually based on the rows and columns abstraction and display dynamic data by rows, the Telerik Reporting's Table item can display dynamic data by rows and/or columns that extends greatly the flexibility of the report.
The most important part of the Table item (the Table, the Crosstab and the List items are actually the same Table item with different initial settings) are the Row and Column group hierarchies. The groups in the RowGroups hierarchy define rules how the rows of the Table will be repeated, while the groups in the ColumnGroups hierarchy are responsible for the columns. So the leaf groups in the RowGroups (leaf group has no child groups) defines the rows in the Table Body while the leaf column groups define the columns of the Table Body.

Depending on the grouping criteria, we have:
  • dynamic groups - have any Grouping expression, ex. group1.Grouping.Add(new Grouping("=Fields.Country")). For the dynamic groups, the corresponding row/column will repeat for every record of the grouped data.
  • static groups - no grouping criteria at all. For the static groups the corresponding row/column is rendered only once.
  • detail groups -have a single empty grouping, ex. group1.Grouping.Add(new Grouping()). Usually you have only one row -or- column detail group. For a detail group the corresponding row/column is repeated for every row of the Table's data source. You may think of the detail TableGroup as the Report's Detail section.

Since we have Row and Column group hierarchies this means that one group may contain one or more child groups and you may have one or more root groups.

Depending on the configuration you may create:
  • a simple static grid for ordering items by rows/columns. Use only static groups for the rows and columns.
  • regular (vertical) table -  the data records are displayed by rows. Define one detail group for the Row hierarchy and static column groups to define the columns.
  • master-detail table - define one or more levels of nested row groups and if needed add a detail group to the end: [County] - [City] - [Detail]
  • horizontal table - the data records are rendered by columns. Define one detail column group and put some static row groups to define the Table Body's rows.
  • cross table/pivot table - Define dynamic groups in both Rows and Columns hierarchies; use aggregates for the body cells.

As you can see the flexibility of the Telerik Reporting's Table item is significant compared to most of the similar components that usually offer only one of the mentioned configurations: only grid that render the data source records by rows or pivot/crosstables that require both row/column groups.

As you can see the Table item offers many possibilities and can accomplish almost anything you can think of. The choice what to use depends entirely on your needs. Generally speaking reports' purpose is to transform information into "knowledge" and rendering huge amounts of data is not that kind of transformation, rather the result would be a huge document that one might (or not) go through. So if your main goal is to show data for web presentation only, the RadGrid control would work perfectly for you, moreover our RadGrid control exposes API for pdf, csv, word, excel exporting.

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