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Custom Data CLR Object?

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Report Designer (standalone)
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Tormod
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Tormod asked on 20 Feb 2012, 08:32 AM
Currently I am using regular Telerik Reporting with a set of data objects along with a set of reports. I now wish to rehost the report designer so that the end user can customize this report. Ususally this means just adding 1-2 fields, changing logo, fonts, shades and rearrange all these so that they fit the document standards of their respective customers.

However, I do not offer these data as SQL Server.

Is it now possible to rehost the report designer in a custom WPF app based on CLR data objects?

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Steve
Telerik team
answered on 20 Feb 2012, 01:17 PM
Hi Tormod,

We do not offer such feature at the present moment. We released a beta standalone end user designer for Q1 2012 and our plans for subsequent versions include the "host" this report designer in your application.

Kind regards,
Steve
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Tormod
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answered on 20 Feb 2012, 01:25 PM
Thank you for your answer.

Will I then be able to report on CLR Objects, not just SQL sources?
Also, will I, as the app delveloper, be able to replace the Wizard and offer my own starting points /
templates, so that the end user does not need explicit knowledge as to what sort of object (or its URL/Assembly/Name) he/she is reporting on? 
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Steve
Telerik team
answered on 20 Feb 2012, 01:32 PM
Hello Tormod,

The end user designer does not offer programmatic control over the reports. This means no events and no Object/OpenAccess/Entity Data Source can be used at all. This info is already available in the release notes I referenced in my previous post.
As for offering custom report templates and ability to replace the wizards, we cannot yet comment on these and we would provide more info prior the specific release which would bring ability to host the report designer.

Regards,
Steve
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TonyG
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answered on 22 Mar 2012, 07:01 PM
I'll add a vote for alternative data sources.

It might be surprising to some, but SQL/RDBMS isn't the only database technology. I rarely even use relational databases anymore. Other options include Web Services, NoSQL offerings, Caché, Pick / MultiValue, XML, JSON, Excel, CSV, and anything we can plug into an Object DataSource, EF, DataSet, or strongly typed collection aggregated from multiple sources.  I was really hoping for an end-user designer that had the same data source support as Telerik Reports for developers.

Sure, we can flatten out data via ETL into a supported relational datastore, and in desperation I really wouldn't mind that too much because it separates the OLTP server from the OLAP server.  But when managers want their on-line reports they often don't want to have to wait for a transform/extraction into a near-line repository before they get their report.

As an alternative, if this offering can be re-branded or at least sold as a modified turnkey offering by Telerik developers, then perhaps via an API we might be able to plugin our own data source options for sale to specific vertical markets that Telerik can't reach directly.  I wouldn't be selling to anyone who uses a SQL database - you guys can do that.

Following on to that - what about using a provider model where we Telerik developers can create our own data sources which can then be used by any user of this new offering?  They get the report designer from Telerik and get the provider from those of us in the field who have crafted a platform-specific addon.  Then we can just send people to Telerik to buy the designer and get their training/support, while we manage the data access and back-end integration.  Personally I think this is the best model, rather than asking Telerik to support any specific data source as indicated above.

Thanks!
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Vassil Petev
Telerik team
answered on 03 Oct 2012, 02:00 PM
Hi guys,

Just heads up. The upcoming Q3 2012 version of the Report Designer will support custom data sources. For more information, please check the Roadmap.

We will be showing the new features during Q3 webinar week, so feel free to register for the free event: Sign up for Q3 2012 What's New Webinar Week


All the best,
Vassil Petev
the Telerik team

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TonyG
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answered on 03 Oct 2012, 05:42 PM
That announcement is Huge in terms of new opportunities.

Big kudos should also be extended to the Telerik Marketing team (and everyone related in development, sales, etc) for listening to customer comments about this new offering, and responding with specific related product changes. You guys should pull some marketing mileage out of that as much as the software itself. Good business partners are as important as good software. As part of the decision process for purchasing software, people need to consciously recognize that Telerik is a good partner.

Thanks!
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Tormod
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answered on 03 Oct 2012, 06:41 PM
Absolutely huge! 
Telerik, you make me awesome.
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Marcus
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answered on 12 Feb 2013, 11:24 PM
Hi there,

Binding reports to custom CLR objects using the standalone designer would be great, are there any examples showing how this works in the Q3/2012 release?

Thanks,

Marcus
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Steve
Telerik team
answered on 13 Feb 2013, 09:34 AM
Hi guys,

Take a look at the Extending Report Designer help article for more information.

All the best,
Steve
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Marcus
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answered on 13 Feb 2013, 10:49 PM
Thanks Steve, I did take a look at this page yesterday but have a couple of questions about its use.
Our report (as I understand the original poster's situation is as well) is bound directly to business objects.
eg. a report for an Order with OrderLines we might have the following code:

var order = new Order { Lines = new Line[] { line1, line2, line3 } };
using (var orderReport = new OrderReport(order))
{
var reportProcessor = new ReportProcessor();
// Render report etc....
}

For preview, we hook up a static Test order class, which provides a sample Order/Lines etc.
Ideally I want to be able to design the report using the standalone designer, but hooked up to the static "Test Data Provider" to be able to preview.
In the runtime we use the code as above to bind to our business objects.

Is this achievable with the standalone designer?
If need be I can spin up a simple solution using the "old" VS-based report designer to show you what I mean.

Regards,

Marcus
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Martin
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answered on 15 Feb 2013, 03:36 PM
I could not get it to work...

When i added the following line to the .config file:

<Telerik.Reporting>
      <AssemblyReferences>
          <add name="MyCustomAssembly" version="1.0.0.0" culture="neutral" publicKeyToken="null" />
      </AssemblyReferences>
</Telerik.Reporting>

I got an exception telling that the publicKeyToken attribute was not recognized. Obvioulsy i replaced myAssembly with the name of my dll file.

If i removed the attribute, the assembly information will not load at all.
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Steve
Telerik team
answered on 18 Feb 2013, 01:48 PM
Hi guys,

@Marcus: not sure what kind of runtime you talk about. Reports previewed in the report designer are executed in the context of the standalone report designer and its configuration is done through its config file. The designer is responsible for processing and rendering the report and allowing you to print and export it. Any code that would directly use ReportProcessor should not be part of assemblies referenced in the designer and if need be should be part of your actual application.

@Martin: What version of Telerik Reporting do you use? If your assembly is signed, then you should upgrade to the latest internal build where we have fixed an issue of loading signed assemblies and let us know if you're still having problems.

Kind regards,
Steve
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Martin
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answered on 18 Feb 2013, 03:26 PM
Hi Steve,

I'm using version 6.2.12.1017 and the assembly is not signed.

Regards
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Steve
Telerik team
answered on 18 Feb 2013, 03:55 PM
Hi Martin,

Please upgrade to the latest official Q3 2012 SP1 release or latest internal build as advised earlier and let us know if the problem persists.

Kind regards,
Steve
the Telerik team

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Martin
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answered on 28 Feb 2013, 04:19 PM
Hi Steve,

Upgraded to version 6.2.13.110 and still no luck. I'm not seeing the error of the publicKeyToken, but the classes and methods in the assembly are not being loaded.

Regards
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Elian
Telerik team
answered on 05 Mar 2013, 09:24 AM
Hello Martin,

Where is the assembly that you are trying to load located? If it is not in the same directory as the executable, you will need use the <probing> Element to instruct the application where to search for your assembly (see Extending Report Designer).
We would suggest to upgrade your Reporting installation to Q1 2013, put the assembly next to the Report Designer executable and see if everything is loaded. 
 
Kind regards,
Elian
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Martin
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answered on 06 Mar 2013, 04:39 PM
Hi Elian,

I managed to solve my issue... it was related to a missing assembly dependency :)
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Markus Hopfenspirger
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answered on 21 Aug 2013, 11:31 AM
Hello,

I use Telerik Reporting quite some time. Now I look at the standalone Designer for the first time.

I put the designer in the Bin Folder of my Application and start it from there. Now I thought, that all my Objects Show up in the "Add ObjectDataSource Box". But the box is empty. (my Applications starts from the same Folder so all references should be fine) Where do they show up, or do I have to change the config file, or...? Or do the objects have to have some Special Attributes? 

Actually I would like to bind to Interfaces so I can use the report programmatically - or at least bind to Plain CLR Objects and maybe Entity Framework Code First objects.

(My Telerik Version is Q2 2013)

thnaks for your time and kind regards from germany,
Markus
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Markus Hopfenspirger
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answered on 21 Aug 2013, 11:32 AM
Hello,

I use Telerik Reporting quite some time. Now I look at the standalone Designer for the first time.

I put the designer in the Bin Folder of my Application and start it from there. Now I thought, that all my Objects Show up in the "Add ObjectDataSource Box". But the box is empty. (my Applications starts from the same Folder so all references should be fine) Where do they show up, or do I have to change the config file, or...? Or do the objects have to have some Special Attributes? 

Actually I would like to bind to Interfaces so I can use the report programmatically - or at least bind to Plain CLR Objects and maybe Entity Framework Code First objects.

(My Telerik Version is Q2 2013)

thanks for your time and kind regards from germany,
Markus
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Stef
Telerik team
answered on 26 Aug 2013, 09:01 AM
Hi Markus,

Please take a look at the following KB articles elaborating on how to use outer assemblies within the Standalone Designer:

I hope this helps you.

Regards,
Stef
Telerik

Have you tried the new visualization options in Telerik Reporting Q2 2013? You can get them from your account.

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Tormod
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Steve
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Tormod
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TonyG
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Vassil Petev
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Marcus
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Martin
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Elian
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Markus Hopfenspirger
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Stef
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