Visual Studio 2010 – what’s new in Visual reporting?

New in VS 2010
Recently, Microsoft pleased its development environment with a new version. I sat at their workshop, looked at all new features being actively promoted. New Visual Studio has become faster (and who would doubt it? ) and creates smaller applications (of course, it does), and less demanding on memory usage, and a lot of useful things. For example – the plugging system for working with shortcuts, and changing the startup page through special project and Editing in the XAML, possibilities of ejecting windows docked in visual studio beyond the screen. I like the ability to scale fonts in the editor via Ctrl + mouse wheel. ‘Navigate to’ window- finding a class or function depending on the keyword.

There are also new innovations doubtful to me, for example, in the intelliSense ‘suggestion’ mode – generation of non-existent classes depending on the name of the left side of the expression, or auto update HELP from the Internet.

And absolutely new – a set of development tools for the Azure (for “clouds”, a new designer and debugger for WPF and Silverlight (all processing at the WPF level).
MS SQL Server and reporting services

A little was said about SQL Server 2008 R2 (the same server, only better), and finally, about Reporting Services.
Well, I think, really, has MS done something in reporting and you can use it normally?
Unfortunately, no … Despite the fact that Report Builder gained a proud third version, there isn’t any normal script – only VB. Bar charts and curves, support of maps have been developed.

Also now, there is a “lookup function”, it became possible to aggregate the aggregate functions (avg(….. sum (…..))), appeared light on the condition.
Global report variables – TOTALPAGES, PAGE, and several others. You can do “report include” – includes some reports (Fragments) in other reports. The result of the report can be presented as ATOM data feed – for transfer to other services.
Well, the report viewer on ASP now works properly inside Ajax container -it wasn’t good before.

So, in terms of Reporting, they fell behind my favorite FastReport by five years, if not more. This is how it was in 2000 under Delphi.

Visual Report designer for end-users in Visual Studio 2010

So, I got this cherished disc with studio, installed it on my computer and began to mount there the tools that are used in VS 2008.
And oh my – FastReport installed (of course, the components in the toolbox set manually, as described in the documentation because VS 2010 still doesn’t know the FR installer yet), and when I run it – it could not run …
Digging Deeper … Microsoft optimized the size of applications remarkably. Namely, all the projects in VS 2010 by default, with Client Framework 4.0. Which is to say it, does not do a lot(indeed, why do customers need of the designer, for example, object inspector?), due to the Kicked out of the Client Framework 4.0 System.Design.dll.
Get solved quite easily – create a project with full .Net Framework 4.0. And – voila! You can use a full report generator, and not some odd jobs, and give an advanced visual report designer to users.


Maxim Rudov

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