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Report Types
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ActiveReports Developer 7 > ActiveReports Developer Guide > Concepts > Report Types

Glossary Item Box

ActiveReports provides a number of ways to design a report. You can choose a report type based on your layout requirements. Depending on the type of report you select, you also get various file formats to create your reports.

In this section

CPL Page Report

FPL Page Report

Code-Based Section Report

XML-Based Section Report

Report Layout Types

You can design reports using different layouts depending on your requirements. This section introduces these layout types and describes the differences between them to allow you to select the one that suits your report.

ShowPage Layout

In a Page Layout, you design reports at the page level without any banded sections. This lets you place controls anywhere on the report.

This layout has two variations, Continuous Page Layout (CPL) and Fixed Page Layout (FPL). You can convert between these formats using the Visual Studio Report menu that appears when a Page Report has focus. The difference between these two layouts is in the way that they handle data. In a CPL report, controls grow vertically to accommodate data. In an FPL report, controls do not change in size based on the data, but you can use an OverflowPlaceHolder to handle any extra data.

ShowSection Layout

In a Section Layout, you design reports in banded sections. A PageHeader, Detail and PageFooter section appear by default, and you can remove any but the detail section. Right-click the report and select Insert to add other section pairs like ReportHeader and ReportFooter, or GroupHeader and GroupFooter.

A report section contains a group of controls that are processed and printed at the same time as a single unit. All sections except the detail section come in pairs, above and below the detail section. When you use group headers and footers, the detail section processes for each group, and then the next group processes a group header, related details, and group footer. See Grouping Data for more information.

You can hide any section that you do not want shown by setting the Visible property of the section to False.

Report File Format Types

You can create reports in a number of file formats with a varied set of features. This section describes the use of each of these file formats.

ShowReport Template Formats

To create a report, a user must select one of the following templates containing the report layout. See Adding an ActiveReport to a Project for details on how to access report templates.

  • RDLX: This is an XML-based proprietary file format that provides custom extensions to the Report Definition Language (RDL) files used by SQL Server Reporting Services. These are stand-alone files that you can process without compiling them into your application. You can customize the report through the Script Tab by embedding script in the report.
    See this msdn page for more on Report Definition Language.
  • VB or CS: These are code-based reports, and are saved as C# or Visual Basic files that are compiled into your applications. They have corresponding code views similar to Windows forms and provide a design and coding experience in line with Visual Studio. This format is ideal for developers who are comfortable with coding in .NET programming languages and would like to use the extensive event-based API provided by ActiveReports in the code-behind rather than design view. You may also use the scripts in the Script Tab instead of the code behind.
  • RPX: This is an XML-based proprietary file format that the ActiveReports engine can process without compiling it into an application. Instead of Visual Basic or C# code behind, you can customize the report with script embedded in the report XML using the Script Tab. You can also use an RPX file with script as a stand-alone file in a Web project.

ShowAdditional File Formats

ActiveReports also provides some additional file formats for reports. Each of these formats is used for a specific purpose as described below.

  • RDLX-master: This is a master report file that you can reference from other RDLX report files for a standard layout, for example, you can add company logo and address sections. This file is loaded each time the report is executed, so you can change the logo on all of your reports by just changing it on the master report. See Master Reports for further details.
  • RDLX-theme: This is a theme file that consists of a collection of styles that you can apply to a report. See Themes for further details.
  • RDSX: This is a proprietary format that is created when you share a data source, making it available to multiple reports.
  • RDF: This is the Report Document Format, in which the data is static. You can save a report in this format to display the data that is retrieved. Once a report has been saved to an RDF file, it can be loaded into the viewer control. See Save and Load RDF Report Files for further details.

See the following list of file formats available in each layout.

Format Page Layout Section Layout
VB or CS

ShowFeatures comparison between report types

In ActiveReports, the features available in a report depend on the type of report you select. See the following comparison list of features with each report type:

Feature Section report Page report (FPL) Page report (CPL)
Viewers & Editors
Visual Studio Integrated Designer
Expressions Editor
Designer Script Editor
Windows Form Viewer
WebViewer (Pro Edition). Includes viewer types HTML, RawHTML, PDF and Flash.
HTTP Handlers (Pro Edition)
Silverlight Viewer (Pro Edition)
Report Controls
Drill through
Drill down
Data Connections
Standard Data Sources supported (e.g. SQL, OleDB, XML)
Unbound Data Source
Shared Data Source
Export Filters
Rendering Extensions
PDF advanced export features: digital signatures, time stamp, bold font emulation (Pro Edition)
Master Reports
Styles (through Report Settings dialog)
Standalone Applications
ActiveReports Developer Viewer
ActiveReports Developer Theme Editor
ActiveReports Developer Designer (standalone application)

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