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   Report Class Hierarchy
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   Report Creation Basics
   Understanding Report Bands
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Report Creation Basics

This topic explains the main steps involved in the process of report creation: adding a report to your application, defining a report layout (using the designer or entirely in code), connecting the report to data and publishing it under the required platform.

This topic consists of the following sections.

Expanded Your Report - From Layout to Document

An XtraReport - a report created using the XtraReports Suite - is either a direct instance of the XtraReport class or, more often, one of its descendants.

A report layout is comprised of bands and controls they contain.

Through the process of publishing, a report layout proceeds to a paginated report document ready for printing and exporting. You can publish created documents under any of the supported platforms.

Report documents can be produced either out from a specified data source or in an unbound mode.

To create a data-aware report, before you can start designing the report's layout, it is first necessary to specify its data source. Then, you can perform various data shaping operations and define a data member for every data-aware control. For details on this, see Providing Data To Report Controls.

A report layout is unaware of actual data and is stored separately by default. You can tie data with a report within a single XML file using the approach illustrated at XML Serialization.

A report layout may also include visual styles that are stored separately in REPSS files. For details, see Report Visual Styles.

For those who migrate from third-party vendors, DevExpress provides automatic converters to XtraReports for reports created using the following reporting systems: Microsoft Access, Crystal Reports, Data Dynamics Active Reports. For details, see Importing Reports from Third-Parties.

Expanded Create a Report at Design Time

When creating your .NET reporting application at design time within Visual Studio, you can add a new XtraReport to your project in one of the following ways.

  • Using the corresponding item template integrated into Visual Studio by the XtraReports installation.
  • Using the Report Wizard, which allows you to create either standard data-aware reports or product label reports out of more than 1500 of pre-defined types.

After a new report is added to the project, the Visual Studio IDE activates the XtraReports designer. This designer shows the report structure, allows you to manage report bands and add new report controls from the DX.17.1: Report Controls to a report.

In addition, it provides many design-time elements, simplifying and accelerating the process of creating a report. Among them are the Report Explorer window that enables navigation through the report, and the Field List window that allows data fields to be dropped onto the report to create data-bound report controls. To learn more about XtraReports design-time elements, see the Report Designer topic.

You can also create inherited reports based on any XtraReport contained in your application. For details, see How to: Create an Inherited Report.

To learn how you can provide data to your report at design time, see the following examples.

When creating a data-aware report, you may choose to bind the report to data at design time and supply the actual data at runtime. This approach is explained in the following tutorials.

Expanded Create a Report at Runtime

In most cases, XtraReport is a partial class, which is stored by Visual Studio in two separate files - one for the main class declaration (e.g., XtraReport1.cs or XtraReport1.vb) and another to store the code generated by the Visual Studio report designer (e.g., XtraReport1.Designer.cs or XtraReport1.Designer.vb). If there are resources available for a report, they are stored in the corresponding RESX file (e.g., XtraReport1.resx) located in the same directory with the main report files.

If you create a Visual Studio Website, a report is contained in a single CS or VB file and there is no separate file for the designer-generated code. This file must be located in the application's App_Code folder, and the RESX file must be located in the App_GlobalResources folder.

A report's layout is first determined by its bands, which you can access using a report's XtraReportBase.Bands property. You can access controls contained in a band using its XRControl.Controls property.

Both bands and controls are descendants of the same XRControl class and you can create their descendant classes in turn. For details, see Report Class Hierarchy.

The following example shows the designer-generated code that adds bands and controls to a report.

The runtime procedure of report generation is illustrated in the following documents.

To learn how you can provide data to your report at runtime, see the following examples.

To learn about the succession and structure of report events, see Report Events.

Expanded Publish the Report

When a report layout is ready, you can publish the report in any of the supported platforms, which are listed in Document Viewer - Platform Specifics.

The XtraReport Suite ships special controls to better integrate a report-viewing engine into your application. For the complete list of available controls, see Included Components.

To meet specific requirements of each platform, the XtraReports Suite provides them with different mechanisms to publishing reports. To quickly get started creating your first report under any of them, see Getting Started.

Expanded Create an End-User Reporting Application

The XtraReports Suite enables you to create report designer applications for the following platforms.

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