Report tools recommendation

We are developing a financial management web app with Xojo. The database backend is SQL Server. This app will have many (7-10) compute heavy reports, financial statements like Balance Sheets and Income statements. Reports will not have charts/graphs, and will be relatively static after development. Reports will be non interactive, but users can select from multiple parameters before running reports. Must be able to view, print and save as PDF’s.
So any thoughts on technologies for this scenario? I notice that Xojo endorses products like Valentina, BKeeney, Combit . . .

BK Shorts is probably the best. I use it.

Using NCReports, implemented withing the Xojo project.
Available for Windows, Mac and Linux and able to connect to SQL Server.

I should have pointed out that my firewall won’t let me install BKeeney products - (University of Wisconsin) - considers them a virus.

Actual firewall or anti-virus software? Could you send a screenshot of the message and any details you can to That would be super helpful for us!

The demo executables aren’t code-signed, but you could still check out the debug-only demo project!

Symantec complained because BKeeney demo was unsigned (did not pay king’s ransom). I did get around it.

Sounds like you have similar requirements to our own. I developed a trial balance application that I sell nationally and it generates a number of reports, including a full set of financial statements.

About six years ago when we were thinking of moving to Xojo, the one hold up was printing. Because we wanted to develop cross-platform applications, one of our requirements is that reports be consistently printed on both Windows and Mac. We experimented with all the available options and decided to invest the time and resources in MBS’s DynaPDF. It was, and perhaps still is, the only way we could generate the detail that our reports required and the flexibility to print to any available printer or PDF. In fact, we generate all our reports to PDF first, then either open with their default viewer or print directly.

It took some up front work to get the flexibility that we needed, but in the end, we have unbelievable control over the reports we generate. In two of our other applications, we print IRS tax forms and DynaPDF allows us to print data on these reports. I can’t say enough good things about DynaPDF and, at the time, we would have excluded Realbasic as a viable option were it not for DynaPDF.

BTW, Christian is extremely responsible should we run into an issue that needs to addressed.

my gPDF class might also help provide a solution.
It is not as extensive as DynaPDF, but also it is much easier to use and not as expensivie

Um…those are two completely different things and highly inflammatory, in my opinion. Having an unsigned demo is NOT a virus and you did manage to get around it. It’s your employers security policies, and Symantec, that caused your heartache.

If Shorts didn’t meet your needs that’s okay. But don’t make stuff up about it being a virus.

I have to agree with Bob. We’ve had our applications reported as containing viruses many times by various antivirus software. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of antivirus software as they continue to update their definition files. Users can whitelist applications and avoid further confusion and alerts.

In addition, I’ve installed many unsigned applications which were no more infected than my applications.

Some large companies have policies in place that preclude installing unsigned applications, but that does not mean that all unsigned applications are in any way dangerous.

@Joost Rongen: NCReports looks interesting. How does the Xojo app talk to the report?

[quote=375134:@Joost Rongen]Using NCReports, implemented withing the Xojo project.
Available for Windows, Mac and Linux and able to connect to SQL Server.[/quote]

Any info on how to do that? Integrate into xojo I mean.

@Beatrix Willius , @Per Ronny Westereng
It’s not too complex.
NCReport comes with a graphical report designer and a console application for rendering the report, to printer, pdf etc.
From Xojo code you just Shell this console application with all the parameters in order to connect to the right database, using the right report design etc.
@Paul Sondervan and I have plans to write a nice article with a sample project that works in combination with the evaluation package of NCReport. Just need to find the time.

Thanks, Joost. I’ll have a look.

@Joost Rongen Does that mean no preview of the report in the application in you scenario?

I am sure you can create a temp.file and present this to the user before printing out a final report. :wink:

All of the previous options are good cross-platform reporting tools.

A couple of tools that I use for Windows-only applications are the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel programs. The plugin is free and installs with the Xojo IDE. There are a couple of books at Xojo library that have many of the commands and examples for the plugin.

On NC Reports:
Anyone who complains about Xojo apps should take a good long look at any QT app. Not very pretty. But this doesn’t matter as I wanted to have a look at the functionality.

  • Double dmg. What the heck?
  • Not signed.
  • 3 rows of icons in toolbar. But the icons have colors. Okay, the icons make sense.
  • Creation of a report seems straightforward.
  • No manual, though. No help at all.
  • The items in the sections have a fixed height. That correct? If yes, this makes the report designer not for me.

Added: The documentation is on the website. Is it so hard to make a link from the app?

The answer to the first three bullet points is “They’re clearly not Mac developers” :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m here to answer questions about Shorts if anyone has them! Plus, catch my session at XDC to take a look at reporting in Xojo and how to expand upon that with the power of Shorts!

No, this is not the case.

Your evaluation is a bit Short(s) around the corner Beatrix.
NCReport is build by and for developers, you also get the sourcecode once you have a license, so you can setup your own build.

Yes, we had to invest quite some effort to get it working nicely and easy within our xojo projects, but once we had encapsulated everything in a nice class we now can produce every pdf and printer report with ease and quickly.
According to the designer, it’s quite rich but not perfect, you can make complex reports with it. Designs are stored into xml files, so if you want you could also generate these yourself. (I prefer using the designer since layouts can changes often).
And it’s documentation, just poor, but how often have you as a programmer delivered nice documentation with your tailor made programs ? Fortunately, they are helpful and quick with support.
No, I don’t have shares, and there are quite a lot of good and affordable reporting solutions.