ActiveReports is a .NET reporting tool used by developers of WinForms and ASP.NET applications. It was originally developed by Data Dynamics, which was then acquired by GrapeCity. ActiveReports is a set of components and tools that facilitates the production of reports to display data in documents and web-based formats. It is written in managed C# code and allows Visual Studio programmers to leverage their knowledge of C# or Visual Basic.NET when programming with ActiveReports.
Among the components included with ActiveReports are exports to file formats such as PDF, Excel, RTF, and TIFF. The main components are a Visual Studio integrated report designer, and an API that developers use to create customized reports from a variety of data sources. ActiveReports Standard Edition also includes a Visual Query Designer, a customizable Windows Viewer control, an HTML5 Viewer control, and a WPF Viewer control.
The integrated report designer handles three types of reports:
- Section Reports with banded sections like the original ActiveReports (reminiscent of Microsoft Access reports)
- Page Reports with a fixed layout for forms
- RDL Reports with a continuous page layout like the original Data Dynamics Reports (uses Report Definition Language)
The Professional Edition of ActiveReports includes the Standard Edition tools plus an End-User Report Designer control that developers use to host the report designer in their own Microsoft Windows applications to let end users create and modify reports. It also includes a server-side ASP.NET web viewer with Flash, PDF, and HTML viewer types; ASP.NET HTTP Handlers that export reports to HTML or PDF format without custom code; a Silverlight viewer; and advanced PDF encryption and rendering features.