Well, here we are; my first blog post on the ComponentOne site and I’ve got good news for our ActiveReports developers. ActiveReports 7 is now available for download and purchase!
First, I’ll quickly introduce myself. I’m a Product Manager at ComponentOne working on ActiveReports (among other things); and I’ll be here to blog about all sorts of things ActiveReports related. You can read a few posts over at the older ClubFarPoint blogs where I briefly introduced the biggest new reporting feature, Fixed Page Layout (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).
To recap from those posts: Fixed Page Layout (FPL) is a brand new reporting layout engine that isn’t available in any other .NET reporting tool! Its purpose is to give you complete control over the final layout of your report, making it incredibly easy to create reports that resemble traditional printed forms and reports. Stuff like: invoices, tax forms, bills, prospectus reports, etc.
How easy did we make it? Well, see for yourself! Here is a screenshot of the report in the designer, and when previewed.
You’ll notice a couple things right away. We’ve defined our table, and then under it is a gray shaded area. And to the right of it, is a large rectangular cutout, which if you view the large image you’ll see has the text “Table1 Overflow Placeholder” in it. In the preview those two areas are filled (well, mostly filled on the right) with the contents of the table.
So now you know what an overflow placeholder is for, it takes the data from a data region (such as a table or matrix, or any other data region that can grow) and continues it in another space designated for it. In this particular case if the area on the right were to be filled up we would create a new copy of the page and begin filling data in all over again.
That is a very simple example of what FPL does for report authors, it makes it easy to design a layout and know what its going to look like in the end. There is so much more to talk about in FPL and the other features in AR7 but I’ll save those for posts over the next few days!
‘Til next time!