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Which reporting tool would you recommend for a finely detailed PDF?

I have experience designing and developing sophisticated custom Windows-based and Web-based applications integrated with back-end databases and systems.

I am looking for a reporting tool that can generate finely detailed PDF documents. It needs to be able to use tiny fonts and have almost no margins; landscape orientation. I prefer an easy to use visual user interface. Part of the document will be filled in by code. I also want it to be easy to change as our project will programmatically be filling in more and more of the document over time. 

Are ComponentOne Reports or Active Reports better for this type of application? Open to all suggestions.

Thanks! I appreciate the help. 

ITCS user
99 Answers

author avatar
Top 5Real User

Look for any reporting product that can do pixel level reporting. There are a number and a lot depends on the other features you might want such as does it need to come from a database product or driven out of an application via an API. The easiest to use are generally those that drive off SQL databases as they are the longest established. Even Microsoft's SSRS can do pixel level reporting and has a reasonable visual interface and is aimed at the technical report writer and with the right SQL Server license is probably free and lots of people use it. Not the greatest product but available expertise, established and reasonably stable. If you're not coming of SQL Server then you need to look at 3rd party reporting packages.

Jaspersoft - open source with commercial support model - has pixel-level reporting and will interface with most databases if you're trying to minimize $. All the mainstream products that do more corporate reporting have pixel-level reporting but they can be rather expensive. There are a million and one rats and mice reporting products that look reasonable but have poor market penetration and invariably die so try and avoid one of those.

author avatar
Top 20Vendor

Depending on what else you'd like to do Exago BI could be a good choice. Embedded BI developed specifically for SaaS applications and combining ad hoc operational reporting (pixel perfect) as well as templates (word/pdf/excel merge) and visualizations within one solution. Most often white-labeled it would be a seamless reporting experience for your end-users.

author avatar

You may want to check out CALUMO: https://www.calumo.com/. CALUMO gives you PDF output from the WEb, Excel, Word, or PowerPoint. It's gets used for created comprehensive and detailed report packs, often in PDF form. It even offers a High-Resolution output for printing. Let me know if you want more info.

author avatar

I think you're best option would be Windward Studios. Their layout engine is industry tested and will easily handle your use-cases going to PDF . Their biggest advantage IMO is the Designer tool, it integrates with Microsoft Office as an add-on. This means you can use a WYSIWG style interface to insert tags and expressions into regular Word documents even ones with complex themes and styles. Then they get populated by engine when its time to generate with live data. Most of the programmatic behavior is encapsulated during the design phase of the document which makes it easier to change in the future.

author avatar

I recommend Crystal Reports, from there it can be converted to pdf.

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardConsultant

The PDF exporter service from Microstrategy has all of the PDF tools that you should need.

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

We use paginated reporting in Power BI to create excel style reporting with detailed control over font size etc.  The downside is you will need Power BI premium to make it available to a wide audience.  Hope this helps.

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Active Reports seems promising when you need wide support of export formats (pdf included), also it is modern style report with full js support.

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