Reporting feature in Xojo

Hello,

Coming from VB6 & Delphi background I have always felt that reporting designing and printing feature of Xojo is very weak. In fact I can venture to say that it is very crude and unusable especially when it comes to building complex reports.

In spite of this limitation of Xojo I have been reading that people are using it for 20 long years!!

The only impressive software that I have seen built in Xojo and using MonkeyBread components is Fundy.

Has anyone on this forum built any database oriented business application which require lots of printing of invoices, delivery receipts, client ledgers, item stock report, aged customer outstanding report, etc.?

Personally I have always avoided using Xojo when it comes to building any descent business application which requires printing. I have built a few very small software/utilities which do not require printing at all.

What is the take of the community on this?

Bob Keeney had a very good reporting tool called Shorts, but it was API1. Which is one of the reasons users got so upset with Xojo - the introduction of API2 made 20 years of code and tutorials obsolete.

Bib sold Shorts to a user who used it a lot, and they open-sourced it. No idea if it has been updated for API2, but I’m sure you can find out.

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In addition to BK Shorts, many have used Paradigma’s Valentina Reports. Note that Paradigma makes both a database server product and a reporting product. You don’t need the database product to use the reports.

It’s a lot pricier, especially since it’s a subscription license like Xojo, but you get a ton of functionality for the price. You need the Pro version of their Studio for your development platform, plus a Report ADK for each platform you compile for. Also, it can be intimidating/difficult to get it setup and integrated with your app, especially since the documentation is not always clear or easily accessible and the developers are Russian (though some if not all of them are located in the USA).

I have been using Valentina Reports for many years, and they have continuously updated and added features over that time, but I still run into situations where I can’t get it to do exactly what I want, or it takes a lot of hoop jumping to get there. That’s where a product like BK Shorts might be better as I think you can tweak it a lot easier in these cases.

Sort of between these two, I have started producing my own reports using HTML. I’ve built up a library of functions to make it easier (for me) to produce HTML in Xojo, and use a command-line converter to produce PDFs when needed.

The question is when Xojo will come up with a reporting tool. They could do it. May be it would make Xojo more attractive.

The reporting is just a way to lure developpers to Xojo, but it is a Joke.

Printing in Xojo SUCKS

I have done some of them. Preview in a Canvas and the Output with a Mix of Direct to PDF and Direct to the printer using declares

No they did not open source it… You are thinking of the formatted text Control.

For Shorts see:

They want 299 Euros, and I bet it is still API1.

-Karen

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Oops - yes, thanks Karen. You are of course entirely correct. Shows how much I’m using Xojo nowadays …

I have been building reports using html and output to pdf using wkhtmltopdf.

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I just create them as PDFs… But they have been mostly short (1 page) tables. I threw together crude PDF table creation class and manually laid out the rest of then page content in code including header and footer (I use Bjorn’s PDF plugin not Xojo’s implementation - don’t trust it yet)…

So far that has been enough for my very modest needs.

I see no point to directly printing in xojo… To display I use an HTML viewer for the PDF…

It would be better if I could do it in a canvas, but I’m not about to buy the expensive version of the MBS DynaPDF plugin just do that!

-Karen

I create reports the same way that Trisha does, by using HTML. HTML is fast, does what I want, can easily be modified and printed.

I even create some module that read a tblReport and create a columnar and tabular report which can be set as landscape or portrait and set the column header ( multi language) with matching fields from table and the label name. also can include subtotal and grand total and also group heading.

So when client one a new report, I create the sql statement and then create a new entry and put the query in and then setup all the other things and get a new report in 2 mins (depends on how complicate the query is)

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I print to pdf since… far before Xoj (far before 2013). Works like a charm.

I have a charity entity who print from sqlite db (black and white | colours) and there are a bit less than 2,000 entries (last time I checked). The application is generated with Xojo 2015r1 (it was running originally on Windows XP, then Windows 7 and Windows 10 - now Windows 11 is released…-). I tested the print to pdf, I think they printed directly to a Colour Laser. The first page is a introduction page (Charity logo, db file dates, # of Records, etc.). I think there is also a page number and print date at the bottom (left / right)…

This is what is the nearest to a report.

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I was always in the hope that they will implement a reporting engine to Xojo but whey were not doing it. Maybe in the future. Until that moment I am also using PDF for printing reports wile it is the only simple implementation of reporting.

can’t remember when I started using the wkhtmltopdf… it was after on-target report cease to exist.
so maybe real studio time or start of Xojo

“YOU ARE ENTERING IN THE XOJO WORLD: ABANDON ANY HOPE HERE !”
I forgot where I read that (with something else, not Xojo). :rofl:

That said, in 2004, Toby Rush (El Professor) shared code to create PDFs inside REALbasic…

Still available here:
https://www.tobyrush.com/old/software/rbclasses/realbasicpdf.html

very few changes to make it run (change the file Extension to rbp to load the project) …

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And the hope became somehow a bit more true: If not Xojo there is often a user which has done the Job fully!!! Thank you @JeanYves

It seems many of you developers have worked very hard to add reporting facility (engine) to Xojo.

And I take it that most of you all are working in non Windows OS.

If you are working on Windows do check out open source Report Manager.

It is really powerful. I had used it in one project in VB6, ages ago.

I have found alternative to Xojo for myself so I hardly every use Xojo now a days except for maintenance of a few old projects.

I will just relate my experience with alternate tools below:

Personally I have enjoyed using FileMaker in one project. Actually it was demanded by our client and our client also provided us the license.

I can say it is a treat to use and very easy to learn. The amount of coding involved is very less compared to tools like Xojo, FreeBasic, etc. Its reporting is just fabulous! I built the whole application in Windows and then finally deployed it to Mac OS. And the surprising thing is that the software just works like a charm in both OSs without having to make any special provisions for different OSs!

Currently I am playing with Lianja (community edition) and MixLangz Pro Edition.

I am also toying with B4X. But I cannot find any Visual Reporting tool being available in it. And it is outputting final software in JAVA so as per my understanding one will require to ship JRE when deploying to client’s PC. So technically it means that the developed final product will run on any OS for which there is a JRE available.

Finally I am keeping an eye on TwinBasic and I feel it has a promising future.

Actually Valentina Reporting is very costly. One has to pay $599 for Xojo ADK. Way toooooo much :money_mouth_face:

If its the right tool then the $ is not the issue esp if you’re creating software for clients.
That license becomes part of the cost of creating the software.

Same as your other client providing the Filemaker licenses