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Introducing the Stand-Alone Designer for .NET Reports (Video)

The Stand-Alone Designer is a new feature in ActiveReports 14. This designer is an excellent resource for creating ad-hoc and WYSIWYG reports. We've made the Stand-Alone Designer the same user interface as the web-based and ActiveReportsJS Designer. Users will have the same experience no matter which they use. There are slight differences between each of the designers, these modifications better suit the platform you are working with.

The organized and modern layout helps users access the features they need for building their reports. Another benefit to the designer is that it’s compatible with all report types, including section reports.

Getting Started with the Stand-Alone Designer

To get started, head over to GrapeCity/ActiveReports to download the new designer.

Once you’ve downloaded ActiveReports, open the ActiveReports 14 Designer application so we can take a look at the design layout.

Stand-Alone Designer Tab Set-up

Taking a look at the Ribbon tab up top, we have a File tab that details how to create a report, close a report, save a report, and load a report. We have also added a recent files section for you to access recent reports.

The Home tab contains all of the reporting elements to build the report.

The Layout tab includes the formatting and layout elements of a report.

The Report tab includes additional functionality to the report such as adding a header, adding a footer, report parameters, embedded images, report properties, stylesheet editor, and master reports.

The Script tab allows you to use custom code and expressions.

Note: In the classic Stand-Alone Designer, the Script tab was located at the bottom of the designer and we moved it up top so that we can keep everything together and organized.

Lastly, we have the Properties pane and Report Library to the right.

If we select the Menu button (up in the top left corner), you'll see the Preview Button, Report Explorer Group Editor, Layers, and Report Controls.

When we head over to the report explorer, you'll see a plus icon that gives you the option to: Add a Data Source, Add a Parameter, Embed an Image, and Embed a StyleSheet.

If you select any of these options, you'll notice that the setup is similar to how it was in the classic Stand-Alone Designer.

Designer Setup for Page Reports

Similar to before, we have the File tab, Home tab, Layout tab, Report tab, Script tab, Properties Pane, and Report Library.

If we select the Menu button up in the left corner, we will be able to see the report explorer and report controls for a section report.

Bind Data to the Section Report

Head over to the Detail section on the report and click the database icon. That will bring up the Data Source Dialog and allow you to begin configuring your data source to your report.

An alternative way of doing this is by selecting "Report" in the report explorer and then heading over to the Properties pane and selecting the drop-down for the Data source property. Select one of the data source providers to bring up the Data Source Dialog.

That's it! If you have any questions about this tutorial or functionality of the Stand-Alone Designer, please leave them in the comment thread below.

Happy coding!

Evan Warren

Technical Engagement Engineer
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