Reports

This document describes the overall design of the reporting mechanism of modernized applications.

This document assumes knowledge of modernized application concepts such as DataManagerControl(TODO ADD LINK TO DATAMANAGER DOC). Also basic knowledge of concepts from the original platform is required.

Overview of report processing in the original platform

In PowerBuilder reports are DataWindows that are created for printing. Some kinds of DataWindows are usually used as reports (for example: Label, Composite) . However all other kinds of DataWindows (ex. FreeForm) could also be used as reports. The rendering process is performed in-process by the runtime environment..

In the modernized application the DataWindows are converted to DataManagers (TODO LINK TO DATAMANAGER DOC). DataManager classes are converted to C# , For example a simple DataManager looks like this:

[Mobilize.WebMap.Common.Attributes.Observable]
public partial class d_my_report
: Mobilize.Web.DataManager, Mobilize.Web.IDataManager
{
[Mobilize.WebMap.Common.Attributes.Intercepted]
public Mobilize.Web.DmText name_t { get; set; }
[Mobilize.WebMap.Common.Attributes.Intercepted]
public Mobilize.Web.DmColumn _name { get; set; }
...
public d_my_report()
: base()
{
...
this.PrintSpecification.PrinterName = "";
this.PrintSpecification.DocumentName = "";
this.PrintSpecification.Orientation = Mobilize.Web.CaseExtensions.String("0");
this.PrintSpecification.Margin.Left = 110;
this.PrintSpecification.Margin.Right = 110;
this.PrintSpecification.Margin.Top = 96;
this.PrintSpecification.Margin.Bottom = 96;
this.PrintSpecification.Paper.Source = 0;
this.PrintSpecification.Paper.Size = 0;
...
this.name_t = new Mobilize.Web.DmText();
this.name_t.Band = Mobilize.Web.CaseExtensions.String("detail");
this.name_t.Alignment = 1;
this.name_t.Text = "Name:";
this.name_t.Border = 0;
this.name_t.Color = "33554432";
this.name_t.X = 37;
this.name_t.Y = 4;
this.name_t.Height = 64;
this.name_t.Width = 174;
this.name_t.Name = Mobilize.Web.CaseExtensions.String("name_t");
this.name_t.Visible = true;
this.name_t.Font.FontFace = "Tahoma";
this.name_t.Font.Height = -10;
...
this.name_t.Background.Color = "536870912";
this._name = new Mobilize.Web.DmColumn();
this._name.Band = Mobilize.Web.CaseExtensions.String("detail");
...
}
}

DataManager instances are converted at runtime to the format used for rendering the report. The following sections describe the process of converting these objects to a PDF representation of the report.

Rendering in the target platform

A modernized application uses Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (henceforth referred as SRSS) reporting technology. This solution offers a lot of services for creating and interacting with reports. More information about this solution see MSDN What is SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)? .

The main way to use SRSS is to use a set server side web services. These services are used to render and store reports (more information see MSDN Report Server Web Service Methods ). Modernized applications do not use these webservices and do not require using the SRSS server side process. Instead of this, modernized applications use the ReportViewer ASP.NET control to convert a report definition and data to a PDF document . This ReportViewer control is provided by Microsoft WebForms ReportViewer Control .

Microsoft reporting services solution uses the Report Definition Language (henceforth referred as RDL) for defining reports. This language is specified here: Report Definition Language (SSRS) .

ReportWatcher service

Modernized applications target the .NET Core development and execution environment. This environment provides flexibility and performance features such as cross platform execution, flexible deployment, modern development tools,etc. More information can be found here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/about .

Since .NET Core is a new implementation of the .NET environment, there is no binary compatibility with existing .NET assemblies. There are APIs defined in the full .NET Framework that are not compatible with .NET Core. This is true for Microsoft's ReportViewer.As described in the previous section, this is the component used to render report . This component depends on the ASP.NET WebForms infrastructure. Having a direct dependency in this control implies that the modernized application cannot take advantage of the .NET Core features. This is the reason of having an external service that take care of rendering the report. This service is called ReportWatcher.

The ReportWatcher service is a small webservice dedicated to render reports on modernized applications. It has a dependency on ReportViewer and the full .NET Framework. This service can be hosted on a server different from the one that runs the modernized application. When a report needs to be rendered, the modernized application invokes this web service with everything required to render the report (report definition and data) and returns a PDF .

More information how to configure or use this service is provided in the following sections.