I need a reporting solution to design a report which should execute on the click on a button and create a multi page printout.

Background: For security analysis of customer networks I collect data in a PostgreSQL database. Afterwards I need to create an executive summary on various issues which I need to print out in a nice report. Each issue is described in a few lines of text and an additional graphic.

I tried Crystal Reports but the graph options are very limited and also very poor looking. Most other tools I looked at (Qlikview, Tableau, ...) focus on interactive Dashboard reporting which is not what I need.

Any recommendation (Free or commercial) is welcome.

EDIT: Platform = Windows

Thanks in advance.

  • What OS should it run on? Maybe you could edit your question and add the corresponding tag (unless you have all of them running, so it doesn't matter)?
    – Izzy
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 11:17
  • @Izzy, Crystal Reports!!! Windows Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 11:29
  • @NilayVishwakarma Just that he tried it doesn't necessarily mean he's got no other options (though Christian just confirmed he wants it for Windows ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 13:29

6 Answers 6


You can use BIRT (Wikipedia, official website) :

  • free and open source
  • Cross-platform (visual report designer within the Eclipse IDE)
  • support all common DBMS provided that you have the JDBC Driver
  • demo

enter image description here

  • Looks like a really good alternative. Also not very fancy or modern gfx but at least inexpensive. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 12:20

You may try Active Reports by ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity.

Features of Active Reports:

  1. Multiple Report Types to Fit Your Reporting Needs: Fixed Page Layout provides developers with a new way of creating reports where layout is the primary focus. Great for creating invoices, prospectus reports, forms, or other highly structured reports. Continuous Page Layout makes it easy to create reports using tables, crosstabs, charts, and other data regions with flexible layouts.

  2. Data Visualization: This include simple listing or groups with keep-together control, master-detail reports, sub-reports, horizontal and vertical multi-column reports, address labels and badges, or richly formatted letters with mail merge support. Simple and lightweight report controls allow you to easily create dazzling reports.

  3. Data Binding .NET data sources allow you to connect to any of the standard databases, plus .NET in-memory objects and collections. In addition, the unbound data mode opens up the report to data from anywhere, in any form. If your application can access it, so can the report engine.

  4. Visual Studio Integrated Design Time Support

  5. Support for Migration from Other Reporting Tools

  6. Global Options and Localization Support

7. Embed great looking, highly customized charts.

Alternatively, you may try C1Reports, which is a part of ComponentOne Studio for Winforms

Features of C1Reports:

The C1Report control reads report definitions stored in XML files, combines them with data from ADO/DAO recordsets or custom data sources, and generates reports that can be previewed, printed, or saved to files. It can create reports in HTML, DHTML, PDF, and Text file formats, as well as in a native VSPrinter7 format. The VSReport7 control supports most features found in Microsoft Access reports, such as:

  1. A Microsoft Access-style banded-report model based on Groups, Sections, and Fields

  2. Fields may be bound to simple and binary (object) database fields

  3. Fields may contain expressions, including extensions for aggregate expressions (Sum, Max, Average, etc.), and have access to the control's object model

  4. Reports may contain event handlers, making them independent of the host application

  5. Reports may contain subreports

  6. Reports may contain parameterized queries, allowing your users to customize the report by adding/limiting the data that should be included in the report

  7. Report definitions may be saved within the control at design time, or loaded at run time from XML report definition files

  8. Adds powerful, flexible database reporting to your applications.

  • Thanks for the suggestion ... but if I read correctly, ActiveReports is not available as a standalone solution but only as a .net embedded control? Or am I missing something? Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 12:01
  • The designer provided by AR is standalone. Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 3:28
  • You can also see Active Reports Server Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 17:53

Docmosis might suit your requirements - Tornado in particular because it runs as a web server (standalone) and provides a web service API meaning it's accessible / automatable. It is intended to provide document production from your application's control - your application has the data (from your PostgreSQL database) and calls the Docmosis api with the relevant data, output requirements and template to merge the data into.

It doesn't have graph-production built in however - just images. This means if you need to chart data you would have to use some other library to generate the charts then feed them with your data to Docmosis.

Please note I work for Docmosis.

I hope that helps.


Most reporting products will do what you want, to a greater or lesser degree. As you have already discovered, Crystal Reports has mediocre charting and so you need to look at what reporting products do this well.

Windward Reports (disclaimer, I'm the founder at Windward) is probably what you need. I say probably because while we have stunning charts, you may have other requirements that we don't meet. (We probably do, but you never know...)

The key attribute of Windward is you design the reports in Microsoft Word, Excel, and/or PowerPoint. So if you can get the look you want with those, then Windward can give you stunning reports.

And you are correct that the B.I. tools are not what you're looking for - they solve a different problem. It's reporting that you need.


DISCLAIMER: I'm a DBxtra evangelist.

From your description, i think that you want something that is ready to go and easy to use, so you should definitely try DBxtra, which is both; and moreover you can schedule your reports to be sent to your customers by email automatically every certain time (for example, every month), or you can let them view them in the web with any web browser.


You may try Stimulsoft Reports. Stimulsoft Reports.Ultimate is a versatile set of tools for creating reports. Various platforms – JS, ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Java, PHP, WinForms, WPF, Azure, Silverlight, and WinRT. Complete set of feature-rich components for designing stunning reports. Texts, images, charts, gauges, bar-codes, primitives and many more can now be immediately used in your reports.

Samples to easily create your application can be found here.

I work at Stimulsoft.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.