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I need an advice... I googled a lot and I'm a bit lost right now. I'll try to give you all the infos, keeping it short and simple (I hope - and sorry I'm not a native eng speaker):

What we have right now:

A Web App started like 10-15 years ago in ASP Classic + VB + DOT.NET (yes aspx). I think all the people who created this monster are currently not still working in here. So we are slowly migrating it and using new technolgies.... we destroyed the VB part and migrated in the DOT.NET part, we upgraded the framework to 4.7.2, we introduced RESTFUL Web Services and renewed front-end with Angular. Oh and we are using SQL Server and Windows Servers. They liked Microsoft so much ^_^

Last but not least: We need to print a lot of PDFs... and we are currently using a very OLD version of Java + Tomcat + Jasper Report (we got about ~150 jrxml right now).

Okey there are simple ones: just 1 page with header, some infos and a table + footer. Others are a bit more complex and we need to print a lot of parameters/repeated fields. We have usual problems like page number, keep some info togher in a page, page breaks, etc.. and Jasper was doing the job to be honest.

But since we don't use Java in our app and the version is so obsolete... we would like to migrate this "print system" to another -hopefully new- technology.

What we want:

A tool that can read our DB (well can also be ok doing a mini-app in C# who read DB and just pass a JSON to this tool) in order to create and merge PDFs from a template designed by us. Can be a paid one, because we ask much:

  • It must be easy to integrate the tool with our app: So if we have to code: preferred language C# or HTML + Javascript in Node.JS. Open to advices here.

  • Absolutely NO Cloud printer. I read a lot about this services and I think they are cool for a personal use, but we have a lot of sensitive data and don't wanna even talk about privacy problems.

  • It must be Fast and simple the act of creating new templates and most important thing editing existing ones!! We have to edit existing ones constantly... and sometimes is heavy to change the same thing in 100 different templates.

  • So, from the above point, a cool feature could be re-usable/shared parts in multiple templates.

  • Better if this tool got a "visual editor" (like jasper report) and can be used by a 0-skill programmer. (not mandatory this part btw).

  • The final layout is very strict and very important... Usually our customer gives us a Doc in Word telling "it should be like this". We try to replicate it, they print our result in a paper A4 and they tell: "ok this line 1cm down, here I want this word in bold, this other one underlined". etc. I hope you get it.

  • Just to explain better the entire process: The user click a button from our client "Print PDF" -> This button calls the Server API (actually in Java + Tomcat but we would like to do in C# or Node.js) wich calls the DB and get all the parametric stuff, put them in a template (already designed, not runtime generated!), save the file in our file system and streams it back to the Client in a couple of seconds.

Side note: I was playing with a Node.js Server, called from our REST in C# and templates in HTML with a HTML-to-PDF generator. It seems nice but the only problem here - also speaking with my co-workers - is that coming from a visual editor it seems there is too much "manual work" to write and maintain HTML templates!

What do you think? What's the World using for PDF Reporting? Thanks!

  • You say "real time", but you don't have any time requirements. How many µs are acceptable to generate the report? On which RTOS does it need to run? Also, I think the emphasis in the question is wrong. You don't want fast and simple, you actually want templates. – Thomas Weller Jan 30 at 15:04
  • @ThomasWeller Sorry if I explained bad, I'll try to edit the question. In the while I try to explain here: - "fast and simple" is referred to the act of creating a new template and edit existing ones. for us! - With real-time I meant: no background worker / deferred jobs. Just a normal web app response time. You could tell, what's "normal time?" Well, we are not talking about to stop a train to save human lives, but when I click a button on a site "Print PDF" I expect the result should come in a couple of seconds. – MaHaZaeL Jan 30 at 15:18
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Syncfusion Essential DocIO and Syncfusion Essential PDF can be used to generate PDF Reports based on Word documents in web applications with a .NET/Core backend.

Live Sample for Word Document Generation based on template.

Live Sample for converting Word document to PDF.

Word template to PDF Report

The entire product is available for free through the community license program if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue). The community license is the full product with no limitations.

Note: I work for Syncfusion.

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