Report generator options for a Winforms app?

I’m selecting a report generator for my .NET winforms app and it’s driving me crazy. I’m not familiar at all with report generators so…

Does anyone knows of a report generator that:

1.- Is easy to deploy in relation to the main app

a. (Least, least, least desirable) Have a separate scriptable/silent installer (I can make the app installer call the report generator installer)

b. (I can live with this) Have an “integrable” installer (An integrated installer for both the App and the report generator can be made easily)

c. (Most desirable) Clickonce/xcopy installation possible (no installer at all!!! yay!!!!).

2.- Is scriptable to some degree:

a. (I can live with this) Is it possible to change certain properties (image sources, colors, visibility, widths, etc.) at runtime?

b. (Most desirable) Is it possible –in addition to the previous item- to add/remove elements to the report at runtime?

3.- Self-adjusts when you resize the page:

a. (Least desirable) You have to manually resize things dynamically accessing the report structures (related to 2a)

b. (Most desirable) The report and its elements adjust automatically to the available canvas/paper size (as HTML pages do, using percentages)

4.- The size of individual elements in the report grows/shrinks in accordance to the content displayed inside (elements could be grid’s columns):

a. (Least desirable) The element only grows vertically to accommodate bigger content (no clipping).

b. The size of the elements can be self-adjusting to content (like a <div> element). Columns in a grid for example should grow/shrink according to content (as in a HTML <table> element without columns widths)

5.- It should be possible to export a report to at least excel and PDF.

6.- The report viewer should support languages other than English.

I don’t know if my needs are unrealistic, but report generators are not my thing, I’m at a loss here.

Anyone with experience on the field can give me any pointer in the right direction for me to investigate?


We use DevExpress' XtraReports which works in WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF and Silverlight. It is fully featured and should be capable of most if not all of what you are wanting. Find out more here:

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