Software and Technology Ramblings

July 12, 2006

Reporting Services 2005 and non-IE Browsers

Filed under: Coding - .Net — Doug Hays @ 12:07 pm

I have decided to leverage Microsoft’s Reporting Services 2005 as the PositiveWare reporting engine.  The thought was that I would have a quick way to crank out reports and be able to easily export them to PDF and Excel. Its amazing how, out of all of the features of a reporting engine, exporting to PDF/Excel seems to be the most important feature.

 Anyways, I was fairly pleased with Reporting Services as a graphical tool to build reports.  But here are some shortcomings of RS2005:

  1. No real CSS support
  2. SOAP method of rendering reports doesn’t easily support drill-down and drill-through
  3. Horrible rendering in non-IE browsers

Well, in true developing-with-Microsoft-tools style, I have spent the majority of my time working around these issues.  The first issue I’m just ignoring and the second issue I have coded around by re-writing the HTML as it passes through my app after the SOAP call.

 The third issue is an odd one. In Safari and FireFox, the resulting report tables are very ’scrunched’.  Each column is about 5 characters wide… It was a mystery for a month until I found this marvelous tip:

I found a workaround for this, insert an empty
text  box and size it to the required width
of your page. Set the 'Can Grow' property
to False. This will fix the width of the
table cell used to render the report content.

 I tried it, and sure enough, it works in FireFox.  Off to test Safari…

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