[reportlab-users] database reporting

Paul McNett p at ulmcnett.com
Wed Jun 5 00:20:50 EDT 2013

On 6/3/13 3:18 PM, Andy Robinson wrote:

> I just wonder if anyone actually WANTS to do really long

> grouped/banded database reports, or if that's just what the tools have

> encouraged? IMHO when things get long, you may be better to think

> about making a "book" with tables of contents, different presentations

> of information, and not everything in tables. In the past 12 years in

> business, I haven't met a customer who disagrees. At which point,

> ReportLab makes it all possible.

I really like the paradigm of reporting bands (group header/footer for x number of
groups, with absolute or dynamic sizing of objects within each band, and a single
detail band, and objects that can be suppressed and dynamically formatted.

Needing long flowing text that spans pages isn't frequently needed, but it does come
up from time to time. Usually, it's long flowing text of 1-10 lines or so, and you
want the detail from the next record to come right underneath and sometimes that
record's long text will need to flow to the next page because it started near the
bottom of the prior page.

I'm not claiming Dabo's reportwriter is the answer to all needs, but IMHO it does
fill the need of database-banded reports like Crystal Reports, but simpler, more
flexible, and not tightly bound to the database.

The report designer is simplistic, doesn't have all the bells and whistles, and
corner cases are still a bit buggy, but for the most part it does the job. I usually
visually design my reports with the designer and then depending on the task modify
them with vim (it's pretty nicely-formatted and self-explanatory xml) or with the
designer when changes need to be made.

Thanks to ReportLab, I got the banded reporting engine I wanted!

More information about the reportlab-users mailing list