Printing Web based reports with Crystal Reports for Visual Studio

See this useful whitepaper from Crystal Decisions on printing web-based Crystal Reports (originally located here).

Overview:

  1. Export report to printer-ready format (like pdf, rtf), let the client-side application for this format handle printing.
  2. Print the report directly to a printer connected to the server (obviously wont work for a publicly accessible web-app…but if the application is only used within one network, this can help you to avoid forcing users to open 3 of 4 windows on-screen in order to print one report)
  3. Print client-side from within web browser (not as pretty as pdf or rtf, but if you want to provide a printing method that 100% of your users can take advantage of, you need to consider this

Some vb.net code samples are included in the white paper.

Combine Web and Windows Services to Run Your ASP.NET Code at Scheduled Intervals

See the article with this title from MSDN Magazine’s March 2005 issue.

The basic flow of the article:

  1. Create a Web Service that will be called to run the jobs
  2. Create a Windows Service that will call the web service at specified intervals. Create installation package.
  3. Create classes that inherit from a Job class for each job that will need to be run
  4. Set up interface with database to store job timing, populate the job classes when needed
  5. Hook up the jobs to the web service

It does seem to be a little bit more complicated than is needed (the core of it all is the Web Service and Windows Service). However, it does give a very scalable solution for scheduling jobs in ASP.net – once the initial setup is defined, adding jobs will be pretty simple and it should work pretty well.

Schedule Games

Check out this the Schedule Games series from Johanna Rothman at Managing Product Development (found this via Daily Grind 617):

  1. Schedule Chicken
  2. 90% Done
  3. Bring Me a Rock
  4. Hope is Our Most Important Strategy
  5. Queen of Denial
  6. Sweep Under the Rug
  7. Schedule Dream Time or Happy Date
  8. Pants on Fire
  9. Schedule == Commitment
  10. We’ll Know where we are when we get There
  11. The Schedule Tool is always Right
  12. Acknowledgements

Lots of great advice here. Luckily I have not yet had the misfortune to fall into any of the described situations too seriously…but it’s good to know what to look out for.

Grokker

Cool new search visualisation from Groxis. Displays the results of a search graphically, grouping similar search results into specific areas by subject. Try out these searches for ASP.net, Bill Gates or Object Oriented. See the NYT article (reg required).

Currently displaying results of Yahoo! searches only, it is only a matter of time before more innovative displays of results appear on other search engines. Of course, others are already taking advantage of the the open-ness of Google Maps to do some pretty funky stuff.