Recommendation for client-side reporting

Recommendation for client-side reporting


I am attempting to replace a legacy win32/web solution which uses List&Label for desktop reports, and SSRS for web reports with something from OutSystems 10 (available in both web+native)

Our clients need to have:

  • enter report parameters (eg date range; customer; product)
  • generate reports
  • view inside the browser
  • email to colleagues
  • export to PDF/EXCEL

I asked in another post if anyone was using List&Label which led me to search the forum. I have read these posts to try and gain understanding of what I could or should use

The distinction above seem to be between ASP.NET controls (mix of client/server) and pure client side controls.

And the recommendation seems to be to find a pure client-side solution.

Any specific recommendations please? What products are you using?

Hello Alan,

In OutSystems, I would build those reports with the Charts components. Even if you need to build them to be interactive, it is still possible!

Have you considered it?

Yes I have considered Charts, and are using them on some dashboard style pages.

But our users are 

  • less interested in charts, and more interested in data. 
  • They don't want a little dashboard with a few charts and indicators. They want a report with many columns and rows. 
  • they are less interested in viewing online; more interested in printing out or analyzing further with Excel

A TableRecords page could be used except it would need multi-level with details and multiple group headers with summation. 

Ideally I'm looking at the same type of reports that SSRS or List&Label can produce -- just using OutSystems instead.

i.e. what is similar to SSRS (or XtraReports) but not using controls and able to be used with OutSystems?

Fair enough. I have never done such a report in OutSystems. I'm not aware of any OS component that is available out there to achieve that. Maybe if you could point out a mock or an image that one could look at to advise would help. For example, this one here would be simple to achieve in OutSystems, but that is only charts, which is not your use case.

"they are less interested in viewing online; more interested in printing out or analyzing further with Excel"

BI by Excel. Your worst nightmare.

Indeed Kilian, but we need to understand that, if users want it, it's maybe cause we're not covering their full use case. Could it be a side effect of bad UX?


As I understand it, Alan is porting a legacy system. So very likely in the legacy system it worked like this, and users just want what they're used to, as opposed to a radically different (but better) design. I've seen this before, where to be succesful with an implementation, you need to implement a sub-optimal solution. Catch-22...

Yep, I understood that. I was diverting from your the original question and wondering on the causes, based on your previous comment...

You are correct in that the client wants all the existing functionality however appropriate or not that may be. 

However once that is delivered they are very open to new features being implemented in a new manner. 

But the question remains of how best to implement the existing print reports? Is there an equivalent of ssrs which is client based rather than using controls? 

Heya Alan,

Could you tell me why there is need for an upgrade/conversion at all?

If the biggest chunk of work is done in Excel, I really don't see any advantage to rebuild an application to web

(don't get me wrong, you should use Outsystems, but I am really curious)

But perhaps we misunderstand your use-case.

You could easily create awesome html with outsystems and you have to design the reporting-configurations yourself.

You can create screen to build templates where you create reports from.

That is really doable in Outsystems including the export2excel possibility.

so, back to your original question:

  1. enter report parameters (eg date range; customer; product)
  2. generate reports
  3. view inside the browser
  4. email to colleagues
  5. export to PDF/EXCEL

1. Easy, by creating filters, 100% easy in outsystems 

2. You can build webblocks/screenbs that will be the reports, 100% in outsystems 

3. it is already in the browser, so 100% 

4. depends what you mean by emailing, you can for example email the link to the report so that is also 100% doable in outsystems 

5. with forge components you can do that as well

In short, no need for List&Label or SRSS, you can build it with outsystems!!!

new templates for new reports you simply add new webblocks/webscreens to the application, with 1 click you can have it changed.

Hi. The main use case is printing out reports, the old fashioned way. 

The second main use case is exporting to pdf, emailing to client. Some clients will then archive to external storage either USB drive, or the cloud. 

 The third use case is exporting the report to excel for further analysis. 

The common thread is that every report can be previewed, printed, saved to pdf, and exported to excel. 

Follow J.'s suggestions and I think you'll be ok with it.

Thank you for your suggestions. I will take a couple of our reports (we have 100-200 reports) and try recreating with web blocks directly inside OutSystems and see what problems I encounter.

Keep us posted!