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Why PrintDAT!?

Contrary to popular belief,
creating reports does not have to be like root canal

Why PrintDAT!?

PrintDAT! was created out of necessity in order to fill a major void in the programming language. Grids are the cornerstone of all database applications. They are essential in getting the data from the database and onto the computer screen. Unfortunately once on the screen there is no easy way to print the grid or export it to another program. This logical link of getting the data from the grid to the report is missing.

Programmers have been filling this gap by using report writers to do the job. Unfortunately report writers are either too complicated and have a steep learning curve, or are too laborious and designing reports becomes nothing less than manual labor. Ask any novice programmer any they'll probably tell you writing reports is one of their greatest obstacles and most can't understand why it has to be so darned difficult. At the other end of the spectrum, power programmers who have mastered report writers will find writing reports too time consuming and it slows down their productivity to a crawl.

In order to come up with a better solution we must first recognize the problems that are inherent in conventional report writers when they try to create a columnar report.

Conventional Report Writer Inadequacies
Creating a columnar report with a conventional report writer is a lot of hard work. The programmer must:

  • Create a new report unit
  • Link the unit to the program
  • Add the proper dataset to the report
  • Drag & drop fields from the dataset onto the report
  • Coax the fields into position
  • Adjust the column widths to reflect the underlying data
  • Try and allow enough space for the memo fields
  • Try and squeeze the columns together so all of the columns can fit across on the page
  • If the columns don't fit, choose a smaller font for the fields and reposition all the fields
  • Hardcode in the calculations or formulas to calculate the column totals
  • If more columns are added to the grid or dataset, add the new fields to the report by redoing most of the steps listed above!

 

Arghh! It's no wonder programmers don't like writing reports. It's too much hard work. Programmers can spend half a day doing a couple of reports. Not only that, but a lot of this work may seem like deja vu because they're already done the same work when they designed their database grids. Why on earth would anyone want to do it all over again? The information is already in the grid, why replicate it again for a report?

The Solution
Since you already have a grid with all of the information in it, why not use that to create the report? What we need is a smart report component that will quickly produce reports directly from a grid so the report will have all of the fields properly formatted, positioned and error free the very first time the report is printed. This smart report component would eliminate all of the steps outlined above so the report can be completed in just a few seconds. Does this all sound like magic? Will a report component ever be smart enough to do all this?

Get Instant Reports Today!
You don't have to wait years or even months for this technology to be developed. It's here today! PrintDAT! is the missing link that programmers have been waiting for. PrintDAT! effortlessly creates reports directly from Delphi grids or datasets.

Our motto is

"If you have a grid, you have a report"

Memorize this statement and let it become your mantra because it will save you hours of work each week and hundreds of hours a year. If you have PrintDAT! on your component palette, every time you see a grid you should also see the opportunity to produce an Instant Report. Forget about the antiquated and laborious methods of using report writers to print a grid. Let your competitors use manual labor if they want to, but you have better things to do with your time. PrintDAT! can design and print a grid report in as little as a couple seconds and with only 1 line of code. Yes, we did say a couple of seconds. It doesn't get any easier than this!™

How PrintDAT! Works
PrintDAT! is much easier to use than a report writer because it is a dialog component. Dialog components are easy to use because you DO NOT need to create a new unit to store the report. We made PrintDAT! intelligent so it will do most, if not all of the work for you. All you need to do is drop the PrintDAT! component onto your form that has the grid, and double click it to see the report. What could be easier than that?

PrintDAT! does all of the field positioning, it calculates the column widths, eliminates wasted white space by adding columns to fill the entire width of the page, automatically wordwraps longs strings and memos fields so they don't occupy too much column width, and it will also perform shrink to page so adding a few extra columns to the report is a snap. For the really wide reports, PrintDAT! can create horizontal page breaks to print grids up to 1,000 columns across which is large enough to wall paper your office.. Plus there are dozens of report options that can be changed at runtime without having to modify or recompile the program. PrintDAT! can also produce column totals at runtime, and there are no messy formulas to enter because it is all built into the component. You can even create and run the report without leaving the Delphi IDE. Because PrintDAT! is a VCL component, there are no additional DLL's or Active-X components needed. PrintDAT! compiles the report directly into your program's exe file so it is super fast and super secure.

Improve Your Productivity
Because PrintDAT! has a very low learning curve, novice programmers will become productive very quickly and will start producing reports in just seconds. The productivity of power users will also increase dramatically because they no longer need to use manual labor to create their columnar reports. They can see the results in seconds and custom tailor it using PrintDAT!'s runtime options.

Print all these cmponents
PrintDAT! can print the following components:

  • TdbGrid, 
  • TStringGrid,
  • TListBox,
  • TListView
  • TTable,
  • TQuery,
  • TDataSet,
  • TDecisionGrid,
  • TDecisionQuery,
  • TClientDataSet (Midas compatible)
  • InfoPower's TwwDbGrid, TwwTable, TwwQuery.
  • *ExpressGrid™ from Developer Express Inc.


* - PrintDAT! Source code required to print these components.

3rd party database engines with tables descended from a TDataSet can be printed with PrintDAT!. If the database engine does not use a TDataSet, then the PrintDAT! source code can be modified to print it.

Plus, if you have a special grid or dataset that isn't currently printable by PrintDAT!, our source code manual has a tutorial that demonstrates how your 3rd party grid or dataset can be printed.

Test drive PrintDAT! for yourself.

Demo Program
Visit our download page and download the self running demo. This .exe program has over a dozen sample reports that demonstrates the power of PrintDAT!. Just download it and run it. The demo can also print the data from your very own tables and will even export it to MS Excel using ASCII delimited output.

Evaluation Component
The download page also has a PrintDAT! evaluation component so you can install it in your own application to print your existing grids or datasets. This evaluation component has a 4 page limit and a copyright notice at the bottom of each page. Apart from that it is identical to the real thing.

Order PrintDAT! today
If you're tired of spending too much time writing columnar reports, we've got the solution you're looking for.

The PrintDAT! component can be ordered online using a Visa/MasterCard on our secure order form (SSL) with data encryption. We will then e-mail you the password and serial number so you can download the PrintDAT! component and start using it right away. You'll be able to create more meaningful reports by the end of business today, than most people can in a week!

PrintDAT! simplifies report writing and saves time

Isn't it about time you got yours?

For a list of PrintDAT!'s capabilities see the features page.

 

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Site updated Friday, April 21, 2006