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Add an End-User Report Designer to an ASP.NET Core Application

  • 7 minutes to read

This tutorial describes how to add the Report Designer control to a web application that uses .NET 5, .NET Core 3.1, or .NET Core 2.1 framework.

Prerequisites

.NET 5.0 .NET Core 3.1 .NET Core 2.1
Visual Studio 2019 v16.9 or later Visual Studio 2019 v16.4 or later Visual Studio 2017 v15.3 or later

Create an ASP.NET Core MVC Web Application

  1. Create a new project in Visual Studio and select ASP.NET Core Web App (Model-View-Controller) on the start page as a project template.

    Select ASP.NET Core Web App (Model-View-Controller) template

    Click Next.

  2. Specify the application name (WebApplication1), location, target framework and other options, and click Create.

Manage Packages and Libraries

Follow the steps below to install NuGet packages:

  1. Right-click Dependencies in the Solution Explorer and select Manage NuGet Packages from the context menu.

    context-menu-manage-nuget-packages

  2. Select All from the Package source drop-down list, switch to the Browse tab, and install the following packages:

  3. Install Node.js (LTS version) from the Node.js website, if you do not have Node.js installed.

  4. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer and select Add | New Item from the context menu. Select npm Configuration File in the invoked Add New Item dialog.

    Add npm Configuration File to the Project

    Open the newly created package.json file, replace its content with the following code, and save the file:

    {
        "version": "1.0.0",
        "name": "asp.net",
        "private": true,
        "dependencies": {
            "bootstrap": "^4.3.1",
            "cldrjs": "^0.5.0",
            "devextreme": "21.1.*",
            "@devexpress/analytics-core": "21.1.*",
            "devexpress-reporting": "21.1.*",
            "globalize": "^1.3.0",
            "jquery-ui-dist": "^1.12.1"
        }
    }
    
  5. Right-click package.json in the Solution Explorer and select Restore Packages. Alternatively, you can execute the following command in the folder that contains the package.json file:

    npm install
    
  6. Add a text file (bundleconfig.json) to the project. Open the newly created file, paste the following content, and save the file:

    [
      {
        "outputFileName": "wwwroot/css/thirdparty.bundle.css",
        "inputFiles": [
          "node_modules/jquery-ui-dist/jquery-ui.min.css",
          "node_modules/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css",
          "node_modules/devextreme/dist/css/dx.light.css"
        ],
        "minify": {
          "enabled": false,
          "adjustRelativePaths": false
        }
      },
    
      {
        "outputFileName": "wwwroot/css/designer.part.bundle.css",
        "inputFiles": [
          "node_modules/@devexpress/analytics-core/dist/css/dx-analytics.common.css",
          "node_modules/@devexpress/analytics-core/dist/css/dx-analytics.light.css",
          "node_modules/devexpress-reporting/dist/css/dx-webdocumentviewer.css",
          "node_modules/@devexpress/analytics-core/dist/css/dx-querybuilder.css",
          "node_modules/devexpress-reporting/dist/css/dx-reportdesigner.css"
        ],
        "minify": {
          "enabled": false,
          "adjustRelativePaths": false
        }
      },
    
      {
        "outputFileName": "wwwroot/js/thirdparty.bundle.js",
        "inputFiles": [
          "node_modules/jquery/dist/jquery.min.js",
          "node_modules/jquery-ui-dist/jquery-ui.min.js",
          "node_modules/knockout/build/output/knockout-latest.js",
          "node_modules/bootstrap/dist/js/bootstrap.min.js",
          "node_modules/cldrjs/dist/cldr.js",
          "node_modules/cldrjs/dist/cldr/event.js",
          "node_modules/cldrjs/dist/cldr/supplemental.js",
          "node_modules/cldrjs/dist/cldr/unresolved.js",
          "node_modules/globalize/dist/globalize.js",
          "node_modules/globalize/dist/globalize/message.js",
          "node_modules/globalize/dist/globalize/number.js",
          "node_modules/globalize/dist/globalize/currency.js",
          "node_modules/globalize/dist/globalize/date.js",
    
          "node_modules/ace-builds/src-min-noconflict/ace.js",
          "node_modules/ace-builds/src-min-noconflict/ext-language_tools.js",
          "node_modules/ace-builds/src-min-noconflict/theme-dreamweaver.js",
          "node_modules/ace-builds/src-min-noconflict/theme-ambiance.js",
          "node_modules/ace-builds/src-min-noconflict/snippets/text.js"
        ],
        "minify": {
          "enabled": false
        },
        "sourceMap": false
      },
    
      {
        "outputFileName": "wwwroot/js/designer.part.bundle.js",
        "inputFiles": [
          "node_modules/devextreme/dist/js/dx.all.js",
          "node_modules/@devexpress/analytics-core/dist/js/dx-analytics-core.min.js",
          "node_modules/devexpress-reporting/dist/js/dx-webdocumentviewer.min.js",
          "node_modules/@devexpress/analytics-core/dist/js/dx-querybuilder.min.js",
          "node_modules/devexpress-reporting/dist/js/dx-reportdesigner.min.js"
        ],
        "minify": {
          "enabled": false
        },
        "sourceMap": false
      }
    ]
    

    Note

    If your application already uses libraries listed above, remove duplicate library references to ensure they are registered only once.

  7. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer and select Manage Client-Side Libraries to open the libman.json file.

    Manage Client-Side Libraries

    Paste the following content and save the file:

    {
      "version": "1.0",
      "defaultProvider": "filesystem",
      "libraries": [      
        {
          "library": "node_modules/devextreme/dist/css/icons/",
          "destination": "wwwroot/css/icons",
          "files": [
            "dxicons.ttf",
            "dxicons.woff2",
            "dxicons.woff"
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
    

    For more information on LibMan, review the following article: Use LibMan with ASP.NET Core in Visual Studio.

Configure Application and Services

Add the following code at application startup to register the MVC middleware and ASP.NET Core MVC reporting controllers in your application:

using DevExpress.AspNetCore;
using DevExpress.AspNetCore.Reporting;
//...

public class Startup {
//...
    public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services) {
        // Register reporting services in the application's dependency injection container.
        services.AddDevExpressControls();
        // Use the AddMvc (or AddMvcCore) method to add MVC services.
        services.AddMvc(); 
    }

    public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IHostingEnvironment env) {
        // ...
        // Initialize reporting services.
        app.UseDevExpressControls();
        // ...
        app.UseStaticFiles();
    }
}

The code above registers all necessary ASP.NET MVC Core controllers with predefined routes.

Note

If you use the ASP.NET Web App template to create an application with ASP.NET Razor Pages content, add the endpoints.MapDefaultControllerRoute() line to the app.UseEndpoints() method in the application’s Startup.cs file.

You can customize controllers and change routes, but it is not necessary in most situations. The following table lists controllers that process requests from reporting components, and their default routes:

Component Controller Predefined Route
Report Designer ReportDesignerController DXXRD
Document Viewer WebDocumentViewerController DXXRDV
Query Builder QueryBuilderController DXXQB

An application with End-User Report Designer requires all three controllers for proper operation.

To implement a custom controller, create a descendant of the class listed above and use the HandlerUri property to specify the route:

Component Handler Uri
Report Designer ReportDesignerHandlerUri, ReportPreviewHandlerUri, QueryBuilderHandlerUri
Document Viewer HandlerUri

For more code samples with custom controllers, review the following example:

View Example: ASP.NET Core Reporting - Best Practices

Add a Sample Report

  1. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer and select Add | New Folder from the context menu. Rename the newly created folder to Data.

  2. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer and select Add | Existing Item from the context menu. Open the following path and copy the nwind.xml file to the project’s Data folder: C:\Users\Public\Documents\DevExpress Demos 21.1\Components\Data\nwind.xml

  3. Right-click the project in the Solution Explorer and select Add | New Folder from the context menu. Rename the newly created folder to Reports.

  4. Right-click the Reports folder and select Add | New Item from the context menu. In the invoked Add New Item dialog, click the Reporting section in the tree on the left and select the DevExpress v21.1 Report item.

    Add a Report

    Change the file name to TestReport.vsrepx and click Add.

  5. In the invoked Report Wizard, select the Table report type:

    Select Table Report

    Click Next.

  6. Select the Database data source type:

    Select Database Source Type

    Click Next.

  7. Select the XML file as the data provider:

    Select XML Data Provider

    Specify the nwind.xml file in the Data folder. Click Next.

  8. Save the connection string:

    Save Connection String

    Click Next.

  9. Select the Categories table:

    Select Categories Table

    Click Next.

  10. Select data fields:

    Select Data Fields

    Click Finish.

Add the End-User Report Designer Component

  1. Add the DevExpress.AspNetCore namespace directive to the _ViewImports.cshtml file. As an alternative, you can add this namespace to the view that contains the Report Designer control.

    @using DevExpress.AspNetCore
    
  2. Open the Layout.cshtml file (Views|Shared folder) and replace its content with the following code:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
        <title>SimpleAspNetCoreReportingDesigner</title>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="~/css/thirdparty.bundle.css" />
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="~/css/site.css" />
        <script src="~/js/thirdparty.bundle.js"></script>
        <script src="~/js/site.js" asp-append-version="true"></script>
    </head>
    <body>
        @RenderBody()
    </body>
    </html>
    
  3. Replace the contents of the Index.cshtml file with the following code, which displays the Report Designer and loads the TestReport (the using directive is correct if the application name is WebApplication1 and the TestReport is created in the Reports folder):

    Note

    If you implement a custom report that inherits from XtraReport and want to open it in the End-User Report Designer, add a constructor without parameters to this report.

    @using WebApplication1.Reports
    
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="~/css/designer.part.bundle.css" />
    
    <script src="~/js/designer.part.bundle.js"></script>
    
    @(Html.DevExpress().ReportDesigner("reportDesigner")
        .Height("1000px")
            .Bind(new TestReport()))
    

Run the Application

When you run the application, the page contains the End-User Report Designer with the TestReport. You can design a report, preview it, print and export, but you cannot save it or load another report.

To enable users to save and load reports, create and register report storage and use related features. See the following topic for instructions: Add Report Storage to ASP.NET Core Application.

Troubleshooting

If the page does not display the Document Viewer component, or it is displayed incorrectly, check the following:

  • The script files should be registered in the correct order, as demonstrated in the bundleconfig.json code above.
  • There should be no duplicate registrations. If you use bundle registration and copy the scripts from the documentation to your bundleconfig.json file, do not register the libraries on your web page.
  • The version of the DevExpress scripts (npm packages) should match the version of the server-side libraries (NuGet packages).

Review the following help topic for more information: Troubleshooting.

Limitations

Review the following help topic for details: .NET 5 and .NET Core Limitations.