I gave this product a 5 of out 5 and it is well deserved. I have been looking for an affordable reporting mechanism for quite a while. While other packages offer more bells and whistles that can be quite complicated and suborn for triple the price, there is NOTHING in this price bracket (that I have tested) that comes close to the features and versatility of Visual Reports.
It was a little slow getting up to speed, but once I got the hang of the basics, I was off creating reports very quickly. My design took slightly longer at first but Iím reaping the benefits now. With 2 classís, 1 Module and 2 tables, I am able to design the reports and simply feed the system a recordset and the classís takes care of all the formatting and data inserting no mater the diversity of the data. So now creating the reports is a matter of design rather then fighting with the data.
While testing I had several questions, all of which were promptly answered. In the process, I found a bug, which was quickly fixed by the developer.
Iím looking forward to see what features and improvements the next version will hold.
As others have noted the designer is not polished and lacks some basic features but nothing that is a show stopper.
AnishSingh, 6/13/2005 7:01:23 PM
I had tried to use the normal DataReport suite on VB6 to display reports for multiple database tables and found that after 4 days of trying it was time to search for something better.
I found crystal reports... and after scratching my head a few times and also being blown away with the cost, I stumpled upon Visual Reports 2.2
Within minutes I had manipulated the example code to work for me in a simple way.
It produced a very good looking report and my client was impressed. Being from a code intensive background I prefered to have full control over what to display and print. You can simply re-use most of the example code and change the neccessary parts to display what you want. You dont have to learn extensive lines code to use this product.
In my mind, for the price and the features included in Visual Reports, this is the best product for doing complicated manipulated data reports. You dont have to add new fields in your database to do total calculations, you can display Text boxes or Label Captions right from your form.
I'm building Tax Invoices, Receipts, statements and Debtors reports so easily, that I recommend this product to everyone. You can try it free and see how it works for you.
I give it 5 out of 5.
Well done Sparrow Tech.
JohnnyHarris, 4/27/2005 11:27:14 PM J. Harris Here is my review... Plain and Simple. Visual Reports is the BEST Report Writer I could find on the market. I spent three weeks trying out evaluation software. I tried every one I could find. As a small developer on a limited budget I need to spend my money where I can get the most from my investment. Visual Reports was the best on the market. I needed a report writer that didn't require the report to be data bound to a data source. I sent data to Visual Reports from every type of data source I could think of and every attempt was 100% successfull. It didn't matter if I was creating a simple invoice, frequency distribution table, or processing over 150,000 records for a very detailed financial report, Visual Report perfomed the job and did the job very well. I would recommend any Visual Basic programmer that needs full control of their reports to give Visual Reports a try. In less than two hours of tinkering with the report writer I was creating some very impressive reports. For the PRICE you won't find a better report writer that is so FLEXIBLE and EASY to use. Since purchasing Visual Reports I can assure you the evaluation version is the same as the registered version. Don't wait any longer... you can download the evaluation version now and find out for yourself.
Thanks Sparrow-Technologies for creating and maintaining such a great product.
Thanks VBxtras for hosting such a great product.
SteveKaras, 7/1/2004 3:00:02 PM
So easy to use - creates great printouts. Highly recommend
DaleShaw, 5/12/2004 6:00:55 PM
Visual Reports is different to other reporting products in that it is not 'data bound' in the normal sense.
This means that is requires more program code but this makes it infinitely more flexible. The ability to output as a PDF in a simple manner is an added bonus.
AlPurdon, 5/1/2004 1:49:10 PM
If you're looking for total control of your reports, then Visual Reports is a product to consider. For old-timers like myself who have been used to to doing all data handling and line printing ourselves. Version 2 has been much improved over V1, a lot more friendly to the developer. If you desire to create reports without a lot of high powered overhead, then you have another reason.
SheldonLivingston, 4/14/2004 3:26:25 PM
This product is sweet... simply insert labels, textboxes, pictures, etc into an empty report modifying the controls just as you do with any other VB control (properties). Then reference and fill the controls with the data desired.
GlennHardin, 4/14/2004 3:02:19 PM
Absolutely the best report writer on the market for a VB programmer. I have tried them all. Visual Reports is probably one of the lower priced report writers on the market which makes it even more enticing. It is so simple to create a report; and, yet, you have the capability to address each component of the report in code so that you can make it do what you want it to do. It is a great value at twice the price!!! Plus, tech support is fast in responding to any questions.
JamesHaag, 4/2/2004 12:24:33 PM
For routine simple reports Crystal is fine, and Visual Reports is adequate. But for a complicated report which Crystal can't handle, Visual Reports is clearly better. All of the calculations can be done in code, and then sent to the report writer. Visual Reports strength is it's simplicity. I wasn't able to do a complicated cross-tab report with caculations in Crystal, but it was easy with VR. It needs some polish in placing fields on the report, either by allowing you to designate coordinates, or using a snap-to-grid feature. But even with this drawback, it clearly is better than the alternative, which is no report at all.
JohnSchmidt2, 2/22/2006 7:18:14 PM
I rate Visual Reports a 4 ONLY because of the fact that controls placed on the designer don't snap to the grid - they have to be very carefully moved to match the alignment of other controls. That said, everything else about this product is better than any other I've tried, and the price is certainly right. As far as I know, this is the ONLY product that will produce PDF output that lets you design your reports visually instead of tediously by code, and that's a huge time saver. Coding the production of reports is simple and intuitive; fill the controls you placed on the designer and print the section; it's really that simple! So many products today overwhelm you with the technical requirements to produce reports, so it's a relief to find one that anybody can master quickly. Buy this product!
DanHoogland, 10/12/2004 11:41:57 PM
Very nice printouts, extremely powerful tool! Although the report designer is rough, only being a development tool, it's something you can live with. The power, flexibility and database independence it provides makes any quirk's more then bearable. When the viewer reaches maturity, this product is gonna rock! I'm staying for the ride... :-)
DavidIreland, 8/9/2004 3:29:47 PM
Finding this product was a godsend to me. I needed to be able to make some good-quality but complicated reports for a client using VB6. I had wasted two days trying to make MS's DataReports work and another day trying to fathom out Crystal Reports. Then I found Visual Reports. It took me less than an hour to figure out what to do and it works perfectly. It does have a few rough edges with the user interface, and we had some difficulties communicating with the vendor, but it does the job brilliantly.
BarryCooper, 7/15/2004 8:05:20 PM
I have just started using Visual Reports. My requirement was to be able to replace running MS Access reports (by starting up an instance of Access). After some trial and error, I was able to get things working. I had some initial false starts, but once I got past those, things are working well.
Am still getting used to designing reports with it. My feeling is that the graphical interface could use some work. For example, when I am changing the heighth of a label, if I click away from the properties, the change is lost. I would also love to be able to UNDO changes. These are probably just some nit-pickings as I get used to things.
MikeStone, 6/23/2004 6:15:58 PM
I noticed quite a few rave reviews about this product, and I just wanted to share my bewilderment at them -- this report writer is very clunky, requires an enormous amount of coding, and quite frankly, is just plan unattractive (as far as it's previewer). I suppose it's not the worst report writer out there, but it definitely has a long way to go. I have to write a substantial amount of reports this month, and I seriously doubt Visual Reports can do the job in such a short amount of time. I just don't have time for all that hand-coding! It also lacks proper binding to a database, an easy to use crosstab control, among many other important features. I really do feel like I'm stepping back in time with this particular report writer. For all of Crystal's aggrevations, bugs, and outrageous licensing fees (like over remote networks), Visual Reports could learn a thing or two from them.
lvs_ravi_35985, 9/28/2004 8:38:09 AM
I tested this product. But compared to Activereports, Visual Reports seems not pretty good. From a VB programmer point of view, both Active Reports and Visual Reports give some control over designing unbound reports and change contents on fly which do not require any database prior to run them. We can open any number of recordsets and send data to text fields depending on our needs. Out of these two, Active Reports is far better.