And the Winner is…1ClickFactory – Updated

This has been a fun week. Everybody who knows me are well aware that I always like a good competition, and also that I really hate to lose.

But 1ClickFactory upgraded the Service Contract report 5970, in less than 8 minutes. that is pretty impressive guys. So 1ClickFactory is the winner of this weeks competition if you ask me, and yes I lost, but my report was better looking. Winking smile

If you missed this weeks competition you can watch me upgrade the Service Contract report 5970 manually, and Daniel Parker from ArcherPoint using the YAVEON Report Converter here, neither Daniel or I completed the report 100%, I was very close so with 10 min more I would have been done. This recording can be found here:http://spezialloesungen.yaveon.com/products/yaveon-report-converter/. The sounds is terrible so I’m really considering reshooting my manual upgrade of this report. If you would like me to do this, leave a comment, and I will do this if many people request this.

If you want to watch the winner video from 1ClickFactory go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7Zb-Xyrl0g

Here are few pros and cons for each of the solutions from my point of view:

Manual Upgrade:

Pros:

– You become an expert in creating RDLC reports and know how to create new reports going forward.
– You will utilize many of the new capabilities and not just have a doll classic report upgraded

Cons:

– Expensive to learn how to do the RDLC reports correctly. Learning on the job is hard, because Visual Studio has its own life, and does not do what we expect it to do. You need to learn all the tips and tricks. And what works and what does not work. Report training is strongly advised. And yes I do training, but I don’t write this just for you to hire me, but if you attend a training class in RDLC I strongly recommend you verify that the trainer has upgraded many reports. If not you will just get a lecture of what you already yourself can find on the internet.

– Could easily be more costly than using a Report transformation tool, if you are not fast. And you are not fast in the beginning because your struggle.

YAVEON Report Converter

Pros:

– You can stay in your comfort zone, Classic report designer and do all tags 
– Only has a upfront fee so if you many reports, and you get good at this tool, this might be the tool to consider. But really you have to be fast in creating tags to compete with the 1ClickFactory solution. If you have purchased the tool, you can use it everywhere. So not limited to one customer or one report developer.

Cons:

– You do not learn how to design RDLC report. How do create new report?

– Learning curve for putting in the right tags in Classic designer

– Document Outline in Visual Studio is unnecessary crowed. If you do not use Document Outline when designing reports, this might of course not be a problem for you, but I use Document Outline all the time.

– You get a dull Classic report look and feel

1ClickFactory Report transformation service

Pros:

– Lightning fast

– You get to learn how to do RDLC reports a little bit, since reports will only be upgraded 60%-80%

– Nice add in tool for moving things to Page header, but really we should only have Report Title, Page number and Images in header. Having i.e. 54 fields in header using Code.Set and Code.Get is crazy.. So this is just a show off tool, you should just place a repeating row outside main group, like I showed SmileyIf you cannot figure that out, this move to header tool is great and saves tons of time.

Cons:

– Not a onetime fee, as YAVEON’s tool

– 16 clicks for report 5970 is a bit overpriced. 1 click = 15 min. of work. I know 1ClickFactory says that it would take a average Report developer 4 hours to upgrade this report. I would say it should not take more than 2 hours for a report developer, who has been at a report training class, Still 1ClickFactory would probably be cheaper, depending where your are in the world of course

Just like with YAVEON, Document Outline in Visual Studio is unnecessary crowed. Update: The Document Outline is actually great. Please find on my SkyDrive the Document Outline which we did not see in the 1ClickFactory presentation. You can also find the upgraded report from 1ClickFactory and my manual upgraded report. My report was only 98% completed.
Files are found here: http://sdrv.ms/18IeYzY

– And you get a dull Classic report look and feel

Conclusion

So I really want to love these Report convert tools, but end of the day you need to understand how to design RDLC reports, that is my opinion of course. So I would definitely invest time in understanding how to design RDLC reports, and when you have this knowledge, you can decide to upgrade the next 200 hundred report or how many you have using either 1ClickFactory or YAVEON’s tools.
If you disagree and do not want to be an expert in RDLC reports. These tools are your new friend, if you of course are not already using them. Both YAVEON and 1ClickFactory give you the option to try out their tools for free. YAVEON has a trial version, Contact Andreas H.E. Dorsch: andorsch@yaveon.de for a trial version. This weeks winner, 1ClickFactory, will give you 20 clicks for free, so you can check out how cool their service is.

/Thanks, Claus Lundstrøm, MVP for Microsoft Dynamics NAV