Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Generating PDF Reports in ASP.NET Web Application - History

It was the year 2012 and I was just starting out building real world web applications using ASP.NET. I didn't know about MVC back then. Just a trainee developer with a can-do attitude. I always hated plain old ASP.NET server controls n shit. They generate too much garbage.

Well, I was developing this billing system and I was tasked with writing the code to generate PDF invoice. I managed to do it with a HTML to PDF translation library.



At first I tried with iTextSharp and PDFSharp but since it involved too much coding, I gave it up. And then I found this Online HTML to PDF conversion tool. And then I looked into doing it from my code. I could easily create a ASPX page with everything that should go into the report and call the library and save the PDF. It was the best method for me back then. Even though such libraries are very expensive, it worked. Such tools are evopdf, ABCPdf, PDFTron PDFNETAspPDFHtml-to-PdfHiQPdf,

This is the year 2014 and I need to generate PDF reports again! I am currently looking at better options and so far only thing caught my attention is XML-FO.

For Future & Historical References:

Create PDF Report from database in ASP.Net using C# and VB.Net

Create PDF’s with ASP.NET Web Api

How to create PDF files from ASP.NET pages

libHaru open source library for generating PDF files. - written in C

PDF Reference and Adobe Extensions to the PDF Specification

NanoPDF - Not Maintained

PDF Clown

Convert HTML to PDF using Webkit (QtWebKit)

Weeny software - Free HTML to PDF Converter