report builder - data download - UX best practices

17 Mar 2010 - 3:14pm
4 years ago
1 reply
1459 reads
Rob Hatch

I'm looking for example websites that effectively allow a user to define a custom dataset for them to download or generate as a report.   We allow customers to download information about their interactions with our company, and in addition to standard reports and downloads we have a "custom report builder"  where users define fields to be downloaded, filters to be applied and subtotals and summary fields to be applied.  Then the data is downloaded as a CSV or excel document.   I'm looking for inspiration as we pursue a redesign.  The RIA sites don't seem to have tackled this yet....



17 Mar 2010 - 4:13pm

Have you looked at Silverlight Toolkit reports?  They're pretty easy to setup and very simple to load information into on the fly.  If you bind an editable datagrid as the chart data sources, it's very easy to show the user their data in "excel" format and let them edit/save custom fields and display a report on the fly.  Once you're happy with your data/report, you can make both or either available for export by passing the data and writeablebitmap bytes back to an httphandler and have it spit out another csv/excel document and image in png, jpg, bmp or gif format.

Figuring out how to do all that took me about a week, and that was with Silverlight 2.  Silverlight 3 improves things a lot and does a lot of it for you.

Here's a link to some of the toolkit samples.  They'll show you at least some of the functionality I mentioned.




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