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Data Dynamics Reports, Feature of the Week

FotW – Normalized Data

This week’s feature makes it easier to report on data already loaded into your application.

Typically when you create the object hierarchy to represent the data stored in your database you create a series of classes that are interrelated.  A customer object that has orders, each order object has order details, each order detail refers to a product, and so on.  DataSets are usually modeled in similar ways.

Normalized Object Graph

Products such as Reporting Services, make it difficult to use this existing data in your report.  They require the object hierarchy to be flattened, that each relationship be traversed and the required data combined with the same row of data.  This isn’t a big problem if the data is being pulled directly from the database, simply change some of the SQL and its flattened.  But if you already have the data in memory then putting it in this format can be difficult.

Data Dynamics Reports on the other hand understands data.  DDR can traverse your object hierarchy or make use of the DataRelations available in your dataset, properties on your business object, or XPath queries in your XML to get to the data needed in your reports.  Now instead of you having to write the code to flatten the data, the data engine inside of Data Dynamics Reports has done it for you.  Now you can get on with creating the report and not have to write code to first fetch the data, yet again.

You can see a sample of how to use this feature with each of the data providers that support it in the NormalizedDataSet sample included with Data Dynamics Reports.

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About James

I am a Senior Developer/Consultant for InfoPlanIT, LLC. I previously spent over 7 years as a Product Manager for what eventually became ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity. While there, I helped to create ActiveReports 7, GrapeCity ActiveAnalysis, and Data Dynamics Reports.

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