Printing reports was akward with RS 2000 to say the least. This was especially true when the reports were rendered in HTML since in this case the report is generated inside an IFRAME element. Since the frame could scroll right-clicking and engaging the standard browser printing was problematic. As a workaround, the report had to be exported in PDF format (or other non-HTML renderer) and printed as such.
You will be happy to know that SP2 puts this issue to rest by supporting client-side printing in the form of the new print control which allows printing of a report on the client side (inside the browser). This control makes printing a report a breeze. Once you install Service Pack 2 and request a report, you will see a new toolbar button added to the report toolbar (between the Refresh Report and Help buttons).
The print control is implemented as an ActiveX control. When you click on the Printer button, a request is made to download the print control if it is not installed already on the user machine. Once the download process is complete, the familiar Print Dialog is displayed.
As you can see, the print control supports also a preview mode.
Once the preview mode is initiated or the report is printed, the control instructs the Report Server to print the report using the EMF rendering extension. This is the same concept as the Bryan Keller’s article demonstrates.
The print control also supports a client-side object model (RSClientPrint object) to give developers access to the print control functionality should custom toolbars have to implemented.
Client-side printing has been one of most demanded RS features and the new print control solves this issue elegantly. For more information about SP2, please see my previous post.
Happy printing and reporting in the new 2005!