From reports to scan sheets, the need to generate PDF files has been present in every line-of-business application I’ve ever worked on. In the past, I’ve used a variety of tools to achieve this such as SQL Server Reporting Services or Telerik Reporting. While these kinds of tools work well enough for generating reports straight from the database, it’s been surprising how few resources exist to aid in generating PDF files from arbitrary data.
Exporting grid data is a common need for line-of-business applications. Once you’ve got all the great data presented, filtered, etc. how to you allow the user to download it and continue playing with it? There are many approaches discussed online to solve this (see here and here). Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of them really had the polish I wanted and that my users demand. There are really two categories of solutions to this problem: