Creating PDF Reports (Layout Engine) Overview

Programmatically creating real-time PDF reports using DynamicPDF Core Suite for .NET (previously DynamicPDF ReportWriter for .NET functionality) is simple and straight forward. DynamicPDF Designer makes it easy to visually create DLEX files (report templates) for use with DynamicPDF ReportWriter for .NET. The main class used is the DocumentLayout class. It loads DLEX files and creates PDF reports based on them.

DynamicPDF Designer is an online tool part of the DynamicPDF Cloud API. Registration is free, and there is no charge for using Designer. There is no page limit when testing from within Designer. Use the same account to log into our Customer Area, so if you create an account to get your license key, the same login accesses Designer.

Creating a report flow generally consists of the following flow.

  1. In Designer, create a report template (a DLEX file) and save.
  2. In your code, create a DocumentLayout class from that DLEX file.
  3. Call the Layout method to return a Document object that contains the reports data.
  4. Output the document to a file, Stream, byte array, or directly to IIS output stream.

When using Designer you must represent your data as JSON. However, after creating your DLEX file you are not limited to JSON. See Layout Data for more details.

The object returned from the DocumentLayout.Layout method is a Document object. The created Document object can then be used with other DynamicPDF Core Suite classes. See PDF Creation Overview for more information on working with the Document object. For more information on using DLEX files, refer to the DLEX Files topic.

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