The ReportBuilder REST Services components provide a RESTful platform to publish RB reports to mobile iOS and Andriod clients. Extending your existing Delphi desktop solutions via REST services is a great way to provide users with the mobile cloud access they expect.
As a desktop developer, you may be thinking you lack the skills and/or time to implement such a solution. The goal of the RB REST Services solution is to leverage Delphi and RB to provide a RAD (almost no code) way to enter the mobile realm. Let’s go over a few key details.
All ReportBuilder reports are created using our VCL designer. Generally RB applications store reports as “template” or “archive” files which are loaded as needed. The report definitions or archived reports can be stored to file, database or Delphi forms/datamodules.
RB REST services provides an easy way to view and print these same reports using FMX components on multiple platforms. We did this by creating a VCL REST server which takes care of generating the reports, then sending them via HTTP to our FMX client for viewing/printing.
This might sound complex but the good news is that we already did all the heavy lifting. If you have a bunch of saved reports in a directory or DB, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes!
1. Create a server: Creating a server can be done in as little as 4 easy steps (with only 2 lines of code). See the following article for more information about creating a ReportBuilder REST Server and a simple tutorial. The finished tutorial is installed with ReportBuilder in the demos directory.
2. Create a client: We provide three useful FMX components to make building a client as easy as possible. These components allow for the creation of a phone, tablet, or desktop explorer/viewer with minimal code and setup. They are also completely customizable which gives you the ability to tailor its look and feel to match your existing app. The following link gives an overview of the components used along with simple tutorials on creating a phone or tablet client application. Same as the server, the finished tutorial is installed with ReportBuilder in the demos directory.
Implementing RB REST services is extremely simple and provides a powerful way to display and print your reports from multiple platforms. I hope this post along with the tutorials provide a starting point for creating your own mobile reporting applications. Happy reporting!