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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Printing is a major feature in RIA, one Flash never seemed to cover well. Flash’s printing capabilities are at the very least rudimentary mainly because Flash was always target at designers. And Flex inherited that flaw. Adobe seems to have forgotten that the needs in web design are quite different from those at organizations. Organizations still need paper! There are many issues concerning printing in Flex: 1. Report layout: in order to print a page in Flex you need to create a container and add it to a FlexPrintJob. Not a big issue when working with static content. But when creating dynamic reports where you don’t know how many pages you’ll have this process can quickly become a nightmare. 2. Multi-page content: The only component specifically designed for printing is PrintDataGrid. There’s no support for text or images. 3. Print preview: as I said before organizations need printing. But a thing they don’t need is wasting paper. There’s no way to make a print-preview with PrintJob. And no one likes printing 100 pages of a table, just to realize they are printing the wrong data. FlexReport is a client-side report generation component. It allows you to easily generate, preview and print reports based in mxml/as3 templates.