Sunday, March 24, 2024

FastReport VCL & FMX Comparison (Embarcadero Edition)

The upgrade of my flagship product from Delphi 5 VCL to Delphi 11.3 FMX is finally at the presentation stage. I've spent the last six weeks thinking about and learning about data visualization. 

I took a few classes on LinkedIn Learning about data viz, and I re-watched Ray Konopka's excellent video on Data Visualization using Delphi. Seeing is Believing - Data Visualization in Multi-Device Apps. Ray has also made the source code for his demonstration available at Thank you Ray!

I've never used FastReport before. My current Delphi 5 VCL product uses QuickReports. I did find a great FastReport video available through Embarcadero Academy called Getting Started with FastReport by Cary Jensen. Jensen mainly focuses on the VCL version of FastReport. 

I've never used FastReport before 

I was surprised at the huge difference between the VCL and FMX versions of the FastReport Embarcadero Editions. That's probably why Jensen focused on the VCL version in his video. These are the palette entries for Delphi 11.3 Professional. (VCL on the left, FMX on the right)

I'm interested in the FMX version of FastReport because I'm developing a desktop software product which targets Windows and macOS users. Because I'm new to FastReport, I want to see how far I can take the "Embarcadero" version of FastReport before I commit to purchasing the full version.

Unfortunately, the Embarcadero Edition of FMX FastReport has no export capability. See the Palette image above.

I was surprised at the huge difference between the VCL and FMX versions

Because I'm targeting both Windows and macOS users I need to know if there are any stark differences between those platforms. I created a comparison chart which highlights these differences. This is the same data from the Fast Reports website sorted by features with missing capabilities highlighted.

Here is the same comparison which filters out any features that are unavailable across all platforms.

As you can see, the Embarcadero Edition of FastReports 2.0 FMX is very limited.

The Bottom Line: Because my application is cross-platform for both Windows and macOS, it looks like I will have to purchase the full retail version of FastReport 2.0 FMX in order to give my customers the experience they expect. 

Semper Fi
Gunny Mike


  1. Hi Mike, I'm wondering if you've considered other reporting options such as Rave Reports or "HTML Report Library"? I've used FastReports in the past myself, and it may be worth having a go with the base version of FastReports and see if you like it - there may be other ways of achieving what you believe your customers expect.

    1. Hi Shane, Thanks for your input. I may have briefly looked at Rave but don't remember. I'm good with FastReport. I was hoping to spend time learning and cutting my teeth on the Embarcadero edition. Unfortunately, I have found with FMX that some stuff you can easily do in VCL is not transferrable. Therefore, I'd rather spend the money and learn the FMX stuff instead of hoping that what I could accomplish in VCL would transfer to FMX.