PDF extremely slow to export

I have seen older posts from a few years ago about PDF exports timing out but I was hoping to get the latest information on if anything is being done to improve how long PDF exports take in Dundas. I’m trying to move a PDF generator off of our old system and into Dundas. I’ve created a report and it does work on very small data sets but even a 30 page PDF that generates in seconds in our old system will timeout in Dundas (timeout currently set to 30 minutes).

We are in version 8, is quicker PDF creation being worked on?
Does anyone have any report design tricks to make the PDF creation faster?
I do have strict requirements on the format but if there are any odd tricks like removing all tooltips or using jpg instead of png (I have two small images), then I would appreciate hearing any tips.

The data cube itself is warehoused and the screen version comes up very fast, it is just the export that is so slow.


What does your report look like in view mode? More namely, how many labels and data labels (adapters in general) do you have, especially ones in repeater groups? I’d imagine there are a decent amount of labels and based on how many pages you’re looking at exporting (upwards of 30), you have lots of repeater groups/records being created. As such, you likely have tens of thousands of total labels being generated in an entire export, which isn’t going to bode well.

Unfortunately, this boils down to how reports tend to scale as they get bigger and bigger. They don’t scale linearly and thus if you have tons of records (and especially a decent amount of labels in each group), you’re going to have a report rapidly increases in terms of export time. What doesn’t help is the fact that CEF (the Chrome framework which generates PDF exports) tends to crash with massive exports as well, which is currently unavoidable and outside our project’s control. Every export format other than Excel and CSV uses CEF, so this a setting here or there like image format will not have any impact.

That said, we do have a feature request which was implemented in version 8.0.2 and version 9, which is issue 77113. It restructures a lot with how report exports are generated which does help optimize the runtime of lengthy reports. However, as long as you are still on a lower version, I would recommend exporting your report in pieces and breaking it into chunks - it is pretty much your only option. As I said, export reports don’t scale linearly. They can still take a reasonable amount of time with a decent number of records, and then ultimately break after a few too many are needed to be exported.

Thanks, Christian, for the additional information. I wouldn’t have thought I had an extreme number of labels and data labels. I have a section in the report body that shows information for each supplier (26 labels, 6 data labels) which comes out intentionally as a full page, and then a nested section under that that shows the detailed invoiced lines for each of those suppliers (11 labels, ll data labels). These detail lines generally number from 1 to 20 lines and usually don’t go beyond one page per supplier. After the last invoice line, there is a page break to have the next supplier start on a new page. (They want to do all suppliers at once for a user input time range). However, since both of those sections repeat, perhaps it is just growing exponentially as you suggest. We are currently on version and I am planning to upgrade to 9 in early October. Let me know if you have any additional advice based on my report details above, but in any case, I will test again after upgrading to 9 and see if it helps. Thanks again for the help, I appreciate it.

Oh, and I do also have a script in the Before Export event that writes information from one of the filters to a label - that probably doesn’t help either as it has to walk through the adapters. Hopefully it is only doing it one time though.