In most projects, reporting tools such as crystal reports are choosed to display data. There are many reporting tools we can choose. Perhaps some of them is easy to use, but most of them are a little complex.
Developers have to spend some time to learn how to use it, how to make it looks good. Sometimes, it makes develpoer fatigued to trim the table cell or make the cells orderliness. In some complicated situation, we need some style that the reporting tools don't afford. Using the reporting tools means lower the efficiency of development, developers have to build a lot of data schemas to adapt to the data source of reporting tools.
And the performance is also the short of reporting tools. Usually we need install some component to support the reporting. And if we need get some data from multiple joined tables, the performance loss is obvious.
So in my opinion, we can use the html table instead of the reporting tools. some reasons: HTML table is easy to be generated. We can control the style of the table with the css easily. HTML table is flexiable to embed jquery plug and flash object. HTML doesn't need the component. and so on.
As my experience, to finish a report, it takes me less time with HTML. So why most projects still choose reporting tools?