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Archive for April, 2012

Page Size

April 22, 2012 Leave a comment

What are the limitations of page size in Sunset Reports? Microsoft Access reports has a limit of 22.5″ for both width and length.

If you look at the Property “Paper Kind” in the report designer, you will find over 120 different paper sizes to choose from. One of the bigger sizes is called an “E Sheet” which is 34 inches wide and 44 inches in height in portrait mode. You can create a custom page size 120″ (10 feet) by 120″ (10 feet) which would pretty much mean there is no limit to the page size in Sunset Reports.

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Microsoft Excel Alternative

April 21, 2012 Leave a comment

If you add a table control to your report, you can have the table work similar to a spreadsheet like Excel. You can add rows and columns. Each cell can be formatted independently. You can put text and numbers in each cell. You can link a cell to a field in a data source.

The harder part is dealing with formulas. But there is a simple method for that. Each cell can be named and you can change the default name to anything you want. So you can give them meaningful names. Then the formulas are placed in the scripts on the report before print event. The formulas would be written in vb.net, C#, or J-script. And with the programming constructs like looping, conditional if then else, case statements, etc., plus all the functions available.  You can have the calculations even more powerful than your typical spreadsheet software.

To view the results of the calculations, just run or preview the report.

Here is a simple example. Assume there is a table with two cells named A and B and they contain numeric data. If you want the sum of A and B put in a third cell named C, the script would look like this…

Private Sub Detail_BeforePrint(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Drawing.Printing.PrintEventArgs)
C.text = csng(A.text) + csng(B.text)
End Sub

The cells contain a text property and it needs to be converted to numeric in code so you can do calculations. The csng function does this and converts the text to a single precision value. You need to refer to each cell with the “.text” property.

Report Templates from Office

April 20, 2012 Leave a comment

If you use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, you have access to many templates.   These templates can be imported into Sunset Reports as a starting point for reports.

For Word, create a document from a template, and save the document as an RTF file.   Then import the RTF file into the RTF control in the report designer.

For Excel, use the import report design from Microsoft Excel menu item when in the Report Designer.

Chart Series Views and Indicators

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

For certain chart types, you can add an indicator to the series views.  There are 9 different types: Regression Line, Trend Line, Fibonacci Arcs, Fibonacci Fans, Fibonacci Retracement, Simple Moving Average, Exponentional Moving Average, Weighted Moving Average, and Triangular Moving Average. Each one has some additional properties that are different from each other. Most people are already familiar with regression, trend, and moving averages. The Fibonacci indicators are primarily used for financial analysis, but with Sunset Reports you can use them with not only stock and candlestick charts, but for any 2D X-Y chart as well as the Gantt series of charts. There are a number of good websites that will give you details of the Fibonacci indicators. Quickly, these indicators expose the golden rule symmetry between two series and are useful to forecast levels of support or resistance for a trend.  Check out this link for more information- Fibonacci Number

More posts coming on this topic, so keep checking back.

Microsoft and the Future

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

A recent article Microsoft’s master plan to beat Apple and Google on the CNN Money website talks about how Microsoft is staging a comeback with Windows 8.   Sunset Reports is a Winform application that will run on the new operating system when it is released this fall.   The future is exciting for all of us here at Software for Professionals and we want you to know that we will continue to support the current and new operating systems that all our businesses are built and depend on.

Categories: Advantages Tags: ,

Microsoft Project

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Microsoft Project is a great data source to use with Sunset Reports.   If you are using Project 2003 or earlier, you can use the OLE DB provider to connect.   Use the Microsoft.OLEDB.11.0 provider in this case.   if you are using Project 2007 or later, save your project into the 2003 format and use the OLE DB provider.   Here is a sample connection string:

Provider=Microsoft.Project.OLEDB.11.0;Project Name=myProjectDatabaseFile.mpp;

Categories: Implementation Tags:

Business Dashboard

April 17, 2012 Leave a comment

To create a webpage that has several charts on it like a dashboard do the following:

If you start with a blank report, add all the data sources you need by choosing the “Add Data Source” menu item on the report designer. Then add one or more chart controls onto the report. Click on the chart smart tag on the top right if each chart and select the Data Source, Data Member, and Data Adapter. Do this for each chart. Run the chart wizard now to setup the chart. Arrange the charts so the report appears like a dashboard. You are now ready to go.

Your dashboard can include pivot tables as well as subreports.   There is no limit to the formatting options.   Then set it up to output in all kinds of different file formats and be sent to a website, FTP site, emailed, or other output option.

Note:  For a even more powerful Dashboard solution, check out CleverQ.   This product actually includes a version of Sunset Reports built-in.