Archive for July, 2012

Report Quality Factors

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The quality of a report goes beyond just the fact that the report has the correct data shown and the appearance is appealing.   The quality of a report affects how and even if the report is used.   There are several factors that define a report with quality:

  • Correctness – Extent to which the report satisfies the specifications and fulfills the user’s needs.   This includes traceability, consistency, and completeness.   Are all necessary details included?   Are unnecessary details omitted?  Are numeric values presented in the proper precision?
  • Usability – Ability to interpret the information on the report.   Is the report self-explanatory or will training be required to understand it.   Are the results needed easily interpreted.
  • Maintainability – Ability to update the report with minimal effort.   Consistency, simplicity, conciseness, and modularity all contribute to this factor.  What happens when a data source changes?
  • Flexibililty – Ability to reuse a report for different requirements.  Is the design general and expandable.

At a more detailed level and particularly for data fields, parameters, and calculated fields, the following checklist can be used to improve the quality:

  • Proper types
  • Initial values
  • Handling of nulls
  • Computations use correct types
  • Handling of overflow, underflow, or division by zero
  • Rounding and truncation
  • Out of range values
  • Order of precedence
Categories: Implementation Tags:

More Features

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment
  • Powerful enough for the IT department & simple enough for end users
  • Lower initial and ongoing costs compared with competitor’s products
  • Handles document files from other software as well
  • Designed using award winning components and the best of proven technology
  • On the road! Request and receive reports via Email on your mobile device in a password protected PDF or various other formats
  • Connect to your accounting software, corporate databases, CRM, ERP, project management system or just a spreadsheet
  • Great for Data Conversion and creating new Excel files from Databases
  • The perfect data analyst tool
  • Companion to Microsoft Office
  • Use as the engine to drive a cloud solution

Click HERE to see more


Want to Make Money?

July 23, 2012 Leave a comment
We are looking for some reports or documents created with Sunset Reports to use as examples of what can be done.   Contact us at for the details of this offer.   If we accept your submission for inclusion on our website on a new Examples webpage, we will pay you $100.   You may make multiple submissions and you can make $100 for each submission we post.   This opportunity is for a limited time, so act now.
Categories: Opportunities Tags:

Report Design Process

July 20, 2012 Leave a comment

For any report design, there are some formalities relating to the design process that should be followed:
• Collect requirements
• Define specification for report
• Design report
o Data connection
o Data fields
o Filtering
o Sorting
o Grouping
o Calculated fields
o Parameters
o Bands
o Controls
o Appearance
o Code
• Test report
• User acceptance
• Maintain Report

Categories: Implementation Tags:

Business Reporting Software

July 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Choosing the right Business Reporting Software is critical to the success of your organization.   Sunset Reports provides just what you need for to get the data converted to information and distributed to the people that need it.   Here are some of the critical features that you should look for:

  • Quick and easy report design with intuitive interface
  • High quality reports with graphics, charts, and links
  • Create reports from numerous data sources
  • Ability to create queries for sources that don’t have the views required
  • Simple to generate and schedule reports
  • Can utilize built-in formulas, perform calculations, and provide user defined filters

Implementation Planning

July 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are a few things to consider for implementation of Sunset Reports:

• Set goals (See previous blog entry)
• Assign responsibilities
• Training
• Establish who the users are, what data they need, and security measures
• Establish what reports are needed
• Design reviews for new reports
• Conversion of existing reports
• Acceptance criteria with quality and accuracy checking

Categories: Implementation Tags:

Types of Reports

July 9, 2012 Leave a comment

By definition a report is a document that is organized in a tabular, graphical, or narrative form.  There are many different types of reports that can be created.   These include: Transaction Reports, Tabular/List Reports, Matrix Reports (Pivot Grid), Catalogs, Labels, Mail Merge, Dashboards/Scorecards, Schedules, and Calendar Reports.   All these can all be accomplished pretty easily with Sunset Reports.   Check out the sample reports that come with the product to see examples of most of these different types.

The Perfect Data Analyst Tool

July 7, 2012 Leave a comment

If you are a data analyst or do data analysis work, Sunset Reports may be the perfect tool for you.   It can connect to a varient of business applications and databases.   You can create very sophisticated queries and data extractions.   With the report designer, you can produce almost any kind of report you want with many different type of charts or graphs, pivot tables for OLAP sources or any source, calculations, statistical and regression analysis, forecasting, and more.   The results can be sent to a variety of formats and distributed in a number of different ways.   It is ideal for making recommendations, interpreting data, discovering trends, problem solving, data mining, quantitive analysis, and data visualization.

Report Subscriptions

July 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Suppose a user wants to “subscribe” to a report such that the report will be emailed to the user on a periodic basis (i.e. daily, weekly, etc).  The process is very easy to setup.   First add the report to the Queue at the time the user wants the report.   Then open the Calendar view of the Queue and find the report just added.  By double clicking on the report or right mouse clicking on the report and selecting “Open”, you have the ability to change the time and also set the Recurrence of the report.   This is the way you can set reports to recur on specific days and times repeatedly.

Cache Reports

July 3, 2012 Leave a comment
If you have a report that takes a long time to process and multiple people may request it, why not cache the report?   You might also have a report based on some data range like last year and you only need to run it once since it will not change.   Setup Sunset Reports to run the report and either manually save it to a location as a PDF (or other format) or queue it up to run as often as necessary.   Then create a different Report Definition that is based on that pre-run file.   The option exists with Report Definitions to use an external file.   Create the report definition but do not assign a report design.  Instead go to the parameters tab and select the text tab.   You will find a button on the bottom labeled “Add Filename parameter”.   Click the button, browse to the file (you will have to at least run the report once to select the file), and the parameter will be added.   Now running this report definition through the report queue will send the file via Email or FTP without rerunning it.   Of course if the location of the file is made available as a local share, the file is available to anyone who has access and the second step is not required.