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Not Just Reports

December 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Yes, Sunset Reports is a great report writer, designer, etc. based on the general understanding of what a report writer is.   But the definition of a report in the software goes far beyond the general understanding.   A report can be a…

  • standard report usually based on some data source
  • document (you can do what most word processors can do)
  • presentation (create a slide presentation where each page is a slide)
  • web page (save to an HTML file and post on a website)
  • Windows form (using the new Windows View)
  • interactive interface (using the new Windows View, you can have the user interact with the window with buttons, etc., make a menu)
  • data converter (define an output format to export to based on an input data source)
  • a software program (using scripts, you can write software in VB.NET C#, JScript .net)

We will explore a couple of these in more detail in future posts.

Additional Samples

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

With the release of 1.95, we have included a second set of samples in the Samples2 file.   These samples are more advanced and demonstrate the powerful features of Windows mode and scripts.  You can copy these reports and modify them as you want. Included are:

  • Digital Clock – This report when viewed in Window View will show the current time and update each second.
  • Current US Radar – This report will display the current US radar map.   If viewed in Window View, it will update automatically every 60 seconds by the use of the numeric parameter, WindowViewTimer.  The report can be easily modified to show a different region.
  • Disk Space – This report uses gauges and a script that reads the drive space on disk C and shows disk space used and disk space free.
  • Edit Global and User Parameters – This unique report is actually an interactive form showing how you can change data and update the global and user parameters.  Reports are not read only anymore.
  • Get IP – This report will get your current Internet IP address.   It will check it against a previous value created by this report and stored in a Global Parameter.   If the IP is different, the report runs.  If it is the same, the report will not produce any output.   This is useful if you want to email or text yourself if your IP changes.  This shows you how you can save data to the parameters.  Solves dynamic IP issues.
  • Get Web Page – This report shows you how easy it is to capture a Web Page and load the HTML into a Rich Text Control.
  • Hurricane Report – Captures an image from the internet.
  • Main Menu – The report is actually a customizable main menu for Sunset Reports.   You can use this as a starting point for your own menu.   Make sure you set the preference for the starting form to be “Main Menu Report Definition”.   If you need to get back to the regular program interface, close this menu holding down the Ctrl key.
  • Photo Album Slide Show – This report shows you how to display all the images in a folder in a report.   The script contains the code to create a file list from the parameter “Picture Folder”.  The file list is stored in a file named Index.XML.  This file is then used as the data source by using the report parameter XML Data Path.  You can change the design of the report to show one picture on a page.  Then using Window View, the pictures will cycle.

So you want to learn programming…

June 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports provides so many features and one of them is being able to write your own programs in VB.net, Jscript .net, or C#.   Yes that means that you do not need Microsoft Visual Studio to learn programming.   You can write a .net program as a script for a report and have an empty report if you only want to run the code.   To execute the code you simply run the empty report.   Previewing the report will execute the code as well or you can schedule the report to run in the queue.   So you can write program and then schedule it’s execution.   Or with the opening arguments capability in Sunset Reports, you can launch a report (your code) directly from a shortcut on your desktop.   What a great way to learn to program with minimal cost.   And don’t forget you can validate your code while you design it to find errors in syntax.  And in addition to that your code can be part of creating a document/report, or be the logic behind an interactive report/form in Window View.

Academia

February 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports is a perfect tool for the classroom.

Advantages

  • A working software tool for a variety of “Information System” topics
  • Easy installation for instructor and students
  • No additional software required
  • Many samples included and the instructors can create their own examples
  • Sample course outline provided
  • Concepts directly applicable to other software
  • FREE – No cost to instructor or students – License valid for duration of semester
  • Discount available for purchase after semester

Applicable Subject Areas

  • SQL and Query Design
  • Report Design
  • Graphing Data
  • Web Page Design
  • Programming

System Requirements

The software runs on any Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 computer.  It can run on either 32 or 64 bit machines.  Licensing is for installation on a single workstation.   The program is written based on Microsoft .NET version 3.5.   This is generally available as part of the operating system, but can be installed free from the Microsoft website if needed.  The installation program will warn you if this is needed.   The user manuals are in PDF form, so you will also need a PDF reader, available free from the Adobe website.   Minimal memory and hard disk space is necessary.

Procedure to Get Software

Instructors:

For a FREE copy:  Contact Sunset Reports via email at Education@SunsetReports.com.  Include in your email your name, school name, course name and number, and approximate number of students. If you have a web link to either your website and/or the course website, please include that as well.   Also include the dates the course will be held.   You will then receive an email with instructions for downloading the software for yourself.   The software will then need to be activated and will be usable from the date of the request to 1 month after the course ends.   To Purchase a copy:  Go to the Purchase page.   Choose the Workstation Edition with the Educational discount, and pay online.

Students:

For a FREE copy:  Contact Sunset Reports via email at Education@SunsetReports.com.  Include in your email your name, school name, instructor name, course name and number, and starting date of the course.  You will then receive an email with instructions for downloading the software for yourself.   The software will then need to be activated and will be usable from the date of the request to 1 month after the course ends.