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Archive for the ‘Report Server’ Category

Quick Introduction

May 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports is based on award winning components and proven technology, and provides users an alternative to such software as Crystal Reports, SSRS, and others.  The report designer handles all types of content.   And you can even import report designs from other software as well.  The report queue allows for scheduling of reports, file and document distribution including recurring schedules and provides easy to use list and calendar views.  Besides using Sunset Reports as a reporting tool, it is perfect for information management, data analysis, business analytics, visualizations, web site design, making labels, data conversion, document management, document distribution, and more.

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Alternative to Reporting Services (SSRS)

January 11, 2014 Leave a comment

SQL Server Reporting Services is a popular choice for creating, deploying, and managing reports.  But there are many occasions when it is an overkill or the data source is not SQL Server.  Sunset Reports provides an attractive alternative that provides most of the features of SSRS and many features that SSRS doesn’t provide.  Sunset Reports is easier to learn, is simple to install and use, and is less expensive.

Sunset Reports provides a great award winning Report Designer, a powerful visual query builder, the ability to connect to almost any database, a huge list of export and file formats, and numerous features to deliver the reports to the user.   Sunset Reports can act as a report server with a true Windows based process running in the background.  As a report server it can push reports to users, but it can also respond to emails when a user wants to pull a report.   With the ability to schedule reports and have them queued up, you have everything you need to manage document delivery.  And since reports can also be saved as a web page, Sunset Reports can build web pages and FTP them directly to your website.

So if you are looking for another option besides SSRS, or any other report designer, then look carefully at Sunset Reports.

Feature List

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment
Data Connectivity Data Sources MS Access (all versions), SQL Server, MS Excel, Oracle, OLEDB, ODBC, MS Outlook, MySQL, and more
Visual Query Builder Grouping, Sorting, Filtering, Sub-queries, derived tables, Union queriesAdvanced properties: Aliases, Virtual fields, Various SQL Dialects, Visual representation modes
Report Design Contents grouping, filters, sorting, bands, sub-reports, styles, summaries, calculated fields, watermarks, backgrounds, bookmarks, parameters
Controls text boxes, lines, shapes. barcodes, checkboxes, page info, panels, images, page breaks, tables, postal codes, rich text controls, cross-band controls, hyperlinks, multi-columns, cross-references, gauges, map control
Pivot Tables OLAP, Key Performance Indicators, (KPI) Graphics
Charts & Graphs 56 Types with many options2D, 3D, Regression and Trends
plus Parameters, scripts, wizards, labels, mail merge, Drilldown, Drillthrough, Document Map, Multiple reports within a single reportImport from Crystal Reports, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, Data Dynamics Active Reports, and DevExpress
Report Definitions Parameters Select from a data sourceText, Numeric, Static Dates, Dynamic Dates, Fixed and Prompted
plus Multiple definitions using the same design, Descriptions, Titles, External files (treat a file from other software as a report), Print/Preview, Export, Email
Distribution & Delivery Report Processor Runs as a service in the background
Similar functionality to a Report Server
Has the functionality of a server without an operating system server, database server, or web server
Handles report subscriptions
Report Bursting, Report Exploding, Report Splitting, Email Blasts, Email Broadcasting
Report Queue Schedule one time, Schedule recurring, List and Calendar views
Email Requests Monitor email requests, Reply to emails with attached reports/documents
FTP Transfer reports to FTP Site
Website Semi-Static Website, Automatic Index page creation for reports including nested folders
File Formats Document: pdf, html, mht, rtf, txt
Data: txt, csv, xls, xlxs
Graphic: bmp, emf, gif, jpeg, png, tiff, wmf
PDF’s can be password protected

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.

Report Server

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports can work as a “Report Server” similar to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Crystal Reports.   The difference is Sunset Reports is much easier to implement and does not provide a web based interface.   No actual server software exists.   Instead a Windows Service is run on any Windows based computer including XP, Vista, 7, Server 2003, and Server 2008.   The service or “Report Processor Service” as we refer to it, runs in the background whether a user is logged on or not.   It runs off a report queue which has a list of reports to run, their scheduled time, format, destination, etc.    Reports can be added via the Windows based user interface, or from an email request.   The Report Processor Service also monitors an incoming email inbox for requests.   Reports can be saved in a variety of formats and even FTP’d to a website.

iPad Database Sync

June 8, 2012 Leave a comment

In a recent article by Sam Laird titled “In a Relationship:  Mobile Apps and the Cloud“, the author points out the connection between mobile devices and the cloud. In recent posts we spoke about how this relationship works with our software. Getting reports from Sunset Reports is a simple process that we have spoke about several times and offered several methods to do it, from emails, texts, and cloud services.

Capturing data on a mobile device and getting that data into a database that Sunset Reports can connect to is a different topic. Client software on a mobile device exists to do just that. There are a few business database applications for the iPad, but here we want to focus on those that will “sync” to a cloud server in the true sense of the word.   The app needs to handle the situation where it is not online all the time. If you go to the app store and search for “database sync” you will only find one product in the “business” category, and that app is called “Cellica Database”. In future posts, we will explore this app and how to use it in conjuction with our product.