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Window View – The Next BIG thing in Sunset Reports

December 15, 2015 1 comment

Coming in the next version of Sunset Reports is “Window View”.   Currently you can print, export, and print preview a report.  With “Window View”, your report becomes a window for viewing on the screen only.   The features of this new view include:

  1. Display your report as a window on the screen
  2. The window can be interactive using the scripts you design in the report designer.   There are numerous possibilities here.  Drilldown reports, menus, etc.   This can be your user interface to the reports you want to give to a user.   Users don’t even have to see the functions of Sunset Reports to see the reports they want or you want to give them.  You can launch other reports in Window View or Print Preview.
  3. The window is automatically sized to the page size of the report design so you can control the window size.  Make it as small or large as you want.  Include any of the report objects.   Use a Label with a OnClick script to create a button.
  4. You can set a time for the window to refresh.  This means your report will be updated periodically automatically.  The update time can be as little as 1 second.  So now your report will update in real time showing real time data.
  5. If your report has more than one page, and if you set an window refresh time, the pages of the report will cycle to that time, and when the first page comes back up, the report will be refreshed with new data.   This feature can be used for slide shows with real time data.

The following figure shows a Window View of a report design.  This design is intended to work as a menu system.   It has a clock that is updated every second.   The five items on the right are labels with click events to perform functions.   This example is included in the sample reports file included with the product.   You can actually create your own application with this feature.

DemoMenu

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Updated Documentation

August 26, 2013 Leave a comment

The Sunset Reports User Manual has been updated to the latest version and includes 229 pages of detail information for reference on all the aspects of the product.   This includes:  Installation, Starting the Program, Setup, Data Sources, Report Design, Report Definitions, Report Distribution, a Tutorial, and Technical Support.ManualPreview it Here

Coming

May 14, 2013 Leave a comment

This version focuses on the look and feel aspects of the product.

  1. New preference added to choose a skin theme for all forms.  42 different skins available
  2. New preference added to select the background color or the Tiled Main Menu
  3. The docking of the panels in the tabbed/ribbon report designer will be saved and restored the next time the form is opened
  4. The position and size of the tabbed/ribbon report designer will be saved and restored the next time the form is opened
  5. The changes made to the various list forms including grouping, sorting, filtering, column selection, etc. will be saved and restored the next time the form is opened.   This includes the data source list, report design list, report definition list, report list, and queue list.

LookPreferences

Here is a YouTube video showing all 42 skins in just over a minute – Watch Now

New Features

May 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Another great update to Sunset Reports is here.   This version introduces two new major features:

  • Start the program with “opening arguments”.   Create your own shortcuts or even open Sunset Reports with another program.  Up to 4 opening arguments will put the software in one of 8 modes.
  • A new menu interface inspired by the Windows 8 Metro interface.   Now it will be easier to use our software with your touch screens.

Here are the 8 modes:  (Note: Modes 2 thru 8 all require Arg1 being a specified report storage file)

  1. No arguments – normal mode connecting to default user report storage file
  2. Normal mode connecting to arg1 instead of the default user report storage file.
  3. With Arg2 a positive number – run in BATCH mode with arg2 = run queue time
  4. With Arg2 = -1, show report list and if Arg3 then filter by category = Arg3 and if Arg 4 then filter by userid = Arg4
  5. With Arg2 = -2, show report carousel and if Arg3 then filter by category = Arg3 and if Arg 4 then filter by userid = Arg4
  6. With Arg2 = a Report Definition Name and if no Arg3 then print preview the report definition by that name.
  7. With Arg2 = a Report Definition Name and if Arg3 = 1 then print to default printer directly
  8. With Arg2 = a Report Definition Name and if Arg3 = 2 then print with prompt for printer

Here is the new menu….

SunsetReportsTileMenu

Poster – Large Format Pictures

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

If you have ever wanted to take a picture, image, or photo and blow it up and print it on a large format paper, or multiple sheets of paper and tape it together, you might have a hard time finding the right tools.  Sunset Reports can be easily used to print posters, or simpye your picture or photo on multiple sheets of paper.   Choose as many sheets wide and tall you want, and print them out.   This concept works well too for signs.  For a sign, you can use the label or rich text control.  And you can also use any other combination of controls for both text and images.

Here are the steps to follow to print a picture across multiple pages:

1 – Create a new report design

2 – Select the paper size you want to print to and the orientation (Landscape or Portrait)

3 – Add a picture box control.

4 – Select your picture using the Image URL Property

5 – Size your picture by changing the size properties of the Picture Box control.  The size is set usually by hundreds of an inch(or tenths of a millimeter).   For example 2000 = 20 inches.

6 – Change the sizing property to “Stretch Image”

7 – Size the TopMargin and BottomMargin to something compatible with your printer.  (50 works good in most cases)

8 – Go to Print Preview to see your result.   Then either print it, or go back to Report Design to tweak your document.

Here is a print preview of an image that was stretched to 3 pages wide by 4 pages high.

Poster

Compare Toolbars with Crystal Reports

March 9, 2013 Leave a comment

In the following figure we have compared the report designer toolbars between Crystal Reports and Sunset Reports.

Crystal Reports vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

Crystal Reports vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

The red arrows show a match with the toolbar items between the two software programs.  Crystal Reports only has a rectangle as a shape while Sunset Reports provides 23 shapes.

The items on the bottom of the figure with a blue callout show items that Sunset Reports has and Crystal Reports does not have.

For the items on the top toolbar with a green callout:

1 – Insert Group (This is handled differently in Sunset Reports)

Compare Toolbars with SQL Server

March 8, 2013 Leave a comment

In the following figure we have compared the report designer toolbars between SQl Server Report Builder and Sunset Reports.

SQL Server vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

SQL Server vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

The red arrows show a match with the toolbar items between the two software programs.  SQL Server only a rectangle as a shape while Sunset Reports provides 23 shapes.

The items on the bottom of the figure with a blue callout show items that Sunset Reports has and SQL Server does not have.

For the items on the top toolbar with a green callout:

1 – List (This is the default report format in Sunset Reports and does not need a button)

2 – Data Bar (This is a new control coming in an upcoming release of Sunset Reports.  In the meantime, you can use a horizontal bar chart or a horizontal bar gauge)

3 – Sparkline (This is a new control coming in an upcoming release of Sunset Reports.  In the meantime, you can use a line chart)