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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

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

Changes

April 5, 2013 Leave a comment

If you are an existing Sunset Reports customer, upgrade to this version for FREE!

Here is a summary of the changes in this new version of Sunset Reports:

  • New Report Designer with ribbon and tabbed reports
  • Preference added to choose standard report designer or ribbon/tabbed report designer
  • PDF Page Burst (see below for details)
  • PDF Bookmark Burst (see below for details)
  • MHT Bookmark Burst (see below for details)
  • [Run Now] button added to Report Queue List
  • Expanded status field of Report Queue
  • Send a report to multiple email addresses
  • Include a report as the body of the email message using HTML
  • Improvements in the performance of the Report Processor
  • Updated to the lastest DevExpress controls
  • Fixed issues with samples

These special formats are used for report bursting which is also referred to as report splitting or report exploding.  They are also useful for email blasts or email broadcasting.

PDF Page Burst:  If you select this format, a single report will be broken up into multiple files, each file containing one page.  The filename will be the report definition name followed by a dash and the page number.

PDF Bookmark Burst:  The PDF Bookmark Burst is a little more tricky than the simple page burst.   This format requires that you include a label control in your report design named exactly “BurstFileName”.  This control’s bookmark property needs to be bound to a data source that will determine the name of the file.  A good example of this might be invoice number, customer name, or a combination of similar items.   It wants to be something that will uniquely name the file and give you a description of what the file is.  So as an example, you could end up with a folder full of PDF files for your invoices.  When you preview the report, all the invoices will be in one report, but when the report is processed from the queue, it is separated into multiple files. Exactly which pages of the big report go into which files is controlled by the placement of the control in the report design.  The best place to put it is in a group band, and then you set the group to start on a new page.  This insures that pages are separated properly for each report file.

There is also another twist to this format.   If you also include a control name exactly “BurstEmailAddress” and bind the value of that control to your data source that contains email addresses, the reports will be created as separate files, but also emailed as attachements.   The subject and body of the email is controlled by the specific queue entry.  With this powerful feature, you can now send out multiple emails with different attachments with a single report and queue entry.

MHT Bookmark Burst:  This format is a variation of the PDF Bookmark Burst, except for the following.   The report format for the separate files is not a PDF, but instead an MHT file.  This is a referred to as a MIME HTML file where the page format combines what might be multiple files for HTML.

If you include the control named “BurstEmailAddress” as described in the PDF Bookmark Burst section, then the report will become the body of the email instead of the attachment.   This is perfect for email blasts or email broadcasting.   Graphics will work and the email is sent with the body as HTML.

Report Bursting

March 25, 2013 Leave a comment

The concept is to print one report definition and have multiple report files like PDF’s creating with individual files for multiple recipients.   For example, you have a report definition for invoices to send to all your customers, but you obviously want to send just one invoice to each customer.  With standard report processing, you will end up with multiple invoices in one big PDF.  With Report Bursting (also referred to as report splitting or report exploding), you can have a single file for each customer/invoice.  Each file is a subset of the report results.

This new feature is in the works with our development team and testing is in progress.   And with our report distribution system, each report can go to a different email address too.

This new feature will be valuable for order confirmations, invoices, contracts, purchase orders, dunning letters, employee statements, billing statements, promotional mailing, sales letters, appointment confirmations, etc. or any report you design.

ReportBusting

New Version Coming

March 5, 2013 Leave a comment

The developers at Sunset Reports are working on yet another version of Sunset Reports adding new features to make the product the best in its class.   One of the new features is a new report designer.   In the past versions, you were able to edit one report design in the report designer.  Of course, you could have any number of report design windows open so editing multiple reports at the same time was never a problem.  Now you can choose between a single report designer or the new multi tabbed report designer.   The new multi report designer also has a ribbon bar instead of the standard toolbars.   Both designers can accomplish the same task.  It is simply the user’s choice as to which one to use.   This can be controlled with a new setting on the preferences form.

MultiReportDesigner

The new Multi Report Ribbon Report Designer

 SingleReportDesignerThe Single Report Designer with standard toolbars.

Version 1.91 Released

February 28, 2013 Leave a comment

This version includes a new “Map Control”.  More posts will be available to describe this new feature.  The User Manual has been updated.

All current Sunset Reports customers get this update FREE.

Categories: Version History

Version 1.89 Released

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment

This version adds

  1. Gauges to the toolbox so you can now have gauges on your reports
  2. The report converter for importing your report designs from Microsoft Access, Crystal Reprots, Data Dynamics Active Reports. Dev Express. and Microsoft Excel is also being updated
  3. You can now create calls to Stored Procedures
  4. Several bug fixes are also included

This is a FREE update to all existing licensed Sunset Reports users.

Version 1.88

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Now available for download… Here is a list of new features and bug fixes:

  • New Barcode Type – Intelligent Mail
  • The ability to create custom report galleries.
  • The binding updater: After you have selected and uploaded a template from your custom report gallery, the report’s data bindings can be easily updated by using the binding updater. Using a couple of mouse-clicks, you can substitute all data bindings with the ones available in the actual data source.
  • Charts: Resolve overlapping for axis labels, automatically detect the data type of series arguments(you no longer need to specify scale type before providing data for a chart), crosshair cursor
  • Several improvements in the Pivot Table control
  • Added the capability to refer to other calculated fields
  • Provided the capability to get access to sub-properties of composite objects
  • Add an option to export only actual data to XLXS (without any styling applied, and also without any additional elements like XRPicture, XRShape)
  • Provided the capability to define aggregate expressions in the calculated field’s Expression Editor
  • Provided the capability to re-size the style sheet dialog
  • Support for NonPersistent properties/classes by the FilterEditorControl
  • Added support for Intelligent Mail Barcode
  • Added support the GS1 Data Matrix barcode
  • Provided the capability to use XtraReport’s CalculatedFields in data binding  with Charts
  • Allow to vertically merge cells with identical content, provided that a single-row table is located in a Detail band of a table
  • For Charts:  Added the capability to highlight series points by a crosshair cursor, Pie Series View – Added the capability to make the size of several pies on a chart equal, added support for advanced customization of crosshair lines and crosshair labels
  • Added lookup parameter editors
  • Script debugging
  • Bug Fixes: CreateDocument throws an exception when building bookmarks, Export – Metafile image cannot be exported to PDF and RTF, Master-detail report bands do not work correctly, because the DataAdapter property of the detail report band is not automatically set, OverflowException is raised if the label width is greater than Int32, and others
Categories: Version History

Version 1.87

May 2, 2012 Leave a comment

This version corrects some minor issues since the prior release.

  • Updated to DevExpress 2011 v2.11
  • Export to PDF – Issues with Shapes Moving a group of labels in different bands causes all labels to be moved to the same band
  • PrintDialog – Collate property is not applied
  • Reduce Scale report – CrossBandBox is not reduced
  • Report Designer – All unnecessary XRChart properties (EnableAxisZooming, EnableAxisScrolling, ZoomRectangle) are not hidden
  • Report Wizard crashes if a database contains tables with the same name but different schema
  • When added to the report XRRichText’s font does not match the XtraReport font
  • Misc fixes with the RTF Control
  • Updated help links
Categories: Version History

Version 1.86

April 2, 2012 Leave a comment

This version corrects some issues reported since the prior release.

Categories: Version History

Version 1.85

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

This is a maintenance release.   Changes in this version include:

  • Update to DevExpress version 11.2.10 controls
  • Added more error handling, logging, and timeout functions
Categories: Version History

Version 1.84

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The changes in this version include:

  • ODBC listing includes views in addition to tables
  • When changing a data source for a PDC or SDC, the embedded charts, pivot tables, and subreports will be changed too.
  • Update to DevExpress version 11.2.8 controls
  • Fixed problems with importing report designs from different formats
Categories: Version History

Version 1.83

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The major changes in this version include:

  • Several bug fixes in the report designer (updated to DevExpress version 11.2.6)
  • Native connection to MySQL using the Query Builder
  • Connection to a folder of CSV files
  • Connection to the Sunset Report configuration and report design files, so you can create reports based on things like the queue, received emails, etc.
  • Misc bug fixes
Categories: Version History

Version 1.82

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

This version does not add any major new features, just corrects several issues including:

  • Several bug fixes in the report designer (updated to DevExpress version 11.2.5)
  • Several bug fixes in the query builder (updated to Active Query Builder version 1.15.9.335)
  • Fixed issue with multi-user installation
  • Added the ability to persist security info in the SQL dialog in the query builder
  • Fixed backup filename after using the sample reports
  • Fixed sorting of categories on report definition dropdown list
  • Added new options on the Outlook connection using the query builder
  • Fixed error when adding a new data source in the report designer and in particular when connecting to an accdb file.
  • Fixed using SMTP servers with user name and password.   Added SPA Authentication.   Added ability to send a test email from the preferences form.
  • Added auto refresh Queue List
Categories: Version History

Version 1.8

July 8, 2011 Leave a comment

This version does not add any new features, just corrects several issues including:

  • Conditional Formatting: Formatting Rules do not work
  • Export: When exporting a report to an image, extra pixels are added
  • A NullReferenceException occurs after modifying a property for multiple controls using the Report Designer’s Property window
  • An incorrect TopMarginBand height in Preview if the band contains controls
  • Parameters: Cannot use custom parameters with empty values
  • DetailReportBand’s FilterString property does not work when using display names of DataSource properties
  • Expression Editor does not take the DisplayName property value of nested fields into account
  • Expression Editor- An incorrect data field is shown after closing and re-opening the editor
  • Formatting rules cannot use the DisplayName property of DetailReportBand
  • The FilterString property cannot use display names of an entity’s properties
  • Wrong field names are displayed in Label’s Mail Merge
  • Scale Factor is applied incorrectly
  • It should not be possible to embed a grid into a Table Cell and other Controls
  • Embedded images are not displayed in HTML in the Rich Text Control
  • Table Control: In-place editing for cells is not available after double-clicking a Table Cell
  • Charts: Axis Labels: When the Angle property differs from a multiple of 90 degrees, the axis label can overlap the diagram
  • Data Sources: When Using MS SQL, the field list does not populate when starting a new report
Categories: Version History

Version 1.7

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

This version adds

  • The ability to import report designs from Microsoft Excel.  You can import a worksheet range as a report design. The import will do cell sizes, fonts, colors, borders, alignment, and text.   The import creates a report that “looks like” the original Excel worksheet.   Formulas are not translated since they would not work and need to be reprogrammed, but the formulas are brought in and stored in a table cell’s tag property for reference.   The formatting is not 100%, but it is real close.
  • Updated Query Builder with several changes
  • Fixed bug when importing Dev Express reports
  • Added button to Data Sources form to save a data source as the Primary Data Connection (PDC) or Secondary Data Connection (SDC)
  • Added auto load button for the PDC and SDC which will create individual data sources for all tables/queries/views from a single button
  • Corrected bug when viewing data on the Data Source detail form when the table/query/view name contains spaces
  • Added menu items on the report designer to increase or decrease the size of fonts on all controls on a report
Categories: Version History

Version 1.6

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

This version includes:

  • The ability to import report designs from Crystal Reports, Microsoft Access, and Data Dynamics Active Reports
  • Eight (8) new chart types are added to bring the total number up to 56 chart types
  • A new 2D bar code is added called the Data Matrix Code.   This is also known as the ECC200 code which is the ISO/IEC 16022 standard
  • There are several other minor changes as well including changes to the charts to improve readability and performance improvements for the Grid control.
Categories: Version History