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Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

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.

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Use the Web as a Data Source

June 19, 2012 Leave a comment

As you have probably already seen, Sunset Reports can use an Excel Workbook as a data source.  Excel has the ability to pull data from a Web Page using what is called a Web Query.   When you are in Excel choose the Data tab on the ribbon bar, and then choose the item “From Web”.   You can pull data from a section of a web page and have it inserted into a worksheet.   If the inserted data is formatted with headers, give it a range name, and now you have a web based data source.   Be sure to setup the options to have the data extracted when Excel is opened so the data is refreshed automatically.

Web Page Designer

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment
Sunset Reports is not only a great report designer, but you can use it to create static web pages that do not connect to a data source and are not really reports.   To do this, you create a new report design.  When it prompts you for a data source or the wizard pops up, just cancel.   You will then have a blank report design.    You can now use a number of controls to build your webpage. Start with a table control to organize a page.   You can add rows, columns, and cells.   Deleting cells will provide a way to merge cells across columns.   The sizes of rows and columns can be controlled.   Once you have a rough layout, now start adding controls to the cells.   A label control will give you text, but if you want to mix up the fonts, sizes, or colors within a control, use the Rich Text control.   Add lines, shapes, and images.   You can even add a chart if you want to add the data manually.   Use the HTML View to see how it will look.   You can also do a lot with borders, and styles.   All objects have a Navigation Target and Navigation URL property, so adding hyperlinks is powerful and easy.   The Navigation Target will be one of these values: _blank, _parent, _search, _self, or _top.   The URL can point to an external page or a control on the current page.  To point to the control within the page, assigning the name of the target control to the Navigation URL property, and set the Navigation Target property to “_self”.
Categories: Web Tags: , , ,

Federal Reserve System

June 10, 2012 Leave a comment

The Federal Reserve System has a Data Download program providing all kinds of information about

  • Principal economic indicators
  • Bank Assets & Liabilities
  • Business Finance
  • Exchange Rates and International Data
  • Flow of Funds Accounts
  • Household Finance
  • Industrial Activity
  • Interest Rates
  • Money Stock and Reserve Balances

And all this data is available for download and you can choose your format which includes CSV, Excel, and XML.  All formats are supported by Sunset Reports.   Search previous posts for details of how to connect using these formats.

US Census Data

June 9, 2012 Leave a comment

There are a number of datasets you can download and feed into Sunset Reports from the US Census Bureau.   The datasets are numerous and are downloaded as csv files.   Sunset Reports can directly link to these files using the Query Builder and connecting to a CSV Folder.   Each CSV file becomes a table object and you can actually create data sources linking multiple CSV files.   The reporting opportunities are endless.

Cloud Server

June 7, 2012 Leave a comment

In some upcoming posts, the details of how to implement a Cloud Server with Sunset Reports will be discussed.   The following diagram shows the basis of this discussion.  This architecture has been used for projects where a database client was running on an iPad, and this client would synchronize with it’s server counterpart and keep a set of database tables up to date both on the iPad and the Server.   Then Sunset Reports was used to create the reports needed and pushed those reports to the client on a schedule and as requested.

Reporting from the Federal IT Dashboard

May 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The website http://www.itdashboard.gov/ provides the public with a view on the federal IT budget.   It contains a variety of data sources and in particular provides the ability to download data to XML files.   Go to the Data Feeds tab to select your data.

After you download your selected file, you can choose this file from the Report Designer, using the  “XML Data Path” property of the report.  See the Post about XML Reporting.

If you choose the Exhibit 53 data source from the website and choose all the fields, your Field List window will then look like the following figure.   Here Sunset Reports parses the XML file and selects the fields in the file.   Now you can create your own graphs and reports about the federal IT Budget.   This is just one example of how you can get web data and feed it into a report.