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Posts Tagged ‘enterprise-it’

Quick Introduction

December 31, 2018 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 lots more.

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More Features

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment
  • Powerful enough for the IT department & simple enough for end users
  • Lower initial and ongoing costs compared with competitor’s products
  • Handles document files from other software as well
  • Designed using award winning components and the best of proven technology
  • On the road! Request and receive reports via Email on your mobile device in a password protected PDF or various other formats
  • Connect to your accounting software, corporate databases, CRM, ERP, project management system or just a spreadsheet
  • Great for Data Conversion and creating new Excel files from Databases
  • The perfect data analyst tool
  • Companion to Microsoft Office
  • Use as the engine to drive a cloud solution

Click HERE to see more

 

The Perfect Data Analyst Tool

July 7, 2012 Leave a comment

If you are a data analyst or do data analysis work, Sunset Reports may be the perfect tool for you.   It can connect to a varient of business applications and databases.   You can create very sophisticated queries and data extractions.   With the report designer, you can produce almost any kind of report you want with many different type of charts or graphs, pivot tables for OLAP sources or any source, calculations, statistical and regression analysis, forecasting, and more.   The results can be sent to a variety of formats and distributed in a number of different ways.   It is ideal for making recommendations, interpreting data, discovering trends, problem solving, data mining, quantitive analysis, and data visualization.

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.

End User Deployment by the IT Department

June 15, 2012 Leave a comment

A really great method of deploying Sunset Reports for end users and giving them the ability to create reports from corporate databases is to have the IT department create RDB files with all the connections to the databases already made.   This would give the end users a friendly way to choose the data sources for their reports.   Different RDB files could be prepared based on the department and permission level for the users.

Writing Reports for Users

June 11, 2012 Leave a comment

In the article “10 tasks IT should consider handing off to someone else” by Scott Lowe, he covers a very important topic, “7: Writing reports for users… to a point”.   We would like to add to that discussion, that accomplishing this requires the non IT person needs a tool that can use and master.   We created Sunset Reports to be just that tool.  Several posts have already covered this topic and if you have not tried Sunset Reports yet, we encourage you to see how well it works.

Search our blog for the term “user” and you will see several posts relating to this subject.

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.

End of the Geek Era

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

A recent article titled “Cloud, iPad, and the end of the geek era” published on TechRepublic hits home for a lot of IT professionals.   The future is not about relying on the IT department.   Most people that need to get their work done, are doing it themselves.   That is why a product like Sunset Reports is a good choice for users who need to create reports from corporate data.   Recent posts here show how Sunset Reports integrates with the Cloud and the iPhone/iPad and also talk more about the IT department.

Cloud Storage

Use on Mobile Devices

Getting a Report via Text Message

IT Departments Should Not Write Reports for Users

End User Deployment by the IT Department

 

 

Report Specification

June 2, 2012 Leave a comment

If a user is to request a report be designed, some questions must be asked by the designer in order to proceed.   The following list of questions can be used as a starting point for discussions when specifying a report:

  1. What is the purpose of the report?
  2. What skill level will be required to read the report?
  3. In what format(s) will the reports be generated?
  4. Who will the receipient(s) be receiving the report?
  5. What is the frequency of the report?
  6. If the report is stored in a repository, how long is the retention time of the report?
  7. What or where is the data source(s) of the report?
  8. What fields or columns will be used?
  9. What type of report will it be?  Columnar, Tabular, CrossTab, Detail, Summary, Charts, Labels, Form Letter, etc.
  10. What is the general content of the report?  Titles, Report Header, Page Header, Report Footer, Page Footer, Detail section, Subreports?
  11. What is the report orientation (Portrait, Landscape)?
  12. What page size should be used?  Margins?
  13. Are there any predefined templates to use?
  14. Are there any predefined style sheets to use?
  15. Are there any groupings for the report?  Contents of group header?  Contents of group footer?  Multigrouping?  Running Totals?
  16. Are there any paging requirements?  New page for groups?
  17. Is there any filtering?
  18. How is the data to be sorted?
  19. Is there any special requirements to emphasis the content of the report with fonts, color, shading, etc.?
  20. Will there be any user prompted parameters to control the content of the report?
  21. Are there any calculations to be performed?
  22. What data is to be summarized?
  23. Will there be any hyperlinks on the report?  Drilldowns?
  24. Will the report include a document map?
  25. Is there any security or permission considerations?

This list is far from complete, but it will give you a good start on the discussions that need to occur when specifying a report.

This Website on the iPad

May 30, 2012 Leave a comment

This website has a special viewing feature when viewed on an iPad.

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Don’t forget to click on the Menu button on the top right to see a submenu with all the pages available as well as the most popular categories.

You can always click on the bottom and view the site in the standard format.

Business Asset

May 26, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the most important assets in business is DATA and when the data is turned into INFORMATION, it becomes the primary asset of a business.   Transforming data from a variety of sources, making it accessible, and presenting it in a form that is useful is the main purpose of Sunset Reports.    Timely information and business intelligence in the right format gives managers the ability to

  • Make quicker decisions
  • Make smarter dicisions
  • Adapt to changes
  • Affect the bottom line

With Sunset Reports, you do not have to manually run reports, they can be delivered on demand or scheduled to occur on a recurring basis.    They can be delivered to a manager’s workstation or portable device like a smartphone or tablet.   They can show up on a website, email, or message.

Keeping it Simple

May 20, 2012 Leave a comment

We talk about how Sunset Reports is simple.   Let’s illustrate this point.    For the large companies that use MS SQL Server, they use a powerful tool called SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services).   This is integrated with SQL Server and requires a fair amount of understanding.   Just look at all the tools that are needed for SSRS:  Power View, Report Designer, Report Builder, Reporting Services Configuration Manager, SQL Server Mangement Studio, SQL Server Configuration Manager, Rsconfig Utility, Rskeymgmt Utility, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Classes, SharePoint Central Administration, PowerShell Cmdlets, Report Server Web Service URL, Report Manager, RS Utility (References).   That is 14 different tools.

Sunset Reports keeps it simple with just one tool.   Everything you need is available from a single program.   Installation is simpler, training is simpler, etc.   Now we do not say that Sunset Reports is as powerful as SRSS, but it can handle most of what SRSS provides and is more than enought for most small businesses.   It is simpler and that translates to cost and time savings.

Less Expensive + Faster = Cost Savings + Time Savings

Industries Needing Sunset Reports

May 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is a short list of industries that can use Sunset Reports:

Agriculture, Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace, Aircraft, Airline, Apparel, Automotive, Banking, Broadcasting, Brokerage, Biotechnology, Call Centers, Cargo Handling, Chemical, Computer, Construction, Consulting, Consumer Products, Cosmetics, Defense, Department Stores, Education, Electronics, Energy, Entertainment & Leisure, Executive Search, Financial Services, Food and Beverage, Grocery, Health Care, Human Resources, Insurance, Legal, Manufacturing, Marketing, Media, Music, Newspaper Publishers, Office Management, Online Auctions, Pharmaceuticals, Private Equity, Publishing, Real Estate, Retail & Wholesale, Sales Management, Securities & Commodity Exchanges, Service, Software, Sports, Technology, Telecommunications, Telemarketing, Transportation, and more.

Cost Savings

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are a couple of ways Sunset Reports will save you money:

  1. The purchase price of Sunset Reports is very affordable and is lower than any of it’s competitors.
  2. Because implementation and installation is simpler than other solutions, you will be up and running is far less time.
  3. It is a single reporting solution for a variety of data sources.  So users do not have to learn different ways of creating reports.   Training is minimized.
  4. The program is powerful enought for the IT department and simple enough for end users.    The end users can create reports without burdening the IT department.

IT Departments Should Not Write Reports for Users

May 9, 2012 Leave a comment

In a recent article by Scott Lowe named “Four more things your IT department  should consider not doing“, he mentions writing repors for users is not something IT departments should do for each and every report.   Sunset Reports makes this happen by being easy enough for end users to use.   What the IT department needs to do is to setup the data sources.   So the IT department sets up the data sources and then deploys the Sunset Report RDP file to the end users to create the reports.   It is a win-win situation for all.   IT does not get bogged down with report requests and end users don’t have to wait for their reports.   In fact, the end user can tweak the reports as necessary.

Cloud Storage

May 9, 2012 Leave a comment

A great way to remotely get access to the reports created by Sunset Reports is to use a cloud service.   You have many choices including Dropbox, iCloud, SkyDrive, Google Drive, CX.com, SugarSync, among others.   If you are nervous about security with sensitive reports, use the password protection on an encrypted PDF file to be safe.

Our recommendation is SkyDrive, although the others work too.   Set your report repository to a folder within your local Skydrive folder on your workstation or server.   As soon as the report is saved, it is available on your Skydrive devices including other PC’s, your iPad, your iPhone, etc.   It cannot be easier or more simple.

Sunset Reports now listed on CNET Download.com

May 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports is now available as a download from download.cnet.com.   When you download from this website and start the installation process, you will need a serial number.    Please email us at support@sunsetreport.com to get your FREE serial number and start your 30 DAY FREE TRIAL.

Web Capabilities

April 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports has several capabilities for the web. These include:

  • Saving reports as HTML and MHT
  • Automatically creating index web pages for report folders
  • Sending files to web sites via FTP
  • Designing web pages using the report designer with tables, labels, images, rich text controls, lines, shapes, navigation targets and navigation urls.
  • Preview designs in HTML

Use on Mobile Devices

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunset Reports can work as a great tool for viewing reports on mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, or other smartphone via Email, FTP, or Web pages. The Push/Pull capabilities via Email and the report server function in Sunset Reports provides everything you need for viewing reports. Report design is best handled on the Windows based hardware where the databases generally reside.

The PDF’s generated by Sunset Reports can be sent to your iPhone and iPad  and they look great and are easy to view using iBooks. 

A good scenerio used by many users is to receive reports from Sunset Reports each morning via email on their iPad. The email comes to you when you are at home when you are connected via WiFi. Then when you leave for the day, your iPad has the reports you need without an internet connection. This process works great. You never have to wait for your reports to run or download. They are there when you need them and the PDF quality is wonderful. You can even forward or share the reports as necessary.

Microsoft and the Future

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

A recent article Microsoft’s master plan to beat Apple and Google on the CNN Money website talks about how Microsoft is staging a comeback with Windows 8.   Sunset Reports is a Winform application that will run on the new operating system when it is released this fall.   The future is exciting for all of us here at Software for Professionals and we want you to know that we will continue to support the current and new operating systems that all our businesses are built and depend on.

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