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Posts Tagged ‘FTP Client’

All In One Software

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment

As we continue to see how people use Sunset Reports, we are amazed to find out that the product can do so much.   In surveying our current user base, we have found the functionality of the software going beyond what we originally intended.   Here is a small list of how the software has been used (The first few were obvious, but included here to make the list as complete as possible.)

  • Reporting Tool
  • Data Analysis
  • Business Analytics
  • Management Dashboards
  • Charting
  • Visualizations
  • Business Graphics
  • Web Site Design
  • Web Page Designer
  • Label Maker
  • Word Processor
  • Dunning Letters
  • Data Conversion Tool
  • Document Management
  • Document Distribution
  • FTP Client
  • File Backup Manager
  • Report Server
  • Report Subscriptions
  • Meeting Presentations
  • Report Scheduler
  • Model What-if Scenarios
  • Email Blasts

If you are using the product for something not on this list, drop us a line, we would love to hear from you.

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.

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.

Preferences

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Prior to designing reports, you should establish your preferences. Click on the Preferences block on the Navigator, or use the pull down menu Edit – Preferences.

The preferences form contains tabs which group the preferences into related areas. The form itself should have enough information about each of the preferences so you know what to enter.

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If you would like to have the time of sunset each day be displayed on your splash screen and available for schedule of reports, you need to add the latitude and longitude of your location on the Preferences form. There are a number of ways to do this from using a GPS at your location, to going to various websites that provide that information when you enter a city or zip code. Here is a simple method. Go to Google Maps. Zoom into your location. Right mouse click on your location and select “What’s here?” On the top of the web page in the search box, is the latitude and longitude. They are even in the right format. Enter the first number as the latitude on the preferences form and the second number as the longitude.

The Email tab contains the preferences to establish the connection to the SMTP server that will be used to send emails as well as the default values for the Email messages. If you are going to send password protected PDF attachments, enter the password here.

The FTP preferences include the required items to send a report file to an FTP site. By default the files will be sent to the root folder of the FTP site, but you can have subfolders and you can specify the subfolder as the destination folder when defining the Report Queue entry. Only reports processed from the queue can be sent to an FTP site.

Sunset Reports has the ability to create a semi-dynamic web site that does not require a web server. This is ideal for creating a web site and not having the complications of a web server. Since Sunset Reports can automatically create web pages and update the web site, it is referred to as a semi-dynamic web site. The Web preference to “Create Home Page” if set to yes, will create an index.htm file in the repository so the repository can be a local static web site for reports and the home page will contain links to the files. Files indexed include PDF, HTML, HTM, and MHT. If an IndexMaster.htm file exists, it will be used as part of the Home Page. This allows you to create a custom home page with a logo. If you do not have this file, a default home page will be created. The repository may contain subfolders and these are treated as groups and will appear as a link on the parent index.htm and will open a new index.htm file created in the subfolder. This allows you to group reports and organize the static web site more. You might also use this feature to provide security on the website, using Windows security to give access to users by subfolder.

The Data preferences are optional but very useful. By establishing a common data connection, creating data sources becomes real easy. The tab contains the preferences “Primary/Preferred Data Connection” (PDC) and “Secondary Data Connection” (SDC). These are data connection strings that are very specific to the database you are connecting to.  Note that your reports are not just limited to these two data connections.  By changing this preference, all report designs with the data source type PDC or SDC will be updated to the new data source. Creating the PDC and SDC is made easy by using the Report Designer wizard or the Query Builder.

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