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Posts Tagged ‘Implementation’

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

 

 

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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.

Tag Property

May 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Within the Sunset Report’s report designer, each object has a “Tag” property.   This property allows you to add some unique information that can be accessed via scripts.   This could be an id, or actually a data field if the report has a data source.   With this tag property all kinds of possibilities exist with scripts.

Document Management

May 8, 2012 Leave a comment

In addition to creating new documents, Sunset Reports can manage documents created from other systems as well.    Each document can be tracked or catalogued as a “Report Definition”.   For documents created by sunset reports, a report design is assigned and the document created when needed.   For documents created from other systems you link to the document from the report definition screen.

All the fields of the report definition are available to be used in this case, except you will leave the report design field blank.   Now whenever the report processor/queue is requesting the report, the filename parameter is used to use an existing report or file instead of running a report.   The filename can be of any type and can be emailed, FTP’d, etc.

 

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.

Styles

May 6, 2012 Leave a comment

The report designer includes the ability to define styles that can be applied to controls on your report.   This saves a lot of time formatting the report since you can apply a style to a control and that applies several formatting properties all at once.   It even get better than that.   You can change a style after it has been applied and all the controls assigned to that style are automatically updated.   Style lists can be saved to a file and loaded into other reports as well.

You can find Free style sheets on our Download page.

Report Storage File

May 4, 2012 Leave a comment

All preferences, report designs, definitions, queue, etc. are stored in a single file so they can easily be retrieved and managed. When the software is installed, each user will have their own report storage file. The file extension of this file is “rdb”. The file is also referred to as the RDB file. You can determine the location by opening the “About” form from the Navigator by clicking on the Sunset Reports logo, or from the pull down menu Help – About.

You can change your default report storage file, by clicking on the “Change Report Storage File” button on the “About” form. You will either need to make a copy of the file installed or move the installed file to a different location.

NOTE for Advanced Users: You can create a shortcut to a different Report Storage file by creating a shortcut to the Sunset Reports program and adding a command line parameter with the filename of the Report Storage file you want to use. For example:

“C:\Program Files\SFP\Sunset Reports\Reporter.exe” “C:\Documents and Settings\MYNAME\My Documents\Sunset Reports\nwind_sample.rdb”

This provides you the ability to have multiple shortcuts that will open different Report Storage files.