Friday, October 10, 2014

NextReports: Docx Exporter

NextReports can supply many export formats for generated files like PDF, HTML, EXCEL, RTF, XML, CSV, TSV, TXT. Starting from version 7.3 DOCX can be also used.

Generated docx files must be seen with Word Microsoft Office 2007+. Other free applications like LibreOffice or OpenOffice may not be able to correctly render the file, especially if features like "new page", "vertical merge", "html text" or "sub-reports" are involved.

Docx exporter has also some restrictions:
  1. "Page number" variable can be used inside header or footer band, but alone. If you use more cells, they will be ignored.
  2. "Total Page number" variable has no support.
  3. "Background image" has no support.
Designer action bar contains now the newly exporter:

Sample "Timesheet" report, that comes with demo database, has the following result as a docx file:

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

NextCharts: Dual Y Axis

NextCharts can present any number of series on an existing chart. Chart type can be one of line, area, bar and even combo bar-line to allow for comparison results.

But there are cases when there it is needed to compare series with data of different order of magnitude. In such situations some series may look flat. To prevent this, NextCharts offers now the possibility to add a second Y axis.

Json definition may now contain 3 new properties:
  • dualYAxis: true means second Y axis will be shown
  • y2Count: this is the number of (last) series that will be represented on second Y axis (by default it is one)
  • y2Legend: legend for second Y axis
 In next image it can be seen that the "Profit" line series is represented on second Y axis.

These properties will also be found in NextReports Designer's chart layout from version 7.3

Monday, September 29, 2014

NextReports: Excel Sheet Name

When a report is generated as Excel, sheets are named as "Page1", "Page 2" and so on. This is hard coded till version 7.3.

But starting with 7.3 version a new 'excel sheet name' property is used to address this issue.

If this property is left empty, sheets will have names like 1, 2, 3, ....

If user wants to use it, he has three options:

  1. Use a static list of strings: This is useful if you know from start how many sheets you have. For example A;B;C;D will name the first four sheets in this order as A, B, C, D.  If there are more sheets than elements in the list, next sheets will have their page number as name.
  2. Use a template  marker for page number ${NO}. For example Page ${NO} will name the sheets as Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, ...
  3. Use a template marker for group name ${G1}. This is useful if you have a group and you set "new page" after the group finishes, so you have group specific data on different sheets. In this case the sheets will be named with the group name. If there are more sheets than groups, next sheets will have their page number as name.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NextReports Evolution

Analyzing comparative data for previous and current year shows a strong positive evolution regarding the number of downloads (designer&server) and the number of updates (designer) made by users. Actual values are not displayed here, being sensitive data.

Number of updates has tripled in 2014 compared to 2013.

Number of downloads of all NextReports products has doubled this year compared to 2013.

This is very good news and I hope this trend will continue in following years.

Monday, September 22, 2014

NextReports: New lines in Excel

NextReports Engine can select text data which may contain 'new line' characters like \r , \n or \r\n. These are well interpreted if report is generated in PDF or RTF.  For Excel there was no posibillity until version 7.3.

If you have a character column with 'new line' characters, these will be replaced by Excel exporter. Exporter will also compute how many rows are present to know and to update the excel cell height accordingly.

Because this is a just a particular case, Excel exporter will not look to all texts for finding 'new line' characters. User has to select 'wrap text' cell property to true, to make searching active.