Tuesday, 26 March 2013

NextReports: Get data from text files

NextReports 6.1 will allow to create a data source for CSV files. Using a CSV JDBC driver , users will be able to create reports and charts simply by providing data inside a csv file. Data source url contains the directory path where csv files are found:

There are some special properties which can be edited using driver properties:

You are not restricted to csv files, you can use any text file in which data is separated through a special separator. Csv file may contain the columns names on the first row, but generally those names should be specified in driver properties. Here user can also define the types for columns choosing between Int, String, Double, Boolean and Date.

Lets say, as a simple example, we have a simple csv file like the following with balance accounts for some persons:


When we connect to the CSV data source we will see the csv files from that folder as tables and we can use them to create a report just like with any database data. The only restriction is that a query must be done on a single csv file. We cannot make joins between such tables.

We could make a simple report to compute the sum of balances:

We can also see that empty fields are correctly interpreted depending on the defined types:

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

NextReports Server: Alerts

NextReports Server introduces a new feature in version 6.0: Alerts.

The idea behind is that a user can be notified by email if a condition is evaluated as true. How can be this achieved inside NextReports Server? Very simple.

User has to schedule an alarm or an indicator report (those reports that offer a single value at a moment in time). Instead of adding alarm or report to a dashboard and periodically look at it to see if something wrong may occur, user will schedule them in the same way as a regular report. The only difference is in the way how the result is distributed.

A new destination type called alert must be selected. Alert is typically an email destination but without a "sending type". There is no link to the generated report, so the mail will contain just a simple message defined by user. Instead, a condition must be entered which compares the current value with one or two thresholds.

In case an alarm is scheduled, the mail message will automatically contain, at the end, the alarm's message.