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ActiveReports 11 Server - New Web Designer

Last week we hosted a webinar to introduce the new web designer. The goal of this webinar was to provide a hands-on session taking attendees through the steps to create:

  1. A tabular report
  2. A chart-based report
  3. A simple pivot report
  4. A report with parameters

First, we reviewed the following design elements and showed how they help to enable self-service reporting for end users.

  • Minimalistic menu ribbon
  • Simplified property panel
  • Readily available toolbox
  • Auto-hidden panels

These design elements combine to ensure that we dedicate as much of the available space as possible to the report design surface. This WYSIWYG web designer brings the power of reporting to the end user in a way that is not overwhelming. While it hides the advanced functionality from the common user, report authors and power users can use the Show More button to see all of the properties that developers see in RDL reports. This enables them to design pixel-perfect reports right in the browser window. Other aspects of self-service reporting that the designer addresses include:

  • Prepared datasets for data governance
  • Themes and styles for organization-wide reporting consistency
  • Expressions for ad-hoc calculations and conditional formatting
  • Data aggregation to find relationships between disparate data sources

Tabular report With the theory covered, we did a deep dive into the steps to design a tabular report. We used a shared data set to show a list of customer orders. Chart report For the chart-based report, we used a data set showing sales by region. We uncovered the relationship between profit and quantity sold to determine the performance of stores. Pivot report The third report was a more complex pivot. We showed details of the average sales price for all movies by media type. Parameterized report Then we added a country parameter to the Customer Orders report. We also discussed how to create an ad-hoc data set based on a direct query, and how to limit its use to the current report. Here is a recording of the session if you would like to see the report design process.

Here is a PDF file containing the slides from the webinar if you want to review them: ActiveReports Server - New Web Designer Slides As I mentioned during the session, these walkthroughs are available in our Quick Start Guide for the new web designer. Given the time constraints, we kept things at a high level to enable us to cover more breadth of the topic. In future sessions, we plan to do a deeper dive into specific areas. One such area, based on feedback from attendees, is "Datasets" and getting data for the reports. Watch our webinar page to see the new sessions as we plan them.


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