ActiveReports 11 was released on November 15, 2016. The release includes updates to both ActiveReports Developer and ActiveReports Server. This is an important release that ticks a number of milestones on our road map:
- A faster reporting engine
- New data providers
- Support for multiple axes on charts
- A ClickOnce report designer
- Batch printing functionality
Both ActiveReports 11 and ActiveReports 11 Server benefited tremendously from the performance optimization implemented in the rendering engine. The biggest improvements are in first page load times that are 20 times faster on the report server. The overall report load time also benefited from the optimized rendering process and it is twice as fast as the previous version. The optimizations also worked some magic on the PDF Rendering Extension. Combined with static images, the PDF optimization yields a 60% smaller memory footprint while exporting nearly twice as fast.
JSON and CSV
Data comes in all shapes and sizes. Modern web applications use JSON and XML, while legacy apps may still depend on CSV and text data sources. The new native data providers in ActiveReports 11 make it easier for developers to design reports using these data sources. The JSON and XML data providers allow report designers to use online data sources and file-based data, plus we provide a new query builder for the XML data provider. The CSV data provider lets you configure how to parse data in text files.
Data visualization is paramount for reports. Meaningful reports need meaningful visualizations. Charts are the most popular way to visualize relationships and trends in data. Take the correlation of data trends to the next level with the new multiple Y axis support in RDL and Page reports. You can now see how disparate data plots correlate to each other across different scales on the y-axis.
ActiveReports 11 Server also got its fair share of new functionality. The performance boost is an obvious big one, but another feature is an integrated ClickOnce End User Report Designer that lets you edit, design, and share RDL, Page, and Section reports. The ClickOnce designer now comes with the optional ActiveReports 11 Server Report Designer Add-On along with the existing web-based report designer for Semantic reports. The new designer integrates with the server’s Report Portal so end users can have a seamless experience while working with reports. Since it is built using the End User Designer control, developers can build their own customized ClickOnce EUD app for their end users.
Printing has always been an important part of operational reporting. With ActiveReports 11 Server, we added batch printing support for printers connected to the server. Administrators can now manage printers and allow end users to schedule print jobs. What can you do with print jobs that run on automated recurring schedules? How about these ideas, for a start?
- Monthly Statements
- Annual Reports
- Inventory Reports
- Customer Letters
- Insurance Certificates
- Regulatory Notifications
Since they are run on the server and can be scheduled in the middle of the night (if that is your low utilization time), the user doesn’t have to sit around and wait for the printing to complete.
Finally, we added many enhancements based on customer feedback. The website lists these new features and includes links to documentation to help you understand what they are all about.
- For ActiveReports 11 Developer editions, visit this What’s New page.
- For ActiveReports 11 Server, visit this What’s New page.
We will be conducting a webinar on Nov. 30, 2016, to further discuss the new additions and demonstrate them in a live session. You can register to attend on the webcasts page.