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The main problems when reading reports are information overload pages, text is plain and blurred. This leads to the fact that you cannot focus on the information that is important. One of the ways to solve this is to remove the background information. However, it is not always appropriate to do because background information can carry the load indirectly. For example, the background information may include company contact details, titles, and additional notes. Therefore, the deleting such information is an extreme case.

In order to make the report look good and presentable, separate important information from irrelevant, it is recommended to apply the graphic elements and colors in reports. For example, change font color, the background fill of components, including borders, etc. All these elements establish the style of the report. The picture below shows the report page without styles and with applied styles.

Invoice Without Style

Invoice With Style

In all Stimulsoft products there is a built-in tool for creating styles. This tool is called the Style Designer. In order to call the Style Designer you should click the icon in the Report Designer on the Home tab. The picture below shows the Style Designer.

Style Designer

As can be seen from the picture, the Style Designer consists of a toolbar and a list of styles. From the list of styles, you can create a collection of styles. For this you should set a style in the Collection property and specify the name of a collection of styles. The collection of styles can be created once and applied to various reports. At the same time, the created collection of styles, as each style separately, can be edited when needed.

Before you start creating styles, take a look at the Style Designer toolbar.

Style Designer Toolbar

  The Add Style menu contains a list of report items for which you can create styles. See the picture below.

Add Style Menu

Some items in this menu can be absent. For example, Reports.Web does not support Report Control.

 The button to remove the selected style from the list of styles.

 The buttons to move up and down in the selected style in the list.

 The Apply Styles button contains the dropdown list with the names of collections of styles. When you select a collection, it will be applied to the report.

 The button to add a style collection. There is no need to create a style manually. It is enough to define the basic color, select the report items to which to create a style, determine the level of the hierarchy in the report and click OK. The collection of styles will be generated automatically.

 The button to create a duplicate of the selected style. The duplicate will be placed below its prototype in the list of styles.

 The button is used to copy the style of the component. Select the component which style should be added to the collection of styles. Call the Style Designer without removing the selection of this component. Click this button. The style of the selected component will be added to the list of styles.

 The clipboard management commands. copy the selected style to the clipboard, cut to the clipboard, and paste the style from the clipboard.

 The Open button. Used to open the collection of styles.

 The Save button. Specify the location where the file will be saved and type the file name.

 The Close button. Closes the Style Designer.

Now create a style for the component.
- To do this, call the Style Designer, by clicking the button on the Home tab in the report designer;
- Click Add style and select items in the designer of styles. In this example, it is the Component.

The new style will appear in the Toolbox.

New Style

Using the properties of the item for which you create the style, you must define the appearance settings. Since styles can be created for various elements of the report, the properties of the design will be different. For example, the style for the chart has properties such as the area color, series color, etc. In this example, let’s create a report style for the report component (band, text component and other elements that can be found the Components group). The following settings are defined using the component properties.
- Fill color;
- Font color, face and size;
- Borders type and color.

Once the style is created, it should be applied to an element of the report. This can be done in the following ways.
- Select the report element and assign a style using the Style property of the component or the Style menu.
- In the Style Designer, click Apply Style collection.

If you click Apply Collection, then the following should be specified for the style.
- The name of the collection to which it belongs. It can be set using the Name property of the style;
- The condition of applying the style indicates when the collection of styles contains more than one item or the style should be applied only to specified report items.

Conditions of applying the style is set using the editor. To call this editor you should select the style in the Style Designer and click the button  of the Condition property. Here is the Conditions editor.

Style Conditions

As can be seen from the picture, the style conditions the style can be defined according to various criteria.

img 1 The condition by Placement. This type of conditions provides the opportunity to apply a style to a component, depending on its placement. In the values field containers (bands, panel, table, page) are selected. If to select operation is equal to, then the style will be applied to the components placed on the containers, which are selected in the value field. If you select the operation not equal to, then the style will be applied to the components placed in any container other than the selected value in the field. It should also be noted that in the value field, you can choose several containers.
- equal to The style will be applied when the nesting level of containers will be equal to the specified level in the field of values;
- not equal to. The style will be applied to all components in containers, which the nesting levels will not be equal to the specified level in the field of values;
- greater than. The style is applied to the components in containers, which nesting level is greater than the level of the specified field of values;
- greater than or equal to. The style is applied to the components in containers, which the nesting level is equal to or greater than the specified level in the field of values;
- less than. The style will be applied to components in containers, which nesting level is less than the specified level in the field of values;
- less than or equal to. The style is applied to the components in containers, which nesting level will be equal to or less than the specified level in the value field.

The condition by Component. This kind of is condition is set when it is necessary to apply (depending on the type of operation - equal or not equal) a style for the components of a specific type.

The condition by Location. This type of condition provides the ability to apply or not apply, depending on its position in the container. It should also be noted that the values in the field can choose multiple locations simultaneously.

 By the name of a component. This condition type provides the ability to apply the style by name or a part of it. For example, if you set the Contains operation, and specify Text in the field of values, the style will be applied to all components in the name that has a Text. Suppose, Text24, 1Text, Text_on etc. When using this type of conditions, the following types of operations avaliable.
- equal to. The style is applied to a component with a name identical to the specified one in the value field.
- not equal to. The style is applied to all components, which name matches the specified field of values.
- containing. The style will be applied to all components which contain the name of the specified field values in their name.
- not containing. The style will be applied to all components, which in its name do not contain the name of the specified field of values.
- beginning with. The style will be applied to all components for which the name starts with the name specified in the value field.
- ending with. The style will be applied to all components for which the name ends with the name specified in the value field.

Also, it is possible to combine different types of conditions. In this case, the style will be applied, if all the conditions will work. In other words, if the conditions of Placement and Name of components are used, the style will be applied only when these conditions are processed. In addition, it is possible to use multi-conditions, when two or more blocks of conditions are involved. In this case, the component styles are applied only if all kinds of conditions in all the blocks will be executed. Execution of conditions starts after you click Apply Styles.

After the style is created and all its settings are defined, you should click the Save button on the toolbar in the Style Designer. Specify the path for the file with styles and name it. Once the style is created and applied is reports, you thereby emphasizing the corporate identity of your company. At the same time, in order to change the style of your reports, you just need to edit only the necessary styles.

Invoice Peach Puff

Invoice Black

Invoice Lime

Invoice Red

Also, watch our video tutorials on working with designer styles.
Creating styles for charts
Using the Copy Style tool
Using borders in a report
Creating a report and styles

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We are constantly improving our products for web, providing all the necessary set of components to build reports. Today we will talk about the differences between the Flash designer

Flash designer
and HTML5 designer

HTML5 designer
Despite the similarities in terms of functionality, the designers of these reports have some differences. Flash and HTML5 report designers available in the following products – Reports Ultimate, Reports.Web, Reports.Java, Reports.PHP, Reports.Flex. However, the HTML5 report designer is also part of Stimulsoft Reports.JS.

It all starts with the system requirements for the design. The Flash report designer requires Adobe Flash Player version 11 and later. The HTML5 report designer requires only a web browser.

Integration of report designers in the project go the following way.
The Flash designer. Stimulsoft assemblies should be added to the project. Place the StiWebDesigner component on the project page and call the report designer.

OnSaveReport="StiWebDesigner1_SaveReport"
ongetpreviewdataset="StiWebDesigner1_GetPreviewDataSet" />

The HTML5 designer. Stimulsoft assemblies should be added to the project. Place the StiMobileDesigner component on the project page and call the report designer.

OnPreviewReport="StiMobileDesigner1_Preview"
OnCreateReport="StiMobileDesigner1_CreateReport"
OnGetReport="StiMobileDesigner1_GetReport"
OnExit="StiMobileDesigner1_Exit"
InterfaceType="Auto" GlobalizationFile="Localization/en.xml" Theme="Office2013WhiteTeal"

Now let's talk about the design differences in functionality, interface and tools to create reports. Below is a comparison list.

Functionality HTML5 Flash
Support for Touch UI check  
Selecting UI Localization Only from code In designer
Data Source Wizard check  
Support for OData and REST Requests check  
Data Source Type Table, Stored procedure Table
Data Dictionary Preview check  
Retrieve Column check check
Retrieve Columns and Parameters check  
Retrieve Parameters check  
Allow Run Stored Proc check  
Using Variable as SQL Parameter check  
Data from Business Objects check Without ability to create new ones
Files from Which Data Can Be Exported XML, JSON, Excel, CSV, DBase XML, JSON, CSV, DBase
Report Wizards Standard, Master-Detail Standard, Master-Detail, Label Report
Copy Style Tool Present in the Home tab  
Horizontal and Vertical Primitives In the development phase  
Shape Component check check
Report Tree   check
Interaction Editor check  
New Chart Editor check  
New Cross-Tab Editor check  
Gauges In the development phase  
Report Checker   check
Animation in Preview check  

It is worth noting that the development of the HTML5 designer is not stopping and to the end of summer 2016 this designer will have full functionality. Aslo we recommend you watch video tutorials on working with the HTML5 designer.

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Sometimes it is necessary to predefine the subject and text in the email. But what if you need to specify your company contact details, a subject and text in every email you send? This can be easily done using email templates. There are four templates in Stimulsoft Reports.Server. Each template is used for a certain action in the report server.

· Register an account.
· Password recovery.
· An email with the link to the file.
· An email with an attached file.

Each of these templates can be edited. Click the Administration button on the Home tab. In the window that opens, click the Templates Email tab, select the required template and click Edit.

Email Templates

In this article we will discuss an example of editing the Item Send Email Attachment template. For those who know HTML there will be no issues in editing that template. But for those who are not familiar with HTML we will try to explain, as simple as possible, how to edit the template. Users often ask about how to change the details of Stimulsoft Report on your own? It is easy to out your details.

1. To change the subject, you should change the text between the tags <title> and </title>. For example, type Your Theme.

Email Templates

2. In order to change the title Stimulsoft Reports on your own, then change the following variable {PRODUCTS} between the tags
and, to your text. For example – YOUR COMPANY NAME.

Email Templates

3. Change URL, replacing the variable {HOME-URL} to the desired URL. For example, replace it to http://YourSite.com

Email Templates

4. In addition to the URL you should specify the link text. For example, this is Click Here.

Email Templates

Notice: After changes done, click the Save button.

The email template will looks like on the picture below.

Email Templates

As you can see, all the details have changed. Thus other text of the email template can be edited. For example, you need to change the phrase "In the attachment to this message you can find following files", you need to find this text in the code of the email template and edit this.

Email Templates

Notice: Just above the text "In the attachment to this message you can find following files", you can see a variable {MESSAGE} using what the message is transmitted when the Send action in the viewer is executed.

It remains only to change the text of the email "List of Products-8/1/2015 6:19:04 AM". It is not hard to guess that here is the name of the document and the date-time of its change. There are several options to change this line.

· Replace in the variable {FORMATED-FILE-NAME} by the corresponding text.
· Or to set up the Result name leaving the {FORMATED-FILE-NAME} variable unchanged.

Here is such a brief educational program how to edit the email templates. You can cancel all changes and return the pattern to its original state, by setting all the default values by clicking the Reset button.

We have reviewed editing template Item Send Email Attachment. If you have any questions about editing email templates, you can post your questions here or send comments to technical support. We also have a corresponding section in the forum.

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How to create a report having only a web-browser at hand? And, at the same time, the report should be dynamic, and its creation should be as simple as possible? We are preparing a solution for you – Stimulsoft Reports.JS. It is a platform for creating reports using JavaScript and HTML5, including designer and report viewer. The viewer is already here.


js.stimulsoft.com


After the announcement of Stimulsoft Reports.JS, most users ask us one question – what are the advantages of this reporting tool? A we are answering you).
  • No need to install additional .NET and Java applications and add-ons.
  • You can use the software in any JavaScript application.
  • A wide range of devices on which it can run – from the desktop computers to mobile devices (there is support for touch interface).
  • Does not require any servers. It works on the client side.
  • It has all the components, and tools for creating reports. From the simplest to the most complex lists, dynamic reports.
  • Compatibility of products. Reports designed for Stimulsoft Reports.JS can be viewed and edited in our other products, and vice versa.
  • Full source code available.

And the most important advantage of this product is that only a web browser with support for HTML5 and JavaScript is required.

Another issue of concern to some users is whether it is possible to have Stimulsoft Reports.JS on the server side? The answer is – yes, it is possible. In this case, the main thing is to choose the right platform. For example, Stimulsoft Reports.JS will work perfectly with node.js.

Perhaps you have your own ideas and suggestions? We will be glad to consider them. Leave your comments below or contact us through our web form. Also you may discuss the product on our forum.

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The report represents a structured data obtained from the file (e.g. XML or CSV) or database. Therefore, the process of transferring data from a source to a report should be as simple as possible. Considering this, we have made a significant improvement. Earlier, in Stimulsoft Reports, data adapters were divided into embedded ones and external. The built-in ones were SQL, OLE DB, ODBC, XML, MS Access, and the rest were external. In order to use external data adapters, it was necessary to perform some actions – download the adapter from the web site, unzip the file, add a reference to the dll, etc. And only after that you can work with a particular type of data source.

Certain problems occurred, if the report was created on one device, its rendering was carried out on another device, while using different versions of Stimulsoft Reports. In this case, it was necessary to recompile the adapter.

Now we have simplified the process. We have embedded all the data adapters. You create a connection to a data source directly from the dictionary. To do this, simply copy the necessary assembly to the bin folder, for example, for MySQL – MySql.Data.dll, Oracle – Oracle.DataAccess.dll, SQLite – System.Data.SQLite.dll etc. Consider the example of passing data to the report from MySQL source. First, create the MySQL connection. The picture below shows the window for selecting the type of connection.

Connection

Select the type of MySQL

Note that the frequently used types of connections can be attached to the top of the list. To do this, click the Pin icon.

In the next window, specify the connection string and click the Test button to test the connection.

Connection

After a successful test, click OK. Now the created connection will be displayed in the data dictionary. Based on this connection, it is necessary to create a new data source. To do this, select New Data Source in the Actions menu of the data dictionary. In the opened window, select the created MySQL connection or the point Data from MySQL. In the first case all database schema (tables, views, and procedures) it will be obtained, and in the second, it will be necessary to create a request.

Data Source

After you click OK, the next window appears. You can select data or create a request.

Data Source

After you click OK, the selected data will be displayed in the data dictionary.

Dictionary

Now, on the base of these data, you can create a report.
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