Today, we will talk a little about using the reporting tool in various spheres, for example, in HoReCa.First of all, we are going to remind you of the fact you may know that the report generator is an excellent tool to present some information in a readable and structured view. Using it, companies can independently design and save various report templates, and as a result, analyze the development of their business. Report generators are used in multiple human activities: data analytics, financial reporting, medicine, industry, education, insurance, etc. The thing is that more and more companies and organizations need quality data and its processing. This point is extremely important in building a competent business strategy.
HoReCa business is no exception, too. Representatives of this sphere need to store and process a large amount of information - from calculating monthly profits to account for employees.
Using our products, you can calculate and analyze:
average check by days;
the number of visits to a restaurant per month;
types of payments when closing a check;
sales by hours;
the number of staff shifts;
demand for certain products;
the number of menu items;
and much more.
However, we are not talking about data analysis, but about something completely different.
Did you know that you can create menus with your design, using the designer and various report components in addition to analysis and structuring data? Below, you can see an example of a report that represents a Chinese eatery's menu.
Everything is relatively simple here: menu categories, position, and price. You can also do it easily if you want to diversify your menus, such as adding the weight of dishes, their composition, or some additional notes.
Our online storage contains menus for other types of establishments. Among them: Tea houses, Chinese and Italian restaurants. Generally, see for yourself:
We are finishing our story about new features of the Stimulsoft Reports and Dashboards 2022.1. Today, we are going to tell you about resetting settings to default.
Sometimes when working with Stimulsoft applications, there are situations when it's necessary to reset settings. Earlier, it primarily concerned only the parameters of the graphical interface of the report designer (GUI). You could set other settings manually in the folder where the settings to our software are located. In version 2022.1, we have expanded and simplified the ability to reset settings to default values. But first things first.
The reset settings command is located in the Options window, which you may call from the File menu in the report designer. However, when clicking on the Restore Defaults button, the Restore Defaults menu will be called. You can remove only the files you need to be removed. Use the Clear button that you may find next to the item. You will remove custom settings for a particular item when you click it.
Let's figure out each element from the list a little bit:
Designer Settings They are the very settings of the custom interface of the report designer. As a rule, this is what is defined in the Options of the report designer window - units, various settings on the Page tab, etc.
Windows Settings This element defines the size settings that affect the position of application dialogs, such as their size, position, and so on.
Blockly In version 2021.4, we have integrated a tool of visual programming scripts for report events. More detailed information about it you can find here. Webview2 is used to display blocks, and it is applied in the event editor and forms a specific cache. You can clear this cache using a particular command in this element.
Thumbnails In the File menu of the report designer, you may search report and dashboard samples from Stimulsoft Cloud. Reports and dashboards thumbnails are displayed as a result of a search, and these thumbnails are cached and highlighted as a previous search result. However, as you understand, this cache can be cleared, too.
Gis Map In version 2020.5, we have added the ability to display shapes on maps. When opening reports with graphical information and changing the zoom of maps, a cache for faster report loading and navigation in it is created. You can clear it if needed.
Scheduler Starting from version 2021.4 you can automate processes of creating reports and sending them by email. Our tool uses Windows Scheduler (find more information about this in this article). However, various system files and logs are created when the scheduler is running, and you may also clear it. Also, note that there is a tab for setting SMTP scheduler server in the Options window. When resetting settings, SMTP server parameters will be removed, too.
Data Adapters When creating reports, various data adapters are used. Some data adapters are embedded in the report engine, but most of them are external libraries (or a range of libraries). If needed, the report designer downloads them from NuGet. All adapters are placed on the following path in the local storage. Accordingly, you can remove a corresponding folder with libraries by this path. Also, you can check the necessary adapters and click the Clear button in the corresponding field of the Restore Defaults window.
We have prepared a video with a step-by-step process of resetting settings.
This way, we have expanded features of reset settings to default values. However, before performing this operation, please ensure that your intentions and actions are decisive since it's impossible to get back to custom settings after clearing.
If you have any questions – contact us, we are glad to help you!
One of the new features of version 2022.1 is the ability to export and import a list of used cultures in a report. This option considerably expands the borders of using globalization in reports and may significantly reduce time when creating reports with an identical range of cultures. You may find a more detailed article about globalization here.
We are briefly reminding you that a list of cultures with localization of some properties of the report component may be set in a report (report properties, text, variables, etc.). Depending on a selected report culture, localization will be applied to it. A list of cultures for globalization is created and changed in the Globalization Strings editor.
Now about the new feature. The Action menu has been added to the Globalization Strings editor, which contains commands for exporting and importing a list of values. The export is carried out using the Save As command. After selecting this command, you should define a place to save an XLSX file and click the Save button. As a result, an Excel file will be saved with the name of cultures, a range of report component properties, and their values for localization. You can make changes in this file and then import it to the same report or another.
Attention! When editing a globalization file, you should be very careful about reporting component properties and culture names. When importing, a name will differ from a name in a report, but the current report property will not be localized, and when creating a report, a processing error may occur. Globalization import can be carried out using the Open command from the Action menu in the Globalization Strings editor. After that, you should select a globalization file and click the Open button in the dialog form. After importing to the Globalization String editor, you can edit a list of cultures and report components properties localization.
The simplest example of applying the new feature is to create several reports with an identical range of cultures. In the previous versions, you had to create a list of cultures for each report, but you could not copy them. Having built one range of cultures and defined localization for components properties, you should export globalization strings and import them to other reports. Undoubtedly, some names of components may vary. However, it's easier and faster to edit a list of cultures or names of components as a range of components than to create and customize a list of cultures in each report, anyway.
We have prepared a video on our YouTube channel, in which we explain how to use the new feature step by step.
Thank you for your attention! If you have any questions – contact us. We are glad to help you!
We continue our story about a new version of products, Stimulsoft 2022.1. Today, we will tell you about new features for creating and designing dashboards.
New functionality for creating dashboards
Business intelligence tools need regular updates, and our products are no exception. This time we expanded features of the dashboard creating and added new options:
background transparency of elements,
shadows of dashboard components,
Let's consider them in detail and visually demonstrate the changes they can make in the process of creating and designing dashboards.
Rounding corners, windows, menus, and forms became one of the 2021 trends. Mostly, it happened due to the release of the updated operating system of Microsoft – Windows 11. Although, Mac OS users have been long in trend. We decided to keep up with the trends of the global software market and added the ability for our users to customize dashboards with rounding of component borders.
Component rounding is defined using the Corner radius group. Since we always consider the flexibility of our product and take care of fine-tuning capabilities, when creating a dashboard, we gave you the ability to round each corner of a component separately. This way, you can round one, two, three, or all corners of an element. The rounding radius can be both similar and different for each corner. All of this allows you to set the design of dashboard components to your liking. The corner radius value is specified as a numeric value between 0 and 30, where 0 is no rounding and 30 is the maximum radius.
Element background transparency
By default, each component in a dashboard uses back color from dashboard style. You used to be able to change back color as well as create custom component style. However, one feature wasn’t added, which our clients asked about a long time ago – how to set transparency of component background.
In the 2022.1 release, we solved this problem. You can set alpha channel parameters according to the ARGB model when specifying component background or the alpha parameter in the Colors control on the Custom tab.
This way, component background acquires transparency, which generally allows not just to design a dashboard beautifully but apply watermark in this dashboard. But about that, a little bit below.
Watermark for dashboard
As a rule, the watermark specifies authorship, owner of an image, or affiliation with an organization. In other words, its basic function is to protect documents. But in cases with dashboards, it is a great ability to diversify their visual design.
So, we have added the ability to use watermarks in dashboards to the 2022.1 version. Watermark is customized in a special editor. You can call having clicked the Browse button of the Watermark dashboard property or clicking the Watermark button on the Page tab.
In the watermark editor, its types are grouped by tabs. Each tab contains the Enabled option, which enables or disables the using of a certain type. As watermark, you can use:
Text. Any text, there are no restrictions by length. However, you should remember that text of the watermark sign is not transferred and cut by the borders of your dashboard. It is always placed by the center since the text center is similar to the dashboard center and diverges in different ways. You can define angle corner, font, including font family, style and size, and text color.
Image. Image of any type supported by our report generator (PNG, SVG, JPEG, etc.). For an image in the watermark, the following options are available:
aspect ratio, that is, maintaining the proportions of the image,
image stretch to dashboard area or filling this image with repetitions,
image transparency. Yes, now, in our report and dashboard engine, you can not only customize component transparency but make the watermark image translucent.
In addition, there is the Multiple Factor option for images in a watermark. In fact, it gives you the ability to zoom in on an image. Move the slider, and you'll see how it works. Please, note that the watermark image is embedded in the report template, which may affect both the final file size and the report loading time in the viewer.
Weave. This feature allows you to use icons in the dashboard watermark. There are several moments here. First of all, icons are divided into major and minor categories, and they can vary in size, color, and appearance. Secondly, you can change the distance between icons and their rotation angle. This gives you excellent capabilities for creating a unique watermark for a dashboard.
Here is a list of tools available to use when creating a watermark. However, that's not all. We always strive for a flexible approach to component design. Therefore, you can combine all types at the same time - use text, image, and weave in one watermark. Create your own watermark for your dashboards.
Shadows for dashboard component
You can be both for shadows in the menu, windows, and components and against it. Some people like shadows in an operating system; others disable them. Starting from the 2022.1 release, we added an ability to enable and customize component shadows in a dashboard.
If when creating dashboards you focus not just on displayed data, but want to use shadows for components. They not only create a volume of components making the entire dashboard more interesting in outward appearance, but visually select the objects that are emphasized.
Component shadows are customized using Shadow properties for each component. You can define shadow color, its size, and specify shadow position shift in X and Y. Besides, by default, a component shadow is disabled, and the Visibility in the Shadow properties group is responsible for its display.
Try it and make experiments, shadows are the thing that can make your dashboards unique and original.
Also, we have prepared a video for you about using a new functionality for creating and designing dashboards.
This way, we gave you excellent capabilities for the visual design of your dashboards. There is not enough time and space on the pages of our blog to consider all the combinations of their applying and use.
We hope that this article was helpful for you, and now you can use new features when creating dashboards. If you have any questions, contact us – we are glad to help you.
We continue our overview and unveil the new functionality in version 2022.1 of our products. And today, let's talk about native localization in the Regional Map component. You may use the Regional Map component to display a value and bind it to a geographic object. This object can be a country, continent, mainland, etc.
Previously, the names of geographic objects, states, provinces, and so on were displayed only in English. In version 2022.1 of Stimulsoft Reports and Dashboards, we have added localization for Germany, Italy, France, and Russia.Important! This feature is available only with manual data entry. In the map mode Data from columns, the localization of labels on the map depends on the values of the column in the Name field. See how to achieve this in our recent video.
The names of provinces, regions, areas of the above countries are displayed in their native language. We have prepared a report showing all available native localizations.
The language is changed using the Language parameter.
We hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us - we are always ready to help.