We’re glad to inform you about the release of the new version of data visualization and analytics tools – Stimulsoft Reports and Dashboards! Among basic new features, we would like to highlight a new product for creating dashboards in Blazor applications, a new graphical library for .NET Core components, the GraphQL data adapter, Ribbon chart, and much more.
New product – Stimulsoft Dashboards.BLAZOR
We announce the release of a new product – Stimulsoft Dashboards.BLAZOR. This is a cross-platform solution of data analytics created to integrate the application that works using the Blazor framework. Our product works both on the server (Blazor Server) and client (Blazor WebAssembly) sides. You may quickly integrate it into any web project. It allows you to display and analyze information from many data sources and has a wide range of components to design dashboards. Also, we have added an ability to save a project with dashboards from the Publish wizard to quickly integrate Stimulsoft components into a Blazor application. This product is available with Stimulsoft Dashboards.WEB subscription.
New graphics library
We have created the Stimulsoft.Drawing – an independent interface of displaying graphical objects for .NET Core components with various versions of framework - .NET Standard 2.1, .NET Core 3.1, .NET 5.0, .NET 6.0. This library is also suitable for Blazor components. The GDI+ library is compatible with .NET Core components in the Windows operating system and libgdiplus - Mono Project in other OS. Very often, some difficulties could arise with displaying graphics. Using the Stimulsoft.Drawing library, the display of graphics in your application won’t depend on an operating system. This library is included in the NuGet package of Blazor and .NET Core components. At the same, we left the option to switch to using the system GDI+ library.
Compilation for Blazor
The support of the compilation mode to render reports when using the Blazor Server platform is added to the new version. Now you can use all features of the report generator – runtime compilation, functions, publishing reports as classes. Compilation is available on all supported operating systems.
GraphQL data adapter
Starting with the 2022.3 release, you can get data from various data stores using the GraphQL query model. This data source type has a number of advantages over REST or SQL queries. You should select the GraphQL point from the REST tab in the New Data Source window, specify the URL to a data store, and query text. After getting data, you can create them based on reports and dashboards.
Another feature of the current release concerns the sphere of analysis and display of data - Ribbon Chart. This chart type is an improved version of the Stacked Column chart. First, values for each argument are sorted from largest to smallest, i.e., the maximum value is always displayed topmost. It considerably improves analysis and visual perception of the values of a particular argument. Second, a curve is drawn between the values of the arguments (this is a ribbon), which allows you to estimate the tendencies and trends of indicators when analyzing visually. Try it yourself. The chart is available in reports and dashboards, and you may find it in the Histogram category. In addition, we have added an ability to apply conditional formatting for the Range chart type.
New features for the Tooltip
We have added an ability to visually design the Tooltip element when hovering the cursor for some dashboard elements – Chart, Region Map, Indicator. Tooltips are customized in the Style Designer using properties: Tooltip Brush, Tooltip Text Brush, Tooltip Corner Radius, and Tooltip Border. Now you can design tooltips for your dashboards according to your corporate company style or visual settings of dashboard elements. By the way, there is no separate property that sets the transparency of the tooltip background. But you can set it by specifying the alpha parameter in the color code for the Tooltip Brush property.
New features of the Pivot Table
We have added several new features for the Pivot Table in dashboards. First, you can now sort rows and columns in ascending or descending directions. You can do this using the Sort property in the properties panel for the corresponding data fields. Second, you can define an expanded row or column condition when you use drill-down data. The condition to expand rows or columns is carried out in the Expand property editor in the properties panel.
Optimization of the JS designer
After a deep analysis, as a result of research and comparative tests, we decided to replace the framework for creating a desktop version of the JS report designer. Previously, NW.js was used. Now the standalone JS designer is built using Electron. As a result, we were able to optimize the speed of the application, including getting and processing data, report rendering, displaying dashboards, and reducing the application run time.
New features of the Cards
In spring 2022, we added a new element for dashboards - Cards. In the new version, we expanded the list of features for this element. The Cards element now supports the cross-filtering and grouping mode with dashboard elements. In addition, it is now possible to select a preset color collection to apply to cards or get this collection from the element style. You can do this using the Series Color property.
HTML preview modes
Starting with version 2022.3, you can define an HTML preview mode in the Preview Settings of a report. It’s relevant when creating a report in the desktop version of the report designer and its further viewing in a web browser. In earlier versions of the Web viewer, by default, you could use the TABLE mode to display reports, which had certain restrictions. You could switch to the DIV mode only when using the viewer option. Earlier, a selected mode was applied to all reports which were displayed in it, and the report template didn’t have any preview settings. Now a report creator can define the view mode as DIV or TABLE. It remains possible to define the preview mode for all reports at once, having set the appropriate value for the Web viewer option. By default, the preview mode in the viewer will be determined by the settings from a report.
New features for Maps
The new functionality in version 2022.3 also applies to maps in reports and GIS maps in dashboards. For the Map component in reports, the support of data drill down has been implemented. When clicking on a geographic object on the map, you can open another report page. For GIS maps in dashboards, the ability to specify a custom provider-server by URL, which considerably increases the flexibility of using this dashboard element in custom applications, is added.
Starting with the 2022.3 version, Reports.JS and Dashboards.JS products are switching to ECMAScript 2017 language standard. We have carried out load testing of the report generator under the new version, and according to their results, the processing of a multi-page report accelerated by more than 25%. New ES2017 features remove barriers to our product development and allow us to keep up with the times.
Optimizations for OTF fonts
In the previous version, when exporting a report to PDF and in cases of using a *.otf custom font in reports, the font file was completely embedded into the document, which, in turn, could significantly increase the size of a PDF file. We have done some optimizations for *.otf fonts, which will result in integrating only those font characters that are needed to render the text in the current report when embedding the font in the document. In many cases, this will reduce the size of the PDF file. For *.ttf fonts, this optimization has been implemented in previous versions.
New features of the WPF designer
In this release, we have added the Code tab for the WPF v2 report designer. This tab is an analog of the same tab in the Stimulsoft Designer. By default, this tab is disabled, and you may find the parameter to enable it in the context menu of the header page of the report template. In addition, in the report designer, we have completely redesigned the menu for opening and saving reports, having adapted them to the Microsoft Office style. The menu includes options for searching, fixing frequently used reports, specifying local storage, etc.
Today we are announcing an important change in the work of products for creating Stimulsoft reports and dashboards. Starting with the next version, 2022.3, we will stop supporting .NET Standard 2.0 for all our Web components. Thus, .NET Standard 2.1 version is becoming the minimum supported standard version.
What’s new in .NET Standard 2.1
.NET Standard is a formal specification of .NET APIs that are available on multiple .NET implementations. .NET Standard 2.0 was released on 14 August 2017, and .NET Standard 2.1 was released in November 2018. We continued to support both standards before and including version 2022.2.6. Microsoft stopped the support of .NET Standard 2.0 on 23 December 2019 and fully focused on the new Standard version.
Basic new features of .NET Standard 2.1:
The support of the Span. It allows you to work with arrays and strings. It fundamentally lays in new features, affecting program performance in .NET Standard 2.1;
About three thousand new APIs which weren’t in .NET Standard 2.0 have been added;
Foundational API – affects performance and increases the list of the program interfaces;
Reflection.Emit – adds technology of fast generation types, helps optimize the performance;
Previously used API SIMD is added now to the NuGet package;
Updated ValueTask increases the performance;
DbProviderFactories simplifies the use of ADO.NET – a technology that allows you to work with data quickly.
.NET Standard 2.1 and Stimulsoft products
The use of version 2.0 held back the development of the company's products to a certain extent because we need to compile the Stimulsoft libraries for projects that use .NET Standard 2.0. Starting with the next version 2022.3, our products will stop working in projects and applications, that use outdated versions of .NET Core - 2.0, 2.1, 2.2.
New .NET Standard 2.1 is backward compatible with the previous version and supports the latest releases .NET Core 3.0 and higher, including the last version of .NET – 6.0. All of this will significantly improve the functionality of our products, will make the work with data more effective and quick, and won’t disrupt the work of existing applications.
Starting from the next version – 2022.3 – Reports.JS and Dashboards.JS products are transiting a new language standard – ECMAScript 2017. Now we’re going to tell you about this new feature in detail.
A bit of history
Advantages of using ECMAScript 2017
Also, the transition to the ES2017 standard reduces the number of conversions when transpiling the code into older versions of the language standard, which reduces the volume of the resulting code and makes it faster.
We tested the work of the report generator under the new version, and according to their result, the rendering of a multipage report increased by more than 25%, which makes the work of Stimulsoft products more effective.
Transition of Stimulsoft products to ES2017
For the past few years, Stimulsoft Reports.JS and Dashboards.JS products have been using the ECMAScript 2015 or ES6 standard. In the next version, 2022.3, the transition to the ES2017 standard will occur.
Here’s a table of compatibility of the ECMAScript standard with versions of popular browsers:
Thus, the ECMAScript 2017 standard has been supported by basic browsers for more than five years. The transition of our products to the new version of the standard will not influence the work of your projects.
New features in ES2017 remove barriers to our product development and allow us to keep up with the times.
We are glad to inform you about the release of a new version of products for creating reports and dashboards 2022.2. In this release, we have added new elements, extended the functionality of existing components, and optimized the work of products for more rapid and convenient data analysis. We will tell you about the main changes in the new version.
Visual design of QR barcode
In this release, we have added the ability to change the visual design of the QR code. You can define the color and shape of various graphic elements of the barcode, and you may set it up in the component editor using properties. Barcode customization is limited only by the functionality of the reader.
New interactive component – Button for dashboards. It allows you to execute a particular script when clicking and depending on a component condition. A script may be executed using a script platform language or Blockly. In addition, the new element has a sufficient number of visual settings, which are available depending on the condition.
One more component for dashboards – Cards. This is an analysis component, that allows you to group, process and display data by any criterion as a separate card in a dashboard. It supports all types of graphical presentation: Clustered Column, Color Scale, Indicators, Bubbles, Sparklines. It’s able to display text and numeric values, and images, too.
New chart type for reports and dashboards – Pictorial Stacked. This chart is used to display the relative share of the value in the overall indicator. Any icon from the list can be presented as a graphical chart element.
Rounding in charts
This is the new feature for visual chart design. In the previous release, we added an ability to round borders of components in dashboards. Now you can round the following graphical elements in charts - Bars, Clustered Columns, Gantt, etc. To apply rounding, you should use the Corner Radius property. This feature is available for most charts.
ECMAScript 5 (ES5)
Despite the fact that Microsoft promised to stop supporting the Internet Explorer browser completely, many of our clients use it in their applications and projects. That’s why we leave the option to compile script files for the ES5 standard. To do that, you should have access to the source codes of a JS product.
.NET 6.0 in the Publish
Microsoft will stop supporting the .NET 5.0 framework very soon, and we are gradually preparing a solution to this issue. We told you about the work of our components under the .NET 6.0 framework in the previous release. We have updated the Publish wizard, and you can specify the .NET 6.0 framework version for your project. In the Publish wizard, this option is available in ASP.NET MVC, Winforms, WPF, and Blazor.
Other capabilities of the Publish wizard
In addition to the above, we have added an ability to use a rendered report in mdc format instead of a report template in mrt format in a viewing or export project. To do this, you should check the Use Rendered Report parameter in the Publish Wizard. Another one new feature concerns only export. Now, you can display export settings for a selected platform in the project code.
Today, we are announcing the upcoming release of a new version of report generators and business intelligence tools of Stimulsoft 2022.2. The release will contain new functionality, optimizations of components, and some bug fixes. Here is the highlight below of the main new features in version 2022.2:
Button – a new element for dashboards
The Button allows you to execute a particular script when clicking and depending on a component condition. A script may be executed using a script platform language or Blockly. In addition, the new element has a sufficient number of visual settings, which are available depending on the condition.
QR code visual customization
The new version will contain some additional features of the visual design of the QR barcode type. The functionality of the feature is wide: from selecting a brush to changing graphic elements. You will be able to set visual design in the component editor using properties.
New chart type – Pictorial Stacked Chart
New chart type for reports and dashboards – Pictorial Stacked chart. This chart type is used to display the relative share of the value in the overall indicator. An important advantage of the Pictorial Stacked Chart is the ability to select an icon from the list of a lot of icons for a graphic chart element.
And that's not all. Also, we are preparing another new component for dashboards, new functions for the Publish wizard and more.