We continue our series of articles about the new capabilities of Stimulsoft reporting tools that appeared in the version of our products 2021.3. In this article, you will know about one important innovation. This functionality allows you to specify several views for the Chart element on a dashboard.

A little problem and a great solution

Our users used to face the problem of the lack of place for data on a dashboard. Due to this, they had to reduce the size of charts and other components. One of the solutions to this problem was to combine several charts into one.

Several charts in one

This functionality solves at least two issues:
  • make the use of charts more comfortable;
  • visualize data on a dashboard in different views.
«Now you can specify up to five views on the Chart element. Each view is a separate type of chart with its data fields. It allows you to display various charts within the same component».You may set this functionality in the editor of the Chart element on the panel of additional parameters. A user can select the required data for the chart and set the used type of data visualization parameters. At the same time, the chart style will be applied to all views of this component.



The main advantage of this new feature is the ability to switch views in the viewer with the help of controls, which, for example, allows you to increase the space on a dashboard to accommodate more components.
We hope this article will help you understand the new capabilities of dashboard creation. In addition to this, you will be able to visualize and analyze data more efficiently. If you have any questions, contact us – we will be glad to help you.

In version 2021.3 of Stimulsoft Reports and Stimulsoft Dashboards, we have added new functions and features, which will make your work on report and dashboard creation faster and more effective. Today we start a series of articles about a new version of products with new capabilities of variables.

Let`s start

Let`s start with the fact that the variables in the designer are of different types:
  • Value
  • List
  • Range

In this article, you will know about the variables of the List type and the changes we have made. In the 2021.3 release, we have expanded the capabilities of variables for this type.

Firstly

Firstly, we have added the capability, which allows you to create dependent variables. You used to be able to do it with the variables of the Value type only. Now you can create dependent variables not only for each type but also for their combinations.

Variables List

A dependent variable is a variable with the values dependent on the selected value in the main variable. In the previous versions of our products for report creation, a variable of the List type couldn`t be the parent variable; only the Value type could be. It means that until the current version of the report designer, you could select only one value, one category, and only one product.



Secondly

Secondly, you can set a value by default for the variables of the List type in the new Stimulsoft report designer version. In the previous versions, it could be done only for the variables of the Value and Range types. Now you can do it for the List type too.
We hope this article will help you understand the new capabilities of the report designer variables, and now you can use them when creating reports and dashboards. If you have any questions, contact us – we will be glad to help you.

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We are pleased to announce the release of the new version Stimulsoft Reports and Stimulsoft Dashboards 2021.3, which is now available for download. In this release, we added 5 views for the Chart element of a dashboard, a new data adapter for Google Analytics service, a new Condition Editor, expanded the functionality for Variables, and added many other features and improvements.
Several charts in one
In the new version 2021.3, you may specify up to 5 views for the Chart element of a dashboard. Each view is a distinct type of chart with its data fields. Switching views is carried out in the viewer using controls. At the same time, the views are configured in the editor of the Chart element on the additional parameters panel.

Chart View

New functionality for variables
In this release, we have expanded the capabilities of variables of the List type. First, we have added the ability to create dependent variables for them. Previously, this was only possible with variables of the Value type. Now you can create dependent variables for each type and their combinations. In addition, you may specify default values for variables of the List type.

Depndent Variables

Table column visibility
In the 2021.3 release, we have expanded the ability to control the visibility of data fields for the Table element in dashboards. When designing dashboards, you can now specify the condition to include a data field through an expression defined as the value of the Visible parameter of this field in the element editor. When viewing the dashboard in the viewer, we added control for the visibility of the table columns. This control contains a list of all the columns in the table. Just disable the checkbox next to the columns you want to hide. You can disable or enable this control in the dashboard design mode in the Interaction menu.

Enable Columns

Summary Alignment
In the new version, we added the ability to align the total horizontally - left, right, center. This is applicable for the Table element in dashboards. You may change the alignment of the table column total using the Summary Alignment property. Just select the data column in the table editor and set the required value on the properties panel.

Summary Alignment

Searching in filter items
We have added the ability to search for values for filtering dashboard elements - List Box and Combo Box. The search field will be displayed automatically if the number of values in the element is more than 10. Then you just need to enter the text you need to find.

Search in Filters

Google Analytics adapter
In this release, we have added a new adapter to receive data from the Google Analytics service. You can find them on the Google tab in the New Data Source window. Now you can create reports and dashboards for web analytics.

Google Analytics

Customizing icons for indicator series
Starting with release 2021.3, you can customize icons for different indicator values when using the series. Previously, you could only select a set of icons for all values of the series. Now you can define the value range for the icon to apply. Ranges for icons are set in the indicator editor if there are series. To do this, set the Mode parameter to Custom.

Customizing Icons

Color picker
In release 2021.3, we added an Eyedropper tool in the WinForms report designer. Select this tool and, keeping the left mouse button pressed, drag it to the element whose color you want to get.

Eyedropper

Safe copy of the report
Starting with release 2021.3, we added protection against unintentional program closure when designing a report or dashboard in the Stimulsoft BI Designer for Windows application. Now, in case of emergencies, a backup copy of the report is saved. The next time you start the application, you can restore it by clicking the Recover button in the Recover Items window.

Safe Report Copy

New condition editor
In version 2021.3, we have updated and optimized the editor for conditional formatting of dashboard elements. Now the second value of the condition can be specified as an expression. And for the Table element, the ability to define the table columns for which it is necessary to apply conditional formatting has been added. Previously, it was required to determine its conditional formatting for each column of the table.

Condition Editor

How to solve a problem quickly

When working with the Stimulsoft products, users from time to time face various issues regarding using components and creating reports. As a rule, such problems need to be solved as quickly as possible. In this case, you can:
  1. Solve out a problem by your own;
  2. Contact the Stimulsoft technical support.
Of course, each way has its advantages and disadvantages.

We value the time of our clients and their resources, so in this article, we would like to talk about how to optimize the time of solving out occurring situations. Firstly, let's consider the path of self-solving a problem as the simplest one.

Simple question

Fairly often, we receive questions about how to do something in a report or a dashboard. Even if it's a very simple question, we are always intelligent about it. However, there are situations when Stimulsoft already has a solution to a problem - we have video lessons and documentation. In other words, the solution to such a user`s question is in the runoff, and it takes a couple of minutes. At the same time, our technical specialists can get to this question only in a couple of hours due to their workload.

The most illustrative example is disabling components conditionally.

We answer this question several times a day. Although there is a video lesson here, here is the documentation about conditional formatting, and here is the example of a report with the component disabling conditionally.

Just look at how conditional formatting works


Similar issues

We will always respond to you as soon as possible, but a solution can be so simple that a response time will be longer than the solution time. This is why we recommend you watch our video lessons, read documentation, and check samples. Most questions about creating reports and dashboards have already been answered. Also, you can search for similar issues of our users in the forum. For more global questions, we write articles on the blog.

What's next?

OK, you spent 5 minutes on our channel, documentation, forum, blog and did not find an answer. Your problem is not being solved. What's next? Next, you should contact our technical support or ask a question in the forum. In addition, it's important to understand one moment – you should properly prepare your question to get a correct answer.«You should understand the following moment – specialists of our technical support work 24 hours, 7 days a week. In addition, the time of processing a question depends on many factors. As a rule, a question is processed within a few minutes. However, sometimes it takes several hours.»Next, a funny situation happens - several hours passed, a question was received, but it contains a verbal description only. Our specialist will need some time to reproduce the problem. Unfortunately, it's not always possible. Then, the specialist sends a request to detail a user's problem. As a result, at least, the time of the question processing waiting is missed. Furthermore, in this case, the time is missed twice.

Optimize the time

It's easy to optimize the time of a problem solution when contacting technical support. To do it, just follow our recommendations.
  1. Specify the product you use. It's vital for us, as we support full functionality in all our components. However, it can be implemented in various ways for a specific platform. As a result, for example, the HTML5 viewer can have events for the ASP.NET platform or have actions if it comes to the .NET Core.

  2. Be sure to include the version of your product and the date of its release. This is the second important criteria, which will allow you to confirm your problem in real time. Since this may be an error, which occurred only on this specific version of the build. This information will allow you to identify time and find the reason for the problem.

  3. Describe your problem. The best way is to describe it step-by-step. Obligatorily specify the result you want and what you cannot solve out. Quite often, it is a particular sequence of actions that leads to an error and rather not to the result you expect. So, sometimes it takes several hours and maybe days to find this certain sequence of steps. If there is a transparent algorithm of "what-I-do-to-reproduce-the-issue", it's a matter of several minutes to reproduce and confirm the problem.

  4. You should attach a project if it comes to software development. Sometimes we are faced with the fact that there seems to be an exact algorithm of actions, the product version is known as well as the build number, but we can't reproduce an error. As a rule, it's connected with the fact that various settings are set in the user project or, for example, third-party libraries are used. In this case, the conflict with Stimulsoft components occurs. All of that is clarified during the work of our technical support, but, as a rule, not immediately, which causes time costs. That's why we included this point in the recommendations.

  5. You should attach a report if your problem is in a specific one. The situation is approximately the same as with projects. Each report of our client is a unique combination of components, their properties, and interactions. Furthermore, the connection between this and the occurring error is not always clear and understandable, especially from the point of view of a novice user. As a result, if our specialists are unable to reproduce an error, clarifying questions will be required, which will lead to increased time of solving a question.

  6. If it's possible, you should add several screenshots, if possible, with a short description. It was proven a long time ago that the visualization of information reduces the time of its perception and analysis. Therefore, several screenshots with explanations greatly simplify the perception of a described problem.
Here is the small list of recommendations, which will significantly simplify communication between a user and our technical specialist. It will greatly reduce the time of solving a problem. This article is not a guide to action but a recommendation.

In any case, we will process all your questions and solve them as soon as possible.
Hello respectful users of Stimulsoft! This time we will tell you about the Embed all data to resources option.
Let's figure out what is the destination of this feature and how it works. As you already know, data in a report is always requested in the Preview, which requires access to the database. Now let's imagine the following situation - a report creator wants to send a report template to another creator, but the second one doesn't have access to the database. It means that he won't see data. To solve this problem, we created the Embed all data to resources option. With its help, you can embed data and send a report template to another creator, and he doesn't need to connect to data.

To do it, you should go to the Dictionary panel, then select the Actions and the Embed all data to resources.

Embed all data
Next, the Stimulsoft Designer warning window opens, which says that this feature embeds all data to the report resources, makes your report standalone, and all your data settings will be changed and won't be restored. Click Yes.

Warning window
After this, the Engine connects to the database, loads all data, creates an XML file, and then puts it into the report resources, and these data will be already embedded into the report. Now we will show you this with an example. There are data descriptions from MySQL in the Dictionary panel.

XML data source
Select Embed all data to resources, then the resources with data appear.

Resources
Now, this data is in an XML file, and the file is in the report resources. After that, you can send a report template to another report creator so as data in the report template is already integrated. It's worth paying attention to the fact that embedding data to resources changes the file volume – the report template enlarges by the size of the data size because they all are downloaded from the base.

Report page
We hope this article will help you understand how to use the Embed all data to resources option, and now you can send a report template to the creators who don't have access to the database. If you have any questions, contact us – we will be glad to help you!