white
We are pleased to announce the release of the new version Stimulsoft Reports and Stimulsoft Dashboards 2021.2, which is now available for download. In this release, we added a new product - Stimulsoft Reports.Blazor, a new component Math Formulas, a new data adapter Azure Blob Storage, export dashboards to HTML format, support for HTML tags in PDF, and many other improvements.

Support for Blazor
Starting with the 2021.2 release, we are introducing the reporting tool for the Blazor platform. It is a cross-platform software designed for integration into applications using the Blazor framework. Our components support Razor Pages technology. They may work both on the server-side (Blazor Server) and client-side (Blazor WebAssembly). All you need is a Web browser. This report writer is part of Stimulsoft Reports.Web.

Support for Blazor

Mathematical formulas
In the new version, you can insert math formulas in your reports using the special Math Formula component. All mathematical formulas are arranged in groups in the special editor, where each group can be found on a separate tab. Also, you can specify the formula using LaTeX syntax.

Mathematical formulas

New data adapters - Azure SQL and Azure Blob Storage
In this new release, we have added new adapters to fetch data from services such as Azure SQL and Azure Blob Storage. You may find them on a separate Azure tab in the New Data Source window. Based on the data obtained from these services, you can create reports and dashboards.

New data adapters - Azure SQL and Azure Blob Storage

Dashboard positioning
Starting with this release, you can define the behavior of the dashboard when viewed. Previously, you could stretch the dashboard to the entire area of the viewer by height and width. Now you may extend it only by the width, height and width for the whole area of the viewer or not to stretch it at all. To specify the behavior of the dashboard, open the Dashboard settings window and set the value of the Content Alignment parameter. Double-click the workspace or select the Design command from the dashboard context menu to call the dashboard settings.

Dashboard positioning

Export a dashboard to HTML
In this release, we have added the ability to convert the dashboard and its elements to an HTML file. Open the dashboard in the viewer, go to the preview and select the HTML command from the Save menu on the toolbar or in a similar menu for a specific element. After that, the dashboard or its element will be converted into an HTML file.

Export a dashboard to HTML

New variable features
In this release, we have significantly optimized and improved the capabilities of report variables. You may customize the globalization of variable elements in the Globalization Strings editor. And when creating or editing a variable with the Request from User option enabled, you can specify the sorting of the values of this variable in the viewer. Moreover, sorting can be carried out both by the key values of the variable and by signatures. Also, in reports, you can refer to the signatures of variable values using the following template - VariableName.Label.

New variable features

Digital signature certificate
In the 2021.2 release, we simplified the digital signature certificate selection directly from the export settings menu when converting a report to PDF. Click the Browse button in the Digital Signature field and select a certificate.

Digital signature certificate

The new dashboard feature - Percent Of Grand Total
We have added a new function Percent Of Grand Total for the Measure type of dashboard elements. You may use the new function to display the fraction of the current value from the sum of the values of this data field. To show percentages, apply percentage formatting to the field where values are processed using the Percent Of Grand Total function.

The new dashboard feature - Percent Of Grand Total

Support for HTML tags in PDF
We have improved the algorithm for exporting reports and dashboards to a PDF file for JS and .NET Core components. Previously, HTML tags were processed, converted into an image or cut out for a PDF file. Now HTML tags are supported in PDF files when exporting reports and dashboards.

Support for HTML tags in PDF

Exporting dashboards to SVG
Also, we have added the ability to export dashboards and their elements to an SVG file for Dashboards.JS. While viewing the dashboard, select the Image command from the Save menu on the toolbar or similar menu for a specific item. After that, the dashboard or its element will be converted into an SVG file.

Exporting dashboards to SVG

Exporting reports to PowerPoint
Now in Reports.Java, you may export reports to Microsoft PowerPoint (*.pptx). While viewing the report, select the Microsoft PowerPoint file command from the Save menu, specify the export option, and click the OK button in the export settings menu. The report will be converted to Microsoft PowerPoint.

Exporting reports to PowerPoint
We are continually developing our software. Our main goal is to be at the cutting edge of software engineering. Each release contains new features, component optimizations, and bug fixes. This is why a new release is always the product improvement of the previous versions. However, not all users know about the ways of updating Stimulsoft components within their projects. In this article, we will talk about it in more detail.
Before proceeding to the update instructions, I would like to say that the update process is replacing the Stimulsoft assemblies and scripts in their projects. You can do it with the help of the following ways:
  • Download a product archive from the Stimulsoft website and replace files from an archive in your application;
  • Use manage packages to update some files in your project.

The first and the second ways of the component update are official. They don't carry any actions that violate the license agreement and usage rules. Which way to use is your decision. Files versions on the website and in the manager packages are identical and refer to the last version.

Downloading archives and manually updating product files

To download a library from our website, you should:

Step 1:  Open any web browser on your device;
Step 2:  Go to our website at https://www.stimulsoft.com;
Step 3:  Go to the Download page on our website. To do that, you should click on the Downloads link in the header of any page or use the direct link https://www.stimulsoft.com/en/downloads;
Step 4:  Click on the Download in the block of the product you need. After that, the downloading of the product file archive using browser tools will start;
Step 5:  Replace the Stimulsoft files in your project with the files from the archive after unpacking them.

Downloads page
After that, Stimulsoft assemblies will be updated in your project.
To download the archive of product files from your account, you should:

Step 1:  Open any browser on your device;
Step 2:  Go to our website at https://devs.stimulsoft.com;
Step 3:  Enter login and password to enter your account;
Step 4:  Select the product you need and click on the More Download in the block of this product;
Step 5:  Select the version of the product you need and click on the Download in the version string. After that, the downloading of the product file archive using browser tools will start;
Step 6:  Replace the Stimulsoft files with the archive files in your project after unpacking them.

Admin area
After this, Stimulsoft assemblies will be updated in your project.
To download files archive from Stimulsoft BI Designer, you should:

Step 1:  Run Stimulsoft BI Designer;
Step 2:  In the Get Started window, click on the Show More in the Develop section. If you can't see the Get Started window when starting the report designer, select an appropriate command from the File menu of the report designer;
Step 3:  Hover over the product you need;
Step 4:  Click on the Download. After that, the downloading of the product files archive using the Stimulsoft BI Designer will start. This archive will be saved on your device in the system Downloads folder;
Step 5:  Replace the Stimulsoft files in your project with the files from the archive after unpacking them.

Get started
After that, Stimulsoft assemblies will be updated in your project.

Updating files with the help of manage packages

Depending on the product, you can use a particular manage package to update Stimulsoft files.

You can update Reports.Net, Reports.Wpf, Reports.Web, Report.Blazor, Dashboards.WIN, and Dashboards.WEB with the help of the NuGet Package Manager:

Step 1:  In an application development environment such as Visual Studio, select the Manage NuGet Packages... command;
Step 2:  On the Updates tab, select the products to be updated;
Step 3:  In the field of the Version parameter, select the version of the product, which should be instead of the current;
Step 4:  Click on the Update.

NuGet Package Manager
After that, Stimulsoft assemblies will be updated in your project.
You can update the Reports.JS and the Dashboards.JS products from the system console using the NPM Package Manager:

Step 1:  Open the system console;
Step 2:  Specify the installing command for the Report.JS npm install stimulsoft-reports-js or for the Dashboards.JS npm install stimulsoft-dashboards-js;
Step 3:  After installing process completed, scripts will be located in the following path: node_modules\stimulsoft-reports-js\Scripts\ for the Reports.JS or node_modules\stimulsoft-dashboards-js\Scripts\ for the Dashboards.JS;
Step 4:  Copy them instead of the used scripts in the project.

NPM Console
After that, the project scripts will be updated.
You can update Reports.Angular using the NuGet packages (server-side) and the NPM packages (client-side).

Server-side update:

Step 1:  In an application development environment such as Visual Studio, select the Manage NuGet Packages... command;
Step 2:  On the Updates tab, you should select Stimulsoft.Reports.Angular.NetCore;
Step 3:  In the field of the Version parameter, select the version of the product, which should be instead of the current;
Step 4:  Click on the Update.

Angular NuGet Packages
After that, Stimulsoft assemblies in your project will be updated.

Client-side update:

Step 1:  Go to the ClientApp directory of your project;
Step 2:  Open the system console;
Step 3:  Specify the installing command npm install stimulsoft-viewer-angular.

Angular NPM console
After that, the client-side files will be updated.
You can update the Report.Java product with the help of the Maven Package Manager:

Step 1:  Open the project in a development environment, for example, Eclipse;
Step 2:  Select the Update Project... command from the Maven item in the context menu;
Step 3:  In an opened window, check the boxes of the Stimulsoft assemblies of the version you need;
Step 4:  Check the box of the Force Update of Snapshots/Releases;
Step 5:  Click on the OK.

Eclipse Maven Manager
After that, Stimulsoft assemblies will be updated in your project.
Hello to all readers of the Stimulsoft blog! As you already understood from the title, today we will talk about fonts.
Every time when designing a new report or dashboard, our users have some questions about the lists of fonts, how to work with them, their display on various devices, etc. Well, let's consider this topic in more detail and sort all the things out. What does the list of fonts, which we can see in the report designer, depend on? Mostly, the list of fonts depends on the operating system and a used product.

A certain set of fonts is installed in the operating system by default. However, after the operating system update and depending on its version, the list of available fonts may differ. Most often, a set of fonts is installed in the system by default, and each system version has its own list. You may install fonts with some apps or manually. They can be of various types - raster (bitmap) or vector (TrueType, OpenType, and PostScript).

Our products are intended for various technologies and, accordingly, they use different methods of information display. That is why fonts may be displayed differently. Besides, technologies may work differently on various versions of the operating system. For example, when working on Windows 8/10, Reports.Net, Reports.Wpf products, based on .NET Framework, support TrueType and OpenType fonts. Earlier versions of Windows support TrueType fonts only.The list of fonts in the report designer displays only the fonts installed on the system and are supported by the product and technology.All of the above applies to Reports.Net, Reports.Wpf, Dashboards.WIN. In the case of using Web products (client-server technologies) fonts list is taken from the operating system of the server-side of the product. Fonts list is pre-installed by our developers for the products where the JS engine is used.

Now let's talk in more detail about fonts themselves.

What is a font? A font is the set of symbols of a particular mark. Usually, each font represents a separate file. The files of fonts can be of different versions, and they can contain different amounts of symbols. As a rule, system fonts have only a few thousands of the most commonly used characters. There is a range of «universal fonts» containing a large amount of Unicode symbols, such as Arial Unicode and Lucida Sans Unicode. These fonts are usually very large and are not part of the system.

If a font does not contain necessary symbols, the system uses the «font fallback» algorithm, which inserts characters from similar fonts or fonts of a similar style. As a result, the appearance of the text may differ from the one intended. For example, a part of the text in another language can be displayed in a different font, and it will be very noticeable.

In some cases, missing symbols either don't display or are replaced with rectangles.

Text QualityIn the picture above, you can see an example of displaying the same text with different fonts in Stimulsoft Reports.Net. The top row of the table displays text with the Text Quality=Standard (the standard way of showing text in .NET Framework is based on the GDI+ library). The bottom row of the table displays text in the Text Quality=Wysiwyg (our method to output text is based on the GDI library). This method uses a different font replacement algorithm so that the appearance may differ, and some characters are not found, and therefore are replaced with rectangles.This is why to get a correct display of a text, you should think about fonts to be used before the report is designed. Also, when creating and displaying reports, you should ensure the accessibility of all necessary fonts.

You can use Custom fonts if the installed fonts in the system are not enough for your report design. These can be commercial fonts, created manually in editors, freely distributed, or downloaded from the Internet.

To make fonts available in our products, you should install them directly into the operating system. This option is suitable for desktop versions of Stimulsoft reporting tools. Fonts can also be installed with an application or manually by users.

Besides, there are two more ways for other versions.

The first way is font downloading from an app code with the help of the StiFontCollection class. This variant is intended for software developers and used at the stage of application creation. Most often, this is the way to add «Brand» fonts used in most reports. The second way is a font addition to the report resources. This way is suitable for report developers.Report file size and its processing time can change when adding a font file to the report resource.Custom FontsThe font selection tool in the Web version of our product is shown in the screenshot. All custom fonts are allocated in a separate category, "Custom Fonts".Most of our products accept the use of fonts TrueType and OpenType as custom fonts (files with “ttf” and “otf” extensions accordingly). Pay your attention to OpenType fonts on Windows 7, and earlier OS versions may not work in our product.
Also, it's worth mentioning exports in PDF and XPS formats. It's important to note that only when exporting a report to these formats fonts can be embedded in the document file. In this case, when watching this document on any OS, it will look the same.

Therefore, several conditions must be fulfilled for a correct formation:
  • All the necessary fonts must be available. You can get a font file from the system only in Net products on Windows. In other cases, all the required fonts should be loaded by one of the above methods (StiFontCollection or report resources);
  • Fonts must be TrueType or OpenType types;
  • Fonts must contain all the necessary symbols. If a font file is embedded, the «font fallback algorithm is not used to display it, and all missing characters are replaced with rectangles.

Export PDF FontsWe can see the example of the text display in an exported PDF file in this screenshot. When exporting to PDF, the system «font fallback» is used. So it's important to choose the correct fonts.
We hope that this article will help you to understand fonts in the Stimulsoft report designer. And now, you will be able to create an exclusive design for your reports and dashboards easily. If you have any questions, please contact us – we are happy to help you!
black
We are pleased to announce the release of the new version Stimulsoft Reports and Stimulsoft Dashboards 2021.1, which is now available for download. This major release comes with the .NET Core compilation, the ability to get data from Google BigQuery and use PDO drivers for PHP, a new robust Table of Contents component, and many new features for Table, Pivot, List Box, and other components.

Compilation in .NET Core
In the new version, when using the .NET Core framework, we have added support for compilation for reports. Now you can use all the reporting tool features like compilation at runtime, functions, publishing reports as classes. Compilation for .NET Core 3.1 is only available on Windows systems, and .NET 5.0 is available on all supported systems.

compilation in net core

The new component - Table of Contents
In the 2021.1 release, we added a new report component - Table of Contents. This component will help you create an interactive table of contents for your report without writing any code or scripts. Just add it to the template and mark the report component for which you want to generate content. When the report is rendered, a table of contents with navigating the report will be generated. You may find this component in the items list from the Bands menu on the Insert tab.

The new component - Table of Contents

The new adapter - Google BigQuery
Starting with this release, directly from the report designer, you can connect to the online service - Google BigQuery. To do this, in the data source creation window, select the BigQuery type, fill in the data storage access fields or use an authorization file. Once you have the data, you can create reports and dashboards from it.

The new adapter - Google BigQuery

Cross-filtering of elements
Starting with release 2021.1, you can define whether to filter data from other elements to the current element. Each dashboard item now has the Cross-Filtering property. If this property is set to False, then filters from other elements will not affect the current element.

Cross-filtering of elements

Horizontal filtering
The List Box filtering element is available in the report designer since the first release of dashboards. It is a vertical list of values on the dashboard panel by which you can filter dashboard data. Starting with release 2021.1, you can display the values of a List Box item as a horizontal list of values. Open the element editor and set the Orientation parameter to Horizontal.

Horizontal filtering

The new functionality for Table
Starting with version 2021.1, we have expanded the capabilities of the Table element in the dashboard. For the Table element, you can specify the required number of fixed columns that will not change their width. For each column of the table, you can set its width or range of width and enable the ability to wrap words in the column. Besides, when viewing a dashboard with a Table element, you can change the columns' order by simply dragging the column to the required location.

The new functionality for Table

The new functionality for Pivot
Now, when using the Pivot element on the dashboards, you can flexibly customize it. First, as for the Pivot element, you can specify the column width and enable wrapping the words. Second, you can disable displaying totals for columns or rows of the Pivot element, and, if necessary, you can change the header of the summary column or row.

The new functionality for Pivot

Support for PDO data adapters for PHP
The new version comes with support for PDO drivers for all data adapters available in PHP. To use them, it is enough to specify the correct DSN prefix in the connection string, for example, "mysql:" or "sqlsrv:", and the data adapter will define the connection type.

Support for PDO data adapters for PHP

Team management from the designer
Now you can manage your user team directly from the report designer. Open the File menu, select Account, and the Team tab. Here you can add, edit, and remove your team members. The Account item also includes other settings and commands for managing the current account, which you may find on separate tabs.

Team management from the designer
white

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all readers of the Stimulsoft blog! Let this wonderful holiday fill your life with light, joy, warmth, and prosperity! Every year people from all over the world look forward to this great winter holiday. No wonder, so as Christmas is the time for gifts, joy, colorful fireworks, and a fun feast in the circle of nearest and dearest people.
This holiday has its own atmosphere, which stands out from all other holidays. Streets and showcases decorated with multi-colored garlands, green Christmas trees, and friendly Santa Clauses turn our cities into a baby fairy tale from Disney cartoons, where you want to stay forever. On this day, we are in a hurry to please our nearest and dearest people with lovely gifts and surprises, lay the table with various delicacies, and celebrate this holiday to remember it for many years.

However, statistics show that Christmas is one of the most expensive holidays. Since buying gifts, a Christmas table, a Christmas tree, fireworks cost a decent amount. Let's turn to the data and see how much people spend on Christmas in different countries. So let's start with gifts, as they are one of the most important symbols of this holiday.

Gifts

As you can notice from this list, American people shelled out the most for gifts.

Now let's go to the foodstuffs. There should be something yummy on the festive table, right?

Foodstuffs

As we can see the Spanish spend on foodstuffs more than on gifts.

You can get bored while sitting at the Christmas table, drinking various drinks and eating delicious dishes. You might want to go out, unwind, go ice skating, skiing, shoot firecrackers, etc. How much do residents of other countries spend on entertainment? Let's find it out right now.

Leisure

As you can see, Great Britain and USA residents prefer amusements more than the others.

Finally, let's summarize and calculate the total number of expenses in each country for everyone's favorite holiday.

Expenses Data
As you have already noticed, people's expenses for Christmas in other countries are quite different. In some countries people spend more on gifts, in some on food, somewhere people prefer spending on leisure. Sure, you don't need to spend a lot of money to celebrate Christmas to the fullest, to make this holiday unforgettable and filled with vivid emotions and unrestrained fun. It is much more important to spend it with the dearest people. Share your emotions with them, show warmth, love, and make each other laugh until wept. After all, a smile on the face of a loved person is the best gift.
We wish you all the best and see you soon in 2021!