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More than a month remains until the most magical holiday of the year, Christmas, comes. But you do not have to wait so long for gifts. We have prepared something special for you. We will soon release a new version of the products for creating reports and dashboards Stimulsoft - 2022.1. Here are a few significant updates and new features that you may expect shortly.

3D Pie chart

In the new version, we will allow you to add a new long-expected option to your reports and dashboards - a 3D Pie Chart. A pie chart is familiar to everyone; it is a circle divided into sectors to display statistical populations. Now the designer will have a three-dimensional version of it, which will expand the visualization of data series and simplify their understanding.

3D Pie Chart

Optimizing minification of JS scripts

In the new version of the products Reports.JS, Dashboards.JS, Reports.PHP, and Dashboards.PHP, large-scale code optimization and the JS scripts minification procedure have been carried out. As a result, the overall size of the code has been significantly reduced. This will lead to faster loading of components.
SQL Data Sources for Blazor

Data sources in Blazor

Starting from version 2022.1, in Reports.Blazor (the Blazor.Server component, which is part of Reports.Web), the ability to connect data not only from file data sources will be added. By loading and connecting adapters it will be possible to work with almost any type of data - SQL (MS SQL, MySQL, Oracle, etc.), Azure (Blob and Table Storage, Azure SQL, Cosmos DB), Google (Firebird, Google Analytics, BigQuery) and many others.

Watermark, rounding, transparency on the dashboard


Watermark, Rounding, Transparency




The new functionality will be added to dashboards. One of them is a watermark, which can be used as text, images, weaves, or any combination. Also, for dashboard widgets, it will be possible to define rounding of borders, background transparency, and shadows of components.
Bar-codes

New Barcodes

In the new version you will be able to use new types of barcodes – Aztec and Intelligent Mail USPS 4-State, when creating reports and dashboards. The Aztec is a popular barcode, which was created in the late 1990`s and used among other things, for automatic data recognition. The Intelligent Mail USPS 4-State was developed by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and is used for automatic sorting of letters.
These and other changes will be live very soon in version 2022.1 of Stimulsoft Reports and Dashboards.
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On November 8, 2021, Microsoft company officially announced the .NET 6 release. This is a popular platform for software development.

Unfortunately, this led to some difficulties in the work of software products. The thing is that Microsoft company decided that the System.Drawing.Common library is compatible only with Windows. This was done due to the inability to fix errors in third-party operating systems - macOS and Linux.

The problem of incompatibility of the System.Drawing.Common library affected users of Stimulsoft products, too. As a temporary solution for the project using the .NET 6.0, we offer you to install the previous version 5.0.3 of the System.Drawing.Common library, which is backward compatible with the .NET 6.0 and, as before, it supports Linux and macOS systems.

The second solution to the problem is to set the special option System.Drawing.EnableUnixSupport to true in the runtimeconfig.json file, as described in the Microsoft documentation:
{
   "runtimeOptions": {
      "configProperties": {
         "System.Drawing.EnableUnixSupport": true
      }
   }
}

Right now, we at Stimulsoft are revising our products, the main task of which is to avoid dependence on the System.Drawing.Common library and, thus, to make the Stimulsoft report and dashboard engines completely cross-platform.
In the new article, we are telling you about a topside innovation of the Stimulsoft Reports and Dashboards 2021.4 – implementing the Blockly tool for creating event scripts in a report. Principles of work and integration of the tool, basic capabilities, and examples for your understanding.

A bit of history

In 2012 Google released a new visual programming language which was called Blockly. The tool is applied to create programs and scripts without typing some text or symbols. In other words, development is not carried out with the help of manual coding but by using connecting logical blocks. In Blockly, you can connect ready-made blocks in such a way to get a full-fledged script where you can make various changes and edits. Visually, the process looks like a puzzle collection. Take a look how it looks like:

Blockly Google Editor
Blockly is technically implemented in JavaScript and freely distributed with a source code under the Apache 2.0 license.

Blockly in Stimulsoft products

Now, let's figure out how this tool is used in the report designer. After Blockly was implemented in the 2021.4 version, our product could make changes, creating scripts without writing a code.Previously, an event script from a code was created in the platform programming language. For example, for the .NET Framework, it is C# (VB.Net), and for JS components, it is JavaScript. Therefore, a report with event scripts written in C # did not work in the JS report generator. Blockly tool allows you to create universal scripts of events in a report. Thus, a report with Blockly scripts will work on all platforms.As an example, let's take a report and add an event script to it. See the image below how it looks in the designer:

Designer
Let's create a script of component style replacement when report designing. After that, change the component style when exporting the report. Go to the Properties panel, open the Events tab. Since we will change style when report designing, the script should be created in the Begin Render event.

Begin Render Event
To call the event editor, you should click the Browse button of the Begin Render event.Note! The event editor mode can be changed in the Options window, which you may find in the File menu.After, the Blockly editor will be opened, where an event script is created:

Blockly Editor - Begin Render
According to this script, a new style will be defined for each text component, which is Header. To do that, you should use the Component Style property, component name, which style should be changed, and style name - «Header3Blue». Also, you should redefine the style of even rows of the Data band.

Go to the Preview tab to check the result of these changes.

Report
The color of data header components was changed, and the color of even rows in the data list was changed, too.

Now, let's change the style of headers when exporting a report. To do that, you should go to the Properties panel again and open the Events tab (don`t forget to select the report template area). To execute any script before converting the report to a document, you should use the Exporting event.

Exporting EventNote! When rendering, the necessary number of component copies is created. In our sample, three copies from the text component with the TextAddress name will be created when processing.To replace the style of all component copies in a rendered report, you should use loops and local variables. Let's refer to the copies of components in a rendered report by component names. Then let's define the "Header3Red" style for all these copies.

Blockly Editor - Exporting
After you create a script, you should go to the Preview tab and export your report, for example, to a PDF document.

Report
At the beginning of the export process, a new style will be assigned to the data headers. Here's a live example to see how changing the style of components works when exporting a report. Follow the link and export, for instance, to PDF.


We hope that this article was helpful for you, and now you will be able to use the Blockly tool when working with reports. To better understand the functioning of this tool in our products, we prepared a playlist where you will find various examples of using Blockly. We will constantly replenish the collection of videos. Subscribe to our channel not to miss any video.


If you have any questions, contact us – we will be glad to assist you.
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We are pleased to announce the release of the new version Stimulsoft Reports and Stimulsoft Dashboards 2021.4, which is now available for download. In this version, we released the new product Dashboards.PHP, integrated Blockly in the Event editor, added the scheduler functionality in the desktop Designer, added the ability to fill data manually to design analytical panels, and many other features and improvements.

Blockly

We integrated the Blockly library to create event scripts in reports. With this tool, you can create various scripts visually without writing any code. The event script created with Blockly will be universal for all report writers. Accordingly, your report will work both in the WinForms report designer and in the JS report designer. The list of supported report component events may vary.

Blockly

Framework Versions on Publish

In the Publish wizard, you may select the type and version of the framework for ASP.NET MVC, WinForms, and WPF platforms. .NET Framework 4.5.2, .NET Core 3.1, .NET 5.0 frameworks are available. This will reduce the time it takes to integrate Stimulsoft components into your application.

Publish Frameworks

Stimulsoft Dashboards.PHP

We are launching a new product - Dashboards.PHP, based on the JavaScript data analysis engine. All necessary scripts, detailed guidelines, and integration samples are available for you. Take advantage of this right now to quickly and efficiently achieve your analytical goals in your PHP project.

Dashboards.PHP

Scheduler

We added the Scheduler tool to automate the reporting process in Stimulsoft Designer. With this tool, you can convert the report and dashboard into a finished document and send them by email according to a specific schedule. Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly schedulers are available with many options for flexible scheduling.

Scheduler

Manual data entry

For dashboard elements such as Chart, Indicator, Progress, Gauge, we added the functionality to enter data manually. You may switch to manual input mode in the editors of these elements. Value entry fields are cells that are linked line by line. The number of rows is unlimited, and in cells, in addition to values, you can also specify expressions.

Enter Data Manually

Exceed margins

We added the functionality for the Text Box component to fill the page space outside the print margins with the background color of this component. The Exceed Margins property is used for this. Depending on the selected direction, the background color of the text component will fill the page space beyond the print margins, up to the page margins.

Exceed Margins

New element editor in a variable

We improved the element editor in a variable. Now the input fields for elements are presented as a dimensionless grid in the cells of which you can specify both simple values and expressions.

variable Items

Cloning in a dictionary

We simplified the ability to clone items in the data dictionary. Using the Duplicate command on the context menu, you can quickly clone data sources, connections, variables, and other data dictionary elements.

Duplicate

Windows 11 support

Before releasing the new version of the Windows 11 operating system, we are glad to inform you that our tool is completely ready for the latest OS version. In addition, we have added a Windows 11 GUI theme to the WPF report designer.

Windows 11

Text in shapes

We added the ability to specify text inside shapes. This feature is available for most shapes - a text entry field located in the editor of the Shape component.
The warmest greetings to you! A new version of our software will come out very soon. Today, we would like to introduce you to the most significant and exciting innovations we are preparing for more convenient and efficient work with your data.

Blockly

Add new capabilities to your reports using visual programming in report events. An integrated tool from Google Blockly in the Event editor will allow you to create various scenarios when events may trigger.

Blockly

Scheduler

Automate reporting processes using the built-in scheduler in Stimulsoft Designer. Export your reports and send them by Email "just in time" without any action from a user.

Scheduler

Dashboards.PHP

Use analytics in your PHP applications. We are going to release a full-featured solution for the PHP platform.

Stimulsoft Dashboards.PHP

Manual Data Entering

Enter your data manually to design analytical panels.

Manual entering

Text in Shapes

Add flowcharts to your reports using shapes and text in them.

Text in Shapes
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