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DataFlex Reports 2018 v6.2 Released – What's in it For You...

By Vincent Oorsprong

The latest version of DataFlex Reports 2018 - version 6.2 - is now available for download in both the Developer and Standard editions!

With version 6.2’s extensive list of major enhancements, users of alternative reporting solutions have more reasons than ever to make the change to DataFlex Reports. And, no alternative offers DataFlex Reports’ easy report integration with applications!

Current DataFlex Reports users will welcome version 6.2’s many enhancements to add new application reporting features to fulfil customer demands and market opportunities. Read on to learn more...

Introducing Crosstabs

The biggest new feature and major improvement delivered in v6.2 is the introduction of crosstabs (also known as pivot tables). Crosstabs allow displaying data in a table where summaries are automatically calculated.

With crosstabs you can make a report showing summaries over grouped data per category, such as the amount of sales per shipping method, per payment condition, as shown here:

Crosstabs in DataFlex Reports

DataFlex Reports gives you full control over how the lines, margins, etc. in the crosstab are displayed.

Another example could be reporting on sales volume per sales person, per year and USA state:

Salespersons Volume in DataFlex Reports

DPI Scaling support

Both the DataFlex Reports Studio as well as the integration library now support DPI scaling in toolbars, menus and context menus. New icons were designed replacing the bitmaps used before to support DPI scaling.

Side-by-side assembly

The DataFlex Reports Studio is now able to run as a side-by-side assembly. This means it no longer relies on any registered components to operate (also known as "regfree"), eliminating the risk of conflicts or missing shared components (such as CodeJock).

New formatting and conversion functions

A number of new built-in formatting functions have been added. These functions allow you to convert data - such as date, time, number, currency and integer - using a mask or the Windows default setting.

A number of conversion functions have also been added which allow you to specify sizes and positions – in inches, centimeters or points – independent of the Windows locale settings of the machine on which the report runs. This enables changing the layout of the report on the fly.

The following screenshots were taken from a sample report showing a customer list where parameters are used to show or hide a phone number or fax number, and if not shown, to move the e-mail column over:

 DataFlex Reports Formatting Functions

Changing the parameters HidingFax and HidingPhone results in:

DataFlex Reports Formatting Functions

 Or to hide both phone and fax number, and move the e-mail column to the left:

DataFlex Reports Formatting Functions

DSN-less connection string builder

A connection to an ODBC data-source can be made via a DSN (Data Source Name), or via a connection string containing all the details which is also known as a DSN-less connection. The creation of this DSN-less connection is now easier with the enhanced ODBC connection wizard in DataFlex Reports Studio. The wizard also supports SQL Managed Connections that were introduced with DataFlex 2017 (v19.0). The information is read and converted into a DSN-less connection:

DSN-less Connection in DataFlex Reports

Improved Excel Export

A new option ‘Export data using native Excel datatypes’ has been added to the Excel export. When using this option all data types are converted to unformatted native Excel data types. This makes it easier to make changes to the exported data in Excel.

Data-source connection errors option

A new option ‘Show data-source connection errors’ is now available. With this option all errors which occur when you connect to a data-source are reported which can help you determine why you cannot connect to a particular data-source.

Import/Export of RDS data

RDS (Runtime Data Source) table structures and sample data can now be imported and exported. This means you no longer need to re-enter the RDS table structure for each report in which you want to use the table or re-enter the RDS sample data after you have made changes to the RDS table structure. The RDS data is stored as JSON in a separate file which you can easily copy between workstations. The following screenshot shows how the data can be stored in JSON format:

Sample data stored in JSON format

Bigint support

 Support for 64-bit integers has been added to all the Database drivers supplied with DataFlex Reports. If you use any 64-bit integers in your database(s) simply run ‘Check Database’ from the DataFlex Reports Studio or use the Maintenance utility to start utilizing this new data type.

Improved Barcode support

Barcode support has been improved with:

1. A new option to set the default barcode type:

DataFlex Reports - set default barcode type

2. An option to display the humanly readable text which appear underneath some barcode types. The following screenshot shows the normal behavior of the “code 3 of 9” barcode:

DataFlex Reports: behavior of code 3 of 9 barcode

The next screenshot shows the option to hide the text underneath the barcode:

DataFlex Reports: hide barcode text option

The last screenshot shows the use:

DataFlex Reports: hide barcode text option in use

3. Parameter fields can be used to display a barcode.

SQLite driver

SQLite is a widely used zero-configuration SQL database. It is used by DataFlex Reports for its internal data storage. The new SQLite driver included in DataFlex Reports is a native driver and does not rely on an installed ODBC driver or any other dependencies. Just like the ODBC driver, the SQLite driver allows you to base your reports on a SQL statement and supports the SQL() function.

With this addition it is possible to create reports on any SQLite database (such as the Chinook sample database).

Other features

A number of other features and enhancements are delivered with DataFlex Reports 2018, as well as bugfixes on reported issues.

New features include:

  • Median support
  • New reset page number logic
  • Improved HTML export
  • CLOB and DBCLOB support for IBM DB2
  • Options from an older DataFlex Reports installation can be copied during installation
  • DF_material design theme support for the integration library
  • Ability to show/hide row numbers in the RDS table definition and RDS sample data dialogs
  • Function to collect the FilterInformation in a report for the integration library
  • Function to convert the RDS data collected during integration into a JSON file

View the ReadMe (Developer edition and Standard edition) for complete details about the bugfixes and other enhancements that are included in this release.