Reporting: a crucial part of most business apps. Mobile, the next frontier for business and enterprise reporting.

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Reporting: a crucial part of most business apps. Mobile, the next frontier for business and enterprise reporting.

Alpha Five reporting for duty in the new "mobile plus" world where performance and HTML is key and the ability to export reports to Excel and Word is a big plus.


As anyone who has been in involved creating business application knows, reports are often a critical component of  a business application.If you think about it,  reports are one of the key reasons that companies create data-driven applications in the first place. Reporting can be defined as the regular provisioning of information to managers within an organization to support them in their decision making.

One of the strengths of Alpha Five v11 has been the fact that it includes a powerful report writer tightly integrated with the rest of development tool.As we have been working on creating the next generation of Alpha for the new "Mobile-plus" world we have given a lot of thought to performance and behavior on mobile devices and also to ways to embrace HTML in reports. And, we are pretty excited about the results that are coming out of our continued investment in reporting

Firstly, for Alpha Five subscribers we are now shipping the Alpha Report Server which dramatically speeds up reporting throughput in applications.  The Report server boosts the throughput of Reports in a Web Application by offloading the processing of reports to a separate process running on unused cores of servers running Alpha Five applications. This  link provides a good demonstration of the benefit of the Alpha Report Server.

Secondly, there will be dramatic enhancements to the reporting capabilities in the next major release of Alpha Five in the areas of HTML reporting - including exporting to Word and Excel as well as Mobile reporting. Check out the videos below:

HTML Reporting in Alpha  is significantly faster than PDF reporting because it does not use the Amyuni printer driver. Also, another significant benefit of HTML reporting is the ability to export the report to Excel or Word.

















HTML ReportingWhen you add a Report to a Tabbed UI, or you display a report when a button is clicked,you now have the option of setting the 'initial view' of the report to HTML.HTML Reporting in Alpha  is significantly faster than PDF reporting because it does not use the Amyuni printer driver. Also, another significant benefit of HTML reporting is the ability to export the report to Excel or Word.

Using HTML Reporting in a Mobile ApplicationHTML Reporting is ideal for Mobile Applications because the HTML report can easily be displayed in one of the 'Panels'in a UX component.In this video we show how a UX component with a Panel Navigator is built.The Panel Navigator has two Panel Cards. The first Panel Card to print various reports. The second Panel Card is used to display the HTML report.

HTML Reporting -Reports with Bookmarks on Mobile DevicesWhen you design reports, you can turn on the 'bookmarks' and 'table of contents' features. The 'bookmark' feature creates a tree control of all of the 'bookmarks' in the report and allows you to navigate to any section of the report by clicking on a appropriate item in the 'bookmark tree', which is displayed to the left of the report itself. The 'table of contents' section, on the other hand, is shown before the first page of the report. You can also navigate to any particular section of the report by clicking on an entry in the table of contents.In HTML reports, the 'bookmarks' tree is automatically rendered in a Panel as is shown in this video. In a mobile application, the Panel Card that contains the bookmark tree is automatically hidden if there is not enough space on the device. In the case where it is hidden, a button is automatically added to the Panel Header to reveal the bookmarks.


For more information on reporting enhancements coming in the next major version of Alpha Five, please click here.
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About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi www.tubifi.com.

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