BKeeney Shorts Has a New Home at Varcess

Reporting is one of those things that when you need it you want something that does 80%-90% of the work for you. For us, and many other Xojo developers, the reporting tool that’s built-in to Xojo just isn’t very powerful. So we built our own and used it practically in all of our consulting projects over the last 10 years.

Shorts has a report designer component that lets developers embed a report designer in their desktop projects. The banded report designer allows the user to change the fields, fonts, layout, etc. of a report as well as do some sorting, grouping, and also allow the user to ask for criteria before the report is generated. The report viewer component has versions for desktop and web v1. And if the report design can’t handle a report, you can fall back to doing extremely complex reports via code.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but Shorts was the winner of the 2018 Xojo Design Awards for Best Developer Tool. It was an honor to get the award and I’m always ecstatic hearing from Xojo developers on how they use Shorts and how happy they are with it.

Since I took a full-time job in the spring I’ve been looking for a new home for Shorts with developers that can take pride in its development and take it to new heights. I’m proud to announce that BKeeney Shorts has a new home at varcess. They use Shorts extensively in their own products and have already announced some new and exciting additions to it.

The developers at varcess are close to finishing inheritable report designs and a XojoScript debugger. Future Versions will add API 2.0, Web 2.0 support, sub-reporting, and a REST API reporting server. Whew! That’s a ton of new features and I can’t wait to see what Xojo developers do with them.

Stay tuned and check the xojo forum for future announcements. Existing Shorts customers will be informed via email and will receive a discount when updating to the next new version.

Please visit https://www.varcess.com for more information and to get updated demos in the future.

Formatted Text Control 3.2.1

BKeeney Software has released version 3.2.1 of the Formatted Text Control, a canvas based word processing control for Xojo Mac OS X and Windows applications. The FTC is an alternative to the built-in TextArea control and allows for in-line graphics, hyperlinks, custom components, better RTF support and much more. The demo project has quite a few examples, including a Masked Text Field, XojoScript example, Embedded FTC (in your own canvas), as well as a word processor with page view.

The Formatted Text Control costs $150 and is 100% unencrypted Xojo code. Version 3 and above requires the use of the Text Input Canvas plugin (included in package) to allow for proper text handling in Cocoa builds.

Download links and more information at http://www.bkeeney.com/formatted-text-control/ 

This version has a number of bug fixes reported by users since release. It is recommended for all users. Registered users should be receiving an email from our automated distribution system.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed issue where all StyleRuns after a hyperlink will also be marked as hyperlink
  • Issue #4074: RTF clipboard ignores hyperlinks with umlauts and cuts them
  • Issue #4087: missing RTF space after “\kerning0” keyword
  • Issue #4130: FTXojoScriptField: Left part of the text is hidden by the section of the line number.
  • Issue #4135: Migrating texts from a TextArea to the FTC (Ich migrieren Texte aus einer TextArea in das FTC)
  • Issue #4196: Remove GOTO calls from FTC

BKS Shorts 2.0.8

Today we released BKeeney Shorts 2.0.8.  This is a free update to all version 2.0.x users.
Shorts is the award winning reporting tool for Xojo applications.  Shorts allows a Xojo developer to embed a report designer inside in a desktop application, view reports in any resolution on desktop or web applications, save report files to file or to a database, and to export reports to HTML, CSV, and PDF (requires the DynaPDF plugin from MBS).  Shorts works with SQLite, CubeSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Server, ODBC, and Informix (requires the SQL plugin from MBS).
Shorts comes as 100% unencrypted Xojo source code.

New:
* DesignerCC.OpenReport now returns its success as a Boolean

Changes:
* Removed FTC and RTF support from Shorts (#3716)
* winReportDesigner.Visible is now default False
* Improvements to winReportDesigner toolbar / tool item handling
* DefaultStyle is now a function returning a consistent default style
* DesignerCC will no longer override the window title – it now raises an event
* Can no longer delete bands outside the band editor by defualt
* PrinterSetup simplifed to fix a UX issue (#3672)
* HandleExportHTML method rewritten to be sandbox friendly
* ReportBKS.ScrubSQLArray replaces conditions with RegEx for consistency
* DBWrapper ensures it’s DBInfo child has an instance of the DB (#3679)
* Designer window now has a File > Close (cmd-w) menu item (#3652)
* Report Template version number incremented due to a JSON change with styles
* Localizations updated

Fixes:
* SetToolbarItem can no longer cause OutOfBoundsException
* French translation of “Text” is no longer “Send a SMS”
* Navigator selection is not lost in rare cases (#3670)
* Changing paper setup no longer creates too many undo levels
* Can no longer enter negative page numbers in the report viewer (#3673)
* Contextual clicking outside of a single selection no longer causes NOE (#3676)
* Reports can no longer be run with no Database Fields to request data, preventing SQL errors
* Fixed image resolving issue (#3687)
* Fixed constant editor window title
* HandleExportHTML no longer causes uncaught exception when cancelling (#3698)
* Filter conditions no longer cause SQL errors with unescaped characters
* Backward compatible styles loading now more robust
* Corrected an issue with server constants and plugins
* Fixed a couple of Mojave drawing glitches.

For more pricing, demo versions, and training videos please visit http://www.bkeeney.com/allproducts/bkeeney-shorts/

BKS Report Studio

Connect to a Myriad of Databases without writing SQL: BKeeney Software Launches New, Cross-Platform Reporting Tool

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LENEXA, KS, 20 September 2018 – BKeeney Software launches BKS Report Studio, a simple database reporting tool that features a visual interface, templates, and editing features that allow users to create reports without writing SQL.

Designed for every skill level, BKS Report Studio operates like a layout editor by allowing users to drag and drop data sources, labels, images, and even barcodes to build powerful reports, quickly.

Reports can be printed directly, or can be exported in several file formats. Created by a need to simplify and extend the database reporting process, BKS Report Studio focuses on making the report design phase easier.

BKS Report Studio features several functions:
– Drag & Drop layout design for report templates
– Export as PDF documents or print directly
– SQL engine generates the necessary query and gathers data
– Filter data beforehand, or live at runtime with dynamic runtime filtering
– Boolean display is fully customizable, and supports Emoji
– Format numbers, and perform scripts on bands as they are generated

Connect to the most popular database engines, or connect to any database engine that provides an ODBC driver. BKS Report Studio supports these database engines: CubeSQL, MySQL, ODBC, PostgreSQL, and SQLite

BKS Report Studio is available now for Mac and Windows. Download it from the website for free today. Demo reports will be watermarked. Purchase a license for $175 to permanently remove the watermark and unlock the export-to-file functions.

Website: https://bksreportstudio.com
Download: https://bksreportstudio.com/download/auto
Purchase: https://bksreportstudio.com/buy

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BKeeney Software is software consulting firm specializing in cross-platform, web, and mobile applications, developer tools, and training using the Xojo development platform.

support@bkeeney.com

 

Shorts 2.0.5

Today we released BKeeney Shorts 2.0.5.  This is a free update to all version 2.0.x users.
Shorts is the premier reporting tool for Xojo applications.  Shorts allows a Xojo developer to embed a report designer inside in an application, view reports in any resolution, save report files to file or to a database, and to export reports to HTML, CSV, and PDF (requires the DynaPDF plugin from MBS).  Shorts works with SQLite, CubeSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Server, ODBC, and Informix (requires the SQL plugin from MBS).
Shorts comes as 100% unencrypted Xojo source code.

New:
* PreviewCC now has a ReportFinished event
* Report Designer Help menu item that goes to the documentation
* BandType constants in PAF_PrintBand
* Datestamps in the header and footer can now be formatted individually (#3572)

 

Changes:
* Ease of installation improvements
* Code demo window order of operations, design, and reports improved
* BKS_Shorts.ImageItem constructor copies over aspect ratio boolean
* Moved the PAF_PrintKit.StylesLoad call from App.Open event to winReportDesigner.Open event
* Moved Designer Constant “Page Placeholders” (Timestamp, PageNumber, PageCount) into constants of ReportBKS
* Property list uses shared disclosure triangle drawing method now
* Property list draws backgrounds for disclosure triangle and ellipsis to fix overlap issues
* Removed workaround for 64 bit text splitting as the issue has been marked as fixed in 2017r2 (#3567)
* Removed “ReportRun” notification sent through pfDispatcher, replaced with ReportFinished event on the ContainerControl
* Removed global setting for date formatting for header and footer, fields can now be individually formatted
* winReportDesigner.HandlePrint will now properly show the printer dialog for each print, as a user expects.
* winDBConnection Password no longer a required field to attempt a connection
* Added constant to recognize, or ignore, MS SQL Server (for future release).

 

Fixes:
* DynaPDF Renderer now draws images properly in high resolution
* Enum properties in the property list no longer have empty first value (causing KeyNotFoundException when selected)
* Report Designer no longer leaves on an extra “g” when finding the app name automatically (only affects Debug environments)
* Email PDF example protected against bad SSL settings
* Constants no longer get drawn several times in the designer (#3578)
* Error properly reported if no rows are returned from a SQL error
* winDBConnection will no longer show an empty MsgBox when connecting to some database types
* Image scaling no longer refuses to scale up, this improves how low resolution images are handled
* SC_GetCount works again
* Aggregates with body rows of repeating data (i.e. 2nd row data the same as the first and so on) works properly now

For more pricing, demo versions, and training videos please visit http://www.bkeeney.com/allproducts/bkeeney-shorts/

Shorts 2.0.4

Today we released BKeeney Shorts 2.0.4.  This is a free update to all version 2.0.x users.
Shorts is the premier reporting tool for Xojo applications.  Shorts allows a Xojo developer to embed a report designer inside in an application, view reports in any resolution, save report files to file or to a database, and to export reports to HTML, CSV, and PDF (requires the DynaPDF plugin from MBS).  Shorts works with SQLite, CubeSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Server, ODBC, and Informix (requires the SQL plugin from MBS).
Shorts comes as 100% unencrypted Xojo source code.  Please visit the product page at http://www.bkeeney.com/allproducts/bkeeney-shorts/

New:
* Super Simple Example project demonstrates the basics of using the core classes
* Checkbox field type for boolean data

Changes:
* Various improvements to the Property List for ease of use
* Updated PrintField SerializeJSON to use UInteger in preparation for 64bit
* BKS_Shorts.Settings.kUseBarcodePlugin now defaults as False
* OrderBy is now a menu to prevent malformed data (#3519)

Fixes:
* Checkboxes in the property list are now much easier to click on Windows (#3535)
* Property list text fields no longer float when the property list scrolls
* AlternatingList now draws properly on Linux, and code was simplified
* Removed Special/Any filter on select file dialogs, this fixes selection on Linux
* Removed AutoAlias from AddField method, this was creating invalid Aliases as we changed the way we use Alias in Shorts 2.0
* Multiple fields in ORDER BY handled properly in the schema identification process (#3537)
* Report Header with PageBreak no longer adds extra headers on the second page (#3538)

Shorts 2.0.3

Today we released BKeeney Shorts 2.0.3.  This is a free update to all version 2.0.x users.
Shorts is the premier reporting tool for Xojo applications.  Shorts allows a Xojo developer to embed a report designer inside in an application, view reports in any resolution, save report files to file or to a database, and to export reports to HTML, CSV, and PDF (requires the DynaPDF plugin from MBS).  Shorts works with SQLite, CubeSQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Server, ODBC, and Informix (requires the SQL plugin from MBS).
Shorts comes as 100% unencrypted Xojo source code.  Please visit the product page at http://www.bkeeney.com/allproducts/bkeeney-shorts/
Release Notes:
New:
* Designer: Wrap lines without allowing the item to grow (#3419)
* Designer: Text fields can now have borders (#3486 #3437)

Changes:
* Database Type detection moved in to SQLGeneratorBKS.Generator
* Removed global PAF_DatabaseKit.bIsPostgres
* GroupItemPF.HasItems no longer counts empty text items
* Report template now only stores the database fields used (#3281)
* Designer is no longer tied to App object with constants and methods (#3487)
* Designer can now discern the app name by itself
* Designer propery list now scrolls when it’s too long

Fixes:
* Body Band Limit works (#3505)
* Line wrap drawing code in the designer now wraps properly
* SQL Generator no longer chokes on more than 2 data filters (#3501)
* Suppress duplicates no longer suppressing fields it shouldn’t
* Previewing a report in the Designer no longer briefly shows the last report run 
* Connection window no longer shows the same error message twice when SQLite fails to connect
Existing Users Should Note:
The App.AppDataDirectory, App.AppIcon, and App.AppImageDirectory methods have been moved to PreferencesModule to make Shorts easier to install. Please be aware that you may need to update the PreferencesModule.AppIcon method with your existing App.AppIcon code.
The App.kAppName constant has also been moved into the PreferencesModule. The value now comes from the PreferencesModule.AppName method, which can automatically discern the app name, or you can have it return a string of your choosing. The later approach may be more desirable if you used a value in the kAppName constant that was not the actual value of your app’s file name when built.

For best results when updating, delete the three methods and constant from the App object. This will highlight any spots you may have referenced these methods (and will need to update them)

Updates are available through FileShare and you should get a notification email.

BKS Shorts Version 2.0

BKeeney Software (Lenexa, KS) has released version 2.0 of it’s Xojo reporting tool, BKS Shorts, today. Shorts is the premier reporting tool for Xojo desktop and web applications and comes with an integrated Designer and Viewer components to make it easy for Xojo developers to get advanced reporting in their desktop and web applications.

Within a few minutes Xojo developers can incorporate the Report Designer component in their desktop applications and create rich, dynamic reports. Grouping on a field is easy as well as creating complex queries to filter data. It’s possible to ask for query parameters at runtime so end-users can filter data how they choose. Using XojoScript it’s easy to create incredibly complex reports that can vary text, visibility, and formatting at runtime based on field values.

The Report Viewer component is available for desktop and web applications. The viewer allows users to view their reports but also can ask them for parameters for the reports at runtime. For example it would be easy to allow users to specify their own date range for their reports. Reports in the viewer are searchable and with can be configured to allow for ‘drill down’ reports.

Reports can be printed and are resolution independent. They can also be exported to PDF (requires MBS DynaPDF Starter Edition), HTML, and CSV.

Shorts supports SQLite, MySQL, Postgres, CubeSQL, MS SQL Server, Informix (requires the SQL plugin from MBS), and ODBC.

Version 2 Highlights

  • Added Report Header
  • Added Report Footer
  • Now allow database fields in Report and Page Headers and Footers
  • Rewritten SQL engine that makes reports with a lot of groups faster
  • Field aggregates (sum, min, max, average, count) are now handled by the report rather than queried.
  • Barcode Fields (requires BarcodeGeneratorMBS from Monkeybread Software)
  • Project comes with a converter for On-Target Reports
  • Numerous bug fixes and tweaks

The normal price for Shorts is $300 USD and the package is 100% unencrypted source code. Existing users receive a 50% discount and if they’ve not already received an email should contact support.

Requirements: Shorts 2.0 requires Xojo 2016 R1 and better. Windows users should avoid using Xojo 2016 R4 as there is a bug in the Xojo printing framework. Shorts works on macOS, Windows desktop environments (Linux is untested and unsupported). Shorts report viewer does work in web applications running on macOS, Windows, and Linux. Because of XojoScript 64-bit applications are not supported yet (though XojoScript can be removed to make it so)

For more information please visit the Shorts page at http://www.bkeeney.com/allproducts/bkeeney-shorts/

BKS Shorts 1.8.0

BKeeney Software has released version 1.8 of our reporting classes and tool for Xojo.

Thanks for using BKS Shorts, the premier reporting tool for Xojo projects. We appreciate all of the feedback we’ve received over the course of the year. Trust me when I say that
Shorts wouldn’t be where it is without your dedicated use and feedback of issues, concerns, and feedback requests.

Version 1.8 fixes a rather insidious bug that’s been in the Designer since day one. The Top property for PrintItems was always reported as relative to the top of the page. Well, this is just plain wrong because in a banded reporting tool Top and Left should be relative to the BAND, not the page. This one change literally affected everything from read & write, to drawing of the display, to all of the mouse handling. PLEASE REPORT ANY ISSUES YOU FIND ASAP to Mantis.

Version 1.8 is the last major release of the 1.x series. Version 2 will add Report Headers/Footers and a new SQL engine that will hopefully make reports much faster than they are today. When Xojo gets their act together for 64 bit debugging you can be sure we’ll do 64 bit debugging and make sure things work. A stretch goal for version 2 is subreports. VERSION 2.0 will be an upgrade.

Full change list:

New:

  • Added Informix to the list of databases
    • Uses the SQL Plugin from MonkeyBread Software. Requires additional license purchase from MBS.
  • Added Constants to the tool. Essentially a Dictionary that allows a user to add constants to a report without having to put it in a database table.
    • Constants show up in the Tool List
    • Constants Editor is invoked under the Report menu in the Demo
    • Constants are saved in the JSON string and can be changed at runtime before rendering
    • Constants are by report. Please let us know if you want global constants.
  • Added the ability to have nested conditional statements in the filter data option of Report Designer.
    • Added two integer properties (Leading and Trailing) to PAF_DatabaseKit.QueryCondition required to include these in SerializeJSON, Constructor, and Clone methods
    • updates to winDBFilter adding a mousedown event and UpdateList method.
    • Also modified Display method to accomodate the nested conditions
      updatte to winDBFilter added pushbuttons to add, remove and clear groupings.
    • update to winDBFilter added headerpressed event to prevent sorting of clumns in listbox so logic is not changed

Changes:

  • Added graphics to the primitive elements (line, rect, oval, image, text) you can drag to the design canvas
  • Removed the metadata shortcuts.
  • Turned off sorting filters by column in winDBFilter to prevent changes in filter logic
  • Changed location of Sakila (example database) download location.
  • Resize item behavior changed a bit from previous version. WANT FEEDBACK.

Bug Fixes:

  • When rendering directly from JSON string the DB schema isn’t rescanned unless necessary.
  • Exporting to CSV not brings back all rows.
  • When changing a text format to an already existing style, the stylename was not being updated, thus in some cases causing the style to revert to the default.
    This was a particular problem when saving a report and then printing directly to a PDF.
  • Positioning of the items in the bands is now relative to the band rather than the page.
    • So setting an item to (0,0) will put it to the top/left of the band it’s assigned rather than moving it to top/left of the page.
  • Fixed issue with Encoding of special characters. (Thanks to Valdemar De Sousa)
  • May have found the issue causing occasional hard crash. Had to do with updating the Property List after it had already been dismissed

Product home page at http://www.bkeeney.com/allproducts/bkeeney-shorts/

Windows Printing Broken in Xojo R4

We’ve done a lot more testing with Shorts and R4.1 this week.  Wow.  Where to begin.  I guess the first thing to say is if you need to print in Windows stick with Xojo Release 3 for now.  R4, with its switch to Direct2D has completely messed up printing.

Using Shorts, and Xojo R3 this is what a normal print looks like.  (Forget about the colors and stuff, I’m testing things out and the ugly colored blocks help).  Looks like it should:

Exact same code in 2016 R4.1 and this is what it looks like.  Note:  the picture makes it worse than it is, it’s not slanted like that on the page, my camera angle is just weird.  But, you can clearly see that while the lines and rectangles printed properly, there’s no text!

It’s obvious that the Direct2D from GDI+ in R4 were not properly tested.  Part of that is on us, the beta test community, but it seems, to me at least, that Xojo didn’t do enough vetting themselves.

The good news is that the Shorts display works fine as well the output to PDF.  So if you don’t actually print directly from your Shorts application you’ll be okay.

I expect better of Xojo.