This post belongs to a series of blog posts that are dedicated to the innovations of combit Report Server 24. At this point I would like to recommend the two posts "What's New in Report Server 24, Part 1" and "What's New in Report Server 24, Part 2".
Today we are talking about the new native iOS and Android apps for the combit Report Server, which allow you to access the reports on your Report Server directly from your smartphone or tablet. Previously, this was also possible directly via the Report Server web interface, but the new apps offer additional options and a device adapted and fast operation, as you would expect from a native app.
While I've been blogging about the major and most-UI-visible features during the last few months, of course there are gazillions of minor and less visible changes underneath the hood in LL24. This blog post sums up some more reasons to be cheerful.
Since the introduction of our feature portal three years ago, it has become an important driver for our innovation. If you filter for "available in latest version", you'll find some fourty features we've built into the product on your request. So here comes a big "thank you" to everyone participating! Your help, effort and ideas are more than welcome anytime. Of course, we've implemented some of the top voted demands into LL24. One of them has been to enable the customization of the preview window's look and feel.
Extensibility is a first class citizen in the List & Label universe. You can add your own functions and objects to the Designer, enabling complex calculations within your code or custom objects. However, there was one important link missing so far – all this code just runs on the desktop. If your application runs on a server and you're using the Web Designer you're hosed – until version 24.
While List & Label's charts offer a lot of visualization types and are extended almost every version, there are way too many visualization types to support them all. Thus, requests for new chart visualizations keep bubbling up in our feedback portal. On the other hand, Rscript is a well established language specialized for statistical computing and graphics that supports any visualization I can think of. So it absolutely makes sense to add Rscript output to the available chart visualization and include the best of both worlds – List & Label's versatility for report layout and data access and Rscript's deluge of visualization types. And that's just what we did for the Enterprise Edition of List & Label 24.
Over the years, we kept improving our chart engine with each version. We've added Donut, Radar and Treemap charts and offered new layout options. However, if your charts were to be rendered in the browser, the only available formats so far have been PNG or JPEG, leaving you with exactly two options: either have great quality and huge file sizes or a swift download and poor rendering quality. There was no option to combine both (and I'm not thinking "huge download and poor quality" here <g>). In LL24, this is going to change.
A crosstab does a great job in aggregating your data and helps to spot trends and outliers. We've put great effort in enhancing our crosstab support for the last few versions. However, although there's a nice wizard to get you started, usability testing showed that even creating simple crosstabs was still a challenging task for some users. That's something we hope to change with LL24.
Crosstabs and charts have a lot in common. Often I find myself designing a crosstab for e.g. the sales per country. This works fine to get the absolute or even relative numbers. However, to get a visual impression of the fractions for a dashboard, I add a chart 99% of the time that shows just the same data as the crosstab.
Continuing our quest for an improvement of the Designer's refactoring features, it's obvious that finding text alone is only halfway to quickly and easily refactoring your projects to accomodate them to changed field names, table names or other identifier changes. So we decided to take this project one step further and offer a powerful replace feature in LL24.