ReportingCloud Developer Blog

Impressions from Philly Code Camp 2017

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Monday, February 27 2017

This weekend, we exhibited at Philly Code Camp 2017 at the Microsoft campus in Malvern, PA. 550+ enthusiastic developers learned in 50+ sessions about current trends in our industry.

We gave demos of our latest TX Text Control versions and our Web API ReportingCloud. It is very good to see that the .NET community is still growing and it was a pleasure to talk to so many code campers. We are very proud to support so many .NET user groups in many countries.

One of our 6 missions and values is to help building a Thriving Developer Community. We are convinced that supporting .NET user groups is the best way to grow our community.

Find below some impressions of our booth area at Philly Code Camp 2017:

See you next year!


Impressions from BASTA! Spring 2017, Frankfurt

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Saturday, February 25 2017

This week, we exhibited at BASTA! Spring 2017 which took place at the Marriott Hotel Frankfurt, Germany. This growing event hosts 500+ attendees from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries.

The conference provides workshops and sessions mainly about .NET, but also JavaScript, web technologies and other trends in our industry. On our demo counters, we presented the latest versions of Text Control products and particularly our reporting framework. We talked to many users of our products and presented some early ideas of our upcoming roadmap for 2017.

As always, please find below some impressions from our booth area at BASTA! Spring 2017:

This weekend, we are traveling to Philadelphia to exhibit at the Philly Code Camp at the Microsoft Campus in Malvern. Impressions will follow - see you in Philly!


Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Wednesday, February 15 2017

A change you might not have noticed in Web.TextControl after X14 Service Pack 1, is the adaptive display of merge fields and available tables in the drop-down lists Insert Merge Field and Insert Merge Block. Before Service Pack 1, all available tables were listed to choose merge fields from.

This confused end-users as merge fields always must have a relation to the master table. And merge fields inside a merge block must be inserted relative to the merge block table.

Now, after Service Pack 1, when a master table is selected, all merge fields from this master table and all related child tables and their merge fields are available:

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

The Insert Merge Block drop-down also only contains child tables of the currently selected master table:

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

When inserting a merge block and the current input position is inside this merge block, only merge fields of this merge block and related child tables can be added. Therefore, the drop-down lists change accordingly:

Web.TextControl: Adaptive merge field drop-down lists

This new adaptive order of merge fields allows only valid fields to be inserted according to the currently selected data source.

Did you already upgrade to Service Pack 1? If not, please download the service pack now.


Using Custom Document Properties to store additional document information

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Thursday, February 09 2017

Custom properties can be used to store additional information about the document in the document itself. These properties remain with a document and can be viewed by all MS Word users that open the document. Several property management servers provide data tracking capabilities to search for, sort, and track documents based on document properties.

In our reference implementation ReportingCloud, a reporting template can be edited online using our HTML5-based Web.TextControl. Additionally, JSON objects can be uploaded to be used as data sources in the online editor. When opening a template, a JSON data source must be selected from which merge fields and blocks should be added to the template.

Using Custom Document Properties to store additional data

To prevent that the user needs to select this data source again and again every time the document is edited, the association between the template and the data source should be stored somewhere. To keep everything as simple as possible, we decided to store the connected data source in the document itself by creating a custom document property.

When the document is edited, the selected data source name is stored in the document in the Controller code:

A new UserDefinedPropertyDictionary is created and a new custom property with the unique name rc_datasource is created with the value of the selected data source. This dictionary can be added to the UserDefinedDocumentProperties of the SaveSettings class. Finally, the document is saved with the created SaveSettings object.

When the overview page is loaded the next time, the data source can be selected in the drop-down list by reading the custom property from the document:

The stored custom properties are available in the UserDefinedDocumentProperties of the LoadSettings class.

The custom document properties provide a very flexible way of storing additional data to documents without keeping them in a separate database. The data is directly stored where it belongs to - the document.

This feature is available in TX Text Control X14. Download a trial version to test this on your own.


TX Text Control X14 Service Pack 1 deployed to ReportingCloud Portal and API

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Tuesday, February 07 2017

Last week, we released the first service pack for TX Text Control X14 which has now been deployed to the ReportingCloud portal and API. In this service pack, we fixed known issues in the MailMerge class and Web.TextControl, the editor that is used in the portal to create templates.

Client clipboard toggle

In the previous version, in order to copy content from the local (client) clipboard to the document, a separate pop-up window is opened. This won't be longer required in version X14 (24.0). A toggle button controls the currently active clipboard.

If the toggle button Use Local Clipboard is active, the user can paste content directly into the document using the keyboard short-cuts. If document content is selected and copied, automatically, the active clipboard switches to the server clipboard. This provides an efficient way to work with both clipboards.

TX Text Control X14 Service Pack 1 deployed to ReportingCloud Portal and API

Scrollable drop-down buttons

When working with larger data sources and many tables, scrollable drop-down buttons help to navigate to the desired list items. The opened list boxes adjust automatically to the size of Web.TextControl to provide a perfect user experience.

TX Text Control X14 Service Pack 1 deployed to ReportingCloud Portal and API

New ribbon UI features

The ribbon bar has been improved with new features. Using the Page Background & Frames group, the page background color and page frame width and style can be adjusted.

TX Text Control X14 Service Pack 1 deployed to ReportingCloud Portal and API

New zoom options have been added to the View ribbon tab. View helpers such as table grid lines, control characters and drawing marker lines can now be toggled in the Show ribbon group.

TX Text Control X14 Service Pack 1 deployed to ReportingCloud Portal and API

The Frame Formatting group shows editors to modify the name and the id of bound objects.

TX Text Control X14 Service Pack 1 deployed to ReportingCloud Portal and API

If you would like to test these features in our reference implementation ReportingCloud, open a free test account:

Register for ReportingCloud

Happy coding!


Text Control sponsors BASTA! Spring in Frankfurt, Germany

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Monday, January 30 2017

Text Control sponsors BASTA! Spring in Frankfurt, Germany

BASTA! Spring (20-24 February 2017) has a new home: The Marriott Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. After years in Darmstadt, BASTA! is moving back to Frankfurt where everything begun back in the year 2000.

We are very proud supporters of this conference since 2009. Since then, we exhibited at both conferences in spring and in fall (which is usually in Mainz, Germany) every year. We enjoy talking to so many Text Control users, friends and partners at the conference.

This year, we are going to present our latest version X14 (24.0), our Web API ReportingCloud and a brief outlook to our roadmap for 2017. We have so many interesting projects going on and we are very excited to talk about them.

If you are going to BASTA! this year, stop by our booth and say hello.

See you in Frankfurt!


More impressions from NDC London 2017

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Wednesday, January 25 2017

Last week, we exhibited at NDC London, one of the largest .NET focused conferences in Europe.

Find below some more impressions from the second and third day, the reception party and our drawing at NDC London 2017:


Impressions from NDC London 2017

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Wednesday, January 18 2017

This week, we are exhibiting at the NDC London 2017 as partners - an event we are sponsoring since the beginning in 2013. The NDC conferences (Oslo, London, Sydney) became one of Europe`s largest conferences for .NET & Agile development.

We are giving demos of our latest TX Text Control release X14, our Web API ReportingCloud and are talking to many users from the UK and other countries. As always, it is a great experience to talk to so many enthusiastic developers.

Find below some impressions from our first day at NDC London 2017:


Meet Text Control at NDC London 2017: We're changing the way you look at reporting

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Tuesday, January 03 2017

Meet Text Control as NDC London 2017

From January 16-20, 2017, NDC is coming back to the ICC Suites ExCeL Arena in London. We have been supporting this fast growing event from the beginning as a partner and we are very proud to be part of it again this year.

The above rendered image of our booth design shows our new tagline for 2017:

We're changing the way you look at reporting.

Over the last 25 years, we engineered software components for developers. Instead of entering new markets, we focused on our core business: Reporting and word processing tools. We want to be the best in this particular field and keep our market leadership by inventing new technologies, products and services. And our success confirms that this is the right approach. Again, 2016 was a record year from all perspectives. We increased the number of users and licenses significantly and we are proud of every single customer.

In 2016, we had 2 product launches: ReportingCloud - the Web API to create reports in the cloud and version X14 of TX Text Control.

We are aiming high for 2017. We have game changing product and technology ideas we are working on. I obviously cannot say too much, but I can say that our new tagline will keep its promise.

In late 2016, we finished construction on a new headquarters office building that provides space for future expansion, open spaces for meetings and collaboration, but also privacy without interruptions and distractions for more focused work. This new building gives us the perfect environment for our current and future needs while we provide you, our customers, with innovated and high quality products.

Meet Text Control as NDC London 2017

NDC London is the start of the conference season in 2017 and we are already very excited to meet users from the UK, Scandinavia, Germany and many other countries. NDC is growing every year. Here are the numbers for this year: 141 speakers, 156 sessions and 20 workshops.

Stop by our booth and say hello. See you in London!


Printing labels with MS Word compatible templates and data sources

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Friday, December 16 2016

We just printed and signed our corporate holiday cards we are sending out to clients. Of course, we are using TX Text Control's MailMerge capabilities to print the labels for the envelopes.

Printing labels with MS Word compatible templates and data sources

TX Text Control's mail merge functionality is completely compatible to MS Word and you can not only use the Avery address label MS Word templates, but also the Access database files from MS Word.

As a data source, MailMerge supports JSON, structured IEnumerable objects, DataSets or DataTables. Using the new DataSourceManager, you can connect to any data source such ODBC and ADO.NET. If you are using MS Word for mail merge purposes, you typed in customer addresses into the New Address List dialog:

Printing labels with MS Word compatible templates and data sources

This address list is saved as a Microsoft Access Database file (*.mdb or *.accdb).

Using the pre-compiled demo TX Text Control Words - a reference implementation of TX Text Control - you can open this data source. TX Text Control Words uses the ready-to-use RibbonReportingTab class which implements the DataSourceManager that provides the UI workflow and the following dialog boxes. All of them can be used in your own application based on TX Text Control.

The Avery label templates use tables to separate the labels:

Printing labels with MS Word compatible templates and data sources

In the next step, you can add the merge fields to the first label.

The data is merged into the template and you are ready to print the document directly onto your label sheets.


Read older blog entries