ReportingCloud Developer Blog

Text Control is platinum sponsor at dotnet Cologne 2017

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Monday, April 24 2017

Text Control is platinum sponsor at dotnet Cologne 2017

On May 4-5, the dotnet Cologne is coming back to the KOMED in Cologne. This .NET community event is one of the largest Code Camps in Germany with 400+ attendees and a top-notch speaker line-up.

Workshop topics include Smart Data with Microsoft Azure, Command Query Responsibility Segregation, Angular and TypeScript, Xamarin, UI/UX and ASP.NET Core.

In more than 50 sessions and lightning talks, developers can learn more about topics such as Azure, memory management, Git, SQL Server and Angular.

From our team, Thorsten and Christopher will be on-site with our booth to talk about our latest technologies, products and our roadmap for 2017.

If you are at this conference, stop by our booth and say hello (and of course, enter our XBox One raffle).

See you in Cologne!


New ASP.NET MVC DocumentViewer rolled out to the ReportingCloud portal

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Saturday, April 22 2017

We just rolled out a new ASP.NET MVC DocumentViewer to the ReportingCloud portal to preview templates in the template storage. The following screenshot shows the viewer inside the ReportingCloud portal:

New DocumentViewer rolled out to the ReportingCloud portal

The viewer loads the document pages asynchronously to provide a very satisfying user experience when displaying a document. The sidebar shows thumbnails of all available pages and can be used for a fast navigation. The viewer renders the pages in a scrollable panel, so that the user is able to scroll through the document like in our editor or any other typical word processor such as MS Word.

The Bootstrap compatible DocumentViewer can be docked to all containers and is fully responsive. It also provides a dock option to fill the complete browser window for full screen viewing.

Text lines can be selected on the currently active page to copy text to the client clipboard:

New DocumentViewer rolled out to the ReportingCloud portal

The toolbar provides additional functionality such as a find method to search for strings in the document. The results are highlighted and the toolbar can be used to navigate through the search results:

New DocumentViewer rolled out to the ReportingCloud portal

Test this on your own by creating a ReportingCloud account.

Stay tuned for more details about the ASP.NET MVC DocumentViewer that will be part of TX Text Control .NET Server for ASP.NET.


See Text Control at DevIntersection in Orlando, FL

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Tuesday, April 04 2017

See Text Control at DevIntersection in Orlando, FL

DevIntersection is coming back to Orlando to the Walt Disney World Swan hotel and conference center. From May 21 - 24, 2017, top speakers from our industry are talking about Visual Studio, ASP.NET, Azure, SQL, IT transformation, SharePoint and Office365. The co-located <anglebrackets/> brings together open source collaborators on Angular, HTML5, ASP.NET, bootstrap and Node.js.

As every year, we are exhibiting at the conference and again, we use this conference as the kick-off presentation of the roadmap for our next versions, products and technologies. And we have a lot to show this year.

If you are attending this great conference, stop by our booth and say hello - we would love to get your feedback on our new features.

See you in Orlando!


New ReportingCloud endpoint: List available fonts

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Wednesday, March 29 2017

We just rolled out a new Web API endpoint which returns available font names that can be used to create and merge templates for merge processes with ReportingCloud.

GET https://api.reporting.cloud/v1/fonts/list

The cross-browser HTML5-based template editor provides fonts that can be used to design merge templates. But ReportingCloud also provides a functionality to upload MS Word documents in standard formats such as RTF, DOC, and DOCX. In order to ensure that only supported fonts are used, this new endpoint can be used to retrieve this list.

The following curl call shows the usage of this endpoint:

On success, it returns an array of available font names:

The .NET wrapper for ReportingCloud has been extended with the ListFonts method:

Test this on your own and create a trial account today.

Happy coding!


Introducing Groups for ReportingCloud Extreme users

Blogged by Björn Meyer on Friday, March 17 2017

In the ReportingCloud Portal, account holders can upload and manage templates that are used for merge processes using the ReportingCloud Web API. Our users requested a functionality that other users can be assigned to edit and create templates for a specific group in the template storage. These template designers get their own login and can create and modify templates in their dedicated group.

Therefore, we implemented ReportingCloud Groups. This feature has been rolled-out to the portal today and is available for all users with an Extreme license.

The side menu received the new entry Manage Groups which opens a view to create and manage groups.

Introducing Groups for ReportingCloud Extreme users

When a group has been created, templates in the template storage can be assigned to one of the created groups:

Introducing Groups for ReportingCloud Extreme users

This helps to organize templates as the template list can be filtered by these groups. But the real advantage of these group assignments is that users in your group can access these templates as well (and only these). Therefore, main account holders (manager role) can invite template designers to their created groups:

Introducing Groups for ReportingCloud Extreme users

These invited template designers are getting e-mail invitations to create a ReportingCloud account. These accounts are bound to the account holder's group. The template designer is now able to edit and create templates inside this group. As all group user accounts are bound to the main account, the same template quota is valid for all templates in all groups.

Test this on your own and create a ReportingCloud account today.

Happy coding!


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!


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