Updated Reporting Template Designer

TX Text Control X10 release is just around the corner, developers are doing finishing touches and QA is finalizing tests. Aside from all new features and improvements, we invested a lot of development time into improvements of our template designer TX Text Control Words.

TX Text Control Words is used to create the basis of a reporting process: The template. This MS Word compatible template is merged with data by the TX Text Control reporting engine MailMerge (TXTextControl.DocumentServer.MailMerge) as part of your Windows Forms, WPF or ASP.NET application.

Unique advantage over traditional reporting designers is the MS Word look & feel and the easiness to handle. No developer skills are required to create beautiful invoices, shipping labels or product lists. And the best part: You can customize the designer and integrate it into your own application.

But let's have a look at the new features and improvements.

Updated Reporting Template Designer

Load XML Diles As Data Sources

To insert proper field names, a data source can be opened to provide available column names.

In TX Text Control X9, a database connection wizard can be used to connect to all types of databases including ODBC and ADO.NET.

In version X10, additionally, XML files can be opened. Some users like designers don't have access to databases. In these cases, an XML database dump can be used to provide the structure, field names and relations.

New Dialog: Create Data Relation

TX Text Control Reporting uses data relations for repeating blocks and master-detail nested blocks. Additonally, in version X10, prefixed fields from sub-tables can be inserted based on their relation to the parent table.

Updated Reporting Template Designer

The new dialog can be used to set the unique relation key of the main and child table. Those relations are automatically used in the template designer to insert fields, merge blocks and the preview functionality. The same relations are used by the reporting engine MailMerge automatically when integrating the merge process into your application.

Report Data Source Configuration Files

These files include data connections and created data relations. It is not longer necessary to define data relations for Master-Detail blocks in your code. All you need to do is to open a data source in the Template Designer, create the relations and to save these settings as a Report Data Source Configuration file.

Updated Reporting Template Designer

The unique advantage of this approach is the flexibility you gain with separate files that hold the data source information. You can easily use the same configuration file with different templates. Consider a situation when the data source is changed - maybe a new SQL Server. In this case, you don't need to change all your templates, but only one configuration file.

Insert Prefixed Fields

In version X10, prefixed fields from sub-tables can be easily added with the new Insert Merge Field dialog. A tree view of available fields of the selected table including all related tables makes the insertion easy and flexible.

Additionally, a new context menu item has been added to modify existing fields:

Updated Reporting Template DesignerUpdated Reporting Template Designer

Insert Merge Blocks with Table Headers

When adding a new merge block, the Insert Merge Block dialog provides the option to add a table header to a table-based block.

Updated Reporting Template Designer