Quarta Reports - in perspective

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Quarta Reports - in perspective

Jan Schenkel
Hi All,

In view of the recent discussion, this seems like a
good time to put everything into perspective.

Let me end the speculation by saying that I did meet
with Paul Looney at MacWorld last year. We had a
delicious dinner and insightful conversation before he
gave me his demo of Reports Data Pro for HyperCard.

I thanked him for his advice, and acknowledged that
the reporting approach by 9-to-5 Reports / Reports
Data Pro was powerful and flexible, and that indeed it
"got it right" as an extension to HyperCard.

However, at no point in time did I promise I was going
to build a clone of Reports Data Pro. If Paul had
hired me to build one, and I had delivered Quartam
Reports instead, without the features that he holds so
dearly, I would have been a liar and he would have had
every right to be upset.

As it is, no money changed hands, and I have thanked
him for his advice, as I have thanked everyone
involved in the process of building Quartam Reports.
But this is a product which I developed myself, after
hours in addition to a demanding job -- I think that
gives me the right to decide the priorities.

Nor did I make a secret of my intentions : I pointed
out (and repeated on multiple occasions, including the
FAQ on the website) that the world has changed
considerably since the birth of HyperCard -- the
ancestor to our beloved Revolution.

Revolution has added numerous technologies to the
original, so when I played around with version 1.1, I
immediately saw it had all those things that I missed
in HyperCard: database access, native color and
internet communication on a cross-platform engine.

This means that a clone for Reports Data Pro, while
valuable, would feel limiting to me. If someone had
shipped that, I would have said: "Cool, but what about
database and internet integration? And how can I print
data from XML-files? Do I really have to copy this
stuff into a stack before I can print it?"

So what is the ultimate reporting tool for one person
may not be the solution for another developer -- it is
all a matter of needs, not in the least those of your
current projects.

That being said, of course you can print data from a
stack if you prefer that as your data storage to an
SQL database. You don't have to jump through hoops or
copy data from one place to another : a single
printing command will go through the cards in your
stack and place the content on the layout you defined.

The only omission from the feature set in this regard
is scrolling fields. Now this can be separated into
two circumstances: you have a long memo field that you
want to print, or you have stored data in a table-like
field separated by return and tab or comma.

If you are looking to print data from a table field,
doanload the demo and check out the sample entitled
'Table form' -- this example shows you how you can
print this type of data with minimal scripting.

As for memo fields, allow me to put that into
perspective as well. At my previous job, the flagship
product (Finance/ERP) contained 319 different
pre-defined layouts, only 8 of which actually had
dynamically resizing fields.

The company that I work for now, offers more modules
than that, and has a dazzling total of 584 different
reports, and only 14 of those require dynamic
resizing. Don't worry, this does not mean that I
regard printing scrolling fields as superfluous --
they are just not ubiquitous.

Nevertheless, this is an aimportnt feature and that is
why I have committed to adding it to version 1.1,
which is offered as a FREE upgrade to all customers
(regardless of the price they pay) when it ships. With
so many items and features already in place, it is not
going to take me two years to get there.

So let's all focus on the good news: Quartam Reports
is finally here and packs a lot of power. Download and
evaluate it to see if it works for you. Join the Yahoo
group to see how others are using it. Try the samples
and decide for yourself.

Let us not pollute the list anymore with expectations
that did not come true: feel free to email me directly
<[hidden email]> to share your experiences,
discuss ideas and unfold wishlists, as some of you
have done already.

I will take them into account and see how they fit
into the roadmap, which already contains quite a few
exciting additions for the coming year.

We now return you to your regular broadcast of helpful
tips and tricks by the Revolution developer community.

Kind regards,

Jan Schenkel.

Quartam - Tools for Revolution
<http://www.quartam.com>

=====
"As we grow older, we grow both wiser and more foolish at the same time."  (La Rochefoucauld)

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Re: Quarta Reports - in perspective

william humphrey-2
Jan:

I am a consummate 9 to 5 reports user but I never (even if I had hired you
to do so) would never have wanted just a clone of 9 to 5. Software has moved
on since then, as you said. Most of us store our data in MySQL or SQLite or
one of the other excellent multi-user databases that take care of all the
database handling stuff much better than HyperCard ever did. I am very
pleased with the ability of Quartam reports to pull data from SQL and I
haven't even looked into what it can do with XML yet.

My only feature request is the ability to import PDF's in the report
designer either by converting them and using them in a compatible vector
graphic or at least import them as a background that prints in the same
manner and which we can put data fields on top of.

Bill


On 7/17/05 8:07 AM, "Jan Schenkel" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
>
> I thanked him for his advice, and acknowledged that
> the reporting approach by 9-to-5 Reports / Reports
> Data Pro was powerful and flexible, and that indeed it
> "got it right" as an extension to HyperCard.
>


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