Getting Powerpointy, Flashy and Comma Delimited
By Tim Dexter on Aug 21, 2007
Last week I listed the new features that arrived with 10.1.3.3, among them there were some new output formats.
Powerpoint - yes, its finally here. You can now get your RTF templates to format data and generate a Powerpoint output. The only caveat - please use landscape formats for your RTF template if its destined for Powerpoint. Its not a huge requirement but you will get better looking output. So, no more cut and paste just set BIP going et voila your next management presentation is done ... well almost.
CSV - You can now get comma delimited output from all of your BIP reports without the need for a template. Its a simple output and only works with flat data but important enough to have made the 10.1.3.3 cut
Flash - I blogged about this output back in March! - time flies. Its generating a lot of interest too. You can create completely self contained interactive reports that you can send to users, they can open and do not have to connect back to the db to fetch the data. BIP injects the runtime data into the generated Flash file - very portable. This format has much promise and I have been doing a lot of work with it lately, I'll be blogging about it again. You'll find a tutorial in the user guide and sample reports in the 10.1.3.3 install to help get you started. First step is to get the Flex IDE from Adobe, its not free but you can get their SDK for free if you want to get into their XML format on your own - personally I use the IDE to lay out the objects on the canvas then Im into the code to wire things up - there is a huge Flex community building and extending existing widgets that you can put into your templates and a bunch of help from the Flexcoders mailing list.
Postscript - not an output format that a user would pick but one that has been a niggly thorn in our side for a while. We can now generate Postscript for your printers to consume without the need for third party solutions ... hoooray! Before you ask, no we do not have PCL support, that specification is huge and our current estimates on implementing are crazy huge ... we'll see.
Three (and a half (PS)) more outputs to add the PDF, RTF, HTML, EFT, EDI and Excel output fold ... any more requests?