CNR Product Questions:
Q. What type of datasource does Cizer.Net Reporting connect to?
A. CNR connects to any OLE-DB data source but is tested against Oracle, DB2, Informix, SQL Server 2000 & 2005.
Q. Do I need Reporting Services to use Cizer.Net Reporting?
A. No, you can render a report using local viewer on the 2.0 .NET Framework; however if a user just has local viewer the reports are created, rendered, and displayed all on one machine which will bog down the machine.
Q. Can you create a report using data from two different data sources?
A. Yes, you can create a report using data from two different data sources. Cizer.Net Reporting allows multiple queries from different data sources to be used in the same report.
Q. Is report viewer SSRS (SS Reporting Services)?
A. Yes, with version 4.0 depending on the size of the data that is coming back, with framework 2.0 they built in a viewer control and when you are setting up admin you can say I want to access the framework 2.0 view control and then leave reporting services out completely or you can go to reporting services 2000 or 2005 and set that up also. So it really comes down to flexibility and what view control you want to use.
A. Viewer control; local viewer or reporting services
Q. Can you add drilling capability in Quick Query?
A. Not with quick query because is it a quick ad hoc tool, intended for uses to come in and get data quickly. That is handled in report builder.
Q. Can Quick Query go against OLAP Cubes?
A. We donít have an MDX generator but the MDX can be written and then placed in the Query Library and then the user can access it and build a report.
Q. Is there any way to render reports automatically and limit a userís access to parameters?
A. Yes, you could have reports that donít have parameters at all and can render automatically or you can pass parameter values through the web services based on user permissions and render that report automatically as well.
Q. Is there a way to change the order of the workflow to open the report and then change parameters?
A.Yes, if you give users options through the web services and then they render the report automatically based on what they sent through but then give them the option to still view the parameter panel based on their permissions they could run the report first and then go back and hit the parameter panel button and make modifications.
Q. Can you create a new column in report builder that is a calculation of different columns?
A. Yes, you can do calculated fields through VB.Net expressions in the Report Builder designer.
Q. Is it possible to use an ODBC driver for the data source?
A. No, CNR only supports an OLE DB connection. We test against SQL Server 2000 & 2005, Oracle, and DB2 and customers have also accessed MySQL.
Q. Is it possible to change the look and feel of the user interface in Cizer.Net Reporting?
A. Through the web services you can call the pieces the way you want them; ie. adding your own logo. There is no way to go in and change the interface, no skins available to change colors and button names, etc. You could take people directly into quick query though, for example, when they call it and hide the panel and the buttons and give them only the report section and tabs section to view.
Q. What is the technology used to implement this product?
A. Built in C#.NET and built off of framework 2.0. When generating a report it generates XML, RDL.
Q. What Internet browsers are supported?
A. Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher is the only one supported.
Q. Once you run a report can it be published to the SQL Server Reporting Services system for scheduling, e-mailing, etc.?
A.Yes, you can deploy to reporting services and it takes the report and passes it over there so you can schedule in reporting services.
Q. To what level do you integrate with analysis services?
A. We do not integrate with analysis services.
Q. In the report builder can you do conditional fields (ex. I want to bold or highlight a specific value if it exceeded a certain number)?
A. Yes, in the conditional formatting you can enter an IF expression that says ďif this value falls below a number then it goes into the color format or palette area, then red else black and then when the data comes in its going to recognize that and change that color.
Q. What does CNR enable you to do?
A. CNR is a web-based reporting tool that is accessed through Internet Explorer and installed on the server that allows users to run reports, build reports on the fly, build canned reports, create parameters, create queries. It is all permission based. It is thin client so there is nothing installed on individual client machines.
Q. Can you arrange reports by group or user?
A. Yes, you can set up a folder or user structure and then place those reports in where you want them to be.
Q. Does CNR support the concept of in-line sub-reports?
A. Within a report linking two tables together based on the data is not available within the browser. If you have two queries with the first query bringing back the first three columns and the second query brings back one value and the parameters are driven into both of those. Both queries can accept the same parameters and they wonít display twice. The report values may not sync up or be connected unless their values are subtotals or one value. If your trying to bring back a table structure where you have detail records coming back with two queries in the same table you are going to have a hard time syncing those up.
Q. If I create an RDL file in Visual Studio can I bring it in and run it in CNR?
A. Yes you can bring it in but you cannot edit it.
Q. Can I create scorecards with KPI capability in CNR?
A. There is no KPI builder in CNR but we work with Microsoft scorecard to implement our tool into theirs. We integrate seamlessly with Business Scorecard Manager. It isnít a web part that allows us to do that. Itís just an I-Frame that sits on it with BSM and we have written integration tools with it. When you are building your KPI you can select CNR to link with and it comes up in sharepoint as an I-Frame.
Q. Is there the capability to add users and define roles through the web service?
A. Yes, the admin section opens up through the web services and you can add companies, users, roles, data sources. You can sync up your application to CNR so when a user is created in one place itís created in the other automatically.
Q. Describe the different modes: local mode, I-Frame capability, remote capability?
A. I-frame and remote mode uses SSRS to render report and deliver it. The remote control isnít available in Reporting Services 2000 but is available in 2005 so we recommend using 2005.
Q. Can I apply specific user permissions on a per report basis using Cizer.Net Reporting?
A. Yes, within CNR you can define what users see reports, queries, any item within the product.
Q. In the report list what does the create favorites button do?
A. When I go in and mark a report as a favorite as a particular user and then go back to the users homepage that report shows up on the users home portal page. The headers above the reports indicate where each report is located. If you show details it will display a more specific path of where the report comes from.
Q. Can I change a folder name?
A.Yes, in folder management you can edit the name of any folder name as long as you are granted access to the folder management area and the individual folders.
Q. Can I add a calculated measure in Cizer.Net Reporting like I can in visual studio?
A. Yes, you will have to have the data in a query and then add an expression around that. You can do any kind of expression that does a calculated field but the data has to be available in the query itself.
Q. In query builder and quick query is there a concept to save the filter definition external from the query so that a user can quickly add the same filter over a number of queries?
A. No there is not. In quick query the filters applied to a specific report will be saved with that report but not externally.
Q. When building a report is there a way to configure how a table is sorted. Can I do it in the report or in the query?
A. It can be done on either side. You can actually make a grouping or sorting parameter and pass the values in. It is also handled in the properties section of the table itself.
Q. Is there any kind of concept of a report state, such as running a draft report and then publishing it when itís finalized?
A. As a user that report is yours as you are creating it. Once you are done and decide you want to give access or publish it you can do that by the individual report or you can share out folders and then define whether they are read only or have the ability to edit or share also.
Q. Is the user interface localized in different languages?
A. The application itself is not localized but the data can be localized if that is what is in the database. So if there is a title in the page header coming from the database and the title is in a different language that would be supported in the same language. There is localization in the numerics as well.
Q. To extend the web services can I use any .Net language?
A. Yes, anything that can consume web service you can use.