Reusable Components Problem:
The report development cycle is very long and requires reports and common report elements to be recreated over and over again. There is also a problem sharing these reports and reporting elements between groups of report designers and developers.
The Style Intelligence Solution
Style Intelligence provides a flexible and powerful report development environment that puts emphasis on shortening total development time by offering many reusable components that modularize the design of reports. When creating Style Intelligence, InetSoft chose to stress extreme reusability for all reports and report elements.
This section explores how the report development process in Style Intelligence is exceptionally modular. This modular approach allows report designers to reuse report templates and components to drastically shorten the report development cycle. All of these components are automatically stored in a single library file that can be shared by every report designer. We will take a closer look at the main reusable components within Style Intelligence, which are: meta-templates, report beans, parameter sheets, and scripts.
A meta-template is a partial implementation of a report template that can contain report elements (table, charts, sections, etc.), scripted elements, and data binding. Meta-templates differ from standard report templates in that areas within the metatemplate can be specified as static or editable whereas a typical report template contains only editable content. The report developer cannot change any element within a static region, whereas all elements in editable regions may be modified. Additional report elements can even be inserted into editable regions.
Any combination of reporting elements can be rolled together into a reusable package called a report bean. The bean can be added to a library that is used by multiple report designers to provide similar content and functionality to many reports. Like a metatemplate, the report bean can have static and editable properties. For example, if a developer is creating a set of reports with a similar header, he can create this header element as a bean and expose the title property as editable.
When a report requires parameter values to be set by an end user, a reusable parameter sheet can be created and set as the prompting screen for that report. Report designers can create parameter sheet objects that prompt the end-user for these values. Beyond simple parameter prompting, these parameter sheet elements can be chained together to provide multi-level parameter prompting that is dependent on user input values.
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