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News: Windward Reports version 6 released

  1. Windward Reports version 6 released (7 messages)

    Windward Reports has released a new version of their flagship product, enabling the use of Excel as a design tool. The Windward Reports Server Engine is perfect for users creating both Java reports and .Net reports alike, and now allows users to design reports in both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel as well. Windward, a leader in reporting with its design-in-Word reporting software because of its ease of use, now adds the advantages of Excel to its portfolio of simple-to-use, superior reporting products. Windward’s new AutoTag 6.0 reporting software uses Excel to intelligently figure out sums and number formatting, and allows users to build a table which supports calculations. AutoTag 6.0 still outputs to Word, or any other output format, to produce reporting documents. Why is this Excel release so important? Simply put: Freedom. By creating an easy-to-use design tool which allows users to design their reports in Excel (in addition to word), Windward is freeing up thousands of IT man-hours normally allocated to report design, and including Excel business users in their 'power-to the people' philosophy. Now, non-technical business users who prefer Excel, can design their own reports and stay within their comfort zone while doing so. Windward Reports AutoTag for Excel doesn't just look like Excel, it is Excel. How does it work? Begin with a worksheet. Using the AutoTag pull-down menu, select a data source such as an SQL database or XML file. (AutoTag works in conjunction with the Windward Reports Standard Server Engine, which gives your PC the ability to communicate with your organization's data sources, such as its SQL databases and XML files.) You use standard Excel commands to format and edit the report, and you assign tags to the data fields using the AutoTag pull-down menu. When finished, you save your template and, if you wish, verify that tags are correct with AutoTag's "validate" function. What makes this unique? With AutoTag for Excel, your number formatting always carries through – it doesn’t matter if you output to RTF, PDF, or any other type. And, by using Excel templates you have a way to easily, and automatically generate reports that perform calculations on a collection of values! For instance, you might use Excel to sum all of the line-item amounts that are generated by an AutoTag. While AutoTag was always easy to use, this additional capability offers functions not available in a word-designed template, allowing the software to be used by more people, in more ways. When you generate the report Windward Reports merges this template with the data you have selected. The finished report, with all of your formatting, positioning and design, is available in minutes instead of hours or even days. Download a demo or check out a sample report at www.windwardreports.com. For more information on how you can use Excel or Word to design your reports, call 303-499-2544.

    Threaded Messages (7)

  2. first impression[ Go to top ]

    Okay, from checking the information available on their website. The product seem less or a lot less powerful (i.e. less features) compared to other reporting tools (more precisely MS Reporting services, the tool I am most familiar with). Also the learning curve seem more or less the same compared to .. say MS reporting services (which was really easy to learn, definitely easier to learn than excel) So whats the real advantage here (it might be cheaper i didnt check their pricing). It can do less and the learning effort is the same or even more!
  3. Re: first impression[ Go to top ]

    Hi; Can you tell me specifically what you based that impression on? On a feature basis we do generally exceed the capabilities on Crystal Reports, MS Reporting Services, etc. (The main place we exceed them is we are totally free-form so there is no restriction to one group or details section.) As to faster, the best guide there is we have numerous customers that switched from MS Reporting services, Crystal, Jasper, etc and their results have been that it now takes about 1/10 the time to design reports from before. But all of this does assume that you already know Excel or Word and then design in that product. If you do not know Excel or Word, you are looking at a learning curve and that eliminates some of our advantage. There is a comparison between Windward & Crystal (sorry, did not find one with MS Reporting Services) at www.JavaReports.info
  4. okay ...[ Go to top ]

    . Parametrized reports . Stored procedures datasource . OLAP Cubes datasource . Ad-hoc reporting via a datamodel (report builder in MS SRS) . grouping . Drilldown, drillthrough, document maps . sub-reports . filters of course I could be wrong on some of these, or that using word or excel somehow eliminate the need of some, but your website and the information on it dont claim to support them, or how you dont need them!
  5. Re: okay ...[ Go to top ]

    Hi; Ok, it looks like we need to revise our website. I do encourage you to download and try the demo as then you can see how it does actually work. To answer your questions:
    • Parametrized reports - yes. You can pass in and use as many parameters as you wish.
    • Stored procedures datasource - If you mean can you use stored procedured in the report - yes. If you watch this video you will see that it lists the stored procedures in the database on the left for use.
    • OLAP cubes - we support this but we treat it as a powerful SQL database. This support could be better
    • Ad-hoc reporting via a datamodel - this is one of the places we excel as we make selecting the data very easy, even for non-programmers
    • grouping - yes, unlimited numbers of groups. Again, this is a feature where we are far superior to the competition.
    • Drilldown, drillthrough, document maps - yes, with our arrow product
    • sub-reports - yes, the import tag provides this. Each sub-report is a Word or Excel document also
    • filters - if this means what I think you mean, yes with the arrow product.
    It sounds like you have a very strong understanding of reporting. Please download our demo and try Windward out. I think if you actually try it you will have a much better understanding of it and what it can do. And if you do take the time to try it, please email me (david _at_ windward _dot_ net) and let me know what you think of it. I would like to hear your feedback after using it, both about the product itself and what we need to add to our web pages to make it clear we support this functionality. thanks - dave
  6. Re: first impression[ Go to top ]

    Hi;

    Can you tell me specifically what you based that impression on? On a feature basis we do generally exceed the capabilities on Crystal Reports, MS Reporting Services, etc. (The main place we exceed them is we are totally free-form so there is no restriction to one group or details section.)

    As to faster, the best guide there is we have numerous customers that switched from MS Reporting services, Crystal, Jasper, etc and their results have been that it now takes about 1/10 the time to design reports from before.

    But all of this does assume that you already know Excel or Word and then design in that product. If you do not know Excel or Word, you are looking at a learning curve and that eliminates some of our advantage.

    There is a comparison between Windward & Crystal (sorry, did not find one with MS Reporting Services) at www.JavaReports.info
    it is interesting that the comparison is at javareports.info. That site is owned and operated by Windword.
  7. No Impressions[ Go to top ]

    I clicked the free demo, and it asked me to "register", and the sample reports are "coming soon". That's as far as I got with it, and as far as I care to go. Why would you make people register for a free demo, and why would you announce a product before you're site is finished? Bad press.
  8. Re: No Impressions[ Go to top ]

    We require an email address to email you the demo license keys. We require this step because we had companies requesting the demo month after month to avoid purchasing the product. As to the sample reports, where does it say "coming soon?" You can get the sample reports at http://www.windwardreports.com/samples.htm and there are a lot of them. thanks - dave