We have tried many things to come up with some sort of solution for printing reports within ThingWorx. The latest solution that showed great promise was using SSRS. The problem is that the US Government pigeon-holes their servers so badly and then locks down accounts so tightly that no one can use them. ThingWorx DESPERATELY needs an internal strategy for designing and printing reports.
@OldGoat and Community,
Because of the nature of ThingWorx as an open platform, there are a ton of possibilities on what can be reported on and in various formats. Can you give the product team more ideas on what types of reports you need, and the formats?
Good morning Mr. Baldwin,
I am able to provide very rudimentary formatted and printable reports available via SSRS. SSRS is a low-end interim workable solution...kind of like using railroad chalk to make fine markings. But as you are likely aware, SSRS has many drawbacks. The capabilities I am able to provide are extremely limited and look a lot like Crystal Reports, over which nobody gets too excited. AND, more to my point, it is not built-in to ThingWorx. Here is a sample of one of my SSRS-generated formatted reports out of my TWX mashup.
This isn't the only styles of reports my customers want. However, due to the nature of those reports, I cannot provide a sample. The desires/needs that I cannot currently provide range from providing color 2-D and 3-D charts (beyond simple bar graphs and pie charts) in such output formats as Excel, PNG/JPG, and downloadable format for inclusion in PPT presentations; to memorandum-style PDF reports that include tabulated data in tables that can change in size, content, and scope and the capability to include letter-head quality logos and formatting suitable for sending to high-level officials. The solution must be capable of handling complex datasets both dynamically (for on-screen presentation) and statically for download/printing.PDF reports. PDF reports must also have the ability to be digitally-signed by CAC-authenticated personnel.
In my previous web development gigs, I used many different reporting libraries. But the best I had found to-date was called Fusion Charts (https://www.fusioncharts.com). It was an OUTSTANDING, easy-to-use solution for building custom, formatted on-screen AND printable/exportable/downloadable reports using charts, graphics, and text formatting. Fully automatable output formats were abundant, and the documentation was unbelievably well-detailed. It provided sample code that actually worked out of the box, and a mature library of both mandatory and optional attributes with full explanations. Something "like" this is what TWX would greatly benefit from as a built-in capability. Just be sure to include the documentation please!
We are looking for a feature as already delivered by the pdf report extension. It mostly does the job and has some very useful settings. But it also has its downsides, one example is discussed in this thread. Most importantly it is not officially supported and may not work well with upcoming Thingworx versions, especially with the new container based responsive layout.
"Most importantly it is not officially supported and may not work well with upcoming Thingworx versions, especially with the new container based responsive layout."
That is one of the many other reasons why the report solution MUST be built into TWX. If it is not, ANY version changes jeopardizes how, or IF, a solution will work.
Just checking on the status of the "consideration for future release". There is another business intelligence platform that I believe could be configured for an embedded ThingWorx solution called "Jasper Reports (https://www.jaspersoft.com/reporting-software)". Being written in JAVA, it might be a good PTC solution for reports.
- OldGoat -
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