Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NextReports Server: Data Migration

NextReports Server 6.1 will bring a new feature: data migration. Practically, a new section, visible only by administrators, is added.

From this section, administrator can export or import data. For data export we must select some entities like data sources, reports, charts and dashboards. The result will be a migration.xml file. There is no need to know which entities are used (referenced) by selected entities. All referenced entities will be automatically exported. Take a look at the following image:

We see that dashboard contains widgets. Widget contains a report or a chart. Report / Chart contains a data source and optionally links through drill-down to other reports or charts. So, by exporting a single dashboard, all entities that are involved will be exported too.

Any migration file can be used by an import process. When import is launched, a backup zip file of the entire repository is done. Any imported entity which has an id found inside repository will be updated. If id is not found, a new entity is created, taking care of name collision.

Migration process must not interfere with repository modification. Because of that, NextReports Server will show a maintenance page when export or import is running:

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Use NextReports for Information

When people think about reports they see almost every time analysis documents which aggregate their needed data in various formats. But reports can be anything else like simple information sheets. You can use data just to find answers to any domain you are interested in.

For example using a simple csv file with countries data we can find out needed information from a specific country like country code, phone code, capital, internet country code, currency and so on.

Query is done very easy with drag-and-drop designer's features. A Country parameter will allow to select information just for it:

A simple report will show us what information we are interested in:

Run it for desired countries and you are done.

This is just an example, but you can think at any csv data you can obtain live from the web (forecast, financial data). A simple (scheduled) process to get your csv file from web to a local storage is needed if you want up-to-date data. By comparing to saving to a regular database, such process does not need any programming!