Well it's time for another roadmap with version 11 about to drop. So first let's cover what has recently shipped:
- Javelin – provides the engine including scheduling reports to run and be saved and/or emailed running as a RESTful web service. We're providing this as both a server a customer can install and a SAAS on our server. It's not only great for scheduling reports, but it makes our reporting engine available to languages that cannot call the Java or .NET engine directly (like native Python).
- AutoTag JAX – can talk directly to Javelin pushing up templates to be scheduled and looking at the results of scheduled runs.
- AutoQuery – Our new B.I. product. This is an awesome product where it provides the same functionality as Microsoft Crescent, but does so entirely in Microsoft Office so unlike Crescent you do not need to install SharePoint, Delphi, etc. and then configure and administer the server.
Shipping in mid-October are the following two products:
- Wishbone – a web app that searches twitter feeds to see what words are being used in conjunction with the word entered. Check it out.
- Version 11.0 – This brings the following functionality to our entire family of products:
- Native charts – charts in the template that are not chart tags but rather are just plain old office charts are now carried over to the output. If the output is the matching file type, it's an Office chart. If the format is not Office, it's a rendered PDF chart. Either way it's super cool.
- AutoTag Debugger – from AutoTag you will be able to run a template and stop in the debugger as it extracts and/or applies tags generating the report. This should help a lot in tracking down subtle errors in the run-time logic of a template.
- Bookmark tag – you can now place bookmarks in the template using a select. These can be linked to from hyperlinks.
- Support for Office 2000 has been dropped – We have dropped this because Office 2000 is rarely used and has some serious limitations in the API it provides to AutoTag.
- Function tag removed – this was deprecated in version 9 and is now removed. Please use custom functions instead.
- Beans deprecated (replaced with IEventHandler) – this, along with custom functions, provides a cleaner and more powerful way to provide a run-time response to the reporting engine.
Coming over the rest of this we'll be shipping the following features:
- Nickname support for tags in PowerPoint templates – The number one request from PowerPoint users is to reduce the tags from the long full text of a tag to a nickname (as we can do in Word and Excel). One of our developers came up with a really interesting way to do this – we're making them hyperlinks.
- Chart and bitmap tags in Excel/PowerPoint will be charts/bitmaps – We added this first in Word and customers love it so we're adding it to Excel and PowerPoint.
- Cubes as a datasource – Up till now accessing a cube required using a connector that pretended it was a SQL database. This works ok but adds some complexity. We are adding native support for cubes including a wizard for the native selects.
- AutoQuery on Javelin – AutoQuery is great but it does require Office to perform your ad-hoc reports and drill-down. This will push the functionality up to our Javelin server so that you can design the B.I. template in Office, push it up to Javelin, then anyone with a browser can run their queries.
And then there's next year. Well first we have to rest from the Christmas break and digest all the excess food we ate. And then we will probably be writing our own chart renderer to perfectly match the output of Office and provide interactive drill-down/pop-up functionality in the charts in AutoQuery. Aside from that, we will probably take a look at what we have seen in feedback from version 11 to determine what else.
As always, if you have a question, please ask.
Thanks – dave