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It is difficult to have reviewed Visual CE without having a look to Report CE.
Company Web Site: http://www.syware.com/
Version tested: Personal Edition v3.1a
Category: Database (Print reports, receipts, and invoices)
Pentium III - Windows 98SE (but works on all 32 bit Windows version)
PDA: Jornada 720 US machine (but works also on PocketPC)
|Report CE is a
great tool for people using databases and who need to create and
print custom reports from a Windows CE device. Managing data is
one thing, but when a print out is necessary, a report writer is very
welcome. The provided software can be used to print invoices, quotes,
customer receipts and more, that can be be e-mailed to others.
Different licenses are available:
- The personal edition (tested in this review), for personal use ($79)
- The personal edition as an add-on to Visual CE, for personal use ($49)
- The professional edition, for distribution ($299)
- Sold as a Component of Visual CE Entreprise edition, for distribution ($200)
|- Quickly create report layouts tailored to your specific needs, with just the information you
want, organized the way you want to see it.
- Automatically generate and display calculated data, such as sub-totals, grand totals,
record counts, elapsed time, and more.
- Give your report a neat and well-organized appearance using Report CE's time-saving
layout tools. Add lines and imported graphics such as logos. Use color for clarity and
- Apply customized page headers, footers, and labels, as well as automatic page numbering
- Combine data from multiple tables in a single report.
- When running a report, "drill down" to just the records you want to see.
- Use Report CE's built-in email link to send reports electronically with minimum effort.
|Documentation and help|
|A very good built in help is provided, including lessons that guide you step by step.|
|Working with the software|
|One of the great
features of SYWARE products, is that their software shared almost the
same interface. Then a user who already have used one of their
products may work very quickly with the new one.
As Visual CE, two parts are available, the desktop part and the device part. All editions allow you to build reports on the handheld or the desktop.
|The desktop part|
|Again, as Visual
CE, the interface of
the desktop version is similar to the device version making the work
At this stage, it is possible or to create a new report or to open an existing one. Be informed that if you intend to create a report for a Visual CE form created also on your desktop PC (then copied to your device), it is necessary to save this form on your device in order to create the associated database, else Report CE won't be able to see it.
Creating a new report:
Creating a new report lets you select either the Windows CE Store (for standard CE or Visual CE databases) or Pocket Access databases.
Select the database (table) for which you want to create a report, you will be prompted to select the columns that should be included into the report. If the table contains more that 10 columns, you need to add the other manually using the controls.
After validating your choices, Report CE creates automatically the report.
At this level, you can start customizing the report with the available controls.
Between the list of the available controls we can find the following list:
I will not review each control, but for example you can add a picture (the image should be located on your device).
The other controls, let you add time and date or to perfom calculations based on the value stored into the database for example.
You can move and modify every control in order to place them in your page as you want. And every column has its own property that can be customized regarding the font and colors.
Options for the report itself are also available. These options are the page size, number of items per page when printing, some actions (like sorting) on the tables and the email defaults (this is one of the great function of Report CE, you can directly send the report by email from your device to a client for example).
Well, after that (which is very simplified because SYWARE products are very user friendly), you can save your work and download it to your device, or decide to preview it before printing.
Running a report:
Report can be runned also from the desktop, this mean you can click on the saved file, and Report CE run the report asking you to filter (the filter lets you specify a set of conditions that a record must satisfy in order for it to appear in the report).
In case you do not want to filter, then when printing, the full table will be printed.
|The device part|
All what has been described above can be performed directly on the device, so I won't repeat, but what is important to know is that the device part is completly independent and can be used without the desktop. I will simply provide some screen captures.
Opening a report:
Previewing a report:
Sending the report by email:
|Well, again as for Visual CE nothing to say except for an "Open Recent" function.|
|Important software for people who need to manage and print data on their device. The standard CE databases are recognized and Visual CE is not mandatory in order to use it. Again Syware provides great software for which until now I do not have found any particular problem, no crash, no lose of data.|
|JJJJJ 5 "J" on 5 because it is so simple to use.|