Actuate Programming Journal

Report design from a guy who thinks he knows what he’s doing; you decide . . . .

The Differences Between Actuate 6, 7, 8, and 9

with 9 comments

Inconsequential.

Hopefully from that one word you can tell I am more likely to focus on opinions than facts.

In general the changes that Actuate makes to its reporting suite have influenced the server application more than the development IDE. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because there really isn’t all that much new under the sun regarding how to build reports. The server bells and whistles are what sell the product to the folks that pay for Actuate–that’s not normally a crowd full of developers looking for slicker programming environments. I’ve been far enough removed from the server side of things in these past years that I will only say that somewhere in there they added support for clustering (probably from 6 to 7).

The IDE on the other hand has had a few noteworthy, but barely braggable updates.

6 became the benchmark in my mind for IDE stability. Before that eRDPro was prone to hiccups that trashed ROD files and required restarting the app and sometime rebooting your computer. I think this is when we got the Dynamic Text Controls. Grouping and Sorting got a fancy new widget in this version or 7. I don’t use or recommend it’s use so I don’t recall.

7 added that crosstab widget that I avoid but I hear others like well enough. I think they deprecated AcGraph in favor of AcChart and the new–thank God–graph/chart widget.

8 was the biggest leap since I’ve been around. eRDPro went from in-house interface to Eclipse based. Though I wouldn’t call it a full on embrace of Eclipse since there is still some functionality I would have expected to see but don’t: code highlighting and completion being the most obvious.

9 is an extension of 8 but with the funky little do-dad for doing conditional formatting. It’s handy, but not as robust as I would have liked for my coding.

Things I’d like to see:

  • code highlighting
  • code completion
  • file manager interface
  • better server access (more clarity)
  • ability to open more than two instances of eRDPro

I am sure there are other IDE standards that I am not thinking of at the moment. I suspect I am too ingrained in the product as is to think to far outside the current feature set.

As for the question that spawned this post, there are really no difference in the ROD file types except that you can’t run newer versions in the older IDE/Server. Backward compatible, yes; forward, no. I have no evidence, experience, training, or interest in finding out why that is, but I suspect it’s nothing more complex than “file version <= IDE version?”.

A remainder not to quote me on any of the above ‘facts’. This is totally out of my brain. If you require a technical comparison of the feature sets between versions, please check Actuate’s documentation regard such.

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Written by Douglas

20080220 at 11:57 am

Posted in Actuate, Requests

Tagged with , , ,

9 Responses

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  1. Regarding running two instances of the ERDPro, i do this all the time!

    Or did you mean open 2 separate files in one ERDPro?

    Add to the list of good new need features:

    The ability to make output file move group sections onto to a new page if the group section can not fit on it.

    I am personally really disappointed with the lack of new features being implemented in the management console, there is a real lack of options which could be implemented. Like sorting on different columns other than the name. Or the ability to filter reports in the Scheduled section by how often they are run.

    Darren Gipson

    20080307 at 03:47 am

  2. @Darren More than two. I haven’t been able to run three instances of eRDPro in a long time.

    Good points about the server. I hadn’t even thought to mention features I’d like to see there.

    Douglas

    20080307 at 08:38 am

  3. Im using 9, i hv no problem opening 3 instance of erdpro. if it is 4 then prob will come.

    wEa

    20080512 at 03:04 am

  4. @wEa maybe it’s an environmental thing or that I just have a slow laptop, but I can never open more than two instances.

    Good to know its possible for some!

    Douglas

    20080528 at 09:13 am

  5. Hi,

    I am facing a problem while showing the charts on Actuate server

    I am not getting the charts on actuate server but getting on IDE.
    Everything on my server, I have checked.
    xvfb script associated to actuate server is running.
    but log information shows:

    ****0000000015*JCSUtil.cpp*00461*08000*2008JUL21*0 8:48:04
    Warning: Retryable error, can not connect to chart server.

    Please look into it
    *********************
    System information:
    Solaris 5.8
    Actuate6
    java1.3
    **************
    Any help will be highly appriciated

    suraj

    20080724 at 04:28 am

  6. i need material for Actuate to learn.Anybody help me for this.Thank u

    Geetha

    20080903 at 21:57 pm

  7. Unfortunately there is no documentation available on the market. You have to have a licensed version of Actuate to get the material.

    http://www.birt-exchange.com/products/birt-report-server/

    Surya

    20080912 at 20:34 pm

  8. Hi,

    Could any one please let me know from where can i get the list of deprecated classes in Actuate9. I also need the equivalent class for the deprecated classes in Actuate9.

    Thanks in Advance!!

    Shri

    20090121 at 23:01 pm

  9. As per as opening of multiple instances of Actuate it depends upon virtual memory available in your system. As erdPro uses lots of virtual memory, many times you will not be able to open more than 2 instances of erdPro.

    Gunesh

    20090505 at 04:59 am


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