Actuate Programming Journal

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

Posts Tagged ‘ide

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

with 9 comments


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.

Written by Douglas

20080220 at 11:57 am

Posted in Actuate, Requests

Tagged with , , ,