Instant Developer 12: what’s new?

by Luca Baldini on 02/13/2013

This weekend the first alpha version of Instant Developer 12 is coming out, and I’d like to take this opportunity to start introducing the innovations and new additions you’ll find.

As we announced in mid-October, Instant Developer’s progress in the development of mobile applications continues in 2013, with support for the Windows 8 / Window RT platform. In addition, in recent months we have developed around a hundred changes, including new features, improvements, and fixes. You can watch the history of these changes evolve day by day with the Instant Developer Roadmap. Today, I want to talk about the tools for creating reports.

These days there’s a tendency to develop increasingly rich and complex interfaces, both in the mobile arena and for desktops. That’s why we’ve placed a great deal of focus on the Instant Developer report generator, which, as you well know, is not just for printing invoices to PDF, but also for creating interfaces with tailor-made display formats.

Using books, the objects this report generator handles, you can really do anything: from Webtops to Checkers, from Pivot tables to Calendars, from Portals to Gannt graphs. It’s all incredibly simple compared to the alternative of having to draw it piece by tiny piece on the screen. And you’ll be able to get just what you need!

Many of these examples share the fact that the data to be displayed are drawn not only from database queries, but may also result from reading web services and from procedures run in memory, etc. So the best solution is to be able to link reports directly to business object hierarchies. That’s why in version 12 you can create reports directly from DO classes. The great thing is that when the objects displayed in the report change, the interface updates by itself, without any need to write new code!

Another feature of the examples provided above is that they are two-dimensional displays, in the sense that the data extend in both directions, and not just from the top down. In these cases, it’s important to be able to block out horizontal and vertical areas, like in Excel spreadsheets, and that’s why in version 12 you can set up fixed areas in reports. Your calendars and diagrams will look better than ever!

Finally, we’ve improved the printing of books that contain multiple cascading reports that print on different page shapes. Now getting what you need is as easy as one click.

And this is only the beginning. Next week I’ll cede the stage to Matteo, who will tell you about Caravel and native shell improvements. Remember that starting next Monday you’ll be able to start testing version 12: are you ready?

Image: EVA

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