Report and Dashboard Server - New Administrative Panel UI, Localization, HTML5 Document Viewer (CTP, v18.1)

For our v18.1 release, there are some very interesting new features to report for users of our Report and Dashboard Server. The gist is this: we implemented the next generation of the Administrative Panel for the server, on the basis of modern technology including WebAPI, Angular and Redux.

Modern UI Administrative Panel

The new UI is available in v18.1 as a CTP release. If you would like to try it, please follow the instructions in the documentation to activate the new design for your users.

Try the new design

A modern interface

We had several reasons to create a new implementation of the Administrative Panel user interface. On a technical level, we saw the need to migrate to a platform based on current technology, to enable future maintenance. In addition, there are numerous functional benefits. Read on for details!

Improved user experience

The new interface is built as a single-page application (SPA). In contrast to a traditional web application that performs frequent server round-trips in response to user actions, SPA apps render their UI on the client with greatly improved response times. We have also changed the UI structure in several places to substitute lists for tiles. This makes it easier to find specific items and to execute operations for multiple items at a time.

Localization

It is now possible to download a JSON file from the Administrative Panel containing localizable strings. The file can be translated and uploaded to the server again, where it is used to provide a localized UI for the Administrative Panel.

Localization interface

WebAPI

The new interface has been built to communicate with the server using a WebAPI service instead of the WCF service we were using previously. Going forward, we will extend the WebAPI service with all new functionality, and in v18.2 it will become possible to perform all administrative tasks through this interface, even from third-party applications. This includes adding documents and users, configuring access permissions and scheduling jobs. We regard WebAPI as the way forward to an easily accessible and full-featured external interface.

White-labeling

During our development work on the new UI, we made provisions for customized CSS styles, images and text elements throughout the Administrative Panel. In v18.2 we plan to deliver full white-labeling support on this basis. We look forward to this very much, since it’s one of our most frequently requested features!

Limitations

Since the new feature set is in CTP status, there are some limitations to the functionality of the new Administrative Panel and to the localization support. You can find details in the documentation, which will be updated in the future. This is the link for functional limitations and here you can information about localization limitations.

During the CTP phase, we hope to remove all limitations.

Finally: HTML5 Document Viewer enables vastly improved client experience

An additional feature we have added in v18.1 is integration with our HTML5 WebDocumentViewer. This feature is loosely related to the above, since it takes advantage of the new WebAPI interface. This functionality is fully supported and not in CTP status.

Previously, we only supported the ASPxDocumentViewer for web applications. In contrast, the HTML5 Document Viewer has huge advantages:

  • Generated documents are retrieved directly from Report Server. No web server is required to render reports, and the WebDocumentViewer can be used in any HTML/JavaScript app.
  • The complete built-in feature set of the HTML5 Document Viewer can be used in conjunction with Report Server. This includes:
    • Asynchronous document generation - no need to wait for the complete document to generate before initial pages can be viewed
    • Pixel-perfect document rendering
    • Mobile Mode for phones and tablets

We have a complete sample in GitHub, and there is a documentation page detailing the process of displaying documents retrieved from Report Server. Finally, this link shows our general documentation for integration of the HTML5 Document Viewer in JavaScript apps, and includes further sample links.

Please share your thoughts

As always, we are interested in any feedback you have. Are you going to use the UI, localization and Document Viewer? Are you looking forward to white-labeling support?

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