Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stonefield Query for Sage Pro ERP Version 4.1 Released

We are pleased to announce the immediate release of the Stonefield Query for Sage Pro ERP version 4.1. There are lots of new and improved features in version 4.1.

New Features
  • You can now define dashboards using the new Dashboard Wizard. A dashboard is a set of chart reports that displays on your desktop in its own window. These charts automatically refresh at an interval you specify so you can always see the most current data.
  • Stonefield Query now supports Windows 7:
    • When you run a report, the taskbar button shows a moving green bar indicating something is happening.
    • You can now right-click a report and choose Pin to Taskbar to pin it to the taskbar; choosing that item in the taskbar launches Stonefield Query and previews that report (this obviously works best when Stonefield Query itself is pinned to the taskbar).
    • Stonefield Query report files, which have an SFX extension, now display a nice report icon in Windows Explorer. Double-clicking an SFX file launches Stonefield Query and previews that report.
  • You can now create a desktop shortcut for a report. Right-click any report in the Reports Explorer and choose Create Desktop Shortcut. This will create a shortcut on your desktop with the same name as the report. Double-clicking this shortcut previews the report without opening Stonefield Query, which is handy if you just want to run one report without having to find it in the Reports Explorer.
  • Usage statistics are now maintained for reports, and the new Usage Reporting function in the Tools menu allows you to report on these statistics. This allows you to determine which reports are actually being used, how often, and by whom.
  • A new type of display for date fields is now available in the Field Properties dialog: "Month/Year". This displays the month and year part of the date, which the "Month" option formerly did. "Month" now outputs only the month part of the date, which is handy, for example, in cross-tab reports where you want to show the date in the rows and the year in the columns to compare sales by month and year. Reports you created prior to version 4.1 using "Month" are automatically changed to use "Month/Year" so they work as they did before.
  • When you install a new version of Stonefield Query over an existing one, if there are any new or modified sample reports, a dialog appears telling you that and allowing you to select which of those to import. You can also choose the Check New or Updated Sample Reports function in the Tools menu.
  • You can now configure how much memory Stonefield Query reserves for itself at startup. This is especially useful in Windows Terminal Server environments where multiple users run Stonefield Query on the same server at the same time.
  • Multi-page charts are now supported. In the new Size/Paging page of the Chart Wizard, turn on Paging and set the number of points you want on each page.
  • Linking, such as drilldowns, from charts is now supported. The Properties dialog for the Category (X-axis) field has a Link page that works the same as other report types. This allows you, for example, to display a chart showing sales by salesperson and click a certain salesperson to drill down to a report showing individual sales for that salesperson. Linking even works in charts displayed in a dashboard. To support this feature, a different preview window is used for charts. It has the same features as the preview window used for other report types but cannot used tabbed pages showing other report types, only other charts.
  • Charts now use the Segoe UI font for text in Windows Vista or later because it looks better, especially when rotated.
Cross-Tab Reports
  • Cross-tab reports now support displaying the amount and/or percentage change between columns. The Display page of the Properties dialog for a data field has new "Show difference from previous column" and "Show percentage change" options. You can turn on one or both of these.
  • You can now specify whether cross-tab reports include row and column totals using new options in Step 5.
  • The Select only top option in a cross-tab report now applies to the totals for the first row field rather than the row field itself. For example, setting "Select only top" to 10 now displays the top 10 values rather than the top 10 alphabetically.
Other Features
  • Stonefield Query now works with Sage Pro 2011.
  • The new Sales Order Commission Header Current + History table combines current and history sales order commission records.
  • Many date fields are now available as "YM" (year and month) versions. For example, the Check Date YM field in the Accounts Payable Master File displays the year and month of the check date. In addition, numerous other calculated fields and more relationships between tables were generously provided by Philip Borkholder of Automation Plus Inc.
  • The new Always Union Current and History Tables Before Join option in the Options dialog allows you to decide when multiple "current + history" tables are used in a report whether it should do individual queries on the separate tables (which is slower) or queries with set of current tables and the set of history tables (which is faster but may not have matches).
  • The IC Items and Item at Location tables now also appear in the Order Entry module.
  • Emailing now supports SSL/TSL for SMTP, which means you can now email using Gmail or Hotmail accounts or other SMTP servers that require SSL/TSL. Also, emailing using MAPI with Microsoft Outlook as your email program no longer displays the dreaded Outlook security dialog.
  • Certain characters that weren't allowed in the name of a report, such as a period, comma, question mark, slash, and so on, are now allowed. The only character you can't use is a backslash ("\").
  • Certain characters that weren't supported in the body or subject of an email, such as "&" or ">", are now allowed.
  • You no longer have to contact us if you have to activate the program on a different computer than it was originally activated on. Online activation will automatically activate this computer and deactivate the license on the other one.
  • There's better support for adding images stored in your database to reports.
  • Output to text, comma-separated (CSV), table, and XML files is now faster.
  • Exclusion conditions now work faster than before.
  • The Preview window now remembers the setting of the zoom option. If you run a report and change the zoom to 200%, the next time you preview a report, it'll be at 200%.
  • The Ask At Runtime filter and report progress dialogs now always appear on top of any other windows so they can't get lost behind something else if you click on a different window.
  • The Setup dialog has a new page (page 2) for contact information.
  • The activation process is now simpler. Clicking the Click here to activate the program now link in the Welcome dialog (displayed when you're running an unactivated version) now displays the License Manager dialog where you can add as many licenses as you need rather than bringing up a Registration dialog that only allows one license to be activated.
  • New templates are automatically imported when you run Stonefield Query.
  • The OnSelect script for a report can now access the report using the Report object. This is useful if, for example, you want to change the default filter for a report when it's selected.
  • You can now use the built-in RunSQL function in formulas.
  • It's easier to work with the Dynamics tab in the properties dialog for Pictures and Rectangles in the Advanced Report Designer. You no longer have to enter values in 960th's of a inch; instead, you can enter value in inches or centimeters, depending on how your system is configured.
  • File dialogs, such as those displayed when you output to file or export a report, now support Windows Vista and later features, such as search and recent places.
  • The ask-at-runtime filter dialog now appears on top of the report progress window so it doesn't get hidden behind other windows.
  • The new GetValueForParameter function is like the existing GetValueForField but allows you to specify the caption, data type, and size of the parameter being requested from the user.
  • You can now filter on the Source Database field. This allows a report to drill down based on a data source. For example, suppose you have a cross-tab report that retrieves data from multiple data sources and it has Source Database as the column field. Clicking a specific data source should drilldown and run a detail report for that data source only, so the linked report has a filter on Source Database.
  • The progress dialog that appears when running a report that retrieves data from multiple databases now shows the name of the database the data is currently being retrieved from and the number of records retrieved.


Brent Clark said...

This is all great news. I am particularly excited about the dashboard feature and look forward to using it.

Nick said...

Would love to see something about how SFQ can be used to create browser based reports and dashboards along the lines of SQL Reporting Services, Crystal, etc.

Doug Hennig said...

Hi Nick.

The SDK documentation has information on how to use SQ in .Net applications, including ASP.Net. We are currently working on a sample ASP.Net application that we'll release once it's ready.

We don't have any experience with platforms other than .Net, so unfortunately it'll be a while before we'll create samples or documentation for things like Ruby or PHP.

Thanks for your interest.


Darren said...

Any news on some support for custom tables in ACT! in this release?

Trevor Mansuy said...

Hi Darren,

Support for Custom tables in Act! was added in a previous version, and should continue to be supported in this version.