Thursday, November 18, 2004

OK. Yea it's been awhile. Reporting with DataGrids, ay? No way. Not a good idea. Oh we found another way. One team member is using the HTML object model to add a row, add a column, add the data, set the style, etc etc row by row by row. Well that's one way to get it done, I guess.

I on the other hand opted to use XSLT. From a web page (maybe on a button click after grabbing the desired parms set on the page by the user manipulating the UI, selecting dates, etc) I call into the business layer and eventually come up with a typed dataset with the desired results. I do a GetXML on that, and then translate the resulting XML into a thing of rapt beauty - a "report".

This has been both interesting, fun and enjoyable, while aggravating at the same time. I like the seperation of function and data -- I have a folder full of various XSLT stylesheets. For a typical report page, there's an Xml control on the page and not much else. Most of the page is embodied in the XSL.

I can't remember the exact sequence that takes place to transform the XML, although I think the method is actually called "Transform". Details to follow..

Kudos to Stylus Studio -- I work out the details of the XSL required and then copy/paste it into the solution once it's working. Stylus Studio lets you target the .NET XSL processor (which is XSL 1.0, and not as robust as MSXML 4.0)

I've used XML Spy before - it seems to be everybody's favorite.. I dunno why.

Kudos also to XSLT Quickly - really good XSLT book, and at a good price for the e-book. Bob DuCharme does a great job at using MANY examples to demonstrate the topics in great detail. I need that..

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It's been rough these days...

The project I've been working on has been. You want details? OK.. it seems that the client is afraid of using Crystal Reports.NET, the version bundled with VS.NET. Afraid? Well, apparently there's been rumors about the designer interface being buggy, or lack of good books on the product, and other such FUD-like fears. And, since this is an all-Oracle (plus .NET) shop, SQL Server Reporting Services is out too...

I tried to convince them otherwise. There's at least one good book out there. And there's a fair amount of users using it.. But 'twas for naught; they want to create "reports" using the DataGrid. Details as the grunge of it all wears in ....

Monday, November 08, 2004

And do we know where Chris Sells was seen talking about blogs and the value thereof? Why Channel9 of course. Channel 9 is an excellent place to peruse around and just breathe in the air of a large and busy software development giant. Reminds me of the days working at IBM in Poughkeepsie back in the 80s. This place was so massive, it had its own horizon. You could literally wander around in the maze of departments for half a day at a clip, taking it all in... the new water cooled mainframes, lined up hundreds to a test rig, with frosty hoses dripping. Ahh, the compute power... Once I had to go to the sacred "Meyers Corners" building (development home for MVS, or OS/390 - the workhorse of the mainframe OSs). You could hear and feel the low-pitch vibration from the computer rooms rattling the foundation.

Er, eh? Brubblbububub ... Back to present day!

Chris Sells sez that those MSDN people read blogs, so HERE I AM! Sure, OK, it's been almost a year since I started this blog, and with NO ENTRIES all during that time. But that's ALL going to change now.. absolutely! Yesirree. No doubt about it. Just like cleaning the garage - that will also DEFinitely happen.

No, seriously -- I think I have a lot to say, and I know that at least one person will be reading this blog religiously, from now on. That's right - me!

So, watch this space! Or something like that....

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