Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Commercial Version of RAVE for Delphi XE

Where I work our product is very tied to Nevrona's Rave Reports.    We are based around the NDR file format and concept.    Since the release of XE our emails to Nevrona and being ignored we still don't have an XE version of RAVE Reports.

XE is a compelling upgrade for us and as such we have decided to try to upgrade RAVE  to XE.      We do have the commercial 8.0 release.

I don't know about Embarcadero's agreement is with Nevrona but I don't think it's in the best interest of either party to keep bundling RAVE to with Embarcadero.    From Embarcadero's point of view they are shipping a product that points to a company that all but appears dead.     From Nevrona's Point of view they may be able make revenue on a product from those that need to upgrade Delphi versions.   Maybe returning a revenue stream that they have lost because most users just use the free version. I know they can't be making much money now.  

I actually would like to see RAVE become open source.   I know my team would be at the very least committing changes to keep it updated to the latest compilers.

As for our long term roadmap, I don't have a clue.... Research begins now... Looking for Reporting solution that can temporary file that can then be printed, exported to Excel, specified pages of the report can be converted to an image.   (We use TIFF but I can convert from about any format)

15 comments:

  1. This is my last status ...

    http://rave-notes.blogspot.com/

    In my opinion it was over years ago and maintained bye engaged people...

    To add another Alternative beside FastReports, thats List and Label. Both have prooven stability over years now.

    Don't waste your time and your and your teams time with maintaining source code of Software where even the vendor is not interested in investing;). This makes no sense ...

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  2. Sry for the typos ... copy paste issues

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  3. Sorry to hear that Robert. The company I work for also used Rave, but probably not to an extent that it sounds like you guys use it. Fortunately, we only used it about a year, although we had previously converted all of our reports (roughly 100 or so) over from QuickReports.

    As we used Rave, we would run into an occasional problem or two, and would get decent feedback from Rave's support. But it seemed like overnight that the responses stopped and the website went dead. These were the signs that we might have purchased a dying product.

    With that in mind, we decided to bite the bullet and do another report conversion. This time, after careful consideration, we chose to use FastReports. The conversion took less time than the QR-to-Rave conversion and the support and community activity proved to be massively helpful. FastReports is actively supported with new versions released somewhat frequently. Unfortunately, there's no conversion utility that would help with moving from Rave to FR. So each report would probably need a complete re-write.

    I'm also not sure of the exact features that FR has that would provide similar functionality for what you mentioned...but it's probably worth looking into.

    www.fast-report.com

    Good luck! Post a response on what direction you guys decide to go.


    edit: Just saw your edits...I guess my post turned into an endorsement of FR as opposed to proposing a new option. :)

    Keith
    Las Vegas

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  4. Michael Rozlog assured me that the issue of Nevrona's lack of support for RAVE, and instability of the Unicode release were things of the past when I quizzed hum about it during the Delphi XE tour. When I suggested the EMB should acquire Nevrona and support RAVE themselves, he dismissed it as not part of their core business, and that there was no need. Sounds like Michael needs to re-evaluate that position.

    EMB should never bundle anything that is not technically sound, or lacks support with their products since it detracts from their image, and the value of the bundle.

    IMHO a report writer is a core asset for any database application development platform. Borland et al seem to have thought so as well since they bundled ReportSmith, QuickReports and now RAVE with Delphi. It's too bad that all the companies owning Delphi still haven't managed to learn from their predecessor's mistakes...

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  5. Larry: During CodeRage I heard Michael make a comment about being about to purchase 9.0 from Nevrona. But if you visit the site 8.0 is all that is offered, I am not sure they understand what customers are experiencing here.

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  6. I've been using QuickReports & QRDesign since about Delphi 3, it's been a bit buggy over that time but I've always been able to work around any issues. Converting to something else is probably not an issue for us, we have about 300 reports, and our customers have thousands of customized version. I probably wouldn't go so far as to endorse it, but it's served us pretty good for over 10 years now.

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  7. As alternative why not give Report Manager a try? It is open source and in pure Delphi.

    It is a worthwhile report tool.... A bit hard to learn but once you cross its learning curve it is really usable with a bit of work though. ;)

    HTH

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  8. >>and instability of the Unicode release were things of the past
    --> This is true - but maybe not the way we expected it.
    @Larry - Don't forget Crystal Reports 4:).

    No one knows what is going on behind the scenes ... What I have seen from the forum that there is support of people who made the upgrade from the BEX version ... this was June ... but honestly who has no .net support nowadays in his product line is past...



    Yogi's alternative is ok ...

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  9. Greetings Robert,

    I suggest transforming XML with XSL-FO. You can generate txt, doc, rtf, html, pdf, yada, yada, yada.

    This solution is natively unicode, independent of any language/IDE upgrades, and is mostly open source. It WILL get you off the upgrade and proprietary treadmill.

    Just about all db engines can return xml. (If it doesn't, it's not that hard to write the recursive functions.)

    Since the data format is open source and the rendering engine is open source (Apache FOP), you only need to purchase an xsl-fo editor. (While there are open source xslt editors, I do not know of any open source xsl-fo editors. And, if an open source xsl-fo editor arrives, you will not have any costs, whatsoever). Just in case you are tempted; do not even consider writing xsl-fo by hand. (While it CAN be done, it would be an exercise in futility. IMHO.)

    With Altova's StyleVision you can visually layout the report and it will generate the xsl-fo for you. (Altogether now ... COOL BEANS!)

    The only tricky part would be controlling the Apache FOP engine from Delphi, but that's easy enough with the JNI.

    Keith
    Trenton, MI

    ps. I really enjoyed your presentation last year at Delphi Live on converting from BDE to DBX

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  10. Keith (pket555)

    I have used XML with XSL-FO exactly as you propose. But could not meet the requirements of this project so it was not used. The biggest reason we stayed away from it is that we needed ability for a end user to maintain the reports and even with Style Vision, end user maintenance is not easy.

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  11. Are you not able to move to the bundled Rave 9? What does it do, run only in the XE IDE?

    I'm in the last throes of moving from Rave 7.6.2 to 8.01. Every problem is something that shouldn't be broken, yet is.

    Every solution is something that shouldn't work, but does. This morning, I fixed an AV by moving the last two lines in a Rave event to be the first two lines. It borders on the superstitous.

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  12. I think fast report is fine. It has all the features of QR or FR but is better.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this information! Have you thought about trying out the xsl fo editor? I think it could really benefit what you are doing.

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  14. Shyloh, I have thought about XSL-FO, and we went down that route once. It's was the most painful experience possible. It was far more difficult than any reporting solution I have looked at to date.

    We also have the need to merge RTF text that our users have written directly into the reports. Handing an End User an XSL-FO editor is like handing them a loaded gun aimed directly at the developers.

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  15. It's WORSE now. The nevrona site is running a backup of its content from the Rave 5 era, and they don't even respond to sales emails at all.

    Warren

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