February 22, 2002 -- This week, we select a pair of favorite resources from our Resources and Downloads directories: Elixir Report Server and TrackGear. Both are aimed at making life easier for the serious developer.
Elixir Report 2.2 is a Java/XML-based reporting tool designed to enhance business applications such as CRM, or modern applications such as B2B, or any Java/J2EE, Web-based or database-centric application, according to its creators, Elixir Technology.
It ships with a set of Report Server Access APIs to allow report requests to be made automatically. Developers can build a reporting servlet portal, as well as use JavaMail for e-mail report delivery. You can also write a Java-based client application to generate reports through the APIs.
Its Report Request Controller manages requests from external clients, such as Java applications or servlets to dispatch report requests against the multiple rendering engines. Where there are more requests than the number of concurrent engines, requests are queued. The Controller logs all activities of the Report Server.
Elixir Report's workspaces allow different reports to be grouped logically. You can make separate workspaces for, say, each department in your company. Its server-side rendering engine is tuned for "high-performance" report rendering, according to Elixir. The rendering process runs as a background service and the reports generated can be output to the client or be cached on the server. Its Data Source Manager provides the interfaces for extracting external data from sources such as RDBMS, XML, LDAP, Java Objects, and text files.
Elixir Report 2.2 is licensed per server runtime instance. A 5-developer License Pack for the Professional version runs US$2,230.
TrackGear 3.0 is a Web-based bug tracking tool that works with Microsoft Visual SourceSafe to pull together defect reports with specific source files. "Project management, testing, and quality assurance staff will enjoy how TrackGear 3.0's flexible reporting and metric features allow them to generate customized metrics and distribute them to teams via regularly scheduled e-mail-based status reports," according to its creator, LogiGear.
"System administrators will appreciate how seamlessly TrackGear 3.0 supports the implementation of countless defect resolution processes with its point-and-click workflow configuration. Workflow is enforced with auto-routing and customizable e-mail notification. TrackGear 3.0 also allows users to increase their productivity with cross-project querying, spell-checking, and status reporting features."
It quickly locates issues utilizing multiple search queries, generates custom distribution metrics and pre-defined trend metrics, tracks life-cycles and audit trails of issues, creates report layouts that display frequently requested information, customizes forms to fit your defect tracking processes, manages multiple projects simultaneously, and immediately notifies users of required actions.
TrackGear can support an unlimited number of users with its concurrent-user licensing model. A 5-concurrent user copy runs US$1,755. (Free evaluation copies are available for download.) Free upgrades and updates are included, as well as online, e-mail, and telephone technical support.
If "paperwork" is the bane of your existence, then these professional tools may be in your future.
If you've got a cool resource or download in the field of software development you'd like to share with the world, visit our user submission pages and fill out the simple forms. We'll review them, and post them quickly to our directories. Plus, once a week, we'll pick a particularly useful resource and highlight it for all our readers to enjoy.