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FAQ - New Reporting Engine / Report Designer

Q: What is the overall timeline for the retirement of the Stimulsoft/legacy report designer?

There are still a few loose ends and features that need to be completed with the new report designer before we can disable creating new Stimulsoft reports or migrate reports. Until such time that this is completed, the Stimulsoft designer and reports will continue to be available. We will communicate any updates and critical dates related to the retirement timeline with plenty of notice to all customers and partners.

Q: Why is there a new reporting engine? Who makes the new reporting engine?

The new report engine Kahua is using is from DevExpress. It brings in new, more modern reporting capabilities and is better positioned to support Kahua's strategy moving forward.

In addition, DevExpress reports are rendered by the host, which results in much greater performance when rendering complex reports.

There are going to be two types of data source reports that can be created using the new engine:

  1. Query Data Source Reports - These data sources are based on an entity definition query plus links to other related entities. No SQL is required!
  2. Data Store Data Source Reports - These data sources are based on custom SQL queries similar to those used in some legacy Stimulsoft reports.

Q: What enhancements/advantages does the new reporting engine offer?

The primary advantage of the new reporting engine is support for query data source driven reports. This means that data sources and queries within an app can provide data to the reporting engine. This will allow data across different apps to be leveraged in an app-bundled report. With Stimulsoft, app-bundled reports were limited to data contained within the app only.

kBuilder support for the new reporting engine is also greatly enhanced. You can now easily preview your data source report in kBuilder with real data from a development environment.

Q: What are query data sources? How do I use them?

Query data sources reports are reports that utilize data that comes from a query data source defined within the app or report definition. The query data source is typically fed by an entity query, similar to queries used when building an app in kBuilder. Unlike Stimulsoft reports, these queries can pull data from other apps/entities, which provides much greater flexibilty than legacy Stimulsoft reports.

Q: When will I be able to use the new reporting engine for my projects?

The new report designer is available NOW in kBuilder and data source reports are fully supported in Kahua.

Q: How do I get trained on the new data sources and reporting engine?

We plan to make a new advanced reporting class available in the Kahua Learning Management System (LMS). We will communicate the launch of the new course as soon as it is available.

Until the LMS course is available, there is an article in the wiki which guides you through the entire process.
Report Designer Guide

Q: Can I still create data store reports?

Yes. Data store reports are still supported with the new DevExpress engine. However, there is also a new Data Source report that allows for reports to pull data from any query backed data source in an app, so in many cases it may now be preferable to use a data source report that doesn't need the data store to pull data across apps.

Q: Can I still upload reports into an app like I could with .mrt files?

Yes, both query data source and data store data source reports can be authored in kBuilder outside of an app def and then exported as an .RPT file (as opposed to .MRT). The .RPT report file can then be uploaded into Kahua in the same way the .MRT files could be uploaded.

Q: Can I still embed the new reports in apps so they are bundled with their release?

Data source reports can be bundled inside the app, just like Stimulsoft reports are. The ability to query data sources from other apps should allow for greater flexibility when bundling a report in an app.

Q: Can I create Portable Views with the new reporting engine?

The DevExpress engine does not support Portable Views. Word templates are recommended for portable views.

Q: Do you have samples of new reports that I can use as a reference?

Yes, there is a Report Testing App (kahua_ReportTestingApp) available for installation that contains several samples of query data sources, data store data sources, and data source reports leveraging both the query and data store data sources.

Q: How do I know when to use a data store report or a query based report? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

It is recommended to use a query data source whenever possible. Some of the advantages of using a query data source include better filtering capabilities, no knowledge of data store schema required, ease of building out the relational data model, and structured data versus flattened data. Data store data sources allow for custom SQL logic and filtering prior to returning the data. In cases where the calculated fields supported by the reporting engine are not adequate enough or when there is a need to filter out large portions of the underlying data, a data store report may be called for.

Q: kBuilder changed my app def and created "legacy" data sources and reports. Why?

While data sources and reports are not wholly new, there previously existed just one variety of each. We have now introduced two new data source types (query and data store) and a new report type (data source). The introduction of these new varieties has caused us to have to label the existing versions to "legacy".

Q: Why do I see duplicate Kahua authored reports in some apps?

These reports are not duplicates. We have rolled out new versions of the Kahua platform reports using the new report tooling, but we have not yet retired the legacy Stimulsoft versions of the reports. This is on account of the scheduled reports that users may have tied to the legacy reports. We have marked the legacy reports by adding a "[Legacy]" prefix to the description.

Q: When are the [Legacy] Kahua authored reports being retired?

We anticipate retiring the legacy Kahua platform reports in early 2025. We plan to complete rolling out new versions of the Kahua platform reports by the end of 2024, and we encourage users to begin migrating any scheduled reports tied to the legacy reports as soon as possible.

Q: What do I do with scheduled reports against the [Legacy] Kahua reports?

For any legacy Kahua platform reports which have scheduled reports associated, those schedules must be manually migrated to the new versions of the reports.

Q: What is going to happen to my custom Stimulsoft data store .MRT reports?

Custom Stimulsoft reports will continue to function as expected in Kahua for the foreseeable future. However, in 2025 we will begin preventing the creation of new Stimulsoft (legacy) reports as well as editing existing Stimulsoft reports. Therefore, as changes to legacy Stimulsoft reports are required after the cut-off, the report would have to be migrated to the new reporting engine.

Q: How do I migrate my Stimulsoft data store .MRT reports to the new reporting engine?

It is a manual process to migrate a Stimulsoft report to a new data source report. Fortunately, the SQL which drives the Stimulsoft report can be re-used when creating a new data store data source. Beyond the data source, the design of the legacy report will have to be implemented using the new report designer and any parameters will also have to be added to the data source.

Q: When can I start to migrate my Stimulsoft data store MRT reports?

The new data sources and report designer are all available now in kBuilder and Kahua. After reviewing the report designer training guide, you may begin creating new data source reports.

Q: Can I use the DevExpress standalone report designer to create reports like I could with the Stimulsoft standalone designer?

No, all new data source reports must be built using the new report designer inside kBuilder. Reports developed using the standalone DevExpress report designer are not compatible with Kahua. This is because the data source is now part of the overall Kahua report definition and is not defined inside the report designer like it was for Stimulsoft.

Q: Will Kahua assist me with migrating my Stimulsoft data store MRT reports?

We are currently evaluating the scope of custom reports across the Kahua customer base and will be communicating our plans to assist our customers and partners soon.

Q: When will I no longer be able to create Stimulsoft reports?

By the end of 2023 we plan to prevent the creation of any new Stimulsoft reports in kBuilder.

Q: When will I no longer be able to make edits to my Stimulsoft reports?

The timeline for removing the ability to edit existing Stimulsoft reports has not yet been determined, but this will be well communicated with plenty of advance notice once a timeline has been set.

Q: What do I if I am re-creating a Stimulsoft report as a data source report and I encounter an issue?

If you're re-creating your legacy Stimulsoft reports as data source reports and you encounter an issue, please open a ticket as you would for any kBuilder or partner support issue.

Q: Will I still be able to create Stimulsoft reports? Is support for Stimulsoft going to be removed?

Kahua is not immediately removing support for Stimulsoft reports, so Stimulsoft reports will still run without issue. We are planning to remove the ability to create new Stimulsoft reports at some point, but the timeline has not yet been determined. This excludes Portable View which are Stimulsoft based.

Q: Do I need to convert all my Stimulsoft reports to DevExpress? Is there an automated tool to convert them?

There is no tool to automatically convert Stimulsoft reports to DevExpress. More information will be coming in the future regarding plans to convert existing reports to DevExpress.

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