Delving Deep into the OI BRW


I have been a long term fan of the new OpenInsight Banded Report Writer and those goes back to it’s introduction early in the OI 9.x series of releases.  So much so, I decided to take the stand at one of our RUGs and attempt to show our attendees what the new tool set was all about and what it is capable of.

It is a very powerful tool with a familiar design interface that most developers and power users should be happy with following a quick run through the BRW Reference Guide and working through the first few pages of the guide which builds your first report.

However, Don at SRP is in the process of taking the BRW and delving deep into the tool and he aims to reveal how developers can better understand the tool, its configuration and how to get the most from this powerful addition to the suite of OI tools.

His first article has just appeared on the SRP blog and its looks at Unpacking CFG_OIBRW, or more specifically the options for configuring the OI BRW for use and the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options.  There is also a link to the Wiki that he has set up and in which he plans to continue to delve deeper into the tool over the coming weeks.

If you are working with OI 9.x, planning a move to OI 9.x or want to get more from your reporting within OpenInsight, then this series looks set to be a must read.

Reporting just got a whole lot faster.

A couple of weeks ago Sprezzatura blogged about their new report viewer which is now part of S/List and which dramatically reduces the time taken to produce reports for preview.

I had a nice little demo in which i could show the difference between running a List statement in the OpenInsight .net print engine and the new Sprezzatura Viewer. However, to get even more speed S/List is now configured to only operate with the new Sprezz Report Viewer.

Fortunately, I was so amazed by the results I took a video of the comparison and I’ll gladly take you through the video using a WebEx session if you drop me a line.  We can then also try running one of your reports (List Statements) against your data file and see what a difference it makes.

The new version of S/List is now being tested by a couple of key S/List users and reports that are coming back are more than favourable.  For example: “WOW!!! S/List Express is fast. For example in a 6000+ employee database one report that previously took 2 min 57 sec now runs in 43 sec!”.

If you are running OpenInsight version 9.x (sorry S/List Express does not work with version 8.0.8 and prior) and you’d like super fast column based reporting then drop me a line and we’ll see what S/List Express can do for you.

OI 9.3 Beta – Reporting

Another week and another section review of the OpenInsight 9.3 beta readme.  Today, I will continue to look at reporting enhancements within the OpenInsight toolset, starting with  The readme file lists 9 bullets made up of 7 fixes and 2 modifications to and OIPI.  They include:

  1. The resolution of an issue with Header Fonts in ADDTABLE if COLHDRFONT was not used.
  2. OpenInsight no longer crashes when the user closes the preview prematurely.
  3. Fonts now clear when running an OLIST report or using RUN_REPORT.
  4. COLHDRSUPP is now working correctly.
  5. Fonts are now printing correctly when using the page break option on breaks.
  6. An issue with the radius calculation of the drawcircle command has been resolved.
  7. Resolved an issue when using two clauses in a list statement separated by an OR.
  8. Creating a PDF whilst the temp file could not be written to could cause OI to hang.  The routine has been modified so that it will now bypass the pdffile and write an error message in SYSTEMP under the username *oipierr.
  9. OIPI can now print multiple reports in one session.  Please check the readme for more information about the use of the TERM command and the appendon and appenoff options.

As well as OIPI, OpenInsight 9.3 sees a few enhancements to the built in Revelation Reporter.  They include:

  1. The addition of dropdowns to the Data Type, Key, Not Null, S/M and Just fields.
  2. The Report Builder now launches in an MDI frame and utilises the tab interface.
  3. A dropdown has been provided for S/M Types in calculated columns.
  4. An issue when using (WITH statements in the selection criteria has been resolved.

The 9.3 beta readme includes more details about the above items and the remaining items that I have not noted above.  In addition, it also includes many of the new features, enhancements and fixes throughout the 9.x releases.  Please drop me a line if you would like to receive a copy of the full 9.3 beta readme file.