ANN: ReportBuilder 9 is now available for Delphi 2005, Delphi 7, and Delphi 6!

edited November 2004 in General

Digital Metaphors Corporation announces the release of ReportBuilder 9!

ReportBuilder 9 includes VCL Win32 support for Delphi 2005, Delphi 7, and
Delphi 6.


New Feature List:

New Feature Matrix:

Upgrade now!!

Designer Enhancements
. New Object Inspector
. New Undo/Redo support
. New Workspace grid and snap-to-grid support
. New Toolbar/ToolWindow architecture

Report Component Library (RCL) Enhancements
. New Rotated Text support, added Angle property for text controls
. New Border property for all controls
. New Anchor property enables control to reposition itself when the layout
. New PageBreak component for advanced control over pagination
. Enhanced RichText MailMerge to support display formats & multiple
. Enhanced DBImage to support AutoSize
. Enhanced RCL architecture supports registering popup menu and design
. New Report level events that enable parameter initialization and SQL

Report Output Enhancements
. New PDF export

Data Access Enhancements
. New Guid Field Type support
. New Guid Field Type data linking support

Report Engine Enhancements
. Improved support for calculations performed in page footer
. Improved support for detecting layouts which result in infinite page

DADE Enhancements*
. New Support for Guid Field Type Linking
. New SQLBuilder object for runtime sql manipulation

RAP Enhancements**
. New Report level events that enable parameter initialization and SQL
. New SQLBuilder class to dynamically modify sql

EndUser Guide Enhancements**
. New Learning to RAP Guide

* These features in ReportBuilder Professional and Enterprise only.
** These features in ReportBuilder Enterprise only.

Digital Metaphors Corporation


  • edited November 2004
    Can you make a comment concerning .NET support. If we upgrade ($499) for
    basically Delphi 2003 support (almost all other features you get with
    add-ons most people already have) will we get releases for the next year -
    and in that next year will that include .NET support in Delphi?

    Thanks for your help.

  • edited November 2004
    So to get RB working in D2005 I have to upgrade ($399 for Enterprise)
    and then I only get Win32 support. Yes, extra bells and whistles (some
    of which I've already got and I've paid a lot of money for adding to
    RB7) but nothing there that grabs me and makes me think "yes, I really
    need RB9".

    I've now got 7.03 Enterprise packages installed in D2005 after a days
    work in rebuilding/converting the packages although, yes, I've had to
    exclude RAP so I suppose it's now only the Pro version. One thing to
    note here, I know RAP source isn't supplied but I can't find the source
    for ppGIFImage?

    I'd much rather have a 7.05 release supporting D2005 or at the very
    least, a recompiled set of RAP DCU's made available to
    Enterprise/Server customers.

    When/if .NET support appears then that will be the time to upgrade.

  • edited November 2004
    what happened to RB8?
  • edited November 2004
    See the thread "Delphi 2005 with RB 7 ? on 2 Nov where Nico says...

    ReportBuilder 8 would have been ReportBuilder for Delphi VCL .Net (or Delphi
    8). However due to the poor quality of Delphi 8, we made the decision not
    to release it. ReportBuilder 9 is to keep things in a nice sequential

    Phillip Herries
  • edited November 2004
    In article <419e7a09$1@dm500.>, Digital Metaphors wrote:

    What is the reason that D5 isn't supported?
    And are the template-files compatible between R7 and R9?

    Gruß aus den Bergen
  • edited November 2004
    Firstly congradulations on getting a timely release out hard on the heels of
    Delphi 2005. Well done.

    However, a few comments.

    Nice to see PDF, - good to see you trying to partly match the competition.,
    but as with the others I already have components that give me pdf and a
    whole lot more.
    EAN 128 Barcode - sorry to see this missed yet again ( I presume, looking at
    the" whats new " list ). I see you have pointed another customer to the
    Autoencode property and an article on the format so I presume you have a
    handle on whats required i.e.simply a Func 1 at the start. Also it must be
    nearly 3 years since I put the code in this newsgroup to do EAN 128 with the
    current component so it is dissapointing you haven't simply added it as
    another barcode type, especially with the USA adopting it.
    Crosstab - this is a wonderful component that does a lot for me, but its out
    of the box flexibility / look is getting a bit dated, especially in regard
    to the competition. It seems a pity yourselves and PlanIt components ( and
    maybe one of the exporting libraries ) couldn't have been bundled for the
    same price as it would have made number 9 an upgrade that I would have
    thought worth it. Your upgrade price is now more than the new price of the
    competitor, while your features are falling behind.
    XML report format - just to add a vote for this in a future release. ( again
    as per the competition )

    I admire Reportbuilder, its an amazing product that has so much depth, but
    it seems to have rested on its laurels for too long and now looks very
    expensive for what you get. I had hoped the move to Colorado would get
    things moving again and although it seems to have partly done that, it may
    be too little too late.

    Please prove me wrong,

    Phillip Herries
  • edited November 2004
    Sorry to say but we need something more...
    makes me further rethink to buy D2005 itself whatsoever (the availability of
    RB in D2005/win32/net would be the reason)
    it seems that VS.Net is getting more attractive by the minute...
    please say that there is more to be expected....

  • edited November 2004
    Cary Moore wrote:

    OK, ignore this, it would appear ppGIFImage is a part of the RAP

  • edited November 2004
    Well, folks!
    I think the upgrade prices were a little too high for me. Upgrading from D7
    to D2k5 costs a lot, and together with upgrading of the tools like RB it
    will be somewhere between 3 and 4 thousand bucks. When this happens once a
    I think that for the time beeing I am staying with D7, untill D2k5 has
    proven to be usefull as D8 not wasted :-(
    Kind regards
  • edited November 2004
    I agree! The added features are not worth the upgrade price.

  • edited November 2004
    I agree with others in this thread, the limited set of features do not
    justify the high upgrade price. I was disappointed to see that this
    upgrade did not have any improvements to the crosstab component. I use D7
    with the Server version and I don't see any compelling reasons to upgrade.


  • edited November 2004
    Go to agree with that .... $499 hhmmmm.....

    "Terry Haan"
  • edited November 2004
    Is there an example of RB9 ?
    I would like to test the new featuers of the Report Builder Designer
    Enhancements. These are the only things i am interested in.
    But because of i workj with the RB7 Enterprise, i don't like to install the
    TRIAL of RB9 (maybe after installing the TRIAL, RB 7 gets corrupted)

    A compiled demo would be nice ....


  • edited November 2004
    > Digital Metaphors Corporation announces the release of ReportBuilder 9!

    This is very good news.

    I would like to see some form of demonstration EXE of some of the new

    (I don't want to do a multimegabyte download and install of a trial only to
    find the samples do not show off the new features.)

    Some comments on new features :-

    I couldn't see this on your webiste. What is a link to a page where that is

    I couldn't see this listed on your website. Do you have a link to a page
    where this is depicted? Do you have screenshots of what effects I can
    achieve? Even an animated GIF would show off the effects.

    This didn't seem to be listed as a feature when I looked at the Professional
    page. Perhaps it is on the Standard page?

    I bought a third party tool to do PDF output. It gave some guidelines for
    such output. Where are your guidelines so I now what to expect with your PDF

    Regards, Peter Evans
  • edited November 2004
    I too am a tad perplexed at the $499 cost of upgrade (server version)
    Perhaps they're learning a few tricks from Wise.

    I'm not about to jump ship (although I already have a copy of FastReports),
    but I'm
    not sure that shelling out $499 is going to happen either.

    I'd love to see the new features in an exe demo .... and then see if its
    even close
    to being justified.


  • edited November 2004
    Hi Peter,

    The Learning ReportBuilder application is a stand-alone .exe however it will
    only give you a very limited idea of what was added to ReportBuilder 9.
    This can be downloaded from the following link.

    If you would like to see the entire product in action, please take a look at
    one of the trial editions of ReportBuilder 9.


    Nico Cizik
    Digital Metaphors

    Best Regards,

    Nico Cizik
    Digital Metaphors
  • edited November 2004
    I also would like to see an executable demo that includes the new

  • edited November 2004

    Digital Metaphors is extremely excited and proud to release ReportBuilder 9.
    We would like to invite all developers to please take the time to evaluate
    this major new release. Apparently we are suffering from poor marketing
    here, because the release itself is fantastic. :)

    With the exception of the negativity found here on the newsgroups, the
    response to the release has exceeded our expectations.

    Below is more detailed information about the release and answers to some
    questions and comments that have been posted on this thread. Going forward
    we will try to create better marketing materials. Again, we invite and
    encourage all developers to spend some time with the trial version prior to
    passing judgement.

    ReportBuilder 9 includes substantial improvements to most of the core areas
    of the product. Every improvement and feature has been carefully chosen
    based upon the feedback provided by the developer community.

    The feature set is designed to appeal to developers moving to Delphi 2005
    and to developers that choose to stay with Delphi 7 or Delphi 6.

    The feature set is designed to benefit every developer and end-user that
    uses the product.

    Keep in mind that a single feature, such as the Report Designer mutiple
    undo/redo support, can require an incredible amount of thought, design and
    implementation. Personally I think this feature alone is worth upgrading.

    While some customers may have add-on products that overlap some of the new
    features, the overwhelmingly feedback that we receive from our customer base
    is that there are specific features that they view as core features that
    should be part of the product. We consistently receive requests for these
    features day in and day out.

    Understandably, we were unable to add every feature that customer's
    requested. Our apologies to those of you who are disappointed about not
    seeing a requested feature added.

    About Delphi 5
    Digital Metaphors only has the resources to support the latest 3 versions of
    Delphi. With each version the VCL has internal modifications that make it
    difficult to port the code backwards and get it working. That is why there
    is no RB Server Edition for D5. The number of customers using D5 is now
    quite small, with many of those looking to update to D2005.

    About .NET
    ReportBuilder 9 for VCL is a native Win32 product.

    A ReportBuilder for VCL.NET product has been shelved, just prior to
    completion. There are no plans to release it unless the VCL.NET platform can
    prove itself capable of building non-trivial applications. Digital Metaphors
    will not release a product that cannot perform up to our expectations and
    the anticipated expectations of developers and end-users. Thus far we have
    seen little demand for VCL.NET. We will continue to evaluate VCL.NET going

    A ReportBuilder for pure .NET is being developed for the longer term future.

    The real strength of .NET is remoting and ASP.NET. We are considering and
    researching the possibility of a hybrid solution that enables Win32 based
    reports to be viewed using ASP.NET code and possibly WinForms code.

    Delphi 2005 Support
    ReportBuilder 9 introduces Delphi 2005 support. Properly supporting Delphi
    2005 is not a trivial task. Modifications to the code have been made to
    support the Delphi 2005 IDE and to support modifications to the VCL. A
    stable, professional, high performance release requires more work than a
    successful compilation of the underlying source code. In addition all of the
    online help (ReportBuilder, RAP, RB Server) has been converted from WinHelp
    to HTML Help 2. Please browse our new help and enjoy - the creation of the
    help system alone requires hundreds of man hours of work.

    Support Services
    ReportBuilder 9 includes Digital Metaphors continued technical support and
    maintenance releases. Digital Metaphors engineers spend many hours each week
    helping customers solve problems, creating examples, and patching code.

    Designer Enhancements

    The Report Designer has been substantially improved, internally and
    externally. The most requested and most powerful new feature is the addition
    of multiple undo/redo support. This one feature raises the useability of the
    product exponentially and will be enjoyed by every user. The new object
    inspector provides a professional, attractive, and welcomed new interfaced
    for editing component properties. Component properties are displayed in
    carefully chosen categories. The workspace rendering technology has been
    rewritten to improved performance and support the rendering of a the new
    layout grid. The granularity of the grid is adjustable, snap-to-grid
    functionality can be turned off and on. The rendering technology for
    selecting, resizing, and dragging components has also been rewritten. The
    performance of dragging multiple components is substantially improved.
    Dragging and resizing operations are faster and smoother, flicker is
    minimized. Objects rendered in the workspace have a clean new look as do the
    selection and sizing handles. The toolbar and tool windows have been
    re-architected. Visually you will notice the tool windows provide a more
    professional look and improved docking performance.

    Report Component Library (RCL) Enhancements

    The text based controls (Label, DBText, Variable, SystemVariable, and
    DBCalc) have a new angle property that enables them to be rotated 360
    degrees. Autosize and text alignment are both supported. We recieved
    constant request for this feature from the developer community and constant
    negative feedback that the freeware rotated label component did not work
    properly and was unusable. A new border property for all basic controls
    supports specifying whether a border is drawn, upon which sides of the
    control the border appears, the color, pattern and line thickness of the
    border. A new toolbar button on the format bar provides a convenient drop
    down palette that can be used to control the border appearance. A new
    Anchors property enables a control to reposition itself in response to the
    change in height and width of its parent (band or region). For example, a
    control that is anchored to the right edge of the page can reposition itself
    if the paper width changes or the orientation changes from portrait to
    landscape. A control that is anchored to the bottom of a band can reposition
    itself when the band height changes. This is supported at design-time and
    run-time. A new toolbar button on the format bar provides quick access to a
    drop down palette for visually specifying anchors. The new PageBreak control
    provides control over pagination. The control can either be positioned in
    the z-order amongst static sized controls, or can be assigned a
    ShiftRelative relationship with dynamic stretching controls such as
    subreports or memos. One of the most requested features was to enhance the
    RichText mail merge support. The RichText editor has a new tool panel that
    appears on the right side. The datapipelines and fields are displayed in a
    treeview allowing for easy selection of fields from all available data
    sources. Selecting a field displays a set of display formats appropriate for
    the field datatype. Custom formats can also be added. Simply click the Add
    Field button to insert the merge tag into the text. Internally the
    architecture for the component design-time controls and the component popup
    menus has been completely re-architected to provide separation of the
    design-time related code and the report engine code. This means that
    applications that do include the end-user designer will no longer be linking
    in component design-time code that is never used. The component design
    controls and popup menus are now registered as separate entities. This
    enables you, for example, to create a custom popup menu and register it to
    replace the default popup menu associated with a specified component class.
    New report level events have been added to enabled better control over
    parameter initialized, custom ask at runtime support, dynamic sql generation
    and the ability to cancel a report after displaying a custom dialog.

    Report Output Enhancements
    PDF export has become a core feature requested and demanded by our customer
    base. ReportBuilder 9 adds built-in support for PDF. Support for the new
    text rotation and border features has been added to all applicable output

    Data Access Enhancements
    The datapipelines now support GUID field types and provide support for GUID
    data linking. A new Guid Collation type has been added to the linking
    functionality. Guid Collation Types for SQL Server, MS Access, GUID, and
    String based collations are supported.

    Report Engine Enhancements
    The report engine has been enhanced to support calculations that are
    performed in the Footer band and to automatically detect invalid layouts
    that result in infinite page generation. These are two of the most frequent
    tech support issues and enhancements requested by customers. In addition,
    most of the RCL enhancements require the report engine to be modified.

    DADE Enhancements
    The DataSetting dialog has been re-orgainzed to include a Connection and SQL
    tab. Support for GUID data field linking has been added. A new SQLBuilder
    class has been added to provide a simple intuitive run-time interface for
    performing dynamic SQL manipulation. The SQLBuilder is documented in the
    online help file. The 4,000 lines of new source code that comprise the
    SQLBuilder class and its helper classes reside in daSQLBuilder.pas. Here is
    an example of using the SQLBuilder:

    lSQLBuilder := TdaSQLBuilder.Create(Report.DataPipeline);

    lSQLBuilder.SearchFields.AddAutoSearch('Customer', 'Company', 'Like',


    RAP Enhancements
    The most frequent requests for improving RAP are all related to initializing
    the report by preparing parameters, displaying custom dialogs, dynamically
    modifying SQL, and optionally cancelling a report from RAP code. All of
    these tasks can be elegantly handled via RAP by utilizing the new Report
    level events and the new SQLBuilder class.

    EndUser Guide Enhancements
    A new Learning to RAP Guide is now available. It contains a set of tutorials
    designed to teach end-users how to use RAP to perform calculations and
    dynamically control visual aspects of the report while it is generating.
    Both the Learning ReportBuilder and Learning to RAP applications have been
    compiled using ReportBuilder 9 and thus incorporate all of the latest

    ReportBuilder is a large and complex product. The product, documentation,
    examples, and support provided by Digital Metaphors is second to none. The
    modest prices we charge are an incredible value for the customer.

    Nard Moseley
    Digital Metaphors Corporation

    Best regards,

    Nard Moseley
    Digital Metaphors
  • edited November 2004
    OK .... I'm in .
  • edited November 2004
    We just ordered updates too.
    Nice to see some focus on the visual part too, since that is very important
    to many of our customers.

  • edited November 2004
    Thanks Nard,

    I agree with the Undo/Redo. It seems like every one of our customers
    requests this feature.

    I would really like to see an executable demo describing all the new
    features though. Steema/TeeChart really does a great job with this. I am
    interested in the SQLBuilder but I really don't know when and where to use

    Thanks again.

  • edited November 2004
    Hi Nard,

    I don't think anyone can argue about the amount of time and effort that
    has gone into producing RB9, I think it's more a reflection on what is
    percieved as high upgrade cost. RB9 is great for new sales but not so
    great for your current customer base who have spent addition money on
    third party products.

    We bought RB7E on 31st May so missed the Free update by 60ish days,
    previous major releases had a better graduated upgrade cost than is
    being offered at the moment.

    Having tested RB7 with D2005 all our reports work ok but I've found a
    problem with the End-User Designer in that the explorer works okay but
    the application produces an exception on exit if the Designer has been
    used, this happens in our applications and also in the RB7 EUR demo.

    So we're faced with

    a) Investigating the issue and stay with RB7 if it can be fixed (but
    losing RAP capabilities),
    b) Upgrade to RB9 and potentially have to upgrade Gnostice if
    eDocEngine 1.1 doesn't work with RB9 (I know it works with D2005/RB7)
    c) Staying with D7!

    Moving to another product is not an option as we spent a lot of time
    evaluating different products prior to selecting RB and we've since
    spent a lot of time and effort integrating RB into our products.

    None of the options appeal and that's why I'm just venting off as b)
    seems to be the only viable option and I feel I'm being held to ransom

  • edited November 2004
    Hello Nard,

    First of all i want to thank you guys for all the great support over all
    these years.
    Of course it's a lot of money to upgrade but i think it's still worth the
    If there are bugs they are fixed fast or a workaround is being given. The
    undo-redo is my favorite option,
    the pdf also, no need for pragnaan anymore.
    Still some thinks i need: a checkbox component for instance, from you guys i


  • edited November 2004
    You are still going to need 3rd party PDF for a while....or at least I am..

    The current version evidently cannot output to a stream. Also, we own two
    PDF products as neither one of them handle output perfeclty - especially
    when it come to SMALL size pdf and RichText merged fields - and both of
    these products have been around for a long time. So, I imagine the RB one
    is going to have a few of these same issues - which I will help them sort
    out of course.. :-)

    Regardless of price and features - in the end we have such an investment in
    the product and really have no choice but to upgrade if we want to move

    I will say one thing though - the Support provided by Nard and others is
    SECOND TO NONE - and I for one really appreciate that and the price alone is
    worth the support we get.


  • edited November 2004
    I think the update is worth every cent of the 499.- I find all my major
    wishes and recent questions to support addressed.
    Everybody who as an idea what programming and doing QA and doc means, has to
    admit this.

    Compliments to DM - no complains from my side.

    Bernd Maierhofer
    dato Denkwerkzeuge, Vienna, Europe
This discussion has been closed.