Genii Weblog

I double-dog dared myself

Thu 2 Jul 2009, 10:46 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Many of you are probably sick to death of iFidelity, unless you are some of the ones who have gotten your free Business Partner license or those who are evaluating it.  Nonetheless, I bet this will still impress you - it practically knocked my socks off.

A customer wrote in today, asking whether iFidelity would allow him to send a table with computed image resources as cell backgrounds in several different cells.  I'm still researching that, but while I was testing with image resources and such, I happened upon the Report It! sample db which I created for our Midas Rich Text LSX years ago (and blogged about five years ago), and I decided to dare myself.  What would happen if I sent these highly complex rich text reports through the mail using iFidelity?  Watch and see (I only show the results for one report, but would be happy to show any of the other three - the results are equally or more compelling).

Vertical Bar Chart - As created by the Midas Rich Text LSX, this is a series of image resources sized to different heights.  The total number of units sold per state is shown at the top of each bar, and if you click on the bar or mouse over it, the invoice quantity is shown (I clicked on PA for this image):

Original rich text report

Vertical Bar Chart forwarded to Gmail using native Notes 8 client rendering - I kid you not, this is all that comes through:

Notes 8 client rendering

Vertical Bar Chart forwarded to Gmail using native Notes 8.5 client rendering - Better, but not very useful or attractive, and still missing invoice totals:

Notes 8.5 client rendering

Vertical Bar Chart forwarded to Gmail using iFidelity rendering - Looks virtually identical, and the mouseover still works:

iFidelity rendering to Gmail

Vertical Bar Chart forwarded to Outlook using iFidelity rendering - Looks virtually identical

iFidelity rendering to Outlook

For those familiar with the Report It! sample, similar results were found for the Horizontal Bar chart, the nested tabbed table report and the Top Five report.

Copyright 2009 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

833.1. Richard Shergold
(07/03/2009 08:28 AM)

Hi Ben. That's very impressive! Richard

833.2. Rodney Scott
(07/07/2009 03:59 AM)

Bear with me, as I'm probably confused, but a friend of mine recently complained that she had to find a help desk system to replace the Quickr because she could not, within that system, create bar charts of tasks completed. Do you offer a product I should be suggesting?

833.3. Ben Langhinrichs
(07/07/2009 04:46 AM)

@Rodney - A fair question, and the answer is, sadly, "No!" It is a bit like if your friend needed a house, and I could offer a wonderful box of tools, but nothing else. Certainly, somebody could use Midas to build bar charts, but only with a fair amount of work, and it likely wouldn't be the best way to build them. It would probably be more efficient to build something using Symphony or OpenOffice or Excel or something. Remember, I wrote this sample to show the versatility of Midas in rich text five or six years ago, but while it is versatile, it is not the answer to all problems, and it certainly doesn't sound like the answer to your friend's problem Sorry!