A major new version of InstantAtlas Report Builder (version 2.0) is now available. Report Builder 2.0 is a complete redesign and rebuild of the application, keeping all that was good from version 1 whilst making the reports faster to load, easier to create, more responsive to different devices and more accessible to a range of users.
Architecture and Technologies
Reports now run entirely in your browser, connecting directly to ArcGIS Online to fetch data, layer and maps. This distributed model means that Report Builder can now load reports faster and more reliably by using the power of ArcGIS Online to fetch many datasets simultaneously rather than processing all of the data on one server. In other words, no more queues!
If your organisation uses ArcGIS Enterprise this direct connection means you will now find it easier to use your services in Report Builder 2.0.
Behind the scenes Report Builder has undergone a major technology overhaul – version 2.0 is built using modern, robust and widely-used technology platforms. As a user of Report Builder that means you’ll have a better experience when using the app and for us it means we can provide support, fix bugs and add new features much more effectively and quickly.
The charts in Report Builder 2.0 use a new, modern charting library. This gives much better interactivity, cleaner rendering, better labelling and much better scaling of the charts when compared to the old-style image based charts in Report Builder 1. We’ve also reviewed all the charts available (and added a couple of new ones) to make it as easy as possible to use the charts in your reports – much more detail is available in the widget help pages. We’ll be adding new blog posts here to help you with using the charts effectively.
Making websites accessible is an important part of providing information and data online. Report Builder 2.0 has accessibility built in using a variety of techniques to provide alternate views and user interaction to support as many end users as possible. More information on web accessibility is available at www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/ and keep a look out on this blog for an in-depth discussion on accessibility in Report Builder 2.0 (coming soon!).
The edit page user interface has been overhauled to make it easier to create and edit reports. As part of this widget settings have been reorganised into new groups and new “shortcuts” have been added for the most common widget setups.
Custom Area Reporter
The Custom Area Reporter app that allows users to select multiple areas for a report has also undergone a technology overhaul. The user interface has been upgraded and we have cleaned up some bugs from the previous version. We have also added new filtering to the map and improved the selection and saving of feature and geometry selections for future use.
National Data Service Integration
Report Builder is used internally by the InstantAtlas team to create and manage a suite of standard reports containing data from the National Data Service. Some of these reports contain a lot of data and widgets! By making them faster to load, we can streamline the processes of keeping these up to date with new content as part of our managed service.
Migration from Report Builder 1
Although the underlying technology has changed radically from Report Builder 1 to 2.0 we have worked hard to make sure your reports migrate automatically. The majority of reports will open without any problems but there are some changes – please view the dedicated migration page for a list of known issues. For a limited time we will keep Report Builder 1 available so that you can compare “old” with “new” views of your reports. During this time, you can access Report Builder 1 here to edit reports if you wish to do so.
Report Builder 2.0 Help
The help pages for Report Builder have been expanded to cover the settings for each and every widget and to document some of the more advanced features of the app. We have provided a series of tips for existing users when switching to using Report Builder 2.0.
Report Builder 2.0 supports the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, Firefox* and Safari. Support has been dropped for Internet Explorer 11.
* Firefox works fine for viewing reports however there is a known issue to do with scrolling when editing reports that have long pages.
To view version 2.0 reports for a range of different use cases visit the Report Builder Gallery.
If you have any queries related to this release, please contact the InstantAtlas team using firstname.lastname@example.org.