IA Report Builder 2.0 – April 2021 Release Notes

A major new version of InstantAtlas Report Builder (version 2.0.0) is just around the corner! 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.

Charting

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.

Mapping

Maps in report Builder 2.0 now use version 4 of the ArcGIS JavaScript API. This gives you a better user experience when using the maps and also opens up a variety of new mapping features for you to use in your reports. If you ever wanted to see your areas in 3D, now’s your chance!

Accessibility

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 alterate 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!).

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. For a limited time we will keep Report Builder 1 available so that you can compare “old” with “new” views of your reports. 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.

Creating Reports

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

Custom Area Reporter allows users to generate reports with data aggregations for their own custom selection of areas. Version 2.0 is a complete rewrite and comes with an upgraded user interface for a better user experience, as well as new functionality to filter to pre-defined areas in the map.