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Draft reports in Liferay

Draft mode in Liferay

Here is one of the most useful enhancement of Visioneo PE 2.1: Draft & Pending versions of Liferay documents are natively supported!

As you can see below when a portal user needs to change a BIRT report-design through Liferay by using a "checkout", it is locked for other users and a draft version is created. In this case, previous Visioneo versions always display the latest "Approved" report version and ignore the "Draft" version.  Now a new property allows to choose for each portlet window if  draft reports should be taken into consideration!

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This new preference can be found in "Advanced" tab. By default it is unchecked, which means a Visioneo window still display the latest approved versions of BIRT reports. Most of the time we will want to enable the draft mode in a private portal page, in order to check if a new version of a report runs finely in a production context before publishing it. This way even if we made a deployment mistake such a missing dependency or a wrong datasource connection, this won't affect all pages using the latest approved version of the report !

It also means we can fully take advantage of Liferay Workflow with BIRT reports. If you enable a workflow on a portal folder containing report-designs, each time a report  is checked-in the status is changed from "Draft" to "Pending" and a notification is triggered. Then, assigned users can validate it in a Visioneo portlet window set in "Draft mode" before approving or rejecting the workflow task!

Furthermore working with a report having a draft status is very convenient even in a development context, because Liferay won't create a new version each time we update it: when  a new report is being designed in Eclipse IDE we oftenly want to preview it in a portal context, so we upload it dozens of times in a short period. The draft mode allows to work with a unique "PWC" draft version , until the report is approved!

From version 2.2, a banner is displayed above reports when draft mode is turned on. Thus we can't leave this preference enabled by mistake on a community page:

External parameters in draft mode

In hypertree-draft sample page, the Background parameter is only available in the working version of the report. From Visioneo 2.2 we can address this case by switching external parameter windows to draft mode and then display new report parameters before they are approved! Notice the small information icon on the top right corner of this parameter.

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