SimpleCube has been created using Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7. The benefits of this IDE are its RAD design as well as easy access to core Windows functionality. RAD Studio XE7 also allows for relatively easy cross compilation to the win64 platform.
A number of third party components are also used:
- FastCube VCL 2 from FastReports
- FastScript from FastReports
- TMS Component Pack from TMS Software
- FlexCel for VCL from TMS Software
- TeeChart for VCL from Steema Software
- and many personal components
The underlying UI design is MDI with each type of component (grid, chart, statistics, dashboard) having its own window. This works well for a few items, but can get over-crowded when there are multiple grids, charts and the like, so a second display option is to use a tabbed interface with each component on its own tab. The tabbed interface also gives more screen pace for each component.
Currently, there is no option to create printed reports as we have implemented export to Excel format (via TMS Flexcel). This tool could ultimately provide report templates if required. Dashboards can be "printed" using the separate viewer program. The printout is a series of pages with one dashboard tab per page.
Model files are compressed and store the data as a series of streams. Each component (grid, chart, statistics, dashboard) resides in its own stream and JSON format is used for storing most of the properties and settings. We use JSON where possible to help "future-proof" the file format. One of our longer term strategies is to get every property stored using JSON so that models could even be read using web-based interfaces.
RAD Studio XE7 can cross-compile to the Mac OSX platform and should there be sufficient interest from customers, we can certainly look to develop a Mac version.