TECH TIP: RAP Overview
Question: “What is RAP?”
RAP is Portable Code.
RAP is included with ReportBuilder Enterprise and allows you to store code with your reports. Until now, ReportBuilder’s powerful events have been available only within Delphi. If you wanted to load reports at runtime and retain any event handlers, you had to load the report into a form or datamodule which contained correctly named procedures in order to ensure that the loaded report “hooked up” successfully to the event handlers. Now, with RAP, you can code your event handlers within the Calc workspace and then save them as part of the report in an RTM file. When you load a report from an RTM or from a database, your event handlers are loaded as well and are already “hooked up”.
RAP is EndUser Programming.
RAP allows your users to create their own calculations with their reports. ReportBuilder’s award winning end user solution was already powerful, allowing your users to edit or create new reports, but RAP extends the solution by giving end users the ability to code their own event handlers and extended calculations. The Calc workspace is an Object Pascal development environment that is designed for ease of use by non-developers. The Code Explorer offers varied views of the report code module; the Code Editor is a syntax-sensitive Pascal editor; the Code Toolbox serves double duty, providing both a partial list of supported identifiers as well as a drag & drop code creation facility.
RAP is Scalable.
ReportBuilder allows you to scale RAP to the needs of your users. The Calc workspace has a great deal of functionality, but your users may not need all of it. You are able to limit RAP to those parts you wish to deploy. Using the RAPInterface and RAPOptions properties of the Designer component, you can specify what features to make available to the end user.
RAP is Object Pascal.
RAP is a subset of Object Pascal so you already know Report Application Pascal (RAP) and can easily support your users.
RAP is extensible.
RAP is extensible. RAP is installed with a large number of standard Delphi functions, Delphi objects and RCL (Report Component Library) objects already registered with the compiler and Code Toolbox. However, if you wish to register your own functions or objects, it is an easy process. Thus you can build a library of pass-through functions to deploy with your report applications.
RAP provides a simple, intuitive Pascal development environment. While you can use the Calc tab to add code to your reports, it is also made for the end user who may or may not have any experience in development environments. See the Calc workspace for information about the IDE.