Posts Tagged ‘webapp’


November 12th, 2010 3 comments

ReportXplorer is a web application that allows users to view and analyze Xilinx® reports
ReportXplorer user guide

There are several advantages of using ReportXplorer:

No installation: because it’s a web application, it doesn’t require installation. ReportXplorer uses Adobe Flash plug-in, which is already installed on most of the web browsers. The application can be used on any computer and in any operating system environment, including Mac OS and mobile devices.

Ease-of-use: It only takes two steps and a few seconds to open multiple Xilinx reports: enter the application URL in a browser, and navigate to reports within a “Load Reports” dialog.

Time-saver: Engineers spend a lot of valuable time opening and analyzing reports scattered in different directories on different machines. ReportXplorer helps reduce that time, and make the process more organized and productive.

Analytics: ReportXplorer parses reports and provides instant visual analytics that enables rapid comprehension of critical information, and can help find design problems. That is done much faster than by analyzing text-based reports, using existing tools, or running custom search scripts. Users can open multiple instances of the application in different browser tabs. That allows side by side comparison of report sections, analysis of trends between builds, or identifying potential problems such as new warnings or high logic utilization.

Security: the application has been developed with security as the most important requirement. ReportXplorer is inherently secure because it’s entirely client-based. No confidential design information contained in the reports is sent to the server. All the report processing is done locally on a client inside a web browser sandbox.

Fast response time: ReportXplorer is designed to allow customization and easy addition of new features. It’s a small application supported by a team of practicing logic designers and software engineers. Hence, the response time to add a new feature or fix a bug is fast. You don’t need to wait several months for the “next release”.

Use Cases: ReportXplorer can be used in the following cases and situations:

  • To provide more report viewing and analysis capabilities comparing to existing tools
  • To enable report viewing in a system that doesn’t have native tools installed, such as on a mobile device
  • To enable report viewing of a build that doesn’t have an associated Xilinx ISE project, for example builds from script
  • Side-by-side comparison of multiple reports opened in the same or different applications

  ReportXplorer is written using Adobe Flex and Action Script. Adobe Flex is a layer on top of Adobe Flash, and allows easy development of RIA (rich internet applications). There has been an interesting process of selecting the right technology for this application. We evaluated several options, including Microsoft Silverlight, several JavaScript libraries, and HTML5. Microsoft Silverlight is not well supported by OS other than Windows. Although HTML5 has all the features to do full client-based report processing, but it’s still an emerging technology with limited browser support. JavaScript doesn’t allow opening a file and processing it in a browser without sending it to the server first. This is a security measure. Adobe Flex was the best fit for meeting all the requirements.

  Another decision was not to make the application an open source. This is a relatively small application, and the associated management overhead to ensure good quality doesn’t worth it. Participating in development of the application requires good Adobe Flex programming skills, which are not as common as C/C++/Java. Also, Adobe Flex development tools are not free. At this moment [Nov 2010] the application is released as beta and free of charge. We reserve the right to charge a fee later on to cover development costs.

  That was a brief introduction. I’d like to encourage visitors to become active users of this tool, and to post comments with new feature requests, bug reports, or just leave a feedback.