In this post I’m writing about how to prompt users about the expiry dates of products without the use of any hardware (sensors). In this example, expiry dates are stored in the database and the user is prompted (based on configurable settings) that a product has some set days to expiry.

A very big assumption is made here

  • 1. Products purchased first, are sold first
  • 2. Quantity of products bought in one purchase have the same expiry date. For example, if you are buying 30 cartons of milk, the expiry date of all the cartons are the same

Now, lets go on with the design. We are using three (3) tables for our design namely, products table, purchase table and purchasedetail table. Note that the columns of the tables are just for the purpose of the expiry dates implementation

1) Products Table

ProductID ProductName Unitprice UnitsInStock

2)Purchase Table

PurchaseID SupplierID DatePurchased EmployeeID

3) PurchaseDetails Table

PurchaseID ProductID QuantityBought UnitPrice ExpiryDate

What we will be doing here is, we record the expiry date of a products when making the purchase. thus one product can have as many expiry dates as possible in the purchase details table based on the purchases made.

Note:when products are purchased , the quantity bought is added to the unitsinstock in the products table. Also when sales are made the neccesary deductions are made.

To prompt for expiry dates the key columns we will be using are the “unitsinStock” column in “products” table and the “quantitybought” column in “purchasedetails” table.

First we write a query to select records from the purchase details table. we select products with expiry dates greater than today and within the range of today + the set number of days to remind user

Example “select * from purchasedetails where Expirydates > today() and expirydate<=enddate” (enddate=today + the set number of days to give prompt)

Form the list of record (s) selected, using a loop , we first compare the last purchase record’s(purchaseID is auto generated number, so the highest PurchaseID value) quantity bought with the quantity in stock of that product.

IF the quantity bought (purchases details) is greater than the units in stock (products) , prompt that the number of that product(using units in stock) is expiring. You can add the date the purchase was made, from which of suppliers and the employee that handled the transaction from the Purchases table to the prompt and you end.

ELSE IF the units in stock (product) is greater than quantity bought (purchases details), this time prompt with the quantity bought as the number of products expiring. Then subtract the quantity bought from the units in stock with the remainder becoming the units in stock. mathematically unitsinstock=unitsinstock-quantitybought. Then move the the next  purchase record from the list.The loop start again.

Note: another termination condition is you can loop until the unitinstock is less or equal to zero.

Note: you can build a string of the prompts in the loop and show it after the loop

Please let me have your comments……….


Hi developers or do i say hi programmers….., anyway hi all. One thing we have to know is that its not all about writing codes, testing application or doing the technical stuff that will help us improve our career. A lot is needed alongside;knowing how to mingle with your team, marketing your products; why don’t you stop reading those technical books this holidays and try your hands on any of these books from the pragmatic bookshelf and I bet you will never regret it

Just ebay for these books.

1. practices-of-an-agile-developer-working-in-the-real-world-pragmatic-programmers.



5.The Pragmatic Programmer, From Journeyman To Master

Happy happy Xmas and prosperous new year. May the Lord Almighty help us to be wise, fair, and kind in all our affairs. Stay blessed


Crystal reports can be created in .Net applications with different data sources including using database tables, stored procedures, typed datasets and also without a data source.

In this article we are going through how to create a crystal report for the first time using database tables as the datasource.

1. You have to create your windows project in using VS 2005. After creating the project, right on then project name in the solution explorer, select “add” and then “add new” as shown below.


2. In the add new dialog box, select “crystal Report” and name it, and then click on the add button.


3. You will be presented with the “crystal report gallery” dialog, choose “using the report wizard” and click on ok


4.In the choose data source dialog, go to the “ Create New Connection” node and then select the “OLE DB(ADO)” sub node.


4. You will then be required to provide the database connection information. Slect the “Microsoft OLE DB provider for SQL server” and click on the next button


5. Here you provide the database logon parameters


6. After successfully connecting to the database, you then select the table (s) you want to display its content on your report


6. After selecting the table(s) you select the actual columns you want to displayimage

7. After choosing the columns you will display, you can click on next to choose the columns for grouping and then for filtering, and then finally you choose the format to display your report.


8. After you have finished designing your report, you then drag a “crystal reports viewer” onto your form.


Then create a code under the form load event to show your report on for load

Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        ‘create a new report document 
        ‘and load the report from its source
        ‘use Application.StartupPath to get the address of your report fro deployment issues
        Dim rpd As New ReportDocument
        Me.CrystalReportViewer1.ReportSource = rpd

    End Sub

    ‘for deployment issues make sure the database paramaters are encrypted
    ‘and saved in the mysettings class

Private Sub SetDBLogonForReport(ByVal myReportDocument As ReportDocument)
       Dim myConnectionInfo As ConnectionInfo = New   ConnectionInfo()
       myConnectionInfo.DatabaseName = "datalinkDB"
       myConnectionInfo.UserID = "sa"
       myConnectionInfo.Password = "qwerty"
       myConnectionInfo.ServerName = "localhost"
       myConnectionInfo.IntegratedSecurity = "false"
       Dim myTables As Tables = myReportDocument.Database.Tables
       For Each myTable As  CrystalDecisions.CrystalReports.Engine.Table In myTables
           Dim myTableLogonInfo As TableLogOnInfo = myTable.LogOnInfo
           myTableLogonInfo.ConnectionInfo = myConnectionInfo
   End Sub

Below is a picture when the application is run



Sometimes in web applications (ASP.NET) we prefer printing a window without some controls that appear on the interface. For example, printing a window by clicking on a print button without showing the print button on the printed document. In this example we are printing a student’s results without showing the Print and the close buttons.

To start, we place the two control in a DIV control.Drag the “DIV” control from the HTML controls section. Name the DIV control by giving a value to ID property as shown below. Place the print and close button in the DIV control.


Note that in creating ASP.NET applications, there are two types of source codes, the VB/C# source code and the HTML code. First we create a script to hide the DIV control as shown below. In the script below the “dv1” is the ID value of the DIV control

Add this script to the HTML source

   1: <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">

   2:    function hidePrint(){

   3:     document.getElementById("dv1").style.display='none';

   4:     window.print();

   5:     window.close();

   6:             }

   7: </script>

Note that the script should be in between the <head></head> tag of the html source code

Select the print button and go to the html source code and add the onclick property . The value of the onclick property should be the created javascript function (named hidePrint()). The button’s html code should look like the one below after the addition of the onclick property

   1: <input type="button" id="Button1" runat="server" 

   2: value="Print" class="fltbutton"  style="width:60px" 

   3: onclick="javascript:hidePrint();" />

This is all you have to do and you are good to go.

Below is a window showing the student’s results and the Print and the Close Button


What is printed after clicking on the “print” button




Due to flexibility in creating reports with some tools in the .NET framework , using PrintDocument() class in creating reports is fading out. But sometimes you don’t have a choice but to use it. For instance creating reports without any predefined data source or generating reports where needed columns are determined at runtime.

In this post we will go through creating a report using the PrintDocument. Our datasoure will also come from a listview which contains a list of file types and their sizes from an indexed drive. When using the report document everything is drawn to the report interface, thus you draw a string, an image,a line. the difficulty in here also is, you yourself determine at runtime where your text, lines and images should be positioned

To start with, first drag a PrintPreviewDialog control on your form. The control is named “PrintPreview1”.


Then go to the code view and create  your procedure below.

Private Sub detaildisksreport_PrintPage(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Drawing.Printing.PrintPageEventArgs)
        Dim linesPerPage As Single = 0
        Dim yPos As Single = 0
        Static count As Integer = 0
        Dim x, y, c, i As Integer
        Dim leftMargin As Single = e.MarginBounds.Left
        Dim topMargin As Single = e.MarginBounds.Top

        ‘declaring fonts to use in your reports
        Dim backFont As New Font("Arial", 10, FontStyle.Italic)
        Dim HeaderFont As New Font("Arial", 20, FontStyle.Bold)
        Dim normfont As New Font("Times New Roman", 18, FontStyle.Regular)

        ‘ Calculate the number of lines per page.
        linesPerPage = e.MarginBounds.Height / normfont.GetHeight(e.Graphics)

        ‘x determines the horizontal positions whiles y determines the vertical position

        ‘ Drawing an image on top of the report
        Dim b As Rectangle
        Dim pic As New Rectangle(40, 5, pic1.Width + 40, pic1.Height + 40)
        e.Graphics.DrawImage(pic1.Image, pic)

        ‘drawing a line around the image
        b = New Rectangle(40, 5, pic1.Width + 40, pic1.Height + 40)
        e.Graphics.DrawRectangle(Pens.Black, b)

        linesPerPage = e.MarginBounds.Height / normfont.GetHeight(e.Graphics)
        linesPerPage = linesPerPage – 5

        ‘ Drawing our report titles
        x = 190
        y = pic1.Height + 70

        e.Graphics.DrawString("DETAIL DRIVE REPORT", HeaderFont, Brushes.Black, x, y)

        y += 40
        x = 25
        e.Graphics.DrawString(" FOLDERS ON DRIVE :  " & Me.cmbCat.SelectedItem.ToString.ToUpper, HeaderFont, Brushes.Black, x, y)
        y += 40
        x = 10
        e.Graphics.DrawString("REPORT GENERATED ON " & Now.ToLongDateString.ToUpper, HeaderFont, Brushes.Black, x, y)
        y += 10
        x = 5

        e.Graphics.DrawLine(Pens.Black, 5, y + 30, 820, y + 30)
        x = 10
        y += 60
        c = y

        e.Graphics.DrawString("FOLDER NAME", HeaderFont, Brushes.Blue, x, y)
        x += 260

        e.Graphics.DrawString("NUMBER OF FILES", HeaderFont, Brushes.Blue, x, y)
        x += 330

        e.Graphics.DrawString("FOLDER SIZE", HeaderFont, Brushes.Blue, x, y)

        e.Graphics.DrawLine(Pens.Black, 5, y + 30, 820, y + 30)

        x = 33
        y = c + 40

        i = 0
        ‘adding the content to the report
        For i = count To Me.LsvCDs.Items.Count – 1

            Dim len As Integer
            If LsvCDs.Items.Item(i).SubItems(0).Text.Length > 25 Then
                len = 25
                len = LsvCDs.Items.Item(i).SubItems(0).Text.Length
            End If

            e.Graphics.DrawImage(Me.SmallImages.Images(0), 15, y + 2)

            e.Graphics.DrawString(Me.LsvCDs.Items.Item(i).SubItems(0).Text.Substring(0, len), normfont, Brushes.Blue, x, y)
            x += 400
            e.Graphics.DrawString(Me.LsvCDs.Items.Item(i).SubItems(1).Text, normfont, Brushes.Blue, x, y)
            x += 220
            e.Graphics.DrawString(Me.LsvCDs.Items.Item(i).SubItems(2).Text, normfont, Brushes.Blue, x, y)

            ‘setting the y value to point to the next line
            ‘reseting the x value to the margin
            y += 30
            x = 33

            ‘checking to see if the current page is full
            If y + normfont.Height > e.PageSettings.PaperSize.Height Then
                count = i + 1
                e.HasMorePages = True

            End If

        count = 0
        e.HasMorePages = False
    End Sub

Also add the code below to a button click event and you are good to go.

   1: Dim pd As New PrintDocument()

   2: 'adding the print method created to the printdocument printpage event

   3: AddHandler pd.PrintPage, AddressOf disksreport_PrintPage


   5: 'passing the print doucument to the PrintPreviewDialog

   6: PrintPreview1.Document = pd

   7: PrintPreview1.ShowDialog()

Below are sample interfaces, using printDocument to generate reports




It is a common requirement in many J2SE (client,swing) applications to present data in a tabular way and also print this tabular format as a report.

Jasper reports provides implementation that makes the task of generating reports from tabular formats simple in Swing
applications. In this demonstrations, we will be using Jasper reports 3.6.1, Netbeans 6.1 and Ireport 3.6.1.

Let start by designing our report. In generating reports from tablemodels the report fields must match the column names of the tablemodel, but sometimes it becomes impractical to use the actual column names as report fields. Jasper Reports provides a way to generate reports from TableModels without having to map the actual table columns to the report fields. We can name our
report fields COLUMN_X, where x is the column index, starting with zero. Note “COLUMN” all characters should be capitals as “column” will give you error message at run time.

Also in case you have 3 columns in your table and you define a report field “COLUMN_4” , which is for column 5, null values will be displayed for each row in the report under that field. To prevent null values from displaying in a text field you can edit the expression for that field e.g. (($F{COLUMN_4}==null)? "":$F{COLUMN_4}.toString()), which means if the if the value of $F{COLUMN_4} is null ,display nothing else display the value. To do this, right click the text field and select “edit expression”, an expression editor will pop up for you to change the expression.

Below is a picture of our report at design time


After creating our report, we go to our application (using Netbeans as the IDE), we add a JTable and a JButton to our JFrame. We the create a method which accepts  the table model to create the report, tbProducts is the name of the Jtable. Check to see how to populate a list of javabean object to a Jtable

private void generateReports(String name, Map param) {
        try {

      String source = "C:/sabonay/jasperreports/" + name + ".jrxml";
            if (new File(source).exists() == false) {
      xputils.showMessage("Please go to setting and Choose report Source");

JasperReport jasperReport = JasperCompileManager.compileReport(source);
JasperPrint jasperPrint = JasperFillManager.fillReport(jasperReport, param, new JRTableModelDataSource(tbProducts.getModel()));

            JasperViewer.viewReport(jasperPrint, false);

        } catch (Exception e) {
            System.out.println("reports Error  " + e.toString());


Cheers !!!


If you want to insert images from the file system (e.g. C:\images folder) into jasper reports at runtime, for example changing a logo depending on user selection or simply allowing the user to browse for his or her image to be displayed  in the report then here is a simple process of doing that.

Let start with the report design using ireport. In this instance the picture will be passed to the report as a parameter.

So let’s create a parameter in our report and call it “photo”


As shown in the picture above, the data type of our parameter should be “java.lang.Object”

After this, drag the image , from the tool bar, on to your report.Right click on the image and choose “Properties” from the menu


Under the image tab of the dialog box, make sure you select “java.awt.image” for the Image Expression Class. Once this is done, you are done with the report design

Lets go to netbeans , do some coding and connect our designed report to a java application.

First we need to declare a variable of type image,

Image photo;

Also we create a method , which on click of a button, loads a picture from the file system and initializes the “photo: variable.

JFileChooser fc = new JFileChooser();

private void getPicture() {

fc.setFileFilter(new FileNameExtensionFilter("Images", "jpg", "gif", "bmp"));

if (fc.showOpenDialog(this) == JFileChooser.APPROVE_OPTION) {


ImageIcon icon = new ImageIcon(fc.getSelectedFile().getAbsolutePath());

icon = new ImageIcon(icon.getImage().getScaledInstance(350, 350, Image.SCALE_DEFAULT));

photo = icon.getImage();


After getting our picture, create an instance of the Map class and pass our “variable” as a parameter.

Map<String, Object> param = new HashMap<String, Object>();

param.put("photo", photo); //the “photo” should be the same name as the parameter name in our report

We then create a method that passes our created parameter to the report and we are done. below is the method that does the job.

private void generateReports(String name, Map param) {

try {

String source = "C:/sabonay/jasperreports/" + name + ".jrxml";

if (new File(source).exists() == false) {

xputils.showMessage("Please  report Source does not exist");



JasperReport jasperReport = JasperCompileManager.compileReport(source);

JasperPrint jasperPrint = JasperFillManager.fillReport(jasperReport, param, new JREmptyDataSource());

JasperViewer.viewReport(jasperPrint, false);

//the false parameter makes sure the application does not close on closing the report

} catch (Exception e) {

System.out.println("reports Error " + e.toString());


Make sure to reference the necessary jasper jar files in your application