We stretched this release out a bit so that we could add two major new features: the Reporting Node and the Inception Node. Both are things we’ve wanted to add for quite a while, but other more pressing matters always got in the way.

Reporting Node

Generally speaking, people want to see some sort of graphical summary of their data. While there’s nothing stopping you from using the reporting tool of your choosing with Transdata, we’ve added a node that will export data directly to Zoho Reports. We chose Zoho for its ease of use, professional features, and availability of a free version.

Using the Reporting Node is easy. Simply connect the outputs of any nodes you want to send to the same Zoho Reports database, put in your account credentials, and run your model. Want to send data to multiple databases (or use multiple Zoho accounts)? No problem. Just use multiple Reporting Nodes. Data is sent every time you run your model, so your reports will always be up to date.

Inception Node

We went back and forth (we argued) on what to name this node for a couple weeks. Model Node was just confusing. Nesting Node tends to conjure up visions of horrible Excel formulas or IF statements. That’s not what’s happening here.

The Inception Node is a self-contained model-as-a-node. Build a model and save it as you normally would, then load it into a different model as a single node. You could think of it as a loadable module, or a black box, or just a way to tidy things up. It’s a great way to reduce the complexity of a large model. Break up the pieces into separate models and then load them as Inception Nodes.

When you run your model containing an Inception Node, the nested model receives input data, executes, and then sends output data back out into the parent model. If the nested model is saved with input data (and you don’t choose to overwrite it) it will be loaded and used as it normally would.

Other Stuff

  • More import options
  • Fixes to caching
  • Animations on nodes