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Re: Additional reports


  • Subject: Re: Additional reports
  • From: Vince Rowe <vrowe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 08:20:54 -0500

fixed

At 03:27 PM 1/28/1999 -0600, you wrote:
>We are running 6.0.02, C/S, plf., & March'98 cum tape and have been live
>since August 1, 1998.
>
>What I am wondering is what other BPCS support staff is doing for the
>reports that their users have requested.  Do you have a 3rd party product
>that lets the users do their own thing.  Letting the users do their own
>thing sure helps an understaffed IS team but that will probably cause me
>more work and headaches and wasted system resources in the long run.
>
>UserVision is slow and will not be further enhanced.  SSA will not give a
>date or statement of general direction on its replacement product.  
>Queries work to a point but are a system resource hog and not really user
>friendly.
>Tried to convert some of the User Vision reports to Access '97 but that
>definitely is not user friendly for most users.
>We have some Visual Basic experience on staff and I have VB5 Professional on
>my machine.
>I have also "played" some with ASNA's Visual RPG product and have the latest
>version installed.
>I have also talked to the mrc (michaels,ross, & cole) people about their
>Productivity Series.  It just violates the requirement that I not spend any
>more money.
>
>We have some alternatives but the problem is it all needed to be done months
>ago and here we are trying to recommend a course of action.
>
>Again, our IS team is trying to make a recommendation as to what direction
>we feel the company should take and of course, do not spend any more money.
><VBG>
>
>I am looking for some ideas of what other users are doing and what are the
>pluses and minuses of your approach.
>

Consider PERL (Practical Extraction and Report Language) together with the
ODBC extension.  We are live on 6.0.02 and have written numerous reports
with this combination rapidly and painlessly.  PERL rewrites of UV system
killers run in a tenth the time and produce *accurate* results.

PERL is Open Source freeware, so you wouldn't have to spend any money.  It
has been ported to nearly every operating system/platform imaginable so
that things you write on UNIX, for example, will run on WIN32 almost
without modification, system special stuff excepted.  PERL's report
formatting facilities are simple, obvious and powerful.  The language looks
a lot like C, but is a lot more forgiving and flexible.  Using another
language extension (TK), you can create dialog boxes, data entry boxes,
etc. that sit on the WIN95/98/NT desktop and look like real Windows
programs.  Poor man's Client/Server!

You will need WIN32 boxen for the users to run your creations and you will
have to learn PERL.  The ODBC extension is simple:  you write SQL
statements to get the data you want, massage it appropriately, format it
and print it.

Another possibility is to output comma or tab delimited files of extracts
from various AS/400 databases (I really need prices for all the products we
have in stock that we exported in the last 5 months to Tanzania....) that
users can import into Lotus/Excell and do with as they will.  An icon on
the desktop can regen the file on demand, getting you out of the data
digging business.

Works for us.

Vince Rowe
Marietta Corp.
vrowe@mariettacorp.com
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