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RE: MIS Departmental improvements



fixed

Robot is made by Help Systems:
http://www.helpsystems.com/products/index.html 

We use the Robot/Schedule product; I am not sure what product you would use
to create user queries.  May be it is a different company?

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Dwayne Allison
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 10:26 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: RE: MIS Departmental improvements

I work with a company us a software called ROBOT and it allow each user to
create their own queries.  This was a pretty good user.  I will contact them
to get the vendor.

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Mike Eovino
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 6:46 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Re: MIS Departmental improvements


On Wed, 6 Oct 2004 15:43:02 -0500, rob@xxxxxxxxx <rob@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I am not in the camp that all reporting must be strictly controlled by the
> MIS department and that all queries, etc must be generated by them.
> Normally what happens in a shop like this is that a second system is built
> up and a bunch of data gets duplicated and the users look more and more at
> the iSeries, and the IS department, as being inflexible.

All you need is a 5250 client that does file transfers and you're
looking at a nightmare of Excel spreadsheets and Access databases. 
And just wait until they hire some MS Office jockey and start writing
"mission critical" Access databases.  Think it can't happen?  That's
how I got into our IT department.  I was too dangerous on the outside.
 God help you when you have key parts of your business running on MS
Access.

> We have our users use queries.  And they can modify them also.  We've had
> users upload PC data to the iSeries because they found Query/400 a great
> tool.  And they used that for their reporting.

How about that.  The iSeries is a better reporting tool than some PC
stuff.  Rob, you oughta do commercials.

I led the push for ASC's SEQUEL query and report tool around here, and
we're piloting it with end users right now (programmers have had it
for about a year and the ones that use it are hooked).  The users love
it, provided we can tell them where the data lives and that the
indexes over the files are halfway decent.  You will need to create
new ones.

Be prepared to spend some time with your end users if you want them
using tools like this.  Also be prepared to create snapshot datasets
for them.  If your database is like ours, you don't want users joining
five files to get the answer they want.  Make it easy.  It's worth the
time and the DASD.

Pretty soon, they'll have their own little data mart, and they'll feel
special.  If they need new data, add it and add it fast.  This can
only make you look good.  When users start taking their reports to
their bosses (hopefully Director/VP level personnel) and tell them how
great it is, IT's value will skyrocket in their eyes.  Instead of
being an obstacle to getting the users what they need, you are the
provider of the solution.  And the best part is, the users are doing
most of the work for themselves.

Some of my bosses were hesitant to release SEQUEL to the user
population.  I convinced them that the alternatives (more Access
databases -- or worse, a data mart running on Oracle) were far worse
than the work involved with rolling out SEQUEL.

Mike E.
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