> Buck Calabro: >...Here's an example. How many times have we >seen "How do I get my iSeries database file on Excel?" As long as the >answer to that is convoluted, we're losing ground. There should be a very >lightweight (not Ops Nav) means to simply drag a DBF onto the Excel icon and >BAM! It's on the PC. I agree. It's embarrassing to have to install a huge chunk of the Client Access "Express" client to get even ODBC/OLE-DB. What you're saying (I think) is that a system's integration within itself is nice, but integration with users' real world products is of critical importance. >All the PC software in the world seems to be able >to import/export comma delimited files. It's a frequent question as to how >to get OS400 to do that, and it's rarely successful on the first try. Why? >If we wrote a lightweight means to drag/drop and preview the "transfer" this >would go lickety-split! This one is a slippery slope, I think. Things have definitely become easier with the CPYTOIMPF command, but it's fairly new and it doesn't equate to desktop integration. Still I think part of the problem is that we think of our database tables as "files". No one expresses the same degree of contempt for Oracle if you have to configure (and secure) third-party layers to give users safe desktop integration with their database. It's easy conceptually to say "if the accountants could just download that file into a spreadsheet it would save loads of time". Opening up the database to external hooks requires that you deal with table, column, and row security issues -- issues that you've already dealt with on the application side. Also, once you download the accountants' table the next request is going to be a join to the cost center descriptions. Pretty soon you're opening your database up to ad-hoc query. Not that there's anything wrong with that... In the past 15 years I've probably seen twenty or so projects from hell that started as simple spreadsheet downloads. I guess I'm saying that I agree with your ideas as long as the Excel integration is scoped properly. It's not just a download or database link. -Jim James P. Damato Manager - Technical Administration Dollar General Corporation <mailto:email@example.com>
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