Enterprise Reporting Tools that depend on database
structure could also be referred to
as visual formatters. They are totally dependent on SQL and therefore the database
design for what they are able to do. A database dependent report writer can
- Format output with fonts, and other visual displays
- Sort and summarize data
- Perform limited inter-row calculations
In other words simple reports are the forte of these products. In order to
get the full range of reports that an organization needs one must rely very heavily on
database design. This presents several serious problems
- Rather than freeing the organization to produce reports, the organization is now
dependent on one of the more highly trained and scarce resource in any organization
- The reports are dependent on the database structure. If a report is needed
that the structure wouldn't support there is considerable work needed to get it in place
- Often times organizations wind up with very complex designs and/or numerous tables,
views etc. These have redundant data and complex load routines that need to
monitored and supervised. This increases the cost, complexity and the number of points
of failure in the system. This in turn decreases the reliability of the system.
The last thing needed is to put up an unreliable enterprise
reporting system or one with high life cycle costs.
- The ability to respond quickly to business issues is severely
impaired. That's often one of the prime reasons for the
system. To put the information needed to respond to fast
changing business situations in the hands of the people who are
on the front line of the organization.
- If data is in a legacy system that uses VSAM or other non
relational data storage system, then these report writers can't
access it. Most large organizations have much of their
data in just such type systems.
Review the Enterprise
Reporting test to see how your candidates stack up.
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