August 21, 2013

Innovative Tool-Defined Solution for Data Preparation of Reports

According to research, most complex report development work can be simplified by performing the data source computation in advance. For example, find out the clients who bought all products in the given list, and then present the details of these clients.

In developing such reports, it is the “computation” part and not the “presentation” part that brings about major difficulties. In which stage will the computation be most cost-effective? Shall the computation be set in the data retrieval scripting or the post-retrieval report presentation?

The report developers as usual are more willing to compute in the report straightforwardly after retrieving data with SQL or Wizard. On the one hand, it is because most report tools are capable of some step-by-step simple computations by themselves, while SQL only allows for incorporating all logics in one statement and is impossible to be decomposed into several examinable components; on the other hand, most report developers are more familiar with the report functions than that of SQL/SP, and the SQL/SP scripts are more difficult to understand.
However, the report alone cannot give the satisfactory result. Many report developers find the computational goal is hard to achieve in the report. They will ultimately be hard-pressed to learn the SQL/SP, or request the assistance from the database administer. Why?

The root cause is that the report is mainly developed to present but not to compute. The computation is a non-core feature of a report designed to solve the commonest and easiest problem. Achieving the truly complex computational goal will still depend on the professional scripts for computing like SQL. So, only computing the data source in advance can simplify and streamline the developing procedure of such reports.
Stuck in a dilemma? On the one hand, the report can only provide the limited data computing capability; on the other hand, SQL/SP is hard to comprehend and the computational procedure is neither intuitive, nor step-by-step. This is such a headache for most report developers.

esProc can solve the dilemma. It is a professional development tool for report data source, offering the expected computational capability and the user-friendly grid style. In addition, it enables the step-by-step computation to present the result at each step more clearly than report. Compared with SQL, esProc is easier for report developers to learn and understand. They can use it to solve the complex computation more easily and independently, including the computation of the above case.

esProc scripts:

Like SQL, esProc supports the external parameters. The report can reference the esProc directly through the JDBC interface.
In addition, esProc is built with the perfect debugging function, and is also capable of retrieve and operating on the data from multiple databases, text files, and Excel sheets to implement the cross-database computation. esProc is the good assistant to reporting tools and the expert in report data source computation.

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