Technical Blog Post
BiLog: BI, John Heywood and Rome
How many custom reports do you have? Do you have 25, 50 – or is your number in the range of 100 to 250 custom reports? Or are you in the category where you don’t know how many custom reports you have because your users are creating their own uncontrolled reports in tools like Microsoft Access?
The topic of custom reports leads to a myriad of questions including –
- Is each custom report utilized?
- What determines if a custom report is approved, and then developed?
- Should super users be given database and report development access?
- What mechanisms are in place to insure that correct data is being returned in the custom reports?
- How much do custom reports cost -- in terms of design, development, test, administration, maintenance dollars and resources?
As John Heywood told us back in the 16th century that ‘Rome was not built in one day’. … my thoughts in the 21st century are that we can’t answer all those questions in today’s BiLog. However, we can start a plan to give you ideas on how you can reduce your number of custom reports.
One of the first and directly actionable means to reduce your custom reports is to begin using V7’s Ad Hoc Reporting feature, QBR. By using QBR within any V7 application, you and/or your users can quickly create reports that can include complex where clauses, filters, sorting, grouping, and parameters.
QBR functionality enables key features including -
· Enabling users to quickly create their own reports for their unique business needs
· Does not require technical, development skills, like Java, or database knowledge to create the report
· Does not consume development hours in creating and maintaining large numbers of unique reports, which may only be used by a very small number of users
The cornerstone of QBR functionality is Report Object Structures, ROS. ROS enable users to select fields from multiple categories (objects) for their ad hoc reports. Additionally, ROS are designed to enable users to quickly visualize their hierarchies and parent/child relationships. ROS are created in the Object Structure application of V7, and in the next BiLog, we’ll discuss their key attributes and how to extend them.