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Make Your IBM i Run More Efficiently Using Database Query Software – Part 2 of 2

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HiResWhen you get your programmers out of the report writing business and use professionally written software to generate queries and reports, it can help increase the efficiency of your IT department, your IBM i systems, and your business.

Here’s how it works.

Programmer Efficiency

Our customers tell us the demand for IBM i sales, marketing, and financial reporting has never been stronger. Their internal users want more frequent, detailed reports and our customers are looking for ways to keep up with that demand.

That’s where a database query/report writer package like DRVTech’s DBXFlex comes in.

A database query/report writer tool makes it easier to quickly produce and distribute new reports, without requiring expensive and scarce programmer time.

Query and report writing tools provide templates for commonly requested reports that can be saved and quickly modified to produce the same report with slightly different parameters. Trained report administrators (who are not programmers) can create new reports from templates much faster than a programmer can create a new program.

Professional query/report writing packages increase programmer efficiency by freeing up programming time and resources for more important workloads, and by eliminating program maintenance for existing do-it-yourself (DIY) reports.

Report creation and modification can be done either by users (who will actually use the data) or by less expensive report administration resources, instead of using programming talent.

Business Efficiency

Query tool/report writing packages increase business efficiency by delivering new and modified reports to the users faster. Rather than having users submit program requests for a new or modified report and then having to wait for the report change to be scheduled in the IT change management system, a report administrator can create the new report much easier and faster than a programmer.

Query tools increase the delivery-rate of information by quickly getting reports into the hands of the users who need it, rather than having to process the request within an IT project management system where there could be delays due to backlogs and priority projects.

Processing Efficiency

A good query/report writing tool can process database records more efficiently than standard IBM i programming techniques. Professionally written tools are custom-made for efficient database extraction. They use advanced IBM i database processing capabilities and they avoid many of the inefficiencies you find in standard DIY programming.

Query tools make it easier to process more challenging report requests such as:

  • Pulling information from multiple databases
  • Using wildcards to quickly extract the data subsets you need, rather than relying on programmers to code extraction techniques that could be inefficient
  • Modifying database range selection to cut down on the amount of data returned, reducing the processing time used for data selection and the amount of CPU processing a query needs
  • Overriding record selection values at runtime, which avoids having to program several versions of the same report where each version uses different parameters
  • Extracting data directly into popular, universal file formats such as PDF, Excel, Word, HTML, XML, and others. This allows users to perform their own analysis or to automatically post the information to another server

Query report tools decrease processing cycles for your reports by getting the information into your user’s hands faster than if you custom-programmed each report. They perform less CPU processing than DIY solutions, which allows your machine to work more efficiently, even when querying large files.

Scheduling Efficiency

New or modified database queries can be quickly scheduled for automated distribution via email through the database query/report writer software’s own report delivery function.

In DIY environments, report distribution must be integrated with programming. The programmer usually creates or modifies the report or file, adds a module or code to distribute the object, and then has to schedule a job in their IBM i job scheduler to run the report generation and distribution process (or have IT operations manually run the new request). An IBM i administrator may be needed to add new scheduled jobs to the job scheduler, as auditing requirements may stop programmers from adding or modifying a job scheduler’s entries.

Using a database query/report writer tool, the report administrator can create and schedule new reports for automated email distribution without needing IT to schedule or run the report distribution. Automated report distribution can save hundreds of man hours a year by scheduling reports in advance. Many DRVTech clients are so pleased with our email distribution feature that they have significantly cut down on printed reports.

Database query/report writing tools move report distribution closer to report creation, removing another IT layer as IBM i administrators no longer have to set up job scheduling for running and distributing reports.

Efficient and Valuable

Great database query/report writer tools perform efficiently. They use advanced IBM i capabilities for efficient processing and they enable efficiencies in IBM i processing, scheduling, programming, especially optimizing how quickly your business receives the information it needs to make critical decisions.

If you’re looking for a database query/report writing tool for your IBM i shop, please feel free to contact us at DRV Tech for more information.

More articles on IBM i efficiency:

4 Benefits of Professionally Developed Software that Aids IBM i Development
DBXFlex e-guide: Are Database Queries Killing Your IBM i Efficiency?
Get Your Programmers Out of the Report Writing Business
IBM i Database Query Tools Create Better Reports, Less System Stress

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