Tackling an urgent reporting
project for an Australian food manufacturer
As a small business unit within a
large organisation this food manufacturer's IS department were
spending a disproportionate amount of time producing reports for
other departments, distracting them from other important projects.
They sought a reporting solution that could be put in the hands of
their users without degrading security or operational performance.
OPEN/DB-Jacana proved to be the ideal solution offering users the
ability to define the reports without having to rely on IS. Momentum
undertook the initial IS and user training. A year on and both users
and IS are extremely happy with the results.
Helping out a long standing
This international automotive user
had lost all its skills in using OPEN/DB. However, as 2000 loomed
they realized that their database was not totally Y2K compliant.
Faced with producing 16 types of reports within 3 weeks and lacking
the time and skills to rewrite their reports and subsets themselves
they asked Momentum for help. Momentum was able to rewrite their
reports and subsets for the new Y2K compliant system within a week
under a fixed price contract.
"Momentum were excellent. We
simply didn't have the time or skills to rewrite all our reports
ourselves so having the experts to complete them for us made so much
sense. Using Momentum saved us valuable time and resources and got
the job done ahead of schedule."
Momentum to the rescue
A Sydney based electronics company
had been battling with some poorly performing reports. It was taking
much too long to run 12 critical monthly sales reports with each
report taking on average three and a half hours to run. Momentum was
asked to investigate and propose enhancements to improve the
production run times. Momentum recommended and contracted to
redesign this customer's data subsets and re-build the 12 reports.
Within two weeks the project was completed and the 12 reports are
now running in under 6 hours compared to the 36/40 hours previously
"I can't believe the difference
it has made to our month-end. Momentum were totally professional and
we really appreciated the follow up calls to ensure that the job had
been completed and was running to our satisfaction"
End user reporting
for an HR Department
Human Resources users at this
manufacturer of outdoor power equipment and transmission technology
were particularly frustrated that data could not be easily accessed
using the standard reporting from their HR application and/or
without IS help. IS faced a backlog of report requests from HR for
selection, sorting and analysis of the data held in the HR
application package from Midrange Software called PERMS. Ideally, HR
needed a user friendly report writer to design and produce their own
reports to overcome constantly having to trouble limited IS
To tackle this reporting dilemma they
implemented R2/D2-Jacana-Valet [R2/D2 is a derivative version of
OPEN/DB marketed by Midrange Software]. R2/D2 offered a number of
critical components. These included the powerful yet highly
intuitive windows report design application (Jacana) essential for
end user involvement, the ability to run reports from the desktop
(Valet), and additionally Midrange Software had populated R2/D2's
Information Interface to simplify access and understanding of the
PERMS data. The Information Interface feature of R2/D2 enabled
details of the underlying database structure and technical
intricacies to be hidden from the end user. In designing a report
the end user only needed to work with a list of authorized fields
all of which had clear descriptions. There were no worries about
linking files or converting date fields as that task has been
handled in the Information Interface.
"Jacana has been a highly
productive tool compared to programmers writing and maintaining RPG
programs and it is not constrained by the limitations of
constructing output using Query/400. With end users now able to work
with their data and fine tune their reporting to their specific
needs themselves, pressures on IS resources to produce reporting
have reduced considerably."
"By giving users the ability to
create, refine and run reports to meet their own deadlines we have
considerably reduced the involvement of IS staff in day to day
With help from Momentum, 25 staff
representing both the IS and HR departments were trained initially,
4 of whom have become the 'core' designers actively developing
reports. Nearly 200 reports were developed in the first few months!
The backlog of outstanding reporting requests melted away with all
sorts of reporting tackled including listings, summaries and
extracting data for PC downloads e.g. employee master listings;
birthday, anniversary and address lists; monthly employee turnover
figures for each department and company.
Without R2/D2 and Jacana, providing
and maintaining this range of reporting would have been very
difficult. Now, even end users feel really comfortable modifying
existing report designs to change select statements, create new work
fields or rearrange the report by clicking and dragging fields
without having to rely on IS expertise.
"Due to the HR department's lack
of experience in report writing we initially had some doubts about
them using Jacana, but it's ease of use means they have taken to
using the application like ducks to water. The support we have been
given by Momentum has been very good, they are attentive to our
needs and their response times are excellent. Training and
responsive support have been key ingredients in successfully
introducing this tool into our operations."
On going partnership with Momentum
A UK based software and
services organization serving unit trust management companies has to
fulfil constantly changing reporting requirements for each of its
clients. The business expanded so rapidly that their IS resources
have been fully stretched. Using OPEN/DB-Jacana as the means to
deliver the extensive and never ending stream of reporting requests
from their clients they also rely on Momentum to provide the
backbone of the team dedicated to delivering this essential part of
Helping another long term OPEN/DB
This UK based waste disposal service
company had been long term users of OPEN/DB since 1986. As the year
2000 approached they had to address Y2K issues with their internal
dates. This required amendments to 600 existing OPEN/DB reports
created over many years and built over old OPEN/DB subsets. Momentum
carried out the investigative work to recommend the best approach to
achieve the conversion and improve the operational data subsets and
reporting. Momentum scoped the work, re-trained the company's IS
team, recommended the optimum technical approach and worked with the
team to accomplish the redevelopment of subsets and 600 reports!
out of control at a large banking organization
This bank recognized that their usage
and dependence on Query/400 seemed to be exploding exponentially.
They therefore required an urgent appraisal of the situation. They
looked to Momentum's Query/400 Audit service for help - for an
analysis that would quickly highlight potential problem areas and
recommend action items to bring before management.
"Your instructions for
collecting the query data were easy to follow and I didn't have any
problems even though I've never transferred data to and from our iSeries
in this manner. The reports you've sent were perfect for
presenting to upper management to display a problem we are having
with query use getting out of control. Thank you for offering a
In this case a review of over 6500
queries resident in 126 libraries, created over 10 years, revealed
2300 queries that were never used. There were 130 different Query
creators, 1900 queries created in the past 3 months and the report
highlighted that there are just 100 or so queries being used on a
daily basis. Recommendations included deletion of unused queries,
review of one-off queries and grouping of production queries into a
more contained and controlled library environment. In addition, the
analysis highlighted inappropriate use of QSECOFR as Query creator,
considerable duplication of output inherent with so many queries
being created and the likelihood, with so many query creators, of a
significant number of inefficient queries being put into
Tools to help rationalise the
inefficiencies highlighted by the analysis, for example 'to move
queries from one library to another', are also included as part of
the Query/400 Audit service.
Momentum's report writer OPEN/DB is also marketed under a variety of derivative names including Info WorkPlace, Midas/Q,
S/RW and R2/D2. The Information Interface functionality itself is the same at comparable release levels.