the Momentum system have any advantages over a PC based reporting tool?
When comparing PC based solutions to an
product such as OPEN/DB, there are a number of
factors which should be considered. A lot will depend on what your organisation is
attempting to achieve --- the circumstances may justify the use of both OPEN/DB and PC-based reporting facilities.
Particular strengths of the OPEN/DB solution
As databases have become more sophisticated and more "normalised" (containing
hundreds of files for any particular application area) it has become ever more difficult
for users to understand either the intricacies of how and where in the database to go to
obtain the related data required to create their management reports, or the optimum
technical way to accomplish file linkages. Through the Information
Interface OPEN/DB provides the ability
to establish the data relationships for the most complex database into data subsets ... a
task performed just once. This means report designers are not faced with having to define
file relationships, interpret field usage or produce complex expressions during report
creation. The complex technical tasks can all be handled in the Information
The Information Interface provides a Data Dictionary where standard field
descriptions can be modified before presentation to end users. This can be especially
useful where a complex database has many fields referenced as "date",
"value" or "indicator" without a clear indication of what they
Another capability of the Information Interface is to internally handle fields in a
format suitable to the action required. For example, OPEN/DB
can take care of a date field so that the field is automatically converted into the format
appropriate for printing, sorting or selection e.g. DD/MMM/YY for printing, YYMMDD for
range selection and sorting and YYDDD for calculations.
Additionally, derived fields can be introduced, allowing the creation of new fields to
compensate for deficiencies or their absence in the original database. These new fields
can be the result of calculations and/or logic fields from one or more files in the
PC products do not typically provide an acceptable level of security to data access and to
the reports and data extracts created.
OPEN/DB's integrated security system is a
mandatory requirement for protecting sensitive information.
Performance and Data Volumes
PC products that access iSeries databases using SQL and ODBC drivers are usually quite
slow, especially when reading files with many thousands or millions of records. The impact
of this can be twofold ... the building of large temporary files on the iSeries
reluctance to relinquish machine resources once it is active.
OPEN/DB creates compiled programs to ensure
efficient usage of iSeries machine resources and complete control over when the objects are
OPEN/DB works on the iSeries
and is able to
produce reports or data extracts that process large volumes of data efficiently.
Housekeeping and Monitoring of Use
Within OPEN/DB, information concerning every
report that is created and used in a production or test environment is captured. At any
time the IS department has the ability to produce comprehensive listings with details of
reports created, report run times, frequency of use and date and time when last produced.
This can then be linked with the housekeeping facility to allow deletion and
reorganisation of all report and extract formats created by OPEN/DB
users. OPEN/DB reports can be restricted to run
at specific times of day, so that iSeries machine loads can be "smoothed".
In summary, typical PC Report Writer constraints in accessing iSeries
- Handling and processing large volumes of data
- Accessing large complex relational databases
- Decoding data
- Summarizing data from multiple files
- Creating derived fields from different files
- Applying security
- Requirement for technical knowledge of the database and SQL