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What is Web Query’s Active Reporting?

Web Query InfoAssist

DB2 Web Query for i is a tool for modernizing reporting. Rather than write RPG programs or Query/400 reports, you can design reports in the WYSIWYG design tool, by dragging and dropping to a finished report. Plus these reports weigh less and show more information than the green-bar paper report.

IBM DB2 Web Query for i has a variety of output formats from HTML, PDF or PowerPoint, to a DB2 file, printer output or Excel documents. The active report is particularly useful for business analysts who desire to work with data rather than just read the report.

An Active report allows all the viewing, formatting and data manipulation options available in the DB2 Web Query designer, InfoAssist, and adds options to sort, subset, summarize, reformat, analyze or chart data on the fly. See figure 1.

The active report allows a user to take a set of data and manipulate it to get more from the data. Think of an Active report as one that encapsulates data with a set of program functions. The report author can select which functions will be enabled, by checking boxes on the menu of features. When the report executes, a widget on the column heading provides a drop-down menu for each report field.

IBM has provided several security capabilities as part of the active report. First, several built-in levels of granularity are associated with the active report menu, including Power user (most), analyst (some), basic (limited) and custom (roll your own). You can control which functions are available on each individual report and control access by placing a password when a user tries to run or open the file. You can also set an expiration date on the report as a whole.

To examine these functions and discuss how business analysts can use them to evaluate data I’ll use the IBM-supplied example data because it provides a small but robust data set. If you’ve been reading this whole series, you may recall that the sample data involves orders, products, inventory and stores with four tables linked by DB2 referential integrity constraints, which facilitate the joining of this data into a single set.

Rick Flagler is an information technology consultant, teacher and mentor.

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