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Keeping it Fresh

Tony’s Fine Foods serves up the newest mission-critical data with BI tools

Tony’s Fine Foods serves up the newest mission-critical data with BI tools
Photo by Mike Graffigna

So, not wanting to waste valuable programming time on developing queries or having to go to the ERP vendor for custom reports, the company began looking for a query tool that would mesh into its existing IT infrastructure, support the reporting tools built into Retalix and take greater advantage of DB2. After investigating a few options, the company decided on Help/Systems’ SEQUEL.

Since deploying it in 2005, the company has become more report savvy, with SEQUEL letting business analysts and the IT department more easily build reports that fill in some of the gaps of the Retalix reporting environment. Tony’s can now also create reports on a more as-needed basis, complete with real-time data, without the behind-the-scenes query building it relied on in the past.

This type of flexibility has had far-reaching benefits. Users who may not be familiar with the more technical reporting tools offered by Retalix or as part of IBM i can now initiate their own reports, whether for long-term reporting or simple, one-off reports they may need to resolve immediate problems. If they need help, Tony’s developers can offer suggestions to help them further refine their queries.

“You can design reports on the PC side, using a nice graphical drag-and-drop interface, throwing in your tables, linking up to what you’re joining against and selecting your fields,” Nasater explains. “People can go into queries and change dates or values without having to worry about parentheses or if-then-else case statements. The learning curve isn’t all that big.”

If Tony’s wants to create official ERP queries out of ad-hoc queries, it can easily do so using SEQUEL’s report-writing feature. In these cases, Geery, Nasater and other developers can use the reporting tool to turn the queries into a full-fledged report and add it as a menu option in Retalix. Depending on authorization levels, users can then view, edit and/or create reports, or, in the case of sensitive data, not view the reports at all.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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