Last week I saw a discussion on the LinkedIn Made2Manage Group about the Pros and Cons of using SSRS vs. VFP Reporting, and it amazes me that people are still arguing about it. So, I thought I’d reaffirm a stance that I’ve had for many years, which is VFP Reporting Must Die.
Some DBAs would cringe at what I’m about to tell you, but I often use T-SQL to format my data prior to presenting it in a report. Many experts feel that data formatting should always be done in the presentation layer. There are a couple of reasons why I do this.
I re-use as much code [...]
I love this chart, which I borrowed (stole) from Coding Horror. A major project that I completed recently reminded me of it. I created a sales order auditing system that included scheduled SQL jobs, multiple triggers, VBA for M2M, and Crystal Reports. The project took me a long time to complete and [...]
This article is day five in a week of reporting articles.
Create and follow standard procedures for report deployment. The actual procedure depends greatly on the report method. Since I often use Crystal Reports Server and SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) for my report presentation, I have a Testing folder where all finished reports go prior to [...]
This article is day four in a week of reporting articles.
Most users want to export reports to Excel so they can manipulate the data. If possible, set up the report for the cleanest exporting possible. This process starts when writing T-SQL. For example, one can extract only the date instead of a datetime value when [...]
This article is day three in a week of reporting articles.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it is not as easy as you would think. Often your users will not know what they want and certainly not where to get it.
Don’t take direction from this guy.
Let’s say Milton, a purchasing agent, [...]
This article is day two in a week of reporting articles.
Create standard layouts for both landscape and portrait reports and have them approved by management. Many larger companies have Corporate Identity Guidelines created by marketing experts with standards already defined for marketing and sales documents. Adhere to the standards religiously. If creating your [...]
This article is day one in a week of reporting articles.
If you are going to become a business intelligence ninja, start at the beginning. You need to develop standard procedures for report creation. They include:
Who can request reports?
Who approves their creation?
Who assigns priority of your work?
A good percentage of my day is spent writing reports. The report formats could be SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Crystal Reports, M2M VFP reports, or ODBC Excel Spreadsheets. The latter three methods usually involve T-SQL, which I write by hand using TOAD for SQL Server or the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). In the [...]
Never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected.
Earlier this week, I was reminded of this post from some time ago. Yes I know I’ve already used that picture, but you can ever have enough Swayze. The company in question uses a 4-4-5 Calendar for accounting and this makes reporting more difficult. For [...]