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Enterprise Information Distribution System

By greg_ross_sr ·
I have recently started to manage a project to install an enterprise information distribution system (managing report distribution to internal consumers and external consumers, namely customers and vendors). We have brought together reports from various systems into one system which can more efficiently maintain the distribution and management of these reports.
We have a working model of the system, but I would like to know how other businesses have tried to organize the report in their enterprise in order to allow internal users to know what reports are available to them (out of hundreds) and easily assign access etc.

I welcome anyone to share your experiences.

Greg Ross
Sr. I.T. Project Manager

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Nightmare of fun

by Toucan In reply to Enterprise Information Di ...

Legacy apps are the killer. Most have proprietary reporting that is difficult to execute with out the application running. Had to create a VB app to query one legacy app and then massage the result and update to SQL for a standard report created in Crystal.

VS.NET can leverage Crystal allowing the development of web enabled report apps.

The efort can be huge, balance it against the life of the apps. Often it's better to move up the migration of legacy apps rather than build the work arounds.

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Different Options for Different People

by rbogue In reply to Enterprise Information Di ...

There's no one easy answer to your question. We work with clients that setup searches to be able to find reports, those who create multiple hiearchies, etc. In general having a central repository helps but it doesn't solve the inherent issues around managing this much information.

Other than creating multiple paths to the same reports and creating summaries for the reports which are searchable I've not seen much that really works that well.

From a tools perspective we've seen people use SharePoint as a repository for reports that they wanted to distribute both internally and externally. This worked well because alerts could be sent out when the new reports were posted. (Financial Reports where where this was REALLY hot.)

What kind of a solution did you put together?

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Go with "search engine" approach

by fultonwilcox In reply to Enterprise Information Di ...

Report distribution is surprisingly difficult, because it is a many-to-many "dating game" problem. The prospective information consumer has a need, and you have a supply (e.g., for a headcount report), but its the details that matter (by region? by business unit, etc.). If you have fairly good descriptions of the reports from the subject matter expert (a must), put the descriptions onto a web site (appropriately secured) and use a search engine to index the content descriptions so people can do the matching on a self-service basis. In effect, mimic the internet.

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