Simple database reporting tool?

By markdchristiansen ·
I have non-technical users who want to create their own reports (accountants, managers, etc.). I don't know Crystal Reports, but based on what I can tell it requires that you know a fair amount about how your database is structured and how to build queries.

Is there a reporting tool out there that will let business users easily create their own reports?

Maybe something that I can set up initially for them that shows data at a more abstract level, or something that runs on top of Crystal Reports?

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Microsoft Query and Microsoft Excel

by robo_dev In reply to Simple database reporting ...

It takes at least basic knowledge of the data dictionary to build queries.

Make 100% sure that user database access is read-only. Years ago I worked on an AS-400 payroll app where the users were given the tools for ad-hoc reporting. Unfortunately, the database was not secured and one user wiped about half the data.....

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by Dr Dij In reply to Microsoft Query and Micro ...

This needs to change to make it easier but that is the way it is now.

We had an end user who 'knew Crystal' but was not able to produce any reports from our system because she knew nothing about the data fields in our ERP system. She sat on this for 6 months before they gave it to me.

I was able to read in their fields database to Access and create sorts that showed me files by name, fields by name across all files, etc.

If I didn't understand where data came from I could call the vendor to find out what files, fields, but usually, by comparing to on-screen, I was able to figure it out.

You also have to work around quirks of that vendor's data. We find the same field, e.g. order number, is not populated in all fields of that name in different files.

ALso important is being able to look at keys for joins. If the target of a join does not have an index for the field you are joining on, performance of your query will basically halt if your database won't do dynamic indexes.

People also need a 'programmer's mentality' where you realize that other fields such as flags can affect data and that sometimes multiple types of data (some of which you don't want) are stored in same field, with these indicator flags.

Finally, people need the 'check it' mentality where they cross check with screens and system generated reports before making a report live. And they need to live with the quirks of the reporting tools.

Most major ERP systems have a 'metadata view' of the data for end users that simplifies, and permissions that make the view read only.

Data warehouses are the way bigger companies generally setup so that the reporting user can't change the actual data. They build in functions and commonly defined fields to make it much easier.

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Intelliview Dashboard Reporting - reporting tool for business users

by vidya_varadaraja In reply to Simple database reporting ...

This product was recently released... but I use a similar product (which works exclusively on Lotus Notes) released by the same company for my own database reporting requirements. I can create my own reports and drill-down for further analysis without having to rely on an IT person for help.

You can find out more here:

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Users creating their own reports

by HERBERT NGOBOLA In reply to Simple database reporting ...

"Is there a reporting tool out there that will let business users easily create their own reports?"
Yes there is such a tool, I have used FastReport.Net for a long time now, users create their reports by using it,watch this flash demo which gives you an idea of how to use it:

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NextReports Designer

by dpmihai In reply to Simple database reporting ...

NextReports Designer is a a free and simple reporting tool.

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by kevin ngobola In reply to Simple database reporting ...

Hi, you have to know what you want, you can visit the company sites and see how the product work.I have used FastReport.Net, I think its okay. And please check demos for more, or visit the wiki page on reporting tools and choose what suits your needs

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Stonefield Query: The Reporting Alternative

by kooper1 In reply to Simple database reporting ...

???Despite my past affair with Crystal Reports, I have to report that I???ve thrown over my loyalty to Stonefield Query. The simplicity and depth of the program make it easy for me to recommend. ??? - Doug Wolf, Author Crystal Reports for Dummies

"In our experience, many of our SBE clients don???t want the limitations of static reports. They prefer to create and adapt reports in response to evolving business requirements. We recommend Stonefield Query for businesses who require more advanced reports because, unlike Crystal Reports, even a novice can create sophisticated reports with very little training (often less than an hour)." - Lindsay Garrison, On the verge Inc.

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