Hey, DBA, can you run a quick report for me?

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it. – Samuel Johnson

Sooner or later, a DBA will be asked for some information from their databases that will need to be well formatted and past the limitations of SQL. The requester will also want to run the report on an ad hoc basis.  And the user can not wait for a script or program to be written. Oh, can you set it up so they can add or drop items of data or change it around on the fly too?

There are a number of report writing programs out there and three with active open source communities are BIRT, Jaspersoft, and Pentaho, among others.  They all roughly do the same thing — take data from your instance and turn it into a good looking report.

Calpont has published three guides to help you get started with these three reporting programs and they are available at here.  Not only will these guides help a DBA learn how to use the programs but they can be compared to see which of the three better fits the organization.


One Response to Hey, DBA, can you run a quick report for me?

  1. Dale Lancaster says:

    Reporting has been a huge deal for our company due to the number of marketing folks we have who need data almost in realtime. No matter how many reports we build, there is always another one or a variant of one that was needed.

    We had an “ah ha” moment when we offered these folks the opportunity to learn basic SQL to exact the data directly (with access controls of course and on a slave server) and wow, that was the ticket and now they are self-sufficient on most things.

    I think BI stuff is cool and serves a purpose, but for most reasonably bright folks who use Excel, basic SQL is just one step beyond …

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