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SQL-RD 7 Feature List

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The following is a list of some of the features you can find in the latest version of SQL-RD.

Schedulers

  • A powerful desktop Application Scheduler

  • NT Service Scheduler

You can also switch all schedulers off, and use SQL-RD to export reports ad-hoc only.

Schedule Single Reports

You can set up a schedule of a single report.  You may create different schedules of the same report.  Each schedule can have different parameter values (to pull up different data) and may be emailed to different recipients if you wish. SQL-RD will also export to folder, FTP or print the report.

Schedule Package Reports

You can set up a number of reports to be scheduled to a single individual in a single email, or output to a single folder (disk or FTP).  Each report in the pack can be customized specifically for that pack, but the output of the entire pack will be sent in a single email or stored in a single folder. You can even merge multiple pdf exports into one, multiple xls exports into one or multiple txt exports into one.  And why not zip all your reports up into a single zip file before you FTP or email it?

Event Based Schedules

These are event driven schedules.  Not only can you set a schedule or package to run at a certain time every day, week, month etc, but you can instruct SQL-RD to execute a number of schedules and packages when certain events occur:

  • If a database record value  exists

  • If a database record value does not exist

  • File (in a folder) exists

  • File does not exist

  • File has been modified

  • File has not been modified

  • Window is present

  • An unread email is present

Dynamic Schedules

This powerful mechanism can only really be described with an example:

The Springfield Donut Company has 1500 stores worldwide.  Ray is the SSRS Reports guru at Head Office. He has to send each store manager a report of their weekly statistics every Monday.  He does not want to write 1500 static report schedules.  

To make matters worse, stores which are not doing well are regularly closed off, and new stores are being brought on-line weekly.

And that’s not all.  It has just been announced that SDC has just acquired a rival company and 800 new stores are coming on board tomorrow morning.  

It’s the middle of summer, so 2 of Ray’s 3 staff are on vacation.  He has a meeting with the Chairman in 3 hours, and, if he can demonstrate that everything will be in place and running by 5pm today, he will get a $25,000 bonus.

Ray is not looking forward to writing 800 new single report schedules.

“What I need”, he thinks to himself, “is a single dynamic schedule which will

  • reel through the database, populate the StoreId parameter automatically,

  • run the report for that store, email it to the store manager using the email address in the database,

  • and repeat the above actions for every store in the database.

 I need this to happen automatically every Monday at 0100 hours.”

This is the most basic problem which the Dynamic Single Report Schedule feature attempts to resolve.  There are many other functions which the DSRS will perform, and many are related to your needs, and the level of SQL language and programming expertise you have. The instructions and examples are written for NON advanced users and therefore constitute some of the more simple functionality.  

  • Auto Populate Parameter from Database: Use the wizard to construct a database query to pick up the parameter value from a database.  Advanced users can write SQL queries.

  • Pick Email from the Same Table as the parameter:  The parameter values e.g. StoreID can reside in the same table as the corresponding email address.

  • Pick Email from a different Table as the parameter:  The parameter values e.g. StoreID can reside in a different table (or database) as the corresponding email address.

  • Limit Schedule Based on Email Field Selection Criteria:  For example, only send the report if email ends in “.co.uk” (emailid like ‘%.co.uk’); or only send email if the store manager’s first name is “Tom” (managerprofile.firstname = ‘tom’).

Dynamic Packages

In the example above given for Dynamic schedules, each Store required only one report.  If, as in real life is the case, each store manager required a package of multiple reports (say 10, for example) per email, then Dynamic packages will give you the ability to export all the reports needed for each store, package them together, and then deliver them in a single email to the associated storeid.

Automation Schedules

Automation schedules allow you to link and run a number of custom actions as an automation routine or "macro". Unlike other schedules, Automation schedules do not require you to also run a report, though you can, if you want to.  Automation Schedules can be used as the hub of a powerful business process automation system to ensure that your business processes run seamlessly, never go on vacation, are never sick, and can help deuce staff count and contribute directly to the bottom-line health of your company.

Data-Driven Schedules

A data-driven schedule allows you to use dynamic report data that is retrieved from an external database table at run time. You can also use static text and default values should you wish. You can use Data Driven schedules for a number of scenarios.
Here are some examples:

  • Distribute a report to a fluctuating list of recipients. For example, you can distribute a report throughout a large organization where recipients vary from one month to the next, or use other criteria that determines group membership from an existing set of users. E.g. select * from mytable where firstname = ‘john’ will generate the report and distribute only for records where the recipient’s first name is John.
  • Filter the report output using report parameter values that are retrieved at run time. For example, the parameter value returned from the table for Last Name will be “Doe” for John Doe and “Smith” for John Smith.
  • Determine the delivery type, email address, parameter values, destination type, destination folder name, DSN connection, report format and much more dynamically at run time.

Data-Driven Package

A data-driven package allows you to use run multiple data-driven reports, collate them and deliver them to a single destination.  For example, a report pack consisting of 10 reports can be dynamically exported at runtime, collated and delivered so that each recipient receives 10 reports in a single email, or each folder consists of the 10 required reports.  All determined at run-time by your "Data-driver".

Dynamic Email Content

Link the email content to the values in a database.  For example: “Dear {manager.firstname}”.  It’s all done by simple context menus and easy to use wizards.  Little or no database scripting knowledge required.

Custom Actions

Not only will SQL-RD execute the requested schedules, but it will also run custom actions before, after, or both before and after the schedule has been executed. e.g.

  • Execute a program
  • Rename/Move a file
  • Create/Modify a file
  • Send an email message
  • Update a database record
  • Run a Stored Procedure

In a typical situation you may want to run a stored procedure to update your database before you run your report.  Afterwards, you may want to update a database record to tell the system that the action is complete.

There are more than 35 different actions to choose from.

Output Types

SQL-RD will output to

  • Email (SMTP & secure SMTP, MAPI, Exchange, Outlook Standalone, Exchange Web Service, GroupWise and SQL-RDMail)

  • Folder

  • Printer

  • FTP & SecureFTP

  • Fax print driver

  • SMS (Cell phone text)

  • File Transfer (using RAS, DUN or VPN)

  • ODBC (transfer data to a table in another database)

  • Microsoft SharePoint

Email Output Features

  • Silent integration with MAPI and Exchange Server ensures that the application is not prompted for security permissions when using the application scheduler or NT scheduler.

  • Cc and Bcc fields are present (optional)

  • Email addresses can be dynamically populated from a database

  • SQL-RD has its own internal address book which can be used

  • SQL-RD integrates with MAPI or Exchange Server address book.

  • Set a global email text, and/or create custom email messages for each  schedule

Embed Report in Email

You can embed the report (including graphics and charts) into the email body (SMTP and SQL-RDMail only) or send it as an attachment with a custom email message.

Compress Output File

You can compress (zip) the output file before emailing it.  Or compress it before placing it in a folder.

File Attachments

Select a static file to be attached – in addition to the report output – to the email.

Printer Output Features

  • Print one or more copies to a single printer.

  • Print different reports to different printers.

  • Print one report to more than one printer.

Folder/FTP Output Features

  • Export to a folder

  • Export to an FTP folder

  • Housekeeping options e.g. Keep only reports that are x days/months/weeks old

Export Formats

SQL-RD will export reports in the following formats:

  • Acrobat (PDF) (with security and watermarks)

  • SSRS Reports (RPT)

  • CSV

  • Data Interchange Format

  • dBase II,III and IV

  • HTML

  • Lotus 1-2-3 (wk1,wk3,wk4 & wks)

  • Excel Data Only

  • Excel 7 (XLS)

  • Excel 8 (XLS)

  • Excel 97-2000 (XLS)

  • Excel Workbook - Data Only (XLSX)

  • MS Word (DOC)

  • MS Word Editable (RTF)

  • Rich Text (Exact) Format (RTF)

  • Record Style (REC)

  • Character Separated (CSV)

  • Tab Separated (TXT)

  • Text (TXT)

  • XML

  • Tiff

 Scheduling Frequencies

  • Every day

  • Every week day

  • Every week

  • Every Month

  • Every Year

  • Unlimited Custom Calendars (write your own frequencies e.g. 4-4-3)

Customizations include options like "the 3rd Tuesday of selected months" and much more. For each of the above, you can also choose a schedule time, and to “Repeat every x hours until.. (end time)”

Exceptions

SQL-RD deals with 3 types of exceptions:

  • A scheduler error: Emails a designated address, writes to a log file or both

  • Report Failure: This can happen if, for example, the database is busy or locked.  You can set SQL-RD to retry a number of times before declaring a “failure”.  On failure, an email will be sent to a designated recipient, an entry will be marked in the error log, or both.

  • If the report is blank (returns no data): You can set SQL-RD to send an alternative email, run a program or do any number of custom tasks.  You can choose to attach the blank report to this email.  This ensures that recipients are aware that there was not data, and differentiates between a failure and a blank report.

  • Failed Emails: If the mail fails to send because the mail server is unavailable or busy, SQL-RD can be set to retry automatically until successful.  Mails can also be retried manually or deleted from the queue manually. Additional backup email servers can be set up to take care of regular mail server failures.

Customizations

The following customizations can be made:

  • The output file name can be left as default, or changed to whatever you want it to be.

  • A date/time stamp can be added to the output file name.  Choose from a large list of date formats e.g. ddMMyyhhmm, MMddyyhhmm, MMddyyyy, and lots more.

  • The report’s Record Selection Formula or Group Selection Formula can be modified within SQL-RD and used at runtime without affecting the source report.

  • You can insert standard functions e.g. CurrentDate, CurrentTime, MonthToDate, and lots more

  • You can insert SQL-RD functions e.g. MondayThisWeek, TuesdayLastWeek, MonthEndLastMonth, and lots more.

  • You can write your own functions  (The wizard will guide you through the process) and reuse them over and over again.

  • Database Logon Credentials for both Main and Sub Reports can be stored in SQL-RD.

  • Table Level logon is catered for with equal ease.

Multi Threaded Execution

If several schedules are set to execute at the same (or close to the same time), SQL-RD will queue them up and execute them one at a time. However, should you wish, you can switch on this option and SQL-RD will execute up to 8 reports simultaneously.

Multi-threaded functionality can be paired with "Collaboration".  This allows you to "assign" reports to be run by different installations of SQL-RD from a single "Master" installation.  There is no need to maintain separate SQL-RD scheduling databases as in previous versions. And, of course, each installation of SQL-RD can execute up to 8 reports simultaneously.

Report History Snapshots

Tired of having to adjust your reports in order to re-run reports showing past data?  On every successful execution of a schedule, a snapshot of the data is retained.  If you need to resend a report that was successfully executed in the past, simply select the date and report, and resend the "snapshot".

Web-based Administration (CSSWeb)

Loki allows you to install SQL-RD on a single server and then access it from a web browser.  The functionality is as rich as the thick-client application and negates the need to install and maintain multiple installations of SQL-RD on each user's server or PC.

Group Bursting

With this feature you can specify the export of discreet report groups.  Great if you want to export (or burst) just one or a number of report groups.

Section Bursting

Why stop at Group Bursting.  This feature enables you to burst report headers, footers, page headers and footers, details – in fact, any section in your report that you want.

Sub Report Bursting

Burst out subreports.

Single Value (Discrete) Parameter Selection

SQL-RD handles discreet parameter values with ease.  The value you enter for a schedule is stored in the schedule, leaving you free to re-use that report in another schedule – with a different parameter value.

Range of Values Parameter Selection

If your parameters are in standard SSRS “Ranges”, then SQL-RD will present you with the familiar SSRS parameter range interface. Again, the ranges are stored in the schedule so you can reuse the same report over and over again.

"With Data" reports

Choose to export the data in a "with data" report, or to ignore the saved data and pull fresh data each time.

Read Parameter from Database

Why type in a static parameter value when you can extract the value dynamically from a database? That way, whenever the value changes in the database SQL-RD will use the new value straight from the database, enter it in the parameter prompt for you, and export the report.  

The database query interface is simple and intuitive.  Follow the prompts and build a complicated query with little or no knowledge of database language. Experts can use the advanced screen to write or paste their queries.

Parameters on Main Report

SQL-RD will recognize and enter the values for parameters on the main report.

Parameters on Sub Reports

SQL-RD will allow you to choose to ignore parameters on subreports, or to specify values for sub report parameters.  Great for sub report bursting.

Add Reports to Existing Packages

This allows you to edit an existing package, and add or remove reports.  This saves having to re-create the entire package when you wish to add or remove existing reports from the package.

Add Multiple Reports Simultaneously

Why add reports to packages one by one when you can select and add multiple reports in one click?

API, Web Service, SQL functions and Command Line Options

Don’t want to schedule?  Rather use a batch file?  Want to execute a schedule or package from another application?  SQL-RD gives you a choice of using its API, Web Service, built-in SQL Functions or command-line options.

System Monitor

SQL-RD’s system monitor provides you with the ability to view and interact with a range of processes:

  • Report History for single report schedules

  • Report History for Packages

  • Report History for conditional schedules

  • Email Log shows you a list of all emails which have been successfully sent

  • Email Queue shows you emails which are waiting to be sent

  • Schedule monitor shows you which schedules are running and on which machine

Activity Reports

Want to know how many of today’s reports failed?  You can use Smart Folders to define the view you wish, and then schedule the results as a report to yourself.

Intuitive Interface

SQL-RD’s intuitive interface helps you to organize your schedules and packages for easy viewing.  The familiar explorer-like interface is packed with rich context-sensitive (right-click) menus. New users have a range of wizards to help them through the process.

Number of Schedules

A schedule is a set of instructions which SQL-RD uses to run and export a single SSRS Report.  You can set a schedule to run every half hour, once a day, twice a month, or any other frequency you wish.  The schedule will execute as often as you tell it.

SQL-RD identifies the instruction as a “schedule”.

This means that you can set a schedule to run every half hour, for example, and even though 48 reports will be exported in a day, SQL-RD will count this as a single schedule.

A “package” is a number of SSRS Reports scheduled to run at the same time and export to the same destination.

If, for example, your weekly pack consists of 8 reports and these are to be delivered by email, it is more professional to send an email with 8 attachments as supposed to 8 emails with 1 attachment in each. To achieve the former, you would set up a “package”.

For licensing purposes, SQL-RD identifies the  reports in a package as schedules.  So if you have 8 reports in the package, SQL-RD will count this as 8 schedules.

Number of PCs/Servers (Installations) permitted

SQL-RD may be installed one or more PCs or servers.  Each PC can run an independent instance of SQL-RD, or be part of a SQL-RD Cluster.  Your License will determine what your restrictions are.

 

Failover

 

Additional SQL-RD Installations can be configured as backup servers in the event the primary SQL-RD installation fails. If the primary server stops working, The additional SQL-RD installation will automatically take on the scheduling load.

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