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Partner TechTip: Users Want DB2 i5/OS Data in a Modern View

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i5/OS Query is outdated, and Enterprise BI tools require more licenses, consulting, and money.


Are users begging you for a modern look and feel when it comes to System i data? Are they telling you that green-screen reports are unacceptable? Is your backlog of text-based reports getting you down? Is your DB2 data warehouse project over budget, past due, and not satisfying user requests? Are you confused about what tools to use for accessing business data, how many tools you need, and what skill sets are required?


IBM admitted that i5/OS Query needs a fresh look. This exciting announcement confirms what we have been saying all along: your i5/OS database has a wealth of information that simply needs to be harnessed into executive decision-making tools without taking the data to another platform. Your data is easy to get and easy to modernize using reporting tools that are System i-centric. Unfortunately, IBM's answer was third-party software marketed by IBM but poorly supported.

You may have looked at moving beyond Query in the past only to find that your consultant was pointing you to a data warehouse solution or an expensive business intelligence solution that was overkill for your needs and included a very lengthy deployment period. You looked at these tools only to become frustrated that they did not understand your database, your files, or your fields and that they required you to hire more staff just to implement them. What you really wanted was a System i-centric graphical tool that understood your data and understood DB2 when you had user requests to fulfill. You wanted something that was not complicated and could be utilized by your existing staff and skilled users.

The Answer Is SEQUEL

SEQUEL was the first tool to bring SQL to the then-System38 over 20 years ago. Since then, it has been massaging millions of records each day for traditional report formats while hiding the complexity of SQL, and over the years, it has expanded to provide the modernized look-and-feel that IBM is promoting for data. The SEQUEL graphical interface allows users, developers, and management to work with existing data in real time while optimizing the access to deliver high performance natively.


SEQUEL delivers on thick GUIs and Web technology, and it can even tie into Google Maps (see Figure 1). You can build output to reports, XML, XLS, CSV, PDF, and more. The information can be linked to email so that data is automatically delivered in a timely manner to your users or customers. The engine for SEQUEL runs in the background on the System i so that processes can be scheduled with tools like Robot/SCHEDULE. Date ranges and data selection can be passed dynamically or hard-coded into your background requests. It supports scripting for building greater automation into your data retrieval requests. Some organizations have even built complete sales analysis applications with SEQUEL.



Figure 1: A Google Map matches route locations of trucks to i5/OS system data. (Click images to enlarge.)


Yes, There Is More

What do you do when you have millions of records and the sales team wants this data on their PCs in Excel? Sure, it's easy to just connect them to the iSeries and download the data to the PC, but what happens when the PC locks up or presents the infamous blue screen of death? Again, SEQUEL is the answer. It can pivot your data (see Figure 2), or in layman's terms, it can summarize and spread out the data so that it is Excel-friendly. Millions of records become hundreds, providing the summarized data that the sales team needs.



Figure 2: The pivot table can be shown in graph format.


SEQUEL not only provides the summarized data, but also allows you to drill down into the live detail behind the scenes. This feature doesn't require special programming, a timely data definition process, or sending of data to another platform. You get real data in real time, without the hassle. IBM wants you to give up Query. SEQUEL is the ticket to making your life easy.

SEQUEL Makes It Easy

As many organizations have learned, SEQUEL helps you take the final step toward modernizing System i data. The dashboards, Web interfaces, pivot data, email support, and query engine will slash your backlog of report requests and make you a hero with users.


What are you waiting for? Take a 30-day free trial of SEQUEL. You won't be disappointed.



Floyd Del Muro

Floyd Del Muro is Sr. Consultant-Data Access Technologies for SEQUEL Software. He can be reached at 847.273.1046 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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