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Introduction

The A La Carte Report Distribution module (RDM) allows static Dashboards and Reports to be flexibly published and personalised to any user community, using a wide range of deployment options.

Consider a Data Warehouse containing sales information by product and customer. A sales executive on the road may want to know which products each customer he or she manages has purchased for a particular time period – day, week, month, year.

A report sourced from either a Microsoft OLAP Cube, In Memory or SQL database may have been setup which provides this information, but the sales executive only has access to email and not the A La Carte application itself.

Using A La Carte – RDM, you simply specify the sales executive’s email address and specify which views of the report should be collated and sent as a pack by email e.g for customers 1, 8, 9 and 43.  A La Carte – RDM will then collate this information and send it to the executive as an Excel workbook, PDF, web page or as a document published to one of the Cloud storage services.

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Sourcing Data For Report Distributions

Static Dashboards and Reports can be deployed using any data type or from multiple data sources, using a primary worksheet to drive report criteria.

Examples include :

  • OLAP (Cube) data from SQL Server Analysis Services
  • In Memory data from SQL Server Tabular databases
  • Relational (SQL) data from Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or Access
     

Benefits

  • Return on investment (ROI) can be achieved within hours / days. The previous process of manually saving and emailing reports to each user, taking days of effort, is now fully automated using RDM.
  • Output can be generated to the user’s format of choice
  • Excel workbook (.xlsx)
  • Excel legacy format (97-2003) (.xls)
  • Adobe PDF
  • Microsoft Single Web Archive Format (.mht)
  • Deploy anywhere. All generated output can be sent via email, published to an intranet, directed to a printer, or published to popular Cloud storage services
    • Microsoft OneDrive
    • CloudOn
    • Box
    • DropBox
    • Google Docs
  • Offline drilldown. Reports can be easily setup to provide drilldown in “offline mode”, allowing a user to receive say a sales report and drill down from a customer to see which products have been purchased (this requires Excel workbook to be set as the deployment option).

Packaging Report Distributions

Where users have multiple reports contained within a single Excel workbook, you may wish to provide a menu including company imagery along with the reports to aid navigation. So instead of a receiving a series of worksheets contained in a workbook, the user receives a fully packaged application. Providing this customisation and personalisation across a wide user community would usually be a complex manual process consuming a vast quantity of time. With A La Carte – RDM this can be fully automated.

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Offline Drilldown

One of the benefits of developing A La Carte based Excel reports sourced from Microsoft OLAP (Cubes) and/or In Memory databases is the ability to provide offline drilldown. In the example below, this OLAP (Cube) report has been published as a static report, however the chart of accounts on this Financial report can be drilled down without any connection back to the Server. The final result is greater analysis for users who are only connected to the office by email or through an external Cloud storage service. The static report with drilldown can be accessed from any device i.e PC, Slate, Tablet, Phablet or Smartphone.