Ultraquest 5.5

This exciting new release of UltraQuest delivers major enhancements to UltraQuest Reporter and UltraQuest Library.

New Features below:

New Reporter Desktop
Simplified Totaling
Oracle Access
SQL Server Access
Shared Report Output
Optional Data Filtering for a Request
Extended Filtering for a Request
Excel's Web Services Toolkit Support
Rolling into Production Document
UltraQuest Reporter and Library

UltraQuest Reporter provides ad-hoc (interactive) reporting to business users. Through a desktop Java application, the Reporter helps users to access mainframe database information and generate reports or data extracts. Its dialogs include an innovative wizard to facilitate building, modifying, and running reports.

Report processing can be either immediate (online) or delayed (batch). UltraQuest Reporter and Library requests can be scheduled for batch processing on a recurrent basis dependent on production or personal schedules. The UltraQuest Scheduler will submit your requests to batch for execution based on a user-specified frequency (every Friday, the last day of the month, etc.).

The output can be delivered in a number of ways, including through email, back to the Web browser, to mainframe attached printers, or to a holding area which allows subsequent redistribution to any of the other targets. Supported formats include HTML, PDF, CSV for products like Excel, Charts and XML. In addition, UltraQuest Reporter users, if granted publishing rights, may publish reports to the UltraQuest Library for use by other users.

The UltraQuest Library provides for shared reports. Through the Library, any user, who is granted access, can view menus of available reports, choose one, specify run-time options, including prompted parameters and output destinations, and execute it.

Like UltraQuest Reporter, the processing can be either immediate or delayed, and the output can be delivered to email, back to the Web browser, to mainframe attached printers, or to the holding area for subsequent viewing and redistribution.

The Library provides a much simpler interface for casual users, and does not require any skills, or software beyond a Web browser.

In addition to reports built within the Reporter, the Library can contain hand-crafted reports (built with NOMAD or the UltraQuest 4GL), links to UltraQuest Applications and links to other Web sites and Web pages. Access to reports, as well as publishing rights, are managed by a catalog of users and user groups.

New Reporter Desktop

The newly re-designed Reporter desktop will feature three environments - Design, Publish, and Explore - allowing you to toggle between them for designing reports, for publishing requests to a menu or dashboard, or for managing databases and requests. Each report or menu is opened in its own tab allowing you to work on multiple reports/menus simultaneously. For your convenience all menu bar functionality is now available while working on reports or menus. All reports and menus that are left open when Reporter is shut down will be re-opened upon the next invocation allowing you to pick up just where you left off.

New Desktop

The request structure tree view is displayed alongside the design wizard so you can view the components of an entire request and make simple report changes easily.

Drag and drop is also available in all environments to allow you to easily move objects around within the request tree structure, within menu structures while in Publishing, or while managing requests and folders.

We are very excited about this re-design and expect these enhancements to make the user interface more intuitive and allow the user to be more productive while working on multiple reports/menus simultaneously within a completely integrated environment.

Simplified Totaling

The Totaling dialog has been completely redesigned to provide a simpler and more powerful interface for specifying totals, including:

  • buttons to make some simple tasks easier
  • tabs for specifying options
  • a new user interface that makes it clearer which columns may be subtotaled and for which sort column they are subtotaled
  • new default settings, which minimize the work needed on the Totaling dialog
  • smart totaling, which hides lines where totals are unavailable or undesirable
  • automatic totaling behaviors, which allow totals to be added automatically to requests and columns

Oracle Access
With this release, the UltraQuest server under (z/VM) will provide access to Oracle data residing on mid-tier UNIX, Windows or Linux servers. Users of UltraQuest Reporter or the UltraQuest Library will be able to report from Oracle data in just the same way that they currently report from mainframe data sources. Because all reports are handled by the same UltraQuest server, they will also be able to join Oracle data with their SQL Server data as well as with their mainframe data from DB2, VSAM, IMS, IDMS and Teradata for more comprehensive reporting.
SQL Server Access
With version 5.5, the UltraQuest server under (z/VM) will provide access to Microsoft SQL Server data residing on mid-tier Windows servers. Users of UltraQuest Reporter or the UltraQuest Library will be able to report from SQL Server data as they do currently from mainframe data sources. Since all reports are handled by the same UltraQuest server, they will also be able to join SQL Server data with their Oracle data as well as with their mainframe data from DB2, VSAM, IMS, IDMS and Teradata for more comprehensive reporting.
Shared Report Output
Shared Report Output was implemented by enhancing UltraQuest Reporter and Library so that output from published or non-published requests can be shared with other groups of users. If you are a Reporter or Library user and select to run the request to held output, you will have the option to pick from a list of user groups with whom you wish to share the output. This user can also select or modify his list of sharing groups while viewing his output in the Output Redirector.

Shared output groups need to be created for this sharing of report output. Sharing groups can be the same groups that are allowed to publish requests or view requests, or the library administrator can define new sharing groups for viewing other users’ held output, e.g. a sharing group for all users in the same department. Alerts are available to automatically notify recipients in the select groups when their shared output is available for viewing.

We expect this new sharing output facility will expand the functionality of UltraQuest Reporter and Library to even more users within an organization.

Optional Data Filtering for a Request
This release allows the creation of a single request that can be modified at run-time to filter out some of the data or to use all of the data. This is accomplished by an UltraQuest Reporter user specifying that a data filter that uses a prompted request variable is optional. When the request is run from either Reporter or Library, the user is given the choice when running the request to Use all values.
Extended Filtering for a Request
An extended filtering facility has been added so that the filtering can be applied to the whole path of a hierarchical database. An extended filtering expression on a child table will also filter out associated data in all parent tables in the path. Consequently, data that does not pass the filtering criteria is not included in the output.
Excel's Web Services Toolkit Support
UltraQuest now supports the Excel Web Services Toolkit so that mainframe data can be populated to an Excel spreadsheet via web services.
Rolling into Production Document
A new document is available that provides step by step instructions for moving UltraQuest from a test environment into a production environment. Testing guidelines are included to ensure that the move to production goes as smoothly as possible. This document is for new UltraQuest sites as well as current customers upgrading to the latest version, 5.5.

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