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Ad-Hoc Reporting, Query & Analysis

EspressReport ES provides several ad hoc reporting and query features that allow users to create a wide range of queries and reports through a zero-client browser interface.  Unlike some other tools, ERES provides a simple query interface that is geared towards business users, not high-level analysts.  With these tools users can create queries, build reports and charts from any data source, and publish the results without any training.

The data view interface shields users from database complexity, by allowing administrators to pre-define tables, joins, fields, and even filters creating in effect a local schema.  End-users can then select (typically aliased) fields, and perform ordering, sorting, filtering, and aggregation without any knowledge of the underlying database structures.

The QuickDesigner component is a zero-client browser-based ad hoc reporting and query tool, that allows users to query data views, and quickly turn the results into a finished report or chart.  The QuickDesigner can run reports/charts on any data source in the Organizer, and allows users a simple point-and-click interface to build queries.

Users can arrange, sort, and perform dynamic filtering on the data.  Once users finish creating a query, the QuickDesigner provides formatting options that allow the query to be turned into a polished report or chart or report with charts.

The QuickDesigner allows business users to handle many of their own ad hoc reporting requirements, freeing development resources from report creation/modification cycles.  Reports/charts created using QuickDesigner can be saved back to the central repository allowing them to be published with other application reports.

Centralized Management

EspressReport ES provides a central server-side repository that allows collaborative report development, and management within organizations.  The Organizer interface allows report developers and administrators to create, modify, and secure queries, reports, and charts.

The Organizer can be launched as an application on the client, or directly from the server via a Web browser.  It serves both as a central report repository, as well as a platform for developing reports and charts.  Report developers can launch the Report Designer and the Chart Designer from the Organizer.

The Report Designer is a graphical user interface, launched within the Organizer that allows users to create and customize reports.  The simple drop and drag style interface and extensive editing/formatting capabilities, makes report design quick and easy.

The Chart Designer is a graphical use interface that allows users to design and customize charts either stand-alone or within reports.  It allows users to generate a wide variety of charts based on data from data files or from database queries.  Its point and click interface enables the swift and easy creation of charts with an almost infinite degree of flexibility.

In addition, within the Organizer, Administrators can setup data sources and database connections for report developers. Privileges and security are also administered through the Organizer, allowing folders, reports, and data to be secured.

Many Publishing Options

Reports and charts in ERES can be quickly published to Web environments in a number of ways.  EspressReport ES provides a reporting portal for end users.

This customizable HTML interface called the "Menu Page" allows users to run reports in a variety of formats. In addition, users can view reports generated by schedule jobs, or run archived/versioned reports.  Any reports in the central repository are automatically published to the portal, and security roles are enforced throughout.

Reports can be viewed using the interactive DHTML viewer.  This thin client interface allows users to dynamically filter, sort, and group data in the report using a small toolbar at the top of the report.

In addition, reports in the repository can be run via HTTP URL calls.  Users can request a report directly, specify the desired output format, and the report will be streamed directly back to the client.

For more advanced publishing and integration, EspressReport ES provides an extensive Java API that allows reports to be integrated within Web applications.  Using simple deployment code users can easily create custom portals and presentations as part of their applications.

Self-Service KPI Dashboards

EspressReport ES makes it easy for you to create compelling executive dashboard presentations.  Using any of the charts, reports and maps deployed in the system, users can easily put together key pieces of pertinent information into an easy to read, custom, KPI dashboard briefing.

The dashboard presentation takes all the selected reports, charts and maps and displays them in a single page, giving users a quick snapshot of the metrics that are most important to them.  Common filters can be applied to all dashboard elements, allowing users to quickly "dial-in" to specific ranges of data.  Drill-down can be added to any of the dashboard items, allowing users to quickly drill into important figures for more detailed information.

Unlike many other dashboard solutions, performance dashboards in EspressReport ES can be created and deployed without any administrative or development overhead.  The integrated Dashboard Builder interface, provides all the tools users need to create custom KPI dashboards in a simple thin-client, point-and-click environment.  Completed dashboards can be quickly published and shared with other users.

View Dashboard Examples

KPI Alerts

Alert is a great feature that allows you to be always on top of certain critical KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for your organization. With the advent of smart phones and tablets, the alert feature is even more relevant and desirable, because it notifies you  and  thus allows you to take immediate action to deal with critical situations.

 

In a  nut shell, alert is a way for the user to receive notification when certain pre-defined event happens. We get alerts in our daily life. For example, you will get a phone call from the alarm company, if your home’s alarm system detects an attempted unauthorized entry. Your favorite supermarket sends you an email when certain items go on sale. In EspressReport ES, the pre-defined event will be the value of a KPI exceeding or falling below certain desired threshold  For example, an alert will “trigger” when sales goal is below plan, inventory of a product falls below a day’s average sales, defect rate of a product exceeds 2% etc..

 

ERES supports two types of KPI alerts : dashboard or watched alerts, and  monitoring alerts.
You can configure alerts for charts, reports, or maps and then you can monitor or watch the alerts.
To set up dashboard alert, you must have the alert-configured template (report, chart or map) included in the dashboard. You then choose the alert that you want to watch. To watch the alert(s), the user simply run the published dashboard. If at least one of the watched alerts is triggered, the report, chart, or map will start flashing and the values that triggered the alert will be highlighted in the case of a report.

 

You can also set up alert monitoring. Essentially, it is a background job that checks the value of the KPI periodically. When a monitored alert is triggered, the report/chart will be exported and saved to disk, uploaded to an FTP, or sent by email to pre-defined email recipients. Also, every time an alert is evaluated, a new log record is added to Alert Monitoring Log. Log record is created even when no alerts were triggered during the evaluation. As such, you can watch all of your KPIs over long periods of time.

Interactive Maps

EspressReport ES supports interactive maps in addition to traditional reporting, adding yet another powerful dimension to data visualization/presentation, and user-experience enhancement.  Visualization of data in geographical and spatial formats can be very useful for analysis and decision support.  One can easily think of many common and diverse questions that can be answered with enhanced visualization with maps: How is my sales coverage?  Where do I get the most revenue?  What is the demographic distribution? How is my political campaign doing geographically?  What is my (global) company's human capital distribution?  Where do the visitors to my web site come from?

EspressReport ES makes it easy for you to make interactive maps for reporting and include them in dashboards.  The two types of maps supported are Google map and SVG maps.
With high quality imagery and a very wide zoom, Google Maps are useful for displaying exact locations on maps.  You can use geocoding to locate buildings/cities on the map knowing just their addresses.  Usage of Google Maps is limited by Google Maps Terms of Service (To see the current version visit Google Maps API Terms of Service).  Google Maps can contain Tool-tips and DrillDowns.  Tool-tips are small reports or charts, which are displayed on mouse over a map marker.  They can be used to display brief summary information related to the selected location.  DrillDowns are links to parameterized charts, reports or other maps, when the user clicks on a map marker.  They are usually used to display more detailed information about the selected location.

The other supported map format is SVG.  An SVG map, as the name implies, displays the map with SVG image.  EspressReport ES distributes several SVG image files of the continents of the world, which you can use to customize for your application.  Instead of displaying tool-tips on map points, SVG maps work with areas. You can color code areas on the map based on the range of data defined for the area of interest.  Drilldown to charts, reports or other maps is supported in the same way as in Google maps.
You can mix and match map types for drilldown, i.e. a Google map can drilldown to another Google map or SVG map, and vice versa.

Data sources supported for both types of maps are same as those for reports, i.e. JDBC compliant databases, text files, Excel spreadsheets, Java classes, WSDL and Salesforce SOAP services, XML files, JDNI, and EBJ.

View Map Examples

Architecture & Deployment

EspressReport ES is designed to leverage users' existing infrastructure investments.  It deploys completely within Java EE application environments, with no separate server-side application processes.  The following diagram illustrates the basic architecture of an ERES deployment.

The ERES server deploys as a servlet collection within an application server/servlet & JSP container.  Other servlets/JSPs can be deployed in the server to connect to, and retrieve information from the ERES server (like file names, schedule information, and scheduled reports/charts).  Database buffering allows report data to be re-used (within user-supplied parameters) for faster generation.

ERES can be deployed in a single server or in a clustered environment.  When running in a cluster, one server acts as a load balancer, and routes all incoming client requests to cluster members, while maintaining a common back-end file structure.  This configuration option allows ERES to scale to high-availability deployments with thousands of users.

Most server functions can be administered remotely, using a browser-based interface.  This allows administrators to manage users/groups, and configure the server from anywhere using only a Web browser.

End to End Security Management

EspressReport ES provides a powerful security framework to handle user/group privileges as well as report page and element level security.  ERES binds privileges to report developers using an ownership model that allows security to be enforced automatically as reporting implementations grow and change.

Users can integrate custom security models and users/groups with ERES.  ERES allows direct integration with users in LDAP systems, and stored in relation databases.  In addition ERES provides open server extensions that allow users to programmatically integrate any custom security model with the ERES architecture.

Beyond privileges, security features can be extended to report templates. Templates can be configured to have specific report elements or data columns change depending on which user/group is viewing the report. In addition filters can also be automatically applied to reports to enforce page level security.

Running Reports

Report deployment is generally handled though the powerful Java application programming interface.  With the Report API, users can easily incorporate the powerful reporting engine into applets, servlets, JSPs, and applications.  EspressReport easily deploys into many popular application servers and sevlet/JSP containers.  Deployment can be as simple as placing several classes on the server.

EspressReport easily integrates with Web and application content and can generate reports in a number of different formats including tabular HTML, DHTML style sheet layouts, print-quality PDF, Microsoft Excel, and Rich Text.  Report data can be exported to XML, CSV, and text formats.  On the client-side, EspressReport provides several applet/application viewers that allow users to integrate reporting with thick-client interfaces as well.

EspressReport delivers superior enterprise reporting performance.

The high performance report engine has been greatly enhanced with innovative algorithms and data structures. It can generate very large reports (millions of rows) with minimal system resources and lightning speed. Preliminary benchmarks show that for large reports, EspressReport outperforms competitive products by, typically, two to over ten times. In our performance tests, similar reports were designed for each product. A Java program is then run to capture the time to generate reports from a database. The number of rows from the result sets range from 100,000 to 900,000. As you can see, EspressReport consistently outperforms competitor products by a wide margin.

Simple Columnar Report HTML Export
Simple Columnar Report PDF Export
Summary Break Report HTML Export
Summary Break Report PDF Export

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