Friday, 16 September 2005

Of glacial progress and other joys ...

Been rather busy lately and have finally got a small respite to allow a breath or two.
Things that have been keeping me occupied,

    • Porting some of our reports from our current reporting product Cyberquery, over to SQL Reporting Services. A note to those of you wondering if Cyberquery is any good, it's one claim to fame that sets it apart from other reporting tools is that it natively connects to Progress databases. Other than that it is a very average offering in the reporting arena.

      I suppose it doesn't really help that the implementation that was provided to us consists of the Cyberquery report files, a bunch of Progress 4GL code, a small Progress database holding report batch details and summary data, some Windows batch files to manage the rendering of reports in batches and a Perl application to perform the email distribution.

      Thankfully this is all made vastly simpler with SQL Reporting Services. We just have a report on Reporting Services, a SQL Server database, (really just a collection of stored procedures to provide the report data ) and a single application that manages the rendering and distribution (see next point).
    • Writing a C# console application to render and distribute the reports as PDF files. What has been a great excursion into the world of Web Services and .Net
    • Fiddling with Reporting Services script files to automate the report deployment.
    • Studying my a** off for my Master of Systems Development, got an exam for my third of sixteen subjects later today.
    • Of course I always put in an appearence at my regular community haunts, the great and what will hopefully become the down-under equivalent Australian SQL Server User Group

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