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Selecting your Query Tool

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  1. Selecting your Query Tool The query tools discussed in the next several slides represent the most commonly used query tools at Penn State. A Data Warehouse user is free to select any query tool, and is not limited to the ones mentioned.

  2. Selecting your Query Tool • What is a “Query Tool”? • A query tool is a software package that allows you to connect to the data warehouse from your PC and develop queries and reports.

  3. Selecting your Query Tool There are many query tools to choose from. Below is a listing of what is currently being used on the PC: • Microsoft Access • Microsoft Excel • Cognos Impromptu

  4. Selecting your Query ToolMicrosoft Access • Using Microsoft Access to connect to the data warehouse gives the user different ways of handling the results of a query. You can create reports, charts, or load the information into a database for future use. To connect to the data warehouse with Access select 'Attach Table' from the 'File' pull-down menu. Select your data source, and enter your login information and you should be connected to the data warehouse. • Access training is available from HRDC and CAC.

  5. Selecting your Query ToolMicrosoft Excel • Excel will allow you to connect to the data warehouse. Excel launches Microsoft Query which is where you will create your query. Once your query is complete and the records you want displayed, the results of your query will be loaded into Excel. When your results have been returned to Microsoft Excel you can further manipulate your query results, print a report or create charts. • Training is available from HRDC and CAC for Excel.

  6. Selecting your Query ToolImpromptu • Impromptu is a Interactive Reporting tool that can be used to access the data warehouse. Impromptu will allow you to create sophisticated reports, queries and charts. • Impromptu requires a technical person to “administrate” the package which makes Impromptu a little more complex to initially set up and can require a technical person’s assistance. • There is currently no training available at Penn State for Impromptu.

  7. Selecting your Query Tool • Unfortunately, there are not as many query tools available for the Macintosh computer as with the PC. Listed below is what is currently being used on the Macintosh. • FileMaker Pro • FoxPro

  8. Selecting your Query ToolFileMaker Pro Using FileMaker Pro to connect to the data warehouse gives the user different ways of handling the results of a query. You can create reports, charts, or load the information into a database for future use.

  9. Selecting your Query ToolFoxPro • Visual FoxPro is a relational database system that allows you to connect to the data warehouse. FoxPro allows you to create forms, queries and reports with the visual design tools and wizards. You can organize data, define database rules, as well as build full-featured applications by providing an integrated development environment with powerful object-oriented programming tools, client/server capabilities and OLE support. • There is currently no training available at Penn State for FoxPro.

  10. Selecting your Query Tool Query Tools purchased to connect to the Data Warehouse, must meet the following specifications. • Must have ODBC Connectivity • Must issue SQL Commands Note: Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Cognos Impromptu, and Microsoft FoxPro all meet these specs

  11. Selecting your Query Tool If you would like to evaluate other query tools, here are some suggestions. • If possible use available software first to make sure you understand your needs. • Check to see what other people are using, how do they like it, any problems. • Try to get a free 30 day trial evaluation of a software package you might be interested in before purchasing something new.

  12. Training on your Query Tool You’ve selected your query tool, now what? Training ! Before you begin to develop queries you need to be familiar with how your query tool works.

  13. Training on your Query Tool • Training is available through HRDC for • Microsoft Access (for the PC) • Microsoft Excel (for the PC) • FileMaker Pro (for the Macintosh) Visit the following web site for a current schedule ais.its.psu.edu/dataware/started/train.htm or call HRDC at: 865-8216

  14. Training on your Query Tool Web Training is available from CAC for: • Microsoft Access (for the PC) • Microsoft Excel (for the PC) Visit the following web sites for more information: http://cac.psu.edu/training https://wbt.psu.edu/index.asp

  15. Ordering a Query Tool For information on ordering any of these software packages visit the Microcomputer Order Center’s web site: http://moc.cac.psu.edu/

  16. In Conclusion • Select a query tool. • Get training on that tool. • Now you’re ready to begin thinking about developing queries!!

  17. Questions??? If you have any questions on the information that was covered in this module, suggestions or comments please feel free to send an email to: ymr1@psu.edu