roxana popista u it staff roxana maria popistasu@bnl etat lu n.
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Roxana Popistaşu IT staff Aleph reports from request to response. The need for reports. Statistical data for BnL (management, communication etc.) Libraries in the national network “” Consortium Luxembourg etc. Problem solving Help in

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Roxana Popistaşu IT staff

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the need for reports
The need for reports
  • Statistical data for
      • BnL (management, communication etc.)
      • Libraries in the national network “”
      • Consortium Luxembourg etc.
  • Problem solving
  • Help in
      • decision making
      • improving workflows
report creation
Report creation
  • different systems => different manners of creating reports
  • pre-requisites – knowledge about:
      • the system itself
      • the underlying database
      • the report creation tools / system (e.g. ARC - Cognos)
      • the relationship between system data and report system data (e.g. Aleph data vs. ARC Packages)
  • data confidentiality
report distribution
Report distribution
  • distribution of reports until now:
      • request (email/conversation)
      • creation
      • send (email)
  • problems:
      • several people receiving requests
      • redoing the same report for a different institution or period
      • difficult to find previous reports or versions of the same report
      • little to no trace of previous requests

=> The process is not scalable.

report distribution1
Report distribution
  • Goals:
      • one single platform for all reports
      • homogeneous report presentation
      • standard access for all users
      • automation (as much as possible)
report creation1
Report creation
  • Aleph reports:
      • ARC Report Studio
      • Oracle SQL reports
report creation arc
Report creation - ARC
  • Query Studio
      • ad hoc queries
      • simple reports and charts
  • Report Studio
      • advanced reports and charts (multiple-page, multiple-query)
      • specific needs (complex prompts and filters)
      • greater flexibility in calculating and formatting results
      • re-use
report studio
Report Studio
  • Challenges
      • complexity of the tool*
      • little ExLibris documentation*
      • knowledge of the underlying database
      • difficulty dealing with error messages (+ access to the log files on the ARC server)

“CM-REQ-4342 The client did something wrong.”“You do not have permission to use Report Studio. Report Studio is shutting down. For more information, contact the administrator.”

* IBM training: Cognos Report Studio (3 days)

reports multiple query crosstabs
Reports (multiple-query & crosstabs)
  • Crosstab reports are used to show the relationships between three or more query items.
  • Crosstab reports show data in rows and columns with information summarized at the intersection points.
reports prompts
Reports (prompts)

Useful for:

  • running the same report with different parameters
  • creating Report Views
reports conditional formatting
Reports (conditional formatting)
  • conditional styles
    • better identify exceptional or unexpected results
  • conditional layouts
    • multilingual reports
    • multiformat reports (pdf, Excel, html etc.)

Reports (report views)

  • Report views ≈ different outputs of the same report
      • the same report specification as the source report
      • different properties: prompt values, schedules, delivery methods, run options, languages, and output formats
  • Example:
      • report: “Loans per month”
      • possible report views: “BnL - Loans per month (pdf)”, “BnL - Loans per month (xls)”, “Uni - Loans per month (yearly)”, “Uni - Loans per month (trimester)”
reports schedule
Reports (schedule)
  • recurring date and time for running
  • works with both reports and report views
  • default values or changed options
report creation oracle sql
Report creation – Oracle SQL
  • User friendly formatting and headers
  • Excel friendly output (comma or tab delimited files)
  • Use of prompts for parameter values
  • Use of UNIX cron jobs for scheduling
from creation to distribution1
From creation to distribution
  • Create reports according to institutional needs and preferences
      • ARC: report views
      • Oracle SQL: parameterized SQL scripts
  • Schedule reports to run periodically
      • ARC: use schedules for report views
      • Oracle SQL: use UNIX cron jobs for SQL scripts
  • Regularly check for new files & copy them to the distribution platform (rsync, scp)
report distribution platform
Report distribution platform
  • Code name: ReD
  • Web interface – three languages
  • Functionalities:
      • search for and browse existing reports
      • request new reports
      • request schedule modification or cancelation
red workflow new report
ReD – workflow new report

decision of the person

in charge of the network,

consortium, system etc.

analysis &

creation of the report

(ARC, SQL etc.)


in ReD



notification sent to the user requesting

the report and the other

users of the same institution


in ReD

(email, blog)

notification sent all other

(interested) users about the existence

of a new “standard report”

future steps
Future steps
  • creation of new reports and integration into ReD
  • update (and possible improvement) of reports when switching to production Aleph v21 and ARC v3.0
  • integration of other systems (,, websites etc.)
  • different levels of access
aleph reports from request to response
Aleph reportsfrom request to response

Questions, remarks, suggestions?

Roxana Popistaşu