6 Important Tips for Choosing the Right Reporting Tool

1. What types of data sources does it support?
A good reporting tool should support these common databases, including such mainstream relational databases as Oracle, SqlServer, MySql, DB2, Sybase, Access, Derby, Postgre or Informix.
In addition, it is better if it supports the use of data in Excel, Txt or XML documents, BI multi-dimensional databases such as Essbase, SSAS, SAP, HADOOP, or other data source including stored procedures, SAP data sources and heterogeneous data sources. The more data sources the reporting tool supports, the easier when we use it. As we know the enterprise data is from how many different systems and more complex data will be used in the future.
2. How easy is it to use the report designer?
We all want to design a report as quickly as possible and this based on how easy is the report designer to learn and how easy is it to use. It’s wonderful if we only use a little or no coding. A WYSIWYG and Excel-based interface will help a lot if you want to save time and let your customer create reports by himself without IT help.
3. Does it support the complex report and rich visual effects?
Inevitably, some complex reports must be designed which incorporate different sections or sub-sections, combining different report types and formats. A good reporting tool must support it and makes it an easy work.
In addition, rich tables, graphs and charts must be supported to display the complex data difficult to read. User-friendly interactive effects and pleasing appearance are also very important.
4. Does the reporting tool support mobile devices?
Many people would agree that we’ve just entered the “post-PC” era. We are soon going to be surfing almost exclusively on our smartphones and tablets. Mobile Application can make us check the report anywhere at any time, periodically send report we want and can warn us if an emergency happens.
5. What types of export and printing formats does it support?
Users often want to take report output and print it. So if it can support exporting .pdf, Word, Excel, .txt, .svg, images or other file types you or your customer need is very important. Some reports need to be printed regularly, so we want to use an easy way to print and obtain a high accuracy. A wide variety of print controls including page-break printing, scale printing, silent printing or offset printing is also needed to meet different print requirements.
6. Is the reporting software a closed application?
Some users need secondary development to meet their individualized requirements. So the reporting tool cannot be a closed one. It may let developers use web scripts or API interfaces for deep development and control. And if it can support plug-in development,there will be rich and amazing functions for users.

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Post was last edited on March 29, 2016 5:04 AM PDT

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