What is impromptu?
Impromptu is an interactive database reporting tool. It allows Power Users to query data without programming knowledge. It is only capable of reading the data.
· Impromptu’s main features includes,
· Interactive reporting capability
· Enterprise-wide scalability
· Superior user interface
· Fastest time to result
· Lowest cost of ownership
Impromptu stores metadata in subject related folders..
A catalog contains:
· Folders—meaningful groups of information representing columns from one or more tables
· Columns—individual data elements that can appear in one or more folders
· Calculations—expressions used to compute required values from existing data
· Conditions—used to filter information so that only a certain type of information is displayed
· Prompts—pre-defined selection criteria prompts that users can include in reports they create
· Other components, such as metadata, a logical database name, join information, and user classes
You can use catalogs to
· view, run, and print reports
· export reports to other applications
· disconnect from and connect to the database
· create reports
· change the contents of the catalog
· add user classes
You can use prompts to
• filter reports • calculate data items • format data
A picklist prompt presents you with a list of data items from which you select one or more values, so you need not be familiar with the database. The values listed in picklist prompts can be retrieved from
· a database via a catalog when you want to select information that often changes.
· a column in another saved Impromptu report, a snapshot, or a HotFile
A report can include a prompt that asks you to select a product type from a list of those available in the database. Only the products belonging to the product type you select are retrieved and displayed in your report.
Reports are created by choosing fields from the catalog folders. This process will build a SQL (Structured Query Language) statement behind the scene. No SQL knowledge is required to use Impromptu. The data in the report may be formatted, sorted and/or grouped as needed. Titles, dates, headers and footers and other standard text formatting features (italics, bolding, and font size) are also available.
Once the desired layout is obtained, the report can be saved to a report file.
This report can then be run at a different time, and the query will be sent to the database. It is also possible to save a report as a snapshot. This will provide a local copy of the data. This data will not be updated when the report is opened.
Cross tab reports, similar to Excel Pivot tables, are also easily created in Impromptu.
Frames are the building blocks of all Impromptu reports and templates. They may contain report objects, such as data, text, pictures, and charts.
There are no limits to the number of frames that you can place within an individual report or template. You can nest frames within other frames to group report objects within a report.
Different types of frames and its purpose for creating frame based reporting
· Form frame: An empty form frame appears.
· List frame: An empty list frame appears.
· Text frame: The flashing I-beam appears where you can begin inserting text.
· Picture frame: The Source tab (Picture Properties dialog box) appears. You can use this tab to select the image to include in the frame.
· Chart frame: The Data tab (Chart Properties dialog box) appears. You can use this tab to select the data item to include in the chart.
· OLE Object: The Insert Object dialog box appears where you can locate and select the file you want to insert, or you can create a new object using the software listed in the Object Type box.
· Unified query and reporting interface: It unifies both query and reporting interface in a single user interface
· Object oriented architecture: It enables an inheritance based administration so that more than 1000 users can be accommodated as easily as single user
· Complete integration with PowerPlay: It provides an integrated solution for exploring trends and patterns
· Scalability: Its scalability ranges from single user to 1000 user
· Security and Control: Security is based on user profiles and their classes.
· Data presented in a business context: It presents information using the terminology of the business.
· Over 70 pre defined report templates: It allows users can simply supply the data to create an interactive report
· Frame based reporting: It offers number of objects to create a user designed report
· Business relevant reporting: It can be used to generate a business relevant report through filters, pre conditions and calculations
· Database independent catalogs: Since catalogs are in independent nature they require minimum maintenance