Sponsored by Broadcom
Quickly and effectively accessing large volumes of complex business-critical data is a complicated task, since the information resides in heterogeneous data sources and platforms across multiple applications. Yet, any delay in relaying information can have a significant impact on an organization’s ability to deliver value to end users. Simply put, choosing the right tool for enterprise reporting is crucial to success. The good news is that the right tool is ready and waiting: Easytrieve.
Easytrieve delivers multiple benefits for data access, manipulation, and reporting, enabling users to become operationally effective in processing tremendous amounts of data and, ultimately, to do more with less.
Familiar and Powerful Syntax
Easytrieve uses English-like statements that closely resemble natural language reducing the learning curve for new users. It also provides both experienced and inexperienced developers with the capability to perform complex programming tasks with simpler statements than other programming languages, as well as a lower lines-of-code count.
For example, COBOL programs typically require more lines of code to accomplish the same functionality as an Easytrieve program due to the additional syntax and structure required in COBOL. The English-like statements and built-in report-generation capabilities of Easytrieve frequently achieve a reduction of over 50% in code length compared to COBOL. In fact, Easytrieve resulted in over 90% less code when compared with some publicly-available COBOL-generated programs.
Additionally, Easytrieve’s syntax will be familiar to database administrators, and business users and data analysts alike, thanks to its similarity to PL/SQL. This enables an effective use of resources. Users can take existing SQL statements and, instead of requesting AppDev teams to write a program to process the data, they can do so on their own without delay.
A few examples on syntax similarity between Easytrieve and PL/SQL include:
DECLARE emailAddress varchar(100) DEFAULT "";
DEFINE emailAddress W 102 A VARYING DEFAULT ''
DECLARE curEmail CURSOR FOR SELECT email FROM employees;
SQL DECLARE curEmail CURSOR FOR SELECT email FROM employees
//fetch from cursor
FETCH curEmail INTO emailAddress;
SQL FETCH curEmail INTO :emailAddress
Simplified File and Record Access
File handling contains many tedious, repetitive, and error-prone steps. The monotonous work includes opening/closing files, reading the records, writing loops, and remembering the last-read position.
Easytrieve eliminates much of the grunt work by providing a convenient and straightforward way to interact with the files. Easytrieve:”
- Abstracts the low-level details of file access,
- Provides high-level programming constructs to work with data,
- Iterates through the records in the file, and
- Can handle the opening and closing of the files on its own.
A simple example of an effective reading of records — Easytrieve takes care of the rest behind the scenes.
By using Easytrieve, users can focus on the logic of their program rather than getting bogged down with the intricacies of file handling.
Flexible Reporting and Output Management
Easytrieve's strong reporting capabilities make it a powerful tool for generating a wide range of reports of varying complexity. Its array of features and options enables the efficient creation of well-structured and visually appealing reports:
- Report Layout Control. Users can define titles, headings, columns, and summary lines using dedicated statements and let Easytrieve automatically calculate and take care of correctly formatting the lines. This enables users to create professional-looking reports with clear labels and well-organized data in a short timeframe while focusing on what matters the most: data accuracy.
- Conditional Reporting. Users can specify the conditions under which certain data should be included in the report. This allows for dynamic reporting based on specific criteria, such as filtering records or displaying specific sections that meet certain conditions. With conditional reporting, users have fewer programs to maintain to produce different reports from the same data sets.
- Dynamic Reports. Dynamic reporting typically requires advanced working storage handling. However, Easytrieve makes defining working storage easy by simply placing them in the library section of their programs where they are quickly accessible.
- External Output Options. Easytrieve offers great flexibility in terms of output options. Users can direct the report output to different destinations, including terminals, printers, or external files. This allows users to generate reports in various formats, such as HTML for easy web access and XML for integration into web applications for real-time data.
Customized and Extended Functionality
Easytrieve provides a powerful feature called macros, which allows users to define reusable code blocks that can be included and expanded within Easytrieve programs. Macros help reduce duplication of code and improve code maintainability.
Easytrieve macros can be stored and maintained in a macro library. This gives users the ability to secure macros against unauthorized access and manage stored macros outside of Easytrieve programs.
While users can create their own macros, Easytrieve provides hundreds of predefined macros through optional components known as Easytrieve Toolkit and PanAudit, allowing users to effectively use:
- Generalized routines to perform a wide array of tasks common to general data analysis, from numerical analysis to test data generation.
- Statistical routines to provide the information users need to design and select a statistically valid sample.
Macros also help users take full advantage of SMF reporting, a simple yet flexible method to access and report on data from the IBM System Management Facilities (SMF). Users can obtain results from the SMF reporting system by invoking macro statements that do not require a detailed knowledge of SMF records. This enables users to monitor and document various activities within their organization, such as performance monitoring or compliance and governance. Using macros is an efficient and effective method for reusing code and reducing the coding time compared to copying code within their program. Copying entire existing programs may make development easy, but the programs are difficult to maintain and have excessive overhead.
The Bottom Line
Easytrieve has been designed with efficiency in mind. It is a well-structured program that utilizes language features appropriately to improve efficiency. This includes using appropriate control structures, minimizing redundant code, and leveraging file organization methods.
Ready to learn more about how you can achieve greater efficiency in accessing and processing large volumes of business-critical data? Sign up for a 30-minute, no-cost assessment and get started on attaining the most value from your Easytrieve implementation.
Or, if you would like to discuss Easytrieve strategy, please get in touch with me directly.
Dalibor Bielas is a product manager at Broadcom.