Informing the IBM Community

New and improved: Advanced Excel integration from Symtrax; HelpSystems enhances ROBOT/Console; Fresche Legacy beefs up entry-level app analysis


Symtrax StarQuery

Midrange specialist Symtrax has released a new version of StarQuery Suite, its set of Excel-integrated BI tools for managing databases, queries, reports and access rights.

StarQuery (pictured above) extracts data from i-based ERP applications directly into Excel and there is also an extension for dealing with the quirks of Oracle’s JDE World

For admins, StarQuery 4.3 features a central web console-based management system to automate and schedule queries, tasks, scenarios and planning. It also gives them the ability to grant and manage individual Excel user rights and licenses through a web interface.

Each user may be assigned selected privileges such as building queries or executing pre-built queries. StarQuery tracks and analyses query usage, allowing for admins to optimise query maintenance and disk space.

End-users get strengthened integration with Excel Power View and all Office 2013 tools, including direct access within StarQuery to Excel pie charts, line graphs, scatter plots, histograms, maps and mosaics.

Other features include a display of the connections between files, queries, and map files as well as notifications when reports are modified. Reports can be emailed directly from the web console with  conditional formatting to improve report readability.

HelpSystems has announced that all of its i-based solutions are fully tested and ready for IBM i version 7.2.

A member of IBM’s ISV Council, the company has over 60 products that run on the platform. A spokesman described that getting them all prepared for v7.2’s release in May as “a huge undertaking”.

HelpSystems has also enhanced its Robot/CONSOLE message and resource monitoring software.

In addition to simplifying Robot/CONSOLE’s job monitor setup process, the tool now allows system admins to focus their selection of jobs being monitored by specifying job-type (interactive, batch), threshold and run priority.

The updated R05M29 version of Robot/CONSOLE also monitors for any job in a MSGW (message waiting) status and notifies administrators each time a resource monitor is not in its expected status.

The company says that its customers sometimes overlooked the initial message in previous versions. They can now set up an option either at the resource monitor level or in the system defaults to ensure that important messages are not ignored.

For Robot/CONSOLE customers escalating their messages to Robot/ALERT, the solution now supports a new option to connect to their SMPT server using SSL.

Fresche Legacy has expanded the functionality of the entry-level version of X-Analysis, its application documentation and analysis tool.

Automated data model extraction from RPG and COBOL – a key feature previously available only in the product’s Enterprise Edition – is now available in the X-Analysis Professional Edition.

The company says that the move was prompted by feedback suggesting that in order to really take advantage of IBM i’s newest database and SQL features, documenting the relational data model was a critical requirement.

It also says that it found that companies that used the popular Hawkeye debugging tool needed a graphical interface for application analysis and cross-referencing capabilities. Fresche is therefore making X-Analysis available to Hawkeye users through a free upgrade.

Fresche says that X-Analysis has a breadth of functionality beyond Hawkeye that improves maintenance and support of RPG, COBOL and CA 2E (Synon) applications.

X-­Analysis provides detailed app documentation, including interactive diagrams, to give developers insight into IBM i apps. It extracts the details of existing RPG, COBOL and CA 2E (Synon) code, providing a base for design recovery, system documentation and analysis, including migration to RPG/Free or Java.

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