The feature that everyone knows about yet does not use? That would be the reports.
I say that everyone knows about them because we throw them in your face..at least in terms of the user interface. It’s feature prominently next to where you see your database connections and objects.
Yet, when I ask a room full of people, I routinely get about 10-15% positive responses.
So, where is the disconnect?
Do You Routinely Ask the Same Questions, Run the Same Queries?
Then you should be building reports.
If you have every wondered what your session is doing, or someone else’s, and you opened up the Tools > Monitor Sessions page, then you have used a Report.
This same information can be found here:
And if I wanted to stay in the realm of the Monitor Sessions feature, I could tease you a previous post on how to make it show you the information YOU want to see by customizing the report.
How often do you answer the same question?
Someone wants to know many widgets we sold to customer X?
Someone wants to know how much money someone is making?
Someone wants to know how many log switches were happening, and what hour of what day the database was REALLY thrashing?
— this nifty-awesome report via David Mann.
Just about any question can be resolved via a query. Why not formalize it with a report? Reports can be reused and shared. You’re less likely to make a mistake then re-typing or rebuilding your code from scratch. And if you really get tired of answering the same questions, you can simply send the report to the end user for them to run for themselves – assuming they have database access.
And Reports Are Soooooo Much Easier To Design Now
Iterative design sums it up in version 4. You can live-preview your report as you build it. This means you can make sure it looks exactly like you want. Previously you had to edit, save, run to see what it would look like.
Plus, we have 50 new chart styles to choose from.
Plus, you can launch reports from the command-line-interface.
I don’t like to actively sell a feature too much. But, this feature CAN REALLY save you guys a lot of time. And if I have to use my bully-pulpit, then so be it 🙂