Last week I wrote about my experience downloading and setting up Stonefield Query. This SalesLogix reporting tool has been around for years and I thought it was time to take a close look at the tool and its capabilities. I am still in the introductory mode, getting use to where things are. Today we will take a look at the user interface.
I entered into Stonefield Query through the desk top icon left from the install. I had to enter in the username and password for Stonefield Query only, the system remembered the database login information for the last database I worked with which for me is great. I can’t tell you how many times I have lost my database connection for reports I have built in Crystal.
The user interface that came up is clean and straight forward.
The File menu allows you to:
Create a new report or folder.
Delete, rename, copy, or edit an existing report.
Open a new database connection.
Import and export report.
Print and preview your reports.
The Edit menu contains the usual Cut, Copy, and Paste options along with the Undo and Redo functionality.
The Tools menu is where you:
Manage your passwords, users and licenses.
Run the report scheduler.
Set up templates
Import email Addresses
You will also find your user options interface
The Help menu brings you to what I like so far the most about Stonefield query, the documentation. Every question I have had so far has been easily answered through the Help files with clear understandable information. Also in the help menu you will find the Stonefield Query Reference Manual which is a .pdf document with over 400 pages of information.
As with most user interfaces, the tool bar brings some of the more commonly used functionality from the menus to the fore front.
The main pane is broken up into two sections. The section to the left is a tree control listing containing folders and reports. You have the ability to add folders one layer deep to organize your reports. A right click on any of the items in the tree control will bring up the list with all of the items seen on the File menu. As you highlight items on the left the section on the right changes to display the properties of the selected item. Everything is up front and easy to use and understand.
The SalesLogix version of this reporting tool comes with 7 canned reports. These reports are very simple and I believe are more to get the user started, more for showing some of the possibilities you have with reporting in this tool then to provide any real purpose. But they do run and provide feed back so their value is for you to decide. To run a report, highlight and click Preview button on the tool bar. Again very simple and easy to use.
So there you go, a very high level introduction to the user interface. Through this process I noticed that there is a wizard that helps you build your report. We will dig into that next week when we try to create our first report.
As I go through this process of writing about Stonefield Query I started to develop a list of questions:
Can I edit the layout of my reports?
Can I add graphs into any of the reports I build?
Often I have to use formulas to provide data for my reports, is this possible?
I know I can use filters, but can I set the data for the filter at the time I run my report?
Can I build my report with a lot of data elements and then use values entered at runtime to set what of that data is displayed when the report prints?
I often like to use SQL Views to organize my data for reporting, is this possible?
I am sure I will come up with some more as we go forward reviewing this reporting tool and I look forward to discovering the answers. Thanks for reading?
Until next time, be well, do good things and keep smiling.
Please Contact – Scott Weber @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in seeing a demo of this reporting tool.