MS Windows/SUN front-end tools for scientific environment?? 
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 MS Windows/SUN front-end tools for scientific environment??

We're an engineering environment and have been looking for a good GUI tool
(MS Windows or SUN) for performing complex ad hoc queries and then turning
some of those into reporting functions to be run routinely.  Some things
that we could use are:

     1) Report generation - it would be nice to blend info from
           several queries into a single report.

     2) Seemless and automatic connection from query to data analysis -
           Since most of our data is numeric, the database query is only
           half the battle.  We then need some pretty heavy duty stats
           processing for analyzing the results.  We would also like this
           info to go into a report.

     3) GUI to create procedural queries - some of the queries that we've
           been trying to do have ended up not being able to be done with
           single statement SQL which is what the tools we've tried end up
           creating.  What we would like to have is a GUI which allows you
           to create procedures to use in SYBASE using all of the flow control
           constructs.  Additionally, the real big help would be the ability
           to incorporate the use of temporary tables into these procedural
           queries. (The GUI could possibly hide the fact that it had to
           create a procedure or temporary table at all)

The tools that we have some experience with are ACCESS, Q+E, SQL Commander
and Desktop DBA.  Even though these are MS Windows, our ideal situation
would be to use the same application on PC's and SUN's.

If anyone has any knowledge of some products that might meet the above needs
please let me know.  I know number 3 may be a lot to ask, but what's the harm.



Todd Krochta     Picker International
                 595 Miner Road
                 Cleveland, OH  44143

Fri, 29 Dec 1995 23:24:45 GMT
 MS Windows/SUN front-end tools for scientific environment??

You may want to take a look at Sybase's SQR products.  While they
are not GUI and "seamless" they will accomplish many of the things
you want to do.

Sun, 31 Dec 1995 19:26:39 GMT
 MS Windows/SUN front-end tools for scientific environment??

The following is an excerpt for the final report I am working on.
This blurb summarizes a methodology that I have been promoting for
separating the process of format and presentation of data from the
process of extracting the data view from the RDBMS.  This methodology
has been but into practice for several projects in the financial
management sector.

Dr. Bruce H. Cottman                             I-Kinetics, Inc.
                                                19 Bishop Allen Drive
                                                 Cambridge, MA 02139

Spreadsheets as an alternative to 4GL frontends
The major benefits are:
- simplicity
- speed in formatting reports

What we have found in evaluating RDBMS frontend tools (4GL, report
writers, forms, SQL query generators/assistants), not too
surprisingly, was that knowledge of the data structure and syntax of a
relational system is at least as important as understanding the
enterprise/domain data model.  Furthermore, the data model design is
often dominated by performance and size contraints.  The setting of a
index being a common example.  The technical sophistication required
to develop efficient, well-behaved SQL code should reside with the
enterprise's IS staff.

However, available desktop wordprocessing and spreadsheets have raised
the end-user's standards of acceptable data presentation and reporting
quality.  SQL provides minimal formatting support.  Existing 4GL
report writers can not compete with the formatting and publishing
features of the leading wordprocessing and spreadsheet applications.

Separating the responsibility of query specification (IS staff) and
report formatting (end-user) is a major benefit being discoverd by
organizations migrating to client/server architectures.  For example,
the spreadsheets is an ideal tool for developing concise analytical
reports that focus in on essential information.  More importantly the
end-user is empowered. The end-user (not IS staff) designs a
preliminary report in a familiar spreadsheet environment, retrieves
data into it, checks the results, then based on the results, modifies
the report.  Report modification is done iteractively using the
familiar tools of the spreadsheet.

Using the spreadsheet, the user can produce reports which would be
difficult if not impossible using report writing tools.  Data can be
marshalled from multiple sources other than RDBMSs, from different
types of data, using multiple queries and data processing filters
(SQL, Unix shell scripts, Perl, awk, grep, sed, etc.).  The queries
and filters having been developed and verified by the technically
sophisicated IS staff.

You might be interested in the I-Kinetics product
        I-Bridge for Excel
if so you can contact:

Sales, ATTN: Abe Hirsch
I-Kinetics, Inc.
19 Bishop Allen Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
Voice: (800)457-4555
Fax: (617) 661-8625

I-Bridge: Complete solution for accessing Oracle and Sybase from MS Excel

Today's most vexing data problem is not whether or where the needed
information exists but how to transfer it to and from your favorite
desktop application. Usually the solutions available are to type in
the data, or import a file from a network or floppy disk.

With I-Bridge you can access more and better information now, when you
need it.  While in Excel can grab data directly from remote corporate
databases.  You gain access to up-to-the-minute database information.
And since the data is now in your Microsoft Windows application, you
have complete control to format and analyze it to your specific needs.
All this without having to learn yet another application just so that
you can get your job done. There is no learning curve. You realize
increased productivity immediately.

*********I-Bridge for Windows Version 2.1 Features************

**Full Unix and TCP/IP networking support.**

I-Bridge for Windows supports the major vendor PC/Windows TCP/IP
implementations: WinSock compliant vendors, Microsoft TCP/IP, Sun PC/NFS,
FTP Software, Novell LWP, NetManage, Frontier, and Distinct.

**OpenClient, Oracle SQL*Net etc. is not required**

One simple install. No need to switch among different DBMS vendor drivers.
You don't even need to install them.  The I-Bridge works directly with
your TCP/IP network.

**Breaks the 64KB Windows Data Transfer Barrier.**

I-Bridge succeeds where other Windows database links fail. It breaks
through 64 KByte barrier of MS Windows with data transfers of 1000 KByte
or more.  

One of the most difficult problems in Microsoft Windows is moving data
chunks bigger than 64 kilobytes (KB) into Excel worksheets.  Large
data chunks must be broken up into smaller chunks of less than 64KB,
transferred and then reassembled in the worksheet.

Who needs more 64KB?  This is about 800 rows.  Is this enough? Not
when finance wants an audit report. Not when marketing wants quota
drilldowns.  Not when trading wants a fund holdings detail.  How big
is your database 1MB, 100MB, 10,000MB?  What are the chances that you
are going to need to download more than 64KB of data from it?  What
are going to do?

Managing the assembly of chunks of data in Excel results in burdensome
and complicated macros.  Worse though is breaking up a straightforward
request for data from an information service into many requests that
result in smaller data chunks.  When retrieving data from databases
this can be particularily expensive.  You can not use existing (and
verified) SQL, stored procedures or 4GL code.  You have to develop
your own.  Additionally, the data model of the database may have to be
modified so that you can select small chunks of data (subsets of

The I-Bridge uses a sophisticated data streaming technology to avoid
this problem.  You do not need to worry about whether you are
requesting small amounts of data or large amounts of data because the
I-Bridge will manage the complete transfer of any size of data into
your Excel worksheet for you.

**Retrieves data in background freeing you to do other work.**

Asking for data against heavily loaded information services, such as
database servers, can result in long wait times.  Do you want Excel
spreadsheet to be blocked for minutes, maybe even hours?  With the
I-Bridge you can avoid the ``hourglass'' curse.  You are free to use
Excel while an I-Bridge Thread works in the background.  For example,
you can work with one spreadsheet while a request for data for another
spreadsheet occurs in the background.

Optionally, you can have the Thread work in the foreground.  In
foreground mode, Excel will wait for each request to complete and the
data to be completely transferred to a worksheet.

**The fastest data transfer available.**

I-Bridge blasts data in at greater 100 pages per minute!

I-Bridge will manage the translation from the Service's native data
format to Excel's preferred native XLTable data format. Data transfer
into Excel is very fast because Excel does not have to convert the


I-Bridge Triggers represent the latest in client/server features.
I-Bridge will place the data in an Excel worksheet and then trigger
the Excel macro you specify.  There is no need for you to develop
complicated and costly code that detects the completion of a request.

You can build very sophisticated spreadsheet applications using
I-Bridge triggers.  For example, you can build sophisticated
spreadsheet models or reports with I-Bridge automatically gathering
the data from remote databases.  You can also pre-schedule your
transfers from one or more corporate databases, automating daily,
weekly or monthly analysis and reporting.  And please, don't let your
imagination stop there.  You can automatically distribute these
reports using already in-place e-mail, printers or fax modems.  Or
automatically store them in a remote database.  You could even
automate the generation of an up-to-date distribution list using the
I-Bridge to reach the corporation's employee or customer profile

**Distributed Multiprocessing**

With the I-Bridge you can simultaneously task several Services by
creating multiple Threads.  This enables you to split various tasks
into a series of subtasks that can be scheduled for execution.
Multithreading enables a substantial increase in computing performance
as these multiple Services work on your requests at the same time.
The result is that data and calculated results are returned faster
than before to your Excel application.

**Transaction Monitor**

See the status of all your pending requests immediately.

**Access to Oracle and Sybase, the two most popular Unix DBMSs.**

The I-Bridge supports both standard SQL and SQL extensions. You
can use your organizations full investment is such advanced DBMS features
as stored procedures, aggregates and multiple selects.

**Quality Assurance**

The I-Bridge handles {*filter*} Windows memory management and networking
event handling problems that usually causes others to crash.

Tue, 02 Jan 1996 06:47:28 GMT
 [ 3 post ] 

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