NGS Makes DB2/400 Data Accessible from MS Office
May 15, 2007 Alex Woodie
There is no sense in denying it: Microsoft Office–not a 5250 screen–is the interface that the majority of people feel the most comfortable using. With this sentiment in mind, System i business intelligence software vendor New Generation Software unveiled a new product called Qport Office that gives users of Excel, Word, and even PowerPoint quick and easy access to DB2 data and queries. Best of all, NGS is giving away the new entry-level BI product to the first few hundred customers.
“Microsoft Excel is the de facto standard for business data analysis in companies of all sizes,” says Bernard Gough, president of NGS, which is based in Sacramento, California. “Even though our current BI solutions do much more, we wanted an entry point for the thousands of small to mid size companies who haven’t had the time, lack the experience to implement, or can’t cost-justify a more robust BI solution.”
The answer, according to NGS, is Qport Office, a new product unveiled two weeks ago at the COMMON conference in Anaheim, California. No longer will users have to manually move data into Excel by cutting and pasting the data from their query outputs. With Qport Office, NGS is providing a reporting tool that leverages existing DB2/400 queries and Office knowledge, and enables “one-click” loading of DB2/400 data into Excel, Access, Word, and PowerPoint.
As a Windows program, users can run Qport Office from one-click icons loaded on the Windows desktop. Alternatively, users can open a full Qport Office screen to pull up more options. One of the extra options that come with Qport Office is the capability to specify a named range to receive data. By specifying a named range, formatting, formulas, charts, and references are maintained as the spreadsheet is updated with the latest System i data, NGS says.
Gough says Qport Office will satisfy the needs of a wide swath of potential NGS customers. “They want a low-cost, no-risk way to simplify their reporting of analysis work they have in-house today,” he says. “Qport Office was developed for these companies.”
NGS announced that the first 250 attendees of the COMMON show in Anaheim who approached NGS about Qport Office would get a free two-user license for the product. The company plans to offer the same deal to attendees of other shows and conferences where it exhibits this summer.
Once these companies start playing around with Qport Office, the thinking goes, they’ll want to explore the capabilities and possibilities of NGS’ more advanced line of products, including its flagship product, NGS-IQ and the IQ Server, which form the basis for a variety of BI solutions, including the creations of data warehouses and data marts, Web-based business performance dashboards and key performance indicators (KPIs), and multidimensional and online analytical processing (OLAP) analytics.
Qport Office requires i5/OS V5R1 or higher, Query/400, Windows 98SE, NT, 2000 or XP; and Microsoft Office Professional 2000 or above. For more information on Qport Office, visit www.ngsi.com.