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Re: cross tables in reports?

From: Todd Boyle
Subject: Re: cross tables in reports?
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:10:37 -0800

At 02:21 AM 10/31/2002, address@hidden wrote:

Can gnue reports, or any other Free database tool for that matter, create
crosstables, i.e. what <spit> excel <spit> calls pivot tables, (yes i know
the OOo spreadsheet has the "Data Pilot" which is OpenOffice's answer to
pivot tables but it's a point-and-click interactive tool and not a

Great question!  cross tabulation is extremely valuable to users.   It is
useful to distinguish between the goal of computing a particular crosstab
at design time, versus providing users dynamic cross-tabs among a
whole, balanced data surfing capability at runtime.   The latter is of course
much harder but turns out, pretty essential for managers to investigate
and understand problems /oppties which, guess what.  design time
programmers cannot always anticipate.

If anybody here, has never played with the Excel pivot tables, please make
a point to do that for your own information.  Basically it allows you to point
to any typical Excel table with 3,4,5 etc. independent dimensions in differnet
columns, and allows you to create any crosstab from them.   Excel creates
a little graphical "Brick" which you can drag to the X or Y axis, as a user
interface, then it repaints the data grid with the crosstab you requested.

OLAP vendors have been providing dynamic crosstabs for at least a
decade, against large datasets usu. by precomputing various subtotals.

In the 1990s I used the "TRANSFORM" statement in MS Jet (DAO) for
cross tabulations which lets you do that in SQL syntax.   There are
a whole bunch of RDBMSs, spreadsheets, etc. that provide crosstabs.

Would others please contribute to a solution to this question!   This is
a question that is worth discussion, IMO,

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