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OLAP and GNUe [was Re: cross tables in reports?]

From: Jason Cater
Subject: OLAP and GNUe [was Re: cross tables in reports?]
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2002 17:28:26 -0600

This isn't really a reply to Todd's observation, but just a general one on
this thread.  Actually, I think any more responses to this thread should
be renamed: "OLAP and GNUe". 

Certainly, as Stan, Gontran, Derek, et al, are suggesting, I see great
value in getting GNUe to talk to existing OLAP tools.  

However, the original topic of this thread was cross-tables in Reports.
GNUe *will* (pretty much does) support simple pivot tables/cross
tabulation in its reports package.  And, this does not/will not require
any external OLAP packages. 

And, Todd, I agree that there's value in looking at the interfaces people
are currently familiar with. I certainly want to see a simple
Cross-Tabulation wizard, or drag-and-drop headermechanism, that any
Joe-Blow user can use. Well, at least any Joe Blow user who understands
datasets to some extent (most accountants?)  :)

I just wanted to clear that up for anyone reading the lists: advanced GNUe
reporting, such as cross tabulation, will not require an external OLAP
package; we do, however, see value in interfacing with one. 

-- Jason 

On Sun, 03 Nov 2002 14:19:15 -0800
Todd Boyle <address@hidden> wrote:

> At 02:52 PM 11/2/2002, Derek Neighbors wrote:
> >Stanley A. Klein said
> > > BTW, there appears to be work ongoing on GUI interfaces for R, but
> > > it doesn't seem to be very far along.  It might be nice to let the R
> > > folks know that GNUe might be a good candidate for that.
> >
> >I still think A+ is the best for this.  A+ team could create an generic
> >OLAP framework, much like Hyperion, Adaytum and the likes.  Then it
> >would just be another tool in the tool box.
> [other worthy comments clipped-thanks for this good discussion.]
> Keep in mind the learning curves of users.  The greatest value
> is supporting the user who is deeply immersed in their industry.
> By far the greatest effort or expenditure in OLAP, data mining,
> etc. will be in pursuit of a user interface that gets past 1% adoption
> in the enterprise.
> We're probably not talking about individuals or even 10-person
> companies - so, we're targeting companies that would be making
> a large, longterm training and infra. commitment to "GNUE OLAP"
> Do you remember 1985-90 or maybe 92 when everybody was
> trying to achieve an "integrated" accounting package on the PC?
> instead of "modules" with various ugly batch posting processes?
> Lots of different user-interface metaphors were tried, 90-95
> for horizontal accounting software and Quickbooks won; it's not
> all that different from #2 Peachtree other than, they kept working
> on the platform where Peachtree quit investing in theirs.  Well,
> under the surface it is still transaction modularism to this day
> The reason I mention this is that so many new accounting
> packages emulate the Quickbooks UI -and even concepts
> like the "opening balance" plug, the inability to post both an
> AR and AP at the same time, the term "Splits", the term "Names"
> etc. etc.
> Developers and execs. inside some of those imitators hvae
> told me the economics of retraining bookkeepers is so huge that
> in the eyes of Enterprise the economics favor to conserve the
> investment in bookkeepers' training.. It is QWERTY keyboard.
> Sheer inertia.   Who cares about IP laws when you have that
> kind of inertia!   (While GNU developers code, M$ is winning
> that battle, bigtime. It is a user interface cult! )
> I am not taking a position either way but GNUE developers
> should be aware of the possibly fatal risk of introducing a
> really new UI thing, and value of imitating user interfaces and
> metaphors that are already understood by some particular
> target audience.  Whatever you might do under the
> surface, clone the microsoft pivot table UI first then clone
> other leading olap interface metaphors.  (The pivot table idea,
> dragging icons to header and row to configure a cross tabulation,
> was commonplace, before Excel did it.  Pilot Lightship had it, etc.)
> HTH,
> Todd
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