On Line Queries
Upon logging into the system, you have a number of options before you.
You can direct the system to generate reports in a variety of ways, each
with your specified criteria. CS Link supports two distinct methods
for report generation: via an On line Query, or as part of a Batch
Process. Let's take a look at the On Line Query first.
On line queries are programs that can process very quickly, retrieving the data from the server for immediate
presentation to the user. Once a user submits an on line query, the back-end application server will process the
request and CS Link will provide the formatted results back to the user.
The following is an example of an on line query menu. The menu is categorized based
on systems and/or report types. However, all of this is configurable and dictated by the user's profile.
Based upon the on line report selected, the user may be prompted to provide program parameters to complete the request.
Parameter values are based upon information configured through the Administration
Module and can either be obtained in real-time from your host or saved as part of CS Link's parameter configurations.
A list that is dynamic, such as open Purchase Order numbers will need to be obtained from the host, whereas region names
which do not change for several years could be obtained locally on the CS Link server.
In this scenario, static parameters can be stored on the CS Link server to reduce processing time.
A notable security feature of CS Link are
the input parameter masks. Limiting the user's available program parameter options ensures
that the reports generated will display only what he/she is allowed to view. This will guarantee that sensitive information is made available
only to those with the required access level.
Because on line queries generate immediate results, the results are not saved in the CS Link system. Instead, information regarding
the query is collected and maintained in a log.
The query's output results can be presented in a varied array of formats (PostScript, RTF, Excel,
etc.), irregardless of the host's default output format for the report.
Hyperlinks can also be added to output results to provide easy access to
additional details and/or related information. This can prove quite useful,
as the hyperlinks can access information that resides on a totally different application
server than the one which generated the original report. In effect, CS Link
provides you with the ability
to build a virtual data warehouse easily and quickly. Input masks can be
also be configured for the hyperlinks as well, keeping the information secure.
The following example uses links in its illustration of a drill-down detail report. This particular example uses information that
resides on a back-end host other than the one called to generate the original output report. CS Link
communicates with the back-end hosts
via standard TCP/IP and consolidates the information obtained from different servers.