Free ad-hoc reporting


Today we had a user meeting in Melbourne which became a source of much discussion here. One point that I was going to discuss was that what our system has is ad-hoc reporting but somehow it did not come up.

What this means is a person using our system can create almost any type of report they like limited only by their imagination, for example, say you wanted to investigate customers who have not purchased off you recently but used to, with ad-hoc reporting you could create a report of those customers that purchased a significant amount in the last two years but not in the last three months.

Many people supply single dimensional reports in their systems that do their standard reports while ours allows you to go way beyond that to what you need now.

However, to make ad-hoc reporting, what you need is an office suite such as Microsoft Office. The problem is that many people cannot justify the purchase or even the subscription to Microsoft Office. A common problem is when people need ad-hoc reporting on many computers.

So for these people what we allow is an alternative Apache OpenOffice which is free.

It has a word processor (Writer) which is roughly equivalent to Microsoft Word, a spreadsheet (Calc) which is similar to Excel, a presentation editor (Impress) comparable to PowerPoint and some other programs.

OpenOffice can be loaded onto any computer in minutes from here.

In use it regularly as it is a hassle even if like me, you have a copy of Microsoft Office, to get the disk to install it on a new computer.

In my view OpenOffice it is not as good as Microsoft Office, but it is still is a fine office suite as long as you really do not need to do too much. As it is fairly close to Microsoft Office, if you know one, it is not hard to use the other. As I said, I regularly use both with few problems.

Best of all OpenOffice integrates directly into our point of sale so allowing you to do ad-hoc reporting, and since it is free, you can do ad-hoc reporting on any computer.


Enjoy the flexibility of ad-hoc reporting.