Creating Reports as an IT administrator

I would like to ask some of you that as an IT administrator do you have to create reports on inventory, stocks, accounting, etc....??? Because where my Mom works, her IT guy had to do or create reports for stock or inventory. I dont know if it has to do with being an IT administrator or not.

But question is, if they do have to create such reports, what applications do they do it from? My guess is that they use Crystal Reports. But Im not 100 percent sure on that one.
jslayton01Asked:
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ppfoongCommented:

Yes, generate sophiticated ad-hoc reports by mining the database, or create new report templates for the users to use.

Crystal Report is something dealing with report templates, a template has to be created to specify the report format, then the users can get data for the report by themselve.


mrwaqarCommented:
I agree with ppfoong. As an IT Administrator you have to create frequesntly used reports templates according to company needs. But generating output from the reports is generally done by the users. You probably will be asked to take some take special reports which are specially requested by some one and are not required generally. lets say a customer is going to visit the company and you need some reports for the particular customer in their format, you may have to even provide reports with data. But as an employee, you cant say NO to the management even if they ask you to generate also :o)

Crystal reports is one of the tools you use for reporting purpose. depending on your database, you can use other tools as well. for example if your database is microsoft access(.mdb) , you can also use MS Access itself to take reports. Bue crystal report is a wonderful tool and there is no comparison with access. its your own choice what to use.
jslayton01Author Commented:
Can I use OpenOffice to create reports? I mean in OpenOffice 2.0 which includes Base.
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mrwaqarCommented:
it depends on your existing database.. if you are planning for a new database n program then yes you can. m not very much familiar with open office but it is similar to access in which u can make small size database.
giltjrCommented:
I depends on the size of your company.  I company that has a few servers, yes the IT Admin will create reports using whatever tools he may have; Crystal Reports, Perl, TCL, PHP, Rexx, MS Access and VB/.NET scripts/programs.

If you are the only, or one of a few, people within a company that has technical knowledge, they do expect you to know and do everything.


However a company that has a few hundred server, large scale Unix boxes, or mainframe, don't really have "a IT administrator."  They may have a IT or IS group or both.  They group that creates reports for things like you mentioned is the group that actually administers the computer system.

The company I work for the "IT admin" may generate reports dealing with the infrastructure.  System utilization, DASD utilization, uptime/downtime, link utilization for various communications links, CPU utilization by applications, avg. response time, things like that.  However we have various “IT admins” also, we have ones that handle the Windows based servers, one that handles the network (firewall, switches, routers, communications links), one that handles the databases, one that handles application/transaction/middleware server software, and one that handles the mainframe OS.  Each one may generate reports for their specific areas.   Then we have our own in-house development teams that develop applications for our users.  They generate reports for information within these applications.


 
jslayton01Author Commented:
I am sorta confused on what reports they create. Can you give me just a brief run down on what kind of reports are those? Is it like they have to create a report about there servers, CPU time, security, how much they cost, what users are accessing it, uptimes??? Please give me an example.
giltjrCommented:
There are really to many to list.

A breif summary:

For "distributed" boxes, currently they only report on uptime for the box and for specific services/applications on specific boxes, like Exchange and SMTP spam filter services, a

For our mainframe we create reports that show:

avg. CPU utilization by shift (3 shifts a day)
break down of above CPU utilization by:

    batch vs. online
   by unique application (we run about 15 to 20 different unqiue applications on our mainframes)
  avg. tranaction time by transaction for online applications
  uptime of each compnent of each application
  composite uptime of an application
  composite uptime of all applications
  uptime of the mainframe

network wise we report on uptime of major network components that deal with our external customers ability to get to our applications.  Internet connection uptime, firewall uptime, FEP uptime,  and mainframe networking software and interfaces uptime.

Some of our applications are spread across two differnt transaction/application servers (both run on the mainframe) and two differnet DBMS systems (both run on the mainframes).

We can, on request, report on indvidual users' performace within an application or indvidual transactions performace within an application.

We have one application that has a 3270 to web front end product that runs on distributed boxes.  We have created a database that provides the necessary information (extracted from the web front end product) for some internal business manages to create reports that deal with users access the web frontend.  However for very detailed reports they come to IT to have us create them.

For reports that deal with data within an application normally our appliation developers create these.  Things like, number of records in a database, number of records updated and a few other things.
jslayton01Author Commented:
giltjir -

Quick question, do you run Linux on those Mainframes? If yes, what distro?
jslayton01Author Commented:
Also -

Why create a report when all you have to do is run the command 'uptime' through the console??
jslayton01Author Commented:
And what applications do you run?

Is it:

CICS
SAP
IMS
DB2

Too bad I cant get your email address. I am very interested for those who work with Mainframes. There very very hard to find one these days...
giltjrCommented:
We use CICS, DB2, IDMS-DC, IDMS-DB, and we are starting to use WebSpere Application Server all under z/OS.

We have a couple of Linux images running under z/VM.  We have no production work on them right now.  We are looking at what we can and can't do.  

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giltjrCommented:
Opps, we are currently running SUSE Enterprise
giltjrCommented:
On z/OS there is no "uptime" command.  Even it there was, do you want to manually enter the command when you need to check?  Or you would create a "process" that would automate getting the uptime and then "showing it in a document", that is create a report that has uptime as part of it.  We don't have a single report with just system uptime, it is one entry in a report that has most of the other items I listed.
jslayton01Author Commented:
Thanks alot and Im gald I found someone to talk to about this. Your right, this forum is great but theres a lack of support on Mainframes.

ALso, I checked out the Mainframe forum. Its good, but telling from the number of replies, I only see like 1, 0, 0, 1, 2, 0, 0, 1, (something like that). In other words, not so much reponses. And I noticed that your on there too.

Thanks alot. Would you mind providing your email?

jslayton01Author Commented:
And also, it just drives me up the walls that a question is left on no replies for days on out. Not just this forum. Why cant people say I dont know rather than just ignore the topic.

I am sorry, and I should wait longer for answers..

Thanks
giltjrCommented:
I had to re-read the policies here and it forbids me from putting my e-mail address here.

If you feel you want to know more about mainframes, you may want to register at http://www.mainframeforum.com to ask questions and "lurk".  They also allow offline private contact between members.  It is not very active, most mainframers use the ibm-main list server.  

I would also suggest visiting http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/, select domains on the left hand side.  At the bottom of the list is zSeries which is what IBM is calling their mainframes now.  Redbooks are normally written by IBM'ers and sometimes joint between IBM'ers and customers about doing thing in the real world.  However, some of the Red Books cover hardware archicture.  They also have red pieces that can cover specific small topics.
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