Custom Reporting

David Dick david_dick at
Wed Mar 24 23:39:17 CST 2004

G'day all,

I've reached some conclusions about custom reports for a perl web based 
system that i think are ok, but i was just wondering if anyone can see 
flaws with this approach or has a better one.

Taking for granted the possibility that what i'm working on develops a 
user base, i'm assuming that sooner or later, a sophisticated user will 
want better reports from the system.

To me, better reporting means either me working 9-5 making reports ("can 
you make that red slightly more blue?"), or suits using cognos, ms 
access/excel, etc to interrogate the database.  Now the technical dramas 
of making the connection seem quite small.  Build ODBC connectivity into 
my database, use ssh port forwarding to establish a secure connection, 
blah, blah.  The problem i see is this advanced user accessing the 
database in ways i had not anticipated, causing whole db to die under 
table scans of massive tables and every other user to sit around waiting 
for the system to come back.

Possible Solution:  The answer seems to be replication in some form, so 
i thought the following would be ok.  Each night, using $dbh->tables() 
from DBI, get a list of all the tables, convert them into csv files 
using Text::CSV_XS, zip them up using Archive::Zip and then wait for the 
user to request the zip file during the day.  The user unzips the 
archive in a directory and points the reporting tool at the csv files.

Does this seem ok?


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