Webinar Q&A: “Informer: Quick and Easy BI for MultiValue.”

Posted on July 22nd 2013

On July 11th, Entrinsik’s Chris Reeves and Pick Cloud CEO Mark Pick presented a live webinar entitled “Informer: Quick and Easy BI for MultiValue,” that demonstrated to viewers the level of ease and flexibility offered to MultiValue users through Informer’s web-based, real-time reporting capabilities.

After the presentation, attendees participated in an informative Q&A session with the presenters. Mark Pick from Pick Cloud shares some of the great questions asked by attendees and their answers below.

Q. Does Pick Cloud have data centers in Canada?

A.  Yes. We have partnered with a hosting company that has data centers in both Toronto and Vancouver.  

Q. Does Informer need its own server?

A. Informer can be installed on any computer, but we suggest a server-class machine for production use. Informer is a self-contained application which embeds its own web server (jetty) and database server (derby). You can run through the point and click Installshield installation wizard and that’s it. There is no maintenance required on your part for the application or the embedded web server or the embedded database server after installation.  On Windows, Informer is typically run as a service (which the installer will create for you if you want it to), and on others, Informer is typically run as a background process.

Q. Can wildcards be used to enter the criteria for the “a” condition? (ie. you want data returned in an instance that you have some “knowns” and “unknowns” such as “return any project number with MMR001*301101” where the “*” represents the unknown? 

A. You can achieve your desired result, but it is not implemented in that specific way.  Depending on what you are trying to achieve, you would use one of the following provided conditions for text based fields, or combination thereof; “like,” “unlike,” “contains,” “does not contain,” “begins with,” “ends with,” “does not begin with,” “does not end with.”  It sounds like you are looking for a combination including the “begins with” and “ends with” options.

Q. Any performance issues if my database resides in Pick Cloud’s data center? I.E. Any latency issues? 

A. The connection to the data center and to Informer is as strong as your Internet connection. As long as that connection is strong, there should be little to no latency.

Q. Can we use Informer with a SQL database?

A. Absolutely.

Q. How do you connect more than one data source for a dashboard?

A. A dashboard consists of two primary components: Data Providers and Visualizations.  Data Providers are responsible for retrieving in data in whatever format and for managing its own caching and refresh rules. These Data Providers can retrieve their data from anywhere, including Informer reports, Informer archives, direct connections to different databases, Excel spreadsheets, Google spreadsheets, and potentially any other source. Visualizations then consume data from these data providers to create what the user sees. Visualizations which support multiple series (trend charts, grouped bar charts, etc.) can likewise source each series from a different data provider if needed.

Q. How do you get the drop down fields to appear on the dashboard?

A. That is available through the visualizations panel in the dashboard edit screen, under “Input Controls.” That was just one example. We also provide: Data Range, Time Range, Number Range, Number Slider, Auto-suggest Box, Select Box, and Text Box. These input controls are then configured to listen to Data Providers (exactly like a visualization does).

Q.  Does Informer handle sub-values? 

A. Yes. MultiValues stack by default as shown in the demonstration. Sub-values are comma separated.

Q.  Are the dashboards included in the cost or is there an additional charge?

A. Informer is sold through partners or directly from Entrinsik. Some partners charge differently for their offering. If you purchase directly from Entrinsik, there is a separate charge.

Interested in Informer or Pick Cloud’s cloud services? You can get a 30 day free trial of both. Contact us to learn how:

Pick Cloud:

1-888-703-0016 (toll-free)

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