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Is FASTR Good?

Hi ,

We are evaluating a reporting tool to be used with JDE. Few people in our company beleive that FASTR is not flexible enough etc.

I just want your opinion, how good is FASTR ? In terms of flexibly and efficiency. I beleive DREAM Writer and FASTR are the only reporting tools available with JDE.

Do you build data mart/warehouse from JDE data? What kind of options are available ?

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks
Srini
A7.3 Cum 11
 

dale_draper

Well Known Member
Don't forget Worldwriter's and AS400 Query or SQL which we use to create
custom DB's. And then there is RPG (report generating language)
However it sounds like the emphasis is on financial report writing, which I
believe FASTR is the best option.

a7.3c9
v4r4
 
First off, there are three reporting tools with JDEdwards - DREAMWriter,
FASTR, and WorldWriter.

A little description on each:

Dream Writer reports are canned reports found throughout Edwards. The
report layout is predetermined. In many cases, sequencing is also
predetermined. I have tried to manipulate the sequence but in some cases
it produced incorrect information. Edwards recommends not changing
sequencing on Dream Writers. Dream Writers report from one "based on file"
for example the F0411. I don't find it a versatile tool due to limitations
in layout and sequencing and primarily I use it only as a quick way to
extract information from the system with little or no setup.

FASTR's I find similar to DreamWriters but there is more flexibility in
format. You can determine the layout including column size, headings,
sequence of the data and data selection. You can also define rows and
cells and perform calculations. One limitation of FASTR is that it only
reports based on the Account Balances file but you can use it to create
monthly journal entries, analyze actual amounts vs budget amounts, create
financials and download them to a pc spreadsheet application, analyze
accounts with subledgers, analyze monthly or annual variances and review
clearing accounts.

Now WorldWriter is a completely user defined tool in Edwards. The user
selects the "based on files", the fields, that are used for selection,
printing, totalling and sequencing. When you do totalling you can indicate
sum, average, minimum value, maximum value, or a count of occurrences. Any
file can be reported from using World Writer including non Edwards files.
Up to a maximum of 32 files can be joined but Edwards recommends no more
than a five file join. You can also use World Writer to update fields
within a file. For example: lets say you wanted to update fields for a
vendor or customer limit by a set percentage. The report will first create
a calculation field to increase the limit by a percentage, then update the
limit from the calculation field. This tool is the most versatile report
writing tool.

From my own experience when I first started using the Edwards reporting
tools I wasn't sure which report writer to use. Now I know that if I want
account balance information I use FASTR. If I need a report from any other
file or combination of files I use World Writer. Some information that can
be retrieved from World Writer can be processed with a DreamWriter, but the
report is limited to one layout and sequencing. I personally feel a lot of
DreamWriters are cluttered reports so I prefer WorldWriter so I can control
the layout and still have the flexibility to select the information I need.

Hope this has been some help



vasansrini
<vasansrini@hotmai To: jdeworldml@jdelist.com
l.com> cc:
Sent by: Subject: Is FASTR Good?
owner-jdeworldml@j
delist.com


05/23/2001 08:31
AM
Please respond to
jdeworld






Hi ,

We are evaluating a reporting tool to be used with JDE. Few people in our
company beleive that FASTR is not flexible enough etc.

I just want your opinion, how good is FASTR ? In terms of flexibly and
efficiency. I beleive DREAM Writer and FASTR are the only reporting tools
available with JDE.

Do you build data mart/warehouse from JDE data? What kind of options are
available ?

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks
Srini
A7.3 Cum 11



--------------------------
Visit the forum to view this thread at:
http://198.144.193.139/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showflat.pl?Cat
=&Board=W&Number=11425
 

brown

Member
Our accounting folks dearly love FASTR and find it to be flexible enough to
handle their needs. Those of us in IS and a few power users use a product
from New Generation Software called Interactive Query "IQ". The accounting
folks have use IQ to handle some very complex reports also.
 

Robert Robinson

Reputable Poster
Hi -

First off, FASTR is one of three reporting tools within JD Edwards.
DREAMWriters are the original, canned (relatively inflexible) reports.
FASTRs are a little more flexible, allowing the user column control and
some freedom in selecting the content of the report; however, FASTRs have
one big drawback, as they can only be run against the account balance
record (F0902). As a result, the reports that you can run with FASTRs are
more of the period end financial variety (you can not run a FASTR to get,
say, a detail listing of transactions in a G/L account or a detail of
payments made to a vendor).

The third of the "native" JDE reports is called World Writer. This product
was not one of the original JDE reports, but it has the most flexibility of
any World JDE report writer. World Writers can be run against any file
within JDE (and can be expanded to include files external to JDE), while
allowing the user columnar control available in FASTR. World Writer also
allows multiple files to be joined. A good "quick and dirty" synopsis of
World Writer's capabilities vs. DREAMWriters and FASTRs can be found in the
World Writer manual (a copy can be obtained in the JDE Knowledge Garden).

As far as other product go, ShowCase Corporation has a suite of products
which allow users to perform tasks from simple queries (a la World Writer)
to the development of data warehousing solutions. Crystal Reports also has
a package that works quite nicely with JDE.

I hope this helps.



Robert Robinson, CPA/CITP, CNE
Senior Business Systems Analyst
Durr, Inc.
734.459.6800
fax # 734.459.5837
e-mail address: rrobinson@durr-usa.com




vasansrini
<vasansrini@hotmai To: jdeworldml@jdelist.com
l.com> cc:
Sent by: bcc:
owner-jdeworldml@j Subject: Is FASTR Good?
delist.com


05/23/2001 11:31
AM
Please respond to
jdeworld






Hi ,

We are evaluating a reporting tool to be used with JDE. Few people in our
company beleive that FASTR is not flexible enough etc.

I just want your opinion, how good is FASTR ? In terms of flexibly and
efficiency. I beleive DREAM Writer and FASTR are the only reporting tools
available with JDE.

Do you build data mart/warehouse from JDE data? What kind of options are
available ?

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks
Srini
A7.3 Cum 11



--------------------------
Visit the forum to view this thread at:
http://198.144.193.139/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showflat.pl?Cat
=&Board=W&Number=11425
 

Suni

Active Member
our Accounting people like FASTR quite well, but it only works over the G/L
Files.
Another tool we use is WorldWriter, a more generic query tool that works
with any file in JDE. This is used extensively by our end users, and they
seem to like it well enough once they get appropriate training.
 

gparker77

Member
FASTR is a good financial reporting tool and can also access the weekly
files if you need reports by week. However, as a previous writer pointed
out, it does not provide access to the transactions file but it quite useful
for report with current, ytd, and qtd balances information. It will provide
comparative reports to prior periods as well, plus calculations or
percentages, etc.

Dreamwriter is essentially a data selection tool that then feeds the
selected data to a customized program. If is essentially a programming tool
that requires proficiency in both CL and RPG to utilize. However, once in
place, a user can use it within the constraints that the programmer
provided.

Worldwriter is a more general type of FASTR. However, FASTR is generally
more suitable for financial reports as it does not require much knowledge of
the data files structure. WW requires such knowledge.

More complicated reports in either FASTR or WW will tax the skills of most
users and typically are designed by specialists, most of whom are also
programmers. DW is strictly a programmers tool and requires a competent
programmer to set up for use.


Gerry Parker
PMK Consulting Group, Inc.
Information Technology Consulting
J.D. Edwards Specialists
Tel: 713-621-7521 Fax: 713-661-7749
gparker@pmkc.com
www.pmkc.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "vasansrini" <vasansrini@hotmail.com>
To: <jdeworldml@jdelist.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 10:31 AM
Subject: Is FASTR Good?


| Hi ,
|
| We are evaluating a reporting tool to be used with JDE. Few people in our
company beleive that FASTR is not flexible enough etc.
|
| I just want your opinion, how good is FASTR ? In terms of flexibly and
efficiency. I beleive DREAM Writer and FASTR are the only reporting tools
available with JDE.
|
| Do you build data mart/warehouse from JDE data? What kind of options are
available ?
|
| Your help is appreciated.
|
| Thanks
| Srini
| A7.3 Cum 11
|
|
|
| --------------------------
| Visit the forum to view this thread at:
|
http://198.144.193.139/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=W&Number=11
425
|

PMK Consulting Group, Inc.
Information Technology Consultants
Tel: 713-621-7521 Fax: 713-661-7749
 

GMunchel

Active Member
Consider OLAP tools.....

I download the F0902 file to TM1 (www.applix.com), a very flexible
multi-dimensional OLAP tool that can be used to generate reports via Excel
(and other tools some of which are web-enabled....check out Insight from
www.arcplan.com). TM1 has a table server serving data from RAM at lightning
speeds to client PCs running Excel with a TM1 add-in.
Advantages.....everyone knows Excel and can easily pull up a report and
manipulate it; for power users who understand the ledger structure report
writing is immensely powerful and fast. Disadvantages...TM1 and other OLAP
tools are not intuitive, require someone on staff to understand OLAP and
most are not cheap (TM1 is not cheap). I like this approach because
reporting is much easier to develop and change than in FASTR (for the power
user and FASTR users are generally power users). However, figuring out how
to use this tool (I've used TM1 since version 2.0 circa 1988 and it is now
iTM1 Version 7.3) and managing the dimensions, data importing and report
generation is not easy.

I read that Crystal reports has improving OLAP functionality. I know they
initially attempted to have pre-build reports which, of course, never would
be quite what you had in mind, but I read that their functionality is much
improved. I believe Crystal reports is not cheap either.

Microsoft has a client server OLAP tool included with Microsoft SQL server.
With the latest verison of Excel there is a degree of support for working
with this server built into Excel. This is a much cheaper solution that is
steadily getting better, at least so I hear. Don't know much about it, but
you might want to check it out.

We also use TM1 for sales reporting, production reporting and financial
consolidations. We could (should) use it for forecasting and budgeting but
don't have the resources.

...G.
 

lpryor

Active Member
In addition to those RRobinson mentions we also use IBM's QRY400 and we
have developed an SQL based Datamart which allows users to create their own
queries and reports via Access or Excel with which they are much more
familiar.

Lynn Pryor
Client Svcs. Mgr.
Murata Electronics
A7cum 11




vasansrini
<vasansrini@hotmai To: jdeworldml@jdelist.com
l.com> cc:
Sent by: Subject: Is FASTR Good?
owner-jdeworldml@j
delist.com


05/23/2001 11:31
AM
Please respond to
jdeworld






Hi ,

We are evaluating a reporting tool to be used with JDE. Few people in our
company beleive that FASTR is not flexible enough etc.

I just want your opinion, how good is FASTR ? In terms of flexibly and
efficiency. I beleive DREAM Writer and FASTR are the only reporting tools
available with JDE.

Do you build data mart/warehouse from JDE data? What kind of options are
available ?

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks
Srini
A7.3 Cum 11



--------------------------
Visit the forum to view this thread at:
http://198.144.193.139/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showflat.pl?Cat
=&Board=W&Number=11425
 
Cognos has a product that is an integrated solution to JD Edwards. Easy to
use, very flexible.

Sandra Scribner
Manager, Consulting Services, JD Edwards
SCB Enterprise Solutions
401-421-9910 ext 16
 

DBelcher

Active Member
Lynn,

I'm curious, in using QRY400 or SQL how to you maintain, or should I say, do
you maintain the soft-coded decimal information from the DD? This is one
problem that I have found in using anything, other than a program or JDE
interface, to access numeric fields in JDE. Since I'm hoping my code will
be around for quite some time, I can't assume the decimal positions won't
change and I need to allow for that possibility.

Thanks

Douglas Belcher
KV Pharmaceutical Inc.
St. Louis MO
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer




Doug Belcher
St Louis MO
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer
A7.3c10
 

AngelaK

Member
How much training has seemed to be the "appropriate" level for your users
and what type of training? JDE sponsored, internal, or another outside firm?
We are currently looking to bring someone in to do training for us.
Thanks,
Angie

Angela M. Klunk
Financial Analyst
Snyder's of Hanover, Inc.
(717)632-4477 Ext. 5729
 
efficiency.

In terms of efficiency, FASTR's were made to run on AS/400's so they're
tuned to the hardware. Somewhere on the JDE knowledge garden I've seen
where JDE has admitted that the OneWorld report writer will never run as
fast as FASTR's simply because FASTR's were made for AS/400's while the 1W
report writer was made for a variety of platforms. FASTR's have been around
for years (anyone know how long?) so they run very efficiently.

As for flexibility, we've found them to be very flexible, within reason.
Yes, it only runs over the month-end balances file, but it's very easy to
create a template report and copy it so that you have a Statement of Income
for each cost center, a Statement of Income for each region, a SOI for each
division and a SOI for the entire company. Like most report writers the
pain is in setting the reports up, but once you get them set up there's very
little maintenace to do. One word of advice if you do use FASTR's: think
hard about the fact that you can use rows and columns from other reports.
We have a separate form ID (called COLUMNS) for the master columns that our
reports pull from and another form ID (ROWS) that contains all the master
rows that our reports pull from. It makes maintenance much, much easier.

Tim Miller
Financial Systems Analyst
Gentiva Health Services
A7.3 cume 11
 

Graham_Aberdein1

Active Member
I've been reading the comments of others (and would generally agree). Here
are my thoughts on FASTR and how we use it:

- designed for financial reporting (P&Ls, Balance Sheets, divisional and
cost centre reports)
- has built in logic for YTD, quarters, relative periods (current, current
minus 1, current minus 2 etc.)
- can use hierarchy structures for roll-ups and consolidations
- can create journals (we use FASTR blasters for closing out/transferring
account balances)
- can compare ledger types (actual versus budget), companies, business
units, subledgers, periods or years across columns
- we consider FASTR the most "user-friendly" of the JDE reports writers and
have several departments who run/create their own reports (the code toads
probably prefer Worldwriter as it is less structured)

As for Worldwriter, it more flexible than FASTR as others have commented.
The only caveat I would add is the ability to update ANY field on ANY file
if one has the proper security setup. I still find it strange that JDE does
not prevent updates to key fields (such as G/L date, document number etc.)
regardless of whether update access has been granted.

I saved the worst for last. Dreamwriters are the ugliest thing under the
sun and we don't use them for any financial or management reporting we do.


Graham G. Aberdein
Clarica
(519) 888-3900 x-4293
email address: graham.aberdein@clarica.com
World A7.3 cum 11 (G/L, A/P, F/A)
 

ssolberg

VIP Member
Ditto here. We used to run IQ but found ourselves doing most of the work
for them and some of the reports just needed to be custom-built RPG pgms
that we were happy to do. We have also used Showcase Strategy with some
success, and the users like it's interface better. Showcase integrates with
JDE Data Dictionary and at one time I saw they already had some "canned"
financial reports written specifically for JDE. (a couple years ago...)



Programmer/Developer/Anything-They-Give-Me
World A7.3 11 (quite stable and usually happy)
Attempting CO with Xe, AS/400, V4R5 (not happy)
 

gparker77

Member
All World software is specific to the AS/400. However, very little of it ran
efficiently until the 500 hardware series arrived. Prior to that it was not
unusual to have reports run for many hours.


Gerry Parker
PMK Consulting Group, Inc.
Information Technology Consulting and Recruiting Services
Tel: 713-621-7521 Fax: 713-661-7749
gparker@pmkc.com
www.pmkc.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim_Miller" <Tim.Miller@gentiva.com>
To: <jdeworldml@jdelist.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 8:58 AM
Subject: RE: Is FASTR Good?


| efficiency.
|
| In terms of efficiency, FASTR's were made to run on AS/400's so they're
| tuned to the hardware. Somewhere on the JDE knowledge garden I've seen
| where JDE has admitted that the OneWorld report writer will never run as
| fast as FASTR's simply because FASTR's were made for AS/400's while the 1W
| report writer was made for a variety of platforms. FASTR's have been
around
| for years (anyone know how long?) so they run very efficiently.
|
| As for flexibility, we've found them to be very flexible, within reason.
| Yes, it only runs over the month-end balances file, but it's very easy to
| create a template report and copy it so that you have a Statement of
Income
| for each cost center, a Statement of Income for each region, a SOI for
each
| division and a SOI for the entire company. Like most report writers the
| pain is in setting the reports up, but once you get them set up there's
very
| little maintenace to do. One word of advice if you do use FASTR's: think
| hard about the fact that you can use rows and columns from other reports.
| We have a separate form ID (called COLUMNS) for the master columns that
our
| reports pull from and another form ID (ROWS) that contains all the master
| rows that our reports pull from. It makes maintenance much, much easier.
|
| Tim Miller
| Financial Systems Analyst
| Gentiva Health Services
| A7.3 cume 11
|
|
|
|
| --------------------------
|

PMK Consulting Group, Inc.
Information Technology Consultants
Tel: 713-621-7521 Fax: 713-661-7749
 

GMunchel

Active Member
I attended JDE FASTR training after working a bit with it on my own (looking
at the reports our consultants did before they left). Having some
experience helped a lot as I was somewhat familiar with the terminology and
with the screens so I wasn't starting from scratch and wasn't mired at the
bottom of the learning curve. I then found this particular JDE training
pretty good, and I learned a fair bit. If you are thinking JDE training, I
recommend going to a JDE training site with a focused group of users from
your company (the few people who will actually develop reports not the
larger group of people who will only just run them). At at JDE training
site, you/your group will not be distracted by day-to-day business, the
training environment should be set up correctly, and the instructors are far
more likely to be competent.....G.
 

TonyBrackett

Active Member
I have demo'd a tool from Vanguard that is quite impressive for World
customers. It is a very nice tool for BI that gives you great drill down
and reorg capabilities. it can also web enable the information and is more
affordable than the big boys like Cognos and others.

----- Original Message -----
From: "vasansrini" <vasansrini@hotmail.com>
To: <tbrackett@mindspring.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 10:31 AM
Subject: Is FASTR Good?


company beleive that FASTR is not flexible enough etc.
efficiency. I beleive DREAM Writer and FASTR are the only reporting tools
available with JDE.
available ?
http://198.144.193.139/cgi-bin/wwwthreads/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=W&Number=11
425
 

prumschlag

Active Member
Do you have a web site address for this Vanguard?

Phil







TonyBrackett <tbrackett@mdisinc.com> on 05/25/2001 01:30:16 PM
 
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