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Answering the Call

Two new DB2 Web Query options expand Microsoft integration

Two new DB2 Web Query options expand Microsoft integration
Illustration by Bob Scott

End-user requests usually spur the enhancements IBM makes to DB2* Web Query for i. It’s IBM’s goal to make this product practical and efficient. One of the most common requests is tighter integration with Microsoft* products, especially Excel. You asked and IBM listened.

With the recent release of two new options for Web Query, IBM has tightened its integration with Microsoft products. The first, the DB2 Web Query Spreadsheet Client, meets the needs of users wanting to pull data directly from Excel. The second, the DB2 Web Query Adapter for Microsoft SQL Server, lets Web Query remotely access data stored in a Microsoft SQL Server. This eliminates the need for data replication to IBM i and enables end users to report on all of their data from Web Query, regardless of the storage location. In this article, I’ll review how each of these two new features operates.

DB2 Web Query Spreadsheet Client

“Excel! Just give me the data in Microsoft Excel!” This is a cry the IT department often hears from business analysts. Web Query for i has always been able to push data from the Web into Microsoft Excel. However, end users often request the capability to simply pull the data directly from Excel without going into the Web.

Previously, Web Query’s tight integration with Excel—with items like drill downs, conditional styling and formatting, and formula support—required users first go into the Web interface. From there, they could run their reports and open the output in Excel. The new DB2 Web Query Spreadsheet Client lets analysts pull the data from within Excel.

Setup. Purchasing and installing the new feature makes an Excel add-in available in the IFS, much like how the Developer Workbench is provided. Copy the wqsclient.xla file from /QIBM/ProdData/WebQuery/ibi/webfocus76/utilities to the Microsoft Office Add-in directory on your PC. For Windows* XP, the directory is C:\Documents and Settings\userid\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns\ and for Windows Vista, it’s C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\AddIns\ where userid is the same as how you’re logged into your PC.

To make integration into Excel templates easier, Web Query automatically names the data ranges.

Robert Andrews is an advisory software engineer with IBM Global Services. Robert can be reached at robert.andrews@us.ibm.com.



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