I find that there's rarely (very rarely) a need for business users to write their own queries. Most adhoc data functions can be solved through OLAP tools. If there's a justification for allowing adhoc analysis, then there's a justification for delivering a controlled, safe interface to permit this.
It's not a common occurance, for sure, but in one company I worked in, there were some remarkable business folks who were actually very good at defining what they wanted in the form of a query. Because of the nature of the products (company was a huge global MLM that sold telephone time and other telephony/internet products), ad hoc analysis for individual customers was a way of life. There would have been no way for IT to keep up with all daily and frequent query/report requests (small shop doing a very big job). The Finance and Accounting departments both needed the ability to write their own queries at the drop of a hat... any hat. We gave it to them in the form of their own server with a SAN "snapshot" delivered from production every night at midnight. I have to say that with only the occasional exception, it worked out very well for all of them and IT. If someone screwed something up, it took less than 2 minutes to deliver a new SAN "snapshot" without even slowing down production and everything was back up and running.
The key here is that the folks in IT were considered to be "heroes" because the uses got everything they needed when they needed it because they had all the access to data they needed and without having to wait for a very busy IT department to crank out a query for them. Shoot... the business users knew more about the data and tables in their respective areas than the IT department did. It worked out very
is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for R
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code: Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
Although they tell us that they want it real bad, our primary goal is to ensure that we dont actually give it to them that way.
Although change is inevitable, change for the better is not.
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