XL Reporter Technical White Paper

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					                    Technical white paper

                     iLytix            L Reporter

                 “The ultimate reporting tool for your ERP-system”

iLytix Systems                                             
White Paper iLytix XL reporter                                Date: December 1, 2002


Scope of application

iLytix XL Reporter extracts information directly from an ERP system database or a
data warehouse without buffering or changing data. In addition to being a report
writer, the powerful write-back functionality makes the product ideal for budgeting
and forecasting. A Meta Data Object Model described in the iLytix Meta Data
Repository defines the integration between iLytix XL Reporter and the source
database(s). No hard-coded modules are needed for any specific ERP system

The main reasons that iLytix XL Reporter differentiates from other report writers are
its powerful ability to combine data from many different parts of the source database
and that it utilizes Microsoft Excel as the report definition and presentation layer.
This ability even includes the possibility of reporting from more than just one data
source. iLytix XL Reporter supports logical connections of multiple data sources,
which assembles all data to a virtual data warehouse.

iLytix Meta Repository

The iLytix Meta Data Repository holds the information about the structure of the data
source from which iLytix XL Reporter extracts data. The iLytix Meta Data Repository
is a user-configurable database that stores a logical and physical model of the ERP
system: The physical model describes the ERP database in terms of tables, views and
columns. The logical model defines user-oriented objects like Dimensions, Measures,
Reports, Report Definitions, Report Books, Tree Structures of Dimensions and more.
The objects relate to each other using the concepts of association and aggregation
known from UML (Universal Modelling Language), the de-facto standard in system
modelling. A typical part of the model would describe the relations between
dimensions like Accounts, Periods, Customers, Sales People, Products and general
ledger measures like Amount, Budget Amount and so on.

The description of the ERP system data model in the iLytix Meta Data Repository
transforms the physical data model into a representation like the one described above.
In some cases, there might be a need to apply a thin layer of database objects like
database Views in the source database in order to adapt the physical model in the best
possible way. However, it is important to understand that the ERP integration is
completely defined by the iLytix Meta Data Repository description and, in some
cases, some complimentary database objects. There is no need for special iLytix XL
Reporter software modifications to support a particular ERP system. Experience has
shown that with access to information about the source ERP system data model, an
ERP integration can be developed very quickly.

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White Paper iLytix XL reporter                                                                      Date: December 1, 2002

                                                iLytix XL Reporter

                      Meta Data extraction                                                         ERP Data extraction

                                                           ERP SQL
                                                                            Customers                        Periods
       iLytix Meta Data
          Repository                        Views
                                      applied as a part                             Transactions
        Application                   of the integration
            Dimensions                     process
                                                                Accounts                   Other
               Periods                                                                     dimensions....
                Transactions         Some database           Accout           Ledger          Customer            Customer
            Dimension Trees          tables representing     Table         Transactions         Table            Transactions
                Account Trees        the ERP Data model

Component Architecture

iLytix XL Reporter is a 3-tier client/server application for deployment in an
environment of application server computers and thin client computers. iLytix XL
Reporter can also be installed locally on one computer as a standalone application.

The clients must have Microsoft Windows 98, NT, 2000, or XP installed. Because
iLytix XL Reporter uses Microsoft Excel as the user interface for the advanced
report writer, Microsoft Excel 2000 must be installed. Also, the client must be
allowed to install and run Active X components. All required iLytix XL Reporter
client components are installed from the server using a separate client setup
installation, or from a CD, from a local server, or from a web server. The parts of the
iLytix XL Reporter user interface that do not use Microsoft Excel are installed as
Active X components in HTML. The application can run inside a web browser or as a
normal Windows application.

The server part of the application may be installed on Microsoft Windows NT, 2000
or XP platforms. All user-defined reports are executed on the server and the resulting
datasets are sent to the requesting client for presentation in Microsoft Excel. This
technique classifies iLytix XL Reporter as an advanced report writer that does not
have the known limitations of ordinary Microsoft Excel add-ins.

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White Paper iLytix XL reporter                                                Date: December 1, 2002

The data selection definitions and functions that constitute the report definitions are
defined in the powerful and flexible iLytix Language and stored centrally in the iLytix
Meta database together with the Microsoft Excel formatting information.

The server-based report writer is also the engine for the easy and intuitive ad-hoc
Report Composer module in iLytix XL Reporter. This tool makes it easy to drill down
and slice and dice directly into the transactions in the ERP system without having to
define selection criteria.


The clients communicate with the server using either DCOM or COM+, depending on
the Windows platforms installed, or SOAP on top of the HTTP protocol. The
application can use both communication techniques in the same environment.
DCOM/COM+ can be used in LANs or WANs where security and firewalls do not
cause problems for communication. SOAP can be used when clients are connected to
the server environment using internet/intranet connections. Microsoft Web Services
together with Microsoft Internet Information Server are used in order to expose the
components via SOAP.

All data transfer between components and external interfaces is based on XML.

                                 Microsoft Excel       iLytix GUI
        Client Layer

                                          iLytix XL Reporter Client
                                                                           Client Communication
                                           SOAP      COM+           File   Service Providers

                                                                           Local XML files for caching
                                                                           when offline

                             intranet (http)            LAN/WAN

                                           SOAP      COM+                  Server Communication
                                                                           Service Providers
        Server Application
                                          iLytix XL Reporter Server

                                                        ADO/OLE DB

        Data Layer
                                                  ERP SQL

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White Paper iLytix XL reporter                             Date: December 1, 2002



The application is developed in modern object-oriented tools. Programming languages
applied are:
   • Microsoft Visual Basic
   • Microsoft Visual C++
   • Microsoft C# (.NET)

Database platforms

The database platform currently supported is Microsoft SQL Server.

Operating systems

The operating systems currently include:

    • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000
    • Microsoft Windows 98, NT 4.0 and Windows 2000

Other software requirements

    • Microsoft Transaction Server for DCOM
    • Microsoft .NET Framework on server (installed by iLytix)
    • Microsoft Internet Information server for SOAP communication
    • Microsoft Excel 2000
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer

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