Aug 30 2007

Dynamic Dates Part II: Weekly Date Ranges

Categories: Dynamic Dates, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 1:10 pm

Last Time On This Subject…

In the first post in this series I set up both regular objects and predefined condition objects that were based on the Oracle sysdate pseudo-column. These objects were designed to be used for scheduling reports with date conditions while allowing the date range to move forward in time for each new execution of the scheduled report. For that article I only created objects for Today and Yesterday. Today ;-) I will provide some weekly date ranges with the help of a few Oracle functions.

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Aug 28 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

Categories: Pod Post Dave Rathbun @ 10:25 pm

Initial Podcast Test

This is a test. This is only a test. Please do not adjust your computer. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. We control the Z axis on your three dimensional column chart. And we would like some testing and feedback on our very brief introductory podcast…

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Aug 24 2007

How to sell a batch of pokemon cards for $142.51

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 10:36 pm

You may have seen this already as it seems to be making the rounds. But if you haven’t, it’s hysterical. It might fall into the NSFW category only if laughing out loud while reading something off of your monitor will get you into trouble. Just make sure you’re not covering up with an email from your boss while you’re laughing and you will probably be fine.

What is it? It’s a very creative eBay listing from a mother of six. Here’s how it starts:

I’m selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn’t notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store.

Read the rest of the listing… (external link to

Aug 23 2007

Tips For Formatting Blog Comments

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 10:08 pm

Help, My Code Is GONE!

This is not my first blog. However, it is my first blog where people are regularly trying to include code samples in their comments. After two or three comments have been lost due to Wordpress ignoring everything after a < I finally figured out what was going on. This post contains a few tips on how to include code (variable formulas, SQL code, and so on) when leaving a comment. The information presented here may very well be appropriate for other blogs as well.

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Aug 22 2007

Dynamic Dates Part I: Yesterday and Today

Categories: Dynamic Dates, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 11:05 am

Hitting a Moving Target

Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?
If so I can’t imagine why…

With apologies to the rock group Chicago, but I could not help starting out this post with a quote from one of their most famous hit records. Yeah, I have records. Deal with it. :-P

I am going to start out this post with a very obvious statement. There are two ways to get reports: Interactive and Scheduled. Interactive reports can have prompts that allow me to specify which values I want to see, and many times those prompts will include dates or date ranges. Since they are interactive I can change the dates each time I run the report.

But what about scheduled reports? I would hardly want to schedule a report that always ran for August 22, 2007, right? I want that date parameter value to change. Maybe I want the report to always run for “yesterday” or “last week” or “the second Tuesday of the month” or anything along those lines. The challenge is, of course, that the value for “yesterday” changes each day I run the report. How do I hit that moving target?

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Aug 14 2007

Java 1.6 / 6.0 Update Issue

Categories: General, Web Intelligence Dave Rathbun @ 9:26 am

The Evils of Automatic Software Updates

A few months ago about half of the reporting team at my current client called me at various times over a week saying they were having problems running reports. Eventually I figured it out… they all had one thing in common: automatic Java updates. Turns out that was a Very Bad Thing™ to do. :)

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Aug 09 2007

Recent Comments Feature

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 10:52 pm

I have added a new option on the right sidebar menu today: Recent Comments. I have been quite pleased with the initial participation, and I do hope that my random musings will provide some education or perhaps even some entertainment along the way… and I hope that some of you (not spammers, no, stay away! :-D ) might be inspired to leave a comment or two.

From time to time.

In any case, now if you just want to see the recent comments the last five are listed for you in reverse chronological order. Only approved comments will be on the list.

Aug 03 2007

Designer SQL Traps

Categories: Fan / Chasm Trap, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 9:06 am

Designer is one of my favorite parts of the Business Objects product suite. I enjoy creating universes and solving the challenges that occur during that process. If you have worked with Designer yourself then you probably know that there are several different types of challenges that occur fairly frequently… so frequently, in fact, that we have names for them. They are Chasm Traps and Fan Traps. I plan to describe each of those traps in this post. I will provide various different solutions (some standard, some not so much) for each in future blog posts.

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