Re: The right tool for the job

From: Tim X <>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 17:21:25 +1000
Message-ID: <>

Lee <> writes:

> Robert Klemme wrote:
>> On 25.06.2009 18:34, Lee wrote:
>>> But how do I get the graph? Export the data as csv and import into an
>>> Excel sheet? OK, that would work, but shouldnt there be a slicker way to
>>> fly?
>> You can query the data directly from Excel via Oracle's ODBC driver. You
>> can even make Excel update the data whenever the sheet is opened AFAIK.
> D'oh! Of course I can. in the past, I had used OraExcel, but in those days
> it was a bit cheaper. Now they want about 160 euros for the latest version
> (I'd be paying in dollars, ouch!). OraExcel now called SQL*XL is very
> has a very nice user interface and is very easy to use, but I
> cant see plonking out all that change when all I need is one table's worth
> read into the Excel sheet so as to produce a standard graph.
> On the other hand, that sort of expense hardly breaks the corporate
> bank. What would they (the corporate sponsors) budget for each day of
> developer time?
>> Other than that there are also plotting packages around which can be used
>> to generate graphs. For example, you can write a perl / ruby / phyton /
>> your favorite scripting language with database support which extracts the
>> data and prepares it for graphing.
>> You can also write SVG easily as it's XML. Plenty of options...
> That bears looking into as well. For a standard graph its probably going to
> be cheaper and easier to use Excel, but I suppose there's something to be
> said for delivery over the web. I suppose the client side browser needs
> some sort of special plug in to render the SVG?

While a lot depends on the amount of data, I did something similar to this using a perl script and the GD library. I've also used rdtool for this type of work. While SVG i certainly one approach, I'm not sure how many browsers yet support it natively. The nice thing about GD and rdtool is that many scripting languages have bindings to the libraries and you can produce images in various formats, including JPEG, PNG, TIF etc.

Another approach would be to look at existing monitoring tools, such as Nagios. Such tools often have all the graphics goodies built in and all you need to do is pump some data at them. We use Nagios to monitor all sorts of stuff and you get handy little extras such as email/sms notification when something you have being monitored triggers an event or passes over some threshold. Its also nice to have all this reporting goodness in one tool. So, you could, for example, set things up so that yu get notified if your systems processing falls below or goes above some value.


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au
Received on Fri Jun 26 2009 - 09:21:25 CEST

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