Enterprise Reporting

Written by: Dalibor Bielas

Faced with daunting challenges such as the explosion of data and swiftly-evolving regulatory requirements, it is more important than ever for organizations to achieve greater operational efficiency in their enterprise reporting. Quickly and effectively accessing large volumes of complex business-critical data is a complicated task since the information resides in heterogeneous data sources and platforms across multiple applications. Yet, any delay in relaying information can have a significant impact on an organization’s ability to deliver value to end users. Simply put, choosing the right tool for enterprise reporting is crucial to success. The good news is that the right tool is ready and waiting: Easytrieve.

Easytrieve delivers multiple benefits for data access, manipulation, and reporting, enabling you to become operationally effective in processing tremendous amounts of data and, ultimately, to do more with less.

Familiar and Powerful Syntax

Easytrieve uses English-like statements that closely resemble natural language. This makes it more readable than other types of code, reducing the learning curve for new users. It also provides both experienced and inexperienced developers with the capability to perform complex programming tasks with simpler statements than some of the other programming languages, as well as a lower lines-of-code count.

For example, COBOL programs typically require more lines of code to accomplish the same functionality as an Easytrieve program due to the additional syntax and structure required in COBOL. The English-like statements and built-in report-generation capabilities of Easytrieve frequently achieve a reduction of over 50% in code length compared to COBOL. In fact, Easytrieve resulted in over 90% less code when compared with some publicly-available COBOL-generated programs.

Additionally, Easytrieve’s syntax will be familiar to database administrators, business, and data analysts thanks to its similarity to PL/SQL. This enables a maximized and effective use of resources. You can take existing SQL statements and, instead of requesting AppDev teams to write a program to process the data, you can do so on your own without delay.

A few examples on syntax similarity between Easytrieve and PL/SQL include:

//variable definition
     DECLARE emailAddress varchar(100) DEFAULT "";
     DEFINE emailAddress W 102 A VARYING DEFAULT ''
//cursor declararation
     DECLARE curEmail CURSOR FOR SELECT email FROM employees;
     SQL DECLARE curEmail CURSOR FOR SELECT email FROM employees
//fetch from cursor
     FETCH curEmail INTO emailAddress;
     SQL FETCH curEmail INTO :emailAddress

Simplified File and Record Access

File handling contains many tedious, repetitive, and error-prone steps. The monotonous work includes opening/closing files, reading the records, writing loops, and remembering the last-read position.

Easytrieve eliminates much of the grunt work by providing a convenient and straightforward way to interact with the files. It abstracts the low-level details of file access, provides high-level programming constructs to work with data, iterates through the records in the file, and can handle the opening and closing of the files on its own.


(JOB statement in Easytrieve can handle file operations such as opening, closing, and iterating through the records on its own)


(After the business logic is applied to the records and data fields, supplying a PRINT <REPORT NAME> statement would make sure that the data specified in the LINE statement gets printed to the report output)


A simple example of an effective reading of records—Easytrieve takes care of the rest behind the scenes.

By using Easytrieve, you can focus on the logic of your program rather than getting bogged down with the intricacies of file handling.

Flexible Reporting and Output Management

Easytrieve’s strong reporting capabilities make it a powerful tool for generating a wide range of reports of varying complexity. Its array of features and options enables the efficient creation of well-structured and visually-appealing reports.

Key reporting capabilities offered by Easytrieve include:

  • Report Layout Control. You can define titles, headings, columns, and summary lines using dedicated statements and let Easytrieve automatically calculate and take care of correctly formatting the lines. This enables you to create professional-looking reports with clear labels and well-organized data in a short timeframe while focusing on what matters the most: data accuracy.
  • Conditional Reporting. You can specify the conditions under which certain data should be included in the report. This allows for dynamic reporting based on specific criteria, such as filtering records or displaying specific sections that meet certain conditions. With Conditional Reporting, you have fewer programs to maintain to produce different reports from the same data sets. 
  • Dynamic Reports. Dynamic reporting typically requires advanced working storage handling. However, Easytrieve makes defining working storage easy by simply placing them in the library section of your programs where they are quickly accessible.
  • External Output Options. Easytrieve offers great flexibility in terms of output options. You can direct the report output to different destinations, including terminals, printers, or external files. This allows you to generate reports in various formats, such as HTML for easy web access and XML for integration into web applications for real-time data. 

Customized and Extended Functionality

Easytrieve provides a powerful feature called macros, which allows you to define reusable code blocks that can be included and expanded within Easytrieve programs. Macros help reduce duplication of code and improve code maintainability.

Easytrieve macros can be stored and maintained in a macro library. This gives you the ability to secure macros against unauthorized access and manage stored macros outside of Easytrieve programs.

While you can create your own macros, Easytrieve provides hundreds of predefined macros through optional components known as Easytrieve Toolkit and PanAudit, allowing you to effectively use:

  • Generalized routines to perform a wide array of tasks common to general data analysis, from numerical analysis to test data generation.
  • Statistical routines to provide the information you need to design and select a statistically-valid sample.

Macros also help you take full advantage of SMF reporting, a simple yet flexible method to access and report on data from the IBM System Management Facilities (SMF). You can obtain results from the SMF reporting system by invoking macro statements that do not require a detailed knowledge of SMF records. This enables you to monitor and document various activities within your organization, such as Performance Monitoring or Compliance and Governance. Using macros is an efficient and effective method for reusing code and reducing the coding time compared to copying code within your program. Copying entire existing programs may make their development easy, but the programs are difficult to maintain and have excessive overhead. 

The Bottom Line

Easytrieve has been designed with efficiency in mind. It is a well-structured program that utilizes language features appropriately to improve efficiency. This includes using appropriate control structures, minimizing redundant code, and leveraging file organization methods. 

Ready to learn more about how you can achieve greater efficiency in accessing and processing large volumes of business-critical data? Ask for a 30-minute, no-cost assessment and we will get you started on attaining the most value from your Easytrieve implementation.

Or, if you would like to discuss Easytrieve strategy, please get in touch with me directly at Dalibor.Bielas@broadcom.com.

Broadcom Mainframe Software Division empowers enterprises to amplify the value of their mainframe investments in ways that drive their business forward. Our market-leading DevOps, AIOps, Cybersecurity and Compliance, Data Management, and Foundational & Open Software solutions enable clients to adopt common tools using industry standards and integrate mainframe as part of their hybrid cloud. Our commitment to partnership extends beyond software and features Beyond Code programs that give customers the power to achieve greater business success with the platform.

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