Saturday, July 22, 2006
We are often asked to explain the difference between GL Wand and Oracle ADI published to Excel as at a first glance, because both use excel...people wonder what the differences are.
On closer inspection you will see the fundamental differences and benefits of GL Wand for Excel based reporting.
Read on and decide for yourself.
Download the pdf version of the report.
Differences between GL Wand and ADI (Oracle Application Desktop Integrator) reporting and drill down
SQL net / TNS Names
GL Wand performs comfortably over a WAN and is technically much quicker to install and deploy.
Software Version Upgrades
Usually requires IT assistance at each PC
Simple MSI install with central version upgrade control via Oracle profile options
Simpler and cheaper to maintain on the desktop
Users require specialist knowledge of FSG report development architecture.
Users need to know how to use Excel.
Users can develop their own adhoc reports and do their jobs better without specialist skills.
Fixed Row and Column intersection reporting
Free form reporting at cell level
GL Wand has virtually no limitations on layout, and number and type of Financial values represented and mixed in a workbook.
Report building tools
ADI does not lend itself too standard Excel tools.
Use Excel ‘copy and paste’ functionality to replicate, extend and modify reports
Rapid report development environment for improved productivity.
Report building tools
No Discover functions.
GL Wand has simple functions to further reduce report development time.
Report Refresh Performance
Report definition is uploaded to server and then executed as concurrent request and then published into excel
Controlled at the individual cell / range / sheet or workbook level
GL Wand refreshes cells at a rate of 5-50 cells per second. Each cell representing many balances. Huge productivity gain is expected, especially for ad hoc enquiry compared to a front end logon.
Report Refresh architecture
Overwrites destination cells / destination worksheet with a static data dump.
Refreshes each cell in place with referential integrity maintained.
Excel objects like graphs, conditional formatting, formulae etc which are linked to source cells will refresh intact due to this referential integrity.
Users can exploit Excel functionality. One click reporting is possible with GL Wand.
Report Review & drill down.
Can drill to detail
Drill to detail options more flexible and faster.
Improve user productivity. Drill to journal lines on YTD balances and drill to multiple subledger sources simultaneously not for example possible with ADI.
Is always a snapshot
Can create a snapshot when needed.
Snapshot the report only when needed (leaving non GL Wand formulae intact) and distribute static financial reports as .xls or .pdf.
Not available in ADI. Must use text to columns or discoverer
Quickly extract Trial balance into excel
High speed trial balance extracts with comparative balances for use in Excel. No manual intervention needed.
Login to vision operations e.g.
Takes long to log in over WAN and is slow.
Send 7.3 kb / receive 31.3kb
Logon is fast.
Refresh a 1000 cell report representing almost 200 000 balances from Vision operations e.g.
Send 233 kb / receive 47 kb
Refresh is efficient and fast.
Below is an extract from a letter we prepared containing network bandwidth testing performed on GL Wand over a WAN. You should be able to replicate the tests by downloading the trial version and (proxy server permitting) log into our online vision instance and monitor the data throughput yourself.
GL Wand: Network bandwidth tests
In response to a partner query Excel4apps conducted the following tests on 7 July 2006 to record and publish the approximate network bandwidth utilized by GL Wand during the logon process and during an example report refresh.
Test case data
The test case involved using “Vision operations” as an example company and then recording the data sent and received by GL Wand version 3.10. The Vision operations set of books has a 5 segment chart of accounts structure. Actual data throughput will vary depending on actual set of books structure and the parent hierarchies selected.
Vision operations Segment structure.
No of segment values
Logon with GL Wand
Report refresh process
Number of ‘Get Balance’ cells
Number of underlying balances represented
Refresh GL Wand reports
Average predicted* benchmark per 1000 cells
GL Wand has been designed to perform across a WAN and the above findings support that design principle. Further supporting testimony is that during a typical sales process, Excel4apps sales personnel demonstrate GL Wand functionality and performance to potential customers by connecting GL Wand to an online Vision instance across the internet (WAN). In addition many existing GL Wand customers are running GL Wand across a WAN.
*The benchmarks were predicted by extrapolating the test data. Actual results will vary on your own instance. Excel4apps (Pty) Ltd offers a free multi-user 30 day trial period allowing potential customers to test all aspects of GL Wand prior to purchasing.
For more information, please contact the author
+27 82 496 1024
Excel4apps (Pty) Ltd