Topic: Hot potato: XML versus SQL reports
I relied heavily on SQL reports in R2K2, harnessing some of the power of the structured database and straightforward queries to deliver a range of outputs outside the bog-standard taxon/biotope/place-based reports which confine us so much.
1. SQLs based around Location and their Status (on the Designations tab) provided an excellent way of tracking inventories for BAPs, Phase1 and Local Wildlife Sites and their progression through proposal to ratification
2. Incorporate a rucksack into this and you can confine these lists to specific regions in your Location hierarchy
3. A few simple calculations and you have a method that turns Ancient tree girth into a file which can create appropriately sized circles in GIS
4. Slide a table into nbndata which provides multiple 1Km square descriptors against a single job reference and you've got yourself a whole new way of reporting on selected 1Km squares (I know others have done this too - Mike Weideli's spotted it) and actually use this as our default reporting system as its better and quicker than any geospatial reporting facility built into the Recorder.
5. The navigation to all these was swift and could be arranged in a logical hierarchical way.
6. Output was to a variety of formats
Stuart Ball wrote this and its a terrific piece of work
Now in Recorder 6 we lose pretty well all of this and have to use XML
1. XML requires an additional set of skills and tools and apart from a few useful tips from Mike there is no-one busying themselves on developing a range of XML scripts (I'll happily hand over my SQLs to someone prepared to turn them into XML)
2. Navigation is slow and the only hierarchy you've got is through Explorer (confined to a tiny box)
3. Output is crippled and limited (see my "Catastrophic failure" thread on Recorder eGroup)
Getting information out of the Recorder is a major part of the application and I'm afraid I see no signs of progress in moving from Recorder 2002 to 6.
1. There's no sign of support from JNCC, they cannot all be on paternity leave, hiking around the world or working on other projects
2. Restoration of SQL was something Dorset software know little about as it was written by Stuart and he works on other projects for JNCC now.
So where is the support, even a useful Help file would be a start because that one's appalling.