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Where are you from, who do you work for?
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Expert
posted
Would it be unfair for me to suggest that people identify themselves a little?

There seems to be a new crop of FocalPoint members that appear to be complete beginners that never have had training. We seem to be doing their jobs for them. I enjoy helping people that have tried to work out a problem themselves, but it appears the new members aren't trying very hard.

RTFM comes to mind.


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
Thanks Francis, for stating what I've been thinking too.

This forum will only be strong when the information flows between posters.

If the information is only going in one direction, the forum will suffer.

Some forums transition to a 'Stack Exchange' concept where posts are judged/voted on, to help enforce high quality sharing.

I like our 'open forum' concept, and hope we can keep it going.

Posts that sound like homework assignments, or criticize a share because it is a demonstration/model/illustration and not a full blown system, and so on, will, I think, hurt the usefulness of the forum.
 
Posts: 786 | Registered: April 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
1K % agreed with you Francis about everything you said.


WF versions : Prod 8.2.04M gen 33, Dev 8.2.04M gen 33, OS : Windows, DB : MSSQL, Outputs : HTML, Excel, PDF
In Focus since 2007
 
Posts: 2282 | Location: Montreal Area, Qc, CA | Registered: September 25, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
posted Hide Post
Francis:

You are so correct. The optimal solution would be a Focal Point realm for newbies. My recommendation: IBI should assign support staff to respond.

Most important - infinite kudos for your kind and patient support for so many year


Sandy Kadish
Dev: 8.2.04- PostgreSQL
Test: 8.2.04 - PostgreSQL
Prod: 8.2.04 - PostgreSQL
 
Posts: 239 | Location: Orlando, FL / Baltimore, MD | Registered: May 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
Also agree.

I don't understand why checking the manual and searching the forum is so difficult.

You always get a load of answers.

I guess some people wants there answers on a silver platter.


Waz...

Prod:WebFOCUS 7.6.10/8.1.04Upgrade:WebFOCUS 8.2.06OS:LinuxOutputs:HTML, PDF, Excel, PPT
In Focus since 1984
Know The Code

 
Posts: 6207 | Location: 33.8688° S, 151.2093° E | Registered: October 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Member
posted Hide Post
I'm essentially self-taught. I haven't had any formal training from IBI. Sat through one free seminar in Chicago and some high-level hands on stuff at Summit last year. Outside of that I have a co-worker that showed me the basics, a report painter 1 book I reference, the help documentation, and mostly this forum.

Most of the time if I ask a question it's because I'm at the end of my rope.

I do believe some should invest more time in searching and finding the solution on their own, but being self-taught I can see the other side of the coin. I guess the question is do they want to be taught or told, and that's where the frustration for people trying to help sets in.


JC
WebFOCUS Dev Studio / App Studio
8.2.01
Windows 7
 
Posts: 146 | Registered: November 09, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
posted Hide Post
Minor Note:

IBI used to provide CDs for training. (Remember those? Wink ) The online manuals are very good but some demos online would be very benefificial.

There is an additional concern that competitive BI products are providing online training and these competitors can appear to be the next shiny object for those in the BI marketplace. I hope that somebody raises this point about online training at Summit this year.


Sandy Kadish
Dev: 8.2.04- PostgreSQL
Test: 8.2.04 - PostgreSQL
Prod: 8.2.04 - PostgreSQL
 
Posts: 239 | Location: Orlando, FL / Baltimore, MD | Registered: May 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
IBI provides Webinars and posts the recordings online. Some are case studies where others are demos. I would suggest checking these out.

http://www.informationbuilders...t/userforum/webcasts


Eric Woerle
8.1.05M Gen 913- Reporting Server Unix
8.1.05 Client Unix
Oracle 11.2.0.2
 
Posts: 750 | Location: Warrenville, IL | Registered: January 08, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
If only I had all this in 1984.

All I had was the FOCUS Primer book.

Eeker


Waz...

Prod:WebFOCUS 7.6.10/8.1.04Upgrade:WebFOCUS 8.2.06OS:LinuxOutputs:HTML, PDF, Excel, PPT
In Focus since 1984
Know The Code

 
Posts: 6207 | Location: 33.8688° S, 151.2093° E | Registered: October 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
I am seeing similar.

I agree that it would be nice if IBI eventually upgraded to a better forums solution where posts could be voted upon and moderated much like what one finds on stackoverflow.com.

There was talk of better documentation or walkthroughs needed online in today's webinar. It was agreed that it does need to be a better focus moving forward. Hopefully that means something will be done.

I do concur though that maybe upon account creation, it validates whether the prospective user has given some information about him/herself along with what products and versions they are using. Maybe even at the point of posting? Since it's been a recurring theme that we've had to guess what they're using.


8.2.02M (production), 8.2.02M (test), Windows 10, all outputs.
 
Posts: 1111 | Location: USA | Registered: January 27, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
@Coolguy; As I read it, that is precisely what David does NOT want this forum to become. I agree with him. StackExchange is full of newbies all asking the same beginner questions - I even regularly exclude the site from my searches (same for W3schools BTW).

The problem with being self-taught, I'm more or less in the same shoes as JC in that respect, is that through years of using WebFOCUS there is a lot that we already know - and often quite well. What we lack is often the bigger picture and certain rather specific knowledge (such as that it's possible to position reports in a Document relative to another report; until yesterday I thought that impossible).

The courses that IBI offers often don't fit our needs, because much of what they teach is beginner's stuff and when it isn't it's often not clear to us what the training is about because we're unfamiliar with the terminology used.

I think that auto-didactics like us would benefit most from custom-tailored sessions that fill out the gaps in our knowledge and provide the bigger picture. I'm among the lucky few who have indeed received such customized training (from IBI's Benelux support center - Nico is an excellent teacher).

The problem is that people usually don't know what they don't know, which makes it difficult to select the correct training courses.

That's why in my opinion IBI could play a stronger role on these forums by keeping an eye on what kind of questions people ask and suggest appropriate training based on that information. That could be a nice application of their recent Big Data solutions even!

Of course that should not come at the expense of the spirit of us helping each other, it's mostly for those cases where it's obvious that the person asking the question lacks training in certain respects or would benefit from additional training.

And of course, we don't want to turn this into a marketing forum Wink


WebFOCUS 8.1.03, Windows 7-64/2008-64, IBM DB2/400, Oracle 11g & RDB, MS SQL-Server 2005, SAP, PostgreSQL 11, Output: HTML, PDF, Excel 2010
: Member of User Group Benelux :
 
Posts: 1654 | Location: Enschede, Netherlands | Registered: August 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
I'm a root cause analysis kind of guy... On that note:

I blame the government for getting on to parents for discipline their children and the schools making everyone a winner. This causes lazy kids to grow and up and not teach their kids the meaning of work ethics, which in turn creates lazy adults. Everyone expects everything to be done for them and get a gold star off someone else's hard work.

I grew up on a farm, when you get up before dawn to feed the chickens, goats, horses, and cows, before you go to school. Then when you get home, you feed and water the chickens, goats, horses, cows, and gather eggs before you can do your school work. You then wash dishes after mom cooked dinner and you get ready for bed. And this is between your other chores like mowing the lawn, carrying trash, etc.. Kids today, have no clue.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GavinL,



- FOCUS Man, just FOCUS!
-----------------------------
Product: WebFOCUS
Version: 8.1.04
Server: Windows 2008 Server
 
Posts: 578 | Registered: October 01, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
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I think the responsibility goes both ways here. The senior people on this forum have a responsibility to provide nudges and not fully developed answers. Also, the questioner has the responsibility to provide their final solution when done - and tag the thread appropriately.

I DON'T FEEL it is the responsibility of IB to monitor and suggest education. We're all adults here, and everyone on this forum has an IB contact that they can call at anytime to inquire about such things.

For the most part, I've evolved to providing simple responses that do not contain the complete solution, rather a topic or suggested direction. If the questioner doesn't understand, then they can ask for more detail. If the questioner doesn't provide their solution to my suggestion, and either lets the thread die or marks it as solved with no detail, then I note the name. If it happens twice, then I no longer provide help to that user.

There are exceptions. If the question requires very specific internal knowledge, or hard to research information, then I will provide a more detailed answer.

In the end this forum is what WE make it. If you spoon feed the answers, then that is the type of person this forum will attract. If you provide suggestions and direction that allow users to grow as WF developers, well ...

Just my 2cents


"There is no limit to what you can achieve ... if you don’t care who gets the credit." Roger Abbott
 
Posts: 1102 | Location: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
One of the recent things annoying me is the rumour that some of the newer members are offshore employees of a certain software company and they're expected to get their training from this forum instead of said software company providing formal training.


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Francis Mariani:
One of the recent things annoying me is the rumour that some of the newer members are offshore employees of a certain software company and they're expected to get their training from this forum instead of said software company providing formal training.


I can assure you that that is not a rumour. I've witnessed it first hand.


"There is no limit to what you can achieve ... if you don’t care who gets the credit." Roger Abbott
 
Posts: 1102 | Location: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold member
posted Hide Post
As someone that “takes” far more than I “give” to this forum, I just want to say how much I appreciate the wealth of knowledge on this forum. Every time I ask a question it’s answered very quickly and accurately. I’m giving a tips and tricks presentation at Summit this year, and many of these tips were learned on this forum. I plan to give a special thanks to all the members of this forum that have helped me to learn and grow over the years. Thanks again!

Thinking back to when I was a new developer using WebFOCUS, I can definitely relate to some of the pain that newbies face. Management purchased this tool and basically said “Here’s a new tool, go make an eStatement”. We received some instructions on how to install Dev Studio, and that was it. We had a completely blank slate, no environments set up, no folder structures, no application examples, no idea what report painter was or what it was used for, no idea what a synonym was or why we needed it, I could go on and on. We then started to take some classes, but everything was so basic and done on a server outside of our environment, so we couldn’t reference the examples later. Needless to say finally getting up and running was a very steep learning curve. We were given resources to help, including the manual and this forum, but without the basic understanding we didn’t even know what to search for.

In addition to the recommendations above, I think one thing that could really benefit new developers is a working application pre-installed with the tool. If we would have had examples of a finished HTML page with a portal, reports, charts, animations, custom style sheets, basic JavaScript, synonyms and parameter chaining, we would got started with much better footing.


WebFOCUS 8.2.03
z/OS
 
Posts: 66 | Registered: May 20, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Member
posted Hide Post
I inherited a job, working under another analyst until she left and just the interactions I had with her were the only real training I received for WebFOCUS. It's tough when you have your back to the wall, have tried a hundred different attempts at solving an issue and the anxiety builds up to go to the Focal Point forums and ask for help.

I'm always terrified that I'm going to get blasted for not reading the manual or asking a stupid question. Believe me, if I'm coming to the Focal point forums, I have tried to comb the manual a thousand times for the thing I'm looking for and I have been completely fruitless. If you don't know how to ask the question, it can be impossible to find the answer.

I remember the early days when I was still a COMPLETE newbie and I was having problems with a date function. My searches on the forums and the manual yielded a TON of hits, but my problem wasn't actually with a DATE value, it was with a DATE-TIME value. I didn't know the difference, so while I had a whole sea of information in front of me none of it was relevant because I wasn't using the right keyword. So what do you do? I just do my best when I come to the forums to just ask to be pointed in the right direction instead of asking you guys to solve my problems like your tech support. I will be able to figure it out if I can just find the right way to ask a search engine.

I know it is frustrating to deal with a lot of inexperienced users. All I can say, is that as an inexperienced user thank you all for the help you have given me. Every year, I ask for the resources for more training and every year I get denied. Until I am a master, all I can do is be thankful for the kindness of strangers on the Focal Point forums, and hope to someday help others the way you helped me.


WebFOCUS 8.105M, Windows 10, App Studio
 
Posts: 45 | Registered: October 22, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
One of the nice things about this forum is how gracious it is to new WF devs.

The theme of this thread is not so much a concern about new devs in general, as much as it is a reminder that new devs should feel empowered to share information as well.

Letting the people on your thread know (without sharing anything confidential) that your company/division is new to the product or you've replaced a person, and your development efforts are critical to a new system/maintaining an existing system will go a long way to closing the 'communication loop'.

The 'Best Practices for Focal Point Users' thread on the 'Rules, Regs, and FAQs' folder, does a nice job a laying out some pointers supporting this thread.
 
Posts: 786 | Registered: April 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
Wep5622,

I read David's post wrong. My apologies.

All I was trying to point out is that if we could somehow help the newer users give us a bit of information up front so we can skip the guess-what-they're-using game altogether, it'd be nice. I'm all for this open forum concept. I just think a bit of added validation up front for user profile creation and posting would help.

Joel Elscott,

One thing that helped me A LOT was IBI's CM package of their work-in-progress 8.1.03 responsive demo code. There was a lot of examples within there that showed me what one could do with the product as it stood at that point in time. Maybe someone has a link they could share so you could get a copy? I know it's tied to the Tech Support site though. You'll have to be able to log into that to get to it.

Also, starting in 8.2.01 they've supplied what they're calling the Retail Samples domain content CM package that you can load into your environment that comes with your install. It has examples of all sorts of things in it...reports, charts, documents, visualizations, a portal, InfoApps, mobile, link to videos, etc. I haven't dug into it yet myself, but it looks promising!

rray9895,

I feel your pain. I had similar circumstances when I began. But it IS doable! The documentation, example code I found, and a lot of gracious help from people here in the forums got me up and running. I wouldn't be who I am today without this forum in regards to what I now know. Keep posting! We don't bite...much. For those that do, I think need to be a bit more kind in how they approach the newer crowd. I for one think there is no stupid question if it's a well thought out question. If its a simple request for something that has obviously not been studied out first, then that's another story. Even so, you should always feel fine to come here with your questions. Hope to keep seeing you on here! Smiler


8.2.02M (production), 8.2.02M (test), Windows 10, all outputs.
 
Posts: 1111 | Location: USA | Registered: January 27, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
I need to clarify my rant - it isn't against newbies, it's against a certain software company with offshore employees that are not getting trained with the training materials the company itself produces.

I will shortly be asking a few newbie questions about App Studio 8.1.05M...


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Francis Mariani:
I will shortly be asking a few newbie questions about App Studio 8.1.05M...


Rest assured that I will not be answering them.


"There is no limit to what you can achieve ... if you don’t care who gets the credit." Roger Abbott
 
Posts: 1102 | Location: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Member
posted Hide Post
Francis asking about App Studio? Everytime someone asks why I'm still on Dev Studio I say "the guy with the most posts on the forum is still using it" Smiler

I'm now 9990 posts behind you.


JC
WebFOCUS Dev Studio / App Studio
8.2.01
Windows 7
 
Posts: 146 | Registered: November 09, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
dhagen
quote:
Rest assured that I will not be answering them.


Well, that's too bad, because I value your input. I guess I've annoyed you way too much. One day we can discuss each of my opinions that have bothered you and perhaps find some common ground.


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
quote:
The senior people on this forum have a responsibility to provide nudges and not fully developed answers


quote:
If you spoon feed the answers, then that is the type of person this forum will attract


quote:
get their training from this forum



Totally agree.


Francis, We are on 8.1.04 using App Studio.
I'm told that 8.1.05 is sooooo much better.
Good luck, as we are skipping 8.1.05 and going to 8.2.01.


Waz...

Prod:WebFOCUS 7.6.10/8.1.04Upgrade:WebFOCUS 8.2.06OS:LinuxOutputs:HTML, PDF, Excel, PPT
In Focus since 1984
Know The Code

 
Posts: 6207 | Location: 33.8688° S, 151.2093° E | Registered: October 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
I'm for a vote-up vote-down system. ( or "best answer kudo's or whatever ).


And I do agree IBI should be more pro-active in education / documentation.
And not only point to "push the button 'total' to add 'total'"-kind of documentation/course.


_____________________
WF: 8.0.0.9 > going 8.2.0.5
 
Posts: 669 | Location: Veghel, The Netherlands | Registered: February 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jcannavo:
Francis asking about App Studio? Everytime someone asks why I'm still on Dev Studio I say "the guy with the most posts on the forum is still using it" Smiler

I'm now 9990 posts behind you.


Don't feel bad, I'm still using Dev Studio as well. I use the GUI tools only when I have to and that's about .001 % of the time. I'll give up Dev Studio when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. We still have almost all of our code on the reporting server. Almost none resides in the repository.

As for many of the questions where it is obvious the one asking has done nothing to help themselves, I just ignore the question or reply "click on help" or "look it up in the manual".

As for IBI help on their website, one nice addition would be the ability to limit replies to a release of WebFOCUS. If I am looking for something in 8.1.05, I really don't want answers back to version 4.5.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: <Emily McAllister>,


In FOCUS since 1985. Prod WF 8.0.08 (z90/Suse Linux) DB (Oracle 11g), Self Serv, Report Caster, WebServer Intel/Linux.
 
Posts: 948 | Location: Oklahoma City | Registered: October 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Francis Mariani:
dhagen
quote:
Rest assured that I will not be answering them.


Well, that's too bad, because I value your input. I guess I've annoyed you way too much. One day we can discuss each of my opinions that have bothered you and perhaps find some common ground.


You misunderstand my intention here. I really meant that I have only used app studio twice, and only to build a very very basic sample report. I don't know a damn thing about it or how to use it, therefore, I will not answer any questions about app studio because I CANNOT answer any questions about app studio.

I will always take time to help you with any questions you have! Just not when it comes to app studio.


"There is no limit to what you can achieve ... if you don’t care who gets the credit." Roger Abbott
 
Posts: 1102 | Location: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
dhagen, what is the alternate meaning of life?


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Virtuoso
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Francis Mariani:
dhagen, what is the alternate meaning of life?


24


"There is no limit to what you can achieve ... if you don’t care who gets the credit." Roger Abbott
 
Posts: 1102 | Location: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Expert
posted Hide Post
dhagen, thanks, I owe you a beer, or a case of two-four.


Francis


Give me code, or give me retirement. In FOCUS since 1991

Production: WF 7.7.05M, Dev Studio, BID, MRE, WebSphere, DB2 / Test: WF 8.1.05M, App Studio, BI Portal, Report Caster, jQuery, HighCharts, Apache Tomcat, MS SQL Server
 
Posts: 10577 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: April 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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