Why Switch from Query/400 to Sequel Data Access? | HelpSystems

13 FAQs on Switching from Query/400 to Sequel

October 20, 2021



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You’re using Query/400. You’ve heard about Sequel Data Access for IBM i. But before you make the switch, you’ve got questions you (and your boss) need answered.

No problem. We’ve got the answers to the most common questions about moving on from Query/400 with Sequel. We hope this FAQ makes you even more confident that Sequel is right for you.


1. Why switch from Query/400 to Sequel Data Access?

Your organization’s data is far different today than it was 30 years ago, when Query/400 was new and top-of-the-line. Yet, you’re still using Query/400 to run your queries.

Today, data is growing at an astronomical rate. In addition to your IBM i database, you might have Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and other databases in your environment. And you need to be able to access all of them. Query/400 can’t manage it.

Plus, as data grows, you’ll inevitably be running more queries for more and more sets of data. Query/400 can only handle one query at once. Any time someone needs a slightly different set of data, you need to modify or run a new query. It’s incredibly inefficient.


2. What about our existing Query/400 queries? Can we convert them?

Yes! You can convert your existing queries from Query/400 in seconds with Sequel. Then you can use Sequel to perform data manipulation and reporting tasks far beyond the abilities of Query/400.

See how easy it is in this 2-minute video:

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Add run-time prompts, so your business users can self-select IBM i data to query to Sequel—without making any changes to the query itself. Give users the option to run a query on your data in one click from a desktop icon, so they don’t have to go searching for it. Create colorful charts and graphs—and put them on custom dashboards—so anyone can understand what the data means.

Let anyone (who has permission) drill down into the results of that query to get the precise level of detail they need (i.e., sales in California). Use conditional logic to transform IBM i data into insight. Convert dates, so you can run the exact calculations you need. Plus, deliver reports by email—and even get the results in Microsoft Excel. 

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3. Why shouldn’t we use SQL instead?

Sequel gets you your data faster, with clearer interfaces and easier processes. While there is certainly a place and time for SQL, Sequel provides distinct advantages in its graphical user interfaces, customizable dashboards, automated reporting, and easy sharing. Got more questions about SQL queries? Get answers >


4. How much time can Sequel save us?

Countless hours. For example, an RPG report program might take four or five hours to create and compile. Using Sequel, the same report takes mere minutes—and requires no compiling. Plus, Sequel makes it easy for you to give secure data access directly to your users, leading to significant time-savings for IT.


5. Can we enable other departments to view data and run queries, freeing up IT staff for other tasks?

Of course! Sequel’s templates, design wizards, and auto-joins help users create their own views and reports, even if they aren’t familiar with the database. Objects are stored on the IBM i, which maintains control and honors AS/400 object security. Users can display data and interact with it on demand by sorting, performing drill-downs, entering variables at run time, emailing results, and more.


6. Our users wouldn’t know where to begin creating their own queries. How would Sequel help them?

Five words: Sequel empowers your business users.

Sequel accommodates users at any level. Business users don’t need to go poking around a green screen to get their data anymore. Instead, you can give them visual dashboards in a browser (or the option to point-and-click on the GUI). With Sequel’s diverse access options, any user can harness data to make confident business decisions quickly.


7. Is there a way to give users access to data in a browser instead?

Sequel Web Interface (SWI) empowers users to get data access on the go. The next time that your end users are travelling for a presentation or simply working from home, they can use SWI to easily access dashboards, views, reports, scripts, and applications— on a tablet, smartphone, or laptop.


8. Can we control data access levels?

Absolutely! Sequel conforms to the security you set up through your OS, or you can choose to use Sequel’s security. Objects are stored on the IBM i, giving IT the ability to control the way Sequel is accessed and used. You can use Sequel to enforce security by restricting users from libraries, files, fields, or rows. Plus, auditing options make it easy to track who is accessing information—and which information they are viewing.

Watch the short video to learn about Sequel's security options. 

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9. What skills do users need to run Sequel? Will we need to train them?

Virtually anyone can use Sequel. Users only need basic Windows skills. Since they can access data via a browser and point-and-click interfaces, you won’t need to train them to use the green screen.


10. Everyone loves Microsoft Excel. Does Sequel work with Excel?

Sequel gives users unparalleled abilities to access and work with data in Excel. You can draw from Microsoft Excel (and Microsoft Access) as a data source in Sequel. Plus, with Sequel Viewpoint’s Excel Plug-In, you can load your Sequel data directly in Excel—even in custom Excel spreadsheets.

You’ll be able to access your views, make calculations, and enjoy the familiar environment of Excel. To top it off, users can also display, email, or download data results directly to Excel on-demand or scheduled with a job scheduler. The comfort of Excel married with the power of Sequel makes for the ultimate user experience. Watch the video to see how. 

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11. Where do Sequel objects run from?

Sequel objects include queries, reports, and dashboards. While Sequel objects are viewed using Windows, a browser, or a green screen, they are actually stored on your IBM i as definitions, even when working with remote databases like Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. No ODBC connection is involved. This ensures that programmers can control what people are viewing, changing, and creating.


12. What’s wrong with using the green screen?

Nothing! In fact, Sequel can greatly enhance green screen applications, allowing you to call Sequel from automated jobs, the command line, and 5250 menus. You can incorporate Sequel’s ability to present prompting at run time, output to Microsoft Excel, and email data easily from a green screen menu. You can even perform targeted drill-down analysis.

If you’re interested in your options beyond the green screen, Sequel’s Windows and browser interfaces allow you to take business intelligence to the next level with dashboards, drill-down analysis, and more!


13. How much does Sequel cost?

You have many options for licensing Sequel, from concurrent, user-based options to an unrestricted license option. Sequel is easy to implement and offers a rapid return on investment. In fact, you can get up and running in less than an hour.

Plus, Sequel protects your budget over the long term. Sequel helps programmers to decrease the time it takes to get key information to business users and gives users the ability to analyze and quickly respond to critical business situations. 

Switch to Sequel Data Access

Query/400 just doesn’t cut it anymore. Requesting a personalized demo is a great next step for seeing the benefits of Sequel Data Access for your business needs. Let us show you how easy accessing, analyzing, and reporting on your IBM i and remote databases can be with Sequel. Our team of software experts would love to hear exactly what you’re looking for in a data access tool and show you how Sequel makes business intelligence easy for everyone.

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