Dynamic AI Overview
Dynamic AI provides users with fast and flexible reporting, controlling and budgeting solutions on top of existing database and data-warehouses.
The first versions of Dynamic AI were developed in 1998-2000 when the internet was young and widespread information sharing using computers at its early beginning. AI was originally defined as Application Interface and the first versions of Dynamic AI were aimed as being a dynamic user-driven interface to company databases.
The first implementations proved that using a native and full browser interface not only for the end-users, but also to completely administrate and design applications, was effective and required little maintenance. Being fully browser-based, end-users accepted and understood the use of Dynamic AI intuitively and could reach relevant information from wherever a LAN or internet connection was available.
The ability to adapt interfaces to individual users was a key-stone in the evolution of Dynamic AI. Users would use different versions of browsers, access Dynamic AI with different screen-sizes from slow dial-up connections to faster WAN and LAN connections. Users would have different language and regional settings preferences as well as they would have different rights to see various information and different user rights to see different levels of the information.
Combining user-rights, preferences and roles with back-end compatibility to databases defined Dynamic AI as a valid and effective Application Interface to business data.
Being a central server-based installation connected to the databases storing the information needed combined with no client side installation needs, made Dynamic AI a perfect choice for giving end-users access to information. Adding write-back features to Dynamic AI extended its use to also address data-maintenance tasks.
Introducing features to search, aggregate and filter data combined with drill-down, relate and ad-hoc design change functionality extended the definition of AI from being purely an Application Interface platform to become a platform for Activated Information. AI as Activated Information gave end-users several options to get the information needed in the format and at the level fitting their actual needs, while ensuring that administrators and developers would have tight control with security and access to reports and underlying information.
As a generic platform for Activated Information compatible with market-leading databases, Dynamic AI has grown into many different usage scenarios across the world and within different sizes of organizations and industries.
Dynamic AI is today used in the banking, finance, health, construction, utility, transport and logistics, telecom and service sectors and industries.
Technical characteristics of Dynamic AI
Dynamic AI applications act as an access point to information in multi-tiered application environments.
Connected via OLEDB or ODBC to background databases the Dynamic AI application hosted by a Microsoft Internet Information Server is a central live information server to users, developers and administrators.
Dynamic AI connects directly to background production, data-warehouse or test-databases and communicate with the databases through SQL. The background databases can be any ODBC/OLEDB compliant SQL database however typically the databases used with Dynamic AI are: Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, Sybase, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, PostGreSQL or Pervasive SQL.
As an IIS application, standard Internet security measures can be used with Dynamic AI such as SSL and client certificates, at the same time Dynamic AI applications can be reached through either LAN, WAN or the internet depending on the chosen configuration.
With a fully HTML based user-interface all use, developments and administration is done through a standard internet browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera.
Join-builder and dynamic SQL
Although Dynamic AI is simple in design when making a report on top of a database table or view, the application allows for a number of in-between layers to give developers full flexibility of data segmentation and design and administrators full control of access to data and databases.
Dynamic AI offers the opportunity to build reports on top of Dynamic AI SQL Views as well as data-sources based on Dynamic AI Join-builder views. Apart from being a full native SQL layer in-between the report and the database where specific SQL manipulation can be handled, Dynamic AI views can take a number of run-time variables as parameters for the SQL execution.
Dynamic AI view parameters can e.g.: be controlled from the dictionary, the user-accounts, the user-roles, from input at run-time, from drop-down select listings especially used for data-partitioning in Dynamic AI etc.
Apart from offering a unique possibility to generate data-sources in form of views that are not possible without stored procedures etc. in traditional databases, Dynamic AI views also have the benefit that they can be maintained directly from the browser interface making installation of development tools obsolete.
Distributed development and customization
Being fully browser-based in use, administration and development, Dynamic AI is an ideal solution for distributed development tasks. In larger organizations this is especially useful as users can cooperate across departments, locations and even between different companies.
For any organization the functionality to control and leverage user-rights to each individual user is an advantage. In many situations end-users can benefit from having some functionality and freedom to manipulate and customize reports.
Dynamic AI offers several levels of customization from full access to connect databases, create Dynamic AI views and joins, to build reports with full functionality, conditions, rules, filters, drill-down specifications, forms, sub-forms etc. to controlled access to parts of the Design functionality, Ad-hoc report design to drag-drop column actions and Automated Intelligence.
For the end-user that only uses Dynamic AI from time to time, the drag-drop and column based report actions might be the simplest and most intuitive way to customize reports and dashboards or even make sophisticated dashboards automatically using Automated Intelligence. No Design methodology as such or any coding is required.
More advanced end-users can benefit from Ad-hoc Design as well as the possibility to save new designs for predefined, restricted groups of users.
Developers will appreciate full access to functionality in Design, but administrators and other developers can still control who owns the designs and control and protect development using distinct user and owner groups.
The numerous combinations of design and data access permissions gives organizations using Dynamic AI a wide range of options to create the most effective and flexible reporting environment.
Access to design functionality also for normal end-users have been a major factor for Dynamic AIs success among users and organizations and is a important element of keeping reports and information resources current and relevant for ever-changing business and controlling requirements. Iterative development of reports - in some cases involving various user groups - ensures that Dynamic AI stays a valid intelligence resource.
From Ad-hoc to Drag-drop manipulation
The quickest and simplest way to individual report customization in Dynamic AI is column based actions and drag-drop manipulation.
A further benefit from drag-drop manipulation is that the functionality support the use of Dynamic AI on touch screen computers and eventually various other touch based interfaces coming in the future.
Touch based use of Dynamic AI is the real implementation of information at your fingertips!
Dynamic AI output options
The interface of Dynamic AI is kept as clean and uniform as possible. This ensures that focus stays on the information produced and a professional looking and useful format.
Dynamic AI has a number of default styles build-in, but can be fully and freely extended to serve special needs and company standards.
Focus on design is to ensure that reports can be used as they are produced on-screen without end-users having to spend time on output formatting. Dynamic AI reports can be printed directly from the browser, e-mailed in the Server and Enterprise editions and optionally delivered in PDF format if that option is installed on the Server/Enterprise editions. In case the PDF 3rd party option is not centrally installed, any report can be printed to PDF on the client using freely available PDF tools.
In some cases the information produced on a Dynamic AI report must be part of or used in additional reports and manipulation in e.g. Excel. Dynamic AI therefore supports export to Excel, Word, CSV, Fixed format and XML.
The Excel export can be set up as a linked report in Excel, allowing refresh of report output directly from within Excel whenever required - without even entering Dynamic AI in the browser. The linked reports also supports report filters, partitions, free parameters etc. to ensure that end-users can change relevant filters when required directly in Excel.
When exporting output, a drill-out option is available to allow also the drill-down functionality of Dynamic AI reports to function from external applications such as Excel, Word, and E-mail. When drill-down is activated, Dynamic AI automatically opens a browser and request username and password before presenting the requested drill-down specification. The drill-out functionality also supports drilling to the form level of detail record listings.
As a natural extension to Dynamic AI and export options, live reports, dashboards and forms can be integrated into any external application as long as the external application can present browser-based content and facilitate the execution of the initial url to request a specific Dynamic AI report.
The request can be either an url string or submitted on a FORM from the external application to Dynamic AI. The specific link as well as parameters, filters and output options are documented in the integration section of Report Documentation available on each individual Dynamic AI report.
Mobile devices and Dynamic AI
As mobile devices nowadays all supports displaying web-contents in a browser, Dynamic AI is available everywhere and anytime needed. Being a natural browser application originating from the time where band-width was low and expensive, Dynamic AI is optimized by design to be efficient also for mobile devices.
Specific to iPhone/iPad:
With the introduction of the touch based iPhone and iPod touch including fast-enough processors, bigger screens, WIFI, 3G and Edge connectivity options, mobile use of Dynamic AI became even more relevant. To further support the type of device use introduced by Apple, Dynamic AI was extended in 2007 to recognize the iPhone / iPod and present a specific iPhone standard menu and navigation interface to Dynamic AI. To support the initiative further all versions of Dynamic AI supports iPhone, iPod and iPad connectivity.