Manfred Kuechler

Quick guide:  Running a Query  

With special emphasis on textbook information

Last update:  17 June 2013      

This quick guide is based on the "production environment". These "quick guides" are produced quickly with little attention to formatting and fitting everything on a letter size page for printing.  

As a rule, department and program chair as well as departmental admin staff should already have the matching access rights and be able to see the menu item "Query Viewer".. Make sure to click the little triangle to the left of "Query" to expand the submenu. You do not want the "Report Manager".

If you know the name of the query you want to run, simply enter it  (or just the first part) in the box and click the "Search" button.  Here are several queries of interest. Note that these queries have been written at other CUNY colleges and we can only run them "as is"  (more about queries in CUNYFirst):

Query name Description Comment
CU_SR_TEXTBOOK_DETAILS List of textbook information entered in Cf  -- by term Does not include instructor name; course number and section only (no title, no class number); all textbook information entered including "notes"; also includes information still set to "pending"
QCCV_SR_TEXTBOOK_LIST  List of textbook information entered in Cf  -- by term and academic org (department/program) Includes instructor name; all textbook information including "notes" and "special instructions"; differentiates between "pending" and "complete"; includes classes/sections with "No textbooks assigned to class"  check
QCCV_SR_TEXTBOOK_STATUS List of classes/section without textbook information  -- by term and (optional) academic org Includes course title, number, section, and class number as well as instructor name and e-mail address (if available), also current enrollment. Differentiates between "pending" and "no submission".
CU_QC_SR_SECTIONS_NO_TEXTBOOK List of classes/section without textbook information  -- by term List only classes/section which have an instructor assigned already (name and e-mail address)

In the following case, only one result comes up. 

 If this is a query you are likely to use more often in the future, click on the "favorite" link, and this query will be saved in your box of favorites:

To run the query (i.e., produce a listing/report), I recommend to click the "Excel" link.  A new tab/window (depending on your browser configuration) will open and present you with "prompts"; in this case just "institution" (HTR01 = Hunter) and term (1136 = summer 2013):

Then click "View Results".  A pop-up window will appear and let you choose between opening the results file right away or save it to the local computer. I recommend to stay with the latter, especially if it is a query where you want to save the results anyway.

Then save the file in  your preferred location. The suggested file name is always something non-intuitive like  "qopNRyMN.xls". You may want to select a more descriptive name right away and you may consider including a date in the file name so that you remember later at what exact time the query was run. No such information is contained in the result list. Then open the Excel from its saved location on your local computer, and edit as you see fit.

Don't worry about the message on top; simply click the "Enable Editing" button and you edit (sort, filter) the spread sheet any way you like it.

General notes about running queries in CUNYfirst

1. There is no decent documentation about any of the queries and there is no guarantee that the query produces the results it appears to promise. If you use a query not recommended by someone you trust, do at least a spot check on whether the results appear to be correct. ICIT is still in the process of reviewing the existing queries and developing recommendation which queries should be used for which purpose.  Please refrain from experimenting widely, as running some queries puts considerable burden on the system and thus may slow down essential tasks. So, use judiciously and preferably during off hours.

2. The amount of time a query takes to run varies greatly, contingent upon both the query itself and the traffic on the system. Try to run queries during off hours (late at night, very early in the morning). Some queries will not complete at all -- as CUNY has imposed a stricter limit of the number/length of result records. Typically, if you have more than 10,000 records the process will abort. You can still download what was produced up to this point, but your results will not be complete.

3. You can run queries only "as is", no modifications beyond selecting specific values for the prompts. In many cases, it would be useful if there were additional prompts, e.g., if you could select an "academic organization" (department) within an institution -- to reduce processing time and to stay under the size limit. Some queries offer such additional prompts, but there is no uniformity.

4. In addition to queries available via the "HR/Campus Solution" menu (as shown in this guide), there is a separate "reporting instance" which requires an additional access application.  All new query development has to be done in this "reporting instance" and CUNY Central severely limits access -- especially to "query manager" (in contrast to "query viewer"). We are in an ongoing debate with Central over issues related to queries and reporting. So, things may change.