A new way to Tweet report data

Tuesday 6 November 2012 @ 11:10 pm

There are desktop scheduling tools and server-based scheduling tools that can post messages directly to twitter.  These are all in the $1000 and up price range. Now there is a third option to consider.

Ido Millet of Millet software recently wrote up a case study in the user manual of Visual Cut (page 41).  It shows how the Santa Monica Fire Department uses Visual CUT to tweet calls for service as they entered into their database. A report is scheduled to run every minute and looks for any newly-created records. Visual CUT sends an email for each record to a free “email to twitter” service provided by Twitter Counter (http://twittercounter.com/pages/twittermail/).  Visual CUT also exports these records to another table which is used to track the incidents that have already been tweeted. This prevents duplicates and is also used to determine if an incident has been cleared so that an all clear Tweet can be sent.

Any tool that can generate Emails from Crystal can be used in the same way.  However, Ido suggests that it is important to be able to eliminate duplicate Tweets. Selecting by time ranges, like the last 5 minutes, is not a 100% reliable approach.  A slight delay in launch time or a temporary outage will mean missed records or duplicates.  Visual CUT has several features that are specifically designed to avoid duplicate processing.

So, if you have any questions about your options for deploying a report-to-Twitter process, drop me a line.


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