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Microsoft Dynamics GP Reporting – overview for consultant

Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics GP has variety of reporting tools: Dexterity ReportWriter, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, FRx, Advanced Financial Reports (which is in fact old legacy dex tool), Crystal Reports, SQL Queries (exported to MS Excel), Smart List and Smart List Builder, Microsoft Great Plains Dexterity. 

This variety of reporting gadgets sometimes leads to misunderstanding on what reporting tool can do for you.  Let’s take this philosophical approach – if you have a tool to create screws, required in car assembly – this doesn’t mean that newer version of the screw maker will let your car ran faster or let you to produce new car model.

  • Reporting Tools limitations.  Typically such reporting tools as Crystal Reports or MS SQL Server Reporting Services (SRS) allow you to link GP tables in some visual linking tool and then build your report body, and then group it and show summarized values by groups.  Regardless of  your expectations that newer reporting tool will do miracle, you need to go into report engine, which typically is designed outside of reporting tool, we will describe it below
  • SQL Views.  In SQL Server you can go far beyond the restricted functionality of reporting tool – you can create views, where you can unionize select statements and cross database and even servers platforms – heterogeneous queries, where you pull data, joining cross-platform data: SQL Server, Oracle, other ODBC compliant, etc.  Well, SQL views are great tools, but sometimes you need to go further to SQL scripting, as described below
  • SQL Stored Procedure.  You can base your SRS or Crystal Reports on SQL Stored Procedure (sometimes referred as stored proc).  Procedure is more flexible and allows you to add variables, parameters, build temporary tables to join your data across various sources in single union.  Typically you switch to stored procedure approach when you need temp tables, parameters and exec statements (when you build your select statement on the fly from text constructions)
  • GP Report Wizard.  We recommend you these considerations.  First, try to link tables in reporting tool.  If you see that this approach doesn’t work, try SQL view concept.  If View is not an optionFeature Articles, consider SQL Stored Procedure – this is final and guaranteed solution (if you feel that you are still not oriented enough – think about temporary tables – they should allow you to produce final result set)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum Group, http://www.a;baspectrum.com help@albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918, serving GP clients in Chicago: Naperville, Aurora, Plainfield, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Batavia, St. Charles, Elgin, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Downers Grove, Morris, Joliet, Minooka, Lombard, Elk Grove, Itasca, Schaumburg, Crystal Lake, Plano, Oswego, Montgomery, Orland Park, Alsip, Lyons.  In Houston / Dallas metros: Katy, Richmond, Rosenberg, Sugar Land, Galveston.  USA / Canada nationwide: Toronto, New York, Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Toledo, Indianapolis, Seattle. Minneapolis, Atlanta, Des Moines, Fargo, Moorhead.



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