It was there in GP 2010, but I didn’t pay much attention to it, because I thought it was just a watered-down version of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). But this week I decided to look at it and do the online tutorial – to see what the value propositions were.
It is an amazing tool! Reporting software has come a long way in the last 25 years.
The first value proposition is that it is targeted at power users rather than I/T folks. In other words you don’t need to write program code to do a complex report. It is all about setting properties and drag-and-drop.
Power users can learn how to use the tool in a long weekend, just by doing the examples in the SQL online tutorial.
It is extremely powerful. It will create pivot reports very quickly (the ones where the rows are totalled by group and pivoted 90 degrees to make columns. You‘ll see examples below.
Best of all, it can be used to perfect the SSRS reports built into GP. There are about 200 of these SQL reports that can be displayed (in rotation) on the Home Page of GP 2013 or via the new Business Analyzer application that comes with GP (or downloadable to a tablet device from the Microsoft Store). The problem with many of the reports is that they are not exactly in the format that the GP users need. For instance some reports have drill back to detail, but no grand total or subtotals. Some have the font too large on the pie charts to see which value belongs to which slice of the pie. Some reports add in the payments and the invoices to arrive at a total, instead of putting the payments in a different column. Some just show the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) guage without the actual data beside it; nor is there a sub-report which takes one to the actual details that comprise that KPI value on the guage.
Okay, we are optimists and are grateful for the 200 SQL Reports in GP 2013 - which we can tidy up with this handy new software tool included now – Microsoft SQL Report Builder 3.0 (if you have SQL Server 2012).
Here are some examples of the reports and charts you will be building with the tutorial:
You get the idea. The real payoff comes when you can put the finishing touches on the SQL reports that come with your Dynamics GP 2013. Tune in for the next article, which will show some of the GP 2013, Business Analyzer, reports with “before and after ” touch-ups