Great Plains Partner News: Crystal Reports

Great Plains Partner News: Crystal Reports

Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation often includes generic reporting, where such traditional tools as FRx, ReportWriter and Advanced Financial Analysis do not fit the requirements, especially when you are joining Great Plains tables from different modules and often by custom fields.  Good example would be something like this – you need to analyze profitability of the project, where you sell your goods in Sales Order Processing module and then order them for drop ship in Purchase Order Processing.  This report maybe looks like natural and simple, however it is unlikely to make this report design done in Great Plains Report Writer and Crystal Reports designer will do this for you without the question.  Let’s take a look at Crystal Reports in reasonable details:

1.       SQL views or stored procedures as CR base.  This method resolves your dependence on the joining in Crystal itself, and gives you the advantages of unionizing, grouping, having temporary tables to give you intermediate results to name a few.  We saw multiple complains form GP customers, where their Crystal Reports were showing duplicate lines and in all the cases like that we discovered that these reports were built with linking wizard, and without SQL stored procedure

2.       Crystal Reports upgrade.  CR is typically version update independent and will work with new version without revision.  In the past, when Great Plains Software were changing GP table names, the upgrade was an issues and you had to pay for Great Plains Consultant hours to have your reports retested and updated with new GP version

3.       Alternatives to Crystal Reports.  If you like your reports to be available over the web, we recommend Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, where you pretty much do the same approach – create SQL stored procedure or SQL view as the base.  If you are comfortable to link to SQL database in MS Access, Excel you can try out these tools as well.  GP also offers advanced Smart List, where you can base the selection on the SQL custom query

Source by Andrew Karasev

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