This article offers 6 time-saving and frustration-eliminating tips for Report Writer that will come in handy if you have been tasked to build or modify a report in Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Tip #1- Make Sure to Back Up All Modified Reports!
Here’s how to back up your reports:
Open the Customization Window.
You mush Highlight all Customized Reports in order to actually Export them for safekeeping.
Save the .Package File in a common location, easy for other GP users to access later on.
This tip is by far the most important one. If one file gets corrupted, it corrupts all other customized files. Losing all your customized reports build from scratch can easily be a $10,000 loss!
Tip #2- 3 Quick Ways to Access Report Writer.
There are a few different ways to access Report Writer:
Option 1: The most common way is to click Tools > Customize > Report Writer
Hit OK on the following window.
Option 2: Hold ALT+F9
Option 3: My favorite way to modify a report is to access it directly. This allows me to see the report before modifying it. Below is an example of a print of a Bill of Lading – SOP Long Order Form.
In the screen output, click on “Modify” and the report will open in Report Writer.
Tip #3 – Access to Report Writer Blocked by Other Dynamics GP Users
A quick way to check if there are other users in Dynamics GP is to navigate to the User Activity Window.
This will allow you to see who is currently in the system.
As you can see above, only “sa” is in the system. If you see other users in the system you can either contact them and ask them to exit, or simply kick them out by clicking on the Delete button in the top left corner (make sure the system administrator has given you the okay to kick out other users!)
The Date and Time columns are good indicators of whether or not to kick out other system users. If the users haven’t been active in the system for a while you can most likely go ahead and delete them. On the other hand, if someone checked in recently, I would strongly advise you to contact that user before proceeding. S/he might be working on something important and lose data if suddenly kicked out.
You might find yourself in a situation where you are the only user listed in the User Activity window but still unable to access Report Writer. Most likely this is because a hidden user, not visible in the User Activity table, is running a process in the system. If this is the case, here’s how to identify the user and ‘kick’ him or her out of the system.
Step 1: Right Click on the Task Bar.
Step 2: Click on “Task Manager.” In the window, scroll down and find the Dynamics.exe process.
Your user name should be the only one listed here. As you can see in the image below, there are 5 users. If you already have the go ahead to kick out other users from the system administrator, use the “End Process” button at the bottom right to end all other users except for yourself. If you see yourself more than once, end the least recent process and keep the most current one running.
Once the above steps have been completed you should be able to access Report Writer with no issues.
For those of you who are a bit more tech savvy there’s a way to access Report Writer without worrying about other GP users in the system.
For example, as a Dynamics GP consultant, I do not have time to wait until the end of the day for all user to be out of GP in order for me to begin my work. Instead, I create my own separate .SET file. This allows me to freely open and work in Report Writer at any time since I am the only one using this .SET file.
Once I have completed my tasks, I contact the system administrator to coordinate a time for me to access the system and quickly import and overwrite the existing Reports.
Tip #4 – Once in Report Writer, a Few Things to Look for…
Use the top ribbon to open a report:
The following window will open:
As an example, if you were to open POP Purchase Order this window will pop up:
In the Report Definitions window, take a quick look at the Format Options in the bottom left corner.
You will most likely want to uncheck the “Text Report” box. When checked the system will only output a Text Report.
For more information, click on the Help Button on the Report Writer Tool Bar, then click on Window Help.
Tip #5 – Make Sure to Open the Proper Windows
Below is an image of Report Writer. Here you can open the proper windows to make sure you have all the tools you need to get started on a Report.
The two most important windows you need are the Properties Window (top left on the image above) and the Toolbox window.
Tip #6- The Send to Front/Send to Back Feature is also Located in the Layout Menu
This feature is useful if you happen to run into an issue where an image or text is not being shown.
Feel free to reach out should you have questions or need assistance with Dynamics GP and/or report writer.
John Monjazi, Microsoft Dynamics GP Consultant