Report Desk: Managing Custom Reports

Release Date: TBD
Version: Elliott 8.6

Background

NETcellent and other developers create and maintain all Report Desk templates, in order to make sure the SELECT statements for the reports are as efficient as possible.  When an Elliott customer creates a customized version of a report that uses that template, the original template is saved for use with the customized report.  This insulates the custom report from any subsequent template changes NETcellent might make after the customized version of a report is created.  Similarly, NETcellent may change the content of a report after the customer has created a customized version of it.

So, after the customer creates their own version of a report, that version will not be affected by any NETcellent changes to it or its template.  However, the customer may wish to take advantage of any developer-changed templates and reports after receiving an Elliott update.  This document describes the process for managing that situation

Documenting Changes


When a developer or customer makes a change to a report or its template, he or she is asked to record the nature of the change and any other relevant information:

This information is saved to be available for the Reports Management program.

Managing Custom Reports after NETcellent Changes


Any time after updating Elliott Business Software, a user with Supervisor access to Report Desk may review the cumulative changes to reports and templates from NETcellent.  To review the changes to templates and reports, go to System Utilities and select Global Setup.  From there select Utilities / System Utilities, and from there select Utilities / Manage Report Desk Reports:


This will bring up the Report Desk: Report Management program.  This program has four areas, corresponding to four tabs:
  • Templates Management
  • Templates History
  • Reports Management
  • Reports History.
Following are details about each tab.

Templates Management

The purpose of this tab is to review the effect of the template changes and then accept or reject the revised templates listed:


The upper portion is a list of templates changed by NETcellent, which is grouped by Status into Not Reviewed, Accepted, and Rejected.  When you select a template in the upper portion, any of your customized reports derived from that template are listed in the lower portion.  You may highlight any report in the lower section and press the Test button, which will run your customized report with the changed template above.  

After you test all the derived reports in the lower section, if they continue to work as expected, you can press the Accept button for the template.  That moves the template to the Accepted status group and copies the new template content into your custom template.  If any of the derived reports do not work, or you do not like the effect of the new template on the report, you should press the Reject button.  That moves that template from the Not Reviewed group to the Rejected group.  At any time, you have the option to Reverse any Accepted or Rejected template.

Templates History

The purpose of this tab is to review all the templates in Report Desk:


You may group, sort and/or filter this list to help you drill down to the templates you are interested in.  In this example the Template ID filter is set to "ARSLMUDR", which limits the templates list to these three templates.  When you select a template from the list of templates, you see the reports that use that template.  You may click on the Info button to review the template itself:

or press the Test button to run the selected report.  When you can, you should accept or reject the new template to remove it from the Not Reviewed list, so you don't have to review it again.

Reports Management

This section allows you to review NETcellent changes to reports from which you have derived custom reports:


You may run the latest version of the report from NETcellent (by pressing Test on the selected report in the upper list) and run your reports derived from the selected report (using the Test button in the lower list).  If you like the change NETcellent made, you may review its design and manually add the changes to your custom designs, or you may not wish to incorporate the changes.  Either way, when you are done, you may press the Mark Reviewed button to move the report from Not Reviewed to Reviewed so that it does not come up again in the Not Reviewed list.

Reports History

This tab allows you to see all the reports in Report Desk and the history of changes to that report:


In the above example, the Report filter is set to "ARSLM" to list all reports that begin with "ARSLM".  After highlighting the ARSLMUDR.B.1.2.0 report in the upper list, a change to that report is detailed in the lower list.  If there were multiple changes for this report, they all would be listed here. 

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