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Report Desk: Setup and Configuration

Release Date: 4/28/23
Version: 8.6

Report Desk provides a powerful developing environment for Netcellent to deliver modern reports with rich elements of proportionally spaced fonts, graphics and line drawing. It allows us to output reports to PDF, CSV and XLSX formats. In addition, Report Desk uses the PSQL relational engine to access the Elliott database.

Many reports in Report Desk are user-definable. This means, as an end user, you can modify Elliott’s user-definable report layouts by adding or removing columns, changing report sorting sequence, and choosing different filtering criteria to print the report.  

Enable Report Desk
By default, Report Desk is not enabled in Elliott V8.6. To enable it, you will go to System Utilities -> Global Setup -> System -> Comp. Specialized Control and answer “Y” to “Enable Report Desk?” flag.

When you enter Y and press Enter, the following dialog will be presented:

At this point, you must review the status of your database index.   If you have previously converted your database with the DDF2BTR.EXE to make your data compatible with third party relational applications like Crystal Reports or Web Services, then there’s no need to convert it again. If you are not sure if you have previously done so, call Netcellent to confirm.  

If you determine that you need to run DDF2BTR, you should do that now, before proceeding with Report Desk setup.  DDF2BTR.EXE can be found in <ElliottRoot>\bin86 .  For more information on how to use this utility, see 

Once your database index is converted, enter Y and press Enter to continue. 

Determine Which Users Can Use Report Desk

The following flag is new in System Utilities -> Password Setup -> User Global Security -> Screen 7::

By default, no users will be allowed to run Report Desk reports. You can individually allow users access to Report Desk by entering "Y" to field 1 on this screen.

Alternatively, you can go to Global Default Security, and set the default value for this option to "Y", and then all users not specifically denied access here will be able to use Report Desk. Keep in mind that access to a Report Desk report requires access to the menu item from which the report gets launched.

Make Limited Number of Report Desk Reports Available for Users
Even though you can limit the users who can access Report Desk's reports with the above security flag, you may not be ready to make all of the reports available to these users. You can limit the users' access to Report Desk's reports by changing EL850U.CFG file. See the following KB articles for more details: 

Determine Which Users Can Modify Report Desk Reports
The following flag is new in System Utilities -> Password Setup -> User Global Security -> Screen 6:

Allow to Run & Modify Report Desk/PowerSearch? - The default value is N.

This flag will determine if a user can run & modify a Report Desk report. Initially, you may only want to give your admin user this ability. Once you are more familiar with the functionality of Report Desk, you can decide who should have this flag turned on. If you assign "Y" to this flag, it override the flag in screen 7, "1. Allow to Run Report Desk's Reports."

Match Your Database Version with The Right Database Name (DSN)

Report Desk requires knowledge of which database name (also known as DSN, for Data Set Name) to use for each Company.   The database naming convention, which is not mandatory, works like this:

  • ELI86DATA??, where ?? is the Elliott company number, indicates that this database has been converted to 8.5 format, which have document numbers defined as strings.
  • ELI85DATA??,  is similar to ELI86DATA?? and means the database has been converted to 8.5 format, which have document numbers defined as strings.
  • ELIDATA?? is the convention for databases in 8.2 format, where document numbers are defined as numbers.
If your database is still in Elliott V8.2 format, then you should use database names like ELIDATA??.  To use Report Desk, your 8.2 DDF must be dated 6/3/2019 or after where it support NSCTLFIL_???? tables;  You can download a copy from Just download it and unzip it to, say, <ElliottRoot>\Bin\DDF40 folder.  Report Desk does not support older databases like ELLIOTTDATA?? that based on <ElliottRoot>\DDF40 folder.  The DDF that comes with Elliott 8.5 and 8.6 will all support Report Desk.

You must supply the database names for Report Desk in the Elliott v8.6 Configuration utility.  When you are logged in as SUPERVISOR, the first toolbar button will launch this utility.

Or you can browse and execute <ElliottRoot>\Bin86\EL860CF.EXE if you login as a Windows admin user.

Once in the configuration application, select the Databases tab:

You will only be able to use Report Desk for companies with non-empty, not red database names on this screen (like ELi85DATA00, above).  If any of your companies that will use Report Desk have blank or red text database names (in the red boxes above), you can press the Create Standard Databases... button.  This utility can create and/or maintain them, with standard v8.2 or v8.6 database names..  See the following KB articles:

If you need to enable Report Desk for a company that needs a non-standard database name, do the following:

  1. Use the Pervasive Control Center program to create or verify the database you will use for that company.
  2. On this screen, enter that database name in the column on the line for that company.  When you complete the database name, its existence will be verified.  If the Comment column says D/B not created, you have misspelled the database name and need to reenter it.

Once all of the databases have been identified, click Finish to update the configuration file..

Now you and other enabled users should be able to begin using Report Desk.


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