Report Desk is a new report-developing platform for Elliott Business Software. It is based on the PSQL relational engine accessing the Elliott database, which has the potential to make large reports run significantly faster than traditional Elliott reports. In addition, all reports can output to PDF, CSV or XLSX format. The best feature is that the user can modify the standard Report Desk reports provided by Netcellent and customize them by adding or removing columns. Report Desk uses proportional spacing fonts, which usually results in more data being presented in a limited space.
How to Run Report Desk Reports
Report Desk is not turned on by default in Global Setup. In addition, there are global user security flags to determine if a user has adequate rights to run or modify Report Desk reports. Please refer to the following KB article for details: https://support.elliott.com/knowledgebase/articles/1959568-report-desk-setup-and-configuration.
When launching a traditional report in Elliott, if that report has one or more corresponding versions of Report Desk reports, then the user will be prompted to decide which report to run. The following is an example if the user goes to A/R -> Maintenance -> Terms Code File -> List. If the user is allowed to run Report Desk reports, he/she will see the following window:
The "Legacy Terms Code List" is the traditional Elliott report that you are familiar with.
The "UDR Terms Code List" is the new Report Desk report. It has the format of ARTRMLST.X.1.2.3 where ARTRMLST is the type of report. The 1 stands for template ID; 2 stands for report ID; and 3 stands for the user's own revision. Each template can have multiple reports variances (i.e., a different report ID). Each report ID can have multiple revisions.
Go ahead and choose to run "ARTRMLST.B.1.1.0" in this example. The following window will show up. In this screen, you can choose the filter criteria. In this particular case, you can enter the starting and ending terms code. Typically, when you don't enter anything, it means "All." See sample screen below:
If you click "OK," the system will ask where you'd like the output to go. The default choice is "Screen" and "PDF" format. See sample screen below:
To view the report in PDF format, the system assumes you have a PDF reader installed to view PDFs. When you click "Go," you will then see that the report is being processed and output to your default PDF reader:
Security Settings for Report Desk
There are two global user security flags that control Report Desk access. You can access them by going to System Utilities -> Password Setup -> Global Security -> User Global Security.
- Screen 6 - 16. Allow to Modify Report Desk's User Def Report: This flag is only intended for system managers who can modify the default report desk reports to create a new variance. It does not give you the right to modify the variance created by other users. To modify other users' variance report, user needs to be one of the supervisor in Global Setup -> System -> Print Option Window.
- Screen 7 - 1. Allow to Run Report Desk's Reports: This flag is for the general users. You can decide whether a user should be allowed to use Report Desk reports.
Typically, flag 16 in screen 6 should be turned off for most users. Flag 1 in screen 7 can be turned on at your discretion. If you have many users, to avoid having to set these two flag values one by one, you can set the default value by going to System Utilities -> Password Setup -> Global Security -> User Global Security. See sample screen below:
User’s access to the Report Desk is also subject to Elliott menu security in password setup.
Modifying Report Desk Reports
If a user has the right to Modify Report Desk's reports per Global Setup, then when that user brings up the Report Desk filter criteria screen, he/she will see the "Modify" button at the bottom right corner. For example, you can go to Customer File Maintenance -> Numeric-List. You should see the following list shows up:
This screen will show the Legacy and the UDR (User Defined Report) options that are available for the report. The Legacy report is the original version of the Elliott report. The UDR reports are the new Report Desk reports. Each UDR report will have a unique ID with the following format: NAME.X.1.2.3 where:
- NAME is the name of your UDR report, in this case ARCUSLST.
- X can have the value of B (Base) or E (Enhancement). Base means this report was originally created by Netcellent, and Enhancement means this report was created by your developer.
- 1 - the first numeric digit represents the template ID. A template represents a unique way of joining the tables. As an end user, you can't create your own template because the joining must be done by Netcellent or your developer to ensure best database performance. We are aware that you could perform table joining with report writer like Crystal. But tables joining requires knowledge of the database. If it is joined incorrectly, it could result in terrible database performance. This is a common problem we are seeing with user using Crystal Reports. Therefore, the restriction on creating template is intentionally to make Report Desk safer.
- 2 - the second numeric digit represents the different types of report options derived from the same template. This can be a different sorting sequence, different input selection options, or different columns to be included on the report.
- 3 - the third digit is the variance of each type of report. The value zero means this is the original report developed by Netcellent or your developers. Other values (greater than zero) are variances of the report made by you. You can, for example, change to different sorting, selection and columns options and save your own version of the report. Netcellent or your developer may change the reports that end with zero in the future, but your derived reports that do not end with the zero will never be overridden.
If the report developer included an abstract of the report, it will show up in the Abstract column. If it is truncated (having trailing ... ), hovering the mouse over the cell will show the entire abstract.
Report DocumentationPressing the "Help..." button on the Report Desk parameter input screen will bring up the documentation for your report. If your report (top red box below) was derived from a standard report (bottom red box), its documentation will be included:
Let's say you would like to add a selection criteria based on customer sales year-to-date and only see those customers on this report when the year-to-date sales is greater than a certain amount. To accomplish this, you can click on the "Modify" button. The following sample screen will show up:
You need to add the column CUS_SALES_YTD to the "Where" area on the top. The first step is that you should expand the ARCUSFIL table which contains the CUS_SALES_YTD column. Drag the CUS_SALES_YTD column from the Body area to the "Where" area between CUS_SLM_NO and CUS_TP. See sample screen below:
Now you can change the Operator of CUS_SALES_YTD in the Where area from default "=" (Equal) to ">=" (Greater Equal). See sample screen below:
Now change the prompt from "CUS_SALES_YTD" to something more friendly like "Sales YTD." See sample screen below:
Before saving your new design, you can choose "Test..." You can expect to see the parameters screen show up with the new column "Sales YTD >=" like the following sample screen:
- Order By/Grouping - this determines how the data will be sorted. For example, you can choose to sort by CUS_NAME instead of CUS_NO.
- Line 1 - This is the actual column on the report. You can add or remove columns from the body of the report.
Change Order By Sequence
- CUS_NAME Asc
- CUS_NO Asc
- Since CUS_TP is the first sorting column, it makes sense to make CUS_TP the first column. You can do so by dragging the CUS_TP and placing it just before the CUS_NO column in the "Line 1" area. See sample screen below:
Add GroupingSince the sorting sequence is by CUS_TP, then CUS_NAME, it would make more sense to move CUS_NAME before CUS_NO column. You can:
- Drag CUS_NAME to be in front of CUS_NO.
- Also, if you'd like to have a break between each CUS_TP, you can click on the "Group" area for CUS_TP and choose "1" to stand for level 1 break.
Report Desk Handles Extra Space Requirement Automatically
- It tries to determine if there are extra spaces that we can take away from each column and choose the "best fit" column width.
- It tries to use smaller fonts if there's no extra space to take away from each column.
- It tries to wrap the content of certain columns to the second line if necessary to reduce the column space requirement.
Add Grouping Subtotal
Add Grand Total
- You can put "text" in any column in the grand or subtotal area even if the column is not in "string" format.
- You can optionally make the "text" bold by clicking on the "i" (information) icon to change its attribute.
- If the "text" is longer than the space allocated for the column, it can overfloat to the next column if it is unused. In the next example below, the "Subtotal..." text in the "Cr Limit" column will overfloat to the "Rating" and "Hold" columns. It will not overflow to the "Balance" column because it is used already. In this example, any extra text that can't be accommodated in these three columns will be wrapped to create extra lines in the subtotal area.