Analytics For Dynamics GP – BI Solution From Mark Polino (DynamicAccounting.Net) #MSDYNGP


Mark Polino of DynamicAccounting.Net has released first among series of Excel Dashboards, Sales Analytics Starter Edition, for Dynamics GP. This dashboard series is named as Analytics For Dynamics GP.

Sales Dashboard

Sales Starter Edition has got following charts with whole set of important filters:

  • Top Customers (with costs)
  • Top 10 Products (with costs)
  • Top 10 Salespeople
  • Top 10 Sales Territories
  • Top 10 Sites
  • Sales with Trend and Projection
  • Sales Mix with Item Class

It’s a simple plug and play kind of dashboard on Microsoft Excel (v2010 & v2013) file. Setting this up once you buy it is so very easy. How to map your GP data server is clearly explained as part of this dashboard solution. And you can modify this as you wish once you link this to your GP data server.

As it is just an Excel file with a straightforward GP data server connection, all you need to do is to click on refresh to get the real time information.

This sales dashboard starter edition is priced at $249 +$49 annual maintenance. Maintenance covers updates, improvements and fixes. Click on links provided across this post to visit Mark’s Analytics For Dynamics GP product page, learn more about this awesome BI solution and know how to buy your copy.

In my personal opinion, this is a simplistic and satisfactory BI solution which meet its promises pretty well.

VAIDY

Book Review: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Reporting (Second Edition) – David Duncan & Chris Liley


My second book as reviewer is Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Reporting – Second Edition written by David Duncan and Chris Liley.

Snip20131206_19

This book is second edition to their famous Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Reporting. So those who have read this book before would see the new book as an upgrade. And that’s quite obvious as this book covers more on reporting features that are now part of Dynamics GP 2013.

The book is structured as follows:

  • Chapter 1: Meeting the Reporting Challenge
  • Chapter 2: Where Is My Data and How Do I Get It?
  • Chapter 3: Working with the Builders – SmartList and Excel Reports
  • Chapter 4: Report Writer and Word Templates
  • Chapter 5: Utilising the SSRS Report Library
  • Chapter 6: Designing Your Analysis Cubes for the Excel Environment
  • Chapter 7: Utilising Analysis Cubes for Excel for Dynamic Reporting
  • Chapter 8: Designing Financial Reports in Management Reporter
  • Chapter 9: Viewing Financial Reports in Management Reporter
  • Chapter 10: Bringing it all Together
  • Appendix: Comparing the Dynamics GP Reporting Tools Against Different Reporting Challenges

Chapter 1 discusses about challenges faced by a report developer and how to get prepared to meet them. If there is one thing that’s changing constantly at Dynamics GP front is how we visualise the data that is entered in GP day-to-day. Financial statements, revenue analyses, stock analyses, multi-dimensional analysis of your business and then there is big data which you might want to link with your own business. This chapter provides food for your thoughts on Reporting overall.

Chapter 2 discusses about how GP stores your data and how easily and efficiently you can access them. This one is, in my opinion, very crucial chapter for any GP report developer. Unless you know how GP is structured and how data is stored, you can never become a successful report developer. To quote the authors themselves: Knowing where to begin is a critical first step. This chapter shows us exactly that.

Chapter 3 discusses about SmartList Builder and Excel Reports Builder. Two most amazingly simple yet efficient tools to create any report. Excellent chapter again.

Chapter 4 discusses about Report Writer and Word Templates. Report Writer, in my opinion, is a very underestimated tool. I am sure David Musgrave would pat me to have said this. Knowing this tool would most definitely help any GP report developer to harness their knowledge on GP data and structure. Word Templates were introduced some time back and meant to be alternative to Report Writer reports. So knowing them also would be better.

Chapter 5 discusses about SSRS reports that come with GP. If your are a SQL developer and you are asked to develop some reports on GP, SSRS is THE best reporting tool. Know the data and you are on. Brilliantly written chapter.

Chapter 6 and 7 discusses about Analysis Cubes for GP. If you require multi-dimensional reports on GP data and want to know how to develop them, these chapters are for you.

Chapter 8 and 9 discusses about Management Reporter, the replacement of FRx, but much more an advanced technology. These two chapters take you step by step in understanding MR and how to design reports.

Chapter 10 summarises whatever been discussed on all previous chapters.

Appendix gives you a view of all reporting tools that are discussed in a simple yet informative table. And this book is certainly not complete without this table. Amazing piece of information one could ask for.

David and Chris have put their sincere and precious efforts on writing this book. Their expertise on reporting is going to be a guiding force through this book to all of us.

This book is published by Packt Publications. Those who would like to buy this book can do so by clicking on the link provided at the beginning of this post OR by clicking on the book logo.

To the authors, David & Chris: I thank you both for this great book and accepting me as one of the reviewers. It’s very difficult to talk about the greatness of this book in one single post, but I guess I have done my best. It’s going to be my reference on anything about GP reporting. Thanks again.

VAIDY

Report Writer Series – Kuntz Consulting


Report Writer has been considered by most of the clients as static and bland reporting tool, due to it’s look & feel and it’s rigidity in terms of modifying the reports.

But, Report Writer is an amazing reporting tool, if only people know how it’s structured technically and how to bend it for our requirements. I am not certainly talking about customers. It’s the consultants’ responsibility to convince customers by demonstrating the power of Report Writer.

Over at Kuntz Consulting blog, series of posts are to be read to understand Report Writer as a tool and how to use it for our betterment. Following are the posts that are already been posted:

  1. Report Writer Demystified – Part 1 – Dictionaries & Launch Files
  2. Report Writer Demystified – Part 2 – Other Considerations
  3. Report Writer Series – Formatting Text
  4. Report Writer Series – Don’t Settle for Ugly Reports – Part 1
  5. Report Writer Series – Don’t Settle for Ugly Reports – Part 2
  6. Report Writer Series – Toolbox Tips
  7. Report Writer Series – Drawing Options Tips
  8. Report Writer Series – Sections

And it’s only going to get more on this series.

Worth reading for all those who would want to know about this silent performer, that is Report Writer.

VAIDY

Limiting Number of Records Per Page on a Crystal Report


There are several methods to achieve limiting number of records per page on a crystal report.

But this method, from a blogger named Pankaj Lalwani, seems to be very simple and effective. Check his post here: Limiting Number of Records to be Displayed on Crystal Report.

Version won’t matter in this case, since the solution what he proposes uses most common functions/operators, unless the latest version of crystal reports have an in-built settings for DETAILS section in Section Expert (which I doubt it would be).

VAIDY

Extender Fields & Report Writer – Weekly Dynamic from Mark


Those who want to know how to add/use Extender Fields on a Report Writer report, Mark’s Weekly Dynamic post, Extender and Report Writer walks us thru’ simple steps with a real time scenario.

There are also links to relevant KB articles which will form the base for your task.

VAIDY

Fiscal Year Start Date & End Date – SQL Query


I am currently working on custom SSRS dashboards performance tuning and related exercises. One task among all is to automate the Fiscal Year Start Date and Fiscal Year End Date based on which Fiscal Year we are in.

If the fiscal year is the same as calendar year, we can hard code the values to 1-Jan-[current year] and 31-Dec-[current year]. Since it’s not in my case, I had to dynamically get the dates from somewhere.

The simplest way for me is to query this from GP Fiscal Periods Setup table, which is SY40101.

Following is the query, if anyone would like to know how the dates are retrieved:

SELECT FSTFSCDY Fiscal_Start_Date,

LSTFSCDY Fiscal_End_Date

FROM SY40101 

WHERE YEAR1 = CASE WHEN MONTH(GETDATE()) >= [first month of your company fiscal yearTHEN YEAR(GETDATE()) ELSE YEAR(GETDATE()) – 1 END

With above, I can now be rest assured that by the time a new fiscal year is started, my dashboards would automatically get refreshed with new start & end dates.

This query would also work if the fiscal year is as good as the calendar year.

VAIDY