Improving the SalesLogix Billable Ticket Crystal Report

Today we will take a look at our first Ticket Level report.  In the SalesLogix Billable Ticket Crystal Report there is very little to fix but I think the comments about modifying the report are still accurate.   The post that I reviewed this report in was written on January 27th 2009 and was labeled SalesLogix Ticket Reports (Part 1).  This is what was written about this report.

Start Excerpt………………….

The first report we will cover is the Support Billable Time Ticket.  The reports intent is to provide a list of Billable tickets to the reader.  Billable Tickets in this report are defined as any ticket with records in the TicketActvitiy table whether the activity is billable or not.   

Data in the report is organized by Account, then by Ticket, and finally by Ticket Activity.  I notices that the report is not displaying user notes for the Ticket Activities.  I checked in Business Objects Crystal Reports and found that the field being used is the TICKETACTIVITES.SHORTDESC field, my check of the database showed very little data in this field.  To fix this issue I would use the TICKETACTIVITIES.ACTIVITYDESC field. 

The report probably is appropriate as written for most Ticket reviews but to make this a report that provides an accurate representation of billable tickets I suggest modifying  the report to also display the total dollars amount for installed parts and then finally a total dollar amount for the Ticket.  Then only display records where the Total Ticket Amount is greater then $0.00.  Then roll up the dollar amount being billed to each Account.

End Excerpt…………………..

In my second review of this report in SalesLogix version 7.5.1, I see no improvements to this report as I sometime have in the past.  I think there is one other improvement I could make to this report and that is to move the problem description above the Ticket Activity section so the report data flows a little better using the ticket to describe the issue and the ticket activity to describe the steps to how the issue was corrected and then detailing the solution.  I will also add parameters on whether or not to display internal notes and then filter the report by Ticket Create Date.  I see that only labor is displaying in the Ticket Activity section but I know you can also add parts through a ticket Activity so I will include that in my totals.

Because of the time it took to make the modifications as I suggested above I will not be getting into the details today.  I will write a little bit about the issue and how I over came them.  

I ran into a number of issues with totaling at the ticket layer and then the Account layer that took a lot longer then anticipated.  When I tried to do the roll ups at the ticket layer erroneous data would display at one point adding 108 blank records which through my numbers way off.  I reviewed the Database Explorer and found only one issue which really did not affect the roll ups.  I removed the Contact table which was added to the report twice for the same table using the same ID.  But all the joins were correct and the flow of the data made sense from my perspective.  I even played around changing the joins with positive affects in some areas and negative affects in others.  I think the order the tables were added may have something to do with the issue but I did not have time to really get into it to prove my theory correct.  To go around I tool a different approach of breaking out the Ticket Activities into a sup report, eventually I also used a sub report to accomplish the roll ups on the Account layer.  Once around the roll up issue everything else fell into place quickly and the outcome is fairly respectable.

The report shown is set up to run on a date range and not display Internal Notes. You do not see all of the Tickets, especially the ones that have the billable, but they are there.

The only thing I do not like about the way the report displays is the way it breaks up with lots of white space, like the sections want to stay together even though they are set not too.  The example above is the complete first page of the report I ran for the screen shot.

Hopefully things will go better next post. 

I thought it was pretty cool yesterday. I was working with a potential client and she was showing me the reports list in her SalesLogix system and I noticed there were a number of these updated reports loaded.  Kind of fun to see that.  Thanks Andrea.

Take care everyone and thanks for reading.

Download the updated Report here.

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