While working on Sage SalesLogixs Visual Analyzer project for a client, I arrived at the conclusion that there are a lot of SalesLogix users that are unaware of the Reporting abilities that come with a standard SLX implementation. In the next few posts I hope to detail out this easy to use capability and provide some exposure to the content of the SLX standard reports. Hopefully we will spark some conversation on how to improve the reports so they are of more valuable for you and your users.
First, lets discuss the Reports interface of SLX. Users have the ability to navigate to the reports area by selecting the reports icon on the navigation bar located on the left hand side of the SLX interface.
Below is an a picture of the fully expanded interface. Often we get requests for changes to this view, this area is customizable but it is not recomended unless you have extensive experince in Visual Basic scripting and SLX development.
Starting at the upper left hand corner of the screen, you will see the “Select the type of report” field with a drop down list used for selecting the report type. Standard SLX comes with Account, Activities, Contact, Contract, Defects, History, Labels, Opportunity, RMA, and finally Ticket report types. Of course you have the “All” choice but there are over 65 different standard reports in SLX so filtering by type is a simple way of finding your favorite report. When we start looking at reports in detail we will break the reports up by these types.
Below the “Select the type of report” field , the list of the reports for each report type is displayed in the “Select the name of the report” area. Select the report you want to run by clicking on it, the report becomes highlighted and the report name displays in the field below.
The section labeled “Show Records That match” allows the user to select a set of standard (such as All which is the Default selection) or user defined conditions. User defined conditions are established in the area labeled “Conditions” toward the center of the screen. If this area is not visible select the Edit>> button located to the right of the “Show Records That match” drop down. If the choice selected is not an editable condition the conditions area will close automatically and the button with become disabled. This is a really the meat and potato’s of the reporting area so lets go into some detail.
At the top of the conditions area you see the “Match” field which provides the ability to choose the value of All (meaning give me records the meet All of these conditions) or Any (meaning give me records the meet Any of these conditions) .
The “Match By” drop down provides four choices, Date Range, Group, Query, and User. When a report is entered into the SLX system by your System Administrator, they are asked to provide the default search fields for User and Date ranges within the report. When you select either the Date Range or User choices you are going to filter by what ever is chosen when the report was created. So , if you want to add conditions outside the scope of the preselected Date and User fields then you have to use either the Group or the Query selections. The Group selection allows the user to use any of thier personal or system groups available in the SLX. The Query selection allows the user to custom filter the report data by using the table and fields the report was built with.
As you make your selection in the “Match By” drop down you will see the fields below dynamically change based on your choice. On the right side of these fields you will see a button with a plus sign on it, once your condition is built it has to be moved to the conditions table in the center of the screen using this button.
You have the ability to add more than one condition to a set. When all of your conditions are created the set has to be named and saved using the field and buttons located below the condition table. Tis is requried before a set of conditions can be used in filtering a report.
Once a condition is created it cannot be edited, you will need to define a new condition and remove the existing one to adjust the set of conditions. To remove a single condition from the conditions table you use the “Clear” and “Clear All” buttons located on the lower right hand corner of the conditions table. To remove a saved set of conditions you select the button with the delete symbol located to right of the “Save” button.
You have the ability to share your condition sets with other users simply by checking the “Public” check box and then saving the set. Once the user hard refreshes (Ctrl F5) SLX and selects the report the condition set was built for they will see the set you built in the drop down list under the “Show Records That match” field.
When you are ready to run any report, you have several ways to consider for output which is selected under the “Send the report output to” drop down. Your choices are Preview (Default), Print, E-mail, Rich Text (provides a Word document), HTML, CSV, Tab Separated Values, and finally Excel. I will not go into the details on each but I know that the ability to save a report to word document will interest some of you out there.
If you are unfamilure with this area of SLX, I encourage you to go look around and test the conditions area and the different outputs types. If you discover something I did not cover make sure you leave a comment on this blog, I will happily update this article. Lets start looking at some reports.