Implementing SmartList Builder: Review

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

Of all of the ISV products I have used with Microsoft Dynamics GP, SmartList Builder is the one I have worked with the longest, and is the one I like the most (looking back I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to do a series like this).

It is easy to use, flexible and far better at creating new SmartLists than the in-built SmartList Designer product which Micro created when they passed SmartList Builder back to eOne Solutions.

If you like SmartLists, then I would encourage you to take a look at SmartList Builder; it does take a somewhat technical user to create and maintain SmartLists through it, but they are easy to create and much more flexible than those possible through SmartList Designer. The hardest job is sometimes discovering how the data hangs together.

There are resources such as the GP Tables section of Victoria Yudin’s website or my azurecurve|Microsoft Dynamics GP Table Reference which you can use to find the tables you need.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Security

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

The final element to readying SmartList Builder for use is to configure security so that users without the POWERUSER* role can access it. While this step isn’t absolutely necessary, I would encourage people not to over use the POWERUSER* role.

A better approach would be to create a Super User role instead. Both this role and standard user roles will need to have access to the SmartList Builder windows granting.

This is easy to do, as SmartList Builder ships with some default security tasks and a role:

Security Role Setup

Assign this role to the relevant user or assign the tasks to existing roles and user will, next time they login, be able to access the SmartList Builder window.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Register

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

If you’re testing SmartList Builder, you can use it in the Famrikam Sample company without entering a registration key. However, yo use it on a normal company, even a test one, you will need to input the key.

To do this, log into Microsoft Dynamics GP as a user with the POWERUSER* role and open the SmartList Builder Register window (Administration area page » Setup » SmartList Builder » Register SmartList Builder) and enter the key in the Registration Key field:

SmartList Builder Register

Click Save to sdave the key and close the window.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Download and Install

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder is downloaded direct from the eOne Solutions website as a zip file.

Download SmartList Builder

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Implementing SmartList Builder: SmartList Builder vs. SmartList Designer

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

As mentioned in the last post SmartList Builder was directly sold by Microsoft under a licensing agreement for many years until, with the launch of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2, the product was released back to the original ISV; a Fargo based ISV called eOne SOlutions.

I understand this was because the new top person in charge of Microsoft Dynamics GP did not like licensing products from the ISVs and release quite a few back to the original developer. However, this left a gap in Microsoft Dynamics GP in that users could no longer create new SmartLists. And so, SmartList Designer was created.

In theory it fulfils the same job as SmartList Builder; you can create new SmartLists by joining tables together or by linking in a SQL view. When it was first released, I took a look at it as an alternative to SmartList Builder on the basis it was free as opposed to needing to buy SmartList Builder.

However, in every area, it is an inferior product. It is not as functional and it is not as easy to use.

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Implementing SmartList Builder: What is SmartList Builder?

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

Before launching into the installation of SmartList Builder, I thought it might be worthwhile to do a post on what it is. All users of Microsoft Dynamics GP will be familiar with SmartList; this is the flexible reporting tool which allows you to generate a report showing a list of master records or transactions. Each series has a set of SmartLists available by default, with predefined favourites where search criteria or columns are supplied already configured.

SmartList favourites can be customised and new ones created quite easily, but new SmartLists themselves cannot be created. To create a new SmareList, you need a tool such as SmartList Builder or, in more recent years, SmartList Designer. In this series, I am focussing on SmartList Builder as this is an additional product available from an ISV for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Back in 2003 when I started working with Microsoft Dynamics GP, SmartList Builder was available direct from Microsoft. SmartList Builder was originally developed by eOne Solutions and then licensed by Microsoft; in the run up to the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2, the licensing deal for SmartList Builder was ended and maintenance of the product reverted back to eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder the product, includes four utilities:

  1. SmartList Builder – SmartList Builder allows you to create both brand new SmartLists or modify existing SmartList. You can link up to 32 tables together. Tables can be standard GP tables, any of the Third Party (ISV) tables, any SQL table, SQL views or SQL Scripts, other SmartLists or Extender resources.
  2. Excel Report Builder – Excel Report Builder generates an Excel Spreadsheet with a live connection back to GP or any other data you include. This means you have live refreshable reports, anytime you need them. You can give all your data from GP to anyone in the organization via Excel – without buying new, full-user licenses of Dynamics GP.
  3. Drill Down Builder – Drill Down Builder completes the functionality of Excel Report Builder by letting you drill from your spreadsheet back into that same record within Dynamics GP. Where Microsoft hard codes a drill down – eOne makes it completely configurable to allow you to drill down to any screen or SmartList in Dynamics GP. This is an essential part of bringing the most common business tools together. Working in GP and Excel all day – it only makes sense to auto-switch between one and the other.
  4. Navigation List Builder – Navigation List Builder allows you to publish your SmartList into the Navigation List user interface.

The standard installation of the SmartList Builder product, gets you all four of the above utilities.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Series Index

eOne SolutionsI’ve posted series on a few different ISV addons for Microsoft Dynamics GP over the last few years, but, somewhat ironically I guess, have not posted all that much about the addin I’ve used the most over the years.

That addin is SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder allows you to create both brand new SmartLists or modify existing SmartList. You can link up to 32 tables together. Tables can be standard GP tables, any of the Third Party (ISV) tables, any SQL table, SQL views or SQL Scripts, other SmartLists or Extender resources.

This series is going to cover the implementation of SmartList Builder; I’ll take a look at report builder in a future series.

Implementing SmartList Builder
What is SmartList Builder?
SmartList Builder vs. SmartList Designer
Register
Security
Review

Sample SQL Views for SmartLists (by Jen Kuntz)

Microsoft Dynamics GPI occasionally link to blog posts that other people have done and todays post is one of these.

Jen Kuntz is running a TIP Tuesday series of posts at the moment and her tip this week is looking at a set of SQL views from Microsoft (originally posted by Isaac Olson).

As Jen points out, while Microsoft bill these as for use with SmartList Designer, they will work with SmartList Builder or any other reporting tool (Excel Reports, Reporting Services Reports and so on).

To make use of these SQL views, you do need to have a CustomerSource login to download them and knowledge of creating views and granting permissions.

My addition to this would be a reminder that there are lots of other resources available from the wider community which can be freely amended and used in reporting, such as from Victoria Yudin.

You can read Jen’s full post here.

I try to keep up-to-date with blog posts about Dynamics GP, but the post from Isaac apparently went by without me seeing it, so it was good to get a second chance at reading about it from Jen.

** updated due to wrong name

SQL View to Return Budgets By Month

Microsoft Dynamics GPThe budget functionality in Microsoft Dynamics GP isn’t the strongest with reporting being particularly weak. The ability to report on budgets in Management Reporter does somewhat redeem this area of functionality.

However, the absence of a SmartList Object for budgets is quite a big issue, as SmartList is a very nice flexible reporting tool which the majority of my clients know well. For those with SmartList Builder, it was easy enough to create a SmartList Object for them.

With the introduction of SmartList Designer, we were able to roll out the SmartList budget report to all of the clients who wanted it.

The script is below and returns the budget information with the beginning balance, 12 hard-coded periods and total horizontally across the page.

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SQL Script Linking Purchase Orders to Purchase Requisitions

Microsoft Dynamics GPI have been doing a lot of work recently on Purchase Order Processing and Workflow 2.0. One of the requests I had was for a SmartList report which allowed the purchase order (PO) to be compared back to the purchase requisition (PR) it originated from. I had to take a few minutes to investigate as I knew the link from PR to PO was maintained within the system, but I wasn’t sure of the table.

It took me a little longer to determine which table held the link as I was expecting a company table, but instead found that the link was stored in the SOP_POPLink table (SOP60100). One fairly quick view later and I have the basis for the required report, and probably for some others in future too.

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