One of the new features in Dynamics NAV 2015 which I like the most is the option to schedule prints. For any report in the system, you have the schedule option on the print button, not just to send it directly to a printer, a PDF, Word or Excel but to schedule it to any of those, for later production.
In fact what this does is offload the job of producing the report from whatever client your using, to the middle tier server. This means that your client is free to carry on to other tasks immediately and making that coffee while that big month end report is produced, will have to wait.
In fact scheduling a report has all the options that printing it from the client has, to send it to a printer or to PDF, Excel etc. You can also say when you want it done although if you leave it blank it will be started immediately.
As you can see from the image above the system warns you if a job queue is not running on the middle tier. In reality every NAV installation this should be setup and running by default as the job queue is immensely useful for scheduling lots of tasks that need to happen regularly and automatically.
So where do these report accessible if you send to PDF etc.? Well hidden by default on every role centre is a new ‘My Reports’ part in which the report will appear when it ready. Double click on the report and it opens in the appropriate app.
If your quick enough before it appears you can click on the ‘Show Queue’ button in My Reports and it will show you the reports you’ve submitted which haven’t yet been produced. You can review any errors, hold or even delete it at this point.
If you click edit while its still in the job queue entries it opens the full job queue entry card allowing you to change it to be automatically reproduced on your defined schedule. That means can have the reports you want such as inventory valuation automatically produced overnight for instance whenever you need them.
So you used to be able to schedule reports on the Job Queue I hear you say, how is this different apart from being a lot easier? Well any report criteria such as filters, sort orders etc. has to be hard coded previously. The significant change is that the criteria you submitted with that first report are stored as part of the job – that little tick box for Report Request Page Options on the screenshot is small but very significant here.
In the event of an error during the report production it goes as a notification to the user that submitted the job alerting them to the fact there is a problem.
Finally what a great way of filing your month and year end reports. Once produced they are stored in your My Reports box and can be kept as long as you like. Beats both killing trees by printing them and trying to remember where in Onedrive or SharePoint you filed them when that audit comes round. There is a option to just show Unread reports so you won’t have to wade through loads of old reports to find your new ones.
Improvements for 2016
- Ability to share reports – should be able to put a copy in other users My Reports
- Ability to schedule a report already produced, I want to check it before I schedule it
- Ability to schedule on a dateformula – I want the report on the 1st of each month not a day of the week.