Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP has multiple reporting tools: Report Writer, Crystal Reports, MS SQL Server Reporting Services, FRx, Microsoft Access reports, Excel reporting. Seeing such a variety of tools, you need to know that report design tool selection depends on the report nature. For example if you need to link several modules in Dynamics GP, such as Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing (when your project is done for sales commission release, when items and services are sold and goods are delivered by your vendors) – then you should consider Crystal Reports or SRS, where you can create SQL Stored Procedure or View as report background. Let’s briefly review reporting tools selection and their capabilities:
1. FRx. FRx report designer links directly to Great Plains General Ledger. This means that you should consider this report design tools for GL level reports, including consolidated reports, working over FRx reporting tree. Also it works with GL budgets as well as has an option to consolidate your GP companies with virtual companies, which are exported into Excel worksheet – FRx has Excel linking mechanism.
2. Dynamics GP ReportWriter. The strong points of this tool are direct call of existing reports from GP user workstation with parameters screens. RW is seamlessly integrated with GP interface and user security realm. Such reports as SOP Invoice Blank form is one of the most popular for RW modification – you got to place your company logo on Sales Invoice Form. You can also create RW compatible report in Great Plains Dexterity customizations and these reports will be available via GP Customize menu. Such Dex reports are known as GP Alternate Modified reports. RW is less flexible than Crystal Reports or SRS, but it can have GP parameters entry screen within GP user security realm
3. Crystal Reports and SRS. You may think that these two tools are coming from different vendors and unlikely are comparable. However in the case of Great Plains report design they are similar in report programming technology – the best reports are based on MS SQL Server Stored procedure or SQL view
4. MS Access, Excel and generic MS Visual Studio .Net report publishing. Excel and MS Access can hook up ODBC compliant DB platform, such as MS SQL Server in VBA scripting. C# or VB .Net programmer or Great Plains Technical Consultant can build GP report via SQL select statement in ADO.Net. If you are .Net MS Visual Studio developer, please consider eConnect programming versus direct SQL select statements. If you need GP tables structure, please install GP SDK from CD #2