Working with Reports and Batch Jobs

A report gathers information based on a specified set of criteria, and organizes and presents the information in an easy-to-read, printable format. There are many reports that you can access throughout the application. The reports typically provide information relative to the context of the page you are on. For example, the Customer page includes reports for the top 10 customers and the sales statistics, and more.

Batch jobs do more or less the same as reports but for the purpose of performing a process. For example, the Create Reminders batch job creates reminder documents for customers with overdue payments.

Note

This topic refers mainly to "report", but similar information applies to batch jobs.

You can find reports in the Reports tab on selected pages, or you can use search Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature to find reports by name.

Specifying the Data to Include in the Report

When you open a report, you are typically presented with a page where you set various options and filters that determine what to include in the report. This page is called the report request page. For example, the report request page lets you create a report for a specific customer, a certain date range, or sort the order of information in the report. Here is an example of a report request page:

Report options

Caution

The Show results section on a request page provides a generic filtering capability for reports. These filters are optional.

Some reports will ignore any such filters, meaning that no matter what filter is set in the Show results section, the output of the report is the same. It is not possible to provide a list of which fields are ignored in which reports, so you will have to experiment with the filters when using them.

Example: When you use the Create Reminders batch job, a filter for the Customer Ledger Entries field of Last Issued Reminder Level will be ignored because filters are fixed for that batch job.

Using Saved Settings

With some reports, depending on how they are designed, the report page might include the Saved Settings section that contains one or more entries in the Use default value from box. The entries in this box are called saved settings. A saved setting is basically a predefined group of options and filters that you can apply to the report before previewing or sending the report to a file. The saved settings entry called Last used options and filters is always available. This entry sets the report to use options and filters that were used the last time you looked at the report.

Using saved settings is a fast and reliable way to consistently generate reports that contain the correct data. After you set the Use default value from box to a saved settings entry, you can change any of the options and filters before previewing or saving the report. The changes that you make will not be saved to the saved settings entry you selected, but they will be saved to the Last used options and filters.

Note

If you are an administrator, you can create and manage the saved settings for reports for all users. For more information, see Managing Saved Settings on Reports.

Setting Options and Filters

If you want to further limit or pin-point the data that is included in a report, you can set additional options and filters.

Filters enable you to display data based on a specific criteria. Filters are grouped by the entity to which they belong, such as Customer in the illustration above. You define a filter by setting the Where box to the field that you want to filter on, and then adding the criteria in the is: box.

You can add more filters by filling the And and is boxes. When you have more than one filter, only results that meet the criteria for all filters will be included in the report.

Depending on what type field you are filtering, you can specify the filter criteria to look for an exact match, partial match, range of values, and more. For help about how to set up filters, see:

Previewing a Report

Choose Preview to see the report in the Internet browser. Point to an area of the report to show the menu bar.

Report preview toolbar

Use the menu bar to:

  • Move through pages

  • Zoom in and out

  • Resize to fit the page

  • Select text

    You can copy text from a report, and then paste it somewhere else, like a page in Business Central or Microsoft Word. Using a mouse, for example, you press and hold where you want to start, and then move the mouse to select one or more words, sentences, or paragraphs. You can then press the right mouse button and select Copy. You can then paste the selected text where ever you want it.

  • Pan the document

    You can move the visible area of the report in any direction so you can view other areas or the report. This is helpful when you have zoomed in to see details. Using your mouse, for example, press and hold the mouse button anywhere in the report preview, and then move your mouse.

  • Download to a PDF file on your computer or network.

  • Print

Saving a Report

You can save a report to a PDF document, Microsoft Word document, or Microsoft Excel document by choosing Send to, and then making your selection.

Scheduling a Report to Run

You can schedule a report to run at a specific date and time. Scheduled reports are entered in the job queue and processed at the scheduled time, similar to other jobs. You can choose to save the processed report to a file, such as an Excel, Word, or PDF, print it to a selected printer, or process the report only. If you choose to save the report to a file, then the processed report is sent to the Report Inbox area on your Role Center, where you can view it.

You can schedule a report when you open a report. You choose the Schedule action and then you enter information such as printer, and time and date. The report is then added to the job queue and will be run at the specified time. When the report is processed, the item will be removed from the job queue. If you saved the processed report to a file, it will be available in the Report Inbox area.

Printing a Report

You can print a report from the Print button on the options page that appears when you open the report or from the menu bar in Preview.

Printing reports in Thai

Specifically for the Thai version of Business Central, the Print button cannot print reports correctly due to limitations in the service that generates the printable PDF file. Instead, you can open the report in Word and then save the report as a printable PDF.

Alternatively, you can ask your administrator to create a Word report layout for your most used reports. For more information, see Managing Report and Document Layouts.

Changing the layout and look of a report

A report layout controls what is shown on a report, how it is arranged, and how it is styled. If you want to switch to a different layout, see Change Which Layout is Currently Used on a Report. Or, if you want to customize your own report layout, see Create and Modify a Custom Report Layout.

See Also

Specify Printer Selection for Reports
Managing Report and Document Layouts
Working with Business Central