Create and manage report components

The design philosophy behind Management Reporter is to break information down to the smallest component or building block, and then mix and match components, as needed. Therefore, your report formatting is separate from your financial data. As a result, you can change the design of a report without modifying the financial data in your Microsoft Dynamics ERP system.

By using this building block approach, you can combine text, amounts, and calculations, to produce the reports that you need. Equally important, this flexibility encourages creativity by making it easy for you to view your operations in different ways.

The individual building blocks of a report definition are similar to a three-dimensional spreadsheet, but with more power. A report definition specifies the row definition, column definition, and optional reporting tree definition to use for the report. It also includes information about where to store the generated report and how to format it.

For better reusability and sharing, you can create a building block group, which is a collection of existing report definitions, row definitions, column definitions, reporting tree definitions, and dimension sets that are associated with a company in Management Reporter. For more information about building block groups, see Building block group.

This topic contains the following sections:

  • Building blocks of a report

  • Organize the building blocks

  • Lock a building block

Building blocks of a report

Building block


For more information

Row definition

A row definition defines the descriptive lines, for example, salaries or sales, on a report. It also lists the segment values or dimensions that contain the values for each line item and includes row formatting and calculations.

Row definition

Column definition

A column definition defines the period to use when extracting data from the financial dimensions. It also includes column formatting and calculations.

Column definition

Reporting tree definition

A reporting tree definition resembles an organizational chart. It contains individual reporting units that represent each box in the chart. The units can be either individual departments from the financial data or higher-level units that summarize data from other reporting units.

Reporting tree definition

Report definition

A report definition uses a row definition, a column definition, and an optional reporting tree definition to build a report. It also provides additional options and settings to customize a report.

Report definition

If you are new to designing reports, it is helpful to use the report wizard to quickly create a report definition that you can customize later. If you have experience designing reports and want more flexibility for report design, you can combine new or existing building blocks to create a new report definition.

You do not have to fully understand all available report definition options to produce quality reports. As you become familiar with designing reports, you can expand your report definitions to take advantage of more advanced features.

After you have created a basic report, you can customize the report definition and any of the building blocks in the report definition.

Organize the building blocks

Use folders to organize your building blocks in Report Designer. All folders are specific to the type of building block they contain. For example, all folders that contain row definitions are located in the Row Definitions pane of Report Designer.

Create a folder

  1. In Report Designer, select the type of building block to organize in the navigation pane. For example, to sort a row definition, click Row Definitions.

  2. In the navigation pane, select the existing folder under which the new folder will be created, and then complete one of the following actions:

    • Right-click the parent folder and select New Folder.

    • Select the parent folder, click File, and then select New Folder.

  3. When the new folder appears, type the name of the new folder and press Enter.

Lock a building block

You can create a password to protect and lock a building block. Doing so adds a level of security to a report component without securing the whole system. This can protect building block information that is important to your month-end reporting process.

A user in any role can protect a building block; however, a protected component is always available to users in a read-only capacity. Users can open, change, and save the protected component with a new name. A user who has the role of administrator can always access and change a protected building block.

  1. In Report Designer, open the report component to protect, such as a row definition, column definition, report definition, or reporting tree definition.

  2. On the Tools menu, click Protect/Unprotect to open the Protect dialog box. You can also click the Protect/Unprotect icon (a lock) in the toolbar.

  3. Type and confirm a password, and then click OK. The lock icon in the toolbar is highlighted when an open building block is locked.

To unlock a locked building block, open the building block and then click the Protect/Unprotect icon or, on the Tools menu, click Unprotect.

See Also

Row definition

Column definition

Reporting tree definition

Report definition