I was recently given the opportunity to write a book review on a new publication about one of my favorite topics: Dynamics GP reporting tools. Read on and you may find yourself in possession of a free copy of this book!
The book is entitled Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Reporting and was written by David Duncan and Christopher Liley of I.B.I.S.
First, I must express my utmost respect for anyone who undertakes a task this daunting. The subject matter is dense, and the tools are ever-changing. Kudos to these consultants for taking the time to create a handy guide like this!
To many new users of Dynamics GP, the variety of tools that accompanies the ERP system is overwhelming. There are built-in or “canned” reports that can be modified, smartlists which can export data to Excel, and FRx or Management Reporter for creating standard financial reports. The latest versions of Dynamics also offer collections of Excel Reports and SQL Reporting Services (SRS) reports which can be deployed and used right away. In addition to all of this fare, a customer may purchase Smartlist Builder and Excel Report Builder, both of which further extend the capability of smartlists and Excel reporting to all areas of the system as well as external data sources. And we can’t forget Analysis Cubes for Excel, which is the height of business intelligence for the Dynamics end user. Essentially, data analysis and reporting tools for Dynamics GP have flourished over the past few years, and this book offers an excellent synopsis and technical comparison of the various tools available.
While it is geared toward power users and data analysts, the book does offer some valuable information to anyone who wishes to learn more about the multitude of reporting options out there. The authors start out with a helpful discussion about the challenges of developing reports: defining the target audience, locating the appropriate data, selecting a form of presentation, and applying permissions to the final product. They then dedicate a full chapter (sometimes two) to each tool and provide some guidance on installation, deployment, security, and usage. The final chapter Bringing It All Together offers an in-depth comparison of the various tools and discusses the trade-offs among them in terms of data sources, latency, ease of formatting, and required development and IT resources.
As a software consultant, I found this book very useful. It is very well-organized and the examples provided are a great way to introduce a power user to the strengths and weaknesses of each tool. Most importantly, the authors are enthusiastic about the wealth of reporting resources available and how each one can be used to improve visibility into an organization’s financial and operational health, which is really the fundamental point of an ERP system. The book imparts enough information to inspire you to explore each tool by actually using it, which is the best method of learning!
So here’s the scoop on how to get your copy. Send me a message about your own reporting challenges in the comments below this blog. I just want a brief summary of what tools you are currently using and how you think this book will help you face those challenges. I’ll select three lucky winners from the respondents during the month of July, and I’ll contact you for your address so no need to include that information at this time.