I find way too often that when I am working with Microsoft Dynamics GP customers, many seem to shy away from using the Navigation List functionality. Lists have been part of GP since at least version 10.0; but have since evolved in performance, looks and functionality.
There are two kinds of lists for each series.
Transaction Lists shows data. For example, master records will show customer and vendor records along with transactional information such as receivables and payables entries. These Transaction lists are based on dates. The sales transaction list is an example of a transaction list.
The second kind of list is a Reporting List for each series and are also then broken down by type.
Using Transaction Lists
Clicking on any one of the list objects will open the Navigation list. Using Sales Series as the example, clicking on Customers will open the Customer Navigation list.
Across the top of the list are a number of possible actions, referred to as the Action Pane, while the bottom part of the window displays information about the selected record in the Information Pane. The middle portion of the window displays a list of customers (List area) and allows you to add filters to search (Filter area).
The Information Pane data can be printed, or even copied and pasted. For example, you can copy the whole address of the customer or copy and paste lines out of a sales order into an email or another document. Plus, from the Information Pane you can drill down to a selected record.
You can enter and apply multiple filter criteria, or you can search using the box in the upper right where it says ‘Type to filter’.
There is also a restriction area to keep in mind, which will further filter your data to view. I have seen users attempt to get data but have left the default filters on which actually restricts the data too much, such as not a wide enough date range. So it’s good to know that you can search transaction data by date, and choose to include or exclude historical records from your search.
Some actions, including emailing and printing a report, are available when you select multiple records—and they don’t even have to be in a range or in sequence as they would with standard GP reports.
You can save a Navigation list for your specific needs (similar to saving a SmartList favourite) and then customize it by adding\changing columns, adding, removing or reorganizing actions, setting multiple filters (SmartList only searches up to 4 fields). You can decide which panes you want to show or hide such as hiding the Information pane so you have a larger display for list view results. Once all your parameter are set you can determine if you want to share your Navigation list with other users or make it private for your use only.
NOTE: By default, lists will be available to all users in all companies that have access to the standard list, although they won’t be able to save changes to the list).
Similar to SmartList, Navigation Go To’s allow you to drill to another window, such as inquiry or transaction (depending on the posting status), or send results to Excel. Navigation additionally allows to Go To a report and even customize by adding your own additional Go To’s options.
Plus, to top this all off, if you own SmartList Builder, you can even build your own Navigation Lists with the built in Navigation List Builder component.
That is just a sample of what Dynamics GP Navigation Lists can do for you. If you are comfortable with SmartList but want to take that to the next level, I suggest using Navigation Lists. I still continue to learn new things about what they can do every time I use them. I have seen users attempt to use them with no success but a few simple tips and a bit of training and ‘testing them out’ should get you well on your way to becoming a more efficient ‘working smarter – not harder’ worker!
Using the Reporting Sections of the Navigation Lists
The second kind of list shows reports for each series. Report Lists are also then broken down by type – GP reports, Excel Reports, Reporting Services Reports, SmartList Favorites and Other reports.
You will see the following lists:
- Report List
- Microsoft Dynamics GP Reports
- Excel Reports
- Reporting Services Reports
- SmartList Favorites
- Other Reports
This is a list of all available reports (each detailed below) for all report types for the associated Navigation series you have selected.
Microsoft Dynamics GP Reports
This list is only the Microsoft Dynamics GP Reports for the associated Navigation series you have selected. This is a good way to view a list of all GP reports including your companies saved report options for all categories of reports in that series. From here you can view or print the report, edit the report option or open the layout in Report Writer to modify (with permissions).
Also add to your ‘My Report’ list for your Home Page from here. Check the box to select the report and choose the Add To option under My Reports in the Action Pane at the top of the list. Optionally enter a new name that will appear in My Reports.
You will see this list if your organization has deployed and provided security access to the Excel Reports for the associated Navigation series you have selected. From here you can view, print or export the report. Also add to your ‘My Report’ list for your Home Page as instructed above. These Excel reports are pre-defined and are based on the objects you see in SmartList.
You may see *. xlsx files which are the Excel workbooks, as well as *.odc files which are the Office data connections to the Microsoft Dynamics GP databases. The *.odc files are used by the *.xlsx files to populate the workbooks with Microsoft Dynamics GP information. You can change an existing Excel report, but be sure to save the report using a new name so that you do not override the existing report. You can use the data connection that is provided to create a unique Excel report for your requirements. By using the data connection, you can view all the columns that can be in the report (similar to SmartList). You can then remove the columns that you do not want to use. When the file is saved, it is saved as an *.xlsx file. Excel reports are refreshable and can be made accessible to users outside of GP.
Reporting Services Reports
You will see this list if your organization has deployed and provided security access to the Reporting Services Reports for the associated Navigation series you have selected. From here you can view, print or export the report. Also add to your ‘My Report’ list for your Home Page as instructed above. These refreshable reports are predefined SQL Server Reporting Services reports, charts and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that are available in Microsoft Dynamics GP can also be made accessible to users outside of GP. Once deployed, a user can access them even when Microsoft Dynamics GP is not running and as long as that user has access to the location where those reports, charts and KPIs are stored. It is the system administrator’s responsibility to create secure locations on a server or on a SharePoint library for these reports.
All SmartList including saved favourites (the favourite name is in the “Option” column) will be displayed in this list for the associated Navigation series you have selected. View, print and add to My Reports is available. Check the box to select the favourite and choose the Add To option under My Reports in the Action Pane at the top of the list. Optionally enter a new name that will appear in My Reports.
These reports will include any Excel reports you have created using Excel Report Builder (part of the SmartList Builder tool) in this section for the associated Navigation series you have selected. View, print and add to My Reports is available.
As with the master data and transactional list functionality which was covered under Using Transaction lists, you have the ability to sort and filter your various reports lists, save a list then change your column display or add filters.
There! Once you get in the groove of using Navigation lists and the area pages for each series (that you work with on a daily basis), you can see that it provides access to all Cards, Transactions, Inquiry and Reports in one area. Now, how efficient is that!
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