The SmartList reporting tool saw some nice improvements with the addition of the collapse/expand of the left navigation pane and a splitter between the tree view and the list box control that displays the actual results.
However, the biggest improvement/addition to SmartList is the new SmartList Designer, included in SP2. While not as robust as Smart List Builder (which is an additional cost), the tool certainly enhances SmartList. I do see this as a great tool for customers that have lighter needs for new Smart List Objects.
Similar to SmartList Builder, you do need to have a feel for how to join tables together. Also like SmartList Builder, you have the ability to point the Designer at any SQL view or table, including ones you create yourself, which means you can display just about any query you can imagine.
To access SmartList Designer, click on the New button on SmartList’s toolbar.
- Allows you to create queries based on table definitions found in Microsoft Dynamics GP and any third party application (any Dexterity dictionary table definition), using a very intuitive UI.
- Allows you to create a new SmartList or create a new SmartList based on an existing SmartList.
- Allows you to modify the SmartList that you created using SmartList Designer.
- Allows you to add multiple tables, and restrict the fields that are available to display on the Smart List.
- Allows you to build some calculations and it provides a preset number of commonly used functions catalogued as Arithmetic, Text, Date & Time, Math, and Aggregate.
- Allows you to preview the data without having to release the new object into production, so you know if you have joined the tables correctly or even have the right tables you wanted.
- Deploys with a click on OK, without having to update cache or publish.
I have used this tool myself now a number of times on a new Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation. Certain fields are not available in standard Smartlist objects such as inventory price levels and email addresses as two examples. Therefore, it served as a great way to check data integrity for mass amounts of customer and inventory records that had been imported into GP from a legacy system!
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