Report Exporting


Patrick Kuras

When exporting a report to Excel, it should be an option to export just the
data rows, with no grouping or summarization. Generally, when I export to
Excel, it's because I want to group and summarize differently from what SBA
does for me. If I can export just the data rows, I don't have to manually
delete all the group headers and summary rows. before setting up the report
the way I want.



CPA Hound

Hi Patrick,

I agree with you and you might want to try using the MSAccess and Excel taps
into the Office Accounting Views -> go to your start menu and look for Office
Accounting Tools as a separate item. You should find quite a lot of power
there plus you can make your own reports. I suggest that you copy and place
the customized by you databases on another folder in case of an upgrade
overwrite later. Just look at what is already set up first though since that
may help you - on MSAccess there are already existing reports and on Excel
there are pivot tables.

Hope that helps.

Patrick Kuras

Thanks for your comments. I was mainly aiming my comments at the MOA
developers, to give them some enhancement suggestions.

I discovered the Excel and Access pivot reports shortly after posting my
comments, and these are nice tools to do ad hoc analysis.

As it turns out, I had actually already custom-built the report I needed in
Excel. I am savvy with databases, and was able to locate the data elements I
needed in the MOA database.

One high point of the product is that its database is not closed, and users
(with the right utilities) can easily browse through the tables, figure out
the schema, and create custom reports and data exports. I was even able to
bulk-update some customer records to alleviate the hassle of changing options
in each record by hand.

But the report I needed took me about 2 hours to create, and I would have
been happy with an Excel export that gave me just the data rows, and a bit of
manual sorting, grouping and summarizing instead.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.


A friendly warning Patrick. I would discourage users from 'browsing' MOA's
SQL Server Tables/Views for Reporting purposes and never 'bulk-update' MOA
data without the SDK (Software Development Kit) for (at least) two reasons:

1) The MOA schema may change sometime in the future and possibly break
reports that read MOA Tables or Views directly. And I can guarantee that some
direct access reports will provide inaccurate results unless you are very
fluent in the MOA database architecture or use views provided by Microsoft in
the Analysis database.

2) Any 'back-door' access to MOA carries the risk of mucking up some pretty
important data and frankly not worth the risk.

If your needs extend beyond the Analysis Access database I'd suggest you use
the SDK and save yourself a lot of aggravation.


Matthias Baer [MS]

I would second some of the thoughts here. In terms of most stable to least
1) SDK (we have .NET APIs)
2) Views
3) Tables

I would call the views safe to use for writing reports against. That would
be preferable over reading straight from the tables since:
a) we can keep the views the same even if we change tables
b) it's easier - our views are often joining several tables together for you

As far as updating goes, there I would strongly encourage you to go through
the SDK. Both development and execution will be slower, but as mentioned
below, you get all the validation logic that ensures data integrity.




Patrick Kuras

Thanks for the reply.

I actually did create my report against the views.

Also, I'm a one-man shop, and it's a pretty simple report, so it won't be a
problem to update if future schema changes render the report non-functional.

As for the bulk-update, that was a one-time thing to get a default payment
type and credit term into my customer master list. I wouldn't want to go
about making those kinds of "extra-API" changes on a regular basis, but I saw
a good opportunity to save some time and went for it.

So how about that "data-row-only" report export? It makes much more sense
than exporting the whole thing, with headers, grouping, summaries, subtotals,
totals and footers. After all, the reason for exporting is probably that
those elements of the provided report were not suitable for the user's needs.
Excel can be easily used to reorganize the data and present that, and in many
cases, it's a lot easier to just resort the data in one of these reports than
to mess with a pivot table.

Thanks for your help.


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