Technical Tuesday: Adding Items to the Inquiries and Reports Menus, Part 1

Doug Johnson | March 28, 2017

While browsing an item on any data entry screen, a customer wants to view more information about the item with one click. By building a Generic Inquiry and/or a Report Designer report we can provide the information. Read on to learn how to set this up in Acumatica.

Adding Items to the Inquiries and Reports Menus

Part 1: Adding a report designer report to the reports menu.

Part 2: Adding a generic inquiry to the inquiries menu.

Environment: 6.10.0269

Data: SalesDemo data from partner portal

Acumatica's Technical Tuesday

Business Purpose

ERP customers want information at their fingertips with minimal clicks. Acumatica generic inquiries and report writers provide a mechanism to quickly deliver information via dashboards, email, custom screens, pivot tables, and third party tools such as Power BI.

In this article we learn how to add reports and inquiries to screens so you can gather additional insights regarding your on-screen data. Here are some examples that already exist in the system:

  • From the purchase order screen, you can see all the purchase receipts against the currently displayed purchase order
  • From the invoices and memos screen, you can see all open invoices and payments that relate to the customer on the current invoice
  • From the stock items screen, you can see a listing of recent transactions involving that stock item

But assume that you think of a scenario that is not already available – such as the one below.

Business Scenario

While browsing a purchase order, a customer wants to view a list of pre-payments made against the purchase order with one click. By building a Generic Inquiry and/or a Report Designer report we can provide the information. But to run the report, you need to open the report and then you have to copy/paste the PO number into a parameter field to run the inquiry for the specific PO.

In this article we describe how to add a Report Designer report to the Reports list on the purchase order screen. Part 2 of this series, coming out next week, will tackle how to add a Generic Inquiry to the Inquiries list on the purchase order screen.

Acumatica Implementation: Adding a Report Designer Report to a Menu

To add a report to a menu:

  • Create a report designer report and add it to the site map
  • Add the report to the purchase order screen and pass information about the PO that is currently displayed

Step 1: Create or Designate a Report

You can link to an existing report or create a new one using the report designer. In this example I created a new report that lists all payments that are manually linked to a specific purchase order. To request a copy of this report, post a response/comment to this article below and we will contact you privately.

Create or Designate a Report

When you run this report from an Acumatica menu, you can select parameters from a screen. This is useful when you need to look up a specific purchase order.

You need to look up a specific purchase order

But in our example, we already have a specific purchase order displayed on our screen, and we want to automatically pass this PO number to the report so we do not have to re-enter it.

Acumatica includes a feature that is exposed in the Viewer Fields tab of the Schema Builder of the Report Designer.  You can pass parameters to the report if they are specified here. I showed an example below where we can pass two fields.

Acumatica includes a feature that is exposed in the Viewer Fields tab of the Schema Builder of the Report Designer

These fields need to be available on the screen where you are calling the report from … in our case the Purchase Order entry screen (PO.30.10.00). The fields also need to uniquely define a record. This example would not work if the OrderType field was not specified.

Step 2: Add Report to Menus using Automation Steps

Next I add the report to the screen.

  • Navigate to System > Automation > Automation Steps (SM.20.50.00)
  • Add the report to the menu as explained below

Add Report to Menus using Automation Steps

  1. Select the screen where you want to add your report.
  2. Select the Step ID where you want your report to appear. I used the step NL Prepaid (normal purchase order in prepaid status) so the report becomes available when a prepayment reference number exists.
  3. Add a new line and select the ‘report’ action. Add the appropriate menu text that you want to appear
  4. Click ‘Fill with Values’ to open a dialog box where you can specify the report location
  5. Use the special @reportID tag to define a site map value for your report
  6. Enter the screen ID for your report as it would appear in your site map

Important note: Acumatica automation steps allow you enable when the report can be run. I added the report to the NL New automation step with the same values as above, except I checked the flag in the ‘disabled’ column. I did this because it does not make sense to run the report for a PO in the ‘new’ status.

Step 3: Test Your Results

To test your results, you will have to enter a purchase order and initiate prepayments. You can do this directly from the Actions menu on the purchase order or do it manually from the AP Checks and Payments screen.  When ready, navigate to the purchase order and run the report from the menu as shown below.

Test Your Results

The result is that the parameters are automatically passed to your report with a single click.

The result is that the parameters are automatically passed to your report with a single click

Part 2: Adding a generic inquiry to the inquiries menu.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, adding a generic inquiry to the inquiries menu, coming out next week.

In the meantime, check out our Technical Tuesday series to take an in-depth look at the capabilities of Acumatica Cloud ERP.

Doug Johnson

Director of Partner Programs and Enablement at Acumatica. Doug is in charge of showing people the specifics about what makes Acumatica’s Cloud ERP software awesome for our customers and partners. For other tips and technical training, stay tuned on Tuesdays.

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