Reporting Series Part 3 – Operational Reporting Using Atlas Add-In

Reporting Series Part 3 – Operational Reporting Using Atlas Add-In

Basic Reporting in Atlas

As stated in previous blog posts, Atlas by Globe Software is one of many solutions that can help address potential reporting shortfalls in standard Microsoft Dynamics® AX. Atlas is a flexible tool that launches as an add-in directly in Excel and empowers users to both extract data from AX and import data into AX in real-time. In this blog post we will dive into some basic functionality of Atlas and create a simple operational report that pulls data from two tables. We will build a report for customer transactions by customer group. In this example we will show the newest version of Atlas, version 6.

To fully utilize Atlas the User will need to have knowledge of the AX table names and structures, but by just knowing the most utilized tables you can create a bevy of useful reports. One of those tables is the CustTrans table which stores information for all customer transactions. The first step in creating this report is to add an object that pulls data from an AX table (or other sources such as a cube). As stated previously, Atlas has an easy-to-use interface that appears directly within Excel.

Atlas New Object

In the example above we will use this interface to first name the report and then create the object by creating a list report which will pull entries directly from the AX table. We will then select the data source which in this case is directly from AX. Next, the table from which data is pulled must be selected.

Atlas Table

Finally, the fields from the selected table must be chosen for inclusion in the report. When selecting fields, Atlas will display the most often used fields within the table but will also provide the option to select from all fields within the table. After fields have been selected Atlas gives the option to filter the report by one or more of the selected fields. In this case, we will filter by date and the entity and have the values for the filters pulled directly from the excel file.

Atlas Fields

Once the list report is inserted into the spreadsheet you can format the table by any means normally available in Excel. With some minor formatting, here is the table we have created with minimal effort.

Excel Spreadsheet

Taking Your Report to the Next Level

This report is useful by itself but let’s say we wanted to include the customer group and description into the table as well. To accomplish this we will click on the customer account field in the Atlas interface and locate the main table that stores this field. We see that the main table for this field is the CustTable. We now have the option of adding fields from the CustTable.

Atlas Data Inspector

As you can see the customer group is right there for us to select. The only issue is the description of the customer group is not located within this table. The customer group field has ellipsis next to it, which means we can dig further into the main table that stores the customer group.

Atlas Customers

By clicking on the ellipsis we are taken to the CustGroup table where we can select the customer group and description for inclusion into our table.

Atlas Customer Groups

Here is the finished product: a report showing customer transactions filtered by customer group, all within a couple minutes. While Atlas has a bit of a learning curve for new Users, it can be a powerful tool in crafting custom reports with real time data from AX or other data sources. With a little training, Power Users can be developed in non-IT functions which will empower them to create their own reports.

Atlas Data Inspector next to Excel spreadsheet

Stay tuned for the next entry in our reporting series where we investigate our favorite BI tool, TARGIT.

Did you miss the previous reporting series? Read them here:

Reporting Series Part 1 – Building a Microsoft Dynamics® AX Reporting Toolkit

Reporting Series Part 2 – Consolidation with Dynamics AX Management Reporter

About Michael Cavanaugh

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