Microsoft Dynamics GP Report Writer allows you to have one modified version of each report per dictionary, allowing you to print the modified version of the report in place of the original report.
To access Report Writer, navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP menu | Tools | Customize | Report Writer. You will be asked which product dictionary you want to work with; select the dictionary and click “OK.” Once you are in Report Writer, you can click “Reports” to open the Report Writer window, as pictured below.
In the Report Writer window, all of the reports available in the selected dictionary appear on the left-hand side. These are the unmodified original reports. If you want to modify a report, choose either “Insert” or “Copy.” If you click Insert, the created report will appear under Modified Reports. A report modified using the Insert button is considered a primary copy of the report and can be printed in place of the original report. Security to these modified reports is controlled through Administration Page | Setup | System | Alternate/Modified Forms and Reports ID.
However, if you click “Copy” instead…
You will be prompted to enter a New Report name. The report is then created as a secondary copy of the report in the Modified Reports list. These reports do not print in place of the original report. Instead, these reports print from Reports | Customized in Microsoft Dynamics GP. For this reason, these reports do not use report options to define criteria for printing the report and therefore have to have all criteria built in to the report in Report Writer. Also, security for customized reports is controlled through the role and task assignments for users (Administration Page | Setup | System | Security Tasks, Security Roles, and User Security).
Now to get to the reason for this post. There are occasions where you might need to copy a modified report. For example, let’s say you’ve modified the SOP Blank Invoice Form and want the SOP Other Invoice Form to look the same.
Users often will spot the “Copy” or “Duplicate” buttons and think these may help them. Unfortunately, as discussed above, “Copy” does not create reports that can be printed in place of the standard report. “Duplicate” works in the same manner—it allows you to create a secondary copy of a modified report, which then must be printed from Reports | Customized in Dynamics GP.
However, there is a way to copy a report that allows both to be printed in place of their original versions. Let’s go back to the SOP Blank Invoice and SOP Other Invoice example. First, you need to export the modified version of the SOP Blank Invoice through Microsoft Dynamics GP menu | Tools | Customize | Customization Maintenance.
Next, although you haven’t modified the SOP Other Invoice Form, you will still want to create a modified version of it by clicking “Insert” in Report Writer.
Then export the package file for it using Microsoft Dynamics GP menu | Tools | Customize | Customization Maintenance.
You now should have two package files—one containing the modified version of your SOP Blank Invoice and another containing the SOP Other Invoice (with no real modifications yet). Next, open the package file for the SOP Blank Invoice in Notepad.
Using Shift-Click, highlight everything between Report “SOP Blank Invoice Form” and the closing </Component>.
Then choose Edit | Copy to copy the selected portion to the clipboard. Next, open up the SOP Other Invoice package file using Notepad. Replace the exact same section that you copied, starting after Report “SOP Other Invoice Form.”
Replace up to the closing </Component>.
Now you can re-import the SOP Other Invoice package through Microsoft Dynamics GP menu | Tools | Customize | Customization Maintenance by choosing “Import.”
Keep in mind, you can only import when all other users are out of Dynamics GP. Also, it will show that you are overwriting the SOP Other Invoice. This is fine, because as you might recall, we created the modified version earlier in order to be able to export it.
Once you are able to successfully import the modified SOP Other Invoice Form, it will have the same fields, formatting and calculations as the SOP Blank Invoice Form that you copied from.