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Epicor Advanced

Financial Reporting

User Guide

Disclaimer
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Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting User Guide

Contents

Contents
Introduction............................................................................................................................9

Chapter 1: The Advanced Financial Reporting Environment.......................10


How AFR Works.............................................................................................................................................10
Primary Environment Requirements................................................................................................................12
Network Servers.....................................................................................................................................12
AFR Installation Options..........................................................................................................................12
Report Server..........................................................................................................................................13
Logon Server..........................................................................................................................................13
Financial Data Security Manager.............................................................................................................13
Workstation Environments......................................................................................................................13
Epicor Applications........................................................................................................................................14
Advanced Financial Reporting Applications.............................................................................................14
License Requester............................................................................................................................14
Replication Monitor.........................................................................................................................15
Report Designer...............................................................................................................................15
AFR Report Server............................................................................................................................16
Viewing Reports..............................................................................................................................17
Financial Data Security Manager......................................................................................................17
Report Layout and Formatting Tools...............................................................................................................18
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder........................................................................................................18
SQL Server BI Studio...............................................................................................................................20
Summary.......................................................................................................................................................20

Chapter 2: AFR Data Replication....................................................................21


AFR Replication Monitor................................................................................................................................21
AFR Replication Monitor Installation...............................................................................................................21
Granularity.....................................................................................................................................................22
Replication Types...........................................................................................................................................22
Operational and Setup Tables.................................................................................................................22
Daily Balances Aggregation............................................................................................................................23
Using AFR Replication Monitor.......................................................................................................................24
Launch AFR Replication Monitor.............................................................................................................25
Create Replication Tasks with AFR Replication Wizard.............................................................................26
Select ERP Source............................................................................................................................26
Select ERP Database........................................................................................................................27
Select Companies and Books to Replicate........................................................................................27
Set Company and Fiscal Year Granularity.........................................................................................28
Set Daily Balance Aggregation and Task Prefix.................................................................................29
Review Tasks for Creation................................................................................................................31

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Enter Security Credentials and Create Tasks.....................................................................................33


Initialize Replication Tasks.......................................................................................................................34
Monitor and Change Replication Task Status..........................................................................................35
Summary.......................................................................................................................................................36

Chapter 3: Setup and Configuration..............................................................37


Configure Logon Server.................................................................................................................................37
Request License.............................................................................................................................................41
Report Components Setup.............................................................................................................................42
Configure Report Designer.....................................................................................................................42
Create New Report Definition Database...........................................................................................43
Report Designer Settings.................................................................................................................44
Summary.......................................................................................................................................................47

Chapter 4: Designer Settings and Tools.........................................................48


Report Designer Settings................................................................................................................................48
General Settings.....................................................................................................................................49
RDL Settings...........................................................................................................................................51
Preview Settings.....................................................................................................................................52
Default Formats......................................................................................................................................52
Export Report Elements..................................................................................................................................53
Import Report Elements.................................................................................................................................54
Import Management Reporter Reports...........................................................................................................56
Import FRx Reports.........................................................................................................................................57
Load Style Theme...........................................................................................................................................58
Summary.......................................................................................................................................................59

Chapter 5: Row and Column Sets...................................................................60


The Epicor AFR Report Designer.....................................................................................................................60
Row Sets........................................................................................................................................................60
Create a Row Set....................................................................................................................................61
Row Definitions......................................................................................................................................61
Use the List Sheet............................................................................................................................61
Enter Row Definition Details............................................................................................................64
Create a Row Expression.................................................................................................................66
Row Sum Type.........................................................................................................................68
Expression Row Type................................................................................................................69
Expression Syntax............................................................................................................................72
Format Each Row............................................................................................................................73
Row Set Drill-Down Reports....................................................................................................................74
Set Up a Row Set Drill-Down Report................................................................................................74
Individual Row Drill-Down Report....................................................................................................75
Row Set Versions....................................................................................................................................76

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Contents

Create a Row Set Version................................................................................................................77


User-Defined Properties..........................................................................................................................78
Query..............................................................................................................................................79
Create a User Property.....................................................................................................................79
Copy a Row Set......................................................................................................................................81
Copy and Paste Rows.............................................................................................................................83
Row Grouping........................................................................................................................................85
Renumber Rows..............................................................................................................................88
Row Set Wizard......................................................................................................................................90
Select Chart of Accounts.................................................................................................................91
Set Partitions and Sections...............................................................................................................92
Fill Sections......................................................................................................................................94
Set Row Formatting.........................................................................................................................96
Generate the Row Set.....................................................................................................................98
Column Sets................................................................................................................................................100
Create a Column Set............................................................................................................................100
Establish Column Definitions.................................................................................................................102
Create a Column...........................................................................................................................102
Unposted Balances.................................................................................................................105
Set Column Numeric Format...................................................................................................106
Define Column Period/Date Filter............................................................................................107
Report Parameters..................................................................................................................108
Date Parameters.....................................................................................................................110
Define Column Account Filter.................................................................................................111
Define the Column Book Filter................................................................................................113
Define the Budget Filter..........................................................................................................116
Create a Column Expression..........................................................................................................116
Row Properties.......................................................................................................................120
Cell Properties........................................................................................................................121
Column Properties..................................................................................................................121
Math, Constants, and Logical Parameters...............................................................................122
References.............................................................................................................................123
Financial Data Fields...............................................................................................................124
Dictionary Parameters.............................................................................................................125
Column Expression Assistant.................................................................................................................126
Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns......................................................................................126
Select Fiscal Periods and Ranges.............................................................................................128
Select Fiscal Years...................................................................................................................129
Review Columns.....................................................................................................................129
Generate Predefined Groups of Columns.......................................................................................131
Update Single Column...................................................................................................................133
Launch Column Expression Assistant when Creating a New Column..............................................136
Column Set Wizard...............................................................................................................................137
Copy the Column Set...........................................................................................................................140
Summary.....................................................................................................................................................142

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Chapter 6: Report Design..............................................................................143


Reports........................................................................................................................................................143
Create a Report....................................................................................................................................144
Column Sets.........................................................................................................................................145
Report Parameters................................................................................................................................146
Available Parameters.....................................................................................................................149
Presentation Options............................................................................................................................149
Book Selection Type......................................................................................................................151
Period and Date Range Selection Type...........................................................................................152
Simple Currency Conversions................................................................................................................153
Options................................................................................................................................................154
Body.....................................................................................................................................................157
Headers and Footers.............................................................................................................................159
Define the Report Header and Footer............................................................................................159
Header Footer Expressions.............................................................................................................160
Report Preview.............................................................................................................................................161
Preview the Report...............................................................................................................................161
Reporting Trees............................................................................................................................................164
Create a Reporting Tree........................................................................................................................165
Create a Node......................................................................................................................................166
Define Child Nodes........................................................................................................................169
Parent and Child Node Logic.........................................................................................................170
Copy a Reporting Tree..........................................................................................................................171
Reporting Tree Wizard..........................................................................................................................172
Final Data Results.........................................................................................................................................175
Dictionaries..................................................................................................................................................175
Create a Dictionary...............................................................................................................................175
Create a Definition...............................................................................................................................176
Copy a Dictionary.................................................................................................................................179
Report Security............................................................................................................................................180
Security Setup.......................................................................................................................................180
Assign View Rights...............................................................................................................................180
Assign Edit Rights.................................................................................................................................181
Report Element Security........................................................................................................................182
Assign Edit Security Rights on the Current Element........................................................................182
Copy a Report..............................................................................................................................................183
Generate an RDL File....................................................................................................................................184
RDL Parameters....................................................................................................................................186
RDL Merge...................................................................................................................................................187
Merge on Save Setting..........................................................................................................................188
Automatic Merge on Save....................................................................................................................188
Manual Merge on Save.........................................................................................................................191
Save and Merge RDLs...........................................................................................................................194

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Refresh the RDL List.....................................................................................................................................195


Convert RDLs...............................................................................................................................................195
Use the RDLs Sheet Functionality..................................................................................................................196
Summary.....................................................................................................................................................197

Chapter 7: Report Layout..............................................................................198


The AFR Report Project................................................................................................................................198
Report Template Creation............................................................................................................................198
Create a Report Template.....................................................................................................................199
Pre-Defined Reports..............................................................................................................................201
Microsoft Business Intelligence Studio..........................................................................................................202
Report Items Design.....................................................................................................................................204
Edit the Report Title..............................................................................................................................204
Add Text Boxes.....................................................................................................................................206
Add a Company Parameter Box.....................................................................................................206
Display the Modified Report..................................................................................................................207
Data Regions...............................................................................................................................................210
List Data Regions..................................................................................................................................210
Add a List......................................................................................................................................210
Add Text Boxes..............................................................................................................................213
Display the List Data Region...........................................................................................................214
Changing RDL Project Properties..................................................................................................................216
Deploy All RDL Files in the Project................................................................................................................217
Summary.....................................................................................................................................................218

Chapter 8: Report View and Use..................................................................219


The AFR Report Server.................................................................................................................................219
SSRS in AFR.................................................................................................................................................220
SSRS Access Rights...............................................................................................................................221
Launch SQL Server Report Builder.........................................................................................................222
Batch Report Schedule..........................................................................................................................223
Create Subscription in Reports.......................................................................................................227
Report View.................................................................................................................................................229
Navigate to the Report..........................................................................................................................229
Report Parameters................................................................................................................................231
Modify Report Parameters.............................................................................................................231
Modify Reports with Advanced Currency Conversion.....................................................................232
Report Viewing Controls.......................................................................................................................234
Use Report Viewing Controls.........................................................................................................235
Exporting Reports.................................................................................................................................235
Export a Report.............................................................................................................................235
Viewing AFR Reports in Excel.......................................................................................................................237
Generate a Report in Excel....................................................................................................................238
Adjust Report Parameters.....................................................................................................................239

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Summary.....................................................................................................................................................241

Chapter 9: Financial Data Security...............................................................242


The AFR Financial Data Security Manager.....................................................................................................242
Launch the AFR Financial Data Security Manager..........................................................................................242
Log on to the Financial Database..........................................................................................................243
Upgrade a Financial Database...............................................................................................................243
Navigation...................................................................................................................................................244
Navigate in the Application...................................................................................................................244
Security Levels..............................................................................................................................................245
Account Sets................................................................................................................................................245
Create an Account Set..........................................................................................................................246
Account Masks............................................................................................................................................246
Create an Account Mask......................................................................................................................246
Users and User Groups.................................................................................................................................248
Assign a User Permission to an Account Set..........................................................................................248
Activate AFR Financial Data Security......................................................................................................249
Refresh Security Settings.......................................................................................................................250
Summary.....................................................................................................................................................250

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Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting User Guide

Introduction |

Introduction
This user guide is a reference book that explores the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) applications. The
guide is aimed at use of the AFR application after installation, from preliminary configuration through report
generation and viewing. It begins by describing the various components that make up the AFR environment,
including data replication, which is required to make your financial data available to AFR, and some basic setup
steps to take when you first start using the AFR Report Designer.
The user guide then examines the elements that make up an AFR report definition: row sets, column sets, report
parameters, reporting trees, drill-downs, and also looks at the expressions used to retrieve required data from
you AFR financial database.
Learn how to generate RDL files and view reports in a web browser using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
(SSRS), or alternatively in Microsoft Excel. The guide also touches on the third-party products you can use to fine
tune your report layouts, such as Microsoft Business Intelligence Development Studio and Microsoft SQL
Server Report Builder.
Finally, the guide addresses how to set up data security and restrict access to confidential company financial data
stored in AFR financial databases.

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Chapter 1: The Advanced Financial Reporting Environment


Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting, or AFR, is a complete toolset you use to create custom financial reports specific
to the needs of your organization. The reports you build will contain financial information from various sources you
define - you can set up each report to pull information from one or multiple general ledger (GL) books across multiple
companies, from multiple ERP systems, for example, Epicor ERP, Prophet 21, iScala. Through the AFR toolset, you first
link to a Microsoft SQL Server database instance that contains current, regularly refreshed GL data from your Epicor
application. This instance must be a replicated database, based on SQL Replication, set up through Epicors AFR
Replication Monitor.
The AFR Report Designer is used to define the basic elements of the reports - row sets, column sets, report parameters,
data filters, and formatting of the reports. Each report row can also have additional drill-down reports defined for it this feature enables report rows to link to another report, for example a report with more detail. Using the Report
Designer, you can build report definitions, preview them to verify current data displays as expected, and upload Report
Definition Language (RDL) files, which enable users to view reports in a web browser, via SQL Server Reporting Services
(SSRS). Once you set up your report, you can further refine the look and feel in either Microsoft Visual Studio or
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder. You can use these report layout and formatting tools to fine-tune the overall
look of each financial report.
When you finish refining the layout of your financial reports, users can view them in a web browser or in Microsoft
Excel. Reports can be printed, or exported in various file formats, or you can schedule a batch of reports to be created
at regular intervals. Based on the report parameters you define in the report, users can filter data, or change the
parameters to view different data, for example, change the report currency, change the report dates, or filter by GL
accounts.
This chapter details the overall server environment you need to have in place before you can use the Epicor Advanced
Financial Reporting toolset. Besides the AFR applications and replication tools you install from Epicor, some Microsoft
applications are also required for your environment to work properly. This chapter describes these applications and
their purpose within the environment, so you can be more familiar with the required AFR elements.

How AFR Works


Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting interacts with an Epicor application through a report server. This server pulls
the general ledger data from your active database to an AFR financial database via replication, and makes this
data available for use within AFR. You then create a report definition in the Report Designer. This report definition
accesses data replicated from the active Epicor financial database, selecting the data for display using the report
structure and layout specifications defined on the report.
The following illustration describes the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting process:
1. Financial data is first pulled from the source ERP financial database(s) through SQL Replication tasks. This
data comes from various general ledger tables located within the financial database. If your company uses

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multiple books and/or multiple companies, the report data is pulled from these multiple general ledger
sources.

2. The financial data is replicated via SQL Replication tasks.


3. Use the separate AFR Replication Monitor to create the replication tasks.
4. The replicated general ledger data is copied to an AFR financial database in SQL Server, designed for use
with AFR. The AFR financial database is configured specifically for AFR to display the data when the report
is activated at run time. You can create this AFR financial database within the AFR Report Designer or the
AFR Replication Monitor.
5. The AFR Logon Server validates your license, and controls access to the AFR tools.
6. You create the financial report definitions within the AFR Report Designer. Through this tool, you design
the row sets, column sets, report parameters, filters and drill down options for the reports. These items are
the components that make up the report definition.
7. The report definition data is stored in a Report Definition Database - separate from the AFR Financial
Database.
8. You then upload a Report Definition Language (RDL) file to the SSRS server, to enable users to launch the
report in a web browser.
9. When you launch a report RDL file, the AFR Report Server provides a web service which combines with
SSRS to enable users to view the report in a web browser. The report that displays is effectively a combination
of the report definition and the AFR financial data, presented according to the RDL layout or template.
10. The optional AFR Financial Data Security Manager, if activated, restricts access to specific databases,
companies, books, or accounts. Access is granted based on Windows users or user groups.

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11. The AFR ODBC Driver enables you to generate a Microsoft Excel file for a report from the Report Designer,
which contains a predefined connection to the AFR data sources. You can change report parameters and
refresh the report in Excel to view the latest data.

Primary Environment Requirements


The following sections describe the applications that need to be installed within your network server environment.
Once these applications are installed and configured to interact with your network, the Epicor Advanced Financial
Reporting tools are ready for use.

Network Servers
Within your network environment, you can choose to set up separate servers or a single server to handle the
data processing and report generating tasks. Create the server environment you need to maximize the efficiency
of your network resources. This list describes the specific servers you need for the Epicor Advanced Financial
Reporting functionality:
1. Epicor ERP Application Database Server Users enter financial data into the Epicor ERP application
through this server. This database contains the source data that needs to be replicated out for display within
the AFR application. AFR currently supports data replication from Epicor ERP, Prophet 21, and iScala.
2. Report (AFR) Server This server contains the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting Server functionality.
You and other users link client machines to this server to create the AFR reports. This server records the
report definitions within an AFR database. This server requires Internet Information Services to be running.
3. Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Web Site Server Users log into this server to view
the available AFR reports in a web browser.
4. Microsoft SQL Server, including SQL Server Replication, on the machine that will host the AFR
financial database.
Notice that both the replicated database and the report definition database can be located within any of these
servers. Likewise, some or all of these servers can be consolidated to run within a single server machine. Set up
the server configuration that works best with the demands placed on your network.

AFR Installation Options


You have the option to install advanced financial reports within just the server environment, or both server and
workstation environments. You can create reports on workstations by installing the Report Designer on separate
client machines. You can also install the Report Designer directly on the Report Server. Regardless of where you
place these tools, you can then build, view, and print out reports directly from either environment. You can
preview reports from the workstation and upload them to the Report Server for use by end-users. These tasks
can also be carried out on the Report Server.
Where you decide to install the AFR tools reflects how you and other users in the organization wish to run Epicor
Advanced Financial Reporting. Creating separate workstation environments ensures more security and stability
for the AFR tools, as users will be prevented from changing parameters defined on the Report Server. Workstation
installations also reserve the server machines resources for replicating data and generating the advanced financial
reports, freeing it up for other tasks. However, users will most likely have better AFR performance if they use
these tools on the Report Server. You can also better manage the AFR tools when they are all installed on the
server, as most of the AFR environment is contained within one machine. Evaluate the needs of your users and
network before you decide on where to install the AFR toolset.

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Report Server
The Report Server is the primary computer that contains the AFR environment. This server processes the report
data definitions and layout configuration you will define for each report. It also typically handles the database
replication tasks that run through the SQL Replication.
The Report Server environment needs the following operating systems, applications, and available memory:
Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Standard or Enterprise) with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
AFR Replication Monitor
AFR Report Designer The Report Designer primarily functions as a workstation application on a separate
computer; however, if you want to create reports on the Report Server, you need to install this application in
this environment.
At least 3 GB of RAM

Logon Server
The Logon Server controls access to the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting tools. You install this application
to validate your license from Epicor and activate the AFR tools. The Logon Server environment needs the following
operating system:
Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2

Financial Data Security Manager


The Financial Data Security Manager enables companies to restrict which users can access financial data stored
in AFR financial databases, when creating or viewing financial reports. This standalone program installs with the
main AFR programs, namely AFR Report Designer and Report Viewer.

Workstation Environments
As described previously, you can set up separate workstation environments to create advanced financial reports.
These optional workstation environments are connected to the Report Server, so you will need to install the
Report Designer on them. You can then create the reports on these workstation environments and upload them
for use across your network. The workstation environments can contain the following applications:
Windows 7 or 8.
Report Designer Required to create advanced financial reports on the workstation.
Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio (SQL 2008 R2) or Data Tools (SQL 2012+) This solution is an optional application
you can use to refine your report layout.
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder 3.0 This application is available for free download on the Microsoft
website. This solution is also an optional application for refining your report layout.
While the Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio and Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder are both optional items for
your AFR environment, it is recommended you use one of these tools to polish the final layout of your reports.
These tools provide you with the advanced layout and formatting functionality useful for fine-tuning the final
presentation of your reports.

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Epicor Applications
This section describes the Epicor applications you need to install within your server environment.

Advanced Financial Reporting Applications


This section briefly describes the applications you should have installed for use in creating AFR reports. You use
these tools to create the report data definition, organize the reports, and display the reports in a web browser.
Each AFR tool has a unique function you use during the report creation process.
This guide does not cover the installation of AFR tools or other related programs. For details on installation of
AFR programs, refer to the AFR Installation Guide.
The layout for the reports you create through this toolset can also be modified later in Microsot Visual Studio or
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder. These solutions are described in the next section.

License Requester
Before you can use Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting, you must receive a license for the toolset from Epicor.
You do this during installation of the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting component tools by running the Epicor
AFR License Requester from the installer. This tool automatically generates the machine identifier you then email
back to Epicor Customer Service; an Epicor support representative will then generate your license key. You enter
your name, the license duration you require, and how many concurrent users need access to Epicor AFR during
the licensing period. (The AFR Logon Server is licensed for a specific server machine; because of this, you need
to email the unique machine identifier (ID) back to Epicor Customer Service for verification and activation.)

Once you receive your AFR license key, you must apply it to the Report Server before you can begin creating
reports.

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Replication Monitor
The Epicor AFR Replication Monitor, together with the in-built AFR Replication Wizard, are programs designed
specifically to enable easy setup of SQL data replication from an ERP system database to an Advanced Financial
Reporting (AFR) financial database. The AFR Replication Monitor also provides subsequent monitoring of replication
tasks.

The AFR Replication Wizard, which you launch from within the AFR Replication Monitor, creates SQL replication
tasks which provide data synchronization between the Epicor ERP and AFR databases, using a plugin specific to
the ERP system in question. This program creates a publisher, subscriber, and job in Microsoft SQL Server. The
wizard sets up SQL replication from the source ERP database to the target AFR financial database by creating a
publication on the source SQL server and subscribing to it on the target SQL server. Once the wizard completes
the setup, and replication is initialized, the replication continues by means of SQL server.
The AFR Replication Monitor displays information about active replication tasks and their status, and enables
users to activate, deactivate, reinitialize, edit, and delete replication tasks.

Report Designer
Use the Report Designer to create financial reports. In this application, you set up the basic report layout of rows
and columns, the report parameters, define data criteria to pull specific data into the report, and preview your
new financial reports.

The advanced financial reports you create have three general report elements; these elements are rows, columns,
and reporting trees. Use this flexibility to develop each element individually and then combine the elements to
produce the various reports your end users need, without having to recreate these reports each time they are
needed. For example, if you want to see comparisons of budget vs. actual financial reports, you can combine
one row set with two different column sets and generate separate reports. Within each report, you can also
display multiple general ledger books to immediately compare the results for the selected books.
Reporting trees are hierarchies that use elements of GL account codes, and expressions based on database fields,
that enable you to filter the data that display in a report.

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You can also create dictionaries. In each dictionary you create, enter default data sets or common expressions
to use within row sets, column sets, and reporting trees. The use of dictionary definition removes the need to
re-enter complex expressions every time you need them.
The available syntax you use for expressions on report items is
documented within the Row and Column Sets, and Report
Design chapters.
The default dictionary definitions you create are typically made up of commonly used expressions, but these
expressions can be used to pull in complex data results. For example, a set of revenue accounts can be spread
across multiple account numbers because of the chart of accounts structure; you can set up an expression that
automatically pulls in all of these account numbers and name that dictionary definition Revenue_Accounts.
By creating a data set, you avoid having to specify complex details each time you want to include the Revenue
Accounts in a row set, column set, or reporting tree.
Once you create a report definition, you can preview the report data and the report structure, upload Report
Definition Language (RDL) files, and create drill down links from one report to another. Drill downs are especially
useful for displaying more detailed reports directly from within a summary report.

AFR Report Server


The AFR Report Server, part of the AFR installation pack, creates a web application which acts as an interface
between the AFR application and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). This enables users to view AFR reports
in a web browser. AFR thus works with SSRS to provide a place to organize, manage, upload, and view financial
reports.

You connect to the web service via the AFR Report Server option in the Windows Start menu. This launches your
default web browser, and displays the SSRS Home page. From there, you can access and view your AFR reports.
The web service also launches when you click View Report in the Report Designer.

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Viewing Reports
While you design your reports, you can use the report preview to display the data results of your report. When
you preview the report, you can also update parameters you defined on the report in the Report Designer. Use
these parameters to determine what data displays on the financial report.

Once you have uploaded an RDL file, you can launch the report in a web browser, via SQL Server Reporting
Services (SSRS). This is how other report users will normally view reports. If you are satisfied with the report data
and basic layout, you can further refine the final look of the report in either the Microsoft Visual Studio or
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder.

Financial Data Security Manager


To restrict unauthorized access to confidential company financial data stored in AFR financial databases, use the
AFR Financial Data Security Manager. This standalone program enables you to define permissions for certain
users or user groups to access restricted portions of financial data in reports. If AFR Financial Data Security is

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activated, and a user has not been explicitly granted permission to view restricted parts of a report, the user is
not able to view this confidential data.

Report Layout and Formatting Tools


Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting creates reports using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). These
SSRS reports leverage the functionality available through this powerful reporting engine. There are two applications
you can use to refine the layout and formatting of your SSRS reports Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio and
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder. This section describes each of these tools to help you decide which one you
are more comfortable using with Epicor AFR. You use the BI Studio and the Report Builder applications to complete
the final polish of the report format after the basic report definition is completed in the AFR Report Designer,
and the RDL file is uploaded.
Regardless of the third-party application you decide to use, the report layout output result is the same - an RDL
file. You can refine the report file created in Epicor AFR, and make it available for users to view via SSRS.

Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder


Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder is the report layout tool included when you install Microsoft SQL Server
Reporting Services. Unlike Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio, this application is exclusively designed for use with
SSRS reports. If you are familiar with other report writers like SAP Crystal Reports, consider using this tool

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The Advanced Financial Reporting Environment | Chapter 1

instead of BI Studio. The SQL Server Report Builder is an ideal layout tool to use with your advanced financial
reports.

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SQL Server BI Studio


Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio (2008 R2) / SQL Server Data Tools (2012+) contains project types specific for
reporting layout tools.

You can use this application to fine-tune the layout, style, and format for a report definition RDL file created in
the AFR Report Designer. This powerful tool contains functionality you can leverage to modify almost every aspect
of your advanced financial report. Note, however, that this tool is designed for use by software developers, so
the interface is more complicated than the Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder. If you are comfortable with using
a more developer-based tool, you can use this application to load and refine the financial reports created through
AFR.

Summary
This chapter contains a high level description of the components required to run Epicor Advanced Financial
Reporting. You first need to decide how AFR will be installed on your network. Various server functions can be
placed on separate servers or installed together on one main Report Server. Likewise, you need to decide whether
users will create advanced reports directly on the Report Server or indirectly through a series of workstation
environments.
Regardless of the installation strategy you use, you must run a series of network tasks in order for users to display
and print advanced reports. First, financial information from a source Epicor ERP database is replicated to an AFR
financial database via SQL Replication tasks you set up in the AFR Replication Monitor. This replicated data must
be accessible in the Report Designer. After you develop advanced reports in the Report Designer, upload an RDL
file, and optionally refine the layout in applications available from Microsoft, you make these reports available
for display in a web browser via SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Alternatively, the AFR ODBC driver enables
users to generate and view reports in Microsoft Excel. Users can launch these reports from client workstations
or from the Report Server itself.

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Chapter 2: AFR Data Replication


To make AFR compatible with multiple Epicor applications, data from the source general ledger tables must be replicated
to a target AFR financial database. The AFR financial database requires only certain data from the ERP database, and
is structured to facilitate financial report creation in AFR.
Replication to AFR is achieved via SQL Replication, which you set up and monitor in the AFR Replication Monitor. This
program incorporates specific plugins to setup replication tasks for different Epicor ERP databases, for example Epicor
ERP, Prophet 21, and iScala.
By replicating financial data to a separate AFR database, probably on another server, you reduce the effect on the
performance of your ERP application(s). Because you are offloading report processing to a separate environment, you
free up the Epicor ERP server from the processing required to generate financial reports. Data replication also ensures
you can maintain your data; the replication process creates a separate instance of your basic financial data, away from
the main Epicor ERP application database. How often you replicate the financial data determines how current the data
will be in the AFR reports. The data in the AFR financial database is used as a read-only data source, specifically used
by AFR to retrieve data for reports.
This chapter describes how the AFR Replication Monitor enables setup of SQL replication tasks to transfer financial
data from an Epicor ERP database (or multiple databases) to an AFR financial database. To set up replication tasks, you
access the AFR Replication Wizard from within the Replication Monitor. This chapter goes through the steps you take
in the wizard, from selection of source ERP database to initialization and verification of replication tasks. The AFR
Replication Monitor then displays information about active replication tasks and their status, and enables users to
activate, deactivate, reinitialize, edit, and delete replication tasks.

AFR Replication Monitor


The Epicor AFR Replication Monitor, together with the in-built AFR Replication Wizard, are programs designed
specifically to enable easy setup of SQL data replication from an ERP system database to an Advanced Financial
Reporting (AFR) financial database. The AFR Replication Monitor also provides subsequent monitoring of replication
tasks.
The AFR Replication Wizard, which you launch from within the AFR Replication Monitor, creates SQL replication
tasks which provide data synchronization between the Epicor ERP and AFR databases, using a plugin specific to
the ERP system in question. This program creates a publisher, subscriber, and job in Microsoft SQL Server. The
wizard sets up SQL replication from the source ERP database to the target AFR financial database by creating a
publication on the source SQL server and subscribing to it on the target SQL server. Once the wizard completes
the setup, and replication is initialized, the replication continues by means of SQL server. This is not dependent
on the Replication Monitor. Therefore, the Replication Monitor can then be closed.
The AFR Replication Monitor displays information about active replication tasks and their status, and enables
users to activate, deactivate, reinitialize, edit, and delete replication tasks.

AFR Replication Monitor Installation


For details on how to install AFR Replication Monitor, see the AFR Replication Installation Guide.

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Granularity
The Replication Wizard enables set up of individual data replication tasks for each company, book, and fiscal year
in your ERP database. Equally, you can combine all company, book, and fiscal year data into one replication task.
The separation of companies and/or books into separate tasks can be an advantage when large amounts of data
are replicated. If it is necessary to reinitialize replication for just one company, it will be much quicker if that
company has a separate task. If you have to re-initialize replication for all companies in the one task, it could
take considerably longer.

Replication Types
The Replication Wizard creates two types of replication task:
Operational Data - Business transactions, GL daily/periodic balances, and so on.
Setup Data - Includes chart of accounts, chart of accounts segment values, company, GL book, fiscal periods,
and so on.
There is always just one Setup Info task created for each ERP database, which replicates date-independent setup
data for all the companies, books and fiscal years being replicated. This task is separate, so if you need to
re-initialize only setup data, it is not necessary to re-initialize operational data, which might take longer.

Operational and Setup Tables


The operational and setup tables differ slightly according to the ERP system from which you replicate.
The following table lists the operational and setup tables used for replication by the Epicor ERP plugin.

22

Table

Type

Filter

GLJrnDtl

Operational

Company, Book, FiscalYear

GLPeriodBal

Operational

Company, Book, FiscalYear

GLBudgetDtl

Operational

Company, Book, FiscalYear

GLJrnDtlMnl

Operational

Company, Book, FiscalYear

COA

Setup

Company

COASegment

Setup

Company

COASegValues

Setup

Company

Company

Setup

Company

GLBook

Setup

Company, Book

FiscalPer

Setup

Company

GLAccount

Setup

Company

COAActCat

Setup

Company

Currency

Setup

Company

CurrConvRule

Setup

Company

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Table

Type

Filter

CurrRateGrp

Setup

Company

CurrExRate

Setup

Company

The Epicor 9.05 plugin uses the same tables as the Epicor ERP, except it does not include the GLJrnDtlMnl table.
The following table lists the operational and setup tables used for replication by the iScala plugin.
Table

Type

Filter

GL52 (Periodical and budget balances)

Operational

GL06 (Transactions)

Operational

GL10 (Fiscal Periods)

Operational

GL12 (Account Categories)

Setup

GL03 (Segment values for Acc. Dimensions)

Setup

GL53 (Segment values for Natural Accounts)

Setup

ScaCompanies

Setup

Company

ScaCompanyProperty

Setup

Company

ScaCompanySegment

Setup

Company

iScala stores each company and fiscal year in a separate


individual table. For example: GL06AB16, where AB = company
code and 16 = fiscal year.
The following table lists the operational and setup tables used for replication by the Prophet 21 plugin.
Table

Type

Filter

gl

Operational

Company, FiscalYear

balances

Setup

Company

chart_of_accts

Setup

Company

company

Setup

Company

periods

Setup

Company

code_p21

Setup

currency_hdr

Setup

currency_line

Setup

Daily Balances Aggregation


If you select the Epicor ERP replication plugin, there are two options for the creation of daily balances:
1.

Aggregate using the full accounting string from transaction lines.

2.

Aggregate using Balance Segment settings in Epicor ERP.

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For example, there are three transaction lines for the natural account 1090. Only two of the lines have a dynamic
segment in the GL account string.
Date

Amount

Segment1

Segment2

Segment3

Segment4 (Dynamic)

2015/10/15

10000.00

1090

02

00

2015/10/3

8.00

1090

02

00

CustomerA

2015/10/15

250.00

1090

02

00

CustomerA

The following tables illustrate the difference between the two aggregation methods.
AFR 9.05 behavior - Aggregate using the full accounting string from transaction lines:
Date

Amount

GL Account String

2015/10/3

8.00

1090-02-00-CustomerA

2015/10/15

10000.00

1090-02-00

2015/10/15

250.00

1090-02-00-CustomerA

This is the default behavior if you want to replicate to an existing AFR financial database converted from AFR
9.05.
Aggregate using balance segment settings in ERP - Aggregate using Balance Segment settings in Epicor
ERP:
Date

Amount

Balance Segment Account

2015/10/3

8.00

1090-02-00

2015/10/15

10250.00

1090-02-00

With this method, the other segments are ignored for the purposes of daily balance creation.
This is the default behavior if you want to replicate to a new AFR 10 financial database.

Using AFR Replication Monitor


Setting up SQL replication tasks in the AFR Replication Monitor involves the following steps:
1. Connect to an AFR financial database
2. Create replication tasks, including detail on these elements:
Company/Books to replicate
Fiscal Years to replicate
3. Set Granularity
4. Set the replication task name prefix
5. Specify security settings
6. Initialize the tasks to begin replication

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Launch AFR Replication Monitor


To set up new tasks to replicate data from a source ERP database to an AFR financial database, first launch the
AFR Replication Monitor.
Main Menu Path: Start > All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > Replication
Monitor.
1. The Connect to AFR Financial DB window displays.

2. If necessary, select the required server in the SQL Server field.


3. Select an existing AFR financial database from the Database drop-down list.
4. To create a new financial database, select <Create new...> from the drop-down list.
5. If you create a new database here, the Create a new AFR financial DB window displays.

6. Enter a suitable Database Name.


7. Click Create. The database name is selected in the Database field.
8. Click OK.

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9. The AFR Replication Monitor launches.

10. The Replication Tasks sheet displays details of existing replication tasks (if any).
11. The ERP Databases sheet displays details of the ERP database to which you are connected.

Create Replication Tasks with AFR Replication Wizard


The following sections describe how to create new replication tasks. To do this, you use the AFR Replication
Wizard.

Select ERP Source


1. In the AFR Replication Monitor, click Subscribe.

2. The AFR Replication Wizard - Source ERP Type window displays.

3. In the Source ERP Type field, select the type of ERP database from which you are replicating. The options
are:
Epicor 9.05 - When you select this option, only Epicor 9.05 source databases are available or selection
in the next window.
Epicor ERP - When you select this option, source databases from Epicor 9.05 and Epicor 10 are available
for selection in the next window.

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iScala - When you select this option, only iScala source databases are available for selection in the next
window.
Prophet 21 - When you select this option, only Prophet 21 source databases are available for selection
in the next window.
4. Click Next.

Select ERP Database


1. The AFR Replication Wizard From window displays.

2. In the SQL Server field, specify the server where the ERP source database is located.
3. In the Database field, select the source ERP database.
4. Click Next.

Select Companies and Books to Replicate


1. The AFR Replication Wizard Company and Book Filter window displays.

2. In the tree view, select the companies or individual books you want to replicate.

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Select a company to automatically select all its books.


3. If you want to replicate all companies and books in the ERP database, select <All companies>.
4. Click Next.

Set Company and Fiscal Year Granularity


1. The AFR Replication Wizard Granularity window displays.

2. In the Re-initialization options section, select how to divide companies and books into separate replication
tasks. Available options:
All companies together All companies and books are included in one task
Each company independently from others A separate task is created for each company. The task
includes all the books selected in the company.
Each company and book independently from others A separate task is created for each
company/book combination.
3. Select Include all new companies in replication to automatically add companies created in the future to
the replication tasks.
4. Similarly, select Include all new books in replication to automatically add books created in the future to
the replication tasks.
5. Click Next.

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6. A second AFR Replication Wizard Granularity window displays.

7. In the Replicate from year field, specify the earliest year from which you want to start replication.
8. In the Re-Initialization options section, select whether to separate different fiscal years into individual
tasks. Available options:
All years together No separation of tasks according to fiscal year.
Each year independently from others - A separate task is created for each fiscal year.
9. Select Include all new years to automatically add fiscal years created in the future to the replication tasks.
10. Click Next.

Set Daily Balance Aggregation and Task Prefix


1. If you are using the Epicor ERP replication plugin, the AFR Replication Wizard Type of
aggregation window displays.

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2. For aggregation behavior, select from the two alternatives:


AFR 9.05 behavior - Aggregate using the full accounting string from transaction lines
Aggregate using balance segment settings in ERP - Aggregate using Balance Segment settings in
Epicor ERP
3. Click Next.
4. The AFR Replication Wizard Miscellaneous window displays.

5. In the Replication task name prefix field, accept or overwrite the default task name prefix which displays.
When created, each replication task uses the prefix,
followed by a unique numerical identifier. This is the task
ID used by SQL Management Studio in the publisher and
subscriber servers.

6. Select the Start replication immediately check box if you want replication to initialize as soon as the tasks
are created. Otherwise, you have to manually initialize each task after creation.
7. In the Select path for shared folder field, you can specify an alternative location to set up snapshot scripts.
By default, the snapshot scripts folder is located on the
Epicor ERP (Publisher) server.

8. Click Next.

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Review Tasks for Creation


1. The AFR Replication Wizard Task Review window displays, with details of the replication tasks that
will be created. The number of tasks depends on the level of granularity you specified for companies/books
and fiscal years.
There is always just one Setup info task.

2. To add more tasks, click New.


3. The Create New Task window displays. Specify the companies, books, and fiscal years for which to add
tasks.

4. Click OK.

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5. To delete a task, select it in the grid and click Delete.

6. To edit a task, select it in the grid, and click Edit.


7. The Edit replication task window displays. Enter additional companies, books, or fiscal years to the same
task.

8. Click OK.
9. Once you have added, edited, or deleted tasks as required, click Next.

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Enter Security Credentials and Create Tasks


1. The AFR Replication Wizard Task security window displays.

2. In the Windows account field, enter the domain\username.


3. Enter the Password.
This is the username and password which will be used to
run the SQL Replication tasks. They must be entered here
for replication to function.

4. Click Next.
5. The AFR Replication Wizard - Configuring SQL Replication window displays. The task creation process
starts. Each action displays in the Message field, and the status bar displays the progress of the task generation
process.

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6. When the process is complete, the last message line displays the location where the log file is saved, in case
you need to review it. This file can be useful for troubleshooting.
7. Click Done.
8. The tasks display in the AFR Replication Monitor.

Initialize Replication Tasks


Once you have created tasks with the AFR Replication Wizard, you must initialize each task to start replication.
To initialize tasks in the AFR Replication Monitor:
1. Select the task you want to initialize.

2. Click Initialize.
If you selected the Start replication immediately check
box on the AFR Replication Wizard - Miscellaneous
window, it is not necessary to initialize the tasks, as they
initialize as soon as they are created.

3. To view the current status of the tasks, click Refresh.


4. The Last Action field displays the latest information for each task.

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Monitor and Change Replication Task Status


Replication can be monitored via the AFR Replication Monitor or using standard SQL Server Replication Monitor.
This section describes the first method. For the second method refer to MS SQL Server help materials.
There are various actions you can perform on existing tasks. Each action has a corresponding button on the
toolbar.
Sometimes it is necessary to reinitialize a replication task, for example due to a network disconnect between the
source and target database.
1. Use the toolbar buttons to execute the various functions available in the AFR Replication Monitor.

2. Select a task and click Edit to adjust the following aspects of the task:
Add or remove companies, books, and fiscal years.
Select/clear the Include all new companies in replication and Include all new books in replication
check boxes.

3. Remove a task by clicking the Unsubscribe button. When you remove a task in the Replication Monitor,
the related SQL entities - publisher, subscriber, job - are deleted from SQL automatically.
4. Click Refresh to view the current status of a task.
5. Click Suspend to temporarily stop replication tasks.
There may be occasions when your company needs to
generate a large number of reports in the AFR Report
Viewer. If you want to ensure exactly the same data is
used for all the reports, you can temporarily suspend
replication tasks, to ensure no new data is added to the
AFR database during report generation.

6. Click Resume to restart the tasks after suspension.


7. The Last Action and Last Action Time fields give details of the latest status; click Refresh to update these
fields.

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8. The Last Error and Last Error Time fields provide information on errors encountered in a particular task.
For details on troubleshooting, view the application help.
9. The Change Queue field displays the number of items due to replicate from the source ERP database to
the target AFR database. If, after some time, this number does not reduce, it may indicate an issue with the
replication.
10. If you need to update the Windows user and password details, for example due to their expiry, navigate to
the ERP Databases sheet and click Change replication task credentials.

11. The Task security window displays.

12. Enter account and password details.


13. Click OK.
Once the replication tasks are up and running, you can close the AFR Replication Monitor; it is not necessary to
keep the application open.
When you create the replication tasks, the replication monitor log file is created in the location displayed in the
Message field in the last step of the AFR Replication Wizard. This file can be helpful for troubleshooting.

Summary
Now that the database replication process is duplicating financial data, you are ready to build your AFR reports.
You next need to configure the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting tools within the report server environment
and any workstation environments you need. These tools connect to the subscriber databases, so you can display
the financial data regularly generated through data replication. The next chapter documents how you set up and
configure the AFR reporting tools.

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Setup and Configuration | Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Setup and Configuration


This chapter looks at the AFR Logon Server configuration file, which it may be necessary to alter to make sure it points
to the correct URLs required to create and view reports. It also provides an overview of the basic steps to take when
launching the AFR Report Designer for the first time, to create a new report definition database. For full information
on installing AFR, refer to the AFR Installation Guide.
When you finish the setup and configuration, you will be ready to create and view advanced financial reports.

Configure Logon Server


If necessary, in the AFR Logon Server config file, you can specify the URL of the SSRS report manager, and specify
which SSRS server(s) can be accessed.
To configure the Logon Server:
1. On the server, navigate to the location where your AFR Logon Server is installed. For example: C:\Program
Files\Epicor Software\AFR\Logon Server. Using a text editor like Notepad, open this file:
Epicor.FinancialReporter. LogonServer. WinService.exe.config.

2. In the text of this file, within the <ReportViewer> element, locate the <ReportManagerUrl>,
<WebServiceUrl> and <AFRReportServerURL> lines .

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3. These correspond to the fields used when the AFR Logon Server was setup during installation.

4. If you do not know these URLs, you can use the Reporting Services Configuration Manager. To launch
this program, navigate to: Start > All Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2008 > Configuration Tools
> Reporting Services Configuration Manager. Connect to the server.

The ReportManagerURL is only used by the AFR Report


Viewer application, which retrieves this URL after it
connects to the Logon Server and opens the URL as a
default home page.

5. On the left navigation menu, select Report Manager URL.


6. In the Report Manager URL section, review the URL.

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7. Copy the URL text and paste it between the [ ] within the ReportManagerURL line in the configuration file.

8. Now follow these same steps for the Web Service URL. Return to the Reporting Services Configuration
Manager. On the left navigation menu, select Web Service URL.

9. In the Web Service URL section, review the Web Service URL.

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10. Copy the URL text and paste it between the [ ] of the WebService URL line in the configuration file.

11. In the <AFRReportServerUrl> element, you specify the URL of the AFR Report Server. This URL is used by
the AFR installer to extract the URL for shortcut creation.

12. This setting was initialized during installation, using the value specified in the AFR Report Server URL field
on the AFR Logon Server settings installation screen.

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13. This URL was used by the AFR installer to extract the URL for creation of the AFR Report Server shortcut.

If the user selects to install the AFR Server Shortcut


(instead of the AFR Report Viewer), and there is already
an AFR Logon Server installed on the network, the installer
prompts the user to select a Logon Server, then connects
to it and retrieves the URL specified in the
<AFRReportServerUrl> tag of the Logon Server config file.
The installer then creates a Start menu shortcut pointing
to this URL. This tag is not used for the AFR Report Viewer.

14. Save the Logon Server configuration file.

Request License
If your license expires, or you need a new license to enable the batch schedule feature, you have to request a
new one from Epicor Customer Support.
When the request is verified, Epicor Customer Support will generate the new AFR license and email it to you. For
details on how to request a license, refer the AFR Installation Guide.

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Windows Path: Start > All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > License Requester

Report Components Setup


When the Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting license is active, you are ready to install and configure the reporting
components the Report Designer and Report Viewer. You must install these applications on the report server
environment. If you will build advanced financial reports on one or more workstations, you must install these
tools on these workstation environments as well.

Configure Report Designer


When you first launch the Report Designer, the system prompts you to select an AFR Logon Server.
Windows Path: Start > Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > Report Designer
To select the logon server:
1. When you first launch the Report Designer, the Select Logon Server window displays. Server(s) licensed
through Epicor are available for selection.
2. Select the logon server and click Connect.
The Report Designer will remember the chosen logon
server, and will not prompt you for selection in future, as
long as the same logon server is accessible when you
launch the application. To force the Report Designer to
display the prompt, use the '-s' argument in the command
line for the program.

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3. When the license and server are validated, the Log on to Report Definition DB window displays.

4. If necessary, select the required SQL Server.


If you need to verify the SQL Server host name, you can
open SQL Server Management Studio and review the host
name information.

5. Enter your User and Password or select the Use Windows credentials check box to enter your network
ID.
6. Select an existing report definition database in the Database field.
7. To convert an existing database from a previous AFR version, select the Show previous versions check
box, then select a database from the Database list. You will be prompted to give the database a new name.
8. Click OK.
The Report Designer launches.

Create New Report Definition Database


If you do not have a report definition database to select, for example when you first launch the Report Designer
in a new AFR installation, create a new report definition database:
1. Select Create new from the Database drop-down list.

2. The Create report definition DB window displays.

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3. Enter the Database Name you want for your new database.
4. Click Create. The database is generated.
5. In the Log on to Report Definition DB window, click OK. You have created the new report definition database.
The definitions for the advanced financial reports you will build are stored within this database.

The Report Designer launches.

Report Designer Settings


When you create a new report definition database, you must also configure the Report Designer settings, to
select the AFR financial database used by RDL files and the report preview function.
1. In the Report Designer, select Settings from the Tools menu.

2. The Settings window displays.

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3. On the RDL sheet, enter the Web Service URL.


4. If you do not know this URL, you can use the Reporting Services Configuration Manager. To launch
this program, navigate to: Start > All Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (or 2012)> Configuration
Tools > Reporting Services Configuration Manager.

5. Click Find to locate your Server Name.


6. Click Connect.

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7. On the left navigation menu, select Web Service URL.

8. In the Web Service URL section, review the Report Server Web Service URLs information. This URL
displays as a blue underlined link. Verify this URL is the same as the one you entered on the Settings > RDL
window in the Report Designer.
9. Return to the Settings > RDL sheet in the Report Designer. To verify you have a valid URL, click the Test
connection button.

10. If the connection works, you see a message stating the Reporting Services server is connected. Click OK.

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11. The Data source Name is the folder that will contain your reports in SSRS. This is automatically created by
AFR.

12. The Default SSRS Folder is called AFR, unless you decide to change it.
If security considerations mean you require several separate folders on the same server, each must have a
different name.
13. Select the SQL Server where the AFR financial database is located.
14. In the Database field, select the database that contains replicated AFR financial data.
15. Click OK.

Summary
This chapter looked at three important fields in the Logon Server config file, which you may need to configure.
Once your AFR installation is configured, you can launch the AFR Report Designer, connect to the Logon Server
and create a new Report Definition Database, or select an existing one.

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Chapter 4: Designer Settings and Tools


You can configure the Report Designer through a number of settings and tools. Use these options to modify the Report
Designer for use in your environment. For example, you can set details of the database you use for financial report
data and report preview data, indicate how many rows are created by default within each row set, and set default
display formats for dates and fiscal periods.
As you create advanced financial reports, you can export report elements (row sets, column sets, reports, and so on)
to a separate location in order to create backup copies. This export functionality can also make these report elements
available for other users. Other users can then import these report elements into their Report Designer environments
and modify them to create their own advanced financial reports. In addition, you can import existing reports from
Microsoft Management Reporter and FRx, then customize them for use in AFR.

Report Designer Settings


The Report Designer contains several global settings you need to configure. These global settings are used for
all of the advanced financial reports you create. This section explores the global setting options available within
the Report Designer.
You define these setting options directly within the Report Designer:
Main Menu Path: Start > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > Report Designer
To access the Settings window:
1. From the Tools menu, select Settings.

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2. The Settings window displays. Notice this window has four sheets General, RDL, Preview and Default
Formats.

The rest of this section explores the options available on each of these sheets.

General Settings
The General settings sheet contains overall settings for the Report Designer. These options define how various
functions perform while you create advanced financial reports.
1. Click the General tab.

2. In the Rows in a new row set field, enter the number of rows you want to display within new row sets.
This value is for convenience - it limits the number of rows you will typically need within each new row set.
Enter a value that best reflects your average reporting needs. If you do not have enough rows when creating
reports, you can always add more rows. You can also delete any unwanted rows from your row sets.
3. In the New row number increment in a new row set field, enter the numerical gap you want to have
in between rows in a row set. The default value is 10, meaning rows are numbered 10, 20, 30, and so on.
It is useful to have a gap, so you can later add additional rows in between, if required. For example, you
might create an addition row 15 betweeen rows 10 and 20.

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4. If you want Report Definition Language (RDL) files to automatically open in Microsoft Visual Studio when
you generate them, select the Edit generated RDLs by default check box.
5. Select the Use summary balances check box to indicate summary balances will be used in a report. When
selected, the Report Designer uses the Summary and Summary/Detail balance types. If you do not select
this check box, the Report Designer uses the Detail and Summary/Detail balance types.
6. The Show Nan and Infinity as field defines how NaN (null) and Infinity values will display on your
advanced financial reports. The default value is an en dash (-), but you can enter another symbol if you
prefer.
7. Select the Use column names in the expression builder check box to indicate that column names display
within the Expression Builder window. You use this window to create calculations for specific fields within
each advanced financial report. If you select this check box, the columns names are available for use in
expressions as you need.
8. In the Default 'edit' access role field, enter the default user or group with Edit rights on new reports.
When you create a new report, this user or group can then automatically make changes to this report. You
can then give other users and groups Edit rights to the report on the Security sheet. For more information,
review Chapter 5: Report Design; the Report Security section describes this functionality.

9. In the Default 'view' access role field, enter the default user or group with View rights on new reports.
When you create a new report, this user or group can then automatically launch and view the report. You
can then give other users and groups View rights to the report on the Security sheet.
10. In the SQL query timeout seconds field, define how long a query can be idle before it stops, or times out.
You enter this value in seconds; for example, 180 seconds (3 minutes).
11. If you select the Start Column Expressions Assistant for new columns check box, the assistant will
launch whenever you create a new column in a column set.
12. If reports are likely to contain more than 5,000 rows, enter a suitable value in the Maximum rows in a list
field.
This value applies to both report preview and report RDL files launched in a web browser.
13. Select the Enable segment display order to display GL account strings in the same segment order as they
display in the Epicor ERP application.

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RDL Settings
Use the report definition language (RDL) settings to define how your RDL files interact with SQL Server for
Reporting Services (SSRS). You define the location of both the web service and the reporting database. The RDL
files can then access the SSRS functionality and display data from your database.
To configure the RDL Settings:
1. Click the RDL tab.

2. The Web service URL used for the report server displays in the top field. This URL is received from the
Logon Server and set by default when the report definition database is created. The setup places the URL
in the logon server config file.
3. To verify this connection, click the Test connection button.
4. The Data Source Name field displays the name of the AFR Report Definition Database, with the prefix
'DS1_'.
5. In the Default SSRS Folder, you can specify the folder where all newly-generated or imported RDL files are
stored. The default folder is AFR.
If you change the default folder, it does not affect RDL
files that were already generated.

6. The SQL Server field displays the location of the AFR financial database which provides the financial data
when you launch a report RDL file.
7. The Use Windows credentials check box is selected by default. If specific AFR login credentials are used
instead, clear the check box and enter the username and password.
8. In the Database drop-down list, select the AFR financial database that contains the replicated financial
data to display on reports when you launch a report's RDL file in a web browser.
To launch and view reports in a browser, you must specify
a database in this field.

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Preview Settings
Use the Preview sheet to set up how reports will display in the preview window. This sheet defines the server
and the database used to pull in data for display on each financial report preview when you click Generate
report preview in the Report Designer.
To configure the Preview settings:
1. Click the Preview tab.

2. The SQL Server drop-down list displays the SQL Server that contains the AFR financial database. If the
database for previews is on a different server, specify the address in this field.
3. The Use Windows credentials check box is selected by default. If specific AFR login credentials are used
instead, clear the check box and enter the username and password.
4. In the Database drop-down list, select the database that contains the financial data to use in report previews.
The AFR financial database used for report previews can
be the same as the database used for reports when you
launch an RDL file. However, you may want to use a static
sample database for previews, with data that does not
change, so you can be sure what results to expect as you
create and preview your report designs. Also, you may
want to avoid using the real financial database for
previews, as a matter of security.

Default Formats
Use the Default Formats sheet to set up how dates and periods will display by default in reports. If no default is
specified, the system default is used.
To configure the Default Format settings:
1. Navigate to the Default Formats tab.

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2. The Sample fields display the default date format and fiscal period format, unless you specify a different
format.
3. In the Fiscal Period Format field, enter a default display format.
Use Y (year) and P (period) to format the period display.
The default is YYYY[-S]/PP, for example, 2015/07.

4. Right-click in the Date Format field to select a format from the options which display.

5. When you finish defining the global settings you want for the Report Designer, click OK.

Export Report Elements


The Report Designer contains functionality you use to export selected reports, report elements, and RDL files
currently loaded into memory. This feature moves your report elements to a directory path you specify. The export
function is primarily used to move report definitions between different report definition databases.
Export reports to ensure you have backup copies you can later
import if needed. When you upgrade to the latest AFR release,
the system automatically exports and imports reports created
in the previous versions; you do not have to do this manually.
To export elements currently open in the Report Designer:
1. From the File menu, select Export.

2. Select the report element you want to export. In this example, you select the Reports option.

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3. The Export <Report Element Name> window displays.

4. Enter the File Path to which you will save the elements. You can directly enter this path or click the ellipsis
button (...) to find and select the location you need.
5. Select Include Security Settings to retain the security settings of the report element.
6. If you are exporting reports, select the Include RDLs check box to export the RDL files as well.
7. When you finish, click OK.
The selected report elements currently open in the Report Designer are exported to the location specified.
You and other users can now import these report elements into another environment that contains the
Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting toolset.

Import Report Elements


If any report elements are exported to an accessible network location, you can then import these reporting
elements into a Report Designer environment.
To import reports or report elements into the Report Designer:
1. From the File menu, select Import > Exported AFR Reports.

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2. The Import window displays.

3. Either manually enter the File Path to the directory that contains the exported report elements, or click the
ellipsis button (...) to search and select this location.
4. Select Include Security Settings to import any security settings in the reports and their elements.
Even if this option is not selected, the current user is always added to the list of users who can edit and view
the report.
5. To include RDL files in the import, select the Include RDLs check box.
The import file will not contain RDLs if they were not
included in the export. In such cases, the RDL files can be
uploaded to the SSRS server manually using, for example,
Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder. You would then
run the Refresh RDL List command from the Actions menu.

6. Click OK.
7. If you attempt to import an element which is already in the memory, an Object Exists warning message
displays for each item, prompting you to decide whether to overwrite the existing element or not.

8. The imported items display in the Tree View.

9. Click Save on the Standard toolbar to save the reports in the database.

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Import Management Reporter Reports


The Report Designer contains functionality to import reports and related objects from a Microsoft Management
Reporter database and convert them for use in Advanced Financial Reporting.
To import Management Reporter reports into the Report Designer:
1. From the File menu, select Import > Management Reporter DB.

2. The Log on to MS MR Report Definition DB window displays.

3. In the SQL Server field enter or select the SQL server location from which you want to import.
4. In the Database field, select the Management Reporter database you want to import.
5. Click OK.

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6. The Select MR objects to import window displays. You can select reports and/or underlying elements to
import.

7. In the Default entity field, select from available companies.


8. Use the Selected check box to indicate which items to import.
If you select a report, its underlying elements are automatically selected as well.
9. Click OK to run the import and conversion.
10. If there are no unexpected errors, click OK to the Conversion finished successfully message that displays
a path to the log file for the conversion.

After conversion, the report and/or objects imported are available in the report designer.
If there are unexpected errors, the message Conversion finished with errors displays. In this case, review the
log file in the location specified on the message.
In certain expected cases, where a Management Reporter
element is not converted to AFR, and must be addressed for
the AFR report to function correctly, the unconverted element
displays in the relevant AFR dimension enclosed between the
special characters /* and */. These items display in the log file
marked Warning. For more information on this subject, refer
to the Epicor AFR MMR Conversion Guide on Epicweb.

Import FRx Reports


The Report Designer also contains functionality to import reports and related objects from a Microsoft FRx
database and convert them for use in Advanced Financial Reporting. This works in a similar way to the Import
Management Reporter Database functionality, except you do not have to log on to a database. Instead, you
select the FRx database from its location.

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Load Style Theme


You can select an alternative style theme for the AFR Report Designer, to suit your color scheme and window
preferences.
To change the current style theme:
1. From the Tools menu, select Load Style Theme.

2. The Open Style File window displays.


By default, the Program Files\Epicor Software\AFR folder opens.

3. Select the style file you require (.isl).


4. Click Open.

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5. The Report Designer displays with the new theme.

The default theme is Inspired AFR.isl

Summary
The Report Designer contains several settings and tools you use to fit the application within your report
development environment. Modify the various available settings to set up the Report Designer defaults as you
need.
Use the search, export, and import functionality to manage your report elements. Use these features to export
the report elements into a backup location, and optionally import these existing report elements into other Report
Designer environments.
Use the sheets in the Settings window to set up a number of important defaults, such as the database used to
retrieve financial data, as well as default date display formats, or the standard number of rows in a row set.

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Chapter 5: Row and Column Sets


You create advanced financial reports in the Epicor Financial Report Designer. This complete tool contains the functionality
you need to design each report definition. Use the Report Designer to create row sets and indicate what displays on
each row within this set. You likewise will develop column sets, defining what data displays within each column.
For both the row definitions and column definitions, you then construct expressions that indicate what financial data
can be pulled into each cell. To create these expression, the Expression Builder is a useful tool which can help you select
suitable keywords and values for each expression. Row sets and column sets form the basic reporting structure that
pulls in the financial information you want on the report.
If you want to reuse a row set or a column set, you can make a copy of the item, paste the row or column set back
into the Report Designer, and make minor adjustments to the new row or column set. Leverage this feature to develop
a series of similar row and column sets you can reuse on multiple reports.
In addition, you can set different styles and formats for each column and row, which helps give the final report a more
professional - and comprehensible - effect.
You can also make use of the Row Set Wizard to create entire row sets in a few simple steps. You can create row sets
based on account categories, segment values, or sections, which represent headers and sub-headers in the report. In
a similar way, you can use the Column Set Wizard to create column sets suitable for balance sheet, income statement,
or trial balance reports.

The Epicor AFR Report Designer


You create new financial reports and update existing reports using the Epicor Financial Report Designer. Through
this central AFR tool, you create the rows, columns, reporting trees, and dictionaries that will display data within
your advanced financial reports. This tool contains the functionality you need to define how the rows and columns
pull in data at report runtime.
Main Menu Path: Start > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > Report Designer

Row Sets
Row sets are one of the primary elements on each advanced financial report. Each row set contains a series of
rows; you can add or remove rows as you need. You can also define the expression each row uses to pull in
specific data. You do this by selecting a row type that defines what displays on the row. For example, you can
enter an expression to define which GL accounts display on each row. You also determine the numerical format
for each row, as well as font, alignment, and color of the text within the row.
Additionally, each row set can be linked to a drill-down report. For example, users can launch a drill-down report
to display more detailed data related to a summary report. Each row set can also be assigned to multiple versions.
Leverage this key feature to create row definitions that can be used for different companies or GL books which
use a different chart of accounts. Versions are very important if your organization has a multi-company or
multi-book environment; you can then use the same advanced financial report to create reports that display data
from different GL sources throughout your organization.

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Create a Row Set


You create a row set on the Row Sets > Detail > General sheet.
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Row Set.

2. The Row Sets > Detail > General sheet displays.


3. Enter the Name for the row set. Use a descriptive name that will help you and other AFR users quickly
understand the purpose of the row set.
4. If you want this row set to use a pre-built set of parameters, select an option from the Dictionary list.
A dictionary contains reusable groups of accounts, row expressions, column expressions, and reporting tree
datasets. You create dictionaries and their definitions in the Report Designer. If you want to include dictionary
definitions in this row set, select the dictionary you want from this list.
5. When you finish defining the main row set options, click the Save button.
You are now ready to define definitions for each row.

Row Definitions
Use the sheets under the Row Definitions tab to add, edit, delete, and review report rows. Through this
functionality, you indicate what financial information displays on the various advanced financial reports that use
this row set. You also indicate the text color, cell color, font type, size, and style displayed on each row.

Use the List Sheet


When creating row definitions, you will mostly use the Row Definitions > List sheet. This sheet displays all the
rows together in a grid, which gives you a better picture of how all the rows will be laid out in the final report.
The List sheet is also useful for viewing and applying formatting to each row, for example, font, alignment, color.

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The controls and fields you can modify on the List sheet are also available on the Row Definitions > Detail >
General sheet, where you can also set the Numeric Format for individual rows. If you select a row in the grid,
press Tab to quickly move through the updatable options on each row.
To set row definitions on the List sheet:
1. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > List sheet.

2. Select a row from the tree view or in the grid.


3. Click in the Number field to manually change the numeric value of the row. You only need to do this if you
want to change the order of rows.
4. Enter a Description for the row that explains its purpose.
The Description can also provide a label for display on the
report, if you use RowDescription as the expression in a
column.

5. Select the row Type from the list. The row type either indicates what data is pulled into the row or defines
a format item used to organize other rows. Available options:
Account Sum Use this row type to select specific accounts, a range of accounts, or a series of account
categories. The financial values from these selected accounts or categories are totalled and the resulting
sum of these values display in this row. To define what accounts are summarized on this row, enter an
expression in the Expression field. For example, the expression 5* is analogous to the expression SUM({5*})
in an Expression row type (see below).
Account List Use this row type to develop a financial detail report. When you use this row type, you
do not define each row to pull in data from a specific account. Instead, you can leverage this row type
to select a list of accounts and their values. You can then create an expression to define the list of accounts
that displays on the report. For example, you can create an expression that dynamically pulls in all income
accounts. The expression syntax is the same as in the Account Sum type.

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When the report is run, this row automatically displays a list of all active income accounts, with each
account in a separate row. Use this powerful row type to build financial reports that dynamically build
results depending on the current state of the chart of accounts. Use the Settings field to determine which
account segments to group by.
Row Sum Select this row type to add other rows together. You can set up a row that totals values for
a list or selection of other rows. For example, the expression 10:100 is analogous to the expression
SUM([R10]:[R100]) in an Expression row type.
Expression Use this row type to build a mathematical equation that will calculate an amount to display
in this row. Various parameters are available in the Expression Builder to create the expression, which
can refer to features of other rows, and include complex calculations. You can use this row type to add
a row range to an account amount without having to create separate row definitions. For example,
SUM({5*}) + SUM([R10]:[R100]).
Single Under Score Places one underscore line across the bottom of this row. Use this type to break
up the rows into different sections or to indicate subtotal and total rows.
Double Under Score Places two underscore lines across the bottom of this row. Use this type to break
up the rows into different sections or to indicate subtotal and total rows.
In column definitions, you can use the Include
underscore line option to determine if underscore
rows apply to the column.
Single Line Places one line across the middle of this row. Use this type to break up the rows into
different sections or to indicate subtotal and total rows.
Double Line Places two lines across the middle of this row. Use this type to break up the rows into
different sections or to indicate subtotal and total rows.
Page Break Select this row type to indicate the next row will display on a new page. Use this row type
to divide the report into the various logical sections you need.
Group Start Use this type to designate the beginning of a row grouping. If you enter a Group Start
row, you must also enter a Group End row. For example, row grouping can be used to loop through a
range of accounts and output the inner rows for each account.
Group End Use this type to designate the end of a row grouping. All rows between a Group Start
row and its corresponding Group End row are included in the grouping.
6. The Expression field defines what displays within each row. Depending on the row type, you can define a
specific account, a range of accounts, a total value from selected accounts, or calculate an amount using a
mathematical or logical expression. Although you can directly enter an expression in this field, you can also
click the ellipsis button (...) to launch the Expression Builder. A later section explains how to use this tool.
When a user runs a report that uses this row, the values that display reflect the expression defined for the
row.
You can leave a row blank to create additional space on
the report. You do not define an expression for a blank
row, but you have to select a row type. This row type can
either be Account Sum or Account List. Because you do
not define an expression, however, this row will appear
blank when the report is generated.

7. Select the Hidden check box to hide this row. When this report displays at runtime, the row does not display,
but any report calculations based on the row still display in other visible rows.

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8. In the Books field, you can optionally specify company/book combinations by which to filter the row. The
selected company/books must use the same chart of accounts as the report's main company/book. Click
the ellipsis button (...) in the field to use the Expression Builder to view and select valid combinations.
Book filters set on a row override the report parameters.
9. In the Period From and Period To fields, you can optionally specify date or period values to filter the row.
These values override the values you set on the report parameters. Use the Expression Builder to help create
more complex period or date expressions.
10. If the row type is Account List, use the Settings field to determine how to group account segments. Click
the ellipsis button () in the Settings field.
11. The Account List Settings window displays.

12. Select the check box for the segments by which you want to group data into rows. For example, if you want
to group the rows in an account list by segment 1 only (usually the natural account), select Segment 1. The
resulting expression displays in the Settings field, where an asterisk (*) denotes the selected segments. Thus
the row displays data grouped by the selected segment values, not by individual accounts.
By default, all segments are selected.

Enter Row Definition Details


The Row Definitions > Detail > General sheet displays additional detail for an individual row. For example, use
this sheet to change the numeric format for the selected row:

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1. In the Tree View, select a row you want to define. In this example, you select row 10.

2. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > Detail > General sheet.
You can update the various fields in the same way as on the List sheet.
3. Select the Override report numeric format check box to enable the fields in the Numeric format pane
and override the report's default numeric format. (The default numeric format for a report is configured on
the Reports > Detail > Options sheet.)
4. The following numeric values are available for formatting:
Rounding - Select from No Rounding, Nearest Hundred, Thousands, Milllions, and Billions. To
round to whole numbers, combine the Rounding selection with the Decimal Places selection.
Decimal places - Enter the number of decimal places with which you want the report values to display
(up to 12). The default decimal places value is 2.
Thousand separator symbol - Enter the separator symbol of your choice. When this field is left blank,
values display without a separator symbol; for example, 1000.
Currency symbol - Enter the symbol for the current report's currency; for example, $. You can also use
non-currency symbols. For example, if a particular row displays percentages, use the % symbol.
Wrap negative numbers in symbols - In their rightful fields, enter an open symbol and a close symbol
in which you want negative numbers to display; for example, ( ).
Show zero as - Select how to display zero (0) values on the selected report: As is, Blank, String. If you
select String, an extra field displays, where you can enter the symbol you want to use to represent zero.
Show currency after value - Clear this check box to have the defined currency symbol display before
values instead of after values; for example, $531.80. By default, this check box is selected.

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5. Continue modifying each row as you need. When you finish defining the rows, click the Save button on
the Standard toolbar.

Create a Row Expression


You can build the expressions for each row as you need, setting up the row to display the financial data required
for the report. Although you can enter these expressions manually, the Report Designer has an Expression Builder
window that streamlines this process. Depending on the row type you select, the Expression Builder displays
different controls to link the row with your chart of accounts structure and create mathematical equations that
calculate amounts for display.
To create an expression for an Account Sum or an Account List row type:
1. Click the Type drop-down list and select Account Sum.

2. Click the ellipsis button ().

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3. The Expression Builder window displays the controls you need to build an account summary row.

4. You can begin by entering an account number within the Expression field.
5. You can also enter account options within the Account Builder grid. For example, you can enter a range
of accounts . Any changes you make then display within the Expression field.
The segment headers that display in the Account Builder
depend on the company and chart of accounts you select
in the Available accounts/segments section below.

6. Alternatively, use the Available accounts/segments section to select the company and chart of accounts
(COA) you want to use, to display a list of valid GL accounts for that company/COA combination. This can
help ensure you select valid values for the company and COA you want to use in the report.
7. Select the Company you need from the drop down list. All companies replicated to your AFR financial
database display on this list.
8. Select the Chart of accounts you want to use for this row. All charts of accounts created for the selected
company display in the drop down list.
9. Use the Accounts of chart [Selected chart] sheet to view the available full GL accounts.
10. If a specific segment has focus in the Account Builder grid (in this example, the Chart segment has focus),
click the Values of segment '[Segment Name]' sheet to view and select from the segments available.
Some example expressions for Account Sum and Account List rows:
5*:6*
7*
8*^*-00

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1000-01-00, 1010-01-00
The asterisk (*) acts as a wildcard in expressions. A colon
(:) denotes a range, a comma (,) denotes individual,
separately selected items, and ^ denotes exclusion. For
example, 1^*-00 - represents all accounts starting with
1 in the first segment except those whose segment 2
value is 00.

Row Sum Type


The Expression Builder displays different controls when you need to build an expression for a Row Sum row type.
You use this row type to create subtotal and total rows on your report. To create an expression for a Row Sum
row type:
1. Click the Type drop-down list and select the Row Sum option.

2. Click the ellipsis button (...).

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3. The Expression Builder window displays the controls you need to create a sum of other rows.

4. All of the rows available within the current row set display within the Row Selector grid.
5. Select the first row you want to include in the range.
6. Press Shift and click the end of the range that you want, or press Ctrl to select rows individually.
You can select just a single row number if required.

7. Notice the Expression field displays the range of the rows you selected.
8. To save this row sum expression, click OK.

Expression Row Type


In order to build a mathematical or logical expression for the row, us the Expression row type. The Expression
Builder combines, Account, Row reference, mathematical and logical controls.

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1. Click the Type drop-down list and select the Expression option.

2. Click the ellipsis button (...).


3. The Expression Builder window displays.

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4. Notice that two default Math functions are available Sum (Summation) and Trunc (Truncate). Select these
functions to include them in your expression.
5. Notice that four Constants functions are available Nan (Not a Number), Infinity, True, and False. Select
these functions to include them in your expression.
6. One Logical function is available If. Select this function to include it in your expression.
7. Just like the Account Sum and Account List versions of the Expression Builder, you can select Accounts,
Account Categories, and Dictionary.
8. Select a Company and Chart of Accounts to help you select valid values from the grid.
9. If the expression you constructed is valid, the Expression is valid message displays in the lower left corner
of this window.
As you build the expression, it is immediately validated.
If there is an error, the incorrect section of the expression
is highlighted in red. An explanation for the expression
error displays in the bottom left corner.

10. You can also select Rows to display a list of available rows to use in your expression.

11. Use the Row Selector pane to select individual rows or a range of rows.
In the Expression row type, row numbers must be enclosed
in square parentheses, with the prefix 'R', for example
[R20].

12. Alternatively, you can manually enter the whole expression you require for the row in the Expression field.

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13. When you finish building your expression, click OK.

Expression Syntax
The following table displays the syntax conventions you can use within the Expression Builder window. Use these
options to build the expression you need for each row.
Expression
Name

Expression
Syntax

Description

Example

Account

{SVAL1-...-SVALn}

SVAL1, ..., and SVALn represent the


segment values of the account separated
by -.

1000-01-100

{[ABC]*[-*]}

Segment values can contain wildcards.

{1*}

{[A]?[BC]*}

Use an asterisk (*) to represent that the rest


of the segment value from its position to
the right can be anything. There can only
be one asterisk per segment value.

All accounts whose first


segment value starts with 1.
It is equivalent to {1*-*} and
{1*-*-*}

Use a question mark (?) to represent that


this position of the segment value can be
any character. There can be several
question marks per segment value.

{*-00}

Account

All accounts whose second


segment value is 00.
{1?0*}
All accounts whose first
segment value starts with 1
and has 0 at the 3rd position.

Account
Range

Starting account :
Ending account

Use this syntax to represent a set of


accounts which satisfy the range from
Starting account to Ending account.

{1000-01-100}:{9999-*}
-or{1000-01-*}:{9999-??-999}

Account
Range

Starting account :
Ending account ^
Excluded account
or

This syntax represents the same set of


{1000-01-100}:{9999-*}^{5555}
accounts mentioned above, without the
accounts in the Excluded account or range
of accounts.

range of accounts
Account List

Account1,
Account2,
...AccountN

A comma separated list of accounts. (This {1000-01-100}, {1000-01-101},


does not refer to the Account List row
{2000-00-00}
type.)

Account
Category

#[#]categoryID

A set of accounts which link to a general


#ASSETS
ledger (GL) account category. When a
second # is specified, the resulting
-oraccount set includes accounts that belong
##ASSETS
to all subcategories of the categoryID.

Category List Account category1, A comma separated list of GL account


, Account
categories.
categoryN

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Expression
Name

Expression
Syntax

Description

Example

Row
Reference

[Rn]

A reference to a row definition whose


number is n.

[R10]

Row Range

[Rs]:[Re]

A range of row definitions from row


number s to row number e.

[R10]:[R50]

Dictionary
Definition
Reference

$definitionName

A reference to a dictionary definition with


the name 'definitionName. The dictionary
must be selected in the row set.

$payroll

The row expression is replaced with the


definition when you view the report.

Format Each Row


The List sheet also provides a way to visually format each row. To do this, use the buttons on the formatting
toolbar. When you update the format of a row, the change actually displays on the Row Descriptions > List sheet.
To format a selected row on the List sheet:
1. In the List grid, select a row you want to format.

2. Select the Font you want from the list.


3. Click the Font Size drop-down list to set the text size for the row.
4. The Bold, Italics, and Underline buttons are available to modify the style of the row characters.
5. Click the alignment buttons to set the horizontal and vertical level of text in each cell.

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6. Use the Text Color and Background Color options to select a different color for the font and background
in the row.
7. Click the Decrease Indent and Increase Indent buttons to change the indent amount for the selected
row.
The indent only applies to the Description field.
8. When you finish modifying the format of each row, click Save.

Row Set Drill-Down Reports


You can define a drill-down report for a row set. You typically use this functionality to create a summary report
that totals amounts in multiple accounts, like a Summary Income Statement, which drills down to a detail report,
that breaks out these totals into their separate accounts, or even into individual GL transactions. In this way,
users have easy access to both the summary and detailed financial results. The drill-down report uses the parameters
defined for the parent report to generate the results in the child report.
There are two basic display options for drill-down reports: An Inline drill-down report displays in the same window
as the parent report - when users click a row, the row expands to display the drill down details indented below.
The alternative option is to display the drill down report separately - when you click a line in the parent report,
the drill down launches in another window.
The Inline option is useful if you want to keep everything in one window when you view the reports and their
drill-downs. However, the Inline option means that all the parent and child report(s) load together when you first
launch the report, which may mean longer loading time if the reports are large.
The Inline option is only available for row set level drill-down
reports. The Individual Row Drill-Down Report section below
explains how to assign a different drill down report to an
individual row. To also use the individual row drill-down, do
not use the Inline drill-down option.

Set Up a Row Set Drill-Down Report


To set up a row set drill-down report:
1. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Drill Down sheet.

2. In the Drill Down Report field, use the drop down list to select from currently open reports.

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3. You can also click the ellipsis button () to search and select from all existing reports.
4. In the RDL Path field, you can select an alternative RDL path and filename for the drill-down report, for
example if you have more than one RDL file associated with the report.
If <Default> is selected in this field, AFR forms the path by concatenating the default RDL path with the
name of the report definition, adding '.rdl'.
5. Select the Display as inline subreport check box if you want the drill down report to display within the
parent report. If you leave this check box clear, the drill down report will launch in a separate window when
you click on a row in the parent report.
6. The various parameters available for the selected drill-down report display within the Parameters grid.
The Value fields contain the expression used by the drill-down report to pull in attributes from the parent
financial report. You can click the ellipsis button (...) to launch the Expression Builder and modify these
expressions, but drill down parameter values are usually left unchanged.
7. Click Save.

Individual Row Drill-Down Report


You can also link a drill-down report to a specific row. At runtime, users can click on that row in a report to
launch the drill-down report. When users select a drill-down report from an individual row, various parameters
from the higher parent report pass into the parameters for the drill-down report. The data that displays on the
drill-down report reflects the values defined on these parameters.
You typically set up drill-downs on a whole row set, but you can then override this on a specific row, to launch
a different drill down report when that row is clicked. To assign a drill down from a row, you select the child
report in the parent row. Therefore, the child report must already exist in the Report Designer.
If you link an Inline drill-down report to a row set, it is not
possible to use individual row drill-downs to override the row
set drill down. If you need to use both a row set drill-down
and individual row drill-downs in the same report, do not use
the Inline option.
To set up a row drill-down report from a specific row:

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1. In the Tree View, select the row for which you want to set a drill down.

2. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > Detail > Drill Down sheet.
3. Select from currently open reports in the Drill Down Report list.
4. Alternatively, click the Search button to display all existing reports. Either select an option from the drop
down list or use the search window to select a report.
5. Click Save.

Row Set Versions


Use versions to configure a single row set to report on multiple books that use different charts of accounts (COA).
This enables you to report on multiple companies within your organization, even if they use a different COA.
Think of row versions as sub-rows of a row definition. Each row version is associated with a particular COA and
represents the same in terms of intended financial data, but different in terms of the account codes or group of
accounts which need to be used. In one row in the resulting report, you want each column to pick up the relevant
account expression by matching the COA of the book specified in the column's Book filter with the COA associated
with a row version.
If a column book filter refers to a book whose COA has no corresponding row version, the default row version
is used.
Each row version inherits the fields from the default version, except for the Expression field, which you have to
define for each row version. All the other fields, including user-defined property fields, are disabled when a
non-default row set version is activated.
The set of available row versions is defined at the row set level. You can select one of the row set versions and
fill in the row expressions which will be associated with that selected version.
Only use row set Versions when your GL books use different
COAs. If your company has multiple companies or GL books
that use the same chart of accounts, Versions are not necessary.

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Create a Row Set Version


To create a row set version:
1. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Versions sheet.
A <Default> version already displays.

2. From the New menu, select Row Set Version.


3. A new row displays in the Version Id grid.
4. Select the company and COA you want from the drop down list.

5. The company code and COA code display within the VersionId grid.
6. Click the Save button to record your changes.

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7. Click and drag the Versions sheet and dock it at the edge of the screen. This makes it easier to select the
version and see its row definitions at the same time.

8. Navigate to the Row Definitions sheet. The row definitions for the selected version display.
9. On the Versions sheet, select the new row set version.
10. Update the Expression field for Account Row, Account List, and Expression fields, according to its chart of
accounts structure. You cannot change the row Number, Description or Type.
11. Click Save.

User-Defined Properties
The purpose of user-defined (UD) properties is to enable the user to maintain some report data within the report
itself. The UD property values are not stored in the financial database, but they are available in column expressions
and treated the same way as data retrieved from the financial database, for example, via DebitAmount.
UD properties are useful with conditional column expressions (the IF function), and enable the user to apply
column expressions only to specific rows tagged with a UD property value. UD properties can also be used to
query non-AFR data from the financial database, and use the data in the report.
Once you create a new property, you can assign values to the properties on each row in the Row Definitions
sheet. You can reference these properties in column expressions to display the values on reports or use them as
variables in expressions. When you create new user properties, you give each property an alias. Use that alias to
refer to the property in column expressions. Use the format Row.Alias.
There are five types of user-defined properties available: Character, Number, Boolean, DateTime, and Query.
You can create up to ten properties of each type.
Example If certain rows in your report will give negative
amounts, but you want to show them as positive, create a
Boolean user property with a name like ReverseSign. On the

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Row Definitions sheet, select the ReverseSign check box


(=TRUE) for the rows where you want to reverse the sign. Then
in columns which display amounts, you can incorporate the
user property into the expression, for example: IF
(Row.ReverseSign = TRUE, (DebitAmount - CreditAmount *
(-1)), (DebitAmount - CreditAmount))

Query
The Query property enables you to query data from non-AFR tables in the AFR financial database, using standard
SQL query syntax. The user is responsible for maintaining that data. You can use SQL Server Replication (outside
of AFR Replication Monitor) to set up a data feed from an ERP system to a table in the AFR financial database.
Alternatively, you can create your own tables and use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to maintain the data in
those tables. For example, this could be daily budget forecasts in a hospitality business.
In addition to the Name and Alias fields, you also create an SQL query using the Query Builder, which then
displays in the Default field.
For example, if you want to incorporate elements of statistical accounting in your report, you could query other
database tables, to query values such as Head Count, Production Units, and so on. You can then reference that
query in a column expression, using the format Row.[Alias] (where [Alias] is the actual alias for the particular user
property).
Non-AFR tables are not part of the standard replication tasks
set up with the AFR Replication Monitor. Therefore, to replicate
other tables from your ERP financial database, use SQL
Management Studio to create a new table within the AFR
financial database, and set up a replication task to replicate
the required tables from your ERP database to your AFR
financial database.

Create a User Property


To create a row set user property:

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1. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > User Properties sheet.

2. From the New menu, select Row Set User Property.


A new row displays in the grid.
3. In the Name field, select the required user property from the drop down list.
4. In the Alias field, enter a suitable alias for your property.
5. If the user property is of Query type, click on the ellipsis button (...) in the default field.
6. The Query Builder window displays.

7. In the SELECT field, specify the database field(s) to retrieve from the table.
8. In the FROM field, right-click to select from a list of all non-AFR tables found in the preview AFR financial
database.

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9. In the WHERE field, right-click to select from report parameters, for example Company ID, Row or Cell
values.
To prevent users from bypassing data security settings,
AFR prohibits entry of any known AFR database objects
(tables, views, and so on) in the SELECT, FROM and
WHERE values.

10. To check the query syntax, click Check.


11. Click OK.
12. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

13. Navigate to the Row Definitions > List sheet.


14. A new column for the user property displays. Depending on the type of user property, you can enter values
for each row as required (Character, Number, or Date), or select/clear its check box (Boolean). You can then
use the property in expressions, for example in a column expression.

Copy a Row Set


To speed up report creation, you can also copy and paste an existing row set. Most of the parameters from the
original row set are automatically copied into the new row set. You also have the option of copying dictionaries
and drill-down report settings into the duplicate row set. Once you copy the row set, you can then modify the
row definitions as you need.
For example, this method is an efficient way to create corresponding summary and detail income statements.
You could first build your row set for the summary income statement. You then copy and paste this row set, and
name the new row set for the detail income statement row set. You can then navigate to the Row Sets > Detail

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> Row Definitions > List sheet and change the Account Sum rows to Account List, and change their description
to {account} or {account description}.
You cannot copy AFR elements between two instances of the
AFR report designer. All copy/paste operations work within the
same instance of the process only.
To copy a row set:
1. In the Tree View, select the row set you want to copy.

2. From the Edit menu, select Copy.


The row set is now copied to your clipboard.

3. From the Edit menu, select Paste.


4. The Copying a row set window displays, and indicates that other elements are connected to the copied
row set. Use this window to indicate which of these elements to make a copy of.
If you elect not to copy an element, the new row set will use the exact same element as the original row
set.

5. To make a separate copy of the dictionary linked to this row set, select the Dictionary check box.
6. To make a separate copy of the drill down reports attached to the row set, select the Drill-Down
Reports check box.

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7. Click Paste.
8. A new Copy_Of_ row set displays in the Tree View.

9. If you elected to copy the dictionary or drill downs, a new copy of each element also displays, including all
the elements of the drill down report.
If not, the row set refers to the same elements as the original row set.
10. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Copy and Paste Rows


You can also copy and paste individual rows, or selections of rows, within a row set. This is an easy way to copy
rows that require similar complex expressions, and only require minor amendments.
To copy and paste rows:
1. From the Tree View, select the row set.

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2. Navigate to the Row Definitions > List sheet.


3. In the grid, select the rows you want to copy. Hold Shift to select a range, or Ctrl to select several specific
rows.
4. From the Edit menu, select Copy.

5. From the Edit menu, select Paste.


6. The new rows are added above a single highlighted row, or between highlighted rows, with appropriate
row numbers.

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Change the row description, expression, and any other fields as required.

7. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.


There must be enough free row numbers between existing
rows, in order to number the new rows you paste. If not,
you will receive an error message when attempting to
paste the rows.

Row Grouping
Use row grouping to group and sort data on a report by each unique value of a specific database field or fields.
Use the Group Start and Group End row types to set up groups. All rows between the Group Start and Group
End are included in the group. A group can include several rows of different types, including Account List, Account
Sum, and Row Sum. When you run a report, row groups repeat enclosed rows for each unique value of the
field(s) specified in the Group Start Expression field. You can also provide headings for each group in the report,
as well as formatting rows to visually separate the groups data.
The current unique value of the field specified in the Group Start expression is AND-ed with the expressions of
each row contained in the group. Exceptions are the non-expression row types, and Row Sum rows, which are
not affected by the group.
Groups can be nested. A row expression is logically AND-ed with all current values of the parent groups. When
a user drills down from a cell within a group, the group's unique value is logically AND-ed with the cell's
corresponding effective account, book and time filters. In that respect, groups are similar to inline drill-down
reports.
To set up row grouping by fiscal year on an existing row set, including group headers:

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1. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > List sheet.

2. Click in the row with an asterisk (*) to create a new row.


3. Renumber the row to come before the data rows.

4. In the Type field, select Group Start.


5. In the Expression field, enter FiscalYear.
6. Click the asterisk (*) to create another row.

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7. Click the Number header twice to sort the rows into numerical order.

8. In the Type field for the new row, select Group End.
9. Click the asterisk (*) to create a new row.
10. Renumber the row to come between the Group Start row and the data rows.

11. Right-click in the Description field and select the Group Start row expression: FiscalYear. Leave the
Expression field blank.

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12. The keyword is enclosed in curly parentheses: {FiscalYear}.

13. You can also add the keyword to other row descriptions, for example in rows which display totals, to help
identify groups when you view the report.
14. Click the Number header twice to again sort the rows into numerical order.

Renumber Rows
As you have manually added some rows in between other rows, you can tidy up the irregular row numbers by
using the Renumber Rows function.
1. In the Tree View, select the row set.

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2. From the Actions menu, select Renumber Rows.


3. The Renumber Rows window displays.

4. Enter a value in the Renumber using increment field.


5. If you select the Adjust references for loaded associated Column Sets check box, any column sets
whose expressions refer to rows in this row set are also updated to reflect the new row numbers.
6. Click OK.
7. The row numbers update according to the increment you set.

8. Click Save.

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9. A report which uses Row Grouping in the row set will group data by the field(s) specified in the Group Start
expression. In this example, the report is grouped by fiscal year.

Row Set Wizard


Use the Row Set Wizard to generate row definitions from a chart of accounts (COA) using sections, account
categories, or general ledger accounts. This is a convenient way to save time in creating row sets. You can also
create row sets with pre-defined sections based on standard Balance Sheet and Income Statement report structures.
To create a row set based on sections using the Row Set Wizard:

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Select Chart of Accounts


1. From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Row Set Wizard.

2. The Row Set Wizard - Welcome window displays.

3. Use the Select Chart of Accounts drop-down list to select the chart of accounts you want to use to create
the row set.
4. Select from the three options on how you want to create rows.
Build Row Definitions using Account Categories Hierarchy - create rows based on account categories,
for example, ASSETS, GROSS PROFIT, and so on.
Build Row Definitions using Segment Values - create rows based on accounting segment values in
your chart of accounts, for example, natural account, department, cost center, and so on.
Construct Row Definitions using Sections - create rows based on partitions and sections that you
name.
In this example, you select Construct Row Definitions using Sections.
5. Click Next.

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Set Partitions and Sections


1. The Row Set Wizard - Report Sections Definition window displays.

2. In the Specify Partitions grid, click the asterisk (*) in the Number field.
A new partition line displays, with a number.
3. Enter a Partition Name.

4. Select the Reverse Sign check box if credit amounts for all accounts under the partition are expected to
display as positive values.
When you create the row set, a ReverseSign user property
(boolean) is created in the row set. You can then use the
value of user properties in cell expressions, for example
to show negative amounts as positive. The Reverse Sign
check box in the wizard does not actually reverse the sign
of financial data - it only determines whether the
ReverseSign user property is set to TRUE (selected) or
FALSE (cleared).

5. Repeat steps 2-4 to create all the partitions you require.

6. In the Specify Sections grid, click the asterisk (*) in the Number field.

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A new section line displays.


7. Each section has a sequential number, with a prefix of the partition number to which the section belongs.

8. You can create multiple sections under each partition.

9. To load hard-coded partitions and sections based on a balance sheet or income statement report structure,
you can also click Load Balance Sheet Sections (default) or Load Income Statement Sections (default).
Once you have loaded the sections, you can still edit the
details if required.

10. Click Next.

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Fill Sections
1. The Row Set Wizard - Report Sections Filling window displays.

2. The grid on the left side displays the natural accounts available for selection.
3. The Balance Sheet Accounts and Income Statement Accounts check boxes enable you to filter the
available natural accounts by their type.
4. Select the Partition and Section where you want to place some accounts.
5. Select accounts in the left-hand grid, and click the Right Arrow button to add the accounts to the selected
section.
Hold Shift to select a range, or Ctrl to select discrete accounts.

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6. The selected accounts now transfer to the right-hand grid - they are now part of the section currently selected
in the Section field.

7. In the Specify if details for each account to be included in Report field, specify what row type will be
created for all the rows. Available options:
No details - Creates Account Sum rows in the row set.
Summarized by Natural Account - Creates Account List rows with only the first account segment
selected in the Settings field.
Full details - Creates standard Account List rows, where each unique GL account string displays on a
separate row.
8. When you have selected accounts for all sections in all partitions, click Next.

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Set Row Formatting


1. The Row Definitions Formatting window displays.

2. In the Rows Formatting grid, you can format the display of levels in the row set.
3. When you generate the row set, three User Properties are created. The Level field gives the numeric value
that will populate the Level user property for each row type.
4. The Line Type field gives the value that will populate the LineType user property. There are always three
different line types in a row set created in the wizard:
Header
Footer
Summary or Details - depending on whether the data rows are Account Sum or Account List respectively.
5. There are three levels of row type:
Partition - Header or Footer.
Section - Header or Footer.
Summary or Details - This represents the data rows in the row set, of either Account Sum or Account
List type.

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6. Right-click in the Description field for a row type, to include other keywords in the header or footer.

7. In the Exposition field, you can specify what information the partition or section header or footer will
display in the row set. Available options:
Title Only - Displays only the description of the partition or section. This is the default for headers.
Title and Totals - Displays the description and the sum total for the partition or section (using a Row
Sum row). This is the default for footers.
Hide - The partition or section header or footer does not display.
8. In the Conditional Placeholders section, in the Value field, you can change the default text (if any) that
displays in Title Only or Title and Totals row descriptions. For example, Title and Totals footers display the
text Total by default.

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9. In the Indent size field, enter the amount of indent between each level on the report. The default is 2
characters.

10. Use the formatting toolbar to change the appearance of particular row types.
11. Select a row type in the grid, then change font, size, alignment or color on the toolbar.
12. When you finish formatting the row types, click Next.

Generate the Row Set


1. The Row Set Wizard - Create Row Set window displays.

2. Enter a Row Set Name or, or keep the default provided.


3. Click Finish.
The new row set displays in the Report Designer.

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4. Click Save.

You can still edit the row set to make more specific
adjustments according to your requirements.

5. When you generate the row set, the three user properties are included. The LineType property corresponds
to the Line Type value in the Row Definitions Formatting window in the wizard. There are four possible
values:
Header (Partition or Section)
Footer (Partition or Section)
Details (Data)
Summary (Data)
6. Level - A number which corresponds to the Level value in the Row Definitions Formatting window in the
wizard.
7. ReverseSign - Check box which corresponds to the Reverse Sign setting specified in the Report Sections
Definition window in the wizard.
For details on user properties, see the User Properties section earlier in this chapter.

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Column Sets
Column sets define the horizontal dimensions of the data that displays within your advanced financial reports.
Through each column definition you create within a column set, you indicate what range and type of data will
appear in each row cell on the report. Note that each column definition defines all of the data that appears
vertically within each row cell running down the length of the report, but the entire column set indicates what
data displays horizontally across the report.
You can set up a range of options for display within each column. You can also specify in which currency each
column will display. The most typical columns you will create within your advanced financial report are the
following:
Account Balance (Actual or Budget)
Account
Account Description
Separate Debit and Credit Amount Columns You can then display the debits and credits for a single account
or a transaction within separate columns.
Mathematical Formulas Create these columns to combine other columns to display financial results like
variances and other information.
Just like row sets, you can also copy and paste column sets to reuse for similar reporting needs.

Create a Column Set


You begin by setting up an overall definition for the new column set. You first select the base table to use for
the column set, name the column set, and optionally define the dictionary for the column set. The dictionary you
select defines the kinds of expressions you can build within each column definition.
To create a column set:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select the Column Set option.

2. The Create New Column Set window displays.

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3. Select the Base table option. The base table you select determines the items or details you can use on each
column you add within the column set. Available options:
Summarized balances The standard base table used for creating financial reports that display a Period
to Date or Year to Date balance report.
Transaction lines The base table you use to display details of individual financial transactions. This
type can only be used in conjunction with the predefined _Transaction_List_Row_Set.
4. In this example, select Summarized Balances and click OK.
5. The Column Sets > Detail sheet displays.

6. The Base table you selected displays in the top field on this sheet.
7. Enter the Name you want for the column set. Notice this text value cannot have any spaces.
Use the underscore (_) to represent spaces.

8. Optionally, select a Dictionary to enable use of common expressions in the column set.
9. Click the List sheet to see a summary of all the column sets currently open in the Report Designer.

10. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

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Establish Column Definitions


Now that you have created the column set, you are ready to build the columns contained within the set. Each
column can be limited to display a piece of data like the row number, filtered data from a specific fiscal date
range, company, GL book, or account, or the result of an expression you create. You can also specify in which
currency the column data will display. For each column, you can also elect to include or not include an underscore
line, as well as set conditions in the Visible field to determine whether the current column displays on the
generated report.
These column filters are logically AND-ed with the corresponding filters in row definitions to produce a cell's
effective filter.
If specified, column filters (From/To, Book, Account) override the report parameters.
For more information about report parameters, review the
Report Parameters section in the Report Design chapter.

Create a Column
To create a column:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Column.

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2. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > Detail sheet.

3. You can change the Number for a column, if you want to change the order of columns. The increment for
column numbers is 10.
4. The column Name is C[ColumnNumber] by default. You use the Name to refer to this column in expressions.
You can change the name if you want.
5. To complete the primary details for the column, enter a Header value. This value displays as the column
title on the report; it should define the values contained within the column. You can enter this value directly,
or right-click this field to include an expression.
In this example, you select the {Company.Name} dynamic expression. The column header will display the
name of the company from which the current financial data is pulled.
6. Accept the default for this column to include an underscore line.
7. Click the Currency drop-down list to select the financial data currency for the column. To convert values
to the report currency specified in the report parameters, select Report Currency. If you leave this field
blank, no currency conversions are performed on the columns data. If you specify a value in the Currency

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field, you must also select a book in the Book field. However, the currency you select is not restricted by the
book you select.

The currencies available in this field are taken from all the companies in the AFR financial database.
For more details on setting up the report parameters for
currency conversion, see the Report Design chapter.

8. Use the Visible drop-down list to determine whether the column displays on the final report. Available
options:
True - The column displays in the report.
False - The column does not display in the report.
Column.IsNotZeroOrEmpty - The column only displays if there is at least one field in the column which
contains a text value or non-zero integer.
Column.FromPeriod >= @FromPeriod - The column only displays if the column's Period From filter is
equal to or later than the FromPeriod value in report parameters.
Column.ToPeriod <= @ToPeriod - The column only displays if the column's Period To filter is equal to
or earlier than the ToPeriod value in report parameters.
<Expression...> - Opens the Expression Builder, where you can specify other parameters to create an
expression which evaluates as true or false.

9. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

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Unposted Balances
In Epicor ERP, unposted transactions are also saved. These transactions are replicated to a separate table in the
AFR financial database: GLJrnDtlUnpost . This table stores all unposted transactions in AFR. In turn, the
GLDailyBalUnpost and GLPeriodicBalUnpost tables store daily and periodic balances for unposted transactions
only.
Some report users require the ability to see posted balances separately from unposted balances. Therefore, in
the report parameters, you can select what kinds of balance data will display in the report - posted, unposted,
or both. However, in each column, you can override the report parameter. Therefore, you can create separate
columns to view posted and unposted balances side-by-side.
1. In a column definition, the Posted Status drop-down list enables you to select which kinds of balance the
column will display:
<Default> - Uses the posted status specified in the report parameters.
Posted - Only posted items are included in the balances.
Unposted - Only unposted items are included in the balances.
Both - both posted and unposted items are included in the balances.

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Set Column Numeric Format


You can set the numeric format for individual columns, in much the same way as rows. The column format
overrides the row format, which overrides the report format options.
To set numeric format for a column:
1. Select the Override row numeric format check box.

2. Select the Format as text check box, which is now enabled.


The Numeric Format section is enabled.
The Format as text check box is significant for viewing
reports in Microsoft Excel. Leave this check box clear
to make sure numerical data displays in the Excel report
with the Number format. You can then do the required
numeric formatting within Excel.

3. The following numeric values are available for formatting:


Rounding - Select from No Rounding, Nearest Hundred, Thousands, Milllions, and Billions. To
round to whole numbers, combine the Rounding selection with the Decimal Places selection.
Decimal places - Enter the number of decimal places with which you want the report values to display
(up to 12). The default decimal places value is 2.
Thousand separator symbol - Enter the separator symbol of your choice. When this field is left blank,
values display without a separator symbol; for example, 1000.
Currency symbol - Enter the symbol for the current report's currency, for example, $. You can also use
non-currency symbols. For example, if a particular column displays percentages, use the % symbol.
Wrap negative numbers in symbols - In their respective fields, enter an open and close symbol in
which you want negative numbers to display, for example, ( ).
Show zero as - Select how to display zero (0) values on the selected report: As is, Blank, or String. If
you select String, an extra field displays, where you can enter the symbol you want to use to represent
zero.
Show currency after value - Clear this check box to have the defined currency symbol display before
values instead of after values; for example, $531.80. By default, this check box is selected.

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Define Column Period/Date Filter


You can optionally define the time period of the data that displays in each column. You do this by setting up
expressions for the Period From and/or Period To fields. The financial data that displays in the column is limited
to the time period you set up through the expressions in these two fields.
You do not need to use the Expression Builder to create column
expressions. If you know what data you want to display, you
can directly enter the required code syntax within the
Expression field.
To define the fiscal period or date:
1. If you want to define a From period for the column, click the ellipsis button (...) next to this field. This field
indicates the date or fiscal period from which the current column will start reporting.
Column From and To settings override the report
parameters. If you do not specify column From or To
values, the report parameters are used.

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2. The Expression Builder window displays.

3. Select one of the Date or Parameters options. In this example, you select the Period option.
4. Use the Expression field to enter the year and period values manually.
5. The grid at the bottom of the window displays the values required to complete the expression.
6. If you entered values acceptable for the selected function, the ExpressionValid message displays in the
bottom left corner.
7. Click OK.
The expression you selected displays in the From field.
8. Repeat these steps to create an expression for the To field. This field indicates the date or fiscal period up
to which the current column will report.

You can continue to add filters and mathematical expressions to further define what financial data will
display within this column. These options are discussed in the next sections.
The following tables list the expressions available for filtering the financial data within the From and To fields.
They contain the available categories, functions, syntax, and descriptions.

Report Parameters
In the From and To fields, these parameters can only be used as arguments for functions which return a period
or date value.

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Parameter

Expression Syntax

Description

Example

Account

@Account

Enables you to define a specific GL


1000-00-00
account by which to filter the
column.
This example shows a GL
Account that is part of the
financial data tied to the
report.

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Parameter

Expression Syntax

Description

Book

@Book

Defines the current company and


EPIC03.MAIN
general ledger book from which
the financial data is pulled.
This example displays a string
constant. The value between
the double quotation marks
defines the specific string
returned by the parameter.

CrossRateCurrency @CrossRateCurrency This parameter allows you to


define a specific currency that
would be used for Cross Rate
Conversions.
Currency

@Currency

Example

USD
This example is for a currency
ID that would be used for
Cross Rate Conversions.

Defines the currency to be tied to


GBP
the specific column value so that
the financial data displayed applies The Currency ID.
to the currency shown here. Allows
for column filtering by currency.

CurrencyConversions @CurrencyConversions Enables you to define a specific


exchange rate conversion
calculation for a given column.

USD * 1, EUR / 0.86


An example of an exchange
rate conversion calculation.

FromDate

@FromDate

Indicates the first date used on the


(@FromDate +1)
report. All financial data entered
on or after this date displays within Adds one day and returns the
the column.
fiscal period corresponding to
that date.

FromPeriod

@FromPeriod

Indicates the first period used on


the report. All financial data
entered on or after this period
displays within the column.

(@FromPeriod + 1)
Adds one fiscal period to the
reports @FromPeriod
parameter.

ReportingTreeNode @ReportingTreeNode Displays the name of the reporting Departments


tree.
ToDate

@ToDate

Indicates the last date used on the


(@ToDate -1)
report. All financial data entered
on or before this date displays
Subtracts one day and returns
within the column.
fiscal period corresponding to
that date.

ToPeriod

@ToPeriod

Indicates the last period used on


the report. All financial data
entered on or before this period
displays within the column.

(@ToPeriod 3)
Subtracts three fiscal periods
from the reports @ToPeriod
parameter.

You can combine parameters to build more complex


expressions. For example, (@ToPeriod - @FromPeriod) is a valid
expression for a columns period filter.

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Date Parameters
These parameters are used as arguments for functions which eventually return a fiscal period. You can use these
parameters in conjunction with the previously described report parameters to build the period expression.
Parameter

Expression Syntax

Description

Date

Date(<year,month,day>) Defines a specific date. All


financial data entered on this
date displays in this column.

Example
Date(Year(@FromDate) + 1)
Returns the next date one year
after the From Date value.

Now

Now()

Returns the current date based Now()


on the computers internal
system clock.

CurrentPeriod

CurrentPeriod ()

Returns data generated for the


CurrentPeriod() +1
active period.
Returns the next period after
the current period.

CurrentPeriodLastYear CurrentPeriodLastYear
()

Returns the same period


number as the current period
from the previous year.

CurrentPeriodLastYear ()

PeriodStart

PeriodStart (<fiscal year, Indicates the first period from PeriodStart (2011, 2)
number>)
which financial data will be
pulled for display within the
current column.

PeriodEnd

PeriodEnd (<fiscal year, Indicates the last period from


number>)
which financial data will be
pulled for display within the
current column.

Period

Period (<fiscal year,


number>)

PeriodEnd (2011, 2)

Defines a specific period from


Period(FiscalYear(@FromPeriod)
which the financial data will be
+ 1,
pulled.
PeriodNumber(@FromPeriod))
Returns the next fiscal year and
period based on the current
From Period.

PeriodFromDate

PeriodFromDate(<date>) Indicates the beginning date


PeriodFromDate(Now())
and period from which the
data on the report will display. Returns the fiscal period that
contains the current date.

PeriodNumber

PeriodNumber(<period>) Calculates the number for the


PeriodNumber(@FromPeriod)
current period.
Returns the number of the
current From Period value.

FiscalYear

FiscalYear(<period>)

Returns the fiscal year that


contains the defined period.

FiscalYear (@ToPeriod)
Returns the fiscal year for the
current To Period value.

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Parameter

Expression Syntax

Description

Year

Year(<date>)

Returns the year that contains


Year(@FromDate)
the defined date.
Returns the year that contains
the current From Date value.

Month

Month(<date, period>) Returns the month that


contains the defined period
and date.

Day

Day(<date>)

Returns the day that contains


the defined date.

Example

Month (PeriodStart (2011,3))


Returns the month that
contains the third period for
fiscal year 2011.
Day (@FromDate)
Returns the specific day of the
month contained by the From
Date report parameter.

The keywords included in the above table are calculated based


on the From and To report parameters. If From or To column
filters are defined, these values override the report parameters
for that column.

Define Column Account Filter


You can optionally set account filters in each data column. You do this by creating an expression that filters the
column to only display the account information you need. For example, this feature may be useful for creating
departmental or divisional columns.
To filter which accounts display data in the column, using the Expression Builder:

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1. Click the ellipsis button (...) located next to the Accounts field.

2. The Expression Builder window contains similar options to the account filters you can set up for rows.

3. In the Categories pane, select between Accounts, Account Categories, and Dictionary.

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4. Click the Company drop-down list to define from which company the available options will come.
5. After you select the company, click the Chart of accounts drop-down list to select the chart of accounts
that contains the accounts or categories you want to use in the account filter.
6. Select values in the grid.
7. The Expression field displays the selection(s) you make.
8. Click OK.
9. The column Accounts field is populated.

Define the Column Book Filter


The Books filter is also available on each column. Use this optional feature to filter the current column by a
specific company and book.
To set a column's book filter:
1. Click the ellipsis button (...) next to the Book field.

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2. The Expression Builder window displays.

3. Locate and expand the Company tree for the company you want to use.
4. The COA Code node displays the available charts of accounts in the selected company.
5. From the COA Code tree, expand the chart of accounts you want to use.
6. The BookId tree displays the GL books which use the selected COA. Select the book you want to use to
filter the column.
For replicated financial data which does not include the
Book feature, for example Prophet 21, iScala and
Enterprise data, a single book value exists with a default
ID: 1.

7. The selected company/book combination displays in the Expression field.


8. Click OK.

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9. The company and GL book combination displays in the Book field.

10. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

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Define the Budget Filter


1. If you replicate financial data from a database which features multiple budgets per book, for example Epicor
Enterprise, and the column expression refers to budget details, click the ellipsis button (...) in the
Budgets field, and select one or more budgets to use.

Epicor ERP supports a single budget, so this filter is not


relevant for Epicor ERP data.

Create a Column Expression


The expression is the fundamental element in a column that determines what data displays in the column. These
expressions can display a particular financial balance, specific aspects of the current row, use report parameters,
or refer to a dictionary. They can be logical or mathematical expressions that summarize or perform calculations.
These expressions can also use references to rows, columns, and cells, as well as budget details.
For example, in a balance column, you want to display the
following formula: Opening Balance + Debit Amount - Credit
Amount.
To create a column expression:

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1. Enter the column expression in the Expression field. Enter this directly or click the ellipsis button (...).

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2. The Expression Builder window displays.

3. Use the Categories pane to select the items you want to place within your expression.
A large number of options is available; see the sections below for more details.
4. In this example, you select the Period Balance option under the Financial Data node.
5. The available keywords display in the Financial Data Selector pane.
6. Select a value, for example Opening Balance.
7. The Expression field updates.

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8. To add to the expression, click in the Expression field in the place where you want to add further details.
Enter symbols and select additional values as required.

9. If what you enter is valid, the ExpressionValid message displays in the bottom left of the window.
10. Click OK.

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11. The new expression displays in the Expression field.

12. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.


The following sections cover the parameters and arguments available for use in column expressions.

Row Properties
Use these functions to include row information within your column expression. These functions are contained
under the Row node within the Categories pane.
Property

Expression
Syntax

Description

Example

Row description RowDescription

Returns the description value of the current


RowDescription
row definition.
Returns the Description value
for the current row.

Row expression

RowExpression

Returns the expression of the current row


RowExpression
definition.
Returns the Expression value
for the current row.

Row number

RowNumber

Returns the number of the current row


definition.

RowNumber
Returns the number of the
particular row.

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Property

Expression
Syntax

Description

Example

Account
description

AccountDescription Applies only to Account List row types.


Returns the description of each general
ledger (GL) account defined in the account
definition table. For all other types of rows,
it returns a blank string.

AccountDescription
Returns both the account
number and the account
description.

Account

Account

Applies only to Account List row types.


Account
Returns a formatted account string for
each GL account taken from the account Displays a list of accounts that
definition table. The segment values are fit the selection parameter.
separated with -. For all other types of
rows, it returns a blank string.

Row.Account

Row.Account

Returns the Account filter set in the


particular row.

Row.Book

Row.Book

Returns the Book filter set in the particular


row.

Row.From

Row.From

Returns the From filter set in the particular


row.

Row.To

Row.To

Returns the To filter set in the particular


row.

User-defined
properties

Row.[User-defined Returns the value for the selected user


property name] or property in a particular row.
[Alias]

Row.Character01 or
Row.Property1, where
Property1 is an alias.

Cell Properties
Use these functions to return values from a specific cell in the report. These functions are contained under the
Cell node within the Categories pane.
The effective filter is calculated by AND-ing the corresponding row and column filters (if defined) and the
corresponding report parameters (if some filters are not specified for the column or row) .
Property

Expression Syntax

Description

Cell.Account

Cell.Account

Returns the effective Account filter for the cell where this
expression is used.

Cell.Book

Cell.Book

Returns the effective Book filter for the cell where this
expression is used.

Cell.From

Cell.From

Returns the effective From filter for the cell where this
expression is used.

Cell.To

Cell.To

Returns the effective To filter for the cell where this


expression is used.

Column Properties
You use these functions to reference column information within your expression. These functions are contained
under the Column node within the Categories pane.

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Property

Expression Syntax

Description

Example

Column name

ColumnName(column
reference)

Returns the Name of the column ColumnName([C10])


specified in the argument.

Column expression

ColumnExpression(column
reference)

Returns the Expression of the


selected column specified in the
argument.

Column number

ColumnNumber(column
reference)

Returns the Number of the


column specified in the
argument.

ColumnAccountFilter

ColumnAccountFilter(column
reference)

Returns the Account filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

ColumnBookFilter

ColumnBookFilter(column
reference)

Returns the Book filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

ColumnBudgetFilter

ColumnBudgetFilter(column
reference)

Returns the Budget filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

ColumnFromPeriodFilter ColumnFromPeriodFilter(column Returns the From Period filter of


reference)
the column, specified in the
argument.
ColumnFromDateFilter ColumnFromDateFilter(column Returns the From Date filter of
reference)
the column, specified in the
argument.
ColumnToPeriodFilter

ColumnToPeriodFilter(column
reference)

Returns the To Period filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

ColumnToDateFilter

ColumnToDateFilter(column
reference)

Returns the To Date filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

ColumnFromFilter

ColumnFromFilter(column
reference)

Returns the From filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

ColumnToFilter

ColumnToFilter(column
reference)

Returns the To filter of the


column, specified in the
argument.

Math, Constants, and Logical Parameters


You use these functions to build mathematical evaluations within your column expression. These functions are
all contained under the Math, Constants, and Logical nodes within the Categories pane.
Parameter Expression Syntax
Sum

Description

Example

Sum(Column range or Related to using column references and ranges


Sum([C10]:[C20],[C40])
list, cell list)
separated with the + operator.
Is the same as
[C10]:[C20] + [C40]

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Parameter Expression Syntax

Description

Example

Trunc

Trunc(numerical
expression)

Truncates the decimal part of a floating point Trunc([C10]/[C20])


value and returns the integer part.

Nan

Nan

Constant, representing a zero or null value.


For example, when 0 is divided by 0.

Nan

Infinity

Infinity

Constant, representing infinity value. For


example, when any number is divided by 0.

Infinity

If

IF(logical expression,
value if true, value if
false)

Evaluates the logical expression and returns IF([C10] > [C20], Over
the second argument value if true; otherwise, budget!,)
it returns the third argument value.

True

True

Constant, representing a True boolean value. If Boolean0 = True,


CreditAmount * (-1),
CreditAmount

False

False

Constant, representing a False Boolean value.

References
You use these functions to reference cells and column information within the expression. These functions are
contained under the References node within the Categories pane.
Parameter

Expression
Syntax

Description

Example

Column reference [Cn]

A reference to a column definition whose


number is n.

[C10]

Column range

[Cs]:[Ce]

A range of column definitions from column [C10]:[C50]


number s (start) to column number e (end).
You can only use ranges as arguments of an
aggregate function.

Column list

[Cn], ...[Cx]

A comma separated list of columns. You can [C10],[C20],[C30]


only use column lists as arguments of an
aggregate function.

Cell reference

[Rx,Cy]

A reference to a cell in row number x, and [R10,C20]


column number y.

Cell list

[Rx,Cy], [Ra,Cb]

A comma separated list of cells. You can only [R10,C20], [R50,C70]


use cell lists as arguments of an aggregate
function.

Binary operators

+,-,*, /, >, <, >=, Operators applied on a row basis.


<=, =

[C10]* (-1), IF([C10] = 0,


, [C10])
The indicates the result
of the binary operators
have returned an empty
string.

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Financial Data Fields


You use financial fields within your column expressions to pull in data that matches a table and field designation.
Each column set type is linked to tables that contain standard financial fields. When you create a column expression
that uses one of these standard fields, any data contained in the selected financial field from the table is used
within the column expression.
Depending on the type of column set you are creating, different financial fields are available. A Summarized
Balances column set has Budget Details and Period Balance / Daily Balance financial fields. A Transaction Lines
column set has several financial fields from transaction lines. The following tables describe the different financial
fields available for each column set type. These options display under the Financial Data node in the Expression
Builder.
Available fields in Summarized Balances column sets:
Table

Field Expression

Example

Budget Details (GLBudgetDtl)

BudgetAmt

BudgetAmt x (-1)

DebitAmount

Debit Amount + Credit Amount

GLPeriodBal

CreditAmount

CreditAmount Debit Amount

GLPeriodBal

OpeningBalance

OpeningBalance

GLPeriodBal

OpeningDebitBalance

OpeningDebitBalance + DebitAmount

GLPeriodBal

OpeningCreditBalance

OpeningDebitBalance +
OpeningCreditBalance

Period Balance (GLPeriodBal) or


Daily Balance (GLDailyBal)

Available fields in Transaction Lines column sets - all taken from the GLJrnDtl table:
Field Expression
Company
FiscalYear
JournalNum
JournalLine
Description
JEDate
FiscalPeriod
PostedDate
JournalCode
SegValue1
SegValue2
SegValue3
SegValue4
SegValue5
SegValue6

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Field Expression
SegValue7
SegValue8
SegValue9
SegValue10
SegValue11
SegValue12
SegValue13
SegValue14
SegValue15
SegValue16
BookID
FiscalYearSuffix
FiscalCalendarID
SysRowID
DebitAmount
CreditAmount
BookDebitAmount
BookCreditAmount

Dictionary Parameters
You use these functions to use the definitions set up within a selected dictionary for your expression. These
functions are all contained under the Dictionary node within the Categories pane.
If you want to create an expression based on a dictionary, you
must first create the dictionary. To learn about creating
dictionaries, review the Dictionaries section in the Report Design
chapter.
Parameter

Expression
Syntax

Description

Dictionary
definition

$definitionName

A reference to a dictionary definition linked


to the column set. definitionName is the
name of the definition. The column
expression is replaced with the definition
when the report is viewed.

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Example

$Movement
The definitions expression
is: DebitAmount +
CreditAmount

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Column Expression Assistant


The Column Expression Assistant is a powerful wizard which makes column creation simple. It enables users to
set basic column options in accounting terms, and create or update column properties based on specific options,
with formulas and references.
To launch the Column Expression Assistant, a column set must be open in the Report Designer, unless you launch
the assistant from within the Column Set Wizard. The Column Set Wizard is covered in the next section.
There are three different versions of the tool:
Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns - Select the required Report Indicators, Fiscal Period Range, and
Fiscal Year(s), with appropriate parameters and options. The Column Expression Assistant generates columns
with required properties.
Generate Predefined Groups of Columns - Select the required predefined group(s) of columns, and the
Column Expression Assistant generates the required columns.
Single Column Update - Select the required details for a single column. This can be used to update an
existing column. You can also set up the system to launch this Assistant every time you create a new column.
Access the three versions of the Column Expression Assistant from the Actions menu when a column set is
selected in the Tree View. The assistant can also be launched from within the Column Set Wizard.
The Column Expression Assistant uses three key concepts, which refer to aspects of the column setup:
Reporting Indicator - consists of several predefined accounting metrics, for example OpeningBalance,
DebitAmount.
Fiscal Period Range - requires selection of the period range itself (within a fiscal year).
Fiscal Years - consists of selection of the fiscal year (relative to the Reporting Year).
The defined period range and fiscal year are not absolute; they depend on the From/To parameters in the report
itself. Runtime values are based on the periods specified by the user at report generation.
The column header includes either the full Report Indicator name, its Abbreviation, or text defined by the user
in the Column Header Text field.
Each of the three versions of the tool is described below.

Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns


1. Open or create a column set, and select it in the Tree View.

2. From the Actions menu, select Create Multiple Columns (User-Defined).

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3. The Column Expression Assistant Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns window displays.

4. In the Reporting Indicators section, use the check boxes on the left to select the accounting metrics you
want to include in the column set, for example Debit or Credit.
There are three possibilities for the text that is included in each column header:
Report Indicator
Abbreviation
Column Header Text
5. Use the Column Header Text field to enter your own text to include in the column header.
This takes precedence over the Report Indicator.
6. If you select Use abbreviation instead of Indicator Name when Column Header is not specified, the
Abbreviation field is used for columns whose Column Header Text is blank.
7. In all other cases, the Report Indicator field is used in the column header text.

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Select Fiscal Periods and Ranges


1. In the Fiscal Period Range section, use the check boxes on the left to select the required period ranges or
period range clusters.

2. For Rolling Period ranges, enter a value in the No. of Periods field, to specify how many periods to cover.
The default is 12. The Rolling Period ranges create multiple columns.
3. The Split By field enables you to group periods together in a column. For example, for normal fiscal quarters,
enter 3. The default is 1, which means each period has a separate column.
4. The Progressive Total check box only applies to Reporting Indicators of the Change type, for example,
Net Change. If the check box is selected, each column displays cumulative values.
Progressive Total: For a twelve month period range, the
first column displays totals for period 1, the second
column for periods 1 and 2, and so on until the twelfth
column, which displays totals for the whole range.

5. The Hide when out of range check box is selected by default. This means a columns Visible field is set
to False if its period range is outside the From/To report parameters.

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Select Fiscal Years


1. In the Fiscal Years section, use the check boxes on the left to select the fiscal years required in the column
set.

2. Fiscal year selection works on the offset principle, relative to the Reporting Year - previous years have a
negative Offset value, later years have a positive value.
3. For Custom Year Offset, manually enter a numeric offset, in the Offset field, relative to the Reporting
Year - negative for preceding years, positive for subsequent years. In all other cases, the Offset field is
read-only.
4. Select the Full Fiscal Year check box for a year to force the use of the whole fiscal year as the period range
for that year. This overrides the Fiscal Period Range selection. This is used especially to compare balances
of different years.
5. Use the Difference and Difference, % check boxes to create columns to display the difference between
the selected fiscal year and the Reporting Year. These settings apply to all selected Reporting Indicators.
6. The system displays the number of columns to be generated.
7. Select the check box and Review them with XX generated before to launch the Review Generated
Columns window when you click OK. This enables you to review, rearrange or delete columns as required.
If you choose not to review the columns, the new columns
are created when you click OK, and display in the Report
Designer.

8. Click OK.

Review Columns
Review the columns to be generated, and make adjustments if required.

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1. If you chose to review the columns, the Column Expression Assistant - Review Generated
Columns window displays. Here you can review details of each column that will be created.

2. If you are creating Rolling Periods columns, the Split field displays the fiscal period groupings. For example,
1-3 means the column covers periods 1 through 3.
3. The Column Header field displays the text that will be used to create the column header expression. To
override this, manually edit this field.
4. Use the check boxes in the Reporting Indicator field to select columns to rearrange.
5. Use the Move Up, Move Down, Delete Marked, and Delete All buttons to rearrange or delete columns.
6. Click the Add Predefined Column Groups, Add Multiple User-Defined Columns, or Add Single
Column buttons to relaunch a version of the Column Expression Assistant to add in more new columns.
7. Click OK to generate the columns.
8. The new columns display in the Report Designer. On the List sheet, you can view all the columns created.

9. The Expression field is populated according to the Reporting Indicators selected in the assistant.

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10. The Header text for financial data columns also includes an expression to display the period range for the
column.
11. The Period From and Period To fields contain expressions based on the Fiscal Period Range settings you
selected in the assistant.
12. Review individual columns on the Detail sheet.

13. Note the Visible field is populated with an expression for certain column types, based on the Hide when
out of range setting in the assistant.
14. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.
You can still edit any columns if required.

Generate Predefined Groups of Columns


To create multiple predefined columns using the Column Expression Assistant:

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1. Open or create a column set, and select it in the Tree View.

2. From the Actions menu, select Create Multiple Columns (Predefined).


3. The Column Expression Assistant Generate Predefined Groups of Columns window displays.

Use the check boxes to select which groups of columns to generate. There are distinct types of group:
4. Row Number and Description - Indicates if columns for Row Number and Row Description will be
generated.
5. Balances and changes - Indicates if balances and changes will be generated for each period range or
period range cluster. This type generates five reporting indicators for each :
Opening Balance
Debit Amount
Credit Amount
Net Change
Closing Balance
6. Balance compare to - Indicates if Closing Balance is compared to End of Previous Year, and/or Same To
Period of Previous Year.

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7. Net Change compare to - Indicates if Net Change is compared to Same Periods of Previous Year, and/or
Budget.
8. Budget Filter - Allows selection of a budget. This is only available when Net Change Compare To:
Budget is selected.
9. If you select Use abbreviation instead of Indicator Name, the abbreviation for each reporting indicator
is used in the Column Header text. You can see this if you review the columns below, or when you generate
the columns. For example, the abbreviation for Debit is Dr.
10. The system displays the number of columns that will be generated, based on the selections you have made.
11. Select the and Review them with XX generated before check box to launch the Review Generated
Columns window when you click OK. This enables you to review, rearrange or delete columns as required.
12. Click OK to generate the columns.
If you chose to review the columns, the Column Expression Assistant - Review Generated Columns
window displays. This is the same as described in the Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns section
above.
13. The new columns display in the Report Designer, on the List sheet.

14. Click Save.

Update Single Column


To update or create a single column within an existing column set:

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1. Open or create a column set and select it in the Tree View.

2. From the Actions menu, select Create Single Column.


If an existing column is selected in the Tree View, this
column will be replaced by the column you create with
the Column Expression Assistant. If columns already exist,
and you want to create one additional column, select the
column set in the Tree View first. Alternatively, adjust
the Settings in the Report Designer to launch the Column
Expression Assistant every time you create a new column
(see the next section for details).

3. The Column Expression Assistant Single Column Update displays.

4. In the Reporting Indicator field, select the accounting metric you require for the column.

If you select Budget, the Budget Filter field enables, so you can select the required budget.

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5. In the Period Range field, select the required fiscal period range.

6. In the Fiscal Year Offset field, select the required fiscal year value, relative to the Reporting Year.

7. If you selected Custom Year Offset, also specify a value in the Offset Value field.
8. If you are creating a new column, the Replace Existing column header check box is selected, and cannot
be cleared. However, if you are updating an existing column, you can clear this check box to keep the existing
column header.
9. Select Use abbreviation instead of Indicator Name when Column Header is not specified to use the
Abbreviation in the column header, instead of the Reporting Indicator name.
10. In the field below the check boxes, review the expression that will be created.
11. Click OK.
12. The column displays in the column set.

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The Header, From and To fields are populated according to the selections you made in the assistant.

13. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Launch Column Expression Assistant when Creating a New Column


To automatically launch the Column Expression Assistant Single Column Update every time you create a new
column:

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1. From the Tools menu, select Settings.

2. The Settings window displays.

3. On the General tab, select the check box Start Column Expressions Assistant for new columns.
4. Click OK.
Now, in a column set, when you select File > New > Column, or click the asterisk (*) to create a new
column, the Column Expression Assistant Single Column Update opens.

Column Set Wizard


The Column Set Wizard enables simple generation of column sets, complete with column headers and period
ranges, in a few simple steps. Within the wizard process, you also access the Column Expression Assistant, which
can help with creation of complex column header and period expressions, according to the type of report you
are creating.
To create a column set using the Column Set Wizard:

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1. From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Column Set Wizard.

2. The Column Set Wizard Welcome screen displays.

3. Select the Identification Columns you require in the column set. Each selection will create a column with
the Identification Column name in the Expression field.
4. The Column Header Text will be used in the column header expression. You can edit this text manually.

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5. In the Generate columns for predefined set of amounts section, you can select various report types.
Based on this selection, certain Reporting Indicators, Period Ranges, and Fiscal Years are created in the
column set. For details of what columns are created for each set, review the Application Help.

6. Select Activate Column Expression Assistant to review and adjust columns if you want to review and
potentially edit the columns before generating the column set.
7. Click Next.
8. If you elected to activate the column expression assistant, the Column Set Wizard Review Generated
Columns window displays. This works in the same way as the Review Generated Columns window you
access in the Column Expression Assistant. For further details, review the Column Expression Assistant section
above.

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9. Once you have made any necessary adjustments, click Next.


10. The Column Set Wizard Create Column Set window displays.

11. Enter a suitable name for the column set and click Finish.
12. The new column set displays in the Report Designer.

If you need to filter any columns by account, book,


currency, or budget, enter the details manually in the
relevant columns.

13. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Copy the Column Set


Just like you copy row sets, you can also copy column sets and columns. Use this feature to rapidly create similar
column sets. You also have the option of copying dictionaries into the receiving column set.
As described in the previous Copy a Row Set section, this method is an efficient way to create corresponding
summary and detail income statements.
To copy a column set:

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1. In the Tree View, select a column set.

2. From the Edit menu, select Copy.

3. In the Tree View, select any column set, then select Paste from the Edit menu.

4. The Copying a column set window displays.

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5. This window indicates that a dictionary may be connected to the copied column set; use this window to
indicate whether the new column set should make a copy of the connected dictionary.
If you clear the check box for connected elements, the
new column set will use the exact same connected
element, instead of a copy of it.

6. Click Paste.
7. A copy of the column set now displays in the Report Designer.

Select the column set to change the column set name, and modify column definitions as required.
8. Click Save.

Summary
Each advanced financial report contains various elements you create and define. The fundamental report elements
are the row set and the column set.
Each row set contains a series of rows, to display financial data, to sum other rows, or to format the layout with
lines and underscores. You enter an expression in each row used to pull in specific data. You do this by selecting
a row type that defines what appears on the row, then create an expression with the Expression Builder or enter
it manually.
Additionally, each row set can be linked to a drill-down report. When the report is launched, users can then click
rows in the report to display the drill-down report, either inline or in a separate window.
Row sets can also be constructed with the Row Set Wizard to assist in large or complicated row set definitions.
Column sets determine what aspect of the financial data displays in each column, for example, debit amounts,
credit amounts, or some more complex calculations. The combination of row set and column set determines
what data will display in each cell on the report.
To help with the cosmetic aspect of reports you can format the appearance and numeric format of each row
and column.

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Chapter 6: Report Design


To complete the report design, you create a report definition. You select a row set for the report and you also must
select at least one column set. If you include multiple column sets, you can adjust their display order on the report.
You also have to set the report parameters, the default settings that determine which GL book(s) and time periods are
used in the report, as well as currency conversion details and account filters.
You can also add a number of optional time-saving features to your reports. You can create reporting trees that define
a hierarchy for filtering data. When you run the report, you can select different nodes on the reporting tree to filter
the data that display in the report. Reporting trees can be used across multiple reports, to help ensure you pull in a
consistent set of data across all of your advanced financial reports.
You can also create dictionaries, made up of specific data definitions, so you can reuse them across multiple reports
instead of having to rewrite the definitions every time. You can select a dictionary when you create row sets, column
sets, and reporting trees, which enables you to use the same definitions across multiple report elements.
When you have finished the report design, you can preview the report to display its data results. If you are not satisfied
with the data results, continue to modify the report definition until it displays the data you expect. To run the final
report and view it as other users will see it, you upload a Report Definition Language (RDL) file to the report server.
You can launch this file from the Report Designer, to display the report in a web browser. If you make some changes
to the report definition, such as adding a column, you can use the RDL Merge tool to either automatically update the
associated RDL file, or manually select how the report changes update the RDL file. If the report layout needs additional
adjustment, or you want to add other features to the report, you can also open the file in report layout tools either
Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence Studio or Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder to fine tune the layout
as you need.

Reports
To build a report definition, combine a row set and column set(s), and set the report parameters. You can
optionally include a reporting tree as well. All of the expressions defined on the rows and columns, as well as
any standard values pulled in through dictionaries and reporting trees, are then reflected in the report.
Row sets are typically used to specify which GL accounts you want to view in the report. Column sets define
what type of amounts we want to see at the intersection with each row, for example Debit or Credit, plus some
additional constraints.
You can also define global options and presentation options for each report, including currency conversion details.
Add report headers and footers to display simple static information, or dynamic details that change according
to the selected report parameters.
When you have created the report, you can evaluate it with the report preview option. If you are not satisfied
with the preview, you refine the generated information by modifying row sets, column sets, parameters, display
options, and so on, until the report displays the correct data in the way you require.
When you are satisfied with the report setup, generate an RDL file, which enables you to launch the report in a
web browser - this is how everyday report users will view their reports. Alternatively, you can generate the report
in Microsoft Excel.
Even if the report is ready, and can be viewed in Excel, or its RDL file can be viewed in a web browser, you can
further refine the RDL layout using either Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio or Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder.
Open the report RDL file in one of these tools and modify it so the report displays using additional formatting
and other attributes that you want. For more information on using these tools, review the Report Layout chapter.

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Create a Report
You begin by creating the overall report record. The first details you define are the report name, the row set,
and optionally the reporting tree you want to include. You also enter an overall description for the advanced
financial report.
To create a report:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Report.

2. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > General sheet.


3. Enter the Name of the new report. Like other name values within the Report Designer, you cannot enter
spaces in this text field.
4. From the Row Set drop-down list, select the row set you want to use. All row sets currently open in the
Report Designer display on this list. Click the ellipsis button (...) to search for and select another row set.
5. You can optionally assign a reporting tree to the report using the Reporting Tree drop-down list. All
reporting trees currently open in the Report Designer display on this list. Click the ellipsis button (...) to
search for and select another reporting tree.
6. Enter a Description for the report. Enter a text value that makes it easier for other users to understand its
purpose.
ReportDescription is a keyword you can use in a report
header or footer, to display the report description when
you run the report.

7. Click the List sheet to view all the reports currently open in the Report Designer.

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8. When you finish, click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Column Sets
Each report must have at least one column sets - multiple column sets are also an option. For example, you might
have a column set for one type of report, another column set for a second type report, and then a more
comprehensive report which combines both column sets to display more data in a single report. You add, organize,
and remove column sets to reports on the Column Sets ub-sheet below the Reports tab.
To assign column sets to your report definition:
1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Column Sets sheet.

2. Click Add.
3. The Search Column Sets window displays.

4. Click the Search button.


5. All column sets available within the Report Designer display on the grid. Select the column set you want.
6. Click OK.

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7. The column set displays in the Column Set Name grid.


If you add more than one column set, the set at the top
of the list will display on the left side of the report.

8. To change the order in which the column sets will display on the report, select a column set in the grid and
click the Move Up or Move Down button.
9. To remove a column set from the report, select it on the grid and click the Delete.
10. When you have added column sets, click Save on the Standard toolbar.
You cannot combine Summarized Balances and
Transaction Lines column sets in one report.

Report Parameters
Parameters define which company and GL book, which period or date range, and which currency to use for the
report. You can also optionally set the default reporting tree node and account filter for the report as a whole.
These default values are applied when you open the report for viewing. You can change these values when you
view the report. These defaults enable you to see the report data as soon as you launch a report, so you don't
have to enter parameter values every time. If you
When you create a drill down report, it may not be necessary
to include report parameters, as these will be taken from the
parent report.
To define report parameter defaults:

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1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Parameters sheet.

2. In the Account field, optionally specify a default value - an account or account category expression - to
filter the whole report.
3. In the Book field, select a company/book combination from the drop-down list.
You can select multiple books for a report.
4. To help select multiple books, select <Expression...> from the drop-down list.
5. The Expression Builder displays a list of available companies, with all applicable charts of accounts and
their GL books. You can select individual books as required.

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6. Select <ALL COMPANIES> to include all valid company/book combinations in the Book parameter. This is
represented by the wild card * (asterisk).
7. Select a book under the <ALL COMPANIES> node to include all company/book combinations for a specific
book. For this, use the expression *.BookID.
This is useful when you have many companies but all use the same GL book.
8. Click OK to confirm your selection.
9. In the Currency field, select the report currency from the drop-down list.
Available currencies come from the replicated data in the AFR financial database.

10. If the selected currency is not the base currency of the book(s) selected in the Book field, update the exchange
rates in the CurrencyConversions field.
11. Use the CrossRateCurrency to define a currency against which the conversion factors will be calculated.
12. Define date or period values in the From and To fields.
13. You can select a value from the drop-down list. Select <Expression...> to launch the Expression Builder
for assistance in selecting valid keywords.
14. In the Posted Status field, you determine whether the report will include data for Posted transactions,
Unposted transactions, or Both.

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This setting is only applicable to replicated financial data that includes data for unposted transactions, for
example Epicor ERP.
15. When you have defined the parameters, click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Available Parameters
The following table contains the available report parameters. It describes each parameter and displays examples
of possible values.
Parameter

Description

Example

Account

Contains a list or range of accounts, or GL account masks,


1000,1100
by which to filter the report.
2000:2999
6000-00-10

Book

Contains an AFR book identifier consisting of a company


and ERP book identifiers, separated by a period.

Epic06.Main,
Epic03.Corporate

CrossRateCurrency Defines the cross-rate currency against which the conversion GBP
factors will be calculated.
Currency

Defines the currency in which you want to display financial USD


data in the report.

CurrencyConversions Defines the exchange rate to convert the cross-rate currency USD * 1.00,EUR / 0.854
to other specified currencies.
From

Indicates the starting date or starting period used on the


report. All financial data with date values on or after the
starting date/period display on the report.

Date(2010,07,16)
-orPeriod(2010,7)

To

Indicates the ending date or ending period used on the


Date(Year(@FromDate) + 1,
report. All financial data with date values on or before the
Month(@FromDate),
ending date/period display on the report.
Day(@FromDate))
-or@FromPeriod + 12

ReportingTreeNode Defines the reporting tree node that is selected when you
run the report. If a reporting tree is attached to the report,
you can select a node name from the list.

Presentation Options
There are two presentation styles, which affect how you can select parameters when viewing the report in SSRS:
Standard, and Advanced.
Standard - With the Standard style, at report runtime, each parameter (except Reporting Tree Node) displays
in a simple text box above the report, in which you can manually type the required values, including currency
conversion details. The parameters are accompanied by a NULL check box, for when a field is left blank and
not in use.

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Advanced - The Advanced presentation style enables you to decide what kind of drop-down list, check box,
or calendar pop-up is available for each parameter at runtime, according to the particular report requirements.
For example, you can determine whether the reports book selection is multi-book, or restricted to just one
book. Similarly, you can decide whether to have drop-down lists to select the fiscal year and period, or a
calendar pop-up to select specific dates. You can also specify how currency conversion is executed for the
report. Set all these options in the Advanced Presentation Options section.
These settings do not apply to report preview or reports
generated in Excel.
To set advanced presentation options:
1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Parameters sheet.

2. In the Presentation Style section, select Advanced.


If you select Standard, the Advanced Presentation
Options fields are grayed out.

3. Select a Book selection type from the drop-down list. See the Book Selection Type section below for
details.
4. Select a Period/Date range selection type from the drop-down list. See the Period and Date Range
Selection Type section below for details.
5. Select the Use Fiscal Year combo-box check box to include a drop-down list for selecting the fiscal year
in the report at runtime. If you clear this check box, the fiscal year must be entered manually.
6. Select the Use Fiscal Period Number combo-box check box to include a drop-down list for selecting the
fiscal period at report runtime.
7. In the Currency Conversion Definition field, determine how currency conversions will be performed in
the report. The following options are available:
No Currency Conversions - Recommended when currency conversions are not required in the report.
The typical case is for a single-book report in the book currency, or a multi-book report where all the

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book currencies are the same. If this option is selected, currency conversion parameters do not display
in the Report Viewer at runtime.
Simple Currency Conversion Definition - Recommended when currency conversions are required,
but currency exchange rates are not replicated into the AFR financial database. In the report parameters,
enter the report currency and cross-rate currency, and enter exchange rates in the CurrencyConversions
field.
Advanced Currency Conversion Definition - Recommended when currency conversions are required,
and exchange rates are replicated from the source ERP application, and can be used to extract defaults
for conversion factors. With advanced conversion, you can select currency related settings in the Report
Viewer at runtime.
8. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.
For more details on setting parameters in reports at runtime, see Chapter 8: Report View and Use.

Book Selection Type


This section provides screenshots of how the different book selection types work when you run a report in SSRS.
Single Book - Combined Company.Book combo-box - A single drop-down list on the report, where you
can select one book in the format Company.Book:

Single Book - Separate Company and Book combo-boxes - Two separate drop-down lists on the report,
one for selecting a single company, the other for selecting a single book. The books available depend on the
company selected:

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Single Book - Company combo-box only - A single drop-down list on the report, where you can select
only a company. The main book in the company is automatically used for the report. This option is ideally
suited to companies with only one book:

Multiple Books - Combined Company.Book combo-box - A single drop-down list on the report, with a
separate check box for each Company.Book combination. This enables you to select multiple books to display
on the report:

Multiple Books - Company combo-box only - A single drop-down list on the report, with a separate check
box for each company. This enables you to select multiple companies. The main book in each company is
automatically used for the report. This option is ideally suited to companies with only one book:

Predefined Book(s) - The report is executed for the book(s) specified in the report parameters. You cannot
change the selection at when viewing the report.

Period and Date Range Selection Type


From/To Periods - Select values for From Fiscal Year, From Period, To Fiscal Year, and To Period fields:

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From/To Periods (One Fiscal Year) - Select one fiscal year, and specify From Period and To Period values:

To Period/Duration - Select To Fiscal Year and To Period values, specify the Duration Type (Periods or Fiscal
Years), and set the duration:

YTD/Balance - Select a Reporting Fiscal Year, and a To Period value. Suitable for YTD and balance reports,
for example, Trial Balance:

From/To Date - Select a date range using the calendar pop-ups in the From Date and To Date fields:

Cut-Off Date/Duration - Select a date using the calendar pop-up in the To Date field, specify the Duration
Type (Days, Weeks, or Month), and set the Duration:

Simple Currency Conversions


If you do not replicate exchange rate data from you ERP system, you can still convert reports or columns into
other currencies manually, using the Simple Currency Conversions option. This requires you to manually specify
the report currency, the cross-rate currency, and the actual conversion rates in the report parameters. You also
have to select a currency in all columns which require currency conversion. This method also applies if you use
the Standard presentation style, mentioned above.

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To define currency conversion settings:


1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Parameters sheet.

2. In the Currency Conversion Definition field, select Simple Currency Conversions.


3. In the CrossRateCurrency field, enter the currency against which currency conversion factors will be
calculated. The currencies available in the drop-down list are taken from the companies in the AFR financial
database.
4. In the Currency field, select the report currency. This is the currency used for columns which specify Report
Currency in their Currency field.
5. In the CurrencyConversions field, manually enter the exchange rates for the selected currencies. The
cross-rate currency defaults to * 1.00. All other currencies default to / 0.00. You must enter a rate, otherwise
you will receive an error when you run the report.
If you specify another currency in a column definition,
you must include that currency in the CurrencyConversions
field.

6. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.


For details of how to set or change currency details in the report at runtime, refer to Chapter 8: Report View and
Use.

Options
You can set global report options on the Options sheet. These set the default format on the report. However,
you can override the default format on individual rows, or on individual columns.
To define the report options:

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1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Options sheet.

2. If you select the Hide rows with zero values check box, any financial data rows where all values are zero
will not display when you run report.
if you create rows of type Account Sum or Account List,
but leave their Expression field empty, these rows always
display. The enables you to use such rows as section
headers within your reports.

3. In the Numeric Format section, set defaults for the display of numbers on the report. for example, the
number of decimal places to display. You can also set specific formats for individual rows in a row set. See
the Set Column Numeric Format section in the Row and Column Sets chapter above for details of the options.
4. In the Wrap negative numbers in fields, optionally enter characters, for example parentheses, to display
negative numbers.

5. Select an option from the Show zero as drop-down list As is, Blank, or String.
6. If you select String, an extra field displays, where you can enter the symbol you want to represent zero.
7. Enter a Thousand separator symbol if required. If not, thousands display without a separator, for example,
11599.
8. Enter a Currency symbol to use for financial values on the report. Select the Show currency after value
check box to display the symbol after financial values, instead of in front.

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9. In the Rounding option field, select from No Rounding, Nearest Hundred, Thousands, Milllions, and
Billions. To round to whole numbers, combine the Rounding selection with the Decimal Places selection.
10. Increase or decrease the default number of Decimal places.
11. In the Date / Fiscal Period Formatting section, you can set defaults for the display of dates and fiscal
periods on the report. The formats you define here override the defaults for the whole AFR financial database,
which you can define on the Settings > Default Formats sheet. See the Designer Settings and Tools chapter
for details on the available options.

12. In the Page orientation section, select either Portrait or Landscape. The default is Portrait.
13. In the Paper size field, select an alternative size from the drop-down list. The default is A4. If you select
another size, the Width and Height fields update.
14. Alternatively, you can manually change the page Width and Height. The values are in inches. If you do,
the Paper size field changes to Custom.
15. Click the Save button on the Standard toolbar.
16. If your changes to the page orientation or size mean the report columns are wider than the page width, a
Save message displays, prompting you to choose whether to shrink the column widths.

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17. You can view the current column widths, and their relation to the overall page width, on the Reports >
Detail > Body sheet.

Body
The Reports > Detail > Body sheet displays the current width of columns in your report definition, in relation to
the page width. You can manually shrink or widen each column, or use the Fit Columns functionality to
automatically fit column widths to the page width.
The Body sheet works together with the Page Orientation and Page Size settings on the Report > Options sheet.
If you select a smaller page size on the Options sheet, the system prompts you to decide whether to shrink column
widths to fit the new page size. Updated page sizes then display on the Body sheet.
To change column widths:
1. In the Tree View, select the report whose column widths you want to adjust.

2. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Body sheet.


3. The current column widths display in the Width row.
4. A dotted line marks the overall page width.
5. To adjust an individual column width, drag the column divider to the right of the column.
6. Alternatively, you can enter a value in the column you want to adjust.

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7. To make the columns fit the current page width exactly, select Fit Columns from the Actions menu.

8. The new columns widths display, and the columns fit the page width.
9. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Options sheet.

10. Select a smaller page size in the Paper size field.


11. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.
12. The Save message displays, prompting you to decide whether to shrink the report columns to fit the new
page width.

13. Click Yes to shrink the columns.

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14. Navigate back to the Body sheet.

15. The new column widths display.


If an RDL file is already uploaded for the report, the RDL Merge
tool also launches when you update column widths. For more
details, see the RDL Merge section in this chapter.

Headers and Footers


To complement the data that displays on each advanced financial report, you can create headers and footers.
You can specify what should display in the left, middle, and right sections of both the header and footer sections
of the report. You can also make multiple lines on each header and footer.
Additionally, you can insert image files, which gives you the ability to add company and department logos. Besides
images, you can also refer to parameter values that automatically update based on the data selected to display
within the report. For example, you can use the @ReportingTreeNode parameter to display the name of reporting
tree node currently selected in the report.
The Header Footer sheet also has a formatting toolbar. Use the toolbar to change the font, alignment, and color
settings. You can also select multiple header and footer rows, and copy and paste them, or delete them.

Define the Report Header and Footer


To add a report header or footer:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Report Header or Report Footer.
In this example, you add a header.
2. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Header Footer sheet.
3. A new line displays within the Header grid.
4. You can enter text in the Left, Center, and Right sections. This will display on the report.
5. Right-click in a field to select from a list of report parameters (with the @ prefix) and other values from the
report to display on the header.
6. Enclose report parameters and other values in curly parentheses.
7. To add an image file to the header, right-click in the required field. A context menu displays. Select Insert
image.
8. In the dialog that displays, locate the image you want to insert, and click Open.

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9. To change the display format of a header or footer row, select the row you want to adjust.
10. Use the buttons on the formatting toolbar to change the font, alignment, and color settings.
11. You can also adjust the width of header and footer sections. Click and drag the divider to the right of a
section to drag it to a new width.
12. A dotted line marks the current page width, based on the Page orientation and Page size settings on the
Reports > Detail > Options sheet.
13. To automatically resize the header and footer section widths to fit the page width, select Fit Header and
Footer from the Actions menu.
14. When you finish setting up headers and footers, click Save.

Header Footer Expressions


A number of expressions are available to insert within each header and footer cell. The following table lists each
expression, describes its purpose, and provides an example of its use.
Report parameter values are also available for display within
each header and footer cell. For a description of each
parameter, review the Available Parameters table in the
previous Report Parameters section.
Expression Syntax

Description

Output Example

{PeriodNumber.Period} Displays the period number for the FromPeriod or ToPeriod 11


value in report parameters.

160

{FiscalYear.Period}

Displays the fiscal year for the FromPeriod or ToPeriod value 2012
in report parameters.

{Book.Name}

Defines a comma delimited list of book names based on the Main Book1, Book 2
Book field in report parameters.

{Book.CurrencyCode}

Displays a comma delimited list of currency codes taken


USD, EUR
from the currency codes defined on the Book ID(s) specified
in the Book report parameter. If two books have the same
currency code, the currency code is included only once in
the list.

{Book.ID}

A comma delimited list of Book IDs specified in the Book


report parameter.

{ColumnSet}

Defines a comma delimited list of column set names linked Column set 1, Column set
to the report.
2

{Company.Name}

Indicates the name of the company whose ID is specified in Epicor USA


the Company report parameter.

{Company.ID}

Indicates the ID of the company specified in the Book report EPIC06


parameter.

{ColumnSet}

Defines a comma delimited list of column set names linked Column set 1, Column set
to the report.
2

{NodeName}

Displays the reporting tree node selected in the


ReportingTreeNode report parameter.

MAIN, CONS

ANZ Region

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Expression Syntax

Description

Output Example

{Page}

Displays the report page number.

{PageCount}

Identifies the total number of pages in the report.

10

{ReportName}

Displays the name of the report.

Balance Sheet

{ReportDescription}

Displays the description of the report.

Balance Sheet Report for


European Headquarters

{ReportTree}

Displays the name of the reporting tree linked to the report. Regions

{RowSet}

Indicates a comma delimited list of row sets linked to the


report.

BalanceRow, RowSet2

{Today}

Displays the current date the format you select in the


sub-menu.

08-16-2010

{Now}

Displays the current time and date in the format you select 2012-07-13 16:54:35
in the submenu.

{User}

Displays the user logon name of the user current logged


Americas\JAnderson
into the Report Designer. If windows authentication is used,
then the workstation logon name displays.

Report Preview
After you design a report, you can preview the results directly in the Report Designer. Use the report preview to
verify the report displays the data you want. The preview also displays the formatting you applied to rows,
columns, headers and footers. If the report has issues with its data or presentation, you can adjust the report
definition, then preview the report again.
You can use a different AFR financial database for the preview function. This can be useful if you want to keep
the preview data static, using a database that doesn't update with live, changing data. Also, you may want to
use a different database for security reasons.
When you are satisfied with the data displayed on the report preview, you can either generate the report in
Microsoft Excel or you can upload a Report Definition Language file (RDL) for the report. These RDL files contain
the parameters of the data the report will extract from the database when it displays in a web browser via the
Report Server. You can launch these files from the Report Designer as well. If you want to make further changes
to the report layout, you can refine the look of the report in either Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder or
Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio . After you make changes to this report with these layout tools, you can then
upload the RDL file and launch the report in a web browser for final verification.
To learn a little more about using the Microsoft BI Studio layout tool, review the Report Layout chapter.

Preview the Report


Use the report preview feature to verify the report is pulling in the data you want. This feature launches the
report in a preview window. You can check to see if it pulls in the data you want to display on the report.
You can also change the various report parameters and refresh the report to verify the report behaves as expected.
To launch the report preview:

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1. From the Tree View, select the report you want to preview.

2. Click the Preview button to launch the preview window.


You can also select Generate report preview from the Actions menu.

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3. The report displays within the <Report Name> preview window.

4. The Parameters you set up on the report display in the top section of this window. You can change the
values in these fields to test the data results.
5. If you defined values for the Header on the report definition, these values display above the report body.
6. The account descriptions, amounts, column headers, and other information display in the report body. As
you change the parameters on the report, the data that displays updates within this table.
7. If you defined values for the Footer on the report definition, these values display below the report body.

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8. To change the parameters, click in the Expression field of a specific parameter and select an option from
the drop-down list. You can also enter values manually.

9. Click the Refresh button to update the window. Data that matches the new parameter now displays on
the report.
10. When you finish checking the preview, click Close.

Reporting Trees
Reporting trees are hierarchies of filters you attach to report definitions. At runtime, you can select a reporting
tree node to filter the report. Reporting trees use elements from general ledger account segments, and logical
expressions based on database fields, to define subsets of data by which to filter the financial report. Specific
logic determines the relationship between parent and child nodes in the reporting tree hierarchy. The data each
node gathers depends on its position in the hierarchy and the child node filters below it.
Reporting trees determine the data that displays on each node using both AND logic and OR logic. Any parent
nodes above a child node use AND logic, while any child nodes below the same node use OR logic. The child
nodes act as filters that define the selected financial data. For example, you create a reporting tree that gathers
financial data for restaurants and bakeries within an international hotel chain. This reporting tree starts with
Country as the root, parent node, Hotels as the first child node, and Restaurants and Bakeries within each Hotel
as the second-level child nodes, and the Bars contained within each Restaurant as a third level child node. When
you generate a financial report that uses this reporting tree for a specific hotel, the filter value from the root
Country node is added to the filter value of the Hotel node. Data for the bakeries, restaurants, and bars only
displays for the selected hotel, within the selected country.
You can create account and expression filters on each node, to define the data selected by the reporting tree.
These expression filters limit the report to displaying financial data that match the filter. The Parent and Child
Node Logic section below explores this functionality.

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Use the sheets under the Reporting Trees tab to create, modify, and delete reporting trees and manipulate the
parent and child nodes which define the overall hierarchy and filter expressions contained within each reporting
tree.
You can also use the Reporting Tree Wizard to set up reporting trees with multiple levels, all in a few simple
steps. The Reporting Trees that are generated can be automatically produced with the wizard, based on the
companys chart of accounts structure and the settings selected in the wizard.

Create a Reporting Tree


Each reporting tree you create must have a unique name. When you create reports, you can assign a reporting
tree to the report. When you view the report, you can then select nodes to filter the report data. Optionally, you
can also select a dictionary to pull in a set of reusable accounts, row and column expressions, and data sets.
Dictionaries are described in the next section of this user guide. Once you are familiar with how reporting trees
work, use the Reporting Tree Wizard to speed up the creation process and create large, complex reporting trees.
In this example, you create a reporting tree for filtering data by division and then by department.
To create a reporting tree:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button and select Reporting Tree.

2. The Reporting Trees > Detail sheet displays.


3. Enter a Name for the reporting tree. This name value cannot contain any spaces.
4. Optionally, select a Dictionary you want to use from the Dictionary list.
5. Enter a Description for the reporting tree. Use this field to describe the purpose of the reporting tree.
6. The Reporting Trees > List sheet displays any reporting trees currently open in the Report Designer.

7. When you finish defining the main details of your reporting tree, click Save on the Standard toolbar.

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Create a Node
Each node defines the particular accounts, account categories, dictionary definition, and/or logical expression by
which to filter data. When you use a reporting tree on a report, the nodes define the filters. You can arrange
nodes in a parent-child arrangement, which enables increased filtering as you proceed down the hierarchy.
This example illustrates how to create a node to filter by a particular department (in the Account field), and fiscal
period (in the Expression field).
To create a new reporting tree node:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button and select Reporting Tree Node.

2. The Reporting Trees > Nodes > Detail list displays.


3. Enter the Name you want for this node. Ideally, it should reflect the filter, for easy identification and selection
at report runtime. This name cannot contain spaces; use the underscore (_) to define a space.
4. The application automatically creates default node numbers using intervals of 10 for each node you add.
5. Optionally, enter an account filter. Click the ellipsis button (...) next to the Account field.
6. The Expression Builder window displays. This contains the controls for selecting Accounts, Account
Categories, and Dictionaries. Select the item you want from the Categories list.
You do not need to use the Expression Builder to create
reporting tree node expressions. If you know what data

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you want to display, manually enter the required code


syntax in the Account and/or Expression field.

7. Select the Company and Chart of Accounts you want to use for the Account expression.
8. In this example, you select the Division segment in the AccountBuilder grid.
9. You can now select the Values of segment <'Selected Segment'> sheet in the Available
accounts/segments section.
10. In the grid, select the segment value(s) you require.
11. The Expression field updates according to your selection.
The following expressions are available for use within a reporting tree node:
Type

Example

Account

1000-01-20

Account list

1000, 2100, 6999

Account range

1000:1599

Category

#ASSETS

Category list

#LIAB_EQUIT,#NET_INCOME

Dictionary definition

$AP_Accounts

12. When you finish, click OK. For more information on how to use the controls on the Expression Builder,
review the previous Define the Columns Accounts and Row Expressions sections in Chapter 4: Row and
Column Sets.

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13. You can also specify a logical expression for the node, based on database fields. To help create the expression,
click the ellipsis button (...) next to the Expression field.

14. The Expression Builder window displays.

15. In the Categories pane, select the table from which to use a database field.
16. In the FinancialDataSelector pane, select the required database field.
17. Click OK.
18. To review the nodes available within the current reporting tree, click the List sheet. All the nodes available
within the reporting tree display in the grid. You can edit the nodes here as well.

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19. Create and modify nodes as required. When you finish, click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Define Child Nodes


The Report Designer initially treats all nodes equally. When you create a new node, it is a root level node in the
reporting tree. To set up parent/child node relationships, use the Tree View to move the nodes into a hierarchical
structure. To do this, click and drag these nodes into the parent/child relationships you need.
Be sure to use this functionality to build parent/child node relationships that enable users to filter report data to
the various levels required.
To define child nodes:
1. Create a new node as described previously. In this example, you create a node to filter by a department.

2. Click and drag this node onto another parent node to create a child relationship. In this example, you make
the Sales node a child node of the East_Division node. This relationship displays in the Tree View.

3. To review all of the child nodes you have placed under a parent node, select a parent node in the Tree View,
then navigate to the Child Nodes sheet.

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4. The child nodes display in the grid. You can modify the values in the grid as well.
5. Arrange all nodes as you need. When you finish, click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Parent and Child Node Logic


The data gathered through a reporting tree node is always derived from combining filters using AND logic from
the root and parents nodes to gather the data but then filtering this data using OR logic from child nodes.
Ultimately these filters define the specific data that displays within each cell of the financial report. Remember
that other expressions and parameters, for example row or column filters, can also be applied to the incoming
data to display the final value. Be careful not to set up contradictory, conflicting filters.
The parent-child relationship in reporting trees is illustrated in the example below. The following table displays
each node and the expression (if any) used within the node. The Effective Filter column displays the filter that
applies when you select the node in a report.
The level of a node in the hierarchy is shown by the number
of dashes in front of the node name. This also applies at report
runtime, when you select a reporting tree node in a report.
Node

Level

Account or Expression

Effective Filter

-East_Division

*-00

*-00

--Sales

*-*-10

*-00-10

---2014

FiscalYear = 2014

*-00-10 AND FiscalYear = 2014

---2015

FiscalYear = 2015

*-00-10 AND FiscalYear = 2015

----January2015

FiscalPeriod = 1

*-00-10 AND FiscalYear = 2015 AND


FiscalPeriod = 1

Notice the parent nodes in this table share a logical AND relationship with the nodes above them up to the top
level node. If you create a node with the Account and Expression fields blank, when you select this node in a
report, any child nodes of the selected node apply with OR logic.
The following example illustrates the use of empty nodes. The Effective Filter column displays the filter that applies
when you select the node in a report.

170

Node

Level

Account or Expression Effective Filter

-USA

*-11

--EastCoast

---Boston

*-*-01

*-11-01

---NewYork

*-*-02

*-11-02

---Philadelphia

*-*-03

*-11-03

--WestCoast

---LosAngeles

*-*-14

*-11-14

---SanFrancisco

*-*-15

*-11-15

---SanDiego

*-*-16

*-11-16

*-11
*-11-01 OR *-11-02 OR *-11-03

*-11-14 OR *-11-15 OR *-11-16

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Copy a Reporting Tree


You can copy reporting trees, or individual nodes. This can speed up the creation of reporting trees - often each
child node only needs to be modified slightly to reflect a different account segment value.
For example, you could copy and paste the Division and Department reporting tree described previously. You
can then modify the first level filter names and expressions to cover divisions in a different country. Just by
changing the name and expression(s), you can create a new reporting tree.
To copy a reporting tree:
1. Highlight the reporting tree from the Tree View.

2. From the Edit menu, select Copy. The reporting tree is now copied to your clipboard.
3. Select the Reporting Trees node.
4. From the Edit menu, select Paste.
5. The Copying a reporting tree window displays. This window indicates that various elements are connected
to the copied reporting tree; use this window to indicate a copy of these elements should be included in
the copied element.

6. To also make a copy of the dictionary linked to the reporting tree, select the Dictionary check box.
7. Click Paste.

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8. A copy of the reporting tree now displays. You can change the Name of the reporting tree, modify expressions
on each node, and modify the parent/child node structure to reflect what you need in the new reporting
tree.

9. Click Save.

Reporting Tree Wizard


Use the Reporting Tree Wizard to create larger, multi-level reporting trees in just a few short steps. Simply select
the chart of accounts you want to use, specify an account segment for each level of the tree, and determine how
each node should be named. You can also use masks in the reporting tree nodes, which use a wildcard. Whether
you want to include every account segment or just one, the wizard makes reporting tree creation quick and easy.
To create a reporting tree with the wizard:
1. From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Reporting Tree Wizard.

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2. The Reporting Tree Wizard Tree Constructor window displays.

3. Select a chart of accounts from the drop-down list..


4. Click the * (asterisk) to create a new level in the reporting tree.
5. For each level, select an accounting segment in the Source Segment field.
The available segments depend on the chart of accounts you selected above.

6. The Max Length field displays the maximum length of values for the selected segment. This field is read-only.

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7. In the Effective Length field, you can specify a shorter length than the Max Length. If you do, the node
expressions for that level use the * wildcard to the right of the effective length.
8. Select the Catch-All check box to create an extra node which captures all segments not available at the
time of generation. This is important for dynamic segments, especially if they are linked to ERP entities.
9. The Node Name Template enables you to determine how each node is named. Right-click to select from
the available keywords:
[Level] The level in the reporting tree.
[SegmentNo] The segment number, taken from the chart of accounts.
[SegmentName] The segment name, as displayed in the Source Segment field.
[XXXX] The effective segment value of the node.
[AccountMask] The effective account mask for the node.
Each node must have a unique name. If the template you
enter does not enable this, an error message displays
when you create the reporting tree.
Other text displays as written.
10. Click Next.
11. The Reporting Tree Wizard Create Reporting Tree window displays.

12. Enter a name for the reporting tree, or keep the default which displays.
13. Click Finish.
14. The new reporting tree displays in the Report Designer, complete with nodes, parent/child relationships,
and account expressions.

15. Click Save.


Remember, you can still make further changes to the reporting tree if necessary.

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Final Data Results


Filters set in various report elements contribute to what data displays in each cell on a report. Details on row and
column filters and expressions are described in the Row Set and Column Set sections in the previous chapter.
The data in each cell on a report is filtered by a logical AND using the following criteria:
1. Report parameters
2. Effective reporting tree node filter
3. Row expressions
4. Column expressions
5. Effective filters of the cell clicked in a parent drill-down report

Dictionaries
Dictionaries contain reusable definitions for expressions which can be maintained in one place, and referred to
from other expressions by their alias. You create dictionaries when you need to reuse a set of parameters within
multiple reports. A specific dictionary can be selected on row sets, column sets, and reporting trees. Then, when
you create report elements, for example a row set, you can reuse the definitions within the row expressions,
instead of having to recreate them every time.
Each dictionary contains primary information that describes its purpose. You can then add multiple definitions
as you need, to cover the various expressions you might want to reuse.
Sections in the Row and Column Sets chapter describe how you select a dictionary within a report element. Each
row set, column set, and reporting tree can only have one dictionary assigned.
Some examples of dictionary use include:
To create your own account categories and use them throughout several reports.
To create a shortened name for long expressions, to avoid mistakes and to simplify report editing.

Create a Dictionary
You define the primary information for a dictionary on the Dictionary > Detail sheet.
To create a dictionary:

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1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Dictionary.

2. Navigate to the Dictionary > Detail sheet.


3. Enter the Name you need for the dictionary. This text value cannot contain any spaces.
4. Enter a Description for the dictionary.
5. To view all of the dictionaries you currently have available, use the List sheet.

6. The current dictionaries display within the grid. If you want, you can modify the Name and Description of
each dictionary.
7. When you finish creating and modifying a dictionary, click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Create a Definition
Definitions are elements that pull in data through expressions you create. In effect, a definition is a user-defined
keyword used to represent a set of data, such as a series of accounts, a mathematical expression, or some other
item that you often use in different places. So, instead of having to enter a the same complex expression every
time you need it, you can just enter a short definition name. Each dictionary can contain multiple definitions, so
you can build custom dictionaries to use on various row sets, column sets, and reporting trees. Create definitions
to pull in consistent data across your advanced financial reports.
To create a dictionary definition:

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1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Definition.

2. Navigate to the Dictionary > Definitions > Detail sheet.


3. Enter a Name for the definition. Be sure this text value does not contain any spaces; if you need a space,
use the underscore (_).
4. Define the expression the definition will use. Click the ellipsis button (...) next to the Expression field.
5. The Expression Builder window displays.
You do not need to use the Expression Builder to create
dictionary definitions. If you know what data you want

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to enter, you can directly enter this syntax in the


Expression field.

6. The Categories section contains the various functions available within the Report Designer. The Row,
Column, Math, Date, Accounts, Account Categories, and Dictionary functions are described in the
previous chapter; review these sections for details and examples of these functions.
7. Create the expression you need by selecting the functions and then modifying them within the Expression
field. In the example, you select Accounts to create an account expression.
8. Click OK.

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9. Repeat these steps to create all the dictionary definitions you need. You can review all of these definitions
on the List sheet.

10. All of the definitions for the current dictionary display in grid.
11. When you finish creating and modifying the definitions for the current dictionary, click Save on the
Standard toolbar.
When you select this dictionary in a row set, column set, or reporting tree, you can then use dictionary definitions
in expressions and fields.

Copy a Dictionary
Like other report elements, you can copy dictionaries. You use this feature when you want to create a new
dictionary similar identical to an existing one. Once you make the copy, modify it to reflect the specific requirements.
To copy a dictionary:
1. In the Tree View, select the dictionary you want to copy.

2. From the Edit menu, select Copy. The reporting tree is now copied to your clipboard.
3. From the Edit menu, select Paste.

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4. A copy of the dictionary now displays on the Tree View.

You can now make changes to the copied dictionary and its definitions as you need.
You can also copy, paste, and delete individual definitions.
Use Shift to select a range of definitions, or Ctrl to select
discrete items

Report Security
You indicate which Windows users and groups have access rights to each report through the Security sheet. Two
levels of security rights are available. You can indicate which users and groups have View rights, which means
these selected users/groups can launch and review an AFR report, but cannot make changes to it. You can also
assign Edit rights; users assigned this security level can both view and change the report. Only existing Windows
accounts for users and groups can be entered on this sheet.
When you create a new report, a default edit account and view account are automatically added to the Security
sheet. You enter which accounts appear by default within the Settings window on the General panel. For more
information about these fields, review Chapter 6: Designer Settings and Tools.
When users are not assigned either View or Edit rights and they try to launch the report, they will receive an error
message. For reference, this message lists the users and groups who do have access to the report.

Security Setup
When AFR is installed, an AFR Administrator login is defined, which automatically populates with the Windows
credentials for the current user. This user then has access to the Security sheet and can assign users and groups
access rights to specific reports. For all other users, the Security sheet is hidden.
This security information is stored in a report definition database table. The data is encrypted and so is protected
from tampering. If AFR detects any tampering with its secure information, an error message displays.

Assign View Rights


To assign View security rights on the current report:

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1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select View Access.

2. The Reports > Detail > Security sheet displays.


3. A new row displays in the View rights pane. Enter the group or user account for whom you want to give
View rights. These users and groups must be Windows accounts set up on your network. Enter these accounts
using this format: DOMAIN\UserOrGroupName.
4. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.
When you navigate away from this row, the account you entered is validated. If the Report Designer cannot
find the user or group Windows account, an error notification (a red exclamation mark) displays next to the
row.
Repeat these steps to add all the users you want to have View rights on the current report. If you need to
enter a local group or user, use the domain name BUILTIN' followed by the user or group name. For example:
BUILTIN\Administrators
When a report is viewed in SSRS, the actual view rights
are a combination of SSRS rights and AFR rights. The user
can only view the report if they have both SSRS and AFR
rights to view the report.

Assign Edit Rights


You follow similar steps to give specific users and groups Edit rights to a specific report. Notice that any user who
has Edit rights automatically has View rights to this report as well.
To assign Edit security rights on the current report:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select Edit Access.

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2. The Security sheet displays.


3. New row displays within the Edit rights pane. Enter the group or user account you want to give Edit rights.
These users or groups must already exist. Enter the accounts using the format DOMAIN\UserOrGroupName.
4. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.
When you navigate away from this row, the account is validated against existing Windows accounts to make
sure the account exists. Repeat these steps to add all the users/groups you want to grant Edit rights on the current
report.

Report Element Security


You can also assign edit rights to individual report elements, such as row sets and column sets.
When you create a new report element, the current user is automatically added to the Security sheet of the
particular element. If a different user is specified in the Default edit access role in the Settings > General tab,
that user is also added to the Security sheet.
The interaction between report and element security settings works according to the logic in the following
example:
There is a report, Report1.
RowSet1 and ColumnSet1 are assigned to Report1.
Users JSmith and HSanchez have Edit and View rights to Report1.
Only user JSmith has Edit rights to RowSet1.
Users HSanchez and KChu have Edit rights to ColumnSet1.
Based on the above settings, the behavior is as follows:
User JSmith cannot edit ColumnSet1, but can add other column sets to Report1, and remove Columnset1
from Report1.
User HSanchez cannot edit RowSet1, but change the row set assigned to Report1.
User KChu cannot edit Report1, cannot add/change row sets/column sets in Report1, cannot edit RowSet1,
but can edit ColumnSet1.

Assign Edit Security Rights on the Current Element


An element cannot be edited or deleted if the user does not have Edit rights for that element. This includes
adding, editing, or deleting access rights to the element itself.
To assign Edit security rights on the current report element:
1. Click the Down Arrow next to the New button; select <element> Edit Access.

2. The Security sheet for the element displays.

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3. A new row displays in the Edit rights pane. Enter the group or user account you want to give Edit rights.
4. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.
When you navigate away from this row, the account is validated against existing Windows accounts to make
sure the account exists. Repeat these steps to add all the users/groups for whom you want to grant Edit rights
on the selected element.

Copy a Report
Report definitions can be copied so you can rapidly create a report similar to the original report definition. You
have the option of making a copy of the row set, drill-down reports, column sets, and reporting tree elements
from the original report, or you can elect to use the exact same elements.
To copy a report definition:
1. In the Tree View, select the report you want to copy.

2. From the Edit menu, select Copy. The report is now copied to your clipboard.
3. From the Edit menu, select Paste.
4. The Copying a report window displays. This window indicates the various elements connected to the
copied report definition. If you select an item, a copy is made of that element. If you clear the check box
for an item, the new report will use the original element - the exact same element as used in the report
from which you are copying.

5. Click Paste.

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6. A copy of the report now displays in the Report Designer.

7. If you selected not to copy an element, the original element is used in the new report.
8. If you did select to copy an element, a new element is created, with the Copy_Of_ prefix.
9. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Generate an RDL File


You create an .RDL file using the Generate RDL File command. You use the Parameters, Style Map, Fitting, and
RDL Parameters sheets in this window to set up the resulting .RDL file. Use the Parameters sheet to enter the
name of the .RDL file, indicate the directory path where you will store this file, and optionally link a template to
the file. If you use a template, you can then select the Style Map sheet to define any data mapping you need
between the source table and the template tables. Templates are described in more detail within Chapter 7:
Report Layout.
Some default templates are included with the Report Designer. You may also build your report .RDL file with any
templates already available at your company, as long as they use a format compatible with SSRS reporting. You
can also launch the Microsoft Visual Studio while you generate the .RDL file; you can create a new template
within this application and directly link it to your report within the Report Designer.
To generate an .RDL file:
1. In the Tree View, select the report you want to upload.

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2. Click the Generate RDL File button on the Standard toolbar, or from the Actions menu, select Generate
RDL file.
3. The Rdl generator window displays.

4. Navigate to the Parameters sheet.


5. Enter the Report name you want for the generated report. By default, the report name is the same as the
report definition in the Report Designer.
6. Use the Save to folder field to select the directory path to which you will save the report. You can enter
this directory path directly or click the ellipsis button (...) to find and select it.
7. If you want to generate your file using an existing template, use the Template file field to indicate which
template to use. You can enter the directory path to this template directly, select from the drop down list,
or click the ellipsis button (...) to locate the template file you want.
8. You can also immediately launch the .RDL file within Microsoft Visual Studio after you upload it. To do this,
select the Edit the generated RDL check box.
Generating an .RDL file does not move data to Microsoft
Visual Studio. The generation process moves the report
parameters and all report elements (the report definition),
but it does not generate the report's data. Report data
only generates when you actually run the report. The data
that displays on your report is pulled directly from the
replicated AFR financial database.

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9. If you want, you can also link, or map, specific elements from the selected template .RDL file onto different
sections of your report. Use this functionality to fine tune which elements from the template .RDL file are
used for different sections of the generated report. To do this, click the Style Map sheet.

10. Select the Target Table from the template .RDL file that contains the elements you want to map.
11. Indicate which area of the report you are mapping different styles by selecting one of the Tablix part
options. You can map to the Header, Detail, or Footer sections of the report.
12. Use the ReportColumn list to select a column from the report. When you generate the report, this column
will use the style from the selected Template column.
13. Select the Template table that contains the alternate style you want to use. All of the tables available on
the template .RDL file display on this list.
14. To complete the style map, select an element from the Template column. This element uses the style you
want to substitute for the selected Report column.
15. If you are only making parameter and style map changes to an existing .RDL file, click Save.

RDL Parameters
Use the RDL Parameters sheet to set options for the particular RDL file you are generating. By default, the
parameters come from the Reports > Parameters sheet in the Report Designer, but you can change them for
each particular RDL generation.
1. To change presentation options for this particular RDL generation, click the RDL Parameters sheet.

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2. Select Standard or Advanced presentation style.


These styles are covered in the Presentation Options section in this chapter.
3. If you are using the Advanced presentation style, select the required setup in the Advanced Presentation
Options fields. These correspond to the fields on the Reports > Parameters sheet. When you launch this
particular RDL file in a web browser, the parameter options are determined by the settings you make here.
4. To generate the .RDL file the first time and move it to the target folder, click the Upload button.
A progress bar indicates the .RDL file is generating. When the process is complete, a dialog box indicates
the report generation was successful.
5. In the Tree View, the RDL file displays under the report node, prefixed by the name of the SSRS folder. By
default, the SSRS folder is called AFR.

6. Whenever you select an RDL file in the Tree View, the RDLs sheet displays.

RDL Merge
The RDL Merge tool facilitates keeping RDLs up to date with changes made to the report definition in the AFR
Report Designer. Whenever a new element, for example a column, is added to a report definition, the user does
not have to edit the related RDL file and add the column there also, nor generate a new RDL and re-apply any
customization. Instead, the user can either let the system make automatic updates to the RDL, or specify which
column the new column should take its formatting and style from (left or right). Also, if the user has added
customization to the existing RDL file which conflicts with AFR requirements to support styles defined in the
Report Designer, the RDL Merge tool assists the user to make decisions on whether they want to keep the
customization, or reset it with an expression required to support such styles.
The RDL Merge tool is invoked when the user clicks Save in the Report Designer and any of the following
conditions are true:
A column is added or removed.
Column width is changed on the Reports > Detail > Body sheet.
A Header/Footer row is added or removed.
Header/Footer column width or row height is changed.
Save or Save and Merge RDLs is selected on the Save toolbox sub-menu.
The Merge on Save option on the RDLs sheet has changed from None to either Manual or Automatic
since the last save.

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The drill-down mode has changed to or from Inline since the last save. If this was the only change made, the
RDL Merge window does not display, but the merge still takes place.
The RDL Merge does not detect changes made in the RDL file
itself. Therefore, if you make changes to the RDL outside the
AFR Report Designer, for example in MS SSRS Report Builder,
the RDL Merge tool is not invoked if you save the report
definition.

Merge on Save Setting


The Merge on Save field, on the Reports > Detail > RDLs sheet, enables you to determine whether the RDL
Merge tool launches when you save an updated report definition. See the list in the topic above for details on
which updates can invoke the RDL Merge feature.
To set the Merge on Save behavior for the selected RDL file:
1. Select an RDL file in the tree view. The Reports > Detail > RDLs sheet displays.

2. There are three options in the Merge on Save drop-down list:


None - The RDL Merge tool is not invoked at all when you save an updated report definition. This
corresponds to the behavior in previous AFR versions.
Manual - The RDL Merge window launches when you save an updated report definition. You can then
select whether to overwrite or keep the existing styles and column widths, for example.
Automatic - When you save an update report defintion, the RDL Merge tool automatically updates the
RDL file according to default behavior. For example, if you add a column to the report definition, the
column style in the RDL is copied from the adjacent left column.
3. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Automatic Merge on Save


The following illustrates the behavior of the RDL Merge tool if you select Automatic Merge on Save for an RDL.
In this example, you add an extra column to a report with three distinctly-formatted columns.

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1. The example report has three columns. The Reports > Detail > Body sheet displays their current width.

2. When you run your report in SSRS, there are three columns, each with distinct formatting.

3. On the RDLs sheet, select Automatic in the Merge on Save field.

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4. Click Save.
5. In the report's column set, create a new column.

6. Click Save.
7. If the Save window displays, prompting you to decide whether to shrink columns to fit the page size, click
Yes to shrink columns

8. The Merging progress bar displays.

9. The RDLs are being loaded now message also displays.


AFR downloads the associated RDLs from SSRS.

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10. When you run the report in SSRS, the new column has the same formatting as the column adjacent to the
left.

The next section looks at the extra steps required when the Merge on Save setting is Manual.

Manual Merge on Save


With manual Merge on Save, the RDL Merge tool launches when applicable changes are made to a report
definition. The user can then decide whether to accept the proposed changes, or retain the existing setting for
particular items.
The following example illustrates use of the RDL Merge tool when you want to add a column to a report and
change some formatting in the columns.
1. The example report has three columns, with distinct formatting.

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2. On the report's RDLs sheet, set the Merge on Save field to Manual.

3. In the report's column set, add a new column and make some formatting changes, for example to the font
color and background.

4. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.


5. If the Save window displays, prompting you to decide whether to shrink columns to fit the page size, click
Yes to shrink columns.

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6. The Merge [Report Name] Columns window displays.

7. Elements subject to the RDL Merge tool display in the tree view on the left.
8. In the lower grid, the Existing RDL properties display. For example, the existing column widths display.
9. In the upper grid, the Result RDL properties display. If you click OK now, these settings will be used to
update the resulting RDL file. For example, column widths are adjusted to fit all columns on the page.
10. By default, most settings for the new column are taken from the left adjacent column.
11. Alternatively, you have the option to retain the existing setting for a particular item. For example, in the
Width field for one column, select Existing.

Existing refers to the setting which is currently specified


in the RDL.

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12. The other column widths update accordingly to fit the page size.

13. In the fields for the new column, select AFR Generated to use the formatting you set for the new column
in the Report Designer, instead of taking the formatting from the left adjacent column.
14. When you have selected the required settings, click OK.
The Merge tool closes, and the RDL file is updated.
15. When you launch the report in SSRS, the new column displays, formatted according to the settings in the
Merge tool.

Save and Merge RDLs


The Save and Merge RDLs menu command enables you to invoke the RDL Merge tool regardless of the setting
selected in the Merge on Save field. This causes the system to check for differences between RDLs and their
corresponding report definition, and launch the RDL Merge tool if there are differences that can be addressed

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there. You may require this function if you have modified an RDL file outside the Report Designer, for example
in MS SSRS Report Builder, and you want to make sure it is in sync with the report definition.

If discrepancies are found, the Merge window displays in the same way as it would if the Merge on Save option
was set to Manual.

Refresh the RDL List


From the Actions menu, select the Refresh RDL List command to refresh the list of RDLs for the current report.
When you select this action, you activate a search of all RDLs that reference the current report. The search starts
in the default SSRS folder, which was set up on the Settings > RDLs sheet. Once the action is complete, a message
displays that the RDL list has been refreshed successfully.
This functionality would be required if you want to attach AFR RDLs which already exist in SSRS to report definitions.
This may be the case if RDL files were brought into SSRS manually, without using the Export-Import feature in
the AFR Report Designer.

Convert RDLs
Use the Convert RDLs command on the Actions menu to convert previously-customized RDL files to the latest
version of AFR. This is only necessary in certain special circumstances.
The Convert RDLs command is only available when you select either a report node or an RDL node in the Tree
View.
An example scenario in which this command could be required is:
A report definition is imported into AFR without an RDL file.
An old-version RDL file for the report is placed in the SSRS directory via an external application, namely MS
Visual Studio or MS Report Builder.
Select the Refresh RDL list command from the Actions menu.
Select Convert RDLs from the Actions menu.
In general it is not necessary to convert RDLs when you upgrade
to a new version of AFR.

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Use the RDLs Sheet Functionality


After you have generated the RDL file for a report, it displays on the RDLs sheet. Select this RDL file to launch it
in Microsoft Visual Studio for fine tuning, display the report in a web browser, or change presentation options
without having to regenerate the RDL file.
To use the RDLs sheet functionality:
1. In the Tree View, select a report RDL file.

2. The Reports > Detail > RDLs sheet displays.


3. In the grid, select the RDL file you want to view or modify. It is possible to have multiple RDL files for each
report definition.
4. In the grid, you can change the presentation options for the RDL file, as required. If the Presentation Style
is set to Advanced you could, for example, change the Book selection type setting.
The options on the RDLs sheet look the same as the options on the report's Parameters sheet. However, on
the RDLs sheet, these settings are specific to the selected RDL file. If you make changes here and click Save,
the RDL file updates. There is no need to upload the RDL file again.
5. Click Save on the Standard toolbar. The RDL file is updated.
6. If you want to refine the layout of the RDL file, select Edit RDL from the Actions menu. This launches
Microsoft Visual Studio; the RDL file launches in this application, and you can make the changes you need.
For more information on using this tool, review Chapter 7: Report Layout.

7. When you are ready to display the runtime version of the report, select View report option from the Actions
menu. For more information on displaying reports, review Chapter 8: Report View and Use.

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Summary
The Report Designer contains key features you use to ensure reports access and display data using a consistent
structure. You can create reporting trees that define a filter hierarchy; data that matches the selected filter is
then pulled into the report. Reporting trees can be used on multiple reports, ensuring you can use the same filters
across various financial reports. You can also set up dictionaries with multiple definitions to reuse a large set of
parameters like similar account expressions and logical calculations. You create dictionaries when you need to
reuse the same set of parameters within multiple reports.
When you have created the row set, column sets, and reporting trees, you can then assemble these various items
into a report. To create a report, you select the row set used on the report. You then select one or more column
sets and modify their sequence to determine how the data within the row set will display on the report. You can
also add a reporting tree to filter data on the report.
Set the report parameters to determine defaults for the company and GL books, fiscal periods, and currencies
included in the report, and set the presentation options, to determine how parameters are selected at report
runtime.
When you finish the design, you are ready to preview and view your financial report. Use the preview to verify
your report setup displays the correct financial information in the format you need.
Once the report definition is complete, you can upload an RDL file to the reporting server, which you can then
launch in a web browser, to view the final report. The RDL Merge tool enables you to make changes to a report
definition and automatically update its RDL file, or manually select how to update certain items in the RDL file.
If required, you can use either Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio or SQL Server Report Builder to further fine tune
the report layout.

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Chapter 7: Report Layout


To enable a report to display within a web browser via SSRS, you must generate an RDL file (Report Definition Language).
While some formatting of the RDL file is possible within the AFR Report Designer, further adjustments may be required.
You can do this in either Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder, or Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence Studio
(SQL 2008 R2) / SQL Server Data Tools (SQL 2012 and later). The Report Builder application is easier to use, and can
be downloaded from the Microsoft website free of charge.
When you finish defining the layout for each advanced financial report, you then deploy the report RDL file to the
report server. The report is now available for display within a browser. You can then launch a report to verify the final
version displays its information correctly, and also evaluate the look of the report. If you need, return to SQL Server
Report Builder or BI Studio, refine the layout, deploy the report again, and then display it within the browser. The AFR
application comes with several in-built RDL templates, available for selection when you upload a report RDL file.
However, you can also create your own report templates as required.
You can use either of the Microsoft third-party products to help set the report design and layout; from the AFR Report
Designer, you can directly invoke BI Studio or Data Tools to edit the RDL file. The following chapter illustrates this
integration, showing the report layout workflow, starting from the Report Designer and ending with Microsoft Visual
Studio. It also shows you how to add some basic report items and data regions to a report. These sections are only
intended to help you get started. For detailed instructions on all the functionality available within these third-party
tools, review the documentation and courses published by Microsoft.

The AFR Report Project


Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio organizes RDL files through a series of separate projects. Each project can contain
a number of related RDLs, files, images, and other items. The AFR Report Designer automatically creates a project,
if it does not already exist, and adds a copy of the generated RDL file to the project on the local disc.
Every time you invoke BI Studio (or Data Tools) from within the AFR Report Designer, it downloads a copy of the
RDL file from SSRS, saves it in the local project folder, and adds the RDL file to the project if it is not there.

Report Template Creation


Before you and other users begin developing advanced financial reports, consider developing a series of templates.
These templates contain default design items you want included on each report such as background colors,
header and footer information, company logos, and so on. Templates are used by the Report Designer when a
new RDL file is generated, to merge the formatting styles specified in the template with the generated RDL. The
corresponding elements in the new RDL inherit their style from their counterparts in the template. AFR overrides
only the parts which are required for AFR reports to work, the rest is brought in as is. These template files can
be created directly in SQL Server Report Builder or BI Studio, independently of the AFR Report Designer.
If you want to use the AFR Report Designer to jump start creation of a template, first set up a report definition
in the Report Designer. Then, when you generate the RDL file for the report definition, you upload it to the AFR
templates folder. You can then automatically launch this file within BI Studio and add the default images, text,
and data regions you want included on the template.

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The next time users log into the Report Designer to create reports, these templates are available. When you are
ready to upload an RDL file for a report definition, select Generate RDL File from the Actions menu. You can
then select the desired template from the Template drop-down list in the RDL Generator > Parameters window.
You can also create templates using Microsoft SQL Server
Report Builder. This application has a simpler interface - you
may find it easier to use for designing report templates which
are not overly complex. If you use this application, be sure to
save the template RDL files to the RDL Templates folder
described in the following section. Users can then select this
template from the Template drop-down list.
Main Menu Path: Start > All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > Report
Designer

Create a Report Template


To create a report template:
1. From the Tree View, select the report definition you want to use as the basis for a template.

2. From the Actions menu, select Generate RDL file.


3. The Rdl generator window displays.

4. Enter the Report name you want for the template file.

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5. To include the template in the Template File list for future selection, you must indicate the location of the
RDL template folder in the Save to folder field. Click the ellipsis button (...) to select a path.
The usual path is: Program Files\Epicor
Software\AFR\RDL Templates. You can save the
template RDL file to another folder, but this template file
will not display as an option in the Template File
drop-down list. Instead, users will have to browse to the
correct folder to find the file.

6. You finish the template by adding image files and other default items to the template within Microsoft
Visual Studio. To automatically launch this application after you upload the report definition to the template
folder, select the Edit the generated RDL check box.
7. Click Upload.
You receive a message that the upload process was successful. After you close this message window, the
RDL Generator window closes.
8. If you selected Edit the generated RDL, Microsoft SQL Server BI Studio launches, displaying the generated
RDL file. Use this application to define the default layout you want for the RDL file which will be used as a
template. The rest of this chapter describes some of the report items and data regions you can add to an
RDL file.

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9. The next time you generate an RDL file, your new template is an option on the Template file drop-down
list.

Pre-Defined Reports
A set of pre-defined reports is available for download from EpicWeb for use with Advanced Financial Reporting.
The report files are exported into xml format, and include pre-formatted RDL files.
Once you have downloaded and saved the reports package from EpicWeb, you can import the file into the Report
Designer, then tailor them to the requirements of your company. For example, you will need to adjust the accounts
referenced in certain report rows.
To import the pre-defined reports:
1. From the File menu, select Import > Exported AFR Reports.

2. The Import window displays.

3. In the File Path field, click the ellipsis button (...) to search for the xml file you want to import.
4. Select the Include RDLs check box to include the pre-formatted RDL files.

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5. Click OK.
6. The report and its elements display in the Report Designer.

7. On the Reports > Detail > General sheet, the Description field displays instructions on how to modify the
report to fit your companys requirements.
8. Click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Microsoft Business Intelligence Studio


When you are ready to refine the layout of your advanced financial report, you can launch Microsoft BI Studio
directly from the Report Designer. Your current report then displays inside this third-party application. You can
use Visual Studio functionality to enhance reports that display financial data in grids, charts, and gauges that
help explain and illustrate financial trends within your organization.
You can also open the report using Microsoft SQL Server Report
Builder. you can launch this program from the Windows Start
menu, or by clicking the Report Builder button in SSRS. In
Report Builder you have to navigate to the folder that contains
your RDL file.
To launch Microsoft Visual Studio from within the AFR Report Designer:

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1. From the Tree View, select the report RDL file you want to work on.

2. From the Actions menu, select Edit RDL, or double-click on the RDL node in the Tree View.
3. The RDL launches in Microsoft BI Studio - the AFR Microsoft Visual Studio window displays.

4. Your report file displays on the Design sheet.


If you selected a report template when you first built the .RDL file, the report displays using this template.
In this example, the EpicorTemplate.rdl file was used; the report displays using the graphics and colors from
this template file.

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5. The number of columns which display is based on the report's column set(s). The column header row and
the data rows all have the Expr phrase inside each cell on the report table.
You are now ready to fine-tune the look and feel of the report.

Report Items Design


You can add and modify report items within Microsoft Visual Studio. You can change the position of selected
items and add new items as you need. Similar to the Report Designer, you can also create and modify expressions
on nearly every report item to define rules as to when certain aspects of the report display or not. You can then
create reports that communicate different information based on incoming source data.
Report items are specific areas on the report that display data and graphic elements. The types of report items
available to display include:
Text Box A text box is an area of the report that contains either static text you enter or updatable text
generated through an expression. Use text boxes to display any additional data you need on the report, such
as date time stamps, user identifiers, company identifiers, and other specific items.
Image Images can be embedded within your advanced financial report. Each image can also display based
on a parameter you define reflecting conditions within the database. AFR reports support the following image
types: .gif, .jpeg, .bmp, and .png.
Line You can draw lines as you need throughout the AFR report. Use lines to separate different types of
information and create more organized, aesthetically pleasing reports. You can modify the color, thickness,
and other aspects of each line.
Rectangle You can place rectangles within areas of your AFR report. You can modify the border of each
rectangle to create organized and aesthetically pleasing reports. You can modify the border color, thickness
of each side, and other attributes of each rectangle.

Edit the Report Title


One of the items you can modify is the title of the report. In this example, the template contained a Title text
box. To edit this report title text box:

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1. Select an existing text box. Notice the items borders display, and each side of the item has dimension handles
(the white squares).

2. To change the size of the box, click and drag a dimension handle.

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3. You can enter some default text that displays each time this report generates.
4. Click the four-way arrow handle to drag the item to another position on the report.
Remember to save your changes periodically.

Add Text Boxes


You can also add more text boxes to your report layout to display information which further identifies the report.
These text boxes can contain keyword expressions that update based on the information in the financial report.
For example, you could add text boxes that display the company name and the report description.

Add a Company Parameter Box


You can set up dynamic text boxes to display a particular report parameter or other report features which can
change. This section describes how you add an updatable company text box to the report form, to display the
current company, based on the report parameters.
To add and the text box:
1. Navigate to the Report Data tab.
Several folders display in the tree view, including Built-in Fields, Parameters, and Images. You can drag
and drop items from these folders onto the report layout, and the required keyword automatically populates
the field.

2. From the Parameters section in the Tree View, drag the Book item onto the report layout.

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3. The text box now displays on the report with the @Book parameter.
4. Another simple example is to use the Page Number and Total Pages keywords from the Built-in Fields
section.
This will display the current page and total number of pages, for example, 1 / 5.

Display the Modified Report


You are ready to run the report to see your new text boxes in action. To do this, deploy the report and then
launch it in a web browser.
To display the modified report:

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1. All the current report RDL files available within the AFR project display within the Reports folder in the
Solution Explorer pane.

2. Select the report you want to display.

3. Right click and select Deploy from the context menu.

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4. The Output pane displays the deployment progress as it runs.

5. When the process is complete, the Succeeded message displays.


6. When you next launch the report in a web browser, the new fields display.
In this example, the current company/book parameter now displays.

7. The page number and total pages display in the footer.


You have successfully added and modified some report items on your advanced financial report.

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Data Regions
Data regions display financial data in a graphical way that better communicates some aspect of the information
on the report. Data regions are linked to specific datasets that exist within the report definition, and so they
contain field values pulled in from these selected datasets.
Several types of data regions are available on AFR reports. Available options:
Table Table data regions organize selected data through a grid format. The grid contains columns that
separate the data into different types, while each row below the columns displays data contained within a
specific record.
Chart Chart data regions display a graphical representation of the financial data. Several chart types are
available, and each organizes the data values through different groups that graphically illustrate relationships
between the data. The visual options on each chart are defined through scale breaks, custom attributes,
custom palettes, secondary axes, and data point tooltips.
Matrix Similar to a table, a Matrix data region contains columns and rows. However, Matrix data regions
can group together rows through aggregated data summaries, placing related records together under a
different header you can then expand and review.
List A List data region displays a customized group of fields that pull data from a single report database
table. You can add text boxes inside the List data region that display the data you want from selected fields
within the database table.
Gauge Gauge data regions measure and display financial data through either a radial or linear configuration.
Each gauge is typically linked to one or more data points. Each gauge can also be placed on its own within
the report. A gauge can also be embedded within a tablix data region.
Tablix (Table + Matrix + List) This data region displays its data in a grid format, either grouped through
aggregated data summaries from a Matrix, or freely formed through an open List.

List Data Regions


Use the List data region to create an area of the report that displays the data through a free form structure. List
data regions are linked to a specific table, and they will display each record within the table using the display
structure you define. You also have some additional settings that determine if each list should appear on a
separate page, whether the list items should stay together, and other specific options.
This section describes how to add a list to your report that displays the User ID, the location of the report server,
and the date and time on which the report was run.

Add a List
You use the Toolbox to add a list to the report. To add a list:

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1. Select the Toolbox tab.

2. Select the List data region.


3. Drag the List item onto the report layout.

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4. To define the table from which you will pull the data for the list, click the edge of the list to display the gray
bars.

5. Right-click a bar and select the Tablix Properties option.


6. The Tablix Properties window displays.

7. In the Dataset name field, select the dataset to use for this data region. You can use one dataset for each
data region.
8. If you want to separate your list from the rest of the report, click the Add a page break before check box.
9. To make sure the list contents display together, select the Keep together on one page if possible check
box.

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10. Click OK.

Add Text Boxes


Now you can add the text boxes that will contain the information you want within the list. In this example, you
want to display the User ID,Report Server URL, and Execution Time. Follow a similar process as described
within the previous Add Text Boxes section:
1. On the Report Data tab, click and drag the required items from the Built-in Fields section into the list
data region on the report layout.

2. Each item displays with its keyword.

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3. Click inside each text box to enter any additional text for each label. For this example, you enter User
ID:,Server:, and Time: beside the respective keyword.

Display the List Data Region


You are now ready to review the list to verify it generates the data you want to display.
1. From the Solution Explorer pane, select the report you modified.

2. Right-click and select Deploy.


3. Run the report in a web browser. For example, navigate to the AFR Report Server.

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Navigate to: Start > All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > AFR Report
Server.

4. SSRS opens in your web browser. Navigate to your AFR reports folder and select the report whose RDL file
you just deployed.

5. The report displays. Navigate to the section of the report that contains the list.
Your list displays the data generated through the expressions defined in each field.

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Changing RDL Project Properties


When the Report Designer generates the project file, it sets up some properties which may be changed later on.
To modify these properties:
1. From the Project menu, select AFR Properties.

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2. The AFR Property Pages window displays.

3. Use the Configuration drop-down list to indicate the specific configuration you want to modify. By default,
the Active(Debug) configuration displays.
4. To define the active solution configuration and its platform, click the Configuration Manager button.
5. You can modify various properties. Use the StartItem property to indicate which report definition activates
first when you launch the debugger within Microsoft Visual Studio.
6. Use the Deployment properties to indicate whether the data sources will be overwritten and to define the
target data folder, report folder, and server options for the AFR project.
The most important property is the TargetServerURL.
This defines the location of the server which will be used
to deploy the project.

7. Click OK to close the window.

Deploy All RDL Files in the Project


To deploy all of the reports within the AFR project:

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1. From the Build menu, select Deploy AFR.

Summary
When you finish creating report definitions within the Report Designer, you next generate Report Definition
Language (RDL) files. You can open these files in Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder or Business Intelligence
Studio, where you can fine-tune the layout you need on each report. To streamline the layout process, you can
create report templates that contain default items you want included on each report. Use templates to define
layout standards for the financial reports you and other users will create.
You can launch Microsoft BI Studio directly from the Report Designer. Once the report layout displays within this
application, you can add various items to the report. These items include text boxes, images, lines, and rectangles.
Use these report items to display dynamic information and enhance the look of the report. You can also add
data regions, such as charts, tables, lists, matrixes, gauges, and tablixes.
When the layout is complete and the RDL file is deployed, users can display the relevant report in a web browser
via SSRS. If further adjustments are required, simply launch the RDL file in BI Studio from within the Report
Designer.

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Chapter 8: Report View and Use


Advanced financial reports launch in a web browser via SQL Server Reporting Services. When you complete the report
layout in the Report Designer, and upload the Report Definition Language (RDL) file, you can launch the report in your
default web browser. You can access reports by launching the AFR Report Server shortcut, and also from within the
AFR Report Designer.
When you launch a report, it displays in the web browser with the parameters defined in the report definition. You
can change these parameters and refresh the report within the browser. You can also export the report in a variety of
file formats, or print a hard copy.
You can also create an AFR report in Microsoft Excel, thanks to the Epicor AFR ODBC Driver. This enables you to
customize the report in Excel according to local display requirements, and you can still change report parameters and
view updated data as you would in a web browser.

The AFR Report Server


The AFR Report Server, part of the AFR installation pack, creates a web application, which acts as a proxy between
the web browser and SSRS, adding AFR specific functionality to the functionality of SSRS report manager. For
example, it allows tracking of concurrent named user licenses by keeping in touch with the AFR Logon Server on
the server side. This enables users to view AFR reports in a web browser. AFR works with SQL Server Reporting
Services (SSRS) to provide a place to organize, manage, upload, and view financial reports.
Accessing an AFR report directly through SSRS Report Manager is not permitted, so users should access reports
via the AFR Report Server URL. The AFR Report Server knows which SSRS it needs to proxy by contacting the AFR
Logon Server specified in its web.config file and requesting the Logon Server to provide the SSRS URL. The
web.config is set up with the URL at the time of installation, when the user is prompted to select a Logon Server.
You connect to the web service via the AFR Report Server shortcut in the Windows Start menu. This launches
your default web browser, and displays the SSRS Home page. From there, you can access and view your AFR
reports. If the AFR Report Viewer is not installed, the web service also launches when you click View Report in
the Report Designer.
The URL in the AFR Report Server shortcut is set up by the AFR installer when the user specifies the URL for the
AFR Report Server. The link is only created if the AFR Report Viewer feature is not selected at the time of
installation. Therefore, the AFR Report Viewer and the AFR Report Server shortcut are mutually exclusive. By
default, the AFR Report Viewer is not installed; the option to install the Report Viewer feature is preserved only
for backward compatibility, and will be discontinued in the next version of the AFR product.
Main Menu Path: Start > All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > AFR Report
Server
When you launch the Report Server option from the Windows Start menu, the SSRS Home page launches in your
default web browser. This central Home page contains a number of management controls you can use to organize
the AFR reports available on the report server. Use these tools to set up the environment so that it runs properly
on your system.
The Home page displays a series of folders you and other AFR managers create. When you click a folder, the
contents of the folder display. Each folder page contains the same set of controls as the Home page, and you

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use these controls to define the environment for the specific folder. The default folder for report RDLs uploaded
from the Report Designer is called AFR. This folder also contains the data source required to display these reports.
When you launch a report RDL directly from the Report
Designer, you do not see the main Home page. Instead, the
report automatically displays in the web browser. You can then
click the Home button to navigate back to the home page.
After you have organized the Report Server environment and configured its settings, you and other users can
then launch, display, and print advanced financial reports in the web browser.
1. The default folder for Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting is AFR.

2. You can change this default folder in the Report Designer. On the Settings > RDL sheet, specify a different
value in the Default SSRS Folder field.

SSRS in AFR
The SSRS Home page and its sub-folders contain the functionality you use to organize and administer advanced
financial reports. Use the controls to assign user permissions and configure the site settings. You can also launch
the Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder and then upload new or modified RDL files to make them available
for viewing.
For detailed information on SQL Server Reporting Services, please refer to the SQL Server Reporting Services
documentation provided by Microsoft.

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SSRS Access Rights


Each user who will run reports must be given a role assignment that defines their level of access. You can create
role assignments at the Home page level in SSRS. You can also define role assignments for a specific report, data
source, or folder. SSRS then applies security levels through the roles you apply to specific items or folders.
1. The Site Settings > Security sheet displays the roles currently in use.

2. To change security settings for a specific report, select the Security option from the report's drop-down
list.

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3. On the Security sheet which displays, you can change security settings for the report.

Launch SQL Server Report Builder


You can launch the Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder directly from SSRS in your web browser. Use this report
layout tool to create report templates and modify the layout of existing advanced financial reports. You can also
open a particular RDL file in Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder.
To launch a report RDL file in Report Builder:
1. In the folder that contains your AFR report RDL files, open the menu for the file you want to edit in Report
Builder.

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2. Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder launches with the selected RDL file loaded.

3. The Report Data pane contains items you can use to enhance the report, in a similar way to Microsoft SQL
Server BI Studio.
Use this application to modify the report layout as you need, then save the changes. For more information on
how to use this tool, review the documentation and courses published by Microsoft.

Batch Report Schedule


You can set up schedules and subscriptions in SSRS to run a batch of AFR reports unattended, and export them
to a folder in a selected format. This feature makes use of the Report Server Delivery extension in SSRS.
To use this feature, you must have an AFR license which is enabled for Report Scheduling. To find out, navigate
to Help > About in the Report Designer. The Report scheduling value must be True. See the AFR Installation Guide
for details on how to request such a license. For more detail on matters pertaining to SSRS schedules and
subscriptions, review the Microsoft SSRS application help.
To set up a report schedule:

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1. In SSRS, navigate to the folder where your AFR reports are stored.

2. In the menu for the Data Source, select Manage.


3. Navigate to the Properties sheet.

4. Set up appropriate Windows connection credentials.


5. Click Apply.

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6. Navigate to Site Settings.

7. Navigate to the Schedules sheet.

8. Click New Schedule.

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9. The Scheduling page displays.

10. Enter a Schedule Name.


11. In the Schedule details section, set when you want to run schedule, and how often.
12. If required, set Start and end dates for the schedule as well.
13. Click OK.
14. You can view the new schedule on the Site Settings > Schedules sheet.

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Create Subscription in Reports


Now you can subscribe the required reports to the schedule, and determine the output type and location.
1. Navigate back to the folder which contains the reports you want to schedule.

2. On the menu for a report you want to add to the schedule, select Subscribe.
3. The report's Subscription page displays.

4. Set Report Delivery Options, including file format and save location.

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5. Select the schedule.

6. You must fill out the AFRLogonServerURI_ field. Clear the Use Default field to enable text entry in the
field.

7. Enter the AFR Logon Server URI. Make sure you include a forward slash (/) at the end.
You can see the Logon Server URI on the status bar in the
Report Designer.

8. Click OK.
The report is now part of the schedule, and will be saved to the location specified, according to the schedule.

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Report View
The purpose of the AFR Report Server, in conjunction with SSRS, is to generate and view your advanced financial
reports. When you have created a report definition in the AFR Report Designer, you will either upload its RDL file
from the Report Designer, or make additional adjustments in Microsoft Visual Studio or SQL Server Report Builder.
The report is then ready for you and other users to display in a browser, save, and print.

Navigate to the Report


You begin by navigating to the folder that contains your report.
1. When you first launch the AFR Report Server shortcut from Windows, the Home page displays in your
default web browser.

2. Click the folder that contains your advanced financial reports. By default this folder is called AFR.
If you changed the Default SSRS Folder on the Settings > RDL sheet in the Report Designer, that folder name
displays.
3. All of the reports available within this folder display as links.

4. The data source (DS) is created by the AFR Report Designer when the user generates and uploads an RDL
file.
This corresponds to the Data Source Name on the Settings
> RDL sheet in the Report Designer.

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5. The connection details are formed using the report definition database which the user is logged into, and
the AFR financial database specified on the Settings > RDL tab in the Report Designer.

If you change the AFR financial database selection on the


RDL sheet, the system prompts you to update the data
source.

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6. Click the report you want to display. The report generates and displays on its own page within the browser.

Report Parameters
The top section of the report page contains the available parameters on the report. You defined these parameters
when you created the report definition within the Report Designer. When you view the report in a web browser,
you can modify these parameters to change the data that displays on the report. If you use the advanced
presentation style, the parameters available depend on the advanced presentation options specified on the
Parameters sheet during report design.

Modify Report Parameters


To modify the report parameters for reports with the Standard presentation style:

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1. Click within the parameter fields to manually enter different values. For example, you can change the From
and To values on the report.

2. If you do not want to use a parameter to regenerate the report, select the Null check box next to this
parameter.
3. You can also restrict what information displays based on the reporting tree defined on the report. If a
reporting tree is assigned to the report, all of the reporting tree nodes are available on the
ReportingTreeNode list. Select the node you want from the drop-down list. When you regenerate the
report, the accounts that match the filters on the selected reporting tree node display. For more information
on this functionality, review the Reporting Tree section in Chapter 5: Report Design.
4. Click View Report to regenerate the report.
5. You can also click the Refresh button on the Main toolbar or the Report toolbar. The report then displays
with the changes.

Modify Reports with Advanced Currency Conversion


To modify the parameters for reports with the Advanced presentation style, with advanced currency conversion:
In your web browser, open a report which has Advanced presentation style, including Advanced Currency
Conversion.

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1. The report is blank at first, because currency settings have to be defined.

2. In the Book field, select a Company.Book combination. Depending on the presentation options, you can
select only one, or multiple books.
3. The Report Currency field defaults from the Currency field in report parameters. You can select a different
currency if required. This is the currency in which data displays if a columns Currency field specifies Report
Currency.
If you don't set a currency on columns in the report, the
columns display in the book currency, regardless of the
currency you select on the report. Therefore, it is
important to set the currency when you create column
sets. Use the @Currency setting in columns to use the
currency you select on the report.

4. In the Rate Calculation Type field, select from the following two currency conversion options:
Spot Rate uses exchange rates based on the Rate Date parameter (see below).
Period Average applies exchange rates based on a weighted average for the specified report period
or date range.
5. In the Rate Type field, select the required type. This corresponds to the Rate Type in Epicor ERP, and specifies
the conversion methods for currency pairs. Epicor ERP allows for more than one rate type, therefore this
option is also available for advanced currency conversion in AFR.
6. If you use the Spot Rate calculation type, you can specify a date for the exchange rate in the Rate Date
field, using the calendar pop-up.
7. The Cross-Rate Currency field defaults from the same field in report parameters. The cross-rate is the
currency against which the conversion factors will be calculated. Select from the drop down list to change
this if required.
Conversion works according to the following logic: The
source book currency is converted to the cross-rate

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currency, which is then converted to the specified report


or column currency.

8. The Default Rates field populates with the required exchange rates, which are taken from the replicated
data in the AFR financial database.
9. The Currency Conversions field also displays the conversion rates. In this field you can manually change
the effective rate if required.
10. Click View Report to run the report. The report displays.
Advanced Currency Conversion is only usable if your
company replicates financial data from Epicor ERP. If you
replicate data from a different source, use Simple Currency
Conversion, which enables manual entry of
currency-related details.

11. To minimize the parameters section, click the Show/Hide Parameters button.

12. If you included the @Currency keyword - or another report parameter you can change at report runtime in a column header, or in a report header or footer, the current parameter value displays.

Report Viewing Controls


If your report contains multiple pages, use the Navigation toolbar to move through the various pages within your
financial report. You can also adjust the size of the report to increase or decrease the current view of the report.
The report page also contains a search function you can use to locate a specific piece of data on the report. You
can use these tools to view any area of the report you need.

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Use Report Viewing Controls


To use the report viewing controls:
1. Use the Navigation buttons to move through the pages of a report, or enter a specific page number in the
field.

2. You can zoom in and out of the report by selecting a size from the Zoom drop-down list.
3. To search for a specific piece of data on the report, enter a value in the text box and click Find. Click Next
to cycle through each matching value found in the report.
4. Click Refresh to update the report after you make changes to the report parameters.

Exporting Reports
You can export a snapshot of the formatted report data into various file formats. You can then open the report
in a third-party application that displays this format and view or modify the report using the functionality available
within the third-party application.

Export a Report
To export a report:
1. Select a file format from the Export drop-down list. Available options:
XML file with report data
CSV (comma delimited)
Acrobat (PDF) file
MHTML (web archive)

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Excel
TIFF file
Word

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2. Your report is exported into the selected format. You can save it, or launch it within the relevant third-party
application. In this example, you launch the report as a PDF in Adobe Reader.

Depending on your browser settings, you may have to take further steps to open or save the file.

Viewing AFR Reports in Excel


The Generate Excel file option on the Actions menu enables users to generate a Microsoft Excel file for a
report in the Report Designer, which contains a predefined connection to the AFR data sources.
The AFR ODBC Driver enables users to work with AFR reports in Excel, to view financial data in the reports, adjust
the report parameters, and to customize the report using Excel functionality. This is especially useful for countries
where reports must follow strict presentation templates, for example, displaying a single column set in two parts
side-by-side.
AFR reports can be exposed to Excel as an external ODBC data source. The user can create a layout and add
formulas in an Excel spreadsheet pointing to cells containing values from AFR report. The data can be refreshed
at any time to pick up changes in the financial DB. The user can create a link from a spreadsheet to external data
manually, or generate a spreadsheet with the link via AFR Report Designer, and then add customization to it. For
details on creating links manually, refer to Microsoft Excel help.

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To generate reports in Excel, the Epicor AFR ODBC Driver must already be installed. For details on how to install
the driver, refer to the AFR Installation Guide.

Generate a Report in Excel


To generate an AFR report in Microsoft Excel:
1. Open an existing report in the Report Designer.

2. From the Actions menu, select Generate Excel file.


3. In the Generate Excel file dialog which displays, specify a location and filename for the report.

4. Click Save.

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5. The report file opens in Microsoft Excel. The Report Parameters sheet displays the same values as the
Parameters sheet in the Report Designer.

6. The Report sheet displays the report data in a simple format.

Adjust Report Parameters


To change the report parameters and view the results:

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1. Adjust values on the Report Parameters sheet.

2. On the Data toolbar, click Refresh All.


3. The new data values display on the Report sheet.

If you already have an Excel template formatted according to


your reporting requirements, you can simply copy that template
into the AFR Excel report you have created, then enter cell
references in the template cells, which refer to the required
cells in the Report or Report Parameters sheets. You could also
hide the Report and/or Report Parameters sheets if they are
not to be viewed or changed by everyday users of the report.

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Summary
Use the available settings and the management functions to configure and manage the AFR environment within
SSRS. Use these features to define security permissions for specific users, create folders to organize the reports,
and upload report RDL files and data sources into specific folders.
Once you have configured the environment, users can access the report folders in a web browser, to generate
the available advanced financial reports. Each report displays on its own page. Users can modify the parameters
on the report and then refresh to display the changes. The report page also contains navigation tools to help
users locate a specific page or piece of data they want to view.
Users can also export the reports into several different file formats. The report can then be opened in third-party
applications, or hard copies can be printed. The AFR ODBC Driver enables setup of a data link between Microsoft
Excel and the AFR application, so you can view reports, update parameters, and format the report according to
particular display requirements.

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Chapter 9: Financial Data Security


AFR Financial Data Security is a utility which can be used to restrict unauthorized access to confidential company
financial data stored in AFR Financial Databases. This confidential data is retrieved at report runtime to generate financial
reports and present them to end users according to their security access rights.
Use this program to set up data security at the company, GL book, or account level. You can define sets of financial
accounts to be restricted within a books chart of accounts (COA), and determine which users or user groups will have
rights to view the restricted data.
There are three basic elements to the program:
Account Masks Expressions analogous to the AccountSum row type expressions defined in an account filter. You
can filter by GL account masks, GL account ranges, and COA categories.
Account Sets Used to group several account masks together.
Users or User Groups Used to grant access to the financial data at different levels.
Account Sets and Account Masks are set up at the chart of accounts (COA) level.
Books and companies for which a user does not have access do not display for selection in the Report Designer's
Expression Builder, nor in the report parameters. A user can select a restricted company/book ID in the report parameters,
but if they do not have security rights, data for that company/book will not display. If a user does not have rights to
any of the company/book IDs entered in the report parameters, they will receive an error, and the report will not launch
at all.

The AFR Financial Data Security Manager


You create new data security settings and update existing restrictions using the AFR Financial Data Security
Manager. Through this separate AFR program, you create the account sets, account masks, and user or user
group permissions that determine what financial data users can view in their reports. These options are available
to secure your financial data, but activating these features is not a requirement to use AFR. The security settings
are optional for use.

Launch the AFR Financial Data Security Manager


When you launch the program, log on to your AFR Report Data database. This is AFR financial database. This
database is not the same as the Report Definition database, which you log on to when you start the AFR Report
Designer.
In comparison, in the AFR Report Designer, you select an AFR financial database in the Database field in the Tools
> Settings > RDL and Preview windows.
Main Menu Path: Start > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > AFR Financial Data Security
Manager

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Log on to the Financial Database


1. When you launch the program, the Log on to Report Data DB window displays.

2. In the SQL Server field, enter the SQL server address.


3. Select the Use Windows Credentials check box to use your network ID, or enter your User and Password.
4. Select a financial database from the Database drop-down list.
You can select <Create New> to create a new, empty
financial database. Normally you have already set up the
AFR financial database at the replication setup stage.

5. Click OK.

Upgrade a Financial Database


If the financial database you are trying to log on to was created in an earlier AFR version, the warning message
Financial database version is invalid displays. The AFR Financial Data Security Manager will upgrade any
existing financial database that is not on the same version as the AFR Financial Data Security Manager so the
program version matches the financial database being used.
1. If you do not want to upgrade this financial database, click No. Instead, you can create a new financial
database when you log on, or you can do the same in AFR Report Designer.

If you decide to create a new financial database, you will


need to configure replication to replicate financial data
to the new database.

2. If you want to upgrade the existing database, click Yes. After conversion, you are logged on to the database.

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You are now ready to enter account sets, account masks, and users or user groups. But first, get familiar
with the main screen in the Financial Data Security Manager.

Navigation
Once you log on to a financial database, the AFR Financial Data Security Manager launches. The Financial
DBs tree displays all the companies found within the database. All their books and charts of accounts display as
separate sub-nodes.

Navigate in the Application


1. In the main pane, the DB Name field displays the name of the financial database to which you are currently
connected.

2. Use the Activate Financial Data Security check box to switch on/off the data security settings for the
database.
3. Expand the database node to display a list of all the companies in the financial database, including the <ALL
COMPANIES> item.
4. Expand a company to display the Books and COAs nodes.
5. Expand the Books node to display a list of all the GL books in the company.
6. Expand a book to display a list of all account sets within the book. If no account sets have been created,
you only see the <ALL ACCOUNTS> set.
If possible, expand an account set to display any users and user groups assigned to that account set.
7. Expand the COAs node to display a list of all the charts of accounts (COA) in the company.
8. Expand a COA to display all the account sets for that COA, including the <ALL ACCOUNTS> set.

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If possible, expand an account set to display all the account masks created in that account set.

Security Levels
You can set up effective security at different levels of detail: Database, Company, Book, or Account Set.
1. To assign access to all the companies and books in a financial database, assign users at the ALL COMPANIES
> Books > ALL BOOKS > ALL ACCOUNTS level.

This is the most general level of security, and offers users the same access as if financial data security were
not applied.
2. To assign access to all the books in one specific company, assign users at the CompanyName > Books >
ALL BOOKS > ALL ACCOUNTS level.
3. To assign access to all the accounts in a particular book within one company, assign users at the
CompanyName > Books > BookID > ALL ACCOUNTS level.
4. To assign access to specific accounts within a particular books chart of accounts (COA), create an account
set and account masks in the relevant COA, and assign users to the account set in the relevant book.

Account Sets
An account set is a portion of financial data, which contains one or more account masks, which use the syntax
found in AFR Report Designer. Examples of account masks are: account ranges, account lists, categories. An
account set can contain several account masks.
Account sets are specified for each particular chart of accounts (COA). There is also a pre-defined account set,
<ALL ACCOUNTS>, which can be used in the context of a particular COA, or for all the COAs in a database.

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Create an Account Set


To create an account set on the COAs > Detail sheet:
1. Expand the Financial DBs Tree and select a chart of accounts under a company.

2. From the New menu, select Account Set.


3. In the new line which displays in the Name field on the COAs > List sheet, enter a name for the account
set.
4. Click Save.
5. The new account set now displays in the Financials DBs tree, under the COA.
Now you can create an account mask within the account set.

Account Masks
Account Masks are the expressions you create for a particular account set, such as account masks, account ranges,
and categories. These expressions can be entered manually, or by using the Expression Builder. To enter an
account expression, the account set must already exist. You select the required account set in order to create a
GL account expression within it.

Create an Account Mask


To create an account mask on the COAs > Detail sheet:

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1. In the Financial DBs Tree, expand the required COA, and select the account set to which you want to add
an account mask.

2. From the New menu, select Account Mask.


3. In the new line which displays in the Account Mask field on the COAs > Detail sheet, you can enter the
account expression manually.
4. You can also click the ellipsis button (...) to open the Expression Builder.
5. Select the Company you want to use to create the account mask.

6. Select the Chart of Accounts you want to use.

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7. Press Shift to select a range of accounts, or Ctrl to select specific accounts in the grid.
8. Click Account Categories to select from available categories instead of accounts.
9. The selected items create an expression in the Expression field.
10. When you finish making your selection, click OK.
11. Click Save.

12. The new account mask now displays in the Financials DBs tree, under the account set.
13. The account set also displays under the relevant book to which the COA is attached.

Users and User Groups


Users are identified by their Windows user login, which can belong to several user groups. Permissions can be
granted to users (using their login name) or to user groups. It is recommended to use domain user accounts and
user groups.
Permissions to access financial data are defined for each GL book as Users / User Groups assigned to Account
Sets.

Assign a User Permission to an Account Set


To enter Users and User Groups on the Books sheet:

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1. In the Financial DBs Tree, expand the required book, and select the account set to which you want to
assign a user.

2. From the New menu, select User or Group.


3. In the new line which displays in the User or Group field on the Books sheet, enter the domain and
username in the format <Domain>\<Username>.
4. Click Save.
5. The user now displays in the Financials DBs Tree, under the account set.
6. The user also displays on the Books sheet, in the Users field.

Activate AFR Financial Data Security


To implement the financial data security settings for a database, you must activate AFR financial data security
and click Save. Otherwise, no security settings apply to the database.
In order to activate AFR financial data security, at least one user or group must have some data access
assigned.When a user has data security rights to view only some of the accounts in an AFR report row, the report
will only display data from the accounts to which the user has access.
To activate AFR financial data security:

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1. Select the Activate AFR Financial Data Security check box.

2. If no user or group has data security rights assigned, an error message displays. Close the message, and
assign rights to a user or group.

3. Click Save.

Refresh Security Settings


When a new GL account is added in an ERP application which replicates to an AFR financial database which uses
Financial Data Security, the next time the report is viewed in AFR Report Designer or Viewer, an error displays.
This is due to security cache being out of date.
In order to update the cache, it is necessary to launch AFR Financial Data Security Manager, connect to the
particular financial database, and click Save.

Summary
The AFR Financial Data Security Manager offers security options at the database, company, book, or account set
level. Set up account sets and account masks at the COA level, and assign users at the book level. Once data
security is activated, when users or user groups view reports, they only see the financial data to which they have
security rights.

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Index

Index
A
account masks 246
account sets 245
activate afr financial data security 249
add a list 210
add text boxes (data regions) 213
add text boxes (report items design) 206
add the company text boxes 206
adjust report parameters 239
advanced financial reporting applications 14
afr installation options 12
afr odbc driver 237
afr replication monitor 21
afr replication monitor installation 21
assign a user permission to an account set 248
assign edit rights 181
assign edit security rights on the current element 182
assign view rights 180
available parameters 149

create an account mask 246


create an account set 246
create an expression for a row sum row type 68
create replication tasks 26

D
data regions 210
data tools 20
date parameters 110
default formats 52
define budget filter 116
define child nodes 169
define the columns accounts 111
define the columns book 113
define the fiscal period 107
define the report header 159
deploy all RDL files in project 217
dictionaries 175
dictionary parameters 125
display the list data region 214
display the modified report 207

body 157

edit the report title 204


epicor applications 14
establish column definitions 102
export a report 235
export report elements 53
exporting reports 235
expression arguments 123
expression syntax, row definitions 72

cell properties (column definitions) 121


column expression assistant 126
column properties 121
column set wizard 137
column sets 100, 145
combine the account and row expression controls with match
options 69
configure logon server 37
configure report designer 42
convert rdls 195
copy a dictionary 179
copy a report 183
copy a reporting tree 171
copy and paste rows 83
copy the column set 140
copy the row set 81
create a column 102
create a column expression 116
create a column set 100
create a definition 176
create a dictionary 175
create a node 166
create a report 144
create a report template 199
create a reporting tree 165
create a row expression 66
create a row set 61
create a row set version 77
create a user property 79

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F
final data results 175
financial data fields 124
financial data security manager 17
financial data security manager (install options) 13
format each row 73

G
general settings 49
generate a report in excel 238
generate multiple user-defined columns 126
generate predefined groups of columns 131
generate the rdl file 184
granularity 22

H
header footer expressions 160
headers and footers 159

251

Index

home and folder pages 220


how afr works 10

I
import management reporter database 56
import report elements 54
indicate row definition details 64
initialize replication tasks 34

L
launch afr replication monitor 25
launch column expression assistant when creating a new column
136
launch the afr financial data security manager 242
launch the report builder 222
leverage the list sheet 61
license requester 14
list data regions 210
log on to the financial database 243
logon server 13

M
math, constants, and logical parameters 122
microsoft business intelligence studio 202
microsoft sql server report builder 18
modify report parameters 231
modify reports with advanced currency conversion 232
monitor and change replication task status 35

N
navigate in the application 244
navigation 244
network servers 12
numeric format, column 106

O
options 154

P
parent and child node logic 170
pre-defined reports 201
presentation options 149
preview settings 52
preview the report 161
primary environment requirements 12

Q
query, user properties 79

Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting User Guide

refresh security settings 250


refresh the rdl list 195
renew license 41
replication monitor 15
replication types 22
report (afr) server 13
report components setup 42
report designer 15
report designer settings 48
report element security 182
report items design 204
report layout and formatting tools 18
report parameters 108, 146, 231
report preview 161
report security 180
report template creation 198
report view 229
report viewing controls 234
reporting tree wizard 172
reporting trees 164
reports 143
row definitions 61
row grouping 85
row properties (column definitions) 120
row set drill-down reports 74
row set wizard 90
row set wizard, formatting 96
row sets 60

S
security levels 245
security setup 180
set up a row drill-down report 75
set up a row set drill-down report 74
simple currency conversions 153
SQL server BI studio 20
SSRS Security 221
summary 20, 36, 59, 197, 218, 241, 250
summary, row sets and column sets 142

T
the afr financial data security manager 242
the afr report project 198
the afr report server 219
the epicor financial report designer 60

U
unposted balances 105
update single column 133
upgrade a financial database 243
use report viewing controls 235
use the rdls sheet functionality 196
user properties 78
users and user groups 248
using afr replication monitor 24

rdl project properties 216


rdl settings 51

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Index

versions 76
view report 229
viewing reports 17

workstation environments 13

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Index

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Additional information is available at the Education and


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account, go to http://support.epicor.com.