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Epicor ERP

Advanced Report Designing


with AFR Course
10.0.700.2

Disclaimer
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Total pages: 79
course.ditaval

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Contents

Contents
Advanced Report Designing for AFR Course........................................................................6
Before You Begin....................................................................................................................7
Audience.........................................................................................................................................................7
Prerequisites....................................................................................................................................................7
Environment Setup..........................................................................................................................................8

Overview.................................................................................................................................9
Epicor AFR Replication Monitor...........................................................................................11
Report Designer....................................................................................................................12
Expression Builder..........................................................................................................................................12
Dictionaries....................................................................................................................................................14
Workshop - Create a Dictionary and Definition.......................................................................................15
Create a Dictionary..........................................................................................................................15
Create a Definition for an Expression...............................................................................................15
Row Sets and Definitions...............................................................................................................................15
Row Definition - Expression Builder.........................................................................................................16
Account Sum...................................................................................................................................16
Account List....................................................................................................................................18
Expression.......................................................................................................................................19
Row Sum.........................................................................................................................................20
Row Filters..............................................................................................................................................20
Row Grouping........................................................................................................................................21
User Properties.......................................................................................................................................22
Row Set Wizard......................................................................................................................................22
Workshop - Create a Row Set with the Wizard................................................................................22
Select Chart of Accounts and Wizard Type...............................................................................22
Select Category Setup..............................................................................................................23
Set Row Formatting..................................................................................................................23
Create Row Set........................................................................................................................23
Workshop - Create Detail Row Set...................................................................................................24
Versions..................................................................................................................................................24
Column Sets and Definitions..........................................................................................................................25
Column Definitions - Expression Builder..................................................................................................25
Column Filters........................................................................................................................................28
Column Expression Assistant...................................................................................................................30
Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns........................................................................................31
Generate Predefined Groups of Columns.........................................................................................32
Single Column Update.....................................................................................................................33
Review Generated Columns.............................................................................................................34
Column Set Wizard.................................................................................................................................34
Predefined Sets................................................................................................................................36

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Contents

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Workshop - Create Summary Column Set with Wizard and Assistant...............................................37


Workshop - Create Detail Column Set.............................................................................................38
Copy Column Set.....................................................................................................................38
Report Parameters.........................................................................................................................................38
Currency Conversions.............................................................................................................................39
Simple Currency Conversion Definition............................................................................................39
Advanced Currency Conversion Definition.......................................................................................40
Workshop - Create a Summary Report....................................................................................................40
Define Report Details.......................................................................................................................40
Enter Report Parameters..................................................................................................................41
Set Column Book and Currency.......................................................................................................41
Workshop - Preview the Report and Improve Details...............................................................................42
Run the Preview..............................................................................................................................42
Improve Column Headers................................................................................................................43
Workshop - Create a Detail Report.........................................................................................................43
Define Report Details.......................................................................................................................43
Drill Down.....................................................................................................................................................44
Workshop - Drill Down from Summary to Detail Report..........................................................................44
Drill Down to Transaction Level...............................................................................................................45
Workshop - Add a Transactional Drill Down Report..........................................................................45
Create a Transaction Column Set..............................................................................................45
Add Column Definitions...........................................................................................................45
Create the Report.....................................................................................................................46
Assign Drill Down in Detail Report............................................................................................47
Drill Down from a Specific Row...............................................................................................................47
Workshop - Assign Drill Down to a Specific Row..............................................................................47
Create a New Row Set.............................................................................................................47
Enter Rows...............................................................................................................................47
Create a New Column Set........................................................................................................48
Add Description Columns.........................................................................................................49
Create a Specific Report...........................................................................................................49
Assign Drill Down from a Row..................................................................................................50
Reporting Trees..............................................................................................................................................51
Reporting Tree Nodes.............................................................................................................................51
Reporting Tree Wizard............................................................................................................................52
Workshop - Create a Reporting Tree.......................................................................................................53
Create Reporting Tree in the Wizard................................................................................................53
Apply a Reporting Tree to Reports...................................................................................................53

Report Layout.......................................................................................................................55
Report Definition Language Files....................................................................................................................56
Workshop - Generate RDL Files...............................................................................................................56
Generate RDL for Summary Report..................................................................................................57
Workshop - Update a Report Layout in MS Visual Studio.........................................................................58
Open RDL File in MS Visual Studio...................................................................................................58
Format the Report Appearance........................................................................................................58

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Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Contents

Add Fields to the Report Footer.......................................................................................................59


Deploy the RDL File..........................................................................................................................60
Workshop - Change RDL Advanced Presentation Options.......................................................................60
Merge....................................................................................................................................................61
Workshop - Update Report Definition and Use RDL Merge Tool.......................................................62
Set Merge on Save Behavior.....................................................................................................62
Remove a Column from a Report.............................................................................................62
Adjust Values in RDL Merge Tool..............................................................................................62
Page Size and Orientation..............................................................................................................................62
Adjust Column Width in Report Designer.......................................................................................................63
Change Page Orientation and Adjust Column Widths.............................................................................63
Change Page Orientation................................................................................................................63
Adjust Column Widths....................................................................................................................63

AFR Report Server.................................................................................................................64


Workshop - View Reports in a Web Browser..................................................................................................64
Set Currency Details and View Report.....................................................................................................65

AFR Integration into Microsoft Excel..................................................................................66


Workshop - Generate the Report in Excel.......................................................................................................66

The AFR Report Project.........................................................................................................68


Report Templates...........................................................................................................................................68
Workshop - Customize and Save an RDL Template..................................................................................69
Open the AFR Report Project in Microsoft Visual Studio...................................................................69
Customize an RDL Template............................................................................................................69
Save RDL Template..........................................................................................................................70
Workshop - Use a Customized RDL Template..........................................................................................70
Select Report for RDL Generation....................................................................................................70
Change RDL Parameters and Upload RDL File...................................................................................71
Workshop - View Reports and Drill Downs..............................................................................................72
Run AFR Report Server and View Report..........................................................................................72
Set Currency Conversion Details......................................................................................................72
Drill Down on Reports.....................................................................................................................72

Appendix...............................................................................................................................74
Workshop - Add Row Grouping to a Row Set................................................................................................74
Add Grouping Rows...............................................................................................................................74
Add Formatting Rows.............................................................................................................................74
Format Total Row Descriptions and Renumber Rows...............................................................................75
Edit Column Set......................................................................................................................................75
Generate RDL File and View Report.........................................................................................................76

Conclusion.............................................................................................................................78

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Advanced Report Designing for AFR Course

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Advanced Report Designing for AFR Course


The Advanced Report Designing for AFR course guides users familiar with the Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR)
Report Designer module through the creation of custom financial reports that include formulaic expressions,
multiple versions of row sets, reporting trees, and dictionaries. It also demonstrates how to add drill down reports
to the transactional level, drill down to different reports from particular rows, update Report Definition Language
(RDL) file formats, and create report templates using Microsoft Business Intelligence Studio.
Through a series of workshops, you will build an example summary level Sales Revenue report, with a drill down
to a detail level report, which in turn has a drill down to the transaction level.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
Create expressions using the Expression Builder.
Create custom financial reports that include formulaic row and column expressions.
Set up reporting trees using the Reporting Tree Wizard.
Create Row Sets using the Row Set Wizard.
Set up drill down reports to display detailed data and transaction data.
Set up Advanced Presentation options for reports, including currency setup.
Create a report template using Microsoft Visual Studio.
Create a column set using the Column Set Wizard and Column Expression Assistant.
Use the RDL Merge tool when adding or removing report columns.
Adjust column widths and page sizes.

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Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Before You Begin

Before You Begin


Read this topic for information you should know in order to successfully complete this course.

Audience
Specific audiences will benefit from this course.
CFO/Controller
COO/Operations Manager
Account Manager
Employees who design financial reports for the company

Prerequisites
To complete the workshops in this course, the necessary modules must be licensed and operating in your training
environment. For more information on the modules available, contact your Epicor Customer Account Manager
at EpicorCAM@epicor.com. It is also important you understand the prerequisite knowledge contained in other
valuable courses.
Introduction to Advanced Financial Reporting Course - The Introduction to Advanced Financial Reporting
course is designed for customers who are new to Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR), or for those who want
to reinforce their knowledge of report designing basics. The goal of this course is to help customers that use
AFR better understand the modules and application tools that make up AFR, as well as how to create, manage,
and view basic general ledger (GL) reports via AFR.

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Before You Begin

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Environment Setup
Review the following environment setup steps to ensure successful completion of the workshops in this course.
Verify the following items are installed and functional, or contact your system administrator for assistance.
1.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or 2012 is installed, and Reporting Services enabled.

2.

An Epicor ERP Training Environment is:


Installed
Updated to the application's current service pack and patch
Refreshed with the latest version of the Epicor demonstration database prior to starting the course. (The
demonstration database is available on EPICweb
https://epicweb.epicor.com/Support/epicor9/downloads/Pages/default.aspx)

3.

Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) is:


Installed
Licensed
Configured to the AFR Logon Server
Configured to the Epicor ERP Training Environment (via replication - see below)
Important Users completing this course must be given security rights to edit reports in the Report
Definition Database setup for training.

4.

AFR Report Designer (and, if you do not intend to view reports in a web browser, AFR Report Viewer)
is completely configured as specified in the AFR Installation Guide (available on EPICweb
https://epicweb.epicor.com/doc/Pages/Epicor9.aspx).

5.

For Epicor ERP databases (based on SQL):


Epicor AFR Replication Monitor is
Installed
SQL replication tasks are set up
Note For basic details on replication setup, see the AFR Installation Guide.

6.

The Epicor AFR ODBC Driver is installed. This is required to generate and view the report in Microsoft
Excel.

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Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Overview

Overview
Epicor Advanced Financial Reporting (AFR) simplifies general ledger (GL) report creation by exposing a user friendly
interface that speaks to the user in financial terms.
The reports built using Epicor AFR Report Designer contain financial information from various defined sources.
Each report can be set up to retrieve information from one or multiple GL books - reflecting the financial
requirements of multi-company organizations.
Advanced Financial Reporting consists of the following four main components which flow together to effectively
create financial reports:

Rather than reporting directly from the regularly refreshed GL data in your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
application, AFR uses a process that pulls the required data from the GL to a standardized Reporting Database.
To make AFR compatible with Epicor ERP applications and also to add flexibility in financial reporting, data from
the source ERP application GL tables are replicated to a target reporting database. The replicated data is then
made available to AFR. The Reporting Database is the dataset created by the Epicor Replication Server.
During the data replication process, additional indexes, sorts, and summaries are created to make the data
accessible for calculation and display within AFR reports.
AFR uses the Reporting Database regardless of whether you have one or multiple GL books, companies, or ERP
applications.
Use the Report Designer to define and preview your custom financial reports. Once the design is complete,
and the data displays in the preview as expected, the Report Designer holds the financial reports you create in a
Report Definition Database. The Report Definition Database is defined when logging into the Report Designer.
The AFR 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 is part of
the main AFR installation package.

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Overview

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

At report run-time, the Report Viewer pulls data from the Reporting Database, and report definitions from the
Report Definition Database.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is used to deploy and generate the output of the reports to the Report
Viewer. The reports are interactive and contain multilingual capabilities that are not available in previous financial
reporting solutions available to Epicor ERP applications, for example, FRx and Management Reporter. You can
also publish reports to the web or to Microsoft SharePoint.
Additional effort must be made to format a report template the first time the report is run. After the template
is formatted, all future reports can use the same template, thus displaying in the correct format your company
requires. Once the initial format template is set up, end users running the report will need to refresh the report
data, rather than return to the Report Designer and generate a new report.
One of the benefits of using AFR is that financial reports do not burden the transactional/production database.
Since the Reporting Database offloads the report and analysis processes from the production database, transactions
are able to process uninterrupted.
Additional AFR components include the ability to import and export report definitions, as well as schedule and
distribute reports.

10

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Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Epicor AFR Replication Monitor

Epicor 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 ERP system databases 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 Epicor ERP system. 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 statuses, and enables
users to activate, deactivate, reinitialize, edit, and delete replication tasks.
Important You can set up replication tasks from multiple source databases. Also, these can be a variety
of database types, for example Epicor 9.05, Epicor 10, Prophet 21, iScala.
Replication Types
The Replication Wizard creates two types of replication tasks:
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 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.
Example A new account segment description is not displaying in the target AFR database. In this case,
just re-initialize the Setup Info task.
For a list of Operational and Setup tables for the various plugins, review the Appendix - Operational and Setup
Tables in the Epicor AFR Replication Monitor online help. .
Granularity
The Replication Wizard enables setup of individual data replication tasks for each company, book, and fiscal year
in your Epicor ERP database. Equally, you can combine 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.

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11

Report Designer

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Report Designer
Use the Report Designer to create reports, define data criteria on which to report, design report layouts and
layers, filter report data, create reporting trees, generate Report Definition Language (RDL) files, and preview
custom financial reports.
Financial reports have three general report dimensions; these dimensions are rows, columns, and reporting
trees. Use the designer to develop each dimension individually and then combine the dimensions to produce
the various reports end users require without having to recreate the reports every time they run. For example, if
you want to view a financial report that illustrates a comparison of budget vs. actual, you can combine one row
set with two different column sets and generate separate reports. Within each report, you can display general
ledger (GL) books from different companies to immediately compare the results.
You can also use the Report Designer to create report dictionaries. For each dictionary created, enter default
datasets to use within row sets, column sets, and reporting trees. The default datasets created are typically made
up of commonly used expressions, but when added to a dictionary, these expressions can be used to pull in
complex data results. For example, if a set of revenue accounts is spread across multiple account numbers and
are not in an exact range, create a dictionary definition that automatically pulls in all of these account numbers.
By creating a dictionary definition that tells the report which accounts are revenue accounts, you avoid having
to specify details each time you include those accounts together in a row set, column set, or reporting tree.
To enhance the capability of your financial report, create reporting trees to use as report parameters. Reporting
trees are hierarchies that use elements of GL account codes to define subsets of data you can later display on
the report.
Once you generate a report, you can preview the report data, generate a Report Definition Language (RDL) file,
review the report structure, and add drill down options to row sets and reports. This provides end users with the
ability to display detailed reports that relate to the information contained in the report rows.

Expression Builder
Use the Expression Builder to inform the Advanced Financial Reporting application which piece of data, for
example, account, category, set of rows, and so on, will be used to filter and populate each row, column, reporting
tree node, or dictionary.
The Expression Builder is context specific. The data available for you to enter or select is based on where you
access the Expression field, as well as additional factors such as row type or column set base table selection.
The Expression Builder is a helpful tool, especially when you first start creating report definitions. Once you are
familiar with the expressions and formulas required for your reports, you can manually enter data into the
Expression fields without using the builder.
The following list contains names, syntax, descriptions, and examples of commonly used expressions.
Expression
Name

Account

12

Expression Syntax

{SVAL1-...-SVALn}

Description

Example

SVAL1, ... , and SVALn


{1000-01-100}
represent the segment
values of the account
separated by a hyphen (-).

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Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Expression
Name

Expression Syntax

Report Designer

Description

Segment values can


contain wildcards.

{[ABC]*[-*]}
{[A]?[BC]*}

Use an asterisk (*) to


signify that the rest of the
segment value to the right
can be any character(s).
Only one asterisk is
allowed per segment value.
Use a question mark (?) to
signify that this position of
the segment value can be
any character. There can
be several question marks
per segment value.

Account Range

Account List

Account
Category

Category List

Epicor ERP | 10.0.700.2

{1*}
All accounts whose first segment value
starts with 1. This expression is
equivalent to {1*-*} and {1*-*-*}
{*-00}
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.

Starting account :
Ending account

Use this syntax to represent


{1000-01-100}:{9999-*}
a set of accounts which
satisfy the range from
-orstarting account to ending
{1000-01-*}:{9999-??-999}
account.

Starting account :
Ending account ^
Excluded account or
range of accounts

This syntax represents the


{1000-01-100}:{9999-*}^(5555)
same set of accounts
mentioned above only
without the noted
accounts in the excluded
account or range of
accounts.

Account1, Account2,
...AccountN

A comma separated list of {1000-01-100}, {1000-01-101},


accounts.
{2000-00-00}

#[#]categoryID

A set of accounts which


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

A comma separated list of #ASSETS, ##LIAB_EQUIT


Account category1, ,
GL account categories.
Account categoryN

Row Reference [Rn]

Row Range

Example

[Rs]:[Re]

A reference to a row
definition whose number
is n.

[R10]

A range of row definitions [R10]:[R50]


from row number s to row
number e.

13

Report Designer

Expression
Name

Dictionary
Definition
Reference

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Expression Syntax

$definitionName

Description

A reference to a dictionary
definition linked to the row
set whose name is
definitionName.

Example
$payroll

The row expression is


replaced with the
definition when the report
is viewed.

Dictionaries
Use the sheets under the Dictionary tab to define dictionary definitions for any report or reporting tree expression.
Dictionaries contain reusable definitions for groups of accounts, row expressions, column expressions, and
reporting tree hierarchies.
Create dictionaries in order to reuse a large set of parameters within multiple reports. You can select a specific
dictionary on row sets, column sets, and reporting trees.
Each dictionary you create contains a Description field, where you can describe its main purpose. You then add
as many definitions as needed to indicate the various report elements you want to reuse.
On the Detail sheets under Row Set, Column Set, and Reporting Tree, select an existing dictionary to use its
definitions within that report element.
Example A company has Revenue as a general ledger item. Because of their chart of accounts (COA)
structure, revenue is spread across multiple account numbers, for example, 5000s, 6000s, and 7000s. The
COA is set up this way to easily report revenue by different product groups. As a result of this structure,
revenue accounts are separated by other elements, such as Cost of Goods Sold.
In this example, it is recommended to define a dictionary named Revenue that states: Revenue = Accounts
5100-5299 AND 6000-6200 AND 7000-7200. The company can use the Revenue dictionary definition to
define this select group of accounts on rows, columns, and reporting trees.
Another useful dictionary definition is Balance = OpeningBalance + DebitAmount - CreditAmount. This
reduces an expression commonly used in columns to just one word.
Enter $Name to refer to a dictionary definition within an expression, where Name is the definition.
Important Before using a dictionary and its definitions, you must select the dictionary in the Detail sheet
of the corresponding row set, column set, or reporting tree.

14

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Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Report Designer

Workshop - Create a Dictionary and Definition


In this workshop, create a new dictionary and enter a definition for a common expression.

Create a Dictionary
Open Epicor Financial Report Designer.
1. From the New menu, select Dictionary.
The Dictionary > Detail sheet displays.
2. In the Name field, enter XXXDictionary (where XXX are your initials).
3. In the Description field, enter XXX Dictionary (where XXX are your initials).
4. Click Save.

Create a Definition for an Expression


1. From the New menu, select Definition.
The Dictionary > Definitions > List sheet displays.
2. In the Name field, enter Movement.
3. In the Expression field, enter DebitAmount - CreditAmount.
4. Click Save.
5. Remain in Epicor Financial Report Designer for the next workshop.

Row Sets and Definitions


Use the sheets under the Row Sets > Detail tab to create, name, describe, and delete row sets, rows, row
definitions, row expressions and row groupings, and to define row set security. You can also define alternate
reports to drill down to from the current report.
You can copy, paste, and update a row set. This is useful if you want to create a second row set that slightly
differs from your first.
The following row types are available:
Account Sum - Use this type to select accounts, a range of accounts, or account categories to display on the
selected row at a summary level. This row type gives a summary and the total of all items that equal the
parameter you select.
Account List - Use this row type to create detail reports rather than summary reports. When this row type
is used, you do not have to define each row individually to get a detailed report. Use this row type to select
a list of current accounts that fit a single selected parameter. Once the parameter definition is set in place,
you do not have to return and amend this row to include new accounts. For example, add one Account List
row to display all your income items. When run, the report displays a list of all the current income accounts
based on the parameter added to the single Account List row.
Row Sum - Use this type to add a selection or series of other rows together.

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15

Report Designer

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Formatting Rows - Use the various formatting row types to add breaks to your report. For example, double
line, a single under score, or a page break.
Expression - Use this type to add mathematical equations based on row references, accounts, account
categories, or another parameter.
Group Start - Use this type to designate the beginning of a row group. If you enter a Group Start row, you
must also enter a Group End row.
Group End - Use this type to designate the end of a row group. All rows between a Group Start row and its
corresponding Group End row are included in the group.
Note
Do not use a row of Page break type as the first row in a row set. Setting the Page break as the first row
in a row set does not result in an empty first page.
Set the first row to any other type, then you can set each subsequent row, beginning with the second, to
the Page break type, if you want the following row to be rendered on the next page.

Row Definition - Expression Builder


On the Row Definitions > Detail > General sheet, use the Expression Builder to select the account(s), account
category(s), or dictionary definition for each report row.
The Expression Builder form presents you with options based on the type of row you select.
The following sub-topics describe each row type that uses the Expression Builder and the data available for
selection in the builder for each. To access the Expression Builder form, click the ellipsis (...) button next to any
Expression field.
For more information on the Expression Builder, refer to the Expression Builder topic in the Application Help.

Account Sum
In the Expression Builder, select a category to limit the amount of data available to work with as you create your
expression. The expressions available in the Account Summary row type are Accounts, Account Categories, and
Dictionary.
Accounts
When you build an expression based on general ledger (GL) accounts or segment values, use the Available
Accounts/Segments section to view and select accounts or segments values from which the current row can
pull data. The segment and account values available are based on the selection made in the Company and Chart
of accounts fields.
There are two sheets within the Available Accounts/Segments section: Values of segment and Accounts of
chart. Use the Values of Segment 'seg' sheet (where 'seg' is the relevant segment, for example 'Chart',
'Division') to select segment values for the expression. Use the Accounts of Chart 'coaval' sheet (where 'coaval'
is the selected chart of accounts, for example 'Main') to select full GL accounts for the expression.
When using the Values of Segment sheet, if you know the segment value you want to work with, narrow the
list by entering the value in the Value field. This technique also applies to the Description field. If you know the
description of the account/segment for which you are searching, start entering the description in the Description
field and your search list becomes value-specific.
Select the segment value or range of segment values with which you want to work. As you select data, it displays
in the Account Builder section as well as in the Expression field.

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Tip To select a range of segment values, highlight the starting value, hold down the Shift key, and select
the ending value. A range of segment values displays in the Expression field as follows:
Starting Value:Ending Value, for example, 1300:1500.
To select multiple segment values that are non-sequential, in the Available Accounts/Segments section, select
the first segment. The value selected displays in the Account Builder section and in the Expression field. The best
way to add more segment values is to directly use the Expression field. In the field, manually enter each value
you want to add, using a comma to separate them. Alternatively, after entering a comma, click on the next
required segment value in the Available Accounts/Segments section.
Tip In the Expression field, use an asterisk (*) to identify wildcards. For example, if you want an expression
to include all chart segment values that start with the number 5, enter 5* in the Expression field. If you
want to include all accounts that have a chart segment value that starts with the number 5, are linked to
division 01, and to any department, in the Expression field, enter 5*-01-*. These examples assume that
your chart of accounts segment structure is chart-division-department.
Note If you make an error while entering data in the Expression field, the cursor changes to the color red
and the OK button disables.
When using the Accounts of Chart sheet, selecting GL accounts is slightly different. Use this sheet to select full
GL accounts for your expression. The GL accounts available are based on the selection made in the Company
and Chart of accounts fields.
To select a GL account, right-click on the account in the Available Accounts/Segments section, and select Add
from the menu.
Similarly, to select a range of GL accounts, click on the first account in the range, and drag the cursor to the last
account in the range. All the required accounts are then highlighted. Right-click and select Add from the menu
which displays.
To exclude a GL account or range of accounts from a range which you have already entered, select the account
or range you wish to exclude, right-click on it and select Exclude.
Example Your expression shows the range 1000-01-00:6000-01-00. You then exclude account 3000-01-00.
The resulting expression is: 1000-01-00:6000-01-00 ^ 3000-01-00
To enter non-sequential GL accounts, right-click on each GL account in the Available Accounts/Segments section
and select Add. Alternatively, hold down Ctrl and select each account with the mouse, then right-click and select
Add.
You can also replace a GL account or range with another account or range. In the Expression field, click anywhere
on the account or range you want to replace, then select the new GL account or range in the Available
Accounts/Segments section, right-click on it and select Replace from the menu which displays.
Account Categories
When building an expression based on account categories, use the Account Categories section to review and
select categories from which the current row can pull data. The available account categories are from the company
and the chart of accounts that display in the Expression Builder. Account categories display in the parent/child
format. This is helpful for report organization because you have the option to select the Include Subcategories
check box to display a parent category along with its attached children categories. In the Expression field, a
double hash (##) before a Category ID displays when child categories are selected along with the parent.
Dictionary
To build an expression based on a dictionary, you must first create and define that dictionary. For information
on creating dictionaries, refer to the Dictionary and Dictionary Definitions topics in the Application Help.
Once you create and define dictionaries, in the Dictionary Selector section of the Expression Builder, select a
dictionary to use in the expression for the current row.

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Account List
The Expression Builder form, available when you select the Account List row type, is similar to the one that displays
when you select the Account Sum row type. The difference between the two row types is in how the data displays
on the end report. For instance, the Account List row type displays a detailed view of the selected data rather
than a summary view.
Note The Account List row type is best used when you create detail reports. For example, create a Summary
Income Statement using Account Sum row types with multiple accounts, account ranges, or account
categories to define each row expression. Next, create a main Income Statement. To do this, take a copy
of the Summary Income Statement row set and change all Account Sum row types to Account List row
types.
The following keywords can be embedded into the description field of Account List rows. For more information
about these keywords, refer to the Column Definitions - Expression Builder topic below.
Keyword Name

Expression Syntax

Example

RowDescription value of
the column

Account code

{Account}

Account{Account}

Account1000-01

Account description

{AccountDescription}

{AccountDescription}:{Account} Payroll:8000-01

Note If the row is within a row group, the field(s) specified in the Group Start row's Expression field is
also available. For more information about groups, refer to the Row Grouping topic.
In Account List rows, you can also specify which account segments are used to group data. In the Settings field,
click the ellipsis (...) button next to the Settings field. In the editor window that displays, select the check box for
each segment you want to display. This selection groups data by each different account combination. The
expression in the Settings field uses * (asterisk) to represent segments which will display, separated by - (dash).
Example You want to group data in an account list row by segments 1 and 3. The expression is therefore:
*--*------------- .

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Expression
The Expression Builder form available when you select the Expression row type is similar to the one available
when you select the Account Summary row type. The main difference is that there are additional categories
available from which you can create more sophisticated and formulaic row definitions. The additional categories
are as follows:
Functions (includes Math (for example, Sum), Constants (for example, True, Infinity), and Logical (If)
References - Rows (also available in the Row Summary row type)
Accounts, Account Categories, and Dictionary definitions.
In the following table, review the syntax, descriptions, and examples of Expression row type expressions.
Expression
Name
Sum function

Expression Syntax

Description

Example

Sum(arg)
Where arg is one of the
following:
Row range

Account range

Dictionary definition

Binary operators

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+,-,*,/

Each field of the resulting Sum([R10]:[R50])


row is a sum of the fields
in the same column of the
rows in range.
Sum of the accounts range. Sum({1000-01-100}:{9999-99-999})
The columns define the
summarized metrics. For
example, if there is a
column with the expression
DebitAmount, then the
debit amounts are
summarized.
The argument is replaced Sum($payroll)
with the expression defined
in the definition of the
dictionary that is linked to
the row set.
These binary operators
(-1)*Sum({1*})/[R20]+Sum([R50]:[100])
allow you to combine
values from rows and
accounts in the same row.
Operators are applied on a
column basis.

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Row Sum
The Expression Builder form, available when you select the Row Summary row type, allows you to select a group
of rows and then builds an expression based on your selection.
Tip Row Sum rows are the equivalent of Expression rows that use the expression:
Sum([Rn]:[Rx])
In the following table, review the syntax, description, and an example of a Row Sum expression.
Expression Name

Expression Syntax Description

Example

Simplified row range

n:x

10:50

A range of row definitions starting


with row number "n" and ending
with row number "x".
Each field of the resulting row is
a sum of the fields in the same
column of the rows in range.
You can also specify just one row.

Note The row sum function only applies to columns which contain financial data, for example,
DebitAmount, Opening Balance).
Example There is a column set:
C10 RowDescription
C20 Debit+Credit
CurrentPeriod()-1
C30 Debit+Credit CurrentPeriod()
C40 If ([C30]>[C20],[C30],[C20])
In this column set, the row set function is only applied to columns C20 and C30.

Row Filters
Use the Row Sets > Row Definitions > Detail > General sheet to set row filters. Rows can be filtered by date
or fiscal period (From and To), and by Book. A similar functionality also exists for columns.
In the From field, use the Expression Builder to select a fiscal period or date from which the row will start reporting.
In the To field, use the Expression Builder to select a fiscal period or date for the current row to stop reporting.
The From an To parameters on a row always override the report parameters. If you specify period/date filters in
both rows and columns, the filters are intersected.
Example
Row.From = Period (2013,1) and Row.To = Period (2013,12)
Column.From = Period (2013,4) and Column.To = Period (2014,4)
The effective filter for the intersecting cell is: Period From (2013,4) - Period To (2013,12).
You can optionally filter the data that displays in the current column by a specific company and book. When
selected in the Book field, data from the specific company and book displays within this row. For example, you
could create separate rows that display data from different companies and books, to compare financial results
from multiple companies on the same report.

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Enter the company and book directly or click the Expression (...) button to find and select the necessary company
and book. If you enter this value directly, be sure to use the "<Company>.<Book>" format.

Row Grouping
Use row grouping to group 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 row groups. All rows between the Group Start and Group End
rows are included in the group.
A group can include several rows with different types. On the report, row groups sort elements in the group
based on each unique value of the field(s) specified in the Group Start row's Expression field.
You can specify whether groups display on the report in ascending or descending order. Use the ASC or DESC
keyword in the expression.
Example You want to group data by fiscal period, in ascending order, on your report. In the Group Start
row, enter FiscalPeriod ASC in the Expression field.
If Account List or Account Sum rows are included in a row group, data for these rows is filtered and grouped
according to the field(s) specified in the Group Start row expression.
To provide a heading for each grouping in the report, enter an Expression row after the Group Start row. In the
Description field, specify the text to display, and right-click to select the database field name(s) to display. Leave
the Expression field blank.
To separate each group in the report, enter a formatting row before the Group End row. For example, Single
Line. To display each group on a separate page, use the Page Break line type.
The following database fields can be used for row grouping:
Company
BookID
FiscalYear
FiscalPeriod
SegValue1 to SegValue16
JEDate (only usable if you use FromDate and ToDate in Report Parameters)
You can also place groups within other groups. Both the Group Start and Group End rows of a child group must
be inside the parent group's Group Start and Group End rows.
If a Row Sum row is included in a group, or a Row Sum expression references a row found in a group, the result
is calculated according to a specific algorithm. The Row Sum row type can be used anywhere in a group, and
can contain references to any row inside or outside a group.
The algorithm works according to the following logic:
If the Row Sum element contains a link to a row in the same group, the value used by the Row Sum element
is equal to the value for the linked row in the group.
If the Row Sum element contains a link to a row in a child sub-group, the value used by the Row Sum element
is equal to the value for the linked row in the child sub-group.
If the Row Sum element contains a link to a row in a parent group, the value used by the Row Sum element
is equal to the value for the linked row in the parent group.
If the Row Sum element contains a link to a row outside a group, the value used by the Row Sum element is
equal to the value for the linked row.

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User Properties
Use the Row Sets > Detail > User Properties sheet to optionally set up user-defined row properties for use in your
reports.
When you create new row set user properties, you give each property an alias which you can then use to refer
to the property in column expressions. You use the format Row.Alias, where Alias is the particular property's
alias.
Once you create a new property, you can assign values to these user-defined properties on each row in the Row
Definitions > List sheet. You can reference these properties in column expressions to display the values on your
reports or use them as variables in expressions. User-defined properties enable you to display different types of
values in the same column.
There are four types of user-defined properties available: Character, Number, Boolean, and DateTime. You can
create up to ten properties of each type.
Character - Use this type for text strings.
Number - Use this type for numerical values.
Boolean - Use this type for true/false conditions.
DateTime - Use this type for values in date/time format.
See the Appendix for workshops which include the use of user properties.

Row Set Wizard


Use the Row Set Wizard to generate row definitions from a chart of accounts (COA) using segment values,
account categories, or sections.
This easy to use tool enables you to set up report partitions (high-level headings) and sections (more specific
headings), define which GL accounts belong to each section, and determine whether the row types will be
Account Sum or Account List.
You can also use optional default settings to quickly set up a standard Balance Sheet or Income Statement row
set structure.
Finally, you can determine how each section displays on the report; whether as a title with or without totals, or
not to display at all.
When you create a row set using the wizard, three user properties are created in the row set: Line Type, Level,
and Reverse Sign.
Tip After you create a row set using the wizard, you can still change it to suit your particular requirements,
just as you can edit any other row set.

Workshop - Create a Row Set with the Wizard


In this workshop, use the Row Set Wizard to create a row set for a balance sheet report, based on account
categories. You will then repeat the workshop to create a detailed row set, using a couple of different settings
in the wizard.

Select Chart of Accounts and Wizard Type


1. From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Row Set Wizard.
The Row Set Wizard - Welcome window displays

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2. In the Select Chart of Accounts field, select Epicor Education - Master Chart of Accounts from the
drop-down list.
3. Select the Build Row Definitions using Account Categories Hierarchy option.
4. Click Next.
The Row Set Wizard - Build Row Definitions using Account Categories Hierarchy window displays.

Select Category Setup


1. In the Generate Rows for following Category Types section, select Only for Balance Sheet Categories.
2. Clear the Roll Up All Income Statement Categories to Income Summary check box.
3. In the field Specify if details for each account to be included in Report, select No details.
This creates Account Sum rows, which are suitable for a summary report.
Important When you repeat this step later for the detailed row set, select Full Details. This creates
Account List rows, which are suitable for a detailed report.

4. Accept all other defaults and click Next.


The Row Set Wizard - Row Definitions Formatting window displays.

Set Row Formatting


1. In the Indent size field, enter 4.
The effect is immediately visible in the Rows Formatting table.
2. In the Rows Formatting table, hold down CTRL and select both rows of Level 1 (both Header and Footer).
3. In the Font Size drop down, select 12.
4. Click the Bold and Underline buttons.
5. Click the Background Color pallette, and select a suitable color, for example a yellow.
The formatting changes display in the table, so you can see the effect they will have in the actual row set.
6. Click Next.
The Row Set Wizard - Create Row Set window displays.

Create Row Set


1. In the Row Set Name field, highlight the last section (date/time numerical sequence) and replace it with
XXXSummary (where XXX are your initials).
Important When you repeat this step to create the detailed row set, enter Detail instead.
Note The default filename is made up of the following:
BS - Balance Sheet (IS if you selected Income Statement)
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Categories - You chose to create the row set based on account categories
Company.Book
Date and Time

2. Click Finish.
The row set displays in the Report Designer.
3. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions sheet.
Note:
The basic data rows for the Summary row set are of the Account Sum type. When you create the Detail
row set, those rows will be Account List instead.
The Expression field displays the relevant account categories, based on the company's chart of accounts.
The formatting changes display.
4. Click Save.
5. Navigate to the User Properties sheet.
Three user properties were created: LineType, Level, and ReverseSign.
6. Remain in AFR Report Designer for the next workshop.

Workshop - Create Detail Row Set


Repeat the Workshop - Create a Row Set with the Wizard, with a couple of crucial differences, to create a detail
row set.
The two differences for the detailed row set are:
1. In the Specify if details for each account to be included in Report field, select Full Details.
2. Replace the last part (date/time) of the row set name with XXXDetail (where XXX are your initials).
3. Once you save the second row set, move on to the next workshop.

Versions
Use the Row Sets > Detail > Versions sheet to define additional versions of the current row set. When you
have multiple versions of row sets, you can report on multiple companies and general ledger (GL) books in one
report, without having to create additional row sets. Each row set version represents a single chart of accounts
(COA).
Within each row set, Row Set Version IDs are unique.
New row set versions copy all rows from the original row set. The number, description, and type fields on all
rows that exist in the new row set version copy over as disabled. The only item you can update in each row is
the Expression field. It is necessary to update each row expression to correspond to the particular COA structure.
Important Use of multiple row set versions is only necessary when additional GL books use different
COAs. When a company has multiple GL books that use the same COA, or multiple companies have books
that use the same COA, it is a better reporting strategy to filter one or more columns in the column set by

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the additional company/GL book. The column filter tells the column from which company and book it
should obtain data.

Column Sets and Definitions


Use the sheets under the Column Sets tab to enter, define, and delete column sets and columns, and to define
column set security.
You can enter details in report columns in several ways. The most relevant column types, with regards to financial
reporting, are included in the following list:
Account Balance
Account
Account Description
Separate Debit and Credit Amount columns; this allows you to display the debits and credits of a single account
or transaction separately
Mathematical Formulas; this allows you to combine columns together to display items such as variances
You can copy, paste, and update a column set. This is useful if you want to create a second column set that
slightly differs from your first. This functionality is also available for row sets, reports, and reporting trees.

Column Definitions - Expression Builder


From the Column Sets > Column Definitions > Detail sheet, use the Expression Builder to select the keyword(s),
reference(s), function(s), financial data, parameter(s), or dictionary definition for each report column.
The Expression Builder form presents options based on the field from which you access the program. The data
available for selection in the builder is context specific. The base table selected on the current Column Set
(Summarized Balances or Transaction Lines) also affects the data available for selection in the Expression Builder.
The following topics describe the fields on the Column Sets > Column Definitions > Detail sheet from which you
can access the Expression Builder, and the data available in the builder for that field.
Note To access the Expression Builder, click the ellipsis (...) button to the right of any of the following
fields: Expression, Period From, Period To, Account Mask, and Book.
Expression
Select a category to decrease the amount of data available for you to work with as you create an expression.
The categories available from the Expression field builder are Keywords, References, Functions, Financial Data
Keywords, and Dictionary. You have the option to use a combination of categories to create an expression.
For example, in a Balance column, you may want to calculate OpeningBalance + DebitAmount - Credit
Amount. To do this, your expression must use both financial data as well as math functions.
The following tables list the available categories, the expression names, description, and syntax available in each
category, and an example of each expression.
Table 1: Keywords
Expression Name Expression Syntax Description
Row description

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RowDescription

Example

Returns the description of the


current row definition.

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Expression Name Expression Syntax Description


Row expression

RowExpression

Returns the expression of the


current row definition.

Row number

RowNumber

Returns the ordinal number of the


current row definition.

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 row types, it
returns a blank string.

Example

"Account" +
AccountDescription

Account

Account

Applies only to Account List row "Account" + Account


types. Returns a formatted account
string for each GL account taken
from the account definition table.
The segment values are separated
with '-'. For all other row types, it
returns a blank string.

User-defined
properties

Row.Alias

Returns the value entered for the


selected user-defined property in
the row definition. This value can
be different for each row.

Column name

ColumnName(column Returns the name of the column,


reference)
specified in the argument.

Row.HeaderA

ColumnName([C10])

Column expression ColumnExpression(column Returns the expression of the


ColumnExpression([C10])
reference)
column, specified in the argument.
Column number

ColumnNumber(column Returns the number of the column, ColumnNumber([C10])


reference)
specified in the argument.

Table 2: Math, Constants, and Logical Functions

26

Expression Name

Expression Syntax

Description

Sum

Sum(Column range or list, Related to using column


cell list)
references and ranges
separated with the '+'
operator.

Example
Sum([C10]:[C20],[C40]
Is the same as
[C10]:[C20] + [C40]

If

IF(logical expression, value Evaluates the logical


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

Trunc

Trunc(numerical
expression)

Truncates the decimal part Trunc([C10]/[C20])


of a floating point value and
returns the integer part.

Nan

Nan

A constant that represents a Nan value. For instance,


when 0 is divided by 0

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Expression Name

Expression Syntax

Description

Example

Infinity

Infinity

A constant that represents an infinite value. For


instance, when a number is
divided by 0.

True

True

A constant that represents a True


true boolean value.

False

False

A constant that represents a False


false boolean value.

Table 3: References
Expression Name 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 row definitions from [C10]:[C50]


column number 's' to column
number 'e'. You can only use
ranges as arguments of an
aggregate function.

Column list

[Cn], ...[Cx]

A comma separated list of


[C10],[C20],[C30]
columns. You can only use
column lists as arguments of an
aggregate function.

Cell reference

[Rx,Cy]

A reference to a cell in row


[R10,C20]
number 'x' and column number
'y'.

Cell list

[Rx,Cy], [Ra,Cb]

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


You can only use cell lists as
arguments of an aggregate
function.

Binary operators

+,-,*, /, >, <, >=,


<=, =

Operators applied on a row basis.

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


[C10])

Table 4: Financial Data Keywords


Expression Name

Expression Syntax

Budget amount

BudgetAmt

Debit amount

DebitAmount

Credit amount

CreditAmount

Opening balance

OpeningBalance

Opening Credit Balance

OpeningCreditBalance

Opening Debit Balance

OpeningDebitBalance

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Important The keywords included in the table above are calculated based on the FromDate, FromPeriod,
ToDate, and ToPeriod report parameters. If the PeriodFrom or PeriodTo filters are also defined in a column,
these filters override the report parameters.
Example OpeningBalance + DebitAmount - CreditAmount

Table 5: Dictionary
Expression Expression
Name
Syntax
Dictionary
definition

Description

Example

$definitionName A reference to a dictionary definition linked to


$Movement
the column set. 'definitionName' is the name of
the definition. The column expression is replaced (The definition's expression is:
with the definition when the report is viewed. DebitAmount - CreditAmount)

Note To build an expression based on a dictionary definition, you must first create and define the dictionary.
For information on creating dictionaries, refer to the Dictionaries topic.

Column Filters
Use the Column Sets > Column Definitions > Detail sheet to set column filters. Column definitions can be
filtered by fiscal period (from and to), GL account, and company book.
Column filters are additive to the report parameters. Filters contract the scope of the data specified by the report
parameters, except for the Period From and Period To filters, which override the report parameters.
Example The report parameters specify a period of time from 2010/1 to 2010/6. The PeriodFrom and
PeriodTo fields for a column specify a period from 2010/5 to 2010/12. In this example, the data for the
column is selected for the period from 2010/5 to 2010/12.
For more information on report parameters, refer to the Parameters topic from the Reports section in the
Application Help.
Period Filter (Period From, Period To)
In the Period From field, use the Expression Builder to select a fiscal period from which the current column will
start reporting. In the Period To field, use the Expression Builder to select a fiscal period for the current column
to identify and stop reporting.
In addition, use of report parameters in the column period expressions improves the inflexible static definition of
column from and to periods, such as Period(2011,1). Add dynamic column definitions, such as
Period(FiscalYear(@ToPeriod)+1 to return more specific data.
The following table lists the available expression categories, functions, syntax, and descriptions available when
the Expression Builder is accessed from the Period fields.
Table 6: Period (From and To) Filters
Category
Report Parameters

28

Expression Syntax

Description

Example

These parameters can


only be used as
arguments to
functions that

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Category

Expression Syntax

Report Designer

Description

Example

eventually return a
period.
@FromDate

PeriodFromDate(@FromDate
+ 1)

@To Date

Adds one day and returns


fiscal period corresponding to
that date.
@FromPeriod

@FromPeriod + 1
Adds one fiscal period to the
report's @FromPeriod
parameter.

@ToPeriod
Date Functions

@ToPeriod - 3
These functions can
only be used as
arguments to
functions that
eventually return a
period.

Date(year,month,day)

Date(Year(@FromDate) + 1,
Month(@FromDate),
Day(@FromDate))
PeriodFromDate(Now())

Now()
PeriodNumber(period)
FiscalYear(period)

Period(FiscalYear(@FromPeriod)
+ 1,
PeriodNumber(@FromPeriod)

Year(date)
Month(date)

Month(PeriodStart(@FromPeriod))

Day(date)
PeriodStart(fiscalyear,number)
PeriodEnd(fiscalyear,number)
Period Functions

These functions return


periods.
CurrentPeriod ()

CurrentPeriod () +1

CurrentPeriodLastYear ()

Period (2010,7)

Period (year,period)

PeriodFromDate(@FromDate)

PeriodFromDate(date)
Account Mask
Optionally, filter report columns by one of the following parameters:
Account

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Account list
Account range
Category
Category list
Dictionary definition
Book
You can optionally filter the data that displays in the current column by a specific company and book. When
selected, data from the alternate company and book displays within this column.
Create a column that displays data from another company and book to compare financial results from multiple
companies on the same report.
Enter the company and book directly or click the Expression (...) button to find and select the necessary company
and book. If you enter this value directly, be sure to use the "<Company>.<Book>" format.
Note For data from Prophet 21 databases, use the hard-coded book ID: 1. For example, XCompany.1 .

Column Expression Assistant


The Column Expression Assistant is a powerful tool 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.
There are three different versions of the tool:
Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns - The user manually selects 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 - The user selects 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 replace an
existing column, or add a new one.
Note If you select Start Column Expression Assistant for new columns on the Settings > General
tab, the Single Column Update window launches whenever you create a new column in a column set.
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.
Note To access these options on the Actions menu, a column set must be open in the Report Designer.
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 - consists of 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 Period parameters in the
report itself. Runtime values are based on the periods specified by the user at report generation.

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The column header includes either the full Report Indicator name, its Abbreviation, or text defined by the
user in the Column Header Text field.
For further details of the three versions of the assistant, see the topics below.

Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns


Create multiple columns in an existing column set. Manually select the required Report Indicators, Fiscal Period
Range, and Fiscal Year(s), with appropriate parameters and options.
When you select Column Sets in the tree view, the Actions menu becomes available. Select Create Multiple
Columns (User-Defined) from the Actions menu. This launches the Column Expression Assistant - Generate
Multiple User-Defined Columns.
For user-defined column generation, there are three sections to fill out in the Column Expression Assistant:
Reporting Indicators
Fiscal Period Range
Fiscal Years
Reporting Indicators
Use the check boxes on the left to select the accounting metrics you want to include in the column set. The
following options are available:
Opening Balance
Debit
Credit
Net Change
Closing Balance
Budget
Budget Variance
Budget Variance %
There are three possibilities for the text to include in each column header:
Enter text in the Column Header Text field. If you enter text for a column header, this takes precedence
over the Report Indicator or Abbreviation.
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.
In all other cases, the Report Indicator field is used in the column header text.
Fiscal Period Range
Use the check boxes on the left to select the required period ranges or period range clusters. 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. The following options are available:
From/To Period Range
YTD (based on the To Period)
Fiscal Year (based on the To Period)
Rolling Periods
beginning 'From Period'
ending 'To Period'
from 1 to N (independent of From/To Period)

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The Split By field enables you to group periods together in a column. For example, for quarters, enter 3. The
default is 1, which means each period has a separate column.
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.
Example 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.
Important For the Rolling Periods (ending 'To Period') range, the progressive total applies in reverse,
from last period to first.
The Hide when out of range check box is selected by default. This means a column's Visible field is set to
False if its period range is outside the From/To Period report parameters.
Fiscal Years
Use the check boxes on the left to select the fiscal years required in the column set. This works on the offset
principle, relative to the Reporting Year - previous years have a negative Offset value, later years have a positive
value.
The Fiscal Year options are:
Reporting Year
Previous Year
Year Preceding To Previous
Next Year
Custom Year Offset
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.
If you select the Full Fiscal Year check box for a year, this forces 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.
Use the Difference and Difference, % check boxes to display the difference between the selected fiscal year
and the Reporting Year. These settings apply to all selected Reporting Indicators.
Finally, select the check box next to the text 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. For more details, review the Review Generated Columns topic below.
If you choose not to review the columns, when you click OK the new columns are created, and display in the
column set.

Generate Predefined Groups of Columns


Select the required predefined groups of columns. The Column Expression Assistant generates the required
columns.
When you select Column Sets in the tree view, the Actions menu becomes available. Select Create Multiple
Columns (Predefined) from the Actions menu. This launches the Column Expression Assistant - Generate
Predefined Groups of Columns.
Use the check boxes on the left to select the groups of columns you want to include in the column set.
There are five types of group:
Row Number and Description - Indicates if columns for Row Number and Row Description will be generated.

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Balance and Changes - Indicated if balances and changes will be generated for each period range or period
range cluster. This type generates five reporting indicators:
Opening Balance
Debit Amount
Credit Amount
Net Change
Closing Balance
Note For period clusters, Opening Balance is only included for the first period in the range.

Balance Compare To - Indicates if Closing Balance is compared to End of Previous Year, and/or Same 'To
Period' of Previous Year.
Net Change Compare To - Indicates if Net Change is compared to Same Periods of Previous Year, and/or
Budget.
Budget Filter - Allows selection of a budget. This is only available when Net Change Compare To: Budget
is selected.
If you select Use abbreviation instead of Indicator Name when Column Header is not specified, the
Abbreviation field is used in the column header.
Note If you choose to review the columns you are creating, you can manually enter alternative text in the
Column Header field in the review window. For further details, see the Review Generated Columns
section.
Finally, select the check box next to the text and Review them with XX generated before to launch 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, when you click OK, the new columns are created, and display in the
column set.

Single Column Update


Use the Single Column Update mode to create or update a single column within an existing column set.
This version of the Column Expression Assistant enables you to set the Reporting Indicator, Budget Filter (if
applicable), Period Range, and Fiscal Year Offset for one column.
When you select Column Sets, or a particular column in the tree view, the Actions menu becomes available.
Select Update Single Column from the Actions menu. This launches the Column Expression Assistant Single Column Update.
You can create a new column in an existing column set, or if you select an existing column, you can overwrite it
with new details using the assistant.
In the Reporting Indicator field, select the required metric. If you select Budget, you can also specify a value
in the Budget Filter field.
In the Period Range and Fiscal Year Offset fields, select the required fiscal period range and fiscal year values.
If you select Custom Year Offset, also enter a value in the Offset Value field.
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.

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Select the Use abbreviation instead of Indicator Name when Column Header is not specified check box
to use the Abbreviation in the column header, instead of the Reporting Indicator name. For example, OB instead
of Opening Balance. Review the new form of the expression in the field below the check box.
When you have made the necessary settings, click OK. The column displays in the column set.

Review Generated Columns


When you create multiple columns in the Column Expression Assistant, you can optionally review them, and
rearrange or delete columns as required.
To review columns before generation, in the Column Expression Assistant, select the check box next to and
Review them with XX generated above (where XX is a numerical value). When you click OK, the Column
Expression Assistant - Review Generated Columns window displays.
The columns display in order in the grid. Use the check boxes to select or deselect columns you want to edit.
You can rearrange the column order using the Move Up and Move Down buttons, or delete columns using
the Delete Marked or Delete All buttons.
You can also manually update the Column Header field. This overrides the standard Reporting Indicator Name
or Abbreviation.
From the Review Generated Columns window, you can also launch any of the three Column Expression Assistants
- Add Predefined Column Groups, Add Multiple User-Defined Columns, or Add Single Column, to add
new columns or column groups. After using one of these assistants, the system automatically returns to the
Review Generated Columns window.
Click OK to complete the process and create the columns.

Column Set Wizard


Use the Column Set Wizard to generate column sets, complete with column headers and period ranges, in a
few simple steps.
Within the wizard process, you can also access the Column Expression Assistant, the powerful tool which
enables you to create single or multiple columns with complex header and period expressions.
From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Column Set Wizard to open the Column Set Wizard - Welcome
window.
In the Select Identification Columns section, select the type of identifier columns you want to include in the
column set.
In the Generate columns for predefined set of amounts section, there are various options to create a
predefined set of columns to suit the type of report you require. The options are:
None
Balance Sheet
Income Statement
Trial Balance
For details of what columns are created for each predefined set, see the Predefined Sets topic below.
Select the Activate Column Expression Assistant to review and adjust columns check box to launch the
Column Set Wizard - Review Generated Columns window after you click OK. Use this window to review,
adjust, and delete the columns that will be created. From the review window, you can also launch all three
versions of the Column Expression Assistant, to add columns or column groups to the column set.
Note The Column Set Wizard - Review Generated Columns window functions in the same way as
the Column Expression Wizard - Review Generated Columns window. For more detail, see the Review
Generated Columns topic just above.

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When you have finished reviewing the columns to be created (or if you choose not to review generated columns),
click Next to move on the Column Set Wizard - Create Column Set window. In the Column Set Name field,
enter a name, or accept the default.
Finally, click OK. The new column set displays in the Report Designer. Click Save.

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Predefined Sets
The following table gives details of the columns created for the various predefined column set options in the
Column Set Wizard.
Predefined Set of Columns Reporting Indicators
Balance Sheet

Opening Balance

Period Ranges

Fiscal Years

YTD (To Period)

Reporting Year

Closing Balance

Income Statement - Default

Debit

Previous Year (Full


Year, no compare
options)
From/To Periods

Reporting Year

From/To Periods

Reporting Year

Credit
Net Change
Income Statement - Current
Debit
and YTD
Credit

YTD (To Period)

Net Change
Income Statement - Actual
vs. Budget

Net Change

From/To Periods

Reporting Year

From/To Periods

Reporting Year

Budget
Budget Variance
Budget Variance, %
Income Statement - Actual
vs. Previous Year

Net Change

Previous Year
(Difference, Difference
% options)
Income Statement - Rolling
Last 4 Quarters

Net Change

Ending To Period (12 Reporting Year


periods split by three)

Income Statement - Rolling


Last 3 Periods

Net Change

Ending To Period (3
periods split by one)

Reporting Year

Income Statement - Rolling


Last 12 Periods

Net Change

Ending To Period (12


periods split by one)

Reporting Year

Opening Balance

From/To Periods

Reporting Year

Trial Balance

Debit
Credit
Closing Balance

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Workshop - Create Summary Column Set with Wizard and Assistant


In this workshop, create a column set for a balance sheet report, using the Column Set Wizard, then add
columns for the previous year using the Column Expression Assistant.
1. From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Column Set Wizard.
The Column Set Wizard - Welcome window displays.
By default, Row Number and Row Definition columns are already selected for creation. This is suitable for
a summary report, as the Row Definition provides section names like Gross Profit, Net Income, based on
the definitions in the report's row set. Also, because you used the Row Set Wizard to create your row sets,
the Account and Account Definition keywords are already specified in Account List rows.
2. In the Generate columns for predefined set of amounts section, select Balance Sheet.
3. Select the Activate Column Expression Assistant to review and adjust columns check box.
4. Click Next.
The Column Set Wizard - Review Generated Columns window displays, with details of the four columns
that will be created.
5. Click Add Multiple User-Defined Columns.
The Column Expression Assistant - Generate Multiple User-Defined Columns window displays.
6. In the Select desired Reporting Indicators section, select the Opening Balance and Closing Balance
check boxes.
Tip If you want these columns to have a different header text, enter it in the Column Header Text
field.

7. In the Select Fiscal Period or Period Ranges section, select the YTD (To Period) check box.
8. In the Select Fiscal Years to compare, and comparison options section, select Previous Year.
9. Select the Use Full Fiscal Year check box in the same row.
10. Note the message at the bottom of the window: Generate 2 new columns and review them with 4
generated before.
The check box is grayed out, because the system will automatically return to the review window when you
proceed.
11. Click OK.
The additional columns also display in the Review Generated Columns window. Note how the FY Offset
column displays -1 for the columns you added.
12. Click Next.
The Column Set Wizard - Create Column Set window displays.
13. In the Column Set Name field, highlight the last section (date/time sequence) and enter XXXSummary
(where XXX are your initials).
14. Click Finish.

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15. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > List sheet.
The new column set displays, with the Expression, Header, Period From and Period To fields filled in.
Expand the Period From or Period To columns to view the complex expressions automatically created for
the previous year data.
16. Click Save.

Workshop - Create Detail Column Set


In this workshop, make a copy of the column set you just created, and adjust it for use in your detailed report.

Copy Column Set


1. In the tree view, select the column set you created in the previous workshop.
2. From the Edit menu, select Copy.
3. Again from the Edit menu, select Paste.
The Copying a column set window displays.
No dictionary is attached to the existing column set, so you can ignore the Dictionaries check box.
4. Click Paste.
A new column set displays in the tree view, with the prefix Copy_Of_[Original Column Set Name].
5. Navigate to the Column Sets > Detail sheet.
6. In the Name field, delete the Copy_Of_ prefix, and replace XXXSummary with XXXDetail (where XXX are
your initials).
7. Click Save.
You now have two column sets - summary and detail. Both column sets are identical, but you will adjust
the detail column set later in the course.

Report Parameters
Use the Reports > Detail > Parameters sheet to select or update report parameters for a specific report
generation.
Parameters default in from the column set filters, if specified. You can change the report parameters before you
generate a Report Definition Language (RDL) file. Changing the parameters does not override the column
parameters. The column parameters become a subset of the report parameters.
You can select or enter other values for the parameters in the Report Viewer at report runtime.
There are two presentation styles, which affect how you can select parameters in the Report Viewer at runtime:
Standard, and Advanced. With the Standard style, each parameter (except Reporting Tree Node) is presented
as a simple text-box in Report Viewer, in which you can manually type the required values. These parameters are
accompanied by a NULL check box, for when a field is left blank and not in use.
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,

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you can determine whether the report's 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.
Note Once you have generated an RDL file, you can change the presentation options on the RDLs sheet,
then save the changes. The RDL file is updated; you do not have to regenerate the RDL file after making
such changes.

Currency Conversions
There are two methods of using multiple currencies in your reports: Simple Currency Conversion Definition
and Advanced Currency Conversion Definition.
On the Report > Detail > Parameters sheet, in the Advanced Presentation Options section, select a method
in the Currency Conversion Definition field.

Simple Currency Conversion Definition


Recommended when currency and exchange rate data is not replicated from your ERP system. This method
requires manual entry of the report currency and exchange rate values.
In the Currency field, enter the report currency. This sets the default report currency at runtime. Select a currency
code from the drop-down list, or enter a currency code manually.
The currency codes available in the drop-down list are taken from all books available in the AFR financial database
currently in use.
Note By default, this field is blank, which is correct if no currency conversions are required in the report.
If no currency conversions are required in the report, select No Conversions in the Currency Conversion
Definition field.
The Currency field is also available in the AFR Report Viewer, so the report currency can be changed at runtime.
In the CrossRateCurrency field, enter the currency against which the conversion factors will be calculated.
Conversion works according to the following logic: The source book currency is converted to the cross-rate
currency, which is then converted to the specified report or column currency.
In the CurrencyConversions field, manually enter the currency exchange rates. These exchange rates are applied
against the cross-rate currency.
Each unique currency assigned to any books selected in the Book field is displayed in the format
<CurrencyCode>/0.00. You must manually enter an exchange rate value that is not zero (0.00). You can use
either the * (multiply) or the / (divide) operator. If the report currency is the same as a book currency, the exchange
rate displays as <CurrencyCode>*1.00. The conversion factor can contain any number of digits and decimals.
Note By default, this field is blank. As with the Currency field, this is correct if there are no currency
conversions required in the report. If a report currency is specified in the Currency field, the
CurrencyConversions field must also be populated.
The CurrencyConversions field is a comma-separated list.
Example YEN/77.72, EUR/0.746, USD*1.00
If you select an additional book in the Book field, whose currency is not in the CurrencyConversions field, the
new currency is added to the list of rates. You can then manually enter the exchange rate.
If you delete the currency value entered in the Currency field, the CurrencyConversions field is also cleared.

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If you change the report currency to another value which is the currency of one of the books selected in the Book
field, the CurrencyConversions list resets itself. You can then enter new exchange rate values. Other changes to
the report currency do not update the CurrencyConversions list.
The CurrencyConversions field is also available in the AFR Report Viewer, so conversion rates can be updated at
runtime.

Advanced Currency Conversion Definition


Recommended when currency and exchange rate data is replicated from your ERP system. This method enables
selection of various currency-related values via drop-down lists at report runtime.
In addition, you can separately set each report column to display in a different currency, which provides flexible
options for side-by-side multi-currency reports.
You can specify the report currency and cross-rate currency at report runtime. Apart from the currency itself, the
following data is also replicated, and available for selection via drop-down list at report runtime in the Epicor AFR
Viewer:
Rate Type - Corresponds to the Rate Type in Epicor 9.05, and specifies the conversion methods for currency
pairs. Epicor 9.05 allows for more than one rate type, therefore this option is also available for Advanced
Currency Conversion.
Rate Calculation Type - Two options are available. Select Spot Rate to use the exchange rate based on the
Rate Date parameter. Alternatively, select Period Average to apply an exchange rate based on a weighted
average for the specified report period or date range.
Rate Date - Enables you to select a date from a calendar pop-up. The exchange rate from this date is used
for the Spot Rate calculation.
When you launch the report in Epicor AFR Viewer, you can select these currency parameters from drop-down
lists. You can also select rates from the Default Rates drop-down list, and manually alter any rates in the Currency
Conversions field.
Conversion works according to the following logic: The source book currency is converted to the cross-rate
currency, which is then converted to the specified report or column currency.
Note Advanced Currency Conversion Definition can only be used for data replicated from Epicor ERP. For
details on how to set up replication to include the required currency fields, refer to the AFR 9.05.701 Install
Guide.

Workshop - Create a Summary Report


In this workshop, combine the summary row and column sets created in previous workshops to create a summary
balance sheet report, set the report parameters and advanced presentation options, and set the columns' book
filter and currency.

Define Report Details


1. From the New menu, select Report.
The Reports > Detail > General sheet displays.
2. In the Name field, enter XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
3. In the Row Set field, select the summary row set you created in Workshop - Create a Row Set with the
Wizard: BS_Categories_EPIC06.Master_XXXSummary.
4. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Column Sets sheet.

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5. Click the Add button.


The Search Column Sets window displays.
6. Search for and select the summary column set you created in Workshop - Create a Column Set with the
Wizard: ID_OB_CB_6_XXXSummary (where XXX are your initials).
7. Click Save.
A message displays, stating the total column width is greater than the page size of the report. You will cover
this area in more detail later in the course.
8. Click Yes.

Enter Report Parameters


Enter the basic required report parameters now. You will set Advanced Presentation Options later in the course.
1. Navigate to the Parameters sheet.
2. In the Book line, in the Default Value field, select Epicor Education - Main Book.
Epic06.MAIN displays.
3. In the Currency line, in the Default Value field, enter EUR.
4. In the CrossRateCurrency line, in the Default Value field, enter USD.
USD * 1.00,EUR / 0.00 displays in the CurrencyConversions field.
5. In the CurrencyConversions line, in the Default Value field, replace EUR / 0.00 with EUR / 0.81468.
Note These values are required for Simple Currency Conversion. Later in the course, you will enable
Advanced Currency Conversion, which retrieves exchange rate data from the financial database, so
these manual values will not be used.

6. In the From line, in the Default Value field, enter Period (2013,1).
7. In the To line, in the Default Value field, enter Period (2013,12).
8. Click Save.
Note Before you can preview or run a report, you must specify a company GL book as well as period
or date parameters.

Set Column Book and Currency


1. In the tree view, select the summary column set, ID_OB_CB_6_XXXSummary (where XXX are your initials).
2. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > List sheet.
3. Select column 30.
4. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > Detail sheet.

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5. In the Book field, click the ellipsis (...) button.


The Expression Builder displays.
6. In the Book (Alt) section, select EPIC06 > Master > MAIN.
7. Click OK.
EPIC06.MAIN displays in the Book field.
8. In the Currency field, select Report Currency from the drop-down list.
@Currency displays in the field. This represents the report currency you set in the report parameters.
Note If you do not specify a currency in the column, the book currency is used by default.

9. Repeat steps 2 - 7 for columns 40 through 60.


Note Instead of using the Expression Builder or drop-down list, you can enter the values manually,
or copy and paste them from other fields.

10. Click Save.


11. Repeat all the steps for the detail column set: ID_OB_CB_6_XXXDetail.

Workshop - Preview the Report and Improve Details


In this workshop, preview the data that displays as defined by the report parameters and dimensions, then adjust
the column set for greater clarity.

Run the Preview


1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > General sheet.
2. From the Actions menu, select Generate report preview.
A preview of the report displays in a new window. You may need to expand some of the columns to see
the headers. Note how the different fiscal year displays in the column headers, based on the Header field
expressions from the column set.
3. In the From line, in the Expression field, enter Period (2013,1).
Note You can also select values from the drop down list, or create a period/date expression using
the Expression Builder.

4. In the To line, in the Expression field, enter Period (2013,12).


5. Click Refresh.
The report values - and headers - update according to the change.
6. Review other report details and click Close.

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Improve Column Headers


The report uses currency conversions, but there is currently nothing to show which currency displays in each data
column. Add to the column headers to make the currency explicit.
1. From the tree view, select the summary column set, ID_OB_CB_6_XXXSummary (where XXX are your
initials).
2. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > List sheet.
3. Expand the Header field so you can view the whole expression for all columns.
4. In column 30, click in the Header field twice, at the end of the expression.
Make sure none of the expression text is selected.
5. Right-click and select @Currency.
{@Currency} displays at the end of the expression.
6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for columns 40 through 60.
7. Click Save.
8. From the tree view, select report XXXRpt_Summary.
9. Click Generate report preview.
The report preview displays. If you expand the columns, the column currency now displays in the header.
10. Close the report preview window.
11. From the tree view, select the detail column set, ID_OB_CB_6_XXXDetail (where XXX are your initials).
12. Repeat steps 4 through 7 to update the column headers.

Workshop - Create a Detail Report


In this workshop, use the detail row set and column set to create a detail report, and set the report parameters
and presentation options.

Define Report Details


1. From the New menu, select Report.
The Reports > Detail > General sheet displays.
2. In the Name field, enter XXXRpt_Detail (where XXX are your initials).
3. In the Row Set field, search for and select the detail row set,BS_Categories_Epic06.Master_XXXDetail
(where XXX are your initials).
4. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Column Sets sheet.
5. Click the Add button.

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The Search Column Sets window displays.


6. Search for and select the detail column set, ID_OB_CB_6_XXXDetail (where XXX are your initials).
7. Click Save.
Once again, a message displays, stating that the total column width is greater than the page size of the
report.
8. Click Yes.

Drill Down
Use the drill down function to view detailed reports from within a summary report, to view data at the level of
individual transactions, and to drill down to different reports depending on the specific row selected.
There are two basic forms of drill down functionality, determined by the Display as inline subreport checkbox
on the Drill Down sheet:
Separate - When you run a report which has a drill down, click on values in the report to drill down. This
opens the drill down as a separate report.
Inline - When you run a report which has a drill down, you can expand each line to view the drill down details
within the same report, (using expanding/collapsing, +/- nodes).
It is worth considering which mode is best suited to your requirements. Inline reports are likely to be more
convenient, but, because inline drill down reports require all the linked reports to load at the same time, it can
take longer for large reports to load all data. On the other hand, a separate drill down report only loads if you
need to view it (when you click on a row in the parent report).
When you select a drill down report, parameters (expressions) from the top level report pass to the report to
which you are drilling down. The data on the report you are drilling down to only displays as indicated by the
parameters, expressions, and filters.

Workshop - Drill Down from Summary to Detail Report


In this workshop, enable drill down capabilities from the summary report to the detail report created in previous
workshops.
1. From the tree view, select the summary row set, BS_Categories_EPIC06.Master_XXXSummary (where
XXX are your initials).
2. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Drill Down sheet.
3. In the Drill Down Report field, select the report XXXRpt_Detail (where XXX are your initials).
4. Select the Display as inline subreport check box.
When you run the report, you can view the detail report from within the summary report, using expand /
collapse (+ / -) nodes.
5. Click Save.
6. Remain in Epicor Financial Report Designer for the next workshop.

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Drill Down to Transaction Level


Use the pre-installed row set _Transaction_List_Row_Set and a Transaction Lines type column set to create
drill down reports to view details of the individual transactions that compose the data on a report.

Workshop - Add a Transactional Drill Down Report


In this workshop, create a column set for transaction lines and a report that uses the column set together with
the _Transaction_List_Row_Set.
Link the report to the detail row set (in the detail report) to enable transactional drill down functionality from
that row set.

Create a Transaction Column Set


1. From the New menu, select Column Set.
The Create New Column Set window displays.
2. Select Transaction lines.
3. Click OK.
The Column Sets > Detail sheet displays.
4. In the Name field, enter XXXCol_Transaction (where XXX are your initials).
5. Click Save.

Add Column Definitions


1. From the New menu, select Column.
The Column Sets > Column Definitions > List sheet displays.
2. In the Expression field, click the ellipsis (...) button.
The Expression Builder window displays.
3. In the Categories pane, select Financial Data > Transaction Lines (GLJrnDtl).
In the Financial Data Selector pane, a list of fields (from the GLJrnDtl table) displays.
4. Select Company.
5. Click OK.
6. In the Header field, enter Co.
7. Use the data in the following table to enter additional columns:
Note You do not have to use the Expression Builder to enter these expression values. If you know
the data you want to display, you can directly enter the values in the Expression field. Make sure
you enter the expressions exactly, as they refer to database fields.

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Number

Expression

Header

20

BookID

Book

30

FiscalYear

Year

40

FiscalPeriod

Period

50

JournalNum

Jnl Number

60

Description

Desc

70

JEDate

Entry Date

80

JournalCode

Jnl Code

90

DebitAmount

Debit

100

CreditAmount

Credit

110

SegValue1

Chart

120

SegValue2

Division

130

SegValue3

Department

8. Click Save.

Create the Report


1. From the New menu, select Report.
The Reports > Detail > General sheet displays.
2. In the Name field, enter XXXRpt_Transaction (where XXX are your initials).
3. In the Row Set field, click the ellipsis (...) button.
The Search Row Sets window displays.
4. Click Search.
5. Select _Transaction_List_Row_Set.
6. Click OK.
7. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Column Sets sheet.
8. Click the Add button.
The Search Column Sets window displays.
9. Search for and select XXXCol_Transaction (where XXX are your initials).
10. Click Save.
The column width warning message displays.
11. Click Yes.

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Assign Drill Down in Detail Report


1. From the tree view, select the detail row set - BS_Categories_EPIC06.Master_XXXDetail (where XXX are
your initials).
2. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Drill Down sheet.
3. In the Drill Down Report field, select the report XXXRpt_Transaction (where XXX are your initials).
4. Verify the Display as inline subreport check box is clear.
5. Click Save.
6. Remain in Epicor Financial Report Designer for the next workshop.

Drill Down from a Specific Row


Use the Row Definitions > Detail > Drill Down sheet to optionally select a report to link as a drill down from
the current report row.
This means you can effectively drill down to different reports according to the row you click at runtime.
Note This specific-row drill down functionality is not available with Inline drill down reports.

Workshop - Assign Drill Down to a Specific Row


In this workshop, create an additional report to use as a drill down for a specific row in your detail report.
In this example, when you click the LIABILITIES row in your detail report, you want to drill down to a report that
displays a quarterly breakdown of liabilities.
To accomplish this, create a new row set, and a column set with columns for each quarter, then create a new
report and link it as a drill down from the LIABILITIES row in your detail report.

Create a New Row Set


Manually create a new row set specifically for Liabilities accounts.
1. From the New menu, select Row Set.
The Row Sets > Detail > General sheet displays.
2. In the name field, enter XXXRow_Liabilities (where XXX are your initials).
3. Click Save.

Enter Rows
1. Navigate to the Row Definitions sheet.
2. In the Type field for row 10, select Expression.
3. In the Description field for row 10, enter Liabilities.

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This will be the title row.


4. In rows 20, 30, and 40, in the Type field, select Account List.
These rows will cover each liabilities category individually.
5. In the Description field for rows 20 through 40, right-click and select Account. Then right-click again and
select Account Description.
{Account}{AccountDescription} displays in each field.
6. In row 20, in the Expression field, click the ellipsis (...) button.
The Expression Builder displays.
7. In the Categories pane, select Account Categories.
8. In the Company field, select EPIC06.
9. In the Chart of Accounts field, select Master Chart of Accounts.
The list of categories displays.
10. Expand the LI_EQ - LIABILITIES AND EQUITY node.
11. Expand the LIABILITIES node.
Two child categories display: Current Liabilities and Long Term Liabilities.
12. Select Current Liabilities and click OK.
#CUR_LIABIL displays in the Expression field for row 20.
13. In the Expression field for rows 30 and 40, enter #LT_LIABIL and #LIABILITIE respectively.
These are the other two liabilities categories.
14. In row 50, verify the type is Account Sum.
15. In the Description field, enter Total: Liabilities.
16. In the Expression field, enter ##LIABILITIE
Note The double # means this category includes the two sub-categories (Current Liabilities and Long
Term Liabilities), so the row will display a total for all the liabilities categories.

17. Click Save.

Create a New Column Set


Use the Column Expression Assistant to help you generate a column set to display quarterly data.
1. From the New menu, select Column Set.
The Create New Column Set window displays.
2. Verify Summarized Balances is selected and click OK.
3. The Column Sets > Detail sheet displays.

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4. In the Name field, enter XXXCol_Quarterly (where XXX are your initials).
5. Click Save..
6. On the toolbar, click Create Mulitple Columns (User-defined).
The Column Expression Assistant displays.
7. In the Reporting Indicators section, select Opening Balance and Closing Balance.
8. In the Fiscal Period or Period Ranges section, select Rolling Periods (ending 'To Period').
9. In the Split By field, enter 3.
This will split the set into quarterly columns.
10. In the Select Fiscal Years section, select the Reporting Year check box.
Generate 8 new columns displays at the bottom.
11. Click OK.
12. Click Save.

Add Description Columns


1. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > List sheet.
The column set does not have Row Number or Row Description columns. You can add them manually, but
the Column Expression Assistant is quicker.
2. In the tree view, select the column set.
3. Click Create Multiple Columns (Predefined).
4. Select Row Number and Description.
Generate 2 new Columns displays at the bottom.
5. Click OK.
Two new columns, 90 and 100, are added to the column set.
6. In column 90, change the Number field to 2 and the Name field to C02.
7. In column 100, change the Number field to 5 and the Name field to C05.
This is to place the description columns on the left side of the column set.
8. Click the Number header twice to sort the columns into the correct order.
9. Click Save.

Create a Specific Report


1. From the New menu, select Report.
The Reports > Detail > General sheet displays.

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2. In the Name field, enter XXXRpt_Liabilities (where XXX are your initials).
3. In the Row Set field, search for and select XXXRow_Liabilities (where XXX are your initials).
4. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Column Sets sheet.
5. Click the Add... button.
The Search Column Sets window displays.
6. Search for and select XXXCol_Quarterly (where XXX are your initials).
7. Click OK.
The column width warning displays.
8. Click Yes.
9. Click Save.

Assign Drill Down from a Row


1. On the toolbar, click the down arrow next to the Search button, and select Row Sets.
The Search Row Sets window displays.
2. Search for and select the detail row set you created earlier in the course,
BS_Categories_EPIC06.Master_XXXDetail (where XXX are your initials).
3. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > List sheet.
4. Select the LIABILITIES row with LineType Header (row 240).
5. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > Detail > Drill Down sheet.
6. In the Drill Down Report field, search for and select XXXRpt_Liabilities (where XXX are your initials).
7. Click Save.
8. Remain in Epicor Financial Report Designer for the next workshop.

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Reporting Trees
Use the sheets under the Reporting Trees tab to add, update, and delete reporting trees, as well as the nodes
which define the tree structure and data contained in each tree. You can also define reporting tree security
settings.
Reporting trees are hierarchies set up and then selected on reports at runtime. Reporting trees use elements from
general ledger account segments to define subsets of data from which information is filtered into a financial
report.
These reporting hierarchies select the financial data based on relationships between the parent and child nodes
in the reporting tree hierarchy. The data each node collects depends on its position in the reporting tree hierarchy,
and any 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 node use AND logic, while any child nodes below the same node use OR logic. The child nodes
always act as filters that define the selected financial data.
In the Epicor Financial Report Designer, the logic of a reporting tree is bottom up. At the bottom level, define all
elements that form a particular item. Effectively, the roll up levels are summaries or mathematical equations of
the bottom level.
Tip You can copy, paste, and then update a reporting tree. This is useful if you want to create a second
reporting tree that slightly differs from your first.
To simplify the process of creating reporting trees, you can use the Reporting Tree Wizard, which enables you
to create complex reporting trees in a few simple steps. You can then edit the resulting reporting tree as required,
in the Report Designer.

Reporting Tree Nodes


Use the Reporting Trees > Nodes > Detail sheet to add, update, and delete reporting tree nodes.
Each node must have a name and number. Reporting tree node names cannot contain any spaces or gaps.
The AFR Report Designer assigns default tree node numbers in intervals of 10 for each node. You can update
the number if necessary.
In addition to a name and number, each reporting tree node contains an Account and Expression field.
In the Account field, you can use the Expression Builder to create expressions based on accounts, account
segments, account categories, or dictionary definitions. This works in a similar way to the Expression field in
Account Sum or Account List rows within a row set. Equally, you can enter values manually.
In the Expression field, enter a logical expression, based on database fields. You can use the Expression Builder
to help select available fields.
Example You want a node to display data from all previous years. The expression would be FiscalYear
< 2014 (assuming 2014 is the current year).
Filters imposed by selecting a reporting tree node are always additive to the combined filter of the effective cell.
The effective filter for a cell is a combination of the filters defined by:
1.

Report parameters

2.

Row account expression

3.

Column filters

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Effective filter of the cell from the parent drill down report
Tip Use the mask *- for the first account segment when applying a filter only to the second segment.
Example If a row has an expression that specifies account 1* and the expression in the reporting tree
node is {*-2*}, the resulting filter is 1*-2*.

The effective filter for a node is calculated using the following additive rules:
1.

If the expression of the selected node is blank, all its child nodes (1 level down) are OR expressions. If the
selected node does contain an expression, the expression of the node is used and the expressions of the
child nodes are ignored.
Example

All is not a reporting tree node. It is an option in the Reporting Tree drop-down list in the Report
Viewer at runtime, and is the default setting when a report is first run. When All is selected at runtime,
no reporting tree filters are used.

2.

The filter of the selected node is an AND expression. This expression includes all parent node filters from
the selected node to the root of the reporting tree.

The following expressions are available to use in the Account field within a reporting tree node:
Account
Account list
Account range
Category
Category list
Dictionary definition

Reporting Tree Wizard


Use the Reporting Tree Wizard to generate a reporting tree based on a chart of accounts (COA).
This simple tool enables you to select which account segments to use as nodes in the reporting tree, and how
each node displays in the tree. In addition, you can set up account masks in the node expressions, which use the
asterisk (*) wildcard character.

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Workshop - Create a Reporting Tree


In this workshop, use the reporting tree wizard to create a reporting tree which filters by Department and Division.
Then apply the reporting tree to your reports.

Create Reporting Tree in the Wizard


1. From the Tools menu, select Wizards > Reporting Tree Wizard.
The Reporting Tree Wizard - Tree Constructor window displays.
2. In the Select Chart of Accounts field, select Epicor Education - Master Chart of Accounts.
3. In the Generate Reporting Tree using Segment Values grid, click the asterisk (*).
A new line, Level 1, displays in the grid.
4. In the Source Segment field, select Division.
2 displays in the Max Length and Effective Length fields.
5. In the grid, click the asterisk (*).
A new line, Level 2, displays in the grid.
6. In the Source Segment field, select Department.
Again, 2 displays in the Max Length and Effective Length fields.
7. In the Node Name Template field, highlight [XXXX]/ and press Delete.
The field now displays [SegmentName]:[AccountMask]. This is how each node will be named. You can
also right click in the field to select other identifiers to include in the node name.
8. Click Next.
The Reporting Tree Wizard - Create Reporting Tree window displays.
9. In the Reporting Tree Name field, enter XXX_DivDept_Epico06.Master (where XXX are your initials).
10. Click Finish.
The new reporting tree displays in the Report Designer.
11. Click Save.

Apply a Reporting Tree to Reports


Select the reporting tree in your report so you can use it at runtime.
1. From the tree view, select your summary report, XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
Note If your reports are no longer open, click the Search button (binoculars) to search for the required
report.

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

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3. In the Reporting Tree field, select the reporting tree you created, XXX_DivDept_Epico06.Master (where
XXX are your initials).
4. Click Save.
5. Remain in Epicor Financial Report Designer for the next workshop.

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Report Layout
To lay out a report for display in a web browser (or the AFR Report Viewer), you must generate a Report Definition
Language (RDL) file from the Report Designer. You can modify some aspects of the RDL file in the Report Designer,
while more complex edits can be made in either Microsoft Visual Studio or Microsoft SQL Server Report
Builder (MS SQL Report Builder).
MS Visual Studio and MS SQL Report Builder both contain a functionality for adding images, text boxes, lines,
grids, charts, gauges, data regions, and other report formatting items. You add these items to create organized
and professionally designed financial reports that may help explain and illustrate financial trends within your
organization. Although you can use either MS Visual Studio or MS SQL Report Builder to lay out your reports,
the Report Designer directly integrates with MS Visual Studio, which simplifies the process of updating the layout.
Within MS Visual Studio you can change the position of selected items and add new items as needed. Similar to
the Report Designer, you can also create and modify expressions on most report items to define rules as to when
certain aspects of the report should display or not display. You can then create reports that communicate different
information based on incoming source data.
Report Items
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 static text you enter, or updatable text generated
through an expression. Use text boxes to display any additional data needed on the report, such as date time
stamps, user identifiers, company identifiers, and other specific items.
Image - You can embed images within advanced financial reports. You can also display each image based
on a defined parameter that reflects conditions within the database. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
reports support the following image types: .gif, .jpeg, .bmp, and .png.
Line - You can draw lines as needed throughout the SSRS report. Use lines to separate different types of
information and create 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 SSRS report. You can modify the border of each
rectangle to create organized and aesthetically pleasing reports. You can also modify the border color, thickness
of each side, and other attributes of each rectangle.
Data Regions
Data regions display financial data in a graphical way that helps communicate certain aspects of the information
on your reports. Data regions are linked to specific datasets that exist within the report definition and contain
field values pulled in from these selected datasets.
The following data region types are available to add to your financial reports:
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 financial data. Several chart types are available,
and each type 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 tool tips.
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, and place related records together under a
different header which you can then expand and review.

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List - List data regions display a customized group of fields that retrieve data from a single report database
table. You can add text boxes inside the List data region to display the required data from selected fields
within the database table.
Gauge - Gauge data regions measure and display financial data through a radial or linear configuration. Each
gauge is typically linked to one or more data point(s). 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) - Tablix data regions display data in a grid format, grouped through aggregated
data summaries from a Matrix, or free-formed through an open List.

Report Definition Language Files


Report Definition Language (RDL) files can be described as the report translation between the Advanced Financial
Reporting definition database and your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application. Before you can view and
print a report created in the AFR Report Designer, you must generate an RDL file for the report definition.
Once you have generated an RDL file, you can change the Advanced Presentation Options for the file. You do
not have to regenerate the RDL file after making such changes. Use the Reports > Detail > RDLs sheet to make
alterations, then simply save the changes.
With the AFR application, Epicor has released four generic RDL file templates. These templates provide an excellent
starting point for designing your own report templates. To leverage this functionality, select one of the Epicor
RDL template files at the time of RDL generation, and open the file for editing in Microsoft Visual Studio. After
all edits are made to the RDL file, you can save and deploy the new template.

Workshop - Generate RDL Files


In this workshop, generate Report Definition Language (RDL) files for the lower level reports designed in previous
workshops. Use the Epicor template files that installed with AFR.
1. From the tree view, under Reports, select XXXRpt_Transaction (where XXX are your initials).
Note When generating RDL files for reports that include drill downs, upload RDL files for the lowest
level report first. In this case, the transactional report is at the lowest level of the drill down.

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


The Rdl generator window displays.
3. Accept the defaults and click Upload.
The Report uploaded successfully message displays.
Note You can, but do not have to, select a report template from the Template file field. When a
report template is not selected, the result is a very basic report layout, with no styling.

4. Click OK.
5. In the Rdl generator window, click Close.
6. From the tree view, under Reports, select XXXRpt_Liabilities (where XXX are your initials).
7. From the Actions menu, select Generate RDL file.

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The Rdl generator window displays.


8. In the Template file field, select EpicorTemplate.rdl.
9. Click Upload.
The Report uploaded successfully message displays.
10. Click OK.
11. In the Rdl generator window, click Close.
12. Repeat steps 6 to 11 for the XXXRpt_Detail report (where XXX are your initials).
13. From the tree view, expand XXXRpt_Detail (where XXX are your initials).
A new node, AFR/XXXRpt_Detail displays. The same applies for the XXXRpt_Transaction and
XXXRpt_Compare reports (where XXX are your initials).
When you select the RDL node for a report, the Reports > Detail > RDLs sheet displays, where you can
make changes and save them.

Generate RDL for Summary Report


1. From the tree view, under Reports, select XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
2. From the Actions menu, select Generate RDL file.
The Rdl generator window displays. Note that an extra field displays: Indent inline reports. This field only
displays if the current report contains an inline drill down.
3. In the Template file field, select BWEpicorTemplate.rdl.
4. In the Indent inline reports field, enter 0.75 inches.
5. Click Upload.
A message displays, to notify you that the report refers to an inline drill down report. You have already
created the RDL for the drill down, so you do not need to generate its RDL file again.
6. Click No.
The Report uploaded successfully message displays.
7. Click OK.
8. In the Rdl generator window, click Close.

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Workshop - Update a Report Layout in MS Visual Studio


In this workshop, open a generated RDL file in MS Visual Studio, format the file for customized appearance, and
deploy it to the AFR Report Server.

Open RDL File in MS Visual Studio


1. From the tree view, navigate to Reports > XXXRpt_Summary > AFR/XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are
your initials).
2. From the Actions menu, select Edit RDL ....
The Launching an RDL editor status bar displays in the Report Designer. The report layout then opens in
table format in Microsoft Visual Studio, in the Design window.
The RDL filename displays in the Solution Explorer tree view under the Reports folder.
The column header row and the data rows all have the <<Expr>> phrase inside each cell on the report
table.
Note As this report has an inline drill down, a reference to the drill down report also displays:
/AFR/XXXRpt_Detail (where XXX are your initials).

Format the Report Appearance


1. In the report layout, click in one of the dark <<Expr>> cells in the top row of the layout.
Above the columns and beside the rows, gray header bars display.
2. Click on the gray header bar above the first column.
The entire column is selected.
3. Hover your cursor over the dividing line between the column header and the header to the right.
The cursor displays as a two-way arrow.
4. Left-click and drag the line to the right to increase the width of the column.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for other columns as required.
Note Format column widths according to the maximum length of text or figures that are likely to
display in the column. However, you want the columns all to fit on one page. Later in the course you
will adjust column widths and page sizes within in the Report Designer, on the Reports > Detail >
Body sheet.

6. Click on the gray bar next to the first row.


The entire row is selected.
7. From the Format menu, select Background Color.
The Choose Color window displays.
8. Select a suitable color for the header row and click OK.
In the table layout, the selected color displays in the header row.

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9. From the Format menu, select Justify > Center.


The text in the header row displays in the center of each cell.
10. On the standard toolbar, in the Font Name field, select Times New Roman.
11. In the Font Size field, select 16pt.
The header row is now formatted differently from the data rows.
12. Click in the text box above the data table and delete the word Title.
13. In the Report Data window on the left, expand the Built-in Fields folder.
14. Click and hold Report Name and drag and drop it into the text box cleared in step 12.
[&ReportName] displays in the field.
15. Expand the width of the text box if necessary.

Add Fields to the Report Footer


You require the User ID and Page Number/Total Pages values to display on the report footer. To do this, add and
format text boxes.
1. Scroll down in the report window and right-click in the dark grey footer space at the bottom of the report
layout, and select Insert > Text Box.
An empty text box displays on the report. There are already other text boxes in the footer area.
2. Within the text box, click your mouse pointer on the cross icon and drag the box to the desired location on
the report.
3. In the Report Data window, expand the Built-in Fields folder.
4. Click and drag User ID into the text box created in step 1.
In the text box, [&UserID] displays.
5. Highlight the text. In the Font Size field, select 14pt.
6. Click and drag the bottom handle to increase the box height, and the right side handle to increase the box
width.
Tip: Increase the width and height of text boxes to insure the expected text fits on one line.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 to create an additional text box, and populate it with the following data:
Tip: After dragging Page Number and Total Pages into the text box, manually enter a / to separate the data.
Folder in Report Data

Item

Text Displayed in Text Box

Built-in Fields

Page Number, Total Pages

[&PageNumber] / [&TotalPages]

Note If necessary, change the font color.

8. Click Save.

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Deploy the RDL File


1. In the Solution Explorer window, right-click the updated RDL file, and select Deploy.
A Deploy complete message displays in the output pane.
2. Exit MS Visual Studio.
Tip If you have time, it's a good a idea to format your other reports in a similar way.

Workshop - Change RDL Advanced Presentation Options


In this workshop, enable Advanced Presentation Options for the top-level RDL file. You will enable Advanced
Currency Conversion, and specify what kind of drop down lists are available in the report at runtime. When you
save your changes, the RDL file is updated - there is no need to regenerate it.
1. Maximize Epicor Financial Report Designer.
2. From the tree view, select Reports > XXXRpt_Summary > AFR/XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your
initials).
The Reports > Details > RDLs sheet displays, with the RDL file selected.
3. In the Merge on Save field, verify Manual is selected.
You will cover this field in the next workshop, on the RDL Merge feature.
4. In the Presentation Style field, select Advanced.
5. In the Book selection type field, select Predefined Book(s).
This setting means that, at report runtime, users cannot select a company and book. Instead, the report
uses the book(s) specified in the report parameters. This is appropriate here, because your report's columns
are restricted to one book, EPIC06.MAIN.
6. In the Period/Date range selection type field, verify From/To Periods is selected.
7. Select the FY Combo check box.
8. Select the Per Combo check box.
These combo-box settings enable a drop down list in the report at runtime, so you can easily select a value.
If these combo boxes are not enabled, the required values must be entered manually.
9. Click Save.
The RDL file is updated.

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Merge
The Merge on Save field on the RDLs sheet determines how the system synchronizes changes to report definitions
with the associated RDL file(s), after you make certain changes to the definition in the Report Designer.
This functionality applies especially to changes in the report definition's building blocks. The RDL merge tool is
invoked when the user clicks Save in the Report Designer, and any of the following conditions is 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 Actions menu.
The Merge on Save option on the RDLs sheet is changed from None to either Manual or Automatic.
The drill-down mode is changed to or from Inline. If this was the only change made, the RDL Merge window
does not display, but the merge still takes place.
Note This functionality applies to the RDL file for a report. Therefore, this function does not launch if you
edit report definitions which do not have an RDL file generated.
If you select Automatic from the drop down list, when you save the RDL file the system updates the RDL according
to default behaviors. For example, if you add a column to the report definition, the column style in the RDL is
copied from the adjacent left column.
If you select the Manual option, when you save the RDL file the Merge window displays, which enables you to
select which aspects of the RDL file to overwrite or keep, with details of the existing RDL value, and the resulting
RDL value that will overwrite it.
The Merge Tool
When the Merge <Report Name> window displays, the tree view on the left displays the Part (element) that
was changed in the report definition, and an Overwrite check box for each such item. Examples of parts are:
Columns
Header
Footer
When you select a part in the tree view, various Property values display in the Result RDL and Existing RDL
panes. This enables you to compare between the two. You can also make alternative selections for the values in
the Result RDL pane if required. For example, if you added a column, in the column Width property you can
accept either the proposed value, or select Existing. If you select Existing, the value is taken from the Existing
RDL pane, and the other columns are resized to accommodate.
Example In the Column Sets > Column Definitions window in Report Designer, you add a new column
to the report. When you click Save, the Merge window displays. When you select Columns in the tree view,
the Result RDL pane displays the extra column, with Copy from left in the Width field. This determines
the source used for the new column's formatting.
Note The merge feature reduces the need to make edits to RDL files in MS Visual Studio whenever you
change report definitions.

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Report Layout

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Workshop - Update Report Definition and Use RDL Merge Tool


In this workshop, remove a column from a report definition, then use the RDL Merge tool to adjust column
widths.

Set Merge on Save Behavior


1. From the tree view, select Reports > XXXRpt_Detail > AFR/XXXRpt_Detail (where XXX are your initials).
2. Navigate to the RDLs sheet.
3. In the Merge on Save field, verify Manual is selected.

Remove a Column from a Report


You do not require the row number to display in your detail report. Remove the column in the detail column set.
1. From the tree view, select the detail column set ID_OB_CB_6_XXXDetail (where XXX are your initials).
2. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions > List sheet.
3. Select column C10 (the column with RowNumber in the Expression field).
4. On the toolbar, click Delete.
5. Click Save.
The Merge Columns window displays.
In the Existing RDL pane, C10 (Will be removed) displays for the column you deleted.
The Result RDL pane displays the new column widths that result from the column deletion.

Adjust Values in RDL Merge Tool


Update the RDL file by adjusting column widths in the Result RDL pane.
1. In the Result RDL pane, in the Width field for column C20, select Existing from the drop down list.
The column width is taken from the Existing RDL pane and applied to the Result RDL. The other column
widths are automatically adjusted to accommodate this change.
2. Click OK.
The RDL file is updated.
3. Click Save.

Page Size and Orientation


In the Reports > Detail > Options sheet, you can set the page orientation and paper size for your report.
In the Page Size section, select either Portrait or Landscape (the default is portrait).

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Report Layout

In the Paper Size field, select from a number of standard page sizes. Alternatively, manually enter the page size
(in inches) in the Width and Height fields.

Adjust Column Width in Report Designer


Use the Reports > Detail > Body sheet to adjust column widths for the selected report. You can also use the
Fit Columns function to automatically shrink or expand the column widths to fit the current page size.
The Body sheet displays the current width for all columns in the selected report. Drag column dividers to change
column widths. A dotted line on the right of the page shows the current page width limits. If you make the
overall column widths wider than the page width, when you click Save a warning displays, with the option to
keep the changes, reduce the column size to fit the page, or return to the Report Designer.
If the total width of the columns is higher or lower than the page width, select Fit Columns from the Actions
menu to automatically change the columns to fit the page width exactly.

Change Page Orientation and Adjust Column Widths


Your transaction-level report contains a large number of columns, so would be more suitable in landscape format.
Adjust the page orientation for the report, then update the column widths to fit the page.

Change Page Orientation


1. From the tree view, select report XXXRpt_Transaction (where XXX are your initials).
2. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Options sheet.
3. In the Page Orientation pane, select Landscape.
The Width and Height fields update automatically.
4. Click Save.

Adjust Column Widths


1. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Body sheet.
The current column widths display in the grid.
2. From the Actions menu, select Fit Columns.
The column widths update.
3. Click Save.
The RDL Merge window displays.
4. Click OK to accept the suggested Result RDL.
5. Click Save.

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AFR Report Server

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

AFR Report Server


The AFR Report Server, part of the AFR installation pack, creates a web service, which 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.
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.
If the AFR Report Viewer is not installed, the web service also launches when you click View Report in the Report
Designer.
Note To use this feature, Internet Information Services (IIS) must be set up, and the AFR Report Server
must be installed. For installation details, view the AFR Installation Guide.
You can also export reports to the following formats:
XML file with report data
CSV (comma delimited)
Acrobat (PDF) file
MHTML (web archive)
Excel
TIFF file
Microsoft Word
Data in the reports display in real-time; users can adjust the report parameters to suit their reporting requirements.
You can also launch reports from within the Report Designer. Simply select the report RDL file from the tree view,
and click View Report. The report launches in the default web browser.
Note If AFR Report Viewer is installed, the report displays in AFR Report Viewer instead. In such cases, to
view reports in a web browser, run the AFR Report Server command from the Windows Start menu.

Workshop - View Reports in a Web Browser


In this workshop, launch reports to view within a web browser, by running the AFR Report Server.
1. From the Start menu, select All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > AFR
Report Server.
The Report Manager homepage launches in your default web browser, just like when you launch the AFR
Report Viewer.
2. Click the AFR folder icon.
The list of available AFR reports displays.
3. Click XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
The report opens within the same browser window.

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Set Currency Details and View Report


This report uses Advanced Currency Conversion, so you have to select currency options before the report data
display.
1. In the Report Currency field, select Euro.
2. In the Rate Calculation Type field, verify Spot Rate displays.
The alternative is Period Average. Review the Multi-Currency topic in the online help for details of the
difference between the two methods.
3. In the Rate Type field, select RateType1 - Main Rate Type (USD).
The Cross-Rate Currency, Default Rates, and Currency Conversions fields populate.
4. Click View Report.
The report data display. Notice the + sign beside each row. Click these symbols to display the inline drill
down report within the same report.
5. Exit Epicor AFR Viewer.

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AFR Integration into Microsoft Excel

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

AFR Integration into Microsoft Excel


The Epicor AFR ODBC Driver 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.
This driver enables end users to work with AFR reports in Excel, to view and adjust financial data in the reports,
and to customize the report using Excel functionality. This is significant for countries where reports must follow
strict presentation templates, for example, displaying a column set in two parts side-by-side.
To use this functionality, the Epicor AFR ODBC Driver must already be installed. For details on how to install the
driver, refer to the AFR Installation Guide.
To generate an Excel file with a predefined connection to the data source, open the report in the Report Designer,
then click Actions > Generate Excel file. Specify a location to save the file, and click Save. The file opens in
Microsoft Excel.
The generated file has two sheets:
Report Parameters - Displays the report parameters in the same way as the Report Designer. You can change
the parameters and click Refresh All (on the Data tab) to display updated report data. For example, in the
ReportingTreeNode field, you can enter a reporting tree node name, then click Refresh All to view filtered
data. Enter these values manually. To select all reporting tree nodes, leave this field blank.
Report - Displays the report data. The data update after you change the parameters and refresh.
To make the most of this tool, you can link fields on the Report sheet to an existing Excel report template, which
is formatted to your reporting requirements. Simply copy the report template sheet to the Excel worksheet you
generated. Then, copy cells from the Report sheet to the required location on the template sheet. You can also
copy parameters fields from the Report Parameters sheet.
Now, when you change the report parameters and click Refresh All, the updated data displays on the template
sheet as well.
You can also use Excel functionality to format the generated Excel file. For example, you can hide rows in the
Report Parameters sheet which are not updated, hide the Report sheet, and format the font style and color.

Workshop - Generate the Report in Excel


In this workshop, generate a report in Microsoft Excel, update the parameters, and view the changes.
1. From the tree view, under Reports, select XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
2. From the Actions menu, select Generate Excel file.
3. Specify a location to save the file, and click Save.
The report opens in Excel with two sheets: Report parameters and Report.
4. In the Excel file, navigate to the Report sheet.
The report data displays according to the current report parameters.
Note You may have to enable data connections to enable the report content to display.

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5. Navigate to the Report parameters sheet.


6. In the From row, change the Parameter value to Period (2011,1).
7. In the To row, change the Parameter value to Period (2012,12).
8. On the Data toolbar, click Refresh All.
9. Navigate to the Report sheet.
The data display according to the updated parameters.
10. Exit Microsoft Excel.

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The AFR Report Project

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

The AFR Report Project


When the Epicor AFR toolset integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio, it automatically creates an AFR project.
MS Visual Studio organizes files through a series of separate projects. Each project can contain a number of
related report definitions, files, images, and other items. The automatically created AFR project contains the
advanced financial report files.
When you launch MS Visual from within the Report Designer, the AFR project opens by default. The project is
labeled AFR - Microsoft Visual Studio. If you launch the MS Visual Studio through Windows, you must
navigate to the folder that contains the AFR project. Because all the advanced financial reports are contained
within the same project, you can quickly modify and add reports as needed. Epicor AFR also installs some additional
controls to the MS Visual Studio which help you manage your advanced financial reports.

Report Templates
Before you develop advanced financial reports, consider developing a series of report templates. Each template
can contain default items to display on each report run, such as background colors, custom spacing, company
logos, and so on.
Once you create a template, each time an RDL file is generated in the Epicor Financial Report Designer for a new
financial report, users can select the template as the report style. When the report displays, it integrates with the
selected template, and displays the report layout from the template and report data from the new report definition.
Upload the generated RDL to immediately view your reports in a web browser (or in the AFR Report Viewer).
If only one report style is needed for all financial reports, you only have to create that first template. It is not
necessary to return to MS Visual Studio and define the report style again after saving it to the RDL Templates
folder. Each report definition created in the Report Designer can use the same template if that is effective for
your company. If multiple report styles become necessary, you can go back and define additional templates for
users to select when they generate RDL files for new report definitions.
You can update the report layout in MS Visual Studio for each report that uses a template. When the layout of
your report template is defined, deploy the enhanced RDL file from MS Visual Studio to the report server. The
report is immediately available for display within a web browser or the AFR Report Viewer. If necessary, you can
return to MS Visual Studio to refine the layout of the template and deploy the updated RDL file again. Any
updates made in this manner are only applicable to the specific report RDL file. The template is not updated with
these changes.
Note You can create templates using MS SQL Report Builder instead of MS Visual Studio. This application
has an easy-to-use interface you may decide works better for designing your report templates. If you use
this application, be sure to save the template RDL files to the RDL Templates folder (Windows Path:
C:\Program Files\Epicor Software\AFR\RDL Templates). Users can then select this template from the Template
field when generating RDL files.

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Workshop - Customize and Save an RDL Template


In this workshop, create and save a custom RDL template for your company based on the EpicorTemplate.rdl
that installs with AFR. The new template you save can be used when generating any new rdl files for your financial
reports.

Open the AFR Report Project in Microsoft Visual Studio


When the Epicor AFR toolset integrates with Microsoft Visual studio, it automatically creates an AFR project. In
this workshop task, open the AFR project and customize an existing report template.
1. Launch Microsoft Visual Studio.
2. From the File menu, select Open > Project/Solution.
3. In the Open Project window, browse to the C:\Users\Administrator\Documents\Visual Studio
2008\Projects\AFR folder and select AFR.rptproj.
The path may differ slightly according to the version of MS Visual Studio you use.
4. Click Open.
The AFR Report Project displays. This project installs with AFR.
5. In the Solution Explorer, right-click the Reports folder and select Add > Existing Item.
6. In the Add Existing Item window, browse to the C:\Program Files\Epicor Software\AFR\RDLTemplates
folder and select EpicorTemplate.rdl.
Epicor recommends you create a copy of this template to save before updating in a live environment.
7. Click Add.
8. To open the file, in the Solution Explorer, double-click EpicorTemplate.rdl.

Customize an RDL Template


Customize an existing report template to save and use on a report you designed in the AFR Report Designer.
1. In the report header area, right-click on the Epicor logo image and select Delete.
2. In the same location, right-click and select Insert > Image.
The Image Properties window displays.
3. Click Import.
4. Browse to your desktop, or another folder, and select an image file to import.
5. Click OK.
6. Within the image box, click and drag the box to the desired location on the report.
7. In the dark report header area, right-click on the other remaining image and select Delete.
8. In the same location, right-click and select Header Properties.
The Page Header Properties window displays.

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9. Update the Height field to 1.8 inches and click OK.


10. If necessary, resize the image you imported, to adapt to the updated header height.
11. In the body area of the report layout (below the dark header area), right-click and select Body Properties.
The Report Body Properties window displays.
12. Click the Fill Color field to select a background color for your report layout.
13. Verify the Use this image field is clear.
An image file applied to the report body would obscure the fill color you select.
14. Click OK.
15. Right-click in the text box that currently says Title and click Delete.
16. In the report footer area, click inside the text box that currently says Epicor Software Corporation and
update the text to XXX, Inc - 2013 (where XXX are your initials).
17. Highlight the text you entered in the text box. In the Properties pane, update the Font and Color fields as
you like.
18. Click Save.

Save RDL Template


Once you create an RDL template, save it to the RDL Templates folder. This allows you to select this template
when generating RDL files in the Report Designer.
1. From the File menu, select Save EpicorTempate.rdl As.
The Save File As window displays.
2. Browse to the RDL Templates folder - C:\Program Files\Epicor Software\AFR\RDL Templates.
3. In the File name field, update the name to XXXTemplate.rdl (where XXX are your initials).
4. Click Save.
5. Exit MS Visual Studio.

Workshop - Use a Customized RDL Template


In this workshop, generate an RDL file for your XXXRpt_Summary report using the template you created in the
Workshop - Customize and Save an RDL Template. Change some RDL parameters before you generate the file.
These changes will only apply to this particular RDL file.

Select Report for RDL Generation


1. Maximize Epicor Financial Report Designer.
2. From the tree view, navigate to Reports > XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
3. From the Actions menu, select Generate RDL file.

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The Rdl generator window displays.


4. In the Report name field, enter XXXRpt_Summary_Basic (where XXX are your initials).
5. In the Template file field, select XXXTemplate.rdl (where XXX are your initials).

Change RDL Parameters and Upload RDL File


1. Navigate to the RDL Parameters sheet.
Here you can change some presentation parameters, specifically for this RDL file. They do not affect other
RDL files you generated for the same report.
2. In the Presentation Style section, select Advanced.
3. In the Book Selection Type field, select Single Book - Separate Company and Book combo-boxes.
4. In the Currency Conversion Definition field, select No Currency Conversions.
When you run this report in the web browser, the appearance will be somewhat different to the other RDL
file you generated for the summary report.
5. Click Upload.
A message displays regarding the attached inline drill down report. You already generated the RDL file for
the drill down report.
6. Click No.
The Report uploaded successfully message displays.
7. Click OK.
8. In the Rdl generator window, click Close.
9. From the tree view, expand report XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
There are now two RDL files for this report.
10. Select XXXRpt_Summary > AFR/XXXRpt_Summary_Basic (where XXX are your initials).
11. Click View Report.
The report launches. Notice that the report uses the template you created earlier. Also there are no currency
conversion options.
12. Close the report.
13. Remain in Epicor Financial Report Designer for the next workshop.

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Workshop - View Reports and Drill Downs


In this workshop, view your summary report in a web browser and drill down to detail and transaction levels.
You will se the difference between inline drill downs and separate drill downs.
The following list describes the drill down scenarios used in the workshop:
From the Summary report, drill down to the Detail report, which displays detail at the GL account level.
From the Detail report, drill down to the Transaction report.
From the Liabilities row in the Detail report, drill down to the quarterly Liabilities report.

Run AFR Report Server and View Report


1. From the Start menu, select All Programs > Epicor Software > Advanced Financial Reporting > AFR
Report Server.
The Report Manager homepage launches in your default web browser, just like when you launch the AFR
Report Viewer.
2. Click the AFR folder icon.
The list of available AFR reports displays.
3. Click XXXRpt_Summary (where XXX are your initials).
The report opens within the same browser window.

Set Currency Conversion Details


This time, view the report in a different currency.
1. In the Report Currency field, select PESO - Mexican Peso.
2. In the Rate Type field, select RateGroup1 - Main Rate Group (USD).
The Cross-Rate Currency, Default Rates, and Currency Conversions fields populate.
3. Click View Report.
The report displays. Note the column headers display the correct currency.

Drill Down on Reports


1. In the ReportingTreeNode field, select a node from the drop down list, for example, Division_01.
2. Click View Report.
The report values update according to the reporting tree node filter.
3. In the ReportingTreeNode field, select All.
4. Click View Report.
Now the report displays without filters applied.
5. Within the summary report, click the + (plus sign) next to row 20.

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The detail report displays inline within the report, with GL account level detail.
6. Click the - (minus sign) to close down the detail report.
7. Scroll down and click the LIABILITIES header line (120).
The detail report displays again, this time as a separate report.
8. Within the detail report, scroll down and click the LIABILITIES row.
The quarterly liabilities report displays.
9. Click the Back button in your browser.
The detail report displays again.
10. Click on a financial value in one of the report lines which display GL account detail, for example, 1233--00--00.
The transaction level report displays, with details of individual GL transactions if they apply to the periods
covered by that cell.
11. Exit the web browser.

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Appendix

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Appendix
This appendix contains a workshop which covers the use of the row grouping functionality. Do not attempt this
workshop until you have completed the main course workshops, as you have to edit and use a report and its
dimensions already created in the course.

Workshop - Add Row Grouping to a Row Set


In this workshop, add row grouping to the row set, to group and sort report data by fiscal year.

Add Grouping Rows


1. Maximize Epicor Financial Report Designer.
2. From the tree view, under Row Sets, select your quarterly liabilities row set, XXXRow_Liabilities (where
XXX are your initials).
3. Navigate to the Row Sets > Detail > Row Definitions > List sheet.
4. In the grid, click the asterisk (*).
A new row displays.
5. Click in the Number field and enter 5.
6. In the Type field, select Group Start from the drop-down list.
7. In the Expression field, enter FiscalYear.
This is a keyword from the AFR financial database. Insure you enter the value exactly.
8. Click the asterisk (*) to create another row.
Do not change the row number, as this row will be the last in the row set.
9. In the Type field, select Group End from the drop-down list.
10. Select any empty rows, and click Delete.
11. Click Save.

Add Formatting Rows


1. Click the asterisk (*) to create a new row.
2. In the Number field, enter 7.
3. In the Type field, select Expression from the drop down list.

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4. In the Description field, enter Year_, then right-click and select FiscalYear.
Year_{FiscalYear} displays. This row gives each group a heading when the report displays. FiscalYear refers
to the expression in the Group Start row.
5. Click the asterisk (*) to create another new row.
6. In the Number field, enter a number to make this the penultimate row in the row set, for example 70.
In the row set, this should be the last row before the Group End row.
7. In the Type field, select Page Break from the drop-down list.
This will make data for each fiscal year display on a new page on the report.
8. Click Save.

Format Total Row Descriptions and Renumber Rows


1. Click the Number column header twice to sort the rows into numerical order.
2. In the TOTAL LIABILITIES row, click twice in the Description field to place the cursor at the end of the
description text, then right-click and select FiscalYear.
In the report, the total row will also display the fiscal year.
3. From the tree view, select the row set.
4. From the Actions menu, select Renumber Rows.
The Renumber Rows window displays.
5. Accept the default value in the Renumber using increment field, and click OK.
The rows in the row set are renumbered in increments of ten.
6. Click Save.

Edit Column Set


Update the column set to suit the report specifically for this workshop.
1. From the tree view, select the quarterly column set, XXXCol_Quarterly (where XXX are your initials).
2. Navigate to the Column Sets > Column Definitions sheet.
3. Select rows 30 through 80 and click Delete.
4. Click Yes to confirm deletion.
5. Clear the Period From and Period To fields for all remaining columns.
6. In the Expression field for column 10, enter DebitAmount.
7. In the Expression field for column 20, enter CreditAmount.
8. In the Header field for columns 10 and 20 enter Debit and Credit respectively.

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9. Click Save.
The RDL Merge window displays.
10. Click OK.
11. From the tree view, select report XXXRpt_Liabilities (where XXX are your initials).
12. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Body sheet.
13. From the Actions menu, select Fit Columns.
The columns stretch to fit the page.
14. Click Save.
The RDL Merge window displays.
15. Click OK.

Generate RDL File and View Report


For the purposes of this workshop, add report parameters to make a functional standalone report.
1. From the tree view, under Reports, select XXXRpt_Liabilities > AFR/XXXRpt_Liabilities (where XXX are
your initials).
2. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > Parameters sheet.
3. In the Book field, enter EPIC06.MAIN.
4. In the From field, enter Period (2009,1).
5. In the To field, enter Period (20013,12).
6. From the Actions menu, select Generate RDL file.
The Rdl generator window displays.
7. In the Report name field, enter XXXRpt_Grouping (where XXX are your initials).
8. In the Template file field, select EpicorTemplate.rdl.
9. Navigate to the RDL Parameters sheet.
10. In the Presentation Style section, select Standard.
11. Click Upload.
The Report uploaded successfully message displays.
12. Click OK.
13. In the Rdl generator window, click Close.
14. Navigate to the Reports > Detail > RDLs sheet.
15. From the Actions menu, select View Report.

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The report displays in a web browser (or the AFR Report Viewer if installed), with data for each fiscal year
on a separate page. Click the right arrow in the parameters section to go to the next page.
Note If there is no data to display, no fiscal year suffix displays in the header rows.

16. Exit the web browser or AFR Report Viewer.


17. Exit Epicor Financial Report Designer.

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Conclusion

Advanced Report Designing with AFR Course

Conclusion
Congratulations! You have completed the Advanced Report Designing for AFR course.

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Additional information is available at the Education and


Documentation areas of the EPICweb Customer Portal. To access
this site, you need a Site ID and an EPICweb account. To create an
account, go to http://support.epicor.com.