PINNED REPORTS IN CENTRAL LOCATION

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    Happy Man Community
    • From my point of view the pinned reports functions could be great when this idea is realised. Now it is not, since you have to distribute your reports everytime to all your user machines again and again ...

       

      So please help this idea get up front, and vote for it - this a small change with a great usability bonus - low hanging fruit  I would say!!!!

    • mark.crosby1.1

      Some pinned reports, notably those referring to Model Mart, do not seem to be located on the local drive, rather appear to be located on the mart itself since I cannot locate them anywhere on my local machine. Maybe those MM reports should also be included in this idea - permitting the user to navigate to a network location (and/or Model Mart) to either save or load any pinned report.

    • tombilcze

      This would be very nice. Today, I have to either visit the users or point them to an instruction sheet I authored on how to pin.

    • TheovanWestrienen

      In 9.64 functional;ity around pinned reports in report designer has changed - as the status of "implemented" indicates.

      However, this new functionality does not address this Idea. it is still not possible to configure a folder from which the reports shown in the tools menu (under Pinned reports) are picked.

      All Pinned reports are still stored in a local, hidden system folder, and this can still not be changed.

       

      Please address this Idea in the first service pack to be released.

       

      (Garrry, Edwy and others: please leave some supporting comment overhere ...)

      • GarryG

        Ok so I just tried this out in 9.64 and Theo is correct. You cannot get ERwin to look for pinned reports on the LAN for example.  In the report designer you have the option to specify where pinned reports are store, so I created a folder on the LAN and copied the pinned reports from the default location in there.

         

        I then directed the report designer to look in that directory. (File-->Pinned Reports) and nothing shows up in the sample report window.  So although you can specify where the reports are supposed to be, ERwin does not go there to retrieve them. One you change the directory to the LAN you get nothing.

         

        So I'm in agreement with Theo here that although it says delivered, it seems that it is not.

        Perhaps someone from CA can jump in here are correct us if we are mistaken,

      • GarryG

        One other thing I noticed here... if I create a new report with Report designer and do a save as, I am still directed to my folder on the LAN where I want it to be central, but when I then try to use the pinned report from that location (still shown in the pinned reports dialog), I see nothing there despite the fact there are both .rpt *crystal) and .erps (report designer reports) in that folder.

         

        Obviously the open dialog for pinned reports in report designer is not pointing at the directory specified, and I can see nowhere in ERwin itself where I can specify the folder to find the pinned  (canned ) Crystal reports in either. .

    • neilbu

      Guys, first I'd like to clarify one thing. The pinned reports I am speaking about here are the Report Designer pinned reports - not the legacy Crystal Reports pinned reports. Next, I'm not sure that we are all on the same "page". Therefore, let me do the following...

       

      You must create a directory structure on your network drive that is two levels deep, similar to the following.

      In this example, I have created a reports directory and three sub-directories (Test1, Test2 and Test3) each containing two reports. Next, OPEN Report Designer and select "File --> Open Pinned Reports...". Press the <Browse> button and select the high-level reports directory from your network drive in the dialog displayed and click <OK>. You should then be able to access all the reports in your sub-directories simply by changing the Report Categories in the drop-down list displayed in the Pinned Reports dialog. Using my example above, this is what I see.

      Finally, select the report(s) you wish to edit or run and press the <OK> button on the Pinned Reports Dialog. Now, the selected report(s) should be displayed in the Report Explorer window.

       

      OK, is this the functionality you want or am I completely missing it?

       

      ***NEIL***

      • TheovanWestrienen

        Neil,

        you described very well what has been changed. And this is indeed not the requested functionality.

        What you describe is that you  can open a report in order to change it (or run it) by browsing towards any location in the network.

         

        What we, the senior users of various companies, would to do is offer standard reports to modelers via the Pinned Reports. Those used to be the crystal reports (these can be removed by the way from R9.64, since CR is no longer distributed with ERwin) but now we should use the report designer based reports.

         

        My original request related to this idea was to have a configurable location instead of the currently hardcoded location. Now the pinned reports are sourced from deep down a folder within the C:\programs\CA\ERwin tree. We want to be able to configure another location, let's say H:\ERwin Standard Reports. All modelers would automatically have our standard reports as pinned reports in the tools menu. When we apply a change to one of the standard reports we would no longer have the need to distribute those reports to all the C:\drives (which we are not allowed by local policies - C-drives are read only, so we need to file a change request), but we just update the central folder with the new, tested version of the report.

         

        The configurable location you mention is targeting the small group of report builders - we are targeting the larger group of all modelers who only need to use the report.

        • neilbu

          Theo -

           

          I don't get it. There is no hard-coded report location. It is completely configurable by clicking on the <BROWSE> button in the Pinned Reports dialog. In my example above, I changed the default ERwin DM location to a different location on my drive. Perhaps that was not clear in the screen shot. Here's another example where I set the reports location to an accessible network drive location that other users can point to.

           

          There is no distributing reports to users local C: drives and modelers would only have to point to this centralized location once as this information is persisted by CA ERwin DM until changed (again).

          Is this not what you are asking for?

          ***NEIL***

          • TheovanWestrienen

            No, this is not what I am asking for.

            I am asking for this:

            I click on menu Tools ==> Pinned Reports.

            I get to see this:

            2016-02-22 21_50_23-.jpg

            What I would like to see here are our own standard reports. The reports mentioned above are reports from the hard coded folder.

            (as you see the above situation is still pointing to Crystal Reports, where CR is not supported anymore by ERwin. Since it is replaced by Report Designer, I also would like to replace this functionality now by Report Designer functionality - offer user one click to run the report. And all the CR related menu items should be removed. Items like recent report and pinned reports should be re-routed to run RD reports).

             

            What you are saying is that all users, in order to run a report, have to:

            - start report designer from the menu

            - then open pinned reports form the file menu in RD

            - then select a report and

            - the run the report via the RD interface - which they have to learn

             

            I know that my enhancement request was based on the at that time supported Crystal Reports solution and functionality, which has now changed.

            But my request stays the same: offer our users a one click possibility to run a report, without having to know the details of the report designer user interface.

            • GarryG

              Hi Theo ...

               

              I see what you mean and it sort of makes sense. The Pinned reports as you say are crystal reports which I have not been able to get to run under 9.6.1.  There is some convoluted process to make them work, (CA tech document) but why bother since the push is to the Report designer anyways.

               

              So remove the pinned reports contents as you suggest and replace that list with the LAN location of your report designer (RD)  reports - correct?

              I somehow don't think this would work without launching the report designer as well (just like with Crystal, you would have to launch crystal if it is installed, or the runtime report viewer for canned reports.

              If this is made to work, all I see it doing is launching the RD and opening that file.  The user would still have to execute the report as opened or select the type of report (excel, PDF) from the menu and thus have to know the RD interface anyways.  So if all that is necessary, what more of an effort is to go file pinned reports and pick the one you want from the list in your central location?

               

              Am I missing something?

               

              Garry

              • TheovanWestrienen

                Garry,

                As for:  "I somehow don't think this would work without launching the report designer as well (just like with Crystal, you would have to launch crystal if it is installed, or the runtime report viewer for canned reports."

                With CR the report was launched from the Pinned Reports and it ran immediately. The modeler did not have to know anything about CR. With CA's change from CR to proprietary reporting, this functionality has not been re-instated, in other words it is lost.

                 

                Our modelers are analysts, not programmers. They need to be supported by the tool without having to learn too much details of user interfaces. It should be straightforward. The term Pinned Reports really fit in well in that concept. The way it is implemented in the Report Designer has nothing to do with the term "pinned" - it is just a shared folder.

                 

                May be this Idea should be re-formulated, given ERwin's change in reporting functionality: realize a one click reporting functionality, that is support a way to "hang"(pin) site specific reports in the menu of all site users, which can be run with one click from the menu.

    • GarryG

      OK, I tried this and it works.  They key thing to remember is that when you want to run YOUR standards reports, You DON'T select Pinned reports from the "Tools" menu item, but instead you first launch the Report Designer and then from its file menu choose Pinned Reports  to get to the central (LAN) location you specified.

       

      If you want to copy into that directory any of the CA caned reports for report designer, you can do that as well so than you only need to create reports that the canned ones don't cover.

       

      Thanks for clarifying this Neil.

      Cheers!

      Garry

    • TheovanWestrienen

      The original request was raised by me years ago, when there was no Report Designer, and the only reporting option for ERwin was Crystal Reports.

      Citing the request: "We like to offer our users a set of changing standard reports, by adding/updating the pinned reports menu. " ==> This refers to the still existing functionality of pinned reports.

      Going further: "Currently this can only be done by placing the report itself in the one and only local folder. " ==> the reports shown in the menu under Pinned Reports are exactly those reports which are located in a specific folder in the CA programs tree.

      Finally: "We would like to have the possibility to refer to a central folder instead of a local one." ==> In other words, we would like to be able to specify a folder, so that we do not have to distribute new or changed standard reports over all c-drives (c:\program\CA\ .....), but locate them in one central place (h:\ERwin Reports), accessible to all.

       

      The current implementation is based on the fact that the CR reporting solution has been replaced by Report Designer. And once again we, the ERwin modelers, lost a lot of functionality with this change. From the discussion around this Idea it shows that before all it is not possible anymore to run a report from the menu. You have to go into the Report Designer interface, and click some buttons, before the report can be launched.

       

      One other relevant difference:

      - Report Designer has almost no functionality to support filtering and sorting. For example:  our most relevant report is a model validation report, in which we check a model against all our standards. We check for missing properties (definitions, domains, themes, annotations). It is simply impossible to replace this functionality using Report Designer

       

      This is what happens when such quick wins as for example this Idea are taking so much time to implement, and when functionality is added to ERwin and removed again even faster, without respect for existing usage. It would be useful when experienced user were involved in detailing out Ideas like this one, before they get implemented. It is a waste of scarce ERwin development capacity to do it the way its done for this Idea, which lead to frustrations on both sides of the spectrum.

      This implementation has not brought is new functionality: in 9.5.2 you can already open a report and/or a report solution from any place in your network.

      • mary.moon

        Theo,

        Is the report you mention something that you would consider sharing?

        -->For example:  our most relevant report is a model validation report, in which we check a model against all our standards. We check for missing properties (definitions, domains, themes, annotations).

         

        We cannot use the check standards compliance feature within ERwin and I am looking for workarounds. (we cannot use features in ERwin that expect users to do things to the registry, like spell check).

         

        Thank you for considering.

        Mary

        • TheovanWestrienen

          I'll give it a thought. You will not be able to use it right away, since it include validating a number of specific UDPs though. And it is a CR report, for which you do not have any guarantees anymore from CA.

      • GarryG

        OK, now it is clear that what you are referring to is just the crystal reports capability, and not about reporting in general.

        Yes I agree that when there was nothing else but Crystal after R7.3, and effort was made to develop and utilized Crystal for reporting, that that effort should not be lost. Even though CA has said that Crystal will no longer be deployed with ERwin, ERwin's capability to still process existing or new Crystal reports must remain, otherwise, it will alienate users who have invested time and resources to work around the previous dropping of ERwin's reporting with the release of R8 and R9.

         

        Since we here did not venture down the Crystal path because of its complexity and a lack of resources here, we waited for  Report designer, which is definitely not as capable as crystal, so there is no attachment to crystal here.  Now that Theo has clarified that this is about Crystal only, I now see his point and support it.

         

        The question is then, will CA continue to support the "hooks" into Crystal (or any ODBC reporting tool for that matter) as they do now when going forward?  From a users perspective that have invested in ODBC reporting, when reporting was a major concern for the user community, I would hope that the pinned reports option in the tools menu, would remain and would allow for a users to continue to develop and build additional report if that is what they require, and to be able to set the location of these reports wherever they choose.  I would think that changing the default location for those reports to be picked up from would not be a big change from a hard coded location to a location specified somewhere in preferences or options dialogs which already exist.  The key though will be in Ca retaining the support in ERWin for running pinned reports.

         

        As for report designer, that is really a different discussion from this one. It does what it does and Crystal does what it does.

         

        Having 2 reporting capabilities in ERwin is not a bad thing, especially since both are now there.

        • TheovanWestrienen

          Well, actually it is about reporting in general. I would be able to support my user base with one click reports, which may contain complex constraints, and have a decent layout.

           

          So I agree on having CA / ERwin remain supporting CR like reports (I think that a fair group of users may use Excel for example using the ODBC driver).

          In other words: CA should remain supporting the ODBC driver - and finally support it by offering documentation. given the fact that this is data driven and ERwin is a data modeling tool, I see no other option that that this documentation should be in the form of a data model. I created my own documentation based on a reverse engineered version the ODBC driver. I included some supporting texts, and most of all I added various undocumented, but relevant relations. But I only did this for the part of the model I required the most, also given the fact that this job is time consuming.

          I just created an idea to bridge this documentation gap: Document the ERwin ODBC driver in the form of an ERwin Data Model

           

          In order to bring the reporting functionality back on level, CA should make it possible to run a Report Designer report from the Pinned Reports menu, with one click. I imagine that ERwin enable us to specify a specific report including the output format (HTML, Excel etc.). I created an idea for this, so vote for it here: Enable one click reporting using Report Designer reports, from the Pinned Reports menu

      • neilbu

        Theo -

         

        Crystal Reports is depreciated functionality. Our user base made it quite clear that CR would never be accepted as a replacement reporting capability for RTB or Data Browser. In fact, CR was the reason many users cited for remaining on older versions of ERwin DM and not upgrading to the new and better functionality provided in r9.x. The new Report Designer provides all of the functionality of RTB and more. Using TLX Reports, users can define their own filters and create report specific object properties. In your post, you mention that you use CR because Report Designer does not provide the functionality required to run your model validation report. Please see the picture below, it is a screen shot of the default validation reports provided by Report Designer "out-of-the-box". I've highlight the "Missing Definition/Comment" reports as you mentioned those specifically. Additional reports can be easily generated and shared with all users across an organization via the central reporting file location.

         

        At this point, deprecation of CR is a given, and we should embrace the features and functionality provided by the new community demanded Report Designer. I am happy to discuss with you further via phone.

         

        ***NEIL***

         

        • TheovanWestrienen

          Neil,

          thanks for explaining. However I do not agree with your statement: "Our user base made it quite clear that CR would never be accepted as a replacement reporting capability for RTB or Data Browser".

          It is not CR that was not accepted it was the fact that the ODBC driver which was required to report on the model was complex and poorly documented.

          A good complete data model would have sufficed, including all relations and all descriptions. And I think that is what still is a requirement.

           

          Types of validations we require are of course the general ones like you mention, but also constraints like: is a specific UDP value valid (that is within a specific range or list, greater than another UDP etc.). And is an annotation constructed correctly (in our case: combination of a valid SA name and an Entity name; would be nice to have ERwin generate this for me .. I might raise an Idea for this later)

           

          Using standard SQL is the preferred solution for this, also since this is close to data modelers language. TLX is not, since it is a specific procedural language, standing far away from the data modeler. I am happy to Skype and go through this with you.

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