The purpose of this blog is to educate clients and potential clients about issues we have run into broadly but also how we have addressed those issues with the Dynamics SL software we support.
It never occurred to me that so many people would be so interested in Management Reporter and moving off of FRx. Clients are interested. Our first 5 classes of Management Reporter here in Minnesota were full. Why? Here are the main reasons we believe this to be true.
1. Microsoft has stated that users can not buy FRx additional licenses. This is an indication that FRx is history. Many clients must be thinking “it must be better”-and it is.
2. Management Reporter allows for “undo” when you make a mistake editing a row, column or tree. FRx did not allow for correcting errors as easily.
3. MR facilitates organizing rows, columns and trees into folders so that regularly run reports can be grouped together vs inactive reports, balance sheet formats together, or groups by individual or department. Users like not having to sort through a long list of inactive reports where only the person setting up the catalog names knows which reports to run and which to ignore.
4. MR uses SQL Server for its data. This eliminates the possibility of having the IT group ignore the Access database that FRx stores its report building blocks.
5. MR is much easier to support since it is much more current technology. The software feels and looks like an up-to-date .net based program rather than a dated Access-based program and user interface.
6. MR publishes reports to Sharepoint in a seamless manner and with less effort once MR is configured.
7. The dimension reporting flexibility is appealing to users. No longer do you need to make sure the whole account string is accounted for. Instead you have more flexibility with the dimensions from the chart of accounts. See picture below.
Note the added dimension field in the tree when comparing MR to FRx. Note also the undo button in this tree compared to the tree below in FRx.
The FRx User Interface looks older and less polished in addition to being harder to support and maintain.
8. As you can see above in comparing the two tools MR allows you to use intuitive Windows toolbars that contain the familiar icons from Microsoft applications.
9. Save time and eliminate confusion by evaluating which building blocks are associated with each report definition.
10. Maintain and secure Row, Column, Tree, and Report definitions into folders by type, function, category, or user.
11. Generate, view, and secure reports in a centralized storage facility organized with folders.
12. Tailor your workspace with the ability to hide columns in the Row, Column, and Tree definitions.
13. Group daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports to generate consecutively.
14. View the status of a queued report and the generation history of reports.
15. Insert graphics such as your firm logo.
16. Stress key numbers such as having negative numbers turn red.
One of our shameless questions on the review form at the end of the class is “What did you like about the class?” Here are some of the responses from a local Dynamics AX customer (MR works with Dynamics SL, Dynamics GP, and Dynamics NAV also):
a.Being away from the office, lack of interruptions and small class size
b. Being able to view the results immediately to changes I would make to various report elements.
c. Competency of instructor
d. Instructor paced the learning of the material closely with the ability of our group.
e. Small group, hands on, reference material and instructor
f. All of the hands on exercises
h. Very interactive with supporting hardcopy.
Also, a lot of people seem interested in the scheduler. FRx had this ability, but we found the MR scheduler is more reliable.
Jack Boyer, CPA (inactive), MCP
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