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On this blog we will cover stories from all around the Exact ecosystem.

Posts Tagged ‘Dashboard’

Better manage projects, capacity and utilization

Written by Remco Kroes on . Posted in Exact Online

Last year a journey was started to enhance the getting started process and main process flows in Exact Online accounting. Among the first deliverables was a re-designed dashboard – designed with the need in mind to easier manage day-to-day tasks and have immediate insight in the financials of your company.  For professional services firms, we want to continue this journey and provide our users with a central starting point to manage key activities within these firms. Helping them to get started quickly and better manage their projects, resource capacity and billable utilization.

Steps to make your reports more dynamic

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Wouldn’t it be great to make your reports more dynamic? An “outstanding items” report which retrieves and shows you this information based on the selected company.  Selecting another company triggers the report to dynamically retrieve this information from a different data source and show it to you. How great is that?! This all can be achieved with a report which uses a Dynamic Data Source (DDS). In this blog post I will explain how SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports with DDS are supported in Exact Synergy Enterprise via the SSRS Integration.

All the Exact Globe Next Dashboards (SSRS reports) are making use of the DDS functionality. To view these Dashboards you don’t necessarily need Exact Globe Next with extended functionality. Exact Synergy Enterprise with Exact Globe Next is sufficient to enjoy the dynamic power of these Dashboards. You can also view them directly on the Report Server when you only have Exact Globe Next and SSRS installed.

In Exact Synergy Enterprise you can maintain divisions. Each division represents a company. The back office data, e.g. financial transactions, for the company is stored in a database on a server. On the division card you can maintain these values. They are stored in the fields “Database: IP Address (Server)” and “Database: Name” in the “Back office” section.

Division card - Back office section

Now that we know where the “Back office” is located for each division (company) we can use it in our reports. The report requires two fixed named parameters (“Division” and “ConnectionString”).

DDS Report parameters

It also requires an embedded data source which uses the value of the “ConnectionString” parameter to connect to the correct data source (Back office: company).

Embedded Dynamic Data Source

The credentials for the embedded data source should be set to “Windows integrated security”.

Credentials Dynamic Data Source

The visibility of the “ConnectionString” Parameter should be set to “Hidden” so that the user can’t change it manually.

Hidden property for ConnectionString parameter

The default value of the “ConnectionString” Parameter is the same value as of the “Division” parameter. This is required in order to trigger the refresh data for the possible other report parameters. E.g. the default financial “Year” and “Period”.

Default value for ConnectionString parameter

In Exact Synergy Enterprise you can select a Division when you are viewing one of the Exact Globe Next Dashboards. The selected Company will be used when you are using Exact Globe Next ‘with extended functionality’ to view them.

The SSRS Integration will not send the value of the “Division” parameter to the Report Server for the Exact Globe Next Dashboards, but it will send the concatenated value. E.g. “Data Source=nl000dem01;Initial Catalog=MacBeanGLB”. The same value will be copied by the Report Server to the “ConnectionString” parameter so that a successful data source connection can be made to the selected Division/Company and data for the report and possible other report parameters can be retrieved.

When you want to view one of the Exact Globe Next Dashboards directly on the Report Server, you just need to provide the concatenated value for the “ConnectionString” parameter via the “Division” parameter.

DDS Report

Of course the Exact Globe Next Dashboards can be adjusted so that user can enter the same value as in Exact Synergy Enterprise for the “Division” parameter instead of the required concatenated value for the “ConnectionString” parameter.

With the above steps you can create your own dynamic SSRS reports.
Now you can view the same report and select from which company you want to see financial information e.g. outstanding items: that’s a powerful and dynamic feature!

Enjoy and don’t hesitate to leave a reply.

PS:
Remember that any SSRS report with the above requirements will be recognized by the SSRS Integration in Exact Synergy Enterprise as a report with DDS. Thus there won’t be a data source for you to configure in the tab ‘Data source’ on maintenance page for a SSRS report with DDS. Because there are no credentials stored for the DDS it will use the credentials stored in the SSRS Integration settings. Thus the user configured in the SSRS Integration setting should be able to read the data in the “Back office”; this user should have at least the db_reader role. Similar as for the user (credentials) which you use when creating a new data source. Otherwise the SSRS report with DDS can not retrieve the required data.

 

Exact Globe Next in two variants

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

About two weeks ago at the Exact Live ’12 event I gave live demos of Exact Globe Next.  Next to the very positive feedback I received from customers, I got quite a few questions about our product offering. A particularly popular topic was the difference between the two variants we offer: Exact Globe Next and Exact Globe Next ‘with extended functionality’. Since these are not different products, but do offer different functionality, I want to make the distinction clear here.


Exact Globe Next

For any of our readers who do not know our product Exact Globe, it’s our powerful and innovative ERP software solution for international SMB companies. All the ins and outs can be found on the Exact website.

Earlier this year we decided to change the name Exact Globe to Exact Globe Next. The name Exact Globe Next is purely the result of a name change. You can think of it as a rebranding, with no change to the product itself. Existing Exact Globe customers still have the same product; it’s just that we now refer to it as Exact Globe Next.


Exact Globe Next
‘with extended functionality’

Exact Globe Next ‘with extended functionality’ is a different version of the same product. Compared to the standard version described above, there are three main differences:

1.  Integration of Exact solutions

This version of Exact Globe Next offers one menu which functions as a shell to combine and give access to several solutions: Exact Globe Next, Exact Synergy Enterprise, Exact Event Manager and integration with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Combining all these products into one provides you with a complete solution with which you can effectively and proactively run your business, but also it enables you to see which direction your business is heading. You will gain more control over your company and processes, and stay on top of your business. Next to that, it also improves collaboration in your company by adding the possibility to use a limited number of workflows.

2.  A different look-and-feel

We offer a different look-and-feel for a better user experience and an even better match of the different products. We have ensured that the menus are recognizable when compared to the original products so you can easily start working.

3.  Dashboard reports

In the solution we offer a set of six real-time dashboard reports out-of-the-box: Management, Sales, Costs, Results, Liquidity, and Risk. The dashboards give you the insights you need. You can view them in outline form, or zoom in for more detail. You’ll know exactly what’s going on in the area you are interested in.

     

     

The (hardware) specifications of Exact Globe Next ‘with extended functionality’ are different than the specifications of the standard Exact Globe Next. If you would like to know what updating to Exact Globe Next ‘with extended functionality’ means for your company, you can contact our sales department or your Exact partner. Our contact details can be found on the Exact website. The terms and conditions of your Exact Globe Next maintenance contract also automatically cover the variant ‘with extended functionality’.

New year! A nice moment to give our cockpits a new facelift!

Written by Ilja Udo on . Posted in Exact Online

A whole range of new solutions was developed and introduced across Exact Online  in 2010. Per function group Exact Online offers a cockpit. As the new solutions were added, more cockpits became available. In order to show consistency and clarity throughout the product, we decided to initiate a project to align them and ensure they all carry the same look and feel. As such we’ve been busy giving them a facelift in time for the new release. I’d like to share some of our changes with you here.

A cockpit is designed with multiple goals in mind:
• to give quick access to main processes;
• to give the user insight into the daily progress of work;
• to keep the user up-to-date – the user is alerted to news or other new entered data;
• to remind the user of things that need to be done;
• to  present management with periodic numbers of performance. 

To further support the aforementioned principles the improved cockpits should all: 

  1. Apply the same structure;
  2. Follow the same alignment.

Structure 

Each cockpit has thus been designed with the following structure: 

 

The Entry section offers you shortcuts to the most used functions: 

 

The above financial Entry section allows you to quickly enter various journal entries – easy access to your main processes. 

Completed entries must then be followed up. The To Do section shows all occurring To Do’s and Alerts.  


To do’s show what needs to be followed up. Everything awaiting manual action (by the user) anywhere in the process should be shown here.
Alerts are signals you want to present to the user. Signals do not require immediate action. They can function as reminder that something is on hold or is waiting for action from a 3rd party. The To Do section, in addition to keeping you up to date and well informed, gives you starting points for your daily work.  

The results of completed work are expressed on the right side of a cockpit.
The Summary section shows totalized numbers of executed processes. 

 

The above figure shows what has been created at the purchase department during the last seven days – important information necessary for maintaining insight into ongoing work activities. 

So called Lists complement the overview of the current state of affairs. Here a relevant top X list is shown. You can think of the top 5 best selling customers or the top 10 of items that represent the highest purchase volumes. A list of accounts split up per type is also possible. 

 

The middle section of a cockpit is used to express key decision information in graphical format. The graphs don’t just show totalized numbers but can also be used to compare data – offering support to users when analysing their figures. 

  

The above graph compares the different sales stadia – a clear and concise way to present empowering performance data.
  

Alignment 

Per report type we implemented the same style and we gave the cockpits the same look-and-feel. 

The goal of the facelift is to enhance the readability and usefulness of each cockpit. To stay in line with the structure a new report occasionally had to be created. We hope that the new set up and the currently offered reports provide the daily information you need to empower and facilitate you in your work. In case you have any further suggestions, please let us now!

PowerPivot dashboards in Controlled Release

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

In a world where entrepreneurs, managers and other stakeholders (both users and non-users of Exact) want to have a choice in how, when and where they want to have information about their business, Exact offers a new possibility to have insight in how to keep track of day-to-day-business-progress via PowerPivot.

We have chosen PowerPivot, an add-on for Microsoft Excel from version (Office) 2010, to use the reports in an environment that is familiar. The PowerPivot add-on is a free download from Microsoft and allows users to work with extremely large data sets.  PowerPivot is not available as a free add-on for MS Excel 2013. In that version it is only available in the licence Office Professional Plus.

In the last period we have created views on important tables in Exact Globe Next. Based on these views, we have built a Manufacturing, Purchase, Revenue and Stock report. The next good thing is that we offer these reports for free!

Two examples:

rapport_1         rapport_2

In the latest commercial release 406, the administrator has to execute a SQL script on the Globe database and change the data source of the PowerPivot sheet to connect to the Exact Globe Next database. As of product update 407, which is expected by the end of this year, the views will be automatically executed when the product update is installed.

At the moment we are looking for customers who want to work with these reports. We provide the reports through a Controlled Release program. If you are interested, please contact Justus van Hoegee (via justus.van.hoegee@exact.com) or me via phone (+31) 15 711 50 00 or via a reply on this blog.

Three new dashboard reports to be expected

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

On July 17th we have introduced Exact Globe Next with extended functionality. One of the things you discover in the product is a set of six real-time dashboard reports: Management, Sales, Costs, Results, Liquidity, and Risk dashboard. The reports give you the insights you need. You can view your reports in outline form, or zoom in for more detail. You’ll know exactly what’s going on in the area you are interested in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now working on new dashboard reports for three areas: Manufacturing, Wholesale and Professional Services Automation. We can’t share all details yet, but I would like to give you a bit more insight on what you can expect.

1. Manufacturing dashboard will present for example the following data:

• Number of production orders
• Quantities and value in production
• Planned versus actuals hours

2. Wholesale dashboards: • Stock control / purchase dashboard

3. Professional Services Automation dashboard presents:

• Project backlog
• Utilization
• Revenue leakage
• Days sales outstanding

The new dashboards will be available in Q4 of 2012. Once we can give you more details about the date of availability, we will communicate it via the Exact Product Blog.

There is a special Exact Globe Next web page available on which you will find frequently asked questions, migration possibilities and of course all about the different functionalities. The page can be found here. Please check what Exact Globe Next can do for you!