I recognize that much of what I am about to say may be common knowledge to many of you out there. But as my story below outlines, sometimes we all need a little continued reinforcement :)
There are always underutilized features in new releases, but I think that Excel Reports has to top the list in Dynamics GP 10.0. I deploy them and train on them, but haven't found clients adopting them as I thought they would. Little did I know, I just had to be patient.
I remember when I was first learning Great Plains, and I would routinely look for a report whenever someone asked me for information. My coworker would constantly remind me that I could look in Smartlist, too, and that maybe it would have the information that was needed. So, eventually, I learned to adjust my thinking. So now when someone asks for information, I tend to look at Smartlist first, then Reports, and then the myriad of tools available to develop custom reports. I think a lot of users go through the same process of adjusting their thinking, and need to be reminded of the new functionality when the opportunity arises for them to practically apply it.
Excel Reports is a great example of this. Just in the past two weeks, I have had more than a couple situations arise where Excel Reports were the answer. It just took the reminder that they were there. We didn't have to build something custom, worry about licensing and training, set up a data connection ourselves, or use a static Smartlist.
And, here is the other bonus of Excel Reports...views. As the basis of Excel Reports, there are a great many views available (like AccountTransactions) which can be used for SQL reports as well. So, now I have another tool to add to my toolbox. Why reinvent the wheel? Just today I was able to leverage an existing view, and save the client time and money.
Same can be said of security, with the security roles that are created you can control access to the views for SQL reports as well as the Excel Reports. Because, remember, the Excel Reports can be accessed and refreshed by non-Dynamics users as well.
Here is an excellent FAQ on Excel Reports. Include in the FAQ is a link to the SQL security roles that are created, and how they map to the views and excel reports.
Happy weekend everyone, today is my Friday! :)