Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Generating Secure Report Links in Management Reporter

Back in the FRx days, you could generate a report directly to Excel.  Due to security concerns related to generating financial data to a file that was not secure, that capability was eliminated with Management Reporter.  However, many users still have a need to generate reports to Excel without manually exporting it after publishing the report.

With Management Reporter 2012, you can publish a secure report link that will prompt the user to open the report in the Report Viewer, Excel, or XPS format.  The link is secure because it relies on Management Reporter security for the user to determine the reports to which they have access.  Very cool!

Let's take a look a the steps involved in doing this.  But first, the prerequisites...

1. You can publish the link to either a shared network location (UNC or mapped drive) or to a SharePoint site. 
2. If publishing to a shared network location, the service account used for the MR process service must have read/write access to the shared location.  And when using SharePoint, the service account must have Design permissions on the library.

Here is a link to a great blog post from the Dynamics Corporate Performance Management team on publishing links to a SharePoint site.

Now, to set the location, we navigate to the report definition in Management Reporter, then click on the Output and Distribution tab:

Mark the option to "Generate to multiple report library locations" and then specify the report library location in the left hand column, this will be used to determine the security access for the report.  Then, on the right hand side, use the Browse button to locate the shared directory to publish the report link.  You can then add additional combinations of report library locations and related report link locations, so that the report is published to multiple locations with different security settings as needed.

Once you have specified the necessary paths, you can generate the report.  The report link will automatically generate and appear in the shared directory:

Double-click to open the link:

If Report Viewer is installed, you will be given the option to open the report in Report Viewer, otherwise you can select Microsoft Excel or XPS Viewer.  We select Microsoft Excel:

Remember, it is using the security defined for the associated report library location to determine access to the report.  Then you are prompted to open or save the report in Excel:

We choose Open, and we see the report...Ta Da!

I know I need more data on the report, but hopefully you get the idea :)  Pretty cool in my book and super easy to set up!

Christina Phillips is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified Professional. She is a supervising consultant with BKD Technologies, providing training, support, and project management services to new and existing Microsoft Dynamics customers. This blog represents her views only, not those of her employer.

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