In the first article of this reporting series, Valerie gave us an overview of the Enterprise Reporter Report Manager and explained My Reports, Published Reports, and the Report Library. Today, let's take a closer look at what to do when you have spent time creating that important report and you want to send it to the Boss or to a number of personnel who have a vested interest in the report.
How can you do this? Well the answer is quite simple. After you have perfected your report in Report manager, schedule the report to run at a specific time and either post it in a predefined location, or email it to the persons who need the data in the report.
In order to schedule a report for processing, it needs to reside in the My Reports folder of Report Manager (as displayed below). For the purpose of this blog, we are going to use a simple report, Domain Computer Information, and make simple changes to it.
You would preset those things in your report that would not change from report to report. This will make the process easier then creating the schedule. For example, in the Domain Computer Information report, we would set the domain information.
As we are going to leave the remain fields or Includes to their default values (blank), we should run the report at least once to make sure that it is going to give us the data we want. To do this, click Run report. This generates the report. You could also put an asterisk (*) in the blank fields to tell the report you want all the information.
Now that the report runs and gives us the wanted and correct data, it is important to save the values we have preset. Click Save parameters as default so parameters are saved with your report. If you want to change the name of the report, click Edit report to open the report editor. You can change the report name and then click OK.
We will now schedule the report to be generated at a certain day or date and time. Select the Schedule tab in the Report Manager.
Click New Schedule to activate the Create Schedule wizard. Here we enter the information detailing the schedule and set the date and time when the schedule is to run.
The first thing to do is give the schedule a name. Make sure that it is something that easily identifies the schedule as shown here:
Now we need to select how often this report is to be run. As we state in the Schedule Name, this is a weekly report so we need to select the Weekly option. Note that on selecting weekly that the current day of the week is selected. Make sure you clear the current day.
Next select the day or days on which this report should be scheduled to run. As it is only once a week, let’s make it a Monday morning report; we are going to run the report early in the morning so it is ready when we come to work. Select the Start Date and time using one of the available tools.
Once you have made your selections, do one more quick check to make sure the date and time is correct.
You now need to select an account that has the permissions to run the report. Click Browse at the far right of the Account field and select an account. In this case we only have one account. You can add accounts in the Credential Manager. Remember that any account you add should also be included in the groups associated with Enterprise Reporter which were created during installation. Select an account and click OK.
We now have all of the settings for our schedule completed and it is ready to run at a scheduled time with a proper account permitted to create the report.
The last few things to be done involve the delivery of the report. The report need to be stored to be picked up or sent by email. Click Browse to the right of the Path field.
The Select a folder pop up presents us with the domain(s) that are in Active Directory. Expand the tree to display a location where you want to place the report. You can browse to a share or to a secure file location which has limited access. The content of the report and intended users will dictate your needs. You can also add a filter if you are searching or expanding a large data store. In most cases you would not need a filter. Once you have selected the location where to store the report, click OK.
The Path field now contains the location where the report is going to be stored. Do a quick check and make sure this is the intended location as you want to ensure the users of the report can access the location.
By default the report format is PDF. You can select additional formats to suit your needs. Select the drop down arrow in the Report Format filed and select the desired format.
At this point we have finished the setup of the Schedule. If you intend to place the report in a folder so that others may access it. Click OK if this is what you want to do.If you intend to send the report via email, then we need to configure the email service of Enterprise Reporter. First check the Send Email box. This gives you a “From” and “To” field which needs to be filled out. Also notice that you now have access to the function to configure the email server. Click Configure mail server.
Fill in the information for your SMTP server, the port number which by default is 25 and if your SMTP server needs an account to use the SMTP server, select the browse button and select an account. If you don’t know this information, contact your email administrator. You can test your connection info by clicking on Click to test your connection which does a simple test to access the SMTP server with the info you supplied. Once it is filled in click OK.
Now we need to fill in the last two important items for the email. Enter a “From” address and enter in as many “To” addresses as you need. The addresses are separated by either a semicolon or a comma. When you are finished click on the OK button.
The Schedule is now ready to run. You can edit the schedule at any time by selecting Edit.
To add or associate a report or a number of reports to this schedule, click Schedule Report. The Schedule Reports dialog displays the reports you have in the My Reports folder which we configured earlier. Select the report by clicking in the box next to it and then click on the OK button.
The report is now associated with the schedule. In addition you can make changes to the Parameters.
Anything written and saved in the description is written to the report as noted below.
At this point you can wait until the schedule runs or you can run it now to ensure that everything works correctly. To do this, click Run Now in the report or click Run All Reports in the schedule.
Clicking Run Now in the report will change this option to Running to let you know that the report is being generated. Once completed, you will receive an email with the report attached.
If we look into the location where we told the Schedule to place the report, we will find that it is there. The report has a unique number attached to it consisting of a random number and the date and time.
The email that is received includes the attached report and the location of the report if needed.
And that is how you send a report to the Boss!
For further information on the Report Manager and working with reports, see The Report Manager User Guide.
In the next post, Aravind will explain how to tell when the data on a report was collected.