How to Use Built-In SSRS Reports with Docentric Print Destinations

With Docentric AX Free Edition you can use improved Docentric print destinations for all built-in SSRS reports.

Let’s see this on an example of a plain Non Print Management report: Number of workers.

If we start this report in the standard way, by opening the report dialog form with Screen as the target print destination, the report will be generated and open in the built-in SSRS report viewer. The report is generated by SSRS Reporting Services using the built-in SSRS report design (HcmNumberOfWorkersReport.Report).

 

Enable use of Docentric print destinations

When you open the Print destination settings form from the report dialog form, you should see the Show Docentric destinations button.

The Show Docentric destinations button can also be hidden, and that is configured in Docentric AX parameters through the Print destination settings mode field. The Docentric AX parameters form can be open from the Docentric AX workspace or from the Organization administration module menu.

 

By default Use both SSRS and Docentric print destinations is used, but you can even select the Use only Docentric print destinations value for Print destination settings mode. This is a reasonable thing to do since Docentric print destinations enables all functionalities offered by the built-in SSRS print destinations and much more.

Check out the comparison between Docentric and the built-in SSRS print destinations >>

Docentric Screen (Viewer), File and Email

If you click the Show Docentric destinations button, Docentric print destinations will be shown. Select Docentric Screen as the target print destination and execute the report. While SQL Server Reporting Services still generates the final report using the built-in SSRS report design, the generated report is now open in Docentric report viewer that is much better than the built-in SSRS report viewer.

 

Also, if you check Docentric File and Email print destination you will see the new possibilities such as saving report to Azure, SharePoint, Attachments, using HTML email body, placeholders, etc.

 

Custom placeholders in Docentric print destinations

We can use Docentric placeholders in any of print destination settings where it makes sense, for example in Output filename, Azure blob container, Email addresses, Email body, etc. There are two kinds of Docentric placeholders: Standard and Custom placeholders, and both can be used with Docentric AX Free Edition.

The main difference between them is that you can use Standard placeholders out-of-the-box in Docentric print destinations with no extra actions. See which Standard placeholders are at your disposal >>

Still, in most cases you will probably need to define your own Custom placeholders for a report, e.g. Purchase ID and Vendor contact name for the Purchase order report.

In order to do that, you will need to add the SSRS report (design) that you want to define Custom placeholders for to Docentric report setup.

Open the Docentric AX workspace from from the Organization administration module menu and click on the Reports tile. The Docentric report setup form is open.

Click the New button on the Reports form and locate the HcmNumberOfWorkersReport SSRS report and the Report SSRS report design. Click the OK button.

 

The HcmNumberOfWorkersReport.Report SSRS report design is now registered in Docentric report setup, which enables some advanced configuration regarding print destinations.

Of course, Docentric report setup serves to manage many other aspects of registered reports such as Docentric designs (aka Docentric templates), data source generation settings, etc.

 

Notice that the report will not be valid, if the Use only print destinations checkbox is turned off (which it is by default). Validation error that at least one Docentric design (aka Docentric template) is missing will disappear, if you turn on this option and then re-validate report by clicking the Validate button in the main action pane.

When a new SSRS report design is registered in Docentric report setup, the Docentric Default DSP class is used. This class is a part of Docentric AX Framework, and enables reusing of the existing SSRS report data sets. To be able to use Custom placeholders in print destinations for this report, you will need a custom DSP class.

Learn here in detail how to create a DSP class for Custom placeholders >>

After the custom DSP class with Custom placeholders is created and compiled, you need to select this class in the DSP (Data source provider) class combo box for the HcmNumberOfWorkersReport.Report report. And next time you open the Print destination settings form for the Number of workers report, all defined Custom placeholders (in addition to Standard placeholders) will be available for use in Email body, Email subject, Output filename, etc.

Use of Docentric Viewer for Copy and Original preview

When we print a Non Print Management report such as Number of workers, the Print destination settings forms can be open and we can select one of Docentric print destinations. But what about Copy and Original preview functionality for Print Management reports such as Purchase order and Customer invoice. How we can use Docentric viewer to preview such a report instead of the built-in SSRS report viewer?

Similarly as for enabling Custom placeholders, we need to register the wanted Print Management SSRS report design (e.g. PurchPurchaseOrder.Report or SalesInvoice.Report) in Docentric report setup.

 

Although it is not necessary, you can turn off the Use only print destinations option in the General tab page to avoid the Invalid status of the report. This flag actually doesn’t have any other purpose.

After that, click on the Preview setting button in the Settings action pane tab. The Preview settings form is open. On this form the Use only Docentric viewer checkbox should be turned on (by default, when a report is inserted, the both checkboxes are turned on).

When you preview the Purchase order report from the Purchase order confirmations form by using the Copy or Original preview buttons, the original built-in Purchase order report is generated by SQL Server Reporting Services but it is open in Docentric viewer.

 

Use of Docentric print destinations with Print Management Setup

If we want to use the Use print management button, all we should do is to select the wanted Docentric print destination as the target destination in Print Management Setup for Purchase order.

 

You can also use Standard and Custom placeholders in Docentric print destination settings. See how >>

 

Email sending settings

You can set the From email address in the Print destination settings form, but there is a limitation related to the outgoing mail server configuration. The specified sender email address will be considered for using only if the currently used outgoing mail server allows the currently used user account to send emails from the specified address. Usually, this is not the case. That is why you can set up email sender display name instead.

Email sender display name can be set up in Docentric report setup for particular report, and even per particular company.

Click the Email sending settings button in the Settings action pane tab. The Email sending settings form is open. On this form you can enter AX email display name. You can also use the @GLOBAL_PARAMETER_VALUE@ and @CURRENT_USER_EMAIL@ tokens.

 

If you click the Open global parameters button on the Email sending settings form, the Docentric AX parameters form is open. The AX email display name field on this form contains the value that is going to be used as email sender display name if the @GLOBAL_PARAMETER_VALUE@ token is set in Email sending settings for a report.

Dynamically changing print destination settings

You can programmatically change all print destination settings to achieve various dynamic scenarios. For example, you can change the target print destination under certain conditions, e.g. from Screen to File, or to add additional attachments to the same email that the generated report is going to be attached to.

To accomplish this, you have to register the wanted SSRS report design in Docentric report setup, and then to create a custom DSP class in the same way as you would for managing Custom placeholders.

Learn how to change print destination settings dynamically >>

Use of Docentric’s designs

You can improve not just report viewer but also an SSRS report design by replacing it with a Docentric design (aka Docentric template).

Docentric designs (templates) are just ordinary Word documents designed directly in MS Word with the help of Docentric AX Designer. Design process becomes far more simple and straightforward, and results in much more appealing documents.

We also prepared Docentric templates that are 100% SSRS replicas for commonly used reports such as Customer invoice and Purchase order. You can download and use them straightaway >>

For using Docentric designs Docentric AX Free Edition is not sufficient. You need to apply a Docentric license to unlock the functionalities of the full product version. See how >>

You can even have multiple Docentric templates per one SSRS report design. On the Print destination settings form you can then select between them including the built-in SSRS report design.

 

Read more about using multiple templates >>

Thus, if you are using the full product version, and the Use both Docentric design and viewer checkbox on the Preview settings form is turned on, when you preview the report (by using Original or Copy preview), Docentric viewer and a Docentric template will be used.

 

The full product version is not just about better and end-user friendly designer. You will also benefit from the powerful Report Data Preparation framework.
Find out what else are the differences between the free and the full product version >>

See also

How to Use Placeholders in Print Destination Settings >>
How to Change Print Destination Settings Dynamically >>
How to Use the New Memory Print Destination >>
Report Print Destinations Overview >>