How to Set Up Report Templates

Each of Docentric report, which is related to a single SSRS report design (e.g. PurchPurchaseOrder.Report), can have multiple Docentric designs (aka templates) assigned.

If you add an SSRS report design to Docentric report setup only for the purpose of creating custom placeholders or using other settings related to print destination such as Preview settings, you don’t need to add any Docentric template. This is always the case when you use Docentric AX Free Edition.
Learn more here >>

You can add, edit or delete Docentric templates of the report by clicking the Add, Edit or Delete buttons.

If you click Add or Edit, the following form is open, where you can edit Template ID, Company, Language and description fields.

Template storage

Docentric templates can be stored in:

  • AOT Resources
  • Azure blob storage
  • SharePoint
  • File system

Preferred way of storing templates is as AOT Resources. These are so called System Templates. This way your customer will get Docentric templates through regular deployments. But then, at production time, template design can be changed and the changes applied without deployments, saving the updated template on Azure, SharePoint or File system. System templates that are changed outside of the AOT are called Customized System Templates. At any point, these templates can be reverted to their original designs, using the Reload system templates functionality.

There is also a third kind of templates – Custom Templates. These templates are stored on Azure, SharePoint or File system directly, without any backing design in AOT Resources. You can used them at development as well as at production time.

You can change the design of Docentric templates at production time, if you store them on Azure, SharePoint or File system. In other words, if you use Customized System or Custom Templates.

You will also find a plenty of tools in this form helping you with template management such as downloading and uploading templates, importing and exporting report metadata, bulk updates of report settings, etc.

Learn more about Tools for managing Docentric reports and templates >>

How to create System Templates

To create a new System Template for a particular report, you will need to create a Docentric template first.

System Templates cannot be shared among different reports, because they contain information about the belonging Report ID, DSP class, etc. This metadata get embedded into a template when a DDSP package is loaded into it, in MS Word using Docentric designer.

Thus, you need first to generate a DDSP for a particular report, then to create a Word document that is turned into a Docentric template by loading the generated DDSP, and afterwards to add this Docentric template as an AOT Resource. Next, you need to compile the belonging project/model.

Afterwards you can use either the Reload system templates functionality to get added the new System Template into Docentric report setup, or to add it manually as you would add a Custom Template.

Learn about this process in detail >>

Customize System Templates

You can customize a system template by changing the template storage type.
Click the Template file -> Attach button to open the Report template file form. On this form change the Current storage type value from AOT Resource to Azure storage, SharePoint or File system.

 

When you change Current storage type to SharePoint, the Customization level will be changed from System to Customized system.

In the File location – SharePoint section specify SharePoint Site URL and Folder path, set the Template filename or upload a new template file to the specified SharePoint location.

At the same time, a new group appears on the form: Original template storage. This group contains original storage information of the template such as Original resource name and Original resource filename.

 

Reloading System Templates

The Reloading system template(s) functionality enables population of Docentric report setup automatically, based on information embedded in Docentric templates that are stored as AOT Resources.

With this functionality you can:

  • Reload a single system template.
  • Reload all system templates for a particular report.
  • Reload all system templates that exist in AOT Resources.
    If a reloading system template is assigned to an existing report, it is reloaded (see the picture below).
    But if a reloading system template is assigned to a non-existing report, this report will be inserted into Docentric report setup and self-loaded using the information embedded in the reloading template.

 

In a Docentric template file the following information are embedded:
Report ID, Report group ID and DSP class name.

However, the following information can be set on the AOT resource Tags property:

  • TemplateId
    If not set, the template filename without file extension is used.
  • CompanyId
    If not set, the template is company neutral.
  • LanguageId
    If not set, the template is language neutral.
  • ReportGroupId
    If not set, the information embedded in the template about report group will be used. If this is not set either, then the self-loaded report will have no report group set.

Adding Custom Templates

Besides System Templates and Customized System Templates you can also use Custom Templates. This kind of templates can be used in development as well as in production. Custom Templates are not linked to any AOT resources, therefore with them the Reload system templates functionality cannot be used.

If you use Custom Templates in development phase, to deploy such templates to staging or production environment you will not use the Reload system templates functionality. At your disposal are different strategies that you can find and employ under the Tools action pane tab on the Reports form such as Export/Import report setup data, Download/Upload template files, Update storage settings, etc. Read more >>

To add a new custom template, click the Add button and enter at least Template ID.

 

Click the Template file -> Attach button and open the Report template file form. Change the Current storage type to, e.g. Azure storage and specify Blob container and Template filename, or upload a new file to the specified blob container.

Multiple templates

Default template

There is a concept of a default template for different companies and languages. This concept was more important in Docentric AX for Dynamics AX 2012, where it was not possible to select the template you want to use on the Print destination settings form.

Template selection

On the contrary, the D365FO version supports template selection, and you can chose among all available templates on the Print destination settings form directly. Still, for Original preview and Copy preview of the Print Management reports, the default report template for the current company and language will continue to be used.

 

The possibility to set up different templates to be used for different conditions in Print Management setup without introducing new SSRS designs can be beneficial, e.g. when you want to use different purchase order layouts for different vendors.

Read more about multiple templates >>

Using SSRS original designs

You can also chose to use the original SSRS report design instead of a Docentric template, and use it with Docentric’s improved print destinations. When you are using Docentric AX Free Edition, you will always use built-in SSRS report designs. Learn more >>

Download, Reload System and Enable/Disable templates

You can always download the template file no matter where it is stored: AOT Resources, Azure storage, SharePoint or File system. You can upload and do other manipulation with templates file using the Tools menu. Read more >>

You can reload system templates for current report, or enable/disable a particular report template. If disabled, template will not be shown in the Print destination settings form, nor can it be used in report generation.

See also

How to Set Up Reports >>
How to Use Deployment Tools >>
How to Use SSRS Reports with Docentric AX >>

IN THIS ARTICLE