How to Use Deployment Tools

If you want to deploy Docentric reports from one environment to another (e.g. from development to staging, or from staging to production), and you are storing your Docentric templates as AOT Resources (so called System Templates), you basically don’t have to do anything except to deploy your AX package/model containing these AOT resources to the target environment. After that, use the Reload system templates functionality described below.

However, you can store your Docentric templates outside of D365FO, which means on Azure storage, SharePoint or File system (so called Custom Templates). In this case you will need to copy these templates to the target environment’s Azure storage or to a different SharePoint location. For this purpose, you can use the functionalities Download/Upload templates and Update storage settings described in this tutorial.

Also, you will need to copy all report setup metadata such as reports’ IDs, DSP class names, Custom labels, Templates, etc. to the target environment. This can be done by using the Export/Import functionality described below.

If you are using System templates, by reloading them in a new environment, some of Docentric report setup data – DSP class, ER Data model and Model mapping, Report group – will be populated automatically.

The Tools action pane tab is a part of the Reports form, which contains Docentric report setup data.

Reloading system templates

The Reloading system templates 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 all reports and their 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.
  • Reload all system templates for currently selected report(s).
  • Load new reports with their system templates.
  • Load new system templates for currently selected report(s).
With System Templates you can use the Reload system template functionality to populate Docentric report setup in production automatically, using the information embedded in Docentric template files stored in AOT Resources.

Read more about System Templates >>

Import/Export report setup data


So far, some information such as Custom Labels, Data Source and Print destination settings cannot be inferred directly from System Templates, in order to self-populate Docentric report setup data. In such cases, but also if you use Custom Templates, you might need to use Import/Export functionality to transfer report setup data from one environment to another.

You will export all report setup data from your development environment as an XML file and then import it to target environment, e.g. staging or production.

Manage reports

Managing reports is rather a general tool than a deployment tool only. Using the Update report settings functionality you can update in bulk some flags of the currently selected templates such as Is active, Include document branding, Include system fields, etc.

Manage templates

Download and upload template files


Update storage settings

No matter which type of storage Docentric templates have, you can select one or more reports and download all their templates, which are Word documents, in the form of a ZIP package.
Afterwards, in the same or a different environment, you can upload these templates to Azure storage, a SharePoint location, or to a shared folder on File system.

In case that the new template location differs from the template storage settings, you can change them in bulk using the Update storage settings functionality.

To find out if any of your template files are missing, i.e. template storage settings differ from the real location, validate report(s). Report validation is triggered by clicking the Validate button from the main action pane of the same Reports form.

Manage Azure storage

Let’s say that you are storing your Docentric templates on Azure but you want to move them to another storage location, e.g. SharePoint. Or you simply want to move them from one to another blob container. To achieve that you will be able to use the Manage Azure storage functionality that includes Create blob container, Delete blob container and Delete blob.

For advanced managing of Docentric templates stored on Azure, you can use a special external application – Azure blob storage explorer.

Create or delete blob containers


Delete blobs

When a Docentric template file is uploaded to Azure blob storage to a particular container, its blob name consists of the report ID and the template filename: {ReportID}/{TemplateFilename}, e.g. PurchPurchaseOrder.Report/PurchPurchaseOrder.Report.docx.

We have to keep this in mind, when we want to delete a particular blob representing a Docentric report template.

Azure blob storage explorer

With a special application you can explore your Azure blob storage, upload and download blobs, create blob containers, delete blobs and blob containers, etc.

This can be useful for managing Docentric templates as well as for managing report output files that are printed to Azure storage using Docentric’s File print destination.

Exploring and managing Azure blob storage can be best done with these two free tools:

See also

How to Set Up Reports >>
How to Set Up Report Templates >>
How to Use SSRS Reports with Docentric AX >>