Print Management settings in D365FO is a powerful framework, which offers versatile settings possibilities. The settings often become too complex, which causes the painful maintenance. In this post I will show you how to make this task simpler by getting all the settings in one place in an Excel sheet.
Why is Print Management settings maintenance so complicated?
There are few main reasons for this:
- Print Management settings are divided among several modules (AP, AR, Project, Warehousing…); each of them has its own Print management setup form (e.g. Accounts receivable -> Setup -> Forms -> Form setup) which is being dynamically populated. In D365FO there is no tabular overview of Print Management settings for all modules and/or per module.
- Various node-specific settings can be additionally configured, for example on the Customer or Vendor form (e.g. Accounts receivable -> Customers -> All customers -> the General tab -> the Print Management button).
- When a Print Management setting is selected, one can’t instantly see the related print destination settings (e.g. the email subject, output file format or filename). A few more clicks are required to open the Print destination settings form, where these print destination settings are available. This form is also dynamically populated with settings that are stored as a container in the database.
It would be of great use if we could get the overview of all these Print Management settings in one place. For that purpose, you can use the Docentric Print Management Settings data entity completely for free, as it is delivered as a part of Docentric AX Free Edition. We recommend exporting all Print Management settings into the Excel file.
How to export Print Management settings into the Excel file
In Data management framework create a new Export project. Configure it to use the Docentric Print Management Settings data entity and to export into Excel.
You can export all the settings at once, but for the sake of this article we will use Filter to set the following conditions: Company = USMF and Document type = Purchase order. This way we will export to Excel only those Print management settings that are set to be used for the Purchase order document type and the USMF company. The image on the right side below shows my current settings for this company and document type Purchase order in Print management setup for the Accounts payable module:
When you execute the job, you will be able to download the created Excel file, and in the case of the filter set above the result will be 10 rows, one for each Print management setting. The image below shows all rows and some columns of the resulting Excel:
First several columns, which are colored in yellow, represent the fields from the data entity key and are always exported first, while the remaining fields are sorted in the alphabetical order. It is useful to know that columns (fields) named in all CAPITAL LETTERS are mapped from the entity table fields, for example:
- DOCINSTANCENODETYPE: from PrintMgmtDocInstance.NodeType (specifies either module, e.g. Purch, Sales, Project, Invent, TMS, WHS, or entity, e.g. CustTable, VendTable, PurchTable, SalesTable, etc.)
- DOCINSTANCEDOCUMENTTYPE: from PrintMgmtDocInstance.DocumentType (e.g. PurchaseOrderRequisition, SalesOrderInvoice, ProjectQuotation, InventPickList, etc.)
- DOCINSTANCENAME: from PrintMgmtDocInstance.Name (Original node and its child nodes don’t have name, while for copies we are able to specify the name and it is stored in this field. The image below shows the relation for the 3 SSRS Printer setting name.)
- DOCINSTANCEPRIORITYID: from PrintMgmtDocInstance.PriorityId (Originals have value 1, for all consecutive copies it increments by one. See image below.)
- PRINTERSETTINGPRIORITYID: from PrintMgmtSettings.PriorityId (for a given PrintMgmtDocInstance.PriorityId, this value starts with 1 and increments by one – see Original and its variations colored orange on the image below, then notice the first copy 1 SSRS Print Archive and its variations colored pink and finally all the remaining copies colored green)
We described the most important entity table fields (in all CAPITAL LETTERS) above. On the other hand, fields named in CamelCase are unmapped data entity fields, calculated during the export process. We need these fields to retrieve the values from the containers where the print destinations and queries are stored in the database.
Sometimes, when you have a small number of settings in the Excel, it might be more convenient to look at the transposed sheet. Use the rows marked with red to identify the settings as explained above.
Examples of Print Management settings and exported data
For some of the above settings we will show the screenshots from the Print management setup form (left top), Print destination settings form (left bottom) and the relevant information from Excel (right). Matching information on left and right side is marked with the same color.
A simple setting using the Docentric Screen print destination:
Imagine that users complain how some Purchase Orders don’t get printed to the designated printer. You suspect that there could be something wrong with the Print Destination settings. Instead of clicking each of the settings just to check which Print Destination was configured, you simply export them all to Excel and easily identify the incorrect Print Destination, for example Docentric screen instead of Docentric printer.
Original with special condition
The same setting from the above example, but with the addition of a special condition – in this particular case, it is valid for the Vendor account 1003:
Notice the Template ID field (one of many benefits that you get with our product): imagine you specified different templates for different customers or vendors. How boring would it be to iterate through all of them just to check or compare the settings?
Copy – 6 Docentric File
Even more options in the case of Docentric File print destination:
Another benefit of using our free edition, improved File print destination, brings numerous possibilities for storing the file to different locations (Azure, SharePoint, Attachments, File system), each of them coming with its additional settings, such as Azure BLOB path and container in this example. How would you like to get the request from your manager and using this data entity be able to show him a list of all network folders used for all Print Management settings. Great, isn't it?
Copy – 8 Docentric Email
As stated so many times above, more parameters require more of the maintenance effort. Good example is the setting which involves the improved Docentric Email print destination:
Let’s say that you have used a specific Email body text for some reports and now you need to identify those reports. You keep going through all the modules and clicking each of the nodes in the Print Management settings… Or, you export them all into the Excel and at first glance notice the text you were looking for.