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For years, IT professionals and end-users relied on third-party software applications to write reports against the Microsoft SQL databases. One of the most common was Crystal Reports. These were user-friendly front ends that made it easy to collect the desired data fields and then format the reports with the desired look and feel.
Microsoft has now developed a similar and powerful tool called Reporting Services. Through Reporting Services, users can now perform all of their processing needs under the Microsoft umbrella. Providing an integrated reporting tool has allowed Microsoft to improve on the cross-application capabilities and enhance the overall data mining experience.
Sage has developed its own supporting front-end to Reporting Services called ReportBuilder. ReportBuilder captures meaningful and desirable information (data fields) from the NexGen databases and makes them readily available to the users who are building the business reports. Users then select the data fields they want displayed on the report, drag and drop them on the body of the new report, add filters to limit the range of data, specify the report formats and then ReportBuilder generates the report.
The following screens show how easy the drag and drop process of creating custom reports is in NexGen. The list on the left includes the actual fields of detailed store data that has been sent up to the NexGen site. To build a report, users simply drag the desired fields onto the report. Column sizing and totaling is all automatic. ReportBuilder allows our customers to control their own destiny!