Run and Print Reports

A report gathers information based on a specified set of criteria. It organizes and presents the information in an easy-to-read format you can print or save as a file. There are many reports you can access throughout the application. The reports typically provide information related to the context of the page you're on. For example, the Customer page includes reports for the top 10 customers, sales statistics, and more.

Note

Batch jobs and XMLports do more or less the same as reports, but are used more for processing or exporting data. So, for example, the Create Reminders batch job creates reminder documents to send to customers with overdue payments. This article refers mainly to "reports", but similar information applies to batch jobs and XMLports.

Get started

You find reports in the Reports menu on selected pages, lists, and cards, or you can use the search Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. to find reports by name. For an overview of built-in reports you can use in Business Central, sorted by categories, see Available Reports in Business Central.

When you choose a report, you're typically presented with a request page—titled after the report's name—where you set various options and filters that determine what data is included. The following sections explain how to use the request page to build, preview, and print a report.

Using default values—predefined settings

Most report request pages include the Use default values from field. With this field you can select predefined settings for the report, which automatically set options and filters. Select an entry from the dropdown list to see the options and filters on the report request page change accordingly.

The entry called Last used options and filters is always available. This entry sets the report to use the options and filters you used the last time you ran the report.

The Use default values from field provides a fast and reliable way to consistently generate reports that contain the correct data. After you select an entry, you can change any of the options and filters before previewing or printing the report. The changes you make won't be saved to the predefined settings entry you selected, but they'll be saved to the Last used options and filters entry.

Note

The predefined settings are typically set up and managed by an administrator. Learn more at Manage Saved Settings for Reports and Batch Jobs.

Specifying the data to include in a report

Use the fields under Options and Filters to change or limit the information you want in the report. You can set filters in a report in more or less the same way as you set filters on lists. Learn more in the Filtering section.

Caution

The Filter FastTab on a report request page provides a generic filtering capability for reports. These filters are optional.

Some reports ignore any such filters, meaning no matter what filter is set in the Filter FastTab, the output of the report is the same. It's not possible to provide a list of which fields are ignored in which reports, so you'll have to experiment with the filters when using them.

Example: When you use the Create Reminders batch job, a filter for the Customer Ledger Entries field of Last Issued Reminder Level is ignored because filters are fixed for that batch job.

Previewing a report

By previewing a report, you can see what the report will look like before you print it. The preview isn't based on the printer selected in the Printer field on the request page. It's controlled by the browser. After previewing, you can then go back to the request page and make changes to options and filters as needed.

The preview choices on the Report Request page depend on the report. So for some reports you can choose Preview, while for others the choice is Preview & Close. Both choices open a preview of the report. The difference is that Preview keeps the request page open, so you can go back to it, make changes, preview again, or print. In contrast, with Preview & Close the request page closes, and you'll have to open the report again to make changes or print.

Note

If you're using Business Central 2020 release wave 1 or earlier, the only choice is Preview, which closes the request page on preview, as described above for Preview & Close.

Work with the preview

In the preview, use the menu bar on the report preview to:

  • Move through pages

  • Zoom in and out

  • Resize to fit the page

  • Select text

    You can copy text from a report, then paste it somewhere else, such as a page in Business Central or Microsoft Word. Using a mouse, for example, you press the left mouse button and hold where you want to start. Slide the mouse to select one or more words, sentences, or paragraphs. Then press the right mouse button and select Copy. You can now paste the selected text where you want it.

  • Pan the document

    You can move the visible area of the report in any direction to view other areas of the report. Panning is helpful when you've zoomed in to see details. Using your mouse, for example, press and hold the left mouse button anywhere in the report preview, and then move your mouse to select a section of the report.

  • Download to a PDF file on your computer or network.

  • Print

Saving a report to a file

You can save a report to a PDF document, Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Excel workbook, or XML document by choosing Send to, then making your selection. A file is downloaded to your device.

If your organization has configured OneDrive for system features, instead of being downloaded, Excel workbooks and Word documents are opened in your browser using either Excel or Word for the web.

Tip

The Microsoft Excel Document (data only) and XML Document options are mostly for advanced purposes. You'd typically use these options to do detailed data analysis. Learn more at Analyzing Report Data with Excel and XML.

You can also use Microsoft Excel Document (data only) to create new Excel layouts for a given report. Learn more at Work with Excel Layouts.

Scheduling a report to run later or periodically

You can schedule a single or recurring report to run at a specific date and time. Scheduled reports are entered in the job queue and processed at the scheduled time, similar to other jobs. Choose the Schedule option after selecting Send to, then enter information, such as the printer, and time and date. The report is added to the job queue and runs at the specified time. When the report is processed, the item is removed from the job queue. Learn more at Use Job Queues to Schedule Tasks.

When you schedule a report to run, you can specify, for example, that it must run every Thursday by setting the Next Run Date Formula field to D4. Learn more in the Use Date Formulas section.

You can choose to save the report to a file (such as Excel, Word, or PDF), print it, or only generate the report. If you choose to save the report to a file, then the processed report is sent to the Report Inbox page on your Role Center for you to view it. Learn more at Share and Export Reports with the Report Inbox

Manage scheduled recurring reports

Scheduled reports are generated by batch jobs managed on the Job Queue Entries page. You can see the status and other information for each report on the page, pause/resume the report batch job, and generate the report on demand.

From the Job Queue Entries page, you can also change some report parameters, such as the output file type, recurrence, run date, and starting and ending times. Before editing an existing scheduled report, however, it's necessary to put the report job queue on hold:

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature 1. icon, enter Job Queue Entries, then choose the related link.
  2. On the Job Queue Entries page, choose the desired report.
  3. Choose the Set On Hold action.
  4. Open and edit the scheduled report by selecting its status (On Hold).

After editing the report options, repeat the first two steps and than select the Set Status to Ready action to resume generating the report.

Learn more about job queue management at Use Job Queues to Schedule Tasks.

Printing a report

To print a report, choose Print on the report request page or on the menu bar of the Preview page.

When a report is using an Excel layout, you won't see the Printer field or Print or Preview buttons. Instead, there's a Download option. To print, select Download, then open the downloaded file in Excel and print from there.

Printer

The Printer field on the request page shows the name of printer the report is sent to. To change a printer, just select the printer from the list.

Note

The (Handled by the browser) option indicates there's no designated printer for the report. In this case, the browser handles the printout and displays the standard printing steps, where you can choose a local printer connected to your device. The (Handled by the browser) option isn't available in the Business Central mobile app or app for Microsoft Teams.

Tip

The printer that's selected for you by default is set up on the Printer Selections page. Learn more about changing the default printer in the Set up default printers section.

Printing reports in Thai

Specifically for the Thai version of Business Central, the Print button can't print reports correctly because of limitations in the service that generates the printable PDF file. Instead, you can open the report in Word and then save the report as a printable PDF.

Or, you can ask your administrator to create a Word report layout for your most used reports. Learn more at Managing Report and Document Layouts.

Switching the report layout

A report layout controls what is shown on a report, how it's arranged, and how it's styled. There are a few ways to change the layout:

  • When you're setting up to run a report, you'll see the current layout in the Report Layout field on the request page. To temporarily switch to a different layout, select the Report Layout field, then choose from a list of available layouts for the report.
  • To change the default layout used by a report, go to either the Report Layouts or Report Layout Selection pages.

Learn more at Set the Layout Used by a Report. Or, if you want to customize your own report layout, go to Get Started Creating Layouts.

Advanced options

The fields under the Advanced FastTab set limitations on the generated report to control printer resources. You typically won't have to change these settings, unless you have a large report. If a report exceeds these limitations when you try to preview or print, a message will indicate which limitation you've exceeded. You can then change the settings to suit your report. Each field, however, has a maximum value you should be aware of:

Field Maximum value
Maximum rendering time 12:00:00
Maximum rows 1000000
Maximum documents 500

Note

The maximum values may be different for Business Central on-premises, and an administrator can change them. Learn more in the Configuring Business Central Server - Reports section. For an overview of report limitations in Business Central online, see Operational Limits.

See also

Available Reports in Business Central
Use Reports in Daily Work
Business Intelligence and Reporting Overview
Set Up Printers
Run Batch Jobs and XMLports
Work with Calendar Dates and Times
Managing Report and Document Layouts
Financial Business Intelligence
Work with Business Central

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