Microsoft continues to add new features to Management Reporter, the replacement for the venerable FRx Financial Reporting tool. The original release of Management Reporter was essentially a re-write of FRx, with some very welcome updates to both the underlying technology and the User interface.
With Management Reporter, Microsoft replaced the small Access database that powered the product with Microsoft SQL Server, which brought with it much better data analysis capabilities. The upgrade also moved from the 16-bit processing world to the much more modern (and faster) 64-bit processing world. Taken together, these two technological upgrades delivered measurably faster performance, especially with very large datasets.
The user interface was also given an upgrade to a more modern look and feel, and included the addition of some much needed improvements. In FRx, text formats had to be created and then assigned to specific fields and values. With Management Reporter, Microsoft added in the True Type font sets from Microsoft Office, greatly simplifying the process of modifying the look and feel of the reports generated in Management Reporter.
Next up from Microsoft is Management Reporter, the next version of MR. In this new version, Microsoft has focused on enhancing:
1. Report Design Flexibility. You can now quickly identify any missing General Ledger accounts and/or dimensions from your report design, format headers for rolling forecasts, and control how dimension descriptions are formatted and displayed.
2. Collaboration on Financial Reports. Enhanced the ability to work in report groups by making them easier to discover, Schedule report generation, publish to read-only (.xps) formats, Publish reports to either Sharepoint sites or to Excel, and to email reports to designated recipients.
3. Interactive Report Viewing. Quickly create a chart based on existing row and column formats, enhanced the toolbar in the Report Viewer, search for key values in reports, add comments to a report, and launch Instant Messenger from within a report to collaborate with colleagues.
4. Deeper Dynamics ERP integration. Added support for Dynamics NAV, drilldown to transaction level details in Dynamics ERP, and display or filter on dimensions and transactions to design more precise financial reports.
For an overview of Management Reporter, click the link below to see a brief video.