Report Writer Tricks #2: Importing Modified Reports Without Kicking Out Users

It's a Friday afternoon, 3pm, going into a long weekend. You are already going to hit traffic heading up to the cottage if you leave now, however it won't be as bad as in a couple of hours. You just finished a modified SOP Blank Invoice Form and would like to import it into your client's production environment. As you click the import button in Customization Maintenance, your heart starts to race as you cross your fingers and pray that the REPORTS.DIC file is not locked by any users....and you get the "Unable to open customizations dictionary" message. The afternoon sun will have to wait until tomorrow.

When importing customized reports through Customization Maintenance, users accessing the reporting dictionary will need to log out of Dynamics GP to have the report import successfully. This can be a pain and a scheduling nightmare for users and yourself alike. "There has to be a better way!" Well, luckily, there is. If you have access to the REPORTS.DIC file found in the "Microsoft Dynamics/GP/Data" directory, then you can import the modified report straight from this dictionary file using Report Writer (this is assuming that you developed the report in a test environment and would now like to push it through to production). To do this, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Copy the REPORTS.DIC file from your test environment to a local or network shared drive that is accessible from the production server.

Step 2: Log into the production environment with 'POWERUSER' access and launch Report Writer (Microsoft Dynamics GP menu >> Tools> Customize >> Report Writer).

Step 3:  Click 'Report', then click the 'Import' button:

Step 4: It will ask you to browse to the path of the REPORTS.DIC file that contains the modified report you would like to upload. Click the ellipse (...) and select the reporting dictionary that you saved from the test environment.

Step 5: All modified reports from this dictionary file will be displayed in the left menu. Select the one you would like to import and click 'Insert'. If a modified version of that report already exists in the production environment, it will ask you if you would like to overwrite the existing report. Click the 'Import' button.

Step 6: Close Report Writer and if prompted to save, click 'Yes'. If this is a newly modified report, don't forget to set the ID in Alternate/Modified Forms and Reports in the Administration module.

That's it! No more waiting for all users to log out of the system. The next challenge is sneaking by your boss's office without him noticing.

Brandon Germaine is an Application Specialist at WebSan Solutions Inc, a Microsoft Dynamics GP Silver Partner 2013 Canadian Channel Elite Awards Finalist. Brandon can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 416-499-1235 ext 219.

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