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ComCept Reporting Improvements 2016

ComCept is excited to announce our upcoming reporting engine!  We have added many new features and capabilities to help you get the most out of your data.

New Reporting Engine

Reports will soon be generated using Microsoft’s Reporting Services.  This powerful reporting engine will replace the Crystal Reports engine in place today, providing greater reliability and stability.  Reporting will become more of an integral part of the ComCept system, because the reporting engine is built on the same tools we used to create ComCept .Net.

Saved Report Templates

Users have indicated that they often run certain reports in multiple ways, and that setting up all the parameters each time can be very tedious.  ComCept has implemented Report Templates to make it possible to recall all your report parameters by name.  You can save as many templates as you like for each report.

Reports will still remember how you ran each report.  This is done by automatically saving your parameters in a “Last Used” template, but you can create as many other templates as you need.


Press the “New” button next to the template list, and you will be taken to the “Edit Template” view for your current report.  This view allows you to specify all your report parameters and save them with a name.  In this example, we will create a Net Transfer Order Distribution template for last month’s defective inventory.


After pressing “Save”, the “Last Month Defective” template is now available in the template list.


You can create new templates, edit existing ones, delete unwanted templates, and even clone a template to start a new one based off selections in an existing template.

Public Templates

Report Templates are specific to the user who created them.  If you need to share templates across multiple users, you can make some of your templates public.  This makes it easy for sales managers to build unity across how reports are run by their team members, or advanced reporting users to share their expertise with others.

Put a check in the “Public” checkbox on any template to share it with other users.  Public templates will show up in the template list for all users.


Only users with the Report_Template_Share permission can make templates public.  This allows administrators to decide who can clutter up other users’ template lists.

Public templates can always be modified by its creator.  Other people can modify public templates with the Report_Template_EditAll permission.

Flexible Dates

One of the most powerful features in the new reporting system is the ability to use flexible dates.  Templates save users lots of time by remembering the filters used to run reports.  However, if the report has date filters, it’s not very helpful to keep using the same old dates every time you run a report.

Flexible dates allow you to specify precise dates, or they also allow to specify “fuzzy dates”.  Fuzzy dates are values that have to be calculated when the report is run.

Let’s say you have a sales report that you run monthly, and you give it to your district manager.  Every time you run this report, you want all your sales for the current month.  You create a template for your report, for the Begin Date, you specify “First Day of Current Month”.  For the end date you specify “Last Day of Current Month”.  These fuzzy dates are calculated when the report is run, so your report will always have sales figured for this month.  Now you never have to change any date filters on your report.

Date Fields

Notice the icons next to this date field:


Image Calendar – press this icon to open a calendar and select a date from it.

Image Gear – press this icon to open a powerful Fuzzy Date picker (more on this later)

Image  Eraser – press this icon to clear out any value in the date field.

Precise Dates

Flexible dates may not be useful in all situations, so you are free to ignore them altogether.  There’s still a calendar icon next to each date filter in all reports.  Press the icon to view a pop-up calendar and specify dates, just as you always have.


Fuzzy Dates

The new Flexible date field in reporting allows you to specify dates that have not been calculated yet.  Examples of Fuzzy Dates are:


“First Day of Current Week”

“Last Weekday of Next Month”

“2 days before Start Date”

Fuzzy dates are instructions for how to calculate a date when the report is run.  There’s a helpful pop-up that assists you in writing fuzzy dates, and it can even show you what those dates will be when the report is run.

Fuzzy Date Picker

Fuzzy Dates are powerful, and there are many options you can use when creating them.  There’s a helpful pop-up date picker next to every Flexible Date field on all reports.  Notice the gear icon next to this date field:


Pressing the “gear” icon will cause the following window to appear:


Specific Date

Specific Date is the most specific Fuzzy Date.  This option will only select that specific date for each run of the report.  It works exactly like the regular calendar. 

Relative Date

Relative Date allows you to select dates close to the current date or reference other dates in the report.  By default you can select yesterday, today or tomorrow.  You are also able to select other date fields in the report as reference dates.  This can be very useful if you want to report on sales for a fixed number of days.  The Adjust Date field becomes active when you use this field (more on that later).

Calculated Date

Calculated Dates are the most complex and powerful form of fuzzy dates.  This option allows you to specify any date you wish.  For example you can specify Last day of Current Month or be as creative as second weekday of Next Year.  This is where the true power of Fuzzy Dates really shines.  Adjust Date and Skip Holidays become active with this option. 

It is important to note that these Fuzzy Date options are radio buttons, which means you can only choose one for each date field.

Adjust Date

Adjust Date allows you to move Relative Date or Calculated Date in the future or past as many days as you like.  This can be especially helpful when you use Relative Date; for example you can specify Start Date plus 30 days as an End Date.

Skip Holidays

Skip Holidays is only available for Calculated Date.  This option will move the Calculated Date one day if the date calculated lands on a holiday.

Projected Dates

Projected Dates is a features for people that plan on making their reports run automatically.  It is used to double-check the dates to make sure you setup the Fuzzy Dates exactly how you want them.



This example shows a total of three dates.  The first date column is when the report will run.  The second and third column are date fields on the report parameter screen and show what the values for those date fields will be when the report runs.

Email Delivery

Rather than printing or downloading a report, you can now email them directly to a user or list of users.


By selecting the Email option shown above, you will be provided a chance to specify the list of email addresses separated by commas.  For example:

   The report will be emailed to both parties, attached as a PDF.  If the PDF is larger than 500Kb, it will be compressed before being attached.

Report Scheduling

This is an amazing feature that allows reports to run automatically.  You can schedule a report to run whenever you need it and the results will be emailed out.  Scheduling a report can only be done using a Report Template and selecting the “Edit” button.  It is important to note ANY changes to a scheduled template will permanently change the results of the report.   


Select a date using either the calendar or the Fuzzy Date control.  Please note that you will need to schedule it for next month or week in order for it to being scheduling itself in the future.  Do NOT use current month or week.  Select the appropriate time you would like the task to run that will generate the report.  Select the format and delivery method.  Finally type the email address or addresses you wish to send the report results.

An important aspect of the delivery method is some report allow you to create lots of mini reports from one report run.  Most reports will only send the report to the specified Email(s).

Select the “Save” button and you are done!


Report_Template_Share – Allows you to make your template public.  Everyone using the report will be able to see it, but not change the template

Report_Template_EditAll – Allows anyone to modify a public template.

Report_Template_Schedule – Allows a template to be schedule to run in the background.  All template report results will be emailed to the intended user.

Additonal Resources


Printing Interactively for the First Time

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