More efficient report running: Part 1 – System Variable date Parameters

Have you ever wondered how you can set up your reports to pull data from the same day you run them, without having to manually change the Parameter values each time? Sage Intelligence System Variables make this possible and allows for more efficient report running. This works especially well when scheduling reports to run.  In this tip, we’ll look at how you can streamline the process of running your reports by applying custom Filters and Parameters using these System Variables.

Let’s say you want a Sales report to run and show data from the beginning of this month, up until today. Now, you could simply run your report and use the date picker to select the dates, or you could use System Variables to have this information entered automatically.

The following steps explain how:

1.Once you are in the Report Manager, select your report and go to the Parameters tab. In this case, we’re working with a Sales report.

2. You will see the Parameters for the start and end dates. The start date will most likely use the Greater Than Or Equal To comparison method, while the end date will most likely use the Less Than Or Equal To one. If your report doesn’t have any Parameters, you can add your own.

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3. Right click on the first one and choose Properties. A dialogue box will appear, showing the different options for it.

4. Under the Default/Prompt field, click the System Variables button (the @ icon).

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5. This will open the list of System Variables that are available for you to choose from.

6. In this case, choose @MONTHSTART@.  When you run your report, this will ensure that the date of the first day of the month you run your report in is entered for the start date Parameter.

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7. Click OK to close the System Variable dialogue box, and then OK again to close the Properties dialogue.

8. Now do the same for the end date Parameter, this time selecting the @DATE@ System Variable.  This will allow the current date to be entered for the end date at run time.

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9. Once you close the dialogues, your Parameters will look as follows.

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And that’s it! Now go ahead and run your report. Notice how the relevant date values are already entered for you in the Parameters dialogue, meaning there’s no need to open the date picker to choose them.

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The values will change accordingly. If you run your report out on a different day or move into the next month, they will update automatically to reflect the month and date of the report run.  As mentioned earlier, this is very effective when scheduling reports. If you would like more information on how this is done, take a look at the following video and learn more about scheduling a report.