The reporting workflow involves the effort of three people:
A reports database administrator who creates the reporting databases.
A reports designer who creates report templates that define what is reported and in what format.
A user who runs the reports.
Role of the Reports Database Administrator
The report database is created when you create the model. The reports database administrator is responsible for the databases, including regeneration when necessary. The reports databases work in conjunction with the five databases required by the software. For more information, see the Project Management User's Guide and the Installation Guide.
The administrator must recreate the reports databases anytime the metadata changes, such as when new attributes or custom interfaces are added to the reference data or when changes are made to the catalog schema.
The software requires the Reports Database and permissions be set correctly to make the reporting functionality available.
Role of the Reports Designer
Reports designers can be classified in three categories: Casual, Expert, and Consultant. All three types of designers create and modify report templates, but the manner in which they do so may differ. All three types of designers use the Report Template Editor to create report templates. A casual designer creates filter-based reports, but an expert may choose to write SQL query-based reports. A consultant creates and modifies report files (.rtp, .rqe, .rfm) as well as using the Report Template Editor to develop complex queries. Experts and consultants are more skilled in the use of SQL and the complexities of the data model.
To view the delivered report templates and examples, see the [Reference Data Folder]\SharedContent\Reports\Types of Reports folder located on the product server computer. The reports are divided further into component folders. For example, the Piping-related reports and all their supporting files are located in the Piping folder. All of the reports in this location are catalog reports and are bulkloaded into the catalog database.
The delivered spreadsheet reports are defined and described in the Reports.xls workbook. For more information on the workbook, see the Drawing and Reports Reference Data Guide.
Role of the End User
End users can interactively run reports in most of the tasks in the software using the Run Report command on the Tools menu. Users can select a report template listed on the Catalog Reports tab or the My Reports tab on the Run Report dialog box and then run a report based on that template.
Users also answer prompts for parameterized reports when they are run. The prompt questions are specified when these types of reports are designed.
Users can access personal report templates, stored in the Personal Report Templates location specified on the Tools > Options dialog box. Administrators or report designers are usually responsible for creating catalog report templates.
For more information about running reports, see Run Report.
The Run Report command is intended for quickly generating reports that will not be updated in the future. To manage report generation, you must use the reporting functionality in this task.
In addition to the three different roles involved in reporting, two different time periods exist in reporting: design time and run time. Design time refers to the part of the process when the report templates are specified and edited. Run time refers to the time when the report deliverable is created using the Tools > Run Report command or the functionality in this task.