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Bringing your MDBC Reports under control

Supplier: Manufacturing Software
22 April, 2008

MDBC Reports are a powerful part of the ManuSoft System. They allow users to view Crystal Reports based on your ManuSoft data even if they don't have the full Crystal Reports product installed.

We have many sample reports on our Support Web Site, and also run training sessions on creating Crystal Reports.

The MDBC Reports menu allows for up to 100 reports to be defined in the system. For each report you do several things: give it a name, enter the path to the report, and if any .DAT files are being used they all have to be ticked so that the program knows to copy the files into your User folder, so that the report is run using the latest data.

After a while, this last part in particular can be hard to keep control of, and it's particularly tedious to change all these settings if, as part of your v6.4 or v6.5 upgrade, you change many of your reports from using the .DAT files to the .DBF files (and so they no longer need to be ticked.)

Enter another Excel Spread Sheet to the rescue! The MDBCReptSetup.xls spread sheet (you'll find it in the Miscellaneous Files section of the Support Web Site) allows you to quickly and easily see and change all the settings related to your MDBC Reports Set Up.

Simply open the spread sheet (making sure you allow Macros to be enabled), click the "Load Settings" button and enter the path to your WORK.DAT file (usually "N:\", though you may wish to initially start by working on your "C:\ManuPlay\" folder.)

The spread sheet will be filled with all the entries in your MDBC Reports menu. The initial columns are fairly self explanatory, simply following the fields in the setup dialog of the MDBC Reports program. The columns with the titles rotated 90 degrees correspond to all the check boxes for the .DAT files.

There are a handful which have titles in curly braces (e.g. {Unused}); these columns should be ignored and left blank. For the other columns, enter either a "1" where you do want the file to be copied down (equivalent to ticking the entry), or a "0" or blank where you do NOT want the file copied down (equivalent to leaving the option unticked.)

Once you've made the changes you need, simply click the "Save Changes" button to write the new settings back to your WORK.DAT file. Like most of these "outside the system hacks" that I've talked about, only rudimentary error checking is made of the values you enter, so take care with any changes you make, and if in doubt, make the changes inside the system itself using the standard menu. (You did make a back up of your WORK.DAT file first, didn't you?)