Two weeks ago I posted about why it’s such a big deal that Acumatica has connected to Microsoft Excel and Power BI via OData.
But how do we tap into this new magic “power”?
Everything begins with building a Generic Inquiry screen in Acumatica. In order to use an OData connection in Acumatica, you first have to build a Generic Inquiry screen.
In this post, I’d like to walk through building a simple Generic Inquiry screen and enabling it for OData.
Then next week we can leverage what we built using Microsoft Excel.
Building a Generic Inquiry screen is very similar to building a report in Report Designer. The main difference is that you don’t have to waste time with formatting or with placing your fields in exactly the right spot.
In my experience, you can spend >50% of your time just on formatting when you are creating a report, especially when you are using tools like Acumatica Report Designer, Crystal Reports, and SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services).
Generic Inquiry screens save us from having to waste time on formatting. But we’ll talk more about formatting in a future post.
Building a Simple Generic Inquiry Screen
Here are the steps to build a simple Generic Inquiry Screen in Acumatica:
- Go to the System –> Customization –> Generic Inquiry (DH000025) screen in Acumatica
- Give your Generic Inquiry screen a title and pick where it should appear on the menu in Acumatica.
- Add the tables that you want to pull from.
- Define the relationships between those tables.
- Choose the fields that you want to appear on the screen.
Enabling OData on a Generic Inquiry Screen in Acumatica
The Generic Inquiry screens have actually been around for a while in Acumatica.
But they form the basis for the OData connection.
To enable OData, all you have to do is click the Expose via OData box. This is where the “magic” starts to happen.
Watch a Video
It’s easier to go through this in video format so I created a simple 6 minute video where I go through the steps to create a simple Generic Inquiry screen and enable OData.
In this video I create a simple list of customers and display the City/State/Country from their main address.
I use TryAcumatica.com which is a publicly available website so you can follow along and perform the steps yourself if you like.
Next week we can take our “magic” OData connection that we just created and connect to it from Microsoft Excel.
Stay tuned, it’s going to be fun!