Welcome to the third issue of the Acumatica Reports Newsletter. This email goes out on the last day of every month.
We had a lot of excitement in our neighborhood this month.
Two weekends ago I was taking a nap at home when, all of a sudden, I woke up to a loud noise. The whole house shook and my wife thought something big had landed on the roof.
We went outside and quickly discovered that all the neighbors had heard the same thing. We all thought that a transformer had blown.
I hopped on my bike and rode in the direction of the noise. But it wasn’t a transformer.
Six blocks away from my house, a house had exploded. The cause: natural gas.
The street was full of smoke and debris was scattered everywhere.
It was the warmest day so far this year and many people on my street were out when the explosion happened: adults walking, kids playing.
But no one was out on the street where the explosion occurred. And the owners of the house were on vacation. So, amazingly, no one was hurt or killed. It definitely makes you stop and think.
This Past Month
I added 9 posts to the blog this month:
- Customers Generic Inquiry
- Acumatica Report Reviews: GL Edit Detailed
- Sales Order Lines Generic Inquiry
- Acumatica Report Reviews: GL Edit Summary
- Sales Order Details By Terms
- Acumatica Report Reviews: GL Budget Edit
- YTD Period Sales Analysis By Customer
- Acumatica Report Reviews: Transactions for Account
- Period Sales Analysis By Customer
As always, feel free to leave a comment on any of the posts.
This month 14 new people subscribed to the newsletter, bringing the total number of subscribers to 38.
Acumatica Report Store
Some of the posts from this past month are actually reports in my new Acumatica Report Store.
The goal is to add one new report per week.
How many times have you needed a report and wondered, “I’ll bet someone created this already” ?
Every year, companies spend a lot of money to create custom reports from scratch, reinventing the wheel rather than building on top of existing templates. I want to solve this problem with my Acumatica Report Store.
You can browse the gallery of reports in the store and find one that seems close to what you’re looking for. Then you can customize it further to meet your specific needs, or take advantage of my consulting offering and have me customize it for you.
So, the store feeds into the consulting and the consulting feeds back into the store.
This process will provide me with many learning opportunities that I will continue to share on my weekly blog post, makingTimRodman.com the central place for all things related to reporting in Acumatica.
If there is enough interest, I might even create a starter course at some point for anyone who is interested in Acumatica reporting.
This month I got to see more details on the Acumatica mobile functionality in 5.0 and I can understand why people are excited.
Native mobile applications are a more pleasant user experience than a browser on a phone or tablet. A native mobile app has more control over how things are presented and what information can be accessed on the device (camera, microphone, GPS location, etc.).
A native mobile app is also more responsive. Since the presentation layer is local to your phone and doesn’t have to download all the objects from the internet, it’s snappier and responds to you faster.
Why don’t I apply the same reasoning to desktop computer applications? Doesn’t this reasoning justify on-premise Windows applications instead of browser-based Cloud ERP products like Acumatica?
Well, the problem with Mobile web browsers is that they aren’t anywhere near as advanced as Desktop web browsers.
On a Desktop web browser, Acumatica is able to only reload the parts of the webpage that need to be reloaded, solving the speed/responsiveness slowness problems associated with older web applications.
Also, on a Desktop web browser you can do things like simply drag a file onto a web page in order to upload it.
Web browsers on phones and tablets just aren’t as advanced as web browsers on desktop computers. I think that they will get there someday, but, until they do, native mobile apps will continue to provide a better user experience.
There is a dark side to native mobile apps though. The main problem is that they are traditionally built on a completely separate platform with a completely separate collection of computer code. You traditionally needed a completely separate team of developers for the iPhone app, then another team of developers for the Android app.
After a year or so, what started out as one web application can quickly become three separate, fragmented applications because they are built by three separate teams and no amount of inter-team collaboration can ensure a 100% consistent user experience across all three applications (Desktop, iPhone, Android).
This isn’t a big deal for a simple application like GroupMe or Twitter, but it is a big deal for ERP applications because the business logic that they contain can be very complicated. Also, it is critical that exactly the same business logic is applied regardless of the device that you are using (computer desktop, phone, tablet, etc.).
So, why is the new Acumatica 5.0 Mobile framework such a big deal? Well, it isn’t a traditional mobile app. It’s more like a web browser that works well on a mobile device.
The only thing that the Acumatica Mobile app does is render the visual pieces. This solves the slowness/snappiness problem.
But you avoid the dark side of separate development platforms because all the business logic reads directly from the regular screen in Acumatica.
In fact, the screen has to exist in regular Acumatica because that’s where all the development happens. Then you create a tiny little pointer file that tells the Acumatica Mobile App to make the screen mobile enabled. No iOS developers, no Android developers, no fragmented computer code.
You are guaranteed to have exactly the same experience whether you are on your Desktop web browser or the Acumatica Native Mobile app.
What does this have to do with reporting in Acumatica? Well, most data entry happens at a keyboard. But phones and tablets are very popular for reading information, especially for executives who often find themselves on the road.
So, reporting benefits the most from anything mobile.
And the Acumatica Mobile App is going to make it easier to deliver critical business information to mobile devices.
Big News Coming in May
I started my Acumatica Report Store focused on reports created in Acumatica Report Designer, but then I learned about some BIG Acumatica news coming in May. Because of this news, I have changed gears and am now focused on adding Generic Inquiry reports to the store. I’ll explain why in the May newsletter.
But, trust me, it’s going to be BIG.
Until Next Month…
Thanks for reading. And look for another issue from me on Thursday, April 30th.