Hopefully you've seen some of the enhancements with Vault 2019 and maybe even have a plan on how you might use them. I’ve talked about the Thin Client Update and Vault’s new Project Sync tools. Today let’s take a look at the updated reporting capabilities in Vault 2019.
Prior to this year’s release of Vault if you wanted to report on vaulted data it was difficult to change from the default report designs. The supplied report templates were in a format that could only be edited using Visual Studio 2008’s report designer, which is fine except that Visual Studio 2008 is difficult to find and has been for some time. There’s a good reference here in a recent post Carl made about Vault reports using older versions of the report template files.
This year the report templates have been updated to the 2015 file format and can be easily edited using Visual Studio 2015 which is still accessible. There are other report editors available but I’m going to stick with Visual Studio for this post. You will need to stick with Visual Studio 2015 and when you install it be sure to include the Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools which installs the report editor capable of editing Vault 2019’s RDLC files.
With the editor ready to go we need a report to modify. I’ll use the transmittal report that Vault uses when you do a pack-and-go or use the Send File tool. This is probably the report template that is used most often. A few things you might like to change in this report is the logo and perhaps the columns.
The first thing you need to do is add the properties to the report that you want to manipulate. Open a Windows explorer window and run the ReportTemplateAuthoringUtility.exe which is found at C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Vault Professional 2019\Explorer\. Log in to Vault and open the File Transmittal.rdlc report template file from the .\Report Templates sub-directory.
In the template utility I am only going to add the Title property. Then use Save As to save the report template as a new file. In my case I’ll call this IMAGINiT Transmittal.rdlc and save it to my desktop.
With the property added to the report template I can use the Visual Studio Report Designer to modify the visual layout of the transmittal report to include file titles in the table. Open Visual Studio 2015 and use the File menu to open the new RDLC file. If you have the Report Designer installed correctly then you should see something similar to the image below. If the RDLC file opens to a code editor then you’ll need to update your Visual Studio installation to include the report designer.
With the transmittal report template open, you can select objects and delete or modify them as necessary. Here I’ve changed the logo, removed the Destination property (in the header) and put the Title property in the table.
Finally, save the RDLC file and copy it back to its original location or Vault it, to share with your team. When you re-run your transmittal report be sure to select the customized template.
Now, when I run a new pack-and-go I get a much better, more customized, result. If you’d like to use the new transmittal with the Send File command then you’ll have to overwrite the original File Transmittal.rdlc in the report template folder.
It’s understandable if you haven’t been using reports with your Vault, the files haven’t always been easy to work with. Now with the update to the 2015 format you can use a more recent report editor to align the reports to your needs.
There is a lot of potential to gain insight on your projects, BoMs, designers and the overall health of your Vault with the reporting tools. If you recall my post on custom objects, I used Non-Conformance Reports (NCRs) as an example of how you might use custom objects. With customized Vault reports added on I could take that a step further to manage and track open NCRs, issue types, and longer term design or manufacturing trends, etc.