9.2 Running and Retrieving Reports in Finance
Purpose: This QRG will describe how to run and retrieve financial reports via the Closing Trial Balances page using ctcLink.
Audience: Finance Staff
In this QRG, you will become very familiar with the Process Scheduler. Running a report using Process Scheduler is simple. Before beginning, you must understand these basic terms used in Process Scheduler:
- A Process Request is a single run request, such as an SQR or Crystal report.
- A Run Control ID is a unique ID that associates each operator with his or her own run control table entries.
- A Process Instance is a unique number that identifies each process request. The system increments this value automatically and assigns it to each requested process when the process is submitted to run.
Using Process Scheduler to run reports offers several advantages. This lesson focuses on running reports, not on any other types of process. Because a report is a type of process, the terms report and process are used interchangeably based on context.
The advantages of Process Scheduler include:
- System Efficiency: Data-centric processes can run close to the database on high-powered servers. Non-data-centric processes can run anywhere.
- Low Administration Overhead: User accounts on servers are unnecessary; users should not need to know additional passwords to run processes.
- End-User Productivity: Users do not need to know the syntax for running a report or any other process. Workstations can remain available for other tasks while a process runs in the background on a server.
Process Scheduler enables you to schedule a recurring report to run at specified times, such as every Friday at 6:00 pm. You can also run processes one at a time according to your request. Process Scheduler enables you to run reports easily and efficiently, without interruption. You can run a report while you are reconciling financial data in a spreadsheet or entering personnel data into a database. You can continue your daily work routine while Process Scheduler runs your reports.
Upon completion of this section, you will be able to:
- Use Process Scheduler to run a report
- Use Process Monitor to monitor a report
- Use Report Manager to manage a report.
Running and Retrieving Reports in Finance
There are multiple methods of getting to the Process Scheduler. For this QRG, we will demonstrate using the navigation to the Closing Trial Balances page.
Navigation: NavBar > Navigator > General Ledger > Close Ledgers > Closing Trial Balance
The Closing Trial Balance run control ID search page displays. You can run this report by searching for an existing Run Control ID or you can add a new value. The advantage of creating a new Run Control ID is that you can create one that makes sense to you and that you will remember and be able to use again.
- Select the Add a New Value tab.
- Enter your Run Control ID.
- Select Add.
A Run Control ID is an identifier that, when paired with your User ID, uniquely identifies the process you are running. The Run Control ID stores parameter values that are used when a process is run. This ensures that when a process runs in the background, the system does not prompt you for additional values.
The Closing Trial Balance page displays. Use it to enter the request parameters, some of which might be pre-populated when the page displays. These parameters will be used to define the processing rules and data to be included when the report is run. The parameters will vary depending on which report you are running. For example, other reports might have fields where you specify the SetID, Employee ID, or Department values before running the report.
For the Closing Trial Balances report, we will define the following parameters: Unit, Ledger, and Fiscal Year fields.
- After you have defined these parameters, scroll to right side of page and select Run.
The Process Scheduler Request page displays. Use it to enter or update parameters, such as Server name and Process Output format. Here is a list of parameters and their descriptions:
The Server Name can remain blank, the system can select a server for you. Or choose the appropriate Server Name from the list. As a general rule, choose the PSNT server for reports.
Use the Run Date field to specify the date you want the process to run. This gives you the ability to set a report to run on a future date. Leave this field blank to run the report immediately.
Use the Recurrence list to specify the recurring time intervals for a process request to run. For example, if you need to run a process every week day at 5 pm that resolves all the transactions managed by your institution, you could select the run recurrence definition of Monday-Friday at 5 pm to schedule this process to run at the appropriate time. Leave this field blank to run the report one time.
Use the Run Time field to specify the time you want the process to run. This gives you the ability to set a report to run at a future time. Leave this field blank to run the report immediately.
Use the Reset to Current Date/Time button to set the Run Date and Run Time to the present date and time.
Use the Time Zone field to select the time zone in which the process will run. For example, you might be in Eastern Standard Time (EST) and schedule a process to run in Pacific Standard Time (PST). The system is currently defined to use the PST time zone by default.
The Description field helps to uniquely identify a process. You should be familiar with the processes that you run as part of your daily tasks to identify them by this description.
The Process Name field displays the name of the process as it appears in the definition.
The Process Type field displays the type of process, such as SQR, Crystal, and so on.
Use the Type list to select the type of output you want to generate for this job. Your choices are:
- File: This enables you to write the output to a file that will appear in the Output Destination.
- Printer: You can enter a custom printer location if you have the appropriate security access.
- Email: You can enter the destination information to send to a particular email recipient(s). Note that Email is available only for SQR and PS/nVision Process Types.
- Web: Sends all output of the process to the report repository, including log and trace files.
- Window: Sends output to the monitor when finished.
Use the Format list to define the output format for the report. The values are dependent upon the Process Type you have chosen. For example, the default format for Process Type SQR Report is PDF.
- After you have defined your parameters, select OK.
The Process Scheduler Request page disappears, and your report is now running. The updated Closing Trial Balance page displays. Notice that your report has been assigned a Process Instance number. It is a good idea to make a note of the this number for future tracking. Now that you have used Process Scheduler to run your report, use Process Monitor to monitor the status of your report.
You use the Process Monitor to:
- Check the status of your submitted process requests.
- Cancel process requests that have been initiated or are currently processing.
- Hold process requests that are queued, and queue process requests you have put on hold.
- Select the Process Monitor link.
The Process Monitor page displays. It supplies you with two tabs, the Process List tab and the Server List tab. Use the Process List tab to view the status of submitted report/process requests.
Use the fields in the View Process Request For section to filter the display to specific process requests based on the search criteria entered in these fields.
Use the User ID field to view the process requests submitted by a user ID. This field defaults to your own user ID. Leave this field blank to view all of the processes that you are authorized to view.
Use the Type list to view process requests by a process type, such as Application Engine, COBOL, SQR, or Application Engine processes.
Use the Last list to specify an interval of time by which to limit the process requests that appear in the list. Enter a custom numerical value in the field, and then select a unit type: Days, Hours, or Minutes.
Use the Server list to view process requests that are run on a particular server.
Use the Name field to view all process requests for a specific process name.
Use the Instance From and Instance To fields to display results based on the process instance number. This number is automatically generated when a process is requested.
Use the Run Status list to view process requests by status, such as Completed or Error.
Use the Distribution Status list to view process requests by distribution status, such as Generated, Posted, or Not Posted.
After you have selected your criteria, select the Refresh button to display process request results.
You can view details about a particular process request by selecting the Details link in the Details column. This opens the Process Detail page where you can view such details as request parameters and message logs.
- Select the Details link in the last column associated with your process instance.
The Process Detail page displays. Most of the items on the page are display-only; however, you can use some controls to manipulate the program run, as needed.
The Process section contains general information to help you identify the process request. This is a display-only section, showing basic descriptive information about this process.
The Run section shows specific run information, such as the run control ID and the run location. If the process runs on the server, the server name appears in the Server field and any run recurrence that you have selected appears in the Recurrence field.
The Update Process section displays the actions that can be performed on a process request. Based on your user authorization and the current status of the process request, you can choose one of these actions. The possible actions are: Hold, Queue, Cancel, Delete, or Restart.
The Actions section contains links to other pages that provide additional details about the process parameters.
- Select the Parameters link to view additional information about the process parameters, such as runtime definition variables, the path and program used to run the process request, the location of the completed output, and additional information about the process request status.
- The Process Request Parameters page displays. Look it over, then select Return.
The Process Request Parameters page disappears. You are now back at the Process Detail page. Now we will look at the Message Log page.
- Select the Message Log link.
The Message Log page displays. This page will show you the message details relating to the Process Instance number.
- Select Return to go back to the Process Detail screen.
The Message Log page disappears, and we're back at the Process Detail page again. The Batch Timings link is only available for process requests with a process type of Application Engine. The Batch Timings report contains a set of statistics that system administrators can use to tune the system to gain better performance. This report relates specifically to PeopleSoft Application Engine program performance.
- Select the View Log/Trace link to open a new browser window and view links that enable you to view the message log and trace file.
The View Log/Trace link appears on the Process Monitor Detail page when at least one of the following conditions is met:
- The output destination for the process request is Web, and the report and log files were successfully posted to the Report Repository by the Distribution Agent.
- The process request has a run status of Success.
- The process request ran from a ctcLink Process Scheduler Server Agent that was set up using the Server Definition page with a distribution node.
- Select Return.
- The View Log/Trace page disappears. The Process Detail page displays. Select OK.
The Process Detail page disappears. The Process Monitor page displays.
The Run Status field displays the current status of the process request. Knowing the run status helps you to see where the process request is in the queue or identify a problem if the process request has an error.
If the Run Status is Queued it indicates that the process request has not completed running or that this page has not been refreshed lately. The report is finished running when it has a status of Success.
Larger reports will take longer to obtain a status of Success. Y ou can select the Refresh button to update the Run Status to Success if it is in Queued state. For reports that take longer to run, it is a good idea to continue other work while the process request is being run in the background.
If the status is not Success, select the Refresh button to update the page. If your Run Status is in Error, select the Details link as previously outlined, to review the Actions section links to troubleshoot the issue.
When the Run Status field displays Success for your process request, your report has finished running.
Now that your report has finished running, you are ready to use Report Manager to view your report.
- Select the Go back to Closing Trial Balance link.
The Closing Trial Balance page displays. Report Manager is like your own personal "inbox" of reports and process output. It provides a secured means to view report content, check the posting status of your output, and see content detail messages.
- Select the Report Manager link.
The Report Manager page displays.
The List tab displays the reports from multiple databases to which you have access.
Unlike the Administration tab, the List tab lists reports when both of the following events occur:
- The Distribution Agent has successfully posted the report to the report repository. After the report has posted, the Distribution Agent publishes a message to have an entry added to the report folder table for the new report.
- The local message node has subscribed to the message that was sent by the Distribution Agent by adding an entry for the report in the report folder table.
The Explorer tab displays a hierarchical view of folders and reports. Unlike the Administration tab, the Explorer tab lists reports when both of the following events occur:
- First, the Distribution Agent has successfully posted the report to the report repository. After the report has posted, the Distribution Agent publishes a message to have an entry added to the report folder table for the new report.
- Second, the local message node has subscribed to the message that was sent by the Distribution Agent by adding an entry for the report in the report folder table.
The Administration tab displays the report, details about the report, and enables you to delete unwanted reports from the system. New reports that have been scheduled or are in the process of being posted to the report repository are viewed only through the Administration page.
Use the Archives tab to view reports that have been archived.
You need to go to the Administration page to view the report.
- Select the Administration tab.
The Administration tab displays. The reports are listed in the Report List section of the page. You can sort this list by using the fields in the View Reports For section of the page.
The Closing Trial Balance Report with the Process Instance Number will be at the top of the list, and the status is Posted.
In Report Manager, there are several status possibilities. Knowing what they mean will help you to understand the progress of your job without having to check the Process Monitor.
When the status of your report is Posted, the Details link becomes active. Use the Details link to view your report.
- Select the Details link.
The Report Detail page displays. If your report has run to Success, the link for the report contains the process name and the process instance number.
- Select the link.
The report displays in a new browser window. Review it and, if you wish, print it via the browser's print feature. Close the report browser window.
Return to the Report Detail page.
- Select OK.
Return to the Administration tab.
If you are authorized to delete a report, the Select check box will be active. This enables you to select the report and then select the Delete button to remove the report from the list.
Note that you must be assigned the ReportDistAdmin (Report Manager administrator) or ReportSuperUser (super user) role in PeopleSoft Security to be able to delete a report in Report Manager."
You successfully requested a report using Process Scheduler, viewed the status using Process Monitor, and viewed the report using Report Manager.
- Process complete.