Reporting tips and tricks.

Filter, then Report.

Using Job Accounting, you can filter for jobs, and tinker with the filters until you have ensured that only the jobs you want to report on, are displayed. This is frequently a useful thing to do, as filters that result in no jobs, won't result in a report, and currently that error is not overly intuitive.
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First, you have the option to save your search criteria, then at need you can select those saved criteria in future searches.

You'll also notice two buttons in the Jobs header, Report and Export, selecting these will create a new Report/Export that will appear under Job Reports or Exports as appropriate, using the filters you have set.

This allows you to tinker with your filters first, validate those first (particularly when you are first building your standard reports....) and then proceed to the report structure.

Start Simple. Add complexity.

Specifically when trying to build a Full report, you may be best served by building a Summary report, getting all your breakouts/totals in a row, and when that output looks good, converting the report to a Full Report and adding in the details columns you want populated for the jobs. 

The Report Configuration page is not a mandatory workflow.

When you build job reports, the various components of a report are laid out on the page, by no means is there any requirement to complete these in order. It may be more intuitive for you to start from the bottom, with the decision of what totals (if any) will be displayed, then what columns you may want sub-totals for, and in the case of a full report, then adding the fields you need for a complete report.

When making changes, make one change first, run the result before making another.

At the time of writing, there is no easy way to copy a report, or revert to a previous configuration, undoing your changes. So when you are changing a report, always make one change, run the report and evaluate, before making the next change.

We're all busy people, plan to be interrupted during your editing may want to consider keeping a track of the changes you make and undo as you go.

Remember, most of the changes you make to report configurations are instant. The exception being detail fields, but those changes are immediately applied when you press save on the header. 

But better still...

Consider copying a working report and editing that instead of the working report.

While it's not simple to make a copy of a report, you have to manually recreate the existing report as a new report. When you have a functional report that needs tweaking, it's frequently better to make that manual copy and tinker with it. Once that copy is working, you can either transplant the changes, or simply proceed with that new report. But you still have the existing functional report as a backstop.

Troubleshooting Report problems

When a report fails you can click on the Details button for that failed run in the Build History (located at the bottom of the report configuration page) which will allow you to access the event and error logs for that run of the report. Sometimes this information may be useful to you, but if you end up submitting an issue to Support, it's a good idea to include the event and error results for the run.

Reports that never end

Both live and scheduled reports rely on the UM scheduled task service, essentially every report is a scheduled task, live ones are simply scheduled right now. But if that service stops, or has become decoupled from the IIS based client services this may cause reports to appear to never complete. In reality they are never starting, but the difference is semantic. In this case checking the state of the service, starting it if stopped, and restarting it if is running, may correct the issue. If it does not, it is useful to report in your issue submission that these corrective action have already been applied.

I have a reporting trick you didn't list here

We're always happy to entertain your suggestions for Reporting tips and Tricks that may be useful to other users. You can submit these to our Support Department through email or the Community Portal.

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