In this last blog in the series on Report Features and Tips, we will review the options available to automate the distribution of scheduled reports. Report scheduling is used for many purposes including weekly status updates for shop supervisors, expiration reminders (e.g., for licenses or certifications), and executive/management updates. Reports can be scheduled on a wide variety of intervals:
Note: Only customers that have the MC Agent Service can use this scheduling feature. Also, if the Schedule Tab is not displayed, you may be a member of an access group that does not have access to this feature.
To schedule a report for automated distribution:
- Access Report Setup for the report on which automation will be scheduled.
- Select the Schedule Tab. The Email Sub-Tab will be selected by default, allowing you to specify email instructions.
To define automated generation and distribution, change the Email Schedule Dropdown Control to “On“. The remaining controls on the page will display.
- Select the desired frequency from the Frequency dropdown controls. For example, to schedule a management report for distribution the first of each quarter you could select: “Every 3 Month(s)“.
- In the Begin On dropdown controls, specify the first date you would like this report to be sent. In our example, you could select “10/1/2011“, as this is the next date that corresponds to the first of a calendar quarter.
Specify the Attachment Type. For most reports, the HTML option is preferable. The XML and CSV options are most often used when reports are to be opened in Excel or another software system.
- The “Do not send if report returns no records” option is especially valuable for conditional notifications. For example, you could send a license expiration report only if there are individuals with licenses expiring or a list of work orders pending approval only if there are work orders in this state.
In the Email Recipients area, you can directly enter the email addresses of the individuals who should receive this report, separated by commas. Alternatively, if email addresses are already defined for these individuals in their Labor or Requester Records, it is best to add the addresses using the Add Button.
- Click Add and the Select Recipients Dialog will display.
- Change the dropdown control at the top of the page to locate the desired individual(s), typically “Labor“.
- All individuals of the chosen type will be displayed. Those with valid email addresses specified will be selectable.
- Select the individuals that you wish to receive this report.
Click Apply when finished.
In the area on the right of this page, specify the Email Address and Name that should appear on the email that distributes the report. It should be noted that a default value for “new reports” can be specified in System Preferences.
Click Apply when finished and the MC Agent will prepare and distribute the report to specified recipients on the next scheduled date.