What is a “Private” Report in Sage 100 CON?

Submitted by Pam Schulz, Certified Sage 100 Consultant, excerpted from the May 2016 LAI Newsletter.

You’re Not Crazy!

Do you ever see a “different” version of a report than others in your office?

Do you save changes to a report, but not see them?

You may have “Private reports” lurking…

In the old MasterBuilder days, when you saved a Custom Reports or a Form Design you designated a drive for that report to be saved to. Awhile back things changed, and you no longer see this option. Instead, you have a choice between saving your Report or Form as either a “Shared Report” or a “Private” Report.

It seems there has been some confusion since then.

What Constitutes “Private”?

Here are a few “rules” that may make your reports easier to find and run.

First, if you save your report for form as a SHARED report, it is saved to the same drive as your data, under the “MB7” folder, and in either the “Custom Reports” or the “Report Forms” folder. These reports can be seen by “everyone”- subject, of course, to the security you have set up.

This is usually pretty straightforward, and not usually too confusing, UNLESS you run into “interference” from a PRIVATE report.

What, exactly, does it mean to save a report as “Private?”

First, a “Private” report can be seen only by the WINDOWS user (which may be different than the “Sage” user) who created it (and only on their own computer). Also, once you have saved a report as “Private”, that particular version of your report will override “Shared” versions when you are logged in (to Windows.)

Here are some consequences of this:

  1. Only YOU can see the report
  2. You will ONLY see the private version (even if a shared version has subsequently been saved.)
  3. If you have saved the report as both Private and Shared, everyone else will see the Shared version while you see the Private version.

Imagine how confusing this can be- two people run the same report, but get two “different” reports.

The Fix!

Find and DELETE the Private report.

In “My Computer”, or “Windows Explorer”, locate the following path (Make sure you have your settings checked to “See Hidden Files”)

C:\users\(your user name)\appdata\local\Sage\Sage 100 Contractor

Here you will see the “Custom Reports” and the “Report Forms” folders. Open the appropriate folders, find your report or form, and delete it. (Or, instead, you can create a folder called “unused reports” and move it there if you are afraid to delete it.) Once you have deleted the Private report, you will now see the “Shared” version like everyone else.

How do I avoid this confusion?

I typically advise clients to ONLY save “Shared” reports. There are not a lot of reasons to save a “Private” report, and there are alternate ways to accomplish things that will not cause confusion later.

  • Reason 1- “I want to make sure no one else can see this information.”

Instead of saving a report as Private, use the SECURITY features in the program to limit access. This includes the fact that users can only run reports with data that they have security access to. If you want even more “security”, then save the report to a menu option where you can limit the security. The first six digits of a report name dictate the menu option the report can be run from. Just select an option you can control with security (Believe it or not you can save/run a report from anywhere- not just the menus it may be related to.)

  • Reason 2- I want to get the report “just right” and keep it private until it is “ready for everyone.”

To do this, write and revise your report in the 13-4 “Report Writing” option- save it with a “Verbal” name- then when ready to release, save with a new “numeric” name that will direct the report to the appropriate menu option.

FINALLY, if I suspect that there may be some “Private Report Confusion” I can usually diagnose it by putting something in the report title when saving as a “Shared Report”. I like to use the revision date here. Then, when users are running the report they should all see the revision date in the menu’s report title. If a user does not see the updated revision date, they most likely have a Private report stored.

By being aware of the difference in Private and Shared reports a lot of confusion can be avoided, as everyone will be looking at the same results.

Current version information

On February 18, 2016, Sage released Sage 100 Contractor Version 19.7.52.  This update includes all payroll tax table revisions known to date, and more importantly, fixes a problem created in version 19.7.43 with the Reconcile Credit Card Statement function.  I strongly encourage users to consider installing this update.

More about Sage 100 Contractor here. Call Ledgerwood Associates at 877-918-8301 today and we’ll match your needs to the best solution.


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