Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Creating Printable Reports in SharePoint

So I created my help desk using the help desk template in SharePoint.  After a lot of tweaking, it is running smoothly and then the request came in.  I have a customer that wants to print out the reports.  Well, I never really thought much about it in the beginning because I use Excel and just dump everything there and look at what I want.  Unfortunately, I have a few old school people who want to come in everyday and just print what they want. Ahhh!  After a lot of discussion about why they can not just use Excel, I started researching my options here.

So, first I hit the Microsoft site and started looking up reports.  I found something about the Report Viewer WebPart. This sounded like a good plan.  I went back to my site, could not find it.  Ok, what else can I do here?  Next I started reading about Report Builder and SQL Server 2008 R2.  This went on and on and from what I could tell we did not have the report server installed.  I called the help desk and they confirmed that we did not and that there were not any plans to do this until we went to SP2010.

Now I am back to the old reliable.  With SharePoint 2007 one of the nice things is the integration with Microsoft Access and Excel.  I probably could have set up some Pivot tables with Excel, but turning on the Macros and Excel in general may scare these customers.  Finally I decided to just set up some queries in Access.  In my list view I just chose open in Access.  Then I made the queries and reports and saved the database.  Done, instant reports.  Some things you may need to do to make it extra secure: I hid the list and all the queries, I made a switchboard page which just has the report buttons on it, and I went into options and hid just about all the menu options.  Since they don't use Acess much they probably will not break it.

One disappointing thing I found in this process is the print action within SharePoint.  It basically just prints the webpage.  When you go to print a list, it does not repeat the headings on each page.  Maybe in 2010?

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