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Understanding Electronic Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
In today’s world, electronic documents have become the norm for businesses to exchange information with various entities such as government bodies, banks, and other parties. However, complying with the legal requirements of different countries and regions for electronic documents can be a complex task. This is where electronic format structures and the use of ER (Electronic Reporting) come into play. ER allows businesses to define electronic format structures and describe how they should be filled with data and algorithms, using a formula language similar to Excel. With an intermediate data model concept, ER makes it easier to manage format changes and enables a single data model to be reused for multiple format mappings. In this blog, we will dive into the benefits of using ER for configuring formats for both incoming and outgoing electronic documents and how it can make the process faster and easier for business users.
ER is a configurable tool that helps you create and maintain regulatory electronic reporting and payments. It’s based on the following three concepts:
- Configuration instead of coding:
- Configuration can be done by a business user and doesn’t require a developer.
- The data model is defined in business terms.
- Visual editors are used to create all components of the ER configuration.
- The language that is used for data transformation resembles the language that is used in Microsoft Excel.
- One configuration for multiple Dynamics 365 Finance releases:
- Manage one domain-specific data model that is defined in business terms.
- Isolate application release details in release-dependent data model mappings.
- Maintain one format configuration for multiple releases of the current version, based on the data model.
- Easy or automatic upgrade:
- Versioning of ER configurations is supported.
- The Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) Assets library can be used as a repository for ER configurations, for version exchange.
- Localizations that are based on original ER configurations can be introduced as child versions.
- An ER configuration tree is provided as a tool that helps control dependencies for versions.
- Differences in localization, or the delta configuration, are recorded to enable automatic upgrade to a new version of the original ER configuration.
- It’s easy to manually resolve conflicts that are discovered during automatic upgrade of localization versions.
ER lets you define electronic format structures and then describe how the structures should be filled by using data and algorithms. You can use a formula language that resembles the Excel language for data transformation. To make the database-to-format mapping more manageable, reusable, and independent of format changes, an intermediate data model concept is introduced. This concept enables implementation details to be hidden from the format mapping and enables a single data model to be reused for multiple format mappings.
You can use ER to configure formats for both incoming and outgoing electronic documents in accordance with the legal requirements of various countries and regions. ER lets you manage these formats during their lifecycle. For example, you can adopt new regulatory requirements and generate business documents in the required format to electronically exchange information with government bodies, banks, and other parties.
The ER engine is targeted at business users instead of developers. Because you configure formats instead of code, the processes for creating and adjusting formats for electronic documents are faster and easier.
ER currently supports the TEXT, XML, JSON, PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and OPENXML worksheet formats.
The ER engine has the following capabilities:
- It represents a single shared tool for electronic reporting in different domains and replaces more than 20 different engines that do some type of electronic reporting for finance and operations.
- It makes a report’s format insulated from the current implementation. In other words, the format is applicable for different versions.
- It supports the creation of a custom format that is based on an original format. It also includes capabilities for automatically upgrading the customized format when the original format is changed because of localization/customization requirements.
- It becomes the primary standard tool to support localization requirements in electronic reporting, both for Microsoft and for Microsoft partners.
- It supports the ability to distribute formats to partners and customers through Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS).
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