There will be plenty of instances where you will want to use dynamic dates to improve your Chris21 reports. But first, what are dynamic dates? These are dates that you want to be different each time a report is run, and will automatically change, according to you critertia.
A good example of a report using a dynamic date is the wokflow Control Forwarding – WFF report. This is a report that processes workflow records that are past the Due Date and are forwarded onto the next manager in the workflow chain.
Usually you would run this process daily, so that overdue workflows are processed in a timely manner. You would also want to schedule the process to run automatically for better efficiency.
Dynamic date example
The WFF process asks for a date to be entered. If you enter today’s date it will simply run for this date each time it runs. Of course, this means after the firsts run the process will effectively be doing nothing because the date hasn’t changed.
To overcome this, we enter a dynamic date. The format is =T. This tells the system to run the report for the current date, therefore the date is dynamically changing. Then, when the process is scheduled, it will always compare workflow Due Dates with the current date and process accordingly.
The main thing to note is that it is important to place the = sign in front of the T so that the system knows that a date calculation is required.
Other uses of dynamic dates
Dynamic dates can be used in your Chris21 reports in many different ways. For instance, I created a report for a client recently that used a dynamic date to identify new starters so that they could be assigned a HR21 account.
This report was scheduled to run daily. It was able to identify if there were any new starters on Today’s date. I then setup a process to automatically create the HR21 user account, but that’s another story.
Another example is a report I created that used a dynamic date to send a report to finance after each payrun. In this case, I wanted to send it the day after the payrun was completed. In the report I entered the dynamic date =T -1D.
In this example the report used the payrun end date field in the report selections. In this field, I entered =T-1D. I then Scheduled the report to run the day after the payrun end date and fortnightly (it was a fortnightly payrun). The dynamic date calculation ensured that only the current pay details will be included in the report that is sent to finance each fortnight.
Scheduling reports with dynamic dates
In order to use dynamic dates in your Chris21 reports you will need to create a form for each report and place it on the menu. You can’t use a dynamic date directly from the Report Designer. See my blog How to Add Chris21 Reports to a Menu if you need assistance with this.
I hope this article has given you some ideas about using dynamic dates in your Chris21 reports. For more information about the types of date calculations you can use, see the Chris21 help notes. They are quite extensive on this topic.
This is quite an involved topic so feel free to use the comments below to ask me any questions and I will do my best to help!