Self-Service Reporting Questions

Our business is wanting to start reporting more frequently. I have found that Self-Service Reporting is time-consuming and somewhat troublesome to use...not to mention slow. I have a few questions for those who use the Self-Service Reporting tool in Innovator:

  1. Who creates the self-service reports for your business? Is IT involved?
    1. Is it a full-time resource?
  2. What is the volume of requests for new reports?
  3. What areas/ItemTypes of Aras are the reports generated?
  4. What is the magnitude of the reports? (i.e. do you have many specific reports for whoever requests them or do you have just a few broad datasets that users can then run filters on to suit their needs?)

If you do not utilize Self-Service Reporting, what reporting mechanism does your business use for users to measure metrics, etc?

Thank you, in advance, for your response.


  • Hi,

    oh Self-Service Reports - here Aras is throwing away a lot of potential...again...
    They often have no feeling of the thousands of possible ways to USE data present in the PLM.
    Reports are not just BOM exports or a one level overview of something. Reporting means building complex structures to get distinctive information.

    We tested Self-Service Reports in the past and planned to use it. But I used one of the earliest versions and there were a lot of things not working. I do not know the current status, according to the release notes they fixed a couple of things. The current versions are propably more advanced, but I assume speed is still something to improve.

    To your questions:
    1. Self-Service Reports can theoretically created by everyone. But in practice, this requires knowledge of the Aras ItemType model. About ItemTypes, Relationships, properties and how they stick together. No end-user has knowledge about this. End-users wants to solve their daily tasks. If somebody wants to have a specific report template, they will ask the people who know how to do it. So in reality Reports templates are defined by Admins and people who are trained to use the tool. I even restricted the access to "New Reports" for the average user, as they messed up the database with test reports.

    2. Depends. There can be reports that are created on demand or some you create automatically and integrate into something else.

    3. As far as I remember Reports are generated as files in the vault.

    4. Reports can be everything, It depends on your use case. We use a couple of very specific reports for certain tasks, but also some that provide a general overview of something. We even even use Reports to solve absolute PLM standard tasks like comparing two Items as there is sadly no way to create a diff in the system.

    We actually use a mix of Microsoft SSRS and XSLT for reporting.
    SSRS benefits:
    - Great for calculations
    - You can create complex structures (pivot tables, cross applies,..)

    SSRS cons:
    - It´s requires even more knowledge than building self-service reports!
    - Multilevel structures requires a lot of work to be display correct
    - You bypass the Aras permission model. Probably biggest con!
    - Microsoft Report builder has also some issues