Suggested Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:37:03 GMT by Joel LeichtyUnder Review
Category: Reporting and Analytics

Every external facing document needs to be professionally formatted in standard D365FO using the new Modern formats framework, and these formats should ship with the product. Documents should include the typical fields most customers want. These documents should either be extensible or there should be a documented process for copying the standard document and modifying it. Print management needs to be improved so all modern forms of document transmission are supported.

Every document means:

  • Any document I might transmit to a Customer or Vendor, pretty much any document covered by Print Management.
  • The documents are part of D365FO when it is deployed, without any modifications.

Professionally formatted means:

  • The document was reviewed by a graphic designer.
  • Acceptable logo sizes and ppi are documented.
  • The document works with both Letter and A4 paper sizes.
  • The margins on the document are even and consistent.
  • Multi-page documents are tested, don't leave extra white-space on the page, and have appropriate minimalist headers and footers.

Typical fields means:

  • Microsoft has surveyed the user community for what fields they include on each document type, and have included the ones that are common to a majority of customers.
  • Global requirements have been considered (i.e. Banking, Tax fields, Dates that are clear no matter what country is viewing the document).

Print management improvements means:

  • Ability to transmit a document using Exchange, SMTP, or Local Outlook.
  • Ability to use GER to transmit a document.
  • Ability to have a "Modern" formatted email template with wildcards from the Source journal record.
  • Ability to control the file name in an Email or File.
  • Ability to use some concept of Print archive, so the actual PDF that was sent is always recorded in a way the user can easily retrieve it.

Please add your comments with any additional requirements not listed above.

Comments (21)
  • Agree

  • Let's take output documents out of the 90-era and in to 2017 (or 2018).

  • Also, print management should work for reports duplicated to add a custom design or a better way to add a custom design without overlayering should be introduced. In the environment I am currently working in (which is on update 10), we found multiple cases where code to add the report design to the print management options and setting print management to use the new design, did not make the system actually use the new design, because the system bypassed the print management settings and always used a design specified in code, causing us to have to overwrite this code to make our own design (which in turn made it impossible to access the default design(s)).

  • Agree 100%

  • I forgot to mention that Docentric AX reporting solution also has Free Edition that allows you to use all improved print destinations (e.g. Email Print Destination) completely for free.

  • I couldn't agree more. SSRS is a very limited and cumbersome reporting tool. For those that are in a need for a better reporting solution, I would just like to mention that there already is a 3rd party solution that fixes all these problems and even open new scenarios that are impossible to achieve with SSRS:


    This reporting tool uses MS Word as the report designer which makes it a really great solution for public facing documents. Non-developers, such as graphic designers or end users can use it to design reports, use MS Word templates, styles, predefined formats, headers and footers.

    The solution also greatly improves print destinations. For example, the Email Print Destination allows you to specify email body, control the attachment file name and email subject can contain dynamics fields (e.g. Invoice Number).

  • 100% agreed.


    Document default design is very odd; but redesigning the template is a headache.

  • Fully agree. Joel and I had conversations on this very topic when on projects. It shouldn't take 80 hours to format common docs like POs, invoices, and vendor checks and make the client absorb these costs. 

  • Agree

  • Thank you Joel for bringing this topic. Here is my feedback 

    Print Management :

    • The first thing is to make the underlying setups and configurations more discoverable for regular users and make the print management setup form more user friendly. Going under form setup for each module, then  report from the list with system names, and then setting up underlying contact information purpose etc is a lot of task for an avarage end user.
    • Instead, just provide a dedicated form called "Document print and distribution management.
    • Give option to user to chose a document with easy to understand naming convention from list of all possible documents of that module (specifically external facing documents). 
    • Right on that page, provide ability to define all attributes of email distribution such as To, From, subject, body and signature etc.
    • Also provide a sample full  preview of the email as the user configures the setups. 
    • Provide a Test functionality to test sending a sample email with attachment on that screen. 
    • Show all the wild card  placeholders from the source document on the same screen which the user can simply drag and drop to the email subject or body. 
    • Additionaly, provide predefined suggestions of sample email formats with prepppulated subject and body etc, so that user can just use it as is or modify if needed. 
    • Depending on the document type, automatically propose which vendors /customers or other parties intended to receive the email and document, jdoes not have a contact information defined with the required contact info purpose on the same screen if possible. 
    • Along with the above, address all of the valid points Joel has elaborated with regards to modern formating etc. 

    Regards, Sandeep