This learn by doing topic builds on the Mail Merge and Report Writer topics. In some ways it will be a bit of a let down because it is so easy to do. As you will have seen the Report Writer has its limitations. The Export function allows you to extract data from the database an put it into an external file such as a spreadsheet where you can manipulate the data. There are no arbitrary limits to the width of any field, no truncation and no limit to the number of fields output. Extracting transaction details is not possible with this function.
If you have not already done so please read the Mail Merge, Export and Report Writer Record Selection and the Report Writer topics before continuing as the process of selecting the records and the fields to be exported will not be covered in this exercise.
This exercise can be safely performed on the live system as no data is changed. You may of course use the Training module.
To extract information from the database and save it in an Excel spreadsheet.
Go to Mail Merge menu > Tenants - Export and Mail Merge
Leave the selection settings as they appear
Have a browse across all the column headings to the right to see what is available
Enter "Tenant Data Check" in the Report Title field.
Select all or any number of the fields you would like to see in the spreadsheet but place the TenantCode and SortKey at the top of the right hand pane:-
It is not necessary to have any sort box ticked as the data can be sorted in the spreadsheet but you can if you wish to.
Press [Export] and select the directory where you want to save the spreadsheet file.
The first time the system default will be ...\PropMan\Export directory subsequently the last export directory will be remembered.
The file name will default to the report name entered above "Tenant Data Check" and can be over keyed.
Change the type of file being saved to "Excel" and press [Save]
You will be returned to the field selection screen where you could make other selections and save the output to other files or in different formats.
In this case press [Close]
Which returns to the record selection screen
Press [Close] again to exit to the main screen.
As I said above, "a bit of a let down".
Now use Windows Explorer to locate the Excel file and do whatever manipulation you wish to do.
So, why would you export data to Excel or any of the other file formats? Mainly because of the manipulation and formatting capabilities available in other software packages. In Excel you could draw up a checklist which prints cell borders make use of coloured text, have fancy headings, use the data to print sticky labels for mailing items larger than the standard A4 page, and on it goes.
The first line in the export file may, depending upon the format chosen, contain the field names commonly required by many programs which import file data.
When exporting it pays to select only the fields required rather than all fields because some Microsoft applications have limits on the number of data fields they will import.
The Mail Merge Cycle - for export
Just as before this final section shows the "production cycle" for the export function and where the cycle can be repeated and / or modified without having to start the entire process all over again.
1. Use the Mail Merge menu as the primary filter
2. Select the specific recipients
3. Press [Export/Print]
4. Select the fields required
5. (Option) Move the selected fields into the order required
6. (Option) Indicate the record sort order required
7. Enter a report title
8. Press [Export]
9. Select the location where the file is to be saved
10. Select the type of file to be output
11. Save the file containing the selected records
12. After saving you are returned to the data selection screen
13. Press [Close] to return to the record selection grid
14. (Option) Repeat steps 2 to 13 to export other records
15. Press [Close].