Sharing reports and categories: Best practices

If you plan on having multiple people involved in downloading and editing reports and budget forms, as well as sharing reports in OneStop Reporting, you should decide on a routine for this. We suggest to give one person, or a group of people, the responsibility of editing and sharing reports.

First, it is important to understand a few things about reports and sharing of reports in the OneStop Reporting Portal:

In OneStop Reporting, there is a difference between a report (executed) and a report template.

  • A report in this context means a report that’s been run with set parameters. This is a static report; that is, an already run report with set parameters.
  • A report template in this context means a report definition available for users with access to the Live Reporting module. A report template can be run at any time with customized parameters. You can also edit the report template in Excel.

 

There are two ways to share reports:

  • Share reports that are run: When you share executed reports, you send them to the recipients’ Archive or Email.
  • Share report templates: For users that have access to the Live Reporting module, you can categorize the report template and share this category with other users.

 

When it comes to sharing reports and templates, there are a few things you should know:

  • When you publish a report, the report template will be “official”. Other users can access the report template if you categorize it and share
  • You can only share report templates that are categorized. This means, you must create a Category and share this category with your colleagues or clients. This means, you are sharing all the reports in this category. You can add and remove reports in the category as you like. See Manage categories for more information.
  • A report template in a shared category can be assigned to other categories by the users with whom you share your category. These categories can in turn be shared with other users than the ones with whom you originally shared your category. To “withdraw” the report template from other users, you must remove it from the shared category.
  • Unsharing your category will not have any effect on shared categories that you do not own.
  • When you share a report template from the Marketplace with your users, the report template will appear as installed in all recipients’ Get Templates This is to avoid too much duplication. However, if the recipient already had installed this report template, there will be two report templates with the same name in this users list of reports.
    The only thing that separates these two is the name ID (and, hence, ownership of the report).
  • Ownership of a report means that only the owner can change name and delete that particular report. Anyone with Report Designer can edit reports and the last person to perform edits are considered the author of the report.
  • Anyone you share a report to with access to Report Designer can make edits to the report template and upload, and hence overwrite the existing copy.
  • As of today, OneStop Reporting Portal does not have any functionality that allows you to share report templates as read-only. In practice, this means that two people can work on the same report and whoever saves last will have the final version.
  • If you install a report template from Get Templates and you make changes to this report templates (by clicking Edit) and we have made changes to the report template, your changes will be overwritten if you retrieve the report template again from the Marketplace. It is therefore, best practice to change the name of any report you want to edit.
  • If a report has been shared previously, the old edition of the report in the users’ archives will be overwritten by the new edition.
  • Unshare reports: Be aware that even if you didn’t originally share a category, you can still unshare other people’s reports in a category. This happens if you click a report in a shared category and click Categorize and then deselect the check box in front of the category (there will be a Remove text marked in red). If you the click Apply, this report will be removed from all users who have this shared category. This entails a risk because the owner will not be made aware.

 

Be also aware:

  • When you click Send to Archive on a report that has already been shared to another user or group of users, you will get a warning that this report already has been shared and if you would like to send the updated reports to the recipients’ Archive. This report will then appear as unread in their Archive.
  • When you upload a report template via the Upload button, it is not considered as an OneStop report template even if it is stored with the same name as a report in the Marketplace. If that same user that uploaded the report template retrieves a template with the same name from Get Templates, his or her uploaded report template will be overwritten. If another user does this, it will not be overwritten and there will be two reports with the same name. Hence, it is the name + user id that determines which reports will be imported.

 

Best practices

Best practice would be to have one person or a group of people that work closely together in charge of the reports and the sharing of these.

Best practice would also be to change the name of a report template if you know you will be making changes to it. For templates, only the person that downloaded the template the first time is considered “owner” of the document and can change the name of it (or delete it). However, the owner of a report can assign a new owner. To see who’s the owner of a report, click the top part of the report and click i to see the back of the card.

Also, make users aware that anyone can duplicate reports. Whoever is in charge of the reports should make their users aware that if they will be making their own versions of a report, they should make duplicates and change the name of the reports and work on those rather than working on the “master” document. When you duplicate a report template, then it is copied and added to the list with the same status (draft or published) as the original report template.

It is also highly recommended to decide on a naming convention for your documents.