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Blogs 02 August 2018 Matthijs van Schaick

Data in the cloud slows down reporting?

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Atlas is the powerful report generator that assures the desired speed!

The latest version of Atlas – version 6.2 – was released a few months ago. It allows you to make powerful reports from different databases when using your familiar Microsoft Office applications. Nothing new under the sun, but connecting to databases in the cloud requires another innovative technique to keep up the speed.

Every company needs clear, accurate and up to date reports and therefore they make use of all the available databases. Until recently every company had servers on premise so they could connect with their own database(s) directly. “When you access a database in the cloud the connection path is longer, also for safety reasons,” states Matthijs van Schaick. “As a negative consequence it can take two or three times longer to generate the reports than before. Atlas anticipated with a new release. They now offer the solution for this irritating problem, because they understood that in this era of speeding up things this was a step back in time.”

The look & feel didn’t change, but they altered a lot under the bonnet

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is taking a detour to come to the required real time data that you need for reporting. Atlas designed its own data entities and it makes use of a new invented label structure. This database structure simplifies the connection to the database(s). The new technology of Atlas caches the data inventively and this way they bypass the delaying detour.”
Atlas announced that this technique will be further developed and the newest version – expected to come out before the end of 2018 – will only retrieve the incremental data and that will really speed up things. “Atlas shows the situation as it was and as it is and that also makes it an effective tool when you plan to switch to the cloud, because you can compare the old and the new database in one Excel sheet.”

All the information from different sources in one clear overview

“Microsoft Dynamics AX is a great all-in-one solution, but for multi-company reporting you absolutely need a tool like Atlas for Reporting.”
For years Dynamic People has implemented Atlas as the connecting link for many clients. “A lot of our customers make a move to the cloud now, so it is good that Atlas has innovated its product and made it cloud proof. Recently we upgraded one of our international customers – with over a 50 offices worldwide – and they work in the cloud now with the same reporting speed as before. All the financial data – including the drill down menus to the source transactions – shown in one readable Excel sheet.”

Nowadays Microsoft Dynamics 365 is also cloud based. “With all the benefits that this brings, but we advise to make use of Atlas for everyone who needs to generate ad hoc reports.”

An upgrade to get what I already had?

“It may look like that and in a way it is true,” Matthijs admits, “but that is one of the consequences when you choose to work in the cloud. Fortunately you also get a lot extra. Since the release of version 6 Atlas offers ‘automation scheduling’ which means that the requested reports are generated automatically and ready when you start your working day. When you use it in combination with Power BI you can also automate and improve the reporting process of Power BI – by caching the data and minimising the traffic load – and it also adds visualisation functionality to Power BI.”

Upgrading and training cost you less than a week

An update to the latest version is not a very big effort. “We make a study of which reports and tables will be used and then we reorganise the structure. Once ready you will get the same kind of reports that you used to get and as fast as before. You must count on approximately four days for this upgrade and the necessary training to be able to make these reports yourself.”

Atlas is integrated in the ribbon bars of Microsoft Office

“Atlas is very user friendly. With Atlas you can make reports with real time data from the Dynamics AX environment in Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. Atlas can quickly gather the information from all the different data sources and show it in one readable report just the way you like it. Too good to be true? Please give a call, we are happy to show a demo!”