It Is Time to Rethink Management Reporter for Microsoft Dynamics ERP
I never thought I would see the day when people would long for the return of FRx, but that's where we are at the start of 2016. FRx 6.7 was buggy, old, and finicky, but it was pretty consistently buggy, old and finicky. It was also set in stone after 12 service packs, so when it broke, it tended to break in known ways. When Management Reporter (MR) was announced, the Dynamics community breathed a collective sigh of relief. Maybe now the Dynamics ERPs would get a modern financial reporting application we thought.
There were big plans to build Management Reporter into a true Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution with both reporting and budgeting components. The use of SQL as a back end and the addition of a data mart promised improved reliability and performance. For a while there was a roadmap with a coherent direction for MR as well. Somewhere along the way Management Reporter got lost, or Microsoft got bored with it, or an executive realized that, while necessary, it doesn't make them any money.
Management Reporter 2012 was released in March of 2012 and was supposed to fix the initial release's shortcomings. Now, almost four years later, there are 14 cumulative updates, the rough equivalent of service packs, and users are still feeling pain. That's two more than FRx 6.7 for the accountants in the room.
The data mart continues to be buggy, and not in consistent ways, yet Microsoft actively discourages the direct connection option. The budgeting component was delayed repeatedly and then mercifully scrapped. This leaves Forecaster, another product in hospice care, as the official budgeting option for those with more than modest budgeting needs. The roadmap has disappeared. The last one I can find online gets us to 2012. Finally, Management Report seems to have ...
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