Data-driven Package schedules allow you to use dynamic report data that is retrieved from an external database table at run time to populate the values for a set of reports. You can also use static text and default values should you wish. This allows you to write a single schedule consisting of multiple reports for each destination and saves you the trouble of having to write and maintain multiple data-driven schedules for each report.
This schedule is perfect if you have several reports that share common parameter values that need to be delivered to a common group of recipients.
For a full explanation of Data-Driven Schedules, review Data-Driven Schedule.
To start the Wizard, Go to the Home Tab, and select Data Driven Package.
General - Data-Driven Package Schedule
Unlike a Data Driven Schedule, a Data Driven Package will determine the data driver further into the schedule. In this Section we will define the general properties of the package.
Package Name: The name of the package.
Create in: The CRD folder where the package is stored.
Description: A short description to help other users identify exactly what this schedule is and what it is expected to do
Keyword: Enter some keywords which can be used later by Smart Folders to identify this schedule.
Continue to Data-Driven Package - Schedule
Schedule - Data-Driven Package Schedule
Determine your scheduling frequencies on this screen.
In this section, you will decide when the report will execute. There are a variety of options:
Daily: Run a report every day or at a frequency of days.
Repeat every X Days- EX. Run the schedule every 3 days.
Weekly: Run a report on a weekly time frame.
Repeat every X weeks- EX. Run the schedule every 2 Weeks.
On- Select the specific days of the week the schedule will run. If only once a week, select only the day of the week it will run. EX. Run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Weekdays: Run the schedule Monday through Friday.
Monthly: Run the schedule on a monthly time frame.
Use the following options- Checking this box will enable you to select frequency options such as the “last Thursday of the month.” Also you can include or exclude specific months from the schedule.
Annually: run the schedule every year at a specified time.
Custom Calendar: Select the custom Calendar you wish to use. You can create a new custom calendar from the menu as well. Please see Custom Calendars for a tutorial.
Other: Other scheduling options.
Run Schedule every X Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years
None: No scheduling is required for this item.
Next, you will specify the time that the schedule will run as well as repetition options.
Schedule time: Specify the exact time you want your schedule to run. *Tip: keeping in mind how long it takes for your report, time your schedules accordingly!
Exception Calendar: choose a calendar that will instruct the schedule to NOT run on those specified days. Please see Custom Calendars for a tutorial.
Next to run on: displays the next run date of your schedule.
Repeat ever X hours or minutes: run your reports on a reoccurring basis during a specific time frame. EX Repeat every .25 hours until 5PM.
Enable this schedule: to enable the schedule leave the box checked. To create this schedule disabled, deselect this box.
Once you have finished creating the timing for your schedule, click finish to proceed to the next stage.
Continue to Data-Driven Package - Data-Driver
Data-Driver - Data-Driven Package Schedule Properties
We will now build the data driver. The data driver determines the source for the values that you are going to use in the schedule.
This is where you specify the source and Data selection criteria for the Data Driver.
Click on Build to begin creating your criteria.
DSN Name: Drop down and select a DSN.
We strongly recommend System DSNs so that the DSN is visible to CRD even when the user associated with the DSN is logged off.
All communication to databases (including Access databases) is done through ODBC, so you must setup a system DSN to the database before you can use this facility.
When setting up DSNs we recommend (if possible) that you use Windows Authentication (Trusted Connection). This ensures that your username and password are not required to be stored in CRD (more secure) and overcomes a large number of security restrictions which Windows places on DSNs.
When using Windows Authentication, make sure that the CRD NT service user (or background application service user) has full rights to the database otherwise, though you will connect when you are logged in, automated scheduling will fail if the Service user has not got rights to the database.
When setting up a DSN to a SQL server, you must ensure that the "Default Database" setting is set to the database you are connecting to (Windows defaults this to "Master").
UserID: Enter the User ID CRD should use to log on to the database
Password: Enter the password associated with the above user.
Click “Connect” to connect to the data source.
Parse out your selection criteria using the Simple or Advanced Query Tool.
Click Parse to reveal the results of your query.
Based on your selection criteria, your reports will run against the data in this table.
Click OK to return.
Key Column: Select the key column for the data that is returned for the reports. The information that drives the schedule is required to have a key column so that each row in the table is uniquely identified by the value in this column. The key column is there as an identifier which is used to troubleshoot in cases where there is a problem with one of the records.
Group reports by email address/directory: You can instruct CRD to group reports that are sent to the same email address. Please note that enabling this option disables the ability to embed the reports in the email body for email destinations. You can also instruct CRD to group the reports that are sent to the same directory (for disk destinations).
Merging Multiple Reports
Where the reports are grouped you can also instruct CRD to optionally merge the output of the grouped reports into a single file (PDF and MS Excel formats only). Selecting each option will bring up the options for the output format that you can further customize.
Continue to Data-Driven Package - Output
Output - Data-Driven Package Schedule Properties
Reports in a Data Driven Package have a common destination. Based on your criteria you can specify which recipient will receive the reports in email, disk, SharePoint or any other schedule type.
Add: Click to add another destination. For more information on adding destinations please review Destinations.
Customizing the Destination
With the Data Driven Schedule, you can determine the delivery method of your report based on your data. In your table, specify the delivery method by creating a column for each delivery type (FTP, SharePoint, Email etc.). For each record specify their email, fax number, and so on.
*Tip: for email destinations, simply add a semicolon after an email address to send the same instance of the report to another email address.
Data driving the Report's Distribution
As mentioned above, CRD will pull delivery data from your database.
In this example, we will be using email addresses found in the table.
With Data Driven inserts, simply drag and drop the field that indicates your desired destination (email in this case).
Now CRD will deliver a unique report based base on a corresponding email address.
Customize Recipient Messaging
You can also customize the messaging the recipient receives. Using Data Driven Inserts, CRD will automatically pull data from your table and use it to customize the subject, body or report format.
Simply drag and drop fields from your table to the desired position. For example, to customize an email greeting, type the greeting, and add the recipients name as shown above.
Back to the Main Output section
Edit: Select a destination and click to edit it's properties. Or simply double-click on the destination.
Delete: select a destination and click this button to delete it.
Click to import from the list of default destinations
Data-Driven Package Schedule - Exception Handling
Reports fail for any number of reasons - database connectivity issues, database busy, network issues and more. This screen gives you the ability to tell CRD what to do if it encounters an error.
On error, retry executing: If set to 0, CRD will deem the schedule as "Failed" the first time it encounters an error. The schedule will not run again until its next scheduled time. Change the value to tell CRD how many times you want it to retry running the report before declaring it as "Failed".
Treat as failed if not completed: If a report "hangs", this option tells CRD to declare it "Failed" after a certain length of time and to move on to other schedules in the queue. A report which "hangs" will not report an error, so the "Retry Scheduling" option will not apply.
Perform checks for blank report:
If a report is blank because it genuinely returned no data, recipients can misconstrue this as an error with the scheduler. This option allows you to identify genuine empty reports and instruct CRD on what to do with them.
Fail whole schedule if any report fails: If any report fails in the package, the entire schedule is treated as an error.
Check if a report is blank: With this option you can check if a report is blank.
Ignore the Report and Subsequent tasks: Do not run any custom tasks if the report is determined to be blank.
Ignore the report: if the report is blank, do not send the report. The report will not be delivered to the destination.
Method Tab: Select the Method that will determine whether a report is blank.
Native: CRD will check to see if the report returns any data. If not, the report is considered blank.
SQL Query: Select this option to use a user made query that will determine if the report is blank. If the query returns no results, the report is blank.
Actions Tab: Select an action from the task list. This task will be executed in the event that a schedule is blank.
*Tip: You can send a notification if a report is considered blank instead of sending the report. Simply select “check if a report is blank” then select “Ignore the report.” In the actions tab, select “Send Email” from the list. Compose your email and save.
Data-Driven Package Schedule - Custom Tasks
Add, Edit, delete and change the order of tasks from this screen. For more information about the Custom Tasks module, click here.
Use to export a task list, or import a previously exported task list.
Data-Driven Package Context Menu
Right-Click on a schedule to see the following actions.
Add Report: Use this to add one or more reports to an existing package.
Copy: Use this to copy an existing schedule. You can then paste it into another folder or the same folder. Simply open the folder you wish to paste to, right-click in the "white" space and select "Paste". Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
Paste: Paste a previously copied schedule
Rename: Rename a schedule
Enabled: Schedules are Enabled when there is a check beside this option. To stop a schedule from running, or to "pause" it for a while, select this option to remove the check. Disabled schedules will not run till they are enabled again.
Refresh Package: When a schedule is first created, CRD caches (saves) a copy of the report. All executions of the scheduled are performed using this copy. If you make changes to your master report, you must select this option in order to pull the changes into CRD. This refreshes all the reports included in the package.
Open: Click this option to open the package in a new window in CRD.
Execute Schedule: This will execute the schedule immediately. Note that the next run date and time is not moved on as a result of a manual execution. This only moves on if the schedule is run automatically by one of the schedulers.
Delete Schedule: Selecting this option will delete the schedule.
Properties: Selecting this option will bring up the "Properties" module containing configuration information for that schedule. For more information on Properties, click here.
Split into Single Schedules: This allows you to split the package into Single Report schedules.
Create Shortcut: Use this option to create a shortcut you can save in any location on your PC. Execute the shortcut to execute the schedule in CRD.