10 Things Microsoft Dynamics GP Users Should Know About SmartLists

By - September 21, 2017

Whether you’re new to Microsoft Dynamics GP or have been using the program for a while, you may have found navigating the waters of SmartList to be more than challenging. Here’s a list of some of the most frequently asked questions from our customers:

  • What is SmartList Builder, and how do I know if I own it or if it’s installed? The SmartList Builder product is a powerful tool that allows you to create custom reports using Microsoft Dynamics tables, SQL tables, SQL Views, and SQL scripts. When you purchase SmartList Builder, you also get the Excel Report Builder, Drill Down Builder, and Navigation List Builder as part of the package. If you’re not sure if you own the SLB tool, first go to the Tools menu and check for the SmartList Builder menu option. If you do not see it, it may installed on your machine, but you just don’t have permissions to it.  To check to see if it’s installed, go to Tools > Customize > Customization Status.  If you see it listed, then it is installed on your system, and you will need your IT staff or your partner to assist you with permissions.  If you do not see the SLB tool on your system, go to the Help button on the Home Page, and select About Microsoft Dynamics.  Click on the Options button, and check the list of registered modules for the SmartList Builder tool.  If it’s marked, then you own the product.  Check with your IT staff or your partner to install the product and grant you permissions.


  • What is SmartList Designer, and why should I consider purchasing SmartList Builder if Microsoft comes with SmartList Designer? In 2014 Microsoft decided to transition the SmartList Builder tool back to the original developer, eOne Solutions. With the release of GP 2013, service pack 2, Microsoft introduced the SmartList Designer tool which is their version of SmartList Builder lite. SmartList Designer is an upgraded version of the original GP SmartLists that allows users to create and modify SmartLists. Since its initial release, Microsoft continues to improve the Designer product to make it more competitive with eOne’s SmartList Builder product.  Some additional features include the ability to combine data from Dynamics GP and other data sources when creating new or modifying existing SmartLists, create SmartLists from new or existing SQL Views, create new Refreshable Excel reports and publish to a shared location on the network, SharePoint, or Office 365, use Workflow to submit SmartLists for approval, and assign SmartList Favorites to Advanced Lookup windows.Consider your reporting needs and the ability to get data from a variety of sources and ease of use. The SmartList Builder tool is more robust and flexible. It is recommended for organizations that rely heavily on Excel for reporting and have more complex reporting requirements. I find SmartList Builder to be more intuitive and easy to use. The SmartList Builder tool also comes with three other tools – Excel Report Builder, Navigation List Builder, and Drill Down Builder. For many firms, the SmartList Designer product will fit the bill for their reporting needs. Check with your partner for more information on which product is right for your organization. See link below for differences between Builder and Designer:http://www.eonesolutions.com/smartlist-builder/slb-vs-smartlist-designer/


  • Does the system come with default Security Roles for SmartList Builder and SmartList Designer? For GP 2015 and higher, SmartList Builder comes with the following default security roles for the SmartList tool: SLB_CREATOR, BUILDER_ADMIN, and BUILDER_ALL_TABLESThese roles are mainly for admin users to allow permissions to create and modify the reports. For GP 2015 and higher, SmartList Builder comes with the following default security roles for the SmartList tool: SLB_CREATOR, BUILDER_ADMIN, and BUILDER_ALL_TABLESThese roles are mainly for admin users to allow permissions to create and modify the reports.You will need to create your own custom roles and tasks to grant user permissions to the actual SLB Smartlist objects. For versions GP 2013 and below, SLB does not come with any default security roles or tasks.The SmartList Designer tool comes only with one default task ADMIN_SYSTEM_SL06*. You will need to create your own custom Security Role.


  • When I click on the Columns button to add new columns to my SmartList, why do I not see all of the columns I would expect to see in this report selection? The window automatically defaults to Available Columns


Change the selection to All Columns.

  • How do I save changes I’ve made to columns or restrictions to a SmartList? If you’ve made changes to one of the Default * SmartLists, click on Favorites and type in a Name, select an option to make the SmartList Visible to, click on Add > Add to Favorites.



If you’ve made changes to an existing Favorite SmartList, click on Favorites and click the Modify button to save the changes.


  • How do I know if the SmartList is a canned or a custom report? All Reports listed with an asterisk * behind them and including the default * under the main folder for each module in the SmartList Objects window, are considered canned reports. Reports without an asterisk are canned reports that have been modified and saved as a Favorite.Custom SmartLists created using SmartList Builder OR SmartList Designer will typically have their own folder beneath the main folder of the module assigned during the creation of the report.  Such as the example below with the 401k Deduction report.  If you own the SLB tool, another way to check to see a list of your custom SmartLists is in the SmartList Builder window assuming you have access to this window. (Tools > SmartList Builder)  Click on the SmartList Builder ID and check the list of SmartLists listed in the window.




  • Why is the Modify button grayed out in the SmartList window when I click on one of canned reports or Favorites? The Modify button will always be grayed out if using the SmartList Designer tool AND if you have one of the canned reports OR a saved favorite of one of the canned reports opened.  The system does not allow you to modify these reports with the SmartList Designer tool.  The only types of modifications you can do to the canned reports is to add or remove columns from the default list and change the filters.  The Modify button will only be available with SmartList Designer when you have a custom report opened.If you have the SmartList Builder tool installed and the Modify button is grayed out, this is because the option in the SLB_CREATOR role has been unmarked.



It is highly recommended by eOne Solutions to turn this feature off for users without the Poweruser role as this allows users to make changes to existing/canned SmartLists which can cause issues with SmartLists breaking and/or producing inaccurate results.  See item 8 for more information on this topic.  Another option to turn this feature off if you own SLB and users are accessing GP locally is to remove it from the set file.


  • Why are my SmartList shortcuts breaking, producing inaccurate results, or displaying duplicate SmartLists? These issues are caused by users accidentally modifying the canned SmartList.  The shortcut issue is caused because a user created the Shortcut based on one of the default SmartLists, and then the SmartList was modified using the Modify button.  So the shortcut is pointed at a SmartList that is no longer there.  If you’re seeing multiple SmartLists with the same name when you disable SmartList Builder, again this is caused by modifying the canned SmartLists by accident.There are some distinctions you need to understand about the Modify button in the SmartList window.  If you only have the SmartList Desginer tool, the Modify button opens that product but is only available if you have a custom report opened.  If you have SmartList Builder installed, it opens the SmartList Builder product.  The problem is that users sometimes mistakenly attempt to use the “Modify” button to create a SmartList favorite.To find out which SmartLists have been affected and the users who modified the report, run the following query agains the Dynamics database:select MDFUSRID,MODIFDT,* from SLB10000 where SmartList_ID like ‘.%’



To bring back your original SmartLists, you need to delete the modified ones.  To do so, go to Tools > SmartList Builder, and change the type to Existing.  Then look for any SmartLists with an asterisk behind them.  They should be the same ones listed in the above query.  Pull them up, and click the delete button on each modified one.  This will bring back ALL your original favorites, and all your original shortcuts should work.  Any favorites or shortcuts created since they were modified will disappear as they are pointed at the modified SmartList and not the original one.

Powerusers will have permissions to this window by default.  So it is important to understand how this button works with SLB, and apply the appropriate security restrictions to the Modify button and the SmartList Builder tool as needed.


  • Why is a particular SmartList not visible on my list? It is more than likely because it is a custom SmartList.  If you are not logged in as the sa or as a Poweruser, you will need to have an administrator grant you access to the custom report.  If there is not one already setup, there should be a custom security role and task or tasks created to grant access to users to custom reports.  You can use one general task for all SLB objects or you can create multiple tasks for different types of reports that you only want certain users to see.




  •  Why is my SmartList not producing any results?This is usually because there is a SQL table or SQL View attached to the report. First make sure to grant access to SQL Table Security for the table and/or view.  To grant access go to Tools > SmartList Builder > Security > SQL Table Security.  Select the company and then click the button for either Tables or Views to find the appropriate table or view.



If the report is working for other users, then you will also need to grant access to the table or view in SQL by running the following script against the company or company databases: GRANT SELECT ON {ViewName} to DYNGRP

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