Despite all our best efforts, occasionally – rarely – perhaps inconceivably – there are problems with reports or extracts we create for our end users.
When that happens, we need to know what is going on, and more than just “XYZ is broke” -- we need details. We want:
- Who is reporting the problem (or defect).
- What report or extract the problem is occurring on.
- What parameters the end-user put in, when they ran the report or extract.
- Details of the bad or missing data, formatting, etc.
And we want that issue sent to the proper person or help desk queue. Also, we don’t really want a yellow sticky on the side of our monitor….
We want a time-stamped message that can easily (or automatically) go into a help desk ticket to be assigned to an analyst or report-writer to address the defect.
An easy way to do that is… create a formatted hyperlink on each report (or notifier email going out when an extract is generated) the end-user can click to start the reporting process.
To do this:
- Create a Text Box in either the footer of your SSRS report, or at the very end of the report.
- Right click the Text Box and choose Text Box Properties.
- Give it a Name like ReportDefectLink.
- Give it a Value like Report Issue?
- Click on Action in the left-side pane.
- Choose Go to URL
- Click on the f(x) button on the right side of the Select URL field.
- In the Expression Editor, enter:
- Note that this expression assumes you have a cFacilityID parameter set up on your report. (If your reports are not already facility-aware, you should seriously consider making them so… it will save you so much time in the future!)
- Also note the email address on the first line. You’ll need to change this to match your help-desk mailbox (or the distribution list for your reporting team, or… just your own email address if it’s just you).
- Then when the report runs – if the end-user identifies a problem – they click on that link and a fresh email message pops open:
- The end-user fills in the sections of the email, then clicks Send!
- And the defects roll right into your inbox… or help desk queue.
Store the email address in a custom configuration table in the DR, then fetch it out when the report runs. Then you’ll have a single place to update the email address if it changes.
Review the documentation for your help-desk system. Often they will include a mechanism to create a help-desk ticket from an email sent to a specific mailbox, or even via creating a ticket from a user portal URL.
As ever, if you need help with Meditech DR index creation, reporting, extract or analysis please feel free to give your Iatric Systems Sales Representative a call!