Monday, August 03, 2020

UniPhi 16 - Document Template Reports

UniPhi has an in-built template engine that allows you to compile PDF style reports dynamically using the data that is stored in the various modules. The first step in creating one of these reports is to develop the base template. Within these templates are document objects that have predefined formats and queries that pull in the data. For example, you can use the "Budget" document object to automatically pull in the budget of the project into a document as a table (Note there's also chart document objects that would display the budget elements as a column graph).

Over the years we have focused more and more on increasing the flexibility of these objects when presented to the ultimate end user who is using the template to generate the document. This has included things like the ability to hide or display a column, edit column headings and hide rows.

The benefit of this reporting tool over the other 4 is the ability to add commentary and integrate a whole range of content. Hence it is used for two main types of reports - simple notices or letters to external stakeholders and detailed progress reports that explain how a project or portfolio of projects are tracking, The resulting document that is generated isn't really a document but a number of database records but it can be rendered to look like a document using the in-built PDF engine that will transform that data from database records to a PDF document of high professional standard. This includes applying your carefully developed style guide to the document, inserting the appropriate headers and footers, page numbers and controlling versions so the latest and greatest is the one that is sent out.

UniPhi 16 continues on this path with the following changes:

1) Added Expenditure columns to Project Costs document object. This object replicates the contracted view of the costs module but now also displays the expenditure columns that are included in the MS SQL Reporting Services project cost reports that can be run from the reports module (see the previous SQL blog).

2) Budget approval documents will now indicate if an original or approved budget snapshot will be created on sign-off. This helps approvers of budgets to understand better the implications of signing off a document
Budget for approval options in Documents

3) Budget template control now has a rounding option for the total column. This includes displaying the values in thousands, millions etc and is a reflection of the scale of some of the projects being managed in UniPhi.
Round Budget Options

4) Contract Deliverables and Contract Variations document objects now allow the cost code to be displayed as code only, description only, or both code and description. This can be changed by editing the relevant document template and by the end user of the template.
Code Format - Contract Deliverables

5) If a budget document will create a new budget version on signoff, do not allow the current approved budget version to be selected. This was crucial to make sure you didn't create a zero sum budget change which was not the intention of the end user and is linked to item 3 above.

6) Issue Selector document object now allows multiple issues to be selected. This is a game changer as you can now link in all site issues that relate to a variation rather than being limited to one only. The integration of issues with variation valuations, emails and approvals means that a UniPhi project manager is way ahead of the rest of the built environment when it comes to explaining why costs have changed and an adjusted contract sum is what it is.

Document Select - Multiple Issues
Multiple Issues Document Output

7) Progress Claim document object will now include Organisation name in the Supplier list.

8) An upgrade of the PDF engine to remove the annoying double line on tables that would appear on screen but not when printed.

Each release will continue to  enhance and improve the document objects that can be used in UniPhi to get the data you have gone to the trouble of adding out and presented in a neat way. Find out more on our LinkedIn and Twitter.

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