SmartList is an integral part of Microsoft Dynamics GP as it allows you to see valuable data in easy to view queries. You can restrict the data, save the query, and export it to Excel. Though SmartList is helpful, it does have its downfalls. SmartView is much faster and more user-friendly than SmartList. Let’s dig into a few of the key features SmartView can do that SmartList doesn’t do so well.
SmartList only allows for four search criteria. In many queries, you cannot get the exact data you want because you cannot add needed restrictions. SmartView, on the other hand, does not have a limit to the number of filters you can put on a query. Filters are unlimited. SmartView also has the option to group your restrictions and use ‘and’ and ‘or’ together on those groups to get exactly the data you need.
SmartList allows you to export data to Excel or Word, but the export is slow. If you try to speed it up through setting changes, data validity is compromised. SmartView uses a different process to export the data to Excel, CSV, or PDF and is much faster as it takes a matter of seconds to export. SmartView also provides the ability to copy and paste selected records from SmartView directly into Excel, email, etc.
SmartList sorts the data by the first column when you run a list. You can sort by any of the other columns when you have the data displayed. The sort, however, will reset when you refresh the list and is not saved with created favorites. SmartView will, by default, also sort by the first column, but you can change that when you run the list. You can also sort on multiple columns at the same time. If you save a favorite with different sorting, that sorting will be saved in the favorite.
SmartList can add additional columns and change the order by going to the columns button and making the changes. SmartView makes it easier by allowing you to select the columns to add from the right side of the window. Removing columns is just as easy by removing them to the right. You can also drag the columns around to change the order of them on the list.
SmartList allows you to create Favorites to save specific search criteria and share that with everyone in the system, everyone in the company, those in your User Class, or just to yourself. SmartView will also allow you to create Favorites, but in addition you can assign it to all users in the system or any specific users or classes that you would like. Unlike SmartList, you can assign your favorite in SmartView to a few selected users instead of just one or all. You can assign it to multiple companies instead of just one or all like SmartList requires. The Favorites also have an option to add a description so that you can note the purpose of the Favorite list.
Performance is not something that SmartList excels at. SmartView has great performance gains over SmartList. For example, running the Account Transactions list in Fabrikam which returns 22,227 records, took 1 minute 12 seconds to run in SmartList. In SmartView, the same list took 3.11 seconds to return the data. In that example, SmartView is 24 times faster than SmartList. Running the Sales Transaction list with 81,953 records in a live environment, SmartList took 35 minutes and 28 seconds. SmartView took 24.53 seconds! A typical GP users has multiple lists they run in a day; SmartView saves those users more time.
Features not available in SmartList
There are features that SmartView has that SmartList doesn’t:
SmartView allows you to group your data by any field(s) by dragging the field(s) to the grouping.
SmartView offers search options that allow you to search for specific criteria in the returned data results. You can search all the data for a value or search a specific column.
One of the many requests for SmartList is to have totaling for the columns. This is not an option in SmartList, but is available in SmartView. Fields will automatically be summed, but count, average, min, and max are also available for the columns. When using the grouping option, you will get totals for the complete list as well as totals for each grouping.
SmartView will allow you to open multiple instances of it so you can multitask and look at multiple lists simultaneously.
SmartView has an option called SmartView External. This gives you the same SmartView features that you had when logged into Microsoft Dynamics GP, outside of GP. This is a great option for those users who don’t need to be GP users, but need access to something like SmartList to view data. It has all the same functionality as the SmartView running inside of GP except for the GoTo’s that link you to the different windows in GP. It does not require a GP user license to run though.
SmartList is a good, basic starting point for GP users, however SmartView has more functionality and is much faster – providing a busy GP user a better reporting solution.