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Understanding SmartView


SmartView is really very good, even if I say so myself!

I want to dig a little deeper into how SmartView works so you can understand the back end rather than the sex and sizzle on the front end. I think the best way to present this is in a Q&A format:

Does SmartView shows all my standard SmartLists? What about SmartList Builder? How does it do this?
All the standard lists from SmartList are available inside SmartView. All lists built within SLB are also available within SmartView.

SmartView builds all of its standard lists based upon either GP Tables or specific views built for SmartView. SmartView reads the SmartList tables and rebuilds the SQL views/queries based upon the columns, tables and links used for the original list. Therefore SmartView returns data based on its own dataset that is built as a replica of the original SmartList. In regards to SmartList Builder lists we use the same SQL scripts that generate the SLB lists to give exact replicas of each SLB list in SmartView.


There seems to be a couple of differences between some of the lists in SmartList and SmartView?

This can happen as we are using SmartList data to rebuild the lists in SmartView. There should be very few of these and we are correcting any identified as soon as we find them. The reason for some minor discrepancies is that at times we need to interpret what is in the SmartList tables, identify the tables links and determine exactly which table a field is pulled from. In many cases a single field could come from one of 5 different tables and if we picked the wrong one you may find a data difference. We have done our best to make them exact matches – but if you find something not quite right – please let us know. We have also found some fields in standard lists that are out of place and make no sense – so we have removed these fields from the SmartView lists.

How does Security work?
There are two levels of Security. Firstly you need access to the SmartView screen itself. This needs to be granted through the normal GP task/Role security. Power users will automatically have security access.

The second part of security is access to the data lists. SmartView relies on SmartList Security. If a user has access to a list in SmartList – then they also have access to that list in SmartView.

Another point on security is that if your lists are built from views then these views must be assigned to the DYNGRP role in SQL to appear in SmartView.


What about all my favorites from SmartList ?
SmartView has a utility to convert your SmartList favorites to SmartView favorites. My recommendation is NOT to convert all your companies favorites. Only convert the favorites you need to move across to SmartView – and do not bring across redundant lists. Another word of warning is that some filters on favorites may not convert perfectly – given the different filters available in SL as opposed to SV. An example is that in SmartView you need to have the column displayed to filter on it. In Smartlist you can filter on a non display column.

Why is there a SmartView User in SQL?
This is for a coming build of SmartView that will allow you access SmartView without logging into Dynamics GP. When we go that way we will need a user that can connect to the SQL server and we will use the SmartView user. You must make sure that at all time the SmartView user has the same password defined both in SmartView Setup and in SQL.


Some of my old SmartList Builder SmartLists are not returning any data?
SmartView relies on a field in Smartlist Builder called Physical name to build the scripts in the background. In an old version of SmartList Builder this column was not being populated. In the new build of SmartView there is a routine you can run that will populate the physical name field for all SLB lists – so you will no longer have any issues with old lists.

SmartView sometimes takes a while to return any data – where SmartList starts filling the screen right away?
That is a fundamental difference between the products. SmartView goes and gets all the data requested and returns it to screen at once. SmartList goes and gets the first record and displays it, then the second record and displays it and so forth. This is one of the reasons why SmartView works so much faster. There may be a slight delay up front – but what takes minutes to display in SmartList will be returned in seconds by SmartView.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel on November 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I have a SmartList that is created off of a SQL View and I cannot get it to convert to SmartView. Is this because of the permission you mention above about making sure the View is assigned to DYNGRP? I thought it was. What else could cause this report to not convert?

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