With the exciting news that eOne is taking back full control of SmartList Builder on Jan 1st 2014 – we have had a number queries asking ‘what is actually meant by SmartList Builder?’
So, as a clarification, SmartList Builder is made up of some very distinct products. All of the Products/Functionality are part of SmartList Builder and all will be returning to eOne – and will no longer be available from Microsoft. For those of you that are nervous – do not be. eOne had always developed SmartList Builder and always done all the quality assurance and testing of all aspects of SLB. For the past 6/7 years we simply allowed Microsoft to do the selling for us (and they have done a very good job) – and now we are going to do that as well!
SmartList Builder: Provides the ability to build a brand new SmartList based on any data in any GP module or third party module (or external SQL data). SLB provides detailed formatting of fields to ensure they display as you need them to display for end users. SmartList builder also provides the ability to create and assign GOTO’s to all your new List’s.
Excel Report Builder: Excel Report Builder provides all the power of SmartList Builder – but rather than building a list in SmartList – it generates this same list live into Excel. It is awesome and it is how i do all our internal reporting at eOne (when I am not using SmartView of course). All I do is open the spreadsheet each Friday and get a full picture of how sales went this week.
Navigation List Builder: This is the best kept GP secret ever. Navigation lists are actually very cool – but almost no one knows about them. If you are using the GP web client you will be forced to use Navigation Lists – and rightfully so. BUT – they are pretty much unusable without SmartList Builder’s, Navigation List Builder functionality. Navigation List Builder allows you to add any new list to Navigation Lists – (and importantly allows you to restrict the data to ensure the Navigation List runs FAST). You can also define your own actions – that allows you to do just about anything in GP (or outside GP) from a Navigation List. (Watch for the upcoming NLB/SmartConnect integration which is very sweet indeed).
Drill Down Builder: DDB is to Excel Report Builder what GOTO’s are to SmartList Builder. This lets you build your own drilldowns – which means drill from Excel direct to anywhere in GP you want to go. There is no tool that embodies the Microsoft Stack better than DrillDown Builder.
For anyone out there still sniffing around the GP designer – rest assured it is an entry level product (as designed by Microsoft). It is a good tool for the tiny end of GP rapid sales. It does about 50% of what SLB does, and does NOTHING that ERB, NLB or DDB does. So in reality it is a v1 version of about a 15% of the full functionality of SmartList Builder. The designer is a good tool for the new entry level Rapid Deploy GP customer. SmartList Builder will remain the tool of choice for the rest of us.