Finance/HR Reports Frequently Asked Questions

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Getting Started


Descriptions of Reports


Printing Reports

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Error Messages


Notification of Report Changes


Creating or Modifying Discoverer Reports

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Exporting Reports


Miscellaneous

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Specific "How Do I's"


Scheduling Reports

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Getting Started

Pop-up blockers

In order to use Discoverer Plus, pop-ups must be allowed for the web site.  In your browser (these instructions are based on Internet Explorer) go to Tools, Pop-up Blocker, Pop-up Blocker Settings.  Check your list of Allowed sites.  If it contains *.admin.virginia.edu, then you do not need to make any changes, and can click Close.  Otherwise, in the field labeled Address of website to allow enter *.admin.virginia.edu:
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Click Add and Close.
Note: Toolbars such as  “Yahoo”, “Ask”, “Bing”, etc. sometimes “tag along” with other downloads.  These toolbars have their own popup blockers which will also need to allow popups for “*.admin.virginia.edu” .

How do I log on to Discoverer Plus?
Launch Discoverer Plus from the Integrated System web page and enter the following:

What if I can't logon to Discoverer Plus?
If the correct user id and password is entered, but instead of launching Discoverer Plus, it returns the logon screen with all but the first value on the form is erased, make sure popup blockers are disabled for Discoverer Plus. See “First time user of Discoverer Plus” FAQ above.

Why does Discoverer 11G take a long time to launch?
The first time you logon to Discoverer 11G it can take several minutes before you see the Create/Open workbook wizard screen.  Subsequent logons will be faster.

What are some quick tips for using Discoverer Plus?
Quick Tips on Using Discoverer Plus

How do I modify my user defined reports so they format correctly in Discoverer Plus?  
Usually this can be done by making modifications to page setup options. Click here for detailed instructions.

Note: if your user-defined report is merely a copy of a pre-defined report with minor changes, get the new ISWEB version of the report that has already been formatted for Plus, re-make your changes and do a “Save As” to the database. Your report changes will be saved with your computing ID as the owner. 

How do I share a workbook in Discoverer Plus?
You can access the report sharing dialog box in several ways.

Once you have opened the sharing dialog box via one of the above methods, in the upper right box enter the Computing ID of the person that you wish to share the report with, then click Go. Highlight the user id in the “Available” window and use the arrow to move it to the “Shared” window, click OK. Repeat as needed.  
Sharing takes place immediately, you do not have to save the workbook.

How do I run reports?
The Integrated System offers three ways to run reports:

Other query tools, such as Brio Query, SAS, etc., can also be used to query the Integrated System. However, there is a loss of some functionality such as naming conventions, etc., whenever a tool other than Discoverer is used.

Within the ODS, there are a number of business areas and views that will organize information and reports along the lines of the applications, e.g., a purchasing business area, PBPA Project Billing (grants management) business area, etc.

How can I see all the lines on a Discoverer report?
To see all lines on a report, do the following:

Note: Once you have successfully completed steps 1-4, you should only need to repeat steps 6 and 7 after you first open a new report.

How do I open multiple sessions of Discoverer Plus?
Warning:   DO NOT use any IE or Integrated System shortcuts saved to your desktop or on the task bar located on the bottom left-hand side of your monitor.   ALWAYS follow the steps below exactly.

  1. Click

 screenshot

  1. Then Click

 screenshot

  1. Navigate to the Integrated System web page (you can save the Integrated System web site in your list of favorites and select from there, or make it your home page if you prefer.)
  1. Make sure you are logged on to VPN, then Click  

  screenshot 

  1. Logon to Discoverer
  2. Close the Connection Screen
  3. Repeat the exact same steps above to open a new instance.

Is there any way to make “UVA ODS Specialist-Limited” as my default responsibility?
No, Discoverer Plus does allow default responsibilities to be defined per individual user.  However, you can change your logon procedure when you logon to do the following:

This will force Discoverer Plus to prompt you choose a responsibility from a drop down box, affording you the opportunity to make a conscious decision to select the appropriate ODS responsibility. 

 

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Description of Reports

How can I view descriptions of Integrated System standard reports?

  1. Open the Submit Request Form screen.
  2. Click on List of Values, select the report. Parameters box will open.
  3. Click on the "Help" button for a description of the report.

How can I view descriptions of Discoverer reports?
When you select a report in Discoverer Plus in the "Open Workbook from Database" window, a description of that report will show on the bottom of the window for the workbook. Click the “+” beside the workbook name in Discoverer Plus and highlight a worksheet within the workbook,  a description of that report will show on the bottom of the window for many of the worksheets.

How do I find which ISWEB workbook now contains the old IS report I want to run.
The finance reports have been consolidated into fewer workbooks to mitigate the Discoverer Plus limitation of only having one workbook open at a time.
To locate the ISWEB workbook that contains the old version of the old IS version that is desired; see the “Finance Report Cross Walk” document by clicking here.

NOTE:  The Grant and Non-Grant formats of the FM_Expenditure Detail by Project and FM_Expenditure Detail by Award reports were combined into a single tab in the web version so that the appropriate format prints depending on the type of award.


Printing Reports

How do I print Discoverer Plus reports without having to reenter parameters?
In Discoverer Plus, click the printer icon located under the toolbar at the top of your screen instead of selecting File, Print.

How do I get my Discoverer report to print correctly?
“IS.” reports are formatted to print correctly in Desktop while “ISWEB.” reports are formatted to print correctly in Plus. Reports must be selected accordingly. Check the name of the report in the upper left hand corner of the window and ensure that the correct report is being run for the tool being used.

If you are trying to modify one of your own reports to print correctly, see How do I modify my reports to format correctly in Discoverer Plus.

How can I print my Integrated System standard reports so they fit on 8 ½ x 11 paper?
Use one of the following methods:

  1. Direct output to a network printer:
    1. When you schedule the report, send the output directly to a network printer by clicking "Completion Options" and selecting the desired network printer.
    2. Alternately, from the “Requests” form which shows requests statuses: select Tools, Reprint, and select the desired network printer and desired number of copies.
  2. Use a local printer:
    1. If you do not have a network printer, it is possible to resize the HTML output to print on your local printer that has a "postscript" print driver by doing the following:
      a. Open the Submit Request Form screen.
      b. Click on List of Values, select the report. Parameters box will open.
      c. Click on question mark (?), which opens a Help screen, describing the report and letting you select parameters.
      d. Click OK.
      e. Submit report, and you will see the Requests screen.
      f. Click View Output, and you will see the report, with a menu bar across top.
      g. Go to File menu, and select Print, and you will see the Print screen.
      h. Select Properties.
      i. On the Finishing tab, click on picture so shows landscape position (horizontal).
      j. On the Effect tab, enter 85 in the % of normal size box.
      k. Click OK.
      l. Click OK.

NOTE: The report may still not print on letter-size paper using this method if there is too much information for letter-size paper. If the above steps do not resolve the problem, contact your technical support person, or call the Help Desk at 924-HELP (4357).

How can I print multiple reports in landscape without formatting each one separately?
When running multiple standard reports that you want to print landscape (Discoverer reports are formatted to print landscape), you can reset the setting in Windows, then reset it when you are done. Depending on your version of Windows, the process is: Start -> Printers and Faxes ->Select printer ->Printing preferences ->Advanced ->Layout options ->Orientation ->Landscape. You also may reduce the size of the data on the page by reducing the scale to less than 100%.

When I use the “Print-all-Page Item Combinations” option to print my report, the page item that is in the title portion of the page does not change when the page item changes.  What can I do to fix that?
You can apply this workaround to get around the problem.

The “&Page Items” insert will ensure that individual page item values included in the title populate appropriately when the “print-all-page item combinations” option is selected. However it also spews all page items in a straight line across your report, which is quite unsightly. To hide the inserted “&Page Items” values so as not to detract from your report:

icon  

Note: this must be done on each tab in your workbook that contains page items in the title.

Can I prevent Discoverer Plus from generating an excessive amount of print output when the “Print-all-page item combination” option is used to print a Cross Tab report?
In cross tab reports, page items that have more than one value also contain an "all" value at the bottom of the list. When the "Print-all-page-item combinations" option is selected, Discoverer Plus generates massive amounts of output, as a separate sheet for each "‘all" entry found in each and every page item is generated.  There is no work-around for this issue.  Therefore, it is not recommended to use the "‘Print-all-page-item combinations" option with cross tab reports.

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Error Messages

I received a “Page Not Found” error when attempting to log on to Discoverer 11G.
Most likely you launched Discoverer or the Integrated System webpage from shortcut on your desk top.  These will not work for 11g.  As always – we don’t recommend using desktop short cuts for launching Discoverer Plus. The best practice is to:

    1. Click START
    2. Open new internet browser window
    3. Navigate to the Integrated System web page http://www.virginia.edu/integratedsystem/
    4. Click the Discoverer HR/Finance button to launch 11g

I received an error message that I don’t have privileges to install Java Update.
Discoverer 11G requires a new minimum level of Java (version 6 update 27).   If you have not pre-installed this or a later version of Java,, when you logon to Discoverer 11G for the first time you will be prompted to download and install the correct version. Should you not have administrative rights to install the software, you will need to contact your LSP (Local PC support person) to help you.

I received an “Invalid Username/Password” error message on my first attempt to log on to Discoverer 11G.
There is an intermittent problem with “Invalid Username/Password” errors when logging on to Discoverer 11G for the first time.  Should you get this error message, do the following:

  1. Clear internet browser cache by deleting all browser history
  2. Close all internet browser windows
  3. Open new internet browser window
  4. Navigate to the Integrated System web page
  5. Click the Discoverer HR/Finance button to launch 11g
  6. Log on again

I received an "Unable to connect to the Discoverer Server: null Please contact your Oracle Application Server Administrator" error message.
This occurs when multiple sessions of Discoverer Plus were started from the same browser window, or  when Discoverer Plus is launched from a shortcut on the desktop, a Integrated System shortcut on the desktop or a hyperlink.  Always open a new browser window from the Start Menu, and launch Discoverer Plus from the Integrated System webpage.

See FAQ “How do I open multiple sessions of Discoverer Plus,” and follow the instructions exactly.

I received a “Contact with the Discover server has been lost. To continue with your work, please restart Discoverer Plus.  If this problem persists, please contact your Oracle Application Server Administrator” error message.
Connection to server has been dropped.  This sometimes occurs when attempting to modify a user-defined or pre-defined report for the first time in Plus, other times for unknown reasons.

Click Ok. Exit Discoverer Plus.  Open new IE window from the Start Menu and launch Discoverer Plus again from the Integrated System webpage.  Before attempting to modify a user-defined or pre-defined report, open the workbook and immediately do a save or save as before attempting to modify the report, then make desired modifications and Save.

I received a “Discoverer Plus has exited due to inactivity” error message.
Discoverer Plus times out a session automatically after 2 hours of inactivity. Click Ok.   Open new IE window from the Start Menu and launch Discoverer Plus again from the Integrated System webpage.

I received an “Item <named report column> used by the workbook is missing. Would you like to continue?” message box.
This usually occurs when trying to access a HR_ or Pay_ report and the “-Limited” or “-Restricted” was not appended to the end of the repopulated “UVA ODS Specialist” responsibility.  This could also occur if some other responsibility besides a “UVA ODS Specialist…” was chosen.
Click NO. Exit Discoverer Plus.  Open new IE window from the Start Menu and launch Discoverer Plus again from the Integrated System webpage, this time appending the  “-Limited” or”-Restricted” as required to the UVA ODS Specialist responsibility that is pre- populated.

What causes my report to lock up when I switch off of a Discoverer Plus window and later return to the Discoverer Plus?
There is a known problem running JRE1.6.0.17 (particularly in conjunction with IE 8.) Contact your departmental LSP (PC Support person) to move you to either JRE 1.6.0.22 or higher or switch you back to JRE 1.6.0.16.

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I received an “Out of memory” or “Heap Size” error message.
The Sun Java Plug-in allocates a maximum of 64Mb of memory to an individual applet by default. In some cases, this amount of memory is insufficient, especially when using larger workbooks, running large print or export jobs. You might see an “Insufficient memory” or "'Out of Memory' error messages or very slow performance.

To prevent insufficient memory errors, increase the amount of memory that the applet can use. Note: Never increase this amount beyond 75% of the physical memory on the machine. You may need to check the amount of free memory via the Windows Task Manager before you increase the maximum heap memory.

Have your LSP change the memory setting for the Sun Java Plug-in to 256 Mb. The steps in this procedure can vary depending on the Sun Java version and your operating system. The following steps are for Windows 7 PC clients:

  1. Launch the Windows Control Panel by selecting Windows Orb (bottom left), then select “Control Panel.”
  2. Click Java from within Windows Control Panel.
  3. Click on the Java tab, then click “View” button and type the following in the “Runtime Parameters” column: (click in the box prior to typing) “-Xmx256M” (without the quotes, case sensitive).

Note:There may be more than one version to select from, in which case select the highest version. The runtime parameter “-Xmx256M” should be added to that line.

  1. Click: OK
  2. Click: Apply
  3. Click: OK

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Notification of Changes

Will I be notified if reports are improved or new reports are created?
In the main database browser window of Discoverer Plus you will see a “last update date.”  This date indicates the last time the report was changed. New reports, or significant changes in existing reports, are communicated via some combination of the following:


Creating or Modifying Discoverer Reports

How do I move a Page item down to the column items without it switching places with one of the columns?
In Discoverer Plus, when you drag the page item down on top of another column it will automatically switch places. To use the Drag and drop method to move  an item   from page items/column , you must drag the item down/up to the left of the column where you want it placed but don't release the mouse until you see a black bar before/between the page item/column where you want to place it, then release. If you drag and drop the page item down directly on top of an existing column it will automatically flip that column up to the page item bar. 

Alternately, you may right click on the page item and click “Move To”, the click on the desired location to move the item.

How can I move a page item to the first position on the line without it disappearing?
In Discoverer Plus, to use the Drag and drop method to move a page item click and drag the item over to the left of the column where you want it placed but don't release the mouse until you see a black bar before  the page item where you want to place it, and then release. If you drop the page item in the first position on the page item bar without seeing the black bar, the page item disappears.

Alternately, you may right click on the column and click “Move To”, the click on the desired location to move the item.

How do I check and uncheck existing conditions within a report?
In Discoverer Plus, Sheet, Edit Sheet, Conditions.  Right click on the condition you want to include or exclude, then click either Add or Remove from worksheet.

How do I add a worksheet description?
In Discoverer Plus, Edit, Worksheet Properties.  Enter description and click ok.

How do I turn on row numbers or gridlines in an existing report?
In Discoverer Plus, Edit, Worksheet Properties, Table Format tab.  Click the appropriate boxes and then click OK.

How do I count all rows in Discoverer Plus?
There is no count all rows feature in the web version; the only alternative is set row numbers on as follows: Edit, Worksheet Properties, Table format tab.  Click 'Show Row Numbers' and then click OK.

How can I understand the links, views, and fields to create my own reports by modifying and/or combining information from existing reports?
Take the online class: Discoverer – Advanced through IS Employee Self-Service.  If you are an experienced Discoverer user, have taken the online class and need more help with the tool, sign up for a Discoverer workshop: Discoverer Workshop: Customizing & Analyzing Your Data-IS. 

The workshops are offered twice each month.  They are limited to two learners who bring their own work and get the focused help they need for reports on their own data.

Can I create my own Discoverer Reports?
You may, but it is rarely necessary, and it is extraordinarily time consuming.  In almost all cases, modifying one of the many excellent predefined reports will save you time and give you the results you need.  The online class: Discoverer – Advanced shows the steps involved.

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What causes a “#NUM” or no totals displaying on a total line?
There were some minor changes to the totaling function stating in Discoverer version 10.1.  To get the column to total correctly from the menu bar in Discoverer Plus, select Edit/Worksheet Properties and select the “Aggregation” tab. Uncheck the “Use the default aggregation behavior” check box, check “Show the sum of the values displayed in the contribution cells,” and click OK.

NOTE: If you save the report, it also will save the aggregation option selected, so you will not have to change it again each time the report is run.

Tips regarding Page Items
Page items are found on the page axis (or Page Item) section of a Discoverer Report. Each page item represents a column of data and contains a drop down list of values. Page items restrict data displayed on the report to the value selected from the drop down box. The way they work is similar to data ‘filters’ in Excel. For examples and details, click here.

Tips regarding using the Wild Card character "%" in parameters
The % character is used by Discoverer as a wild card. Often reports will have parameters that contain a ‘%’ character. This is your cue that you may use one or more wild cards anywhere in the parameter field to control how much or how little data the report returns. For examples and details, click here.

Tips regarding changing a parameter to allow multiple selections
If there is a report that only allows you to select one value at time (as in the example below) and you would like to be able to select multiple values at one time, you can change the parameter to allow multiple selections if it makes sense to do so. For examples and details, click here.

How can I create the columns I need in a report?
To create a column in a report, you will need to create a calculation. Often, to create a column your calculation will need to include a function.  The online Discoverer how-do-I desk manual contains a section on functions most frequently used in calculations. This information is also covered in the HRD&T ODS2 class.

Tips for Report Developers
For new reports, you can save time by setting default font and size options before you create your report.  Note: these options only apply to new reports you create; they will not apply to modifications to existing reports.

  1. Tools, Options, Formats (In existing reports, to change fonts you must change each section, data, heading, title, and text area individually.)  
    1. In Data Format, Heading Format, Total Format, and Conditional Format
      1. Select desired font type and size (e.g. Font = Arial Size=10)
    2. In Title and Text area
      1. Select desired font type and size (e.g. Font = Arial Size=10)
      2. To get the font and size to hold, you must also enter a value in the title and/or text area (e.g. “Click here to edit”)
  1. Highlight a page item or a column (or holding down Ctrl key, click multiple columns)
    1. Format Heading 
      1. Select desired font type and size (e.g. Font = Arial Size=10)
      2. Click OK
    2. Format Data
      1. Select desired font type and size (e.g. Font = Arial Size=10)
      2. Click OK
  2. Highlight a Total, then right click  (note this must be done on each total)
    1. Select Edit Total
      1. Select Format Data button on lower right of form
      2. Select desired font type and size (e.g. Font = Arial Size=10)
      3. Click OK
      4. Click OK
  3. To change the Title Font - double-click in the title area
    1. Select desired font type and size (e.g. Font = Arial Size=10)
    2. Click OK

How can I add workbook and worksheet descriptions?

  1. Workbook Description
    1. File, Workbook Properties
      1. Add description where indicated
      2. Click OK
  2. Worksheet Description
    1. Edit, Worksheet Properties
      1. Add description where indicated
      2. Click OK

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Exporting Reports

How can I modify my Discoverer report to make it easier to export?

Warning about Exporting to Excel from Discoverer
BEWARE: Discoverer uses an older Excel standard to ensure maximum backward compatibility, but it also can cause some data from large files not to be retrieved. To be sure that all data rows are retained, select “YES” when asked whether you want to save to a later version.

How do I export to Excel in Discoverer Plus? When I click the export to excel icon, nothing happens.
Discoverer Plus does not launch Excel like desktop did. It saves your file as: “C:/Documents and Settings/<computing id>/<workbook name>.xls” and you have to open Excel then open the file from above location.   Alternately use FILE/EXPORT then choose excel format.  This will allow you to name the file, save it to a specified location and launch Excel when the export is complete.

Why does Discoverer Plus lock up when I try to export to Excel via the File, Export method?
Discoverer can freeze at several places when you try to export to excel.           

If it freezes before it even attempts to export the file:

If it freezes after the export while it’s attempting to open excel with the exported  data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Miscellaneous

What happened to the Information Warehouse data?
Beginning in July 2001, information generated within the Integrated System financial applications went into the new Operational Data Store (ODS) rather than into the Information Warehouse. Effective January 31, 2011, the Information Warehouse was retired. Data has been made available through the offices that own that historical data: Facilities Management, Office of Sponsored Programs, Financial Accounting, and Student Financial data.

How can I receive more training on reports?
All existing classes are open to UVA employees free of charge. You are encouraged to enroll in any of the classes and stay for as much or as little as you feel you need. The ODS 2 class is for more advanced reports users.


Specific "How Do I's"

How do I get more information about a transaction on the detail transaction report?
If the comment field does not provide sufficient information, you will have to contact the person listed as preparing the transaction. In the case of Internal Service Providers, the transaction number should have a beginning code to help you identify the provider. See Internal Service Provider Contacts.

How do I see the invoice payment date on the Detailed Transactions report?
You cannot see the invoice payment date in the report, but you can view the invoice payment date on-line. Sign on to the Integrated System as UVA AP/PO Viewer or UVA PO Purchaser. Open the “Invoice Overview” form and key in either the invoice number (shown on the expenditure detail report as “Transaction No.”), then click “Find”. Click “Overview” at the bottom of the form. On the bottom right hand side of the overview form you will find a “Paid On” date which is the invoice payment date.

Where can I see the Voucher Number or Invoice Number for my Expenditures?
When reviewing information found on the Expenditure Detail reports, you can find the voucher number and invoice number for your expenditures under the column titled "Transaction No."

Do end-dated projects have to show up on reports?
This issue has been discussed in both FUSS and Grants Reports task forces. In addition to end-dates, there are close-dates and project statuses that have to be considered. Because reports are used by different people with different award types, there is no obvious time to drop projects off of the report, even when end-dated. ITS-Enterprise Applications is exploring possibilities and ramifications with central offices. A message will be sent to users if that selection criterion becomes available to users.

How do I find out which employees report to which supervisors?
Log on to Discoverer with either a “UVA ODS Specialist–Limited” or “UVA ODS Specialist-Restricted” responsibility, then run the “ISWEB.HR_Employees by Supervisor and Organization” report.

Is there a way to make manual encumbrances disappear from a report?
There is an option when you run the ISWEB.GA_Project Reconciliation Reports (Expenditure Detail tab) or ISWEB.GA_Award Review Reports (Expenditure Detail tab) report to exclude Oracle manual encumbrances. There is also an option to exclude all labor encumbrances. (Note: UVA Manual Encumbrance Sub-System transactions will always show.)

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Scheduling Reports

What is the advantage of scheduling a report?
One of the advantages for scheduling a report is that you can set it up to run at night or over a weekend, or in the background while you have another report open and active in Discoverer Plus.  The results of a scheduled report are saved in the database and available to you when completed freeing you to do other things rather than waiting for the report to run.

A scheduled report is a copy of the report that runs on the server. You do not need to leave your computer “on” or even be logged onto Discoverer Plus once the report has been scheduled.

Remember: If the original workbook is modified after you schedule the report, the changes will have no effect on the scheduled workbook as it is a copy of the workbook made at the time it was originally scheduled.

How can I use the Workbook Scheduling Feature in Discoverer?
By default, the Scheduling Manager in Discoverer is turned off. Send an email to the ODS Administrator at odsadmin@virginia.edu to have it turned on for you. There will be some restrictions on the use of the Scheduling Manager; these will be communicated to you by email.

Please do not send a request to the ODS Administrator until your Integrated System account is activated as the Administrator cannot activate Scheduling Manager until that time. (Please do not write the ODS Administrator with other types of questions. See Help for other Help resources.)

For more information on using the Scheduling Manager, please see the Word document: Scheduling Discoverer Workbooks.

How do I locate my scheduled workbooks in Discoverer Plus?
From the menu bar, select Tools, Manage Schedules.

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