#GPPT Why Does The Report Writer Screen Close Automatically?

David Meego - Click for blog homepageWith the release of build 29 of GP Power Tools, a feature was added that will automatically close the Report Writer Screen Output window after a period of time.

As customers have been upgrading their systems to the latest GP Power Tools build they have been noticing that the Report Writer Screen Output closes by itself.

This article explains how to change the timeout setting and why this new feature is so important.

Controlling the Timeout feature

The Report Writer Screen Output timeout feature is controlled from the Usability tab of the Administrator Settings window. While the feature can be disabled it is highly recommended to leave it enabled. The default timeout is set to 5 minutes which can be extended as required if 5 minutes is not long enough.

It is also possible to control the feature on a per user and/or company, user class, security role, security task or modified alternate ID basis using the User Button. This option can be used if there is a user who needs to run a very large report and needs the Screen Output window left open. However, there are consequences of disabling the timeout feature.

Importance of the Timeout feature

The Dexterity Report Writer runs as a background process, this can be seen by opening the Process Monitor window when you run a report. The Screen Output window can only show a single report at a time. This means that a second report printed while the Screen Output window is open will sit in the Process Monitor background queue preventing any other background processes queued up behind the report from running.

Background processing is used for many long processes or reports, such as posting and trial balance reports. But you might not realize that background processing is also used whenever there is a process that runs which can be stopped by the user. A common example of this method of “interactive” processing is when Smartlist displays data into the right hand ListView pane.

Background processing is also used with Timed processes. These can be view by changing the queue on the Process Monitor window to Timed.

When a Timed process runs, the code to execute is added to the bottom of the Normal Background Queue waiting to be processed. Depending on how the Timed Process is written it will either remain in the Timed Queue or it will be added back to the Timed Queue after the code is executed.

The problem is if the Report Writer Screen Output window is left open indefinitely, the Background Queue can be left waiting and other Background Processes AND Timed Processes will not be able to execute.

From a GP Power Tools perspective, the Automatic Logout functionality has a Timed process which runs every minute and checks when the last activity was recorded. If the background queue is held up by an open Screen Output window, the Automatic Logout functionality will fail to work.

If Automatic Logout fails to work and close an idle session cleanly, the session might be terminated by a Terminal Server risking data damage and orphaned records.

The solution was to ensure that the Report Writer Screen Output window cannot be left open and that is why this feature was added and why it should not be disabled.

Note: If the timeout setting is increased, make sure that the timeout setting is not greater than the Automatic Logout timeout setting. I would recommend that the value used should not be greater than half of the Automatic Logout timeout setting. AND if using a Terminal Server disconnection timeout, make sure it is at least 60 minutes more than Automatic Logout timeout setting, so GP has a chance to close cleanly before the terminal server session is terminated.

Build 29.3 Improvements

GP Power Tools Build 29.3 improves the timeout functionality by starting the timer when the report completes instead of when the window first opens.

Build 29.3 also improves the Window Memory feature for the Screen Output window. Previously it was only possible to control the size, position and state of the last report when a set of multiple reports are printed (which often happens when posting). With the new build, each report in a set can be controlled individually. This is a great feature if you don’t like how Dynamics GP 18.4 onwards always maximizes the Report Writer Screen Output window.

More Information

See the following articles on Automatic Logout:

Hope this article explains the importance of this new feature.


23-Jan-2023: Added article explaining how to handle when Automatic Logout does not detect activity.

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

4 thoughts on “#GPPT Why Does The Report Writer Screen Close Automatically?

Please post feedback or comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.