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Viewing and Exporting Reports

When you generate a report using Remote Desktop, the report is displayed in a report window inside the Remote Desktop application (as shown in Figure 4). Report windows look much like a spreadsheet of column view from most database applications. The columns that are included in a report vary depending on the report that you run and the information you select to include in the report. You can sort the report data, ascending or descending, by any column in the report. You can also resize columns and drag them into different orders by clicking and dragging the headers or space between them at the top of the report. Also, for reports that offer information organized into categories, the window includes tabs for each selected category, enabling you to view all information or just information pertaining to specific areas.

Figure 4

Figure 4 Sample System Overview report of a single computer

One very nice feature about report windows is that you can select computers listed in a report and interact with them by using any of the Remote Desktop commands. This makes life much easier because you can run a report to determine which computers need to have a Mac OS X software update package installed. You can then simply select those computers in the report window and use the Install Packages command to deploy that update—you don’t need to go back to the computer list containing the computer to take action.

The toolbar at the top of a report window includes buttons to print the report and to export the report for use in other tools. Printing the report is pretty much self-explanatory (although you can use the Mac OS X Print dialog box to generate a PDF of the report for easy circulation to others). The Export button enables you to export the report data in either a tab- or comma-delimited text file. The file can then be used to import the data into a spreadsheet or alternate database. This is helpful for all types of situations, particularly when you are working with a separate inventory-management tool. When exporting a report, you can specify the location and name of the file, the text-encoding format, and whether to use tabs or commas as field-delimiting. If you want to export only a subset of the report, you can select those rows in the report window before using the Export command and then check the Export Selected Item Only checkbox in the Export dialog box to do so.

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