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Working with Variants

Often times, you run the same report regularly. It becomes repetitive entering the same organizational unit code, account/fund, personnel numbers (PERNR), or personnel subareas (PSA), etc. again and again.

Using Variants

The “variant” is a feature in HR-Payroll applications that allows you to save and reuse the criteria you enter into an application. With this you can more quickly use the same criteria again and again, or have a base to work off to make minor changes. For example, repeatedly using the same personnel sub-area in a given organizational unit, but only having to change the date each time the report is run.

Part I: Creating Your Own Variant

Basic Variant Bar

Making your own variant is simple:

  1. Enter the criteria you use frequently
  2. Click the “Save as Variant” button
  3. Enter a meaningful Name and Description
  4. Then “Save” 

Attributes screen for variants 

Only for Background Processing = ignore this

Protect Variant = if checked, only YOU can change it

  • Pro – no one will accidentally edit it
  • Con – your coworkers cannot update it

NOTE: Variants are not private; others can see them. Keep the name descriptive of the variant’s purpose.

Part II: Choosing a Variant to Use

If there are only a few variants on the application, you will be presented with a list. Here are the steps to use a variant:

  1. Choose the “Get Variant” button
  2. Select your variant
  3. Then choose the check mark 

screenshot of sample variant catalog

Part III: Searching for a Variant to Use

If there are too many variants available, you will receive a search screen. There are three ways to use this:

  • Browse All of the Options. Empty the “Created by” field and run the search to see everyone’s variants.
  • Find My Own. Your MSU NetID is defaulted in “Created by” to help you find variants you created. The green check mark starts the search.
  • Find Someone Else’s. Change “Created by” to the NetID used to create the desired variant and run.

find variant screen

If more than one variant meets your search criteria, you will be presented a list of options. (NOTE: If only one variant meets your search criteria, it will load automatically.)

searching for a variant

Variants We Created For You

Some applications have variants created by Human Resources which would be beneficial for many people who use those reports. For example, the report Recorded Time Entries for Unit has a variant called “/TOBEAPPROVED.” The variant filters to Processing Status for time entries that still need approval.

list of variants with sample of ones created for you 

Which Applications/Links use Variants?

  • ACA Time Report
  • Employee Work Schedule
  • Enter Employee Time
  • HR Forms Workflow Report
  • Org Workflow Table
  • Overtime Premium Hours
  • Pay Change and Cost Redistribution Activity
  • Position Details by Organizational Unit
  • Recorded Time Entries
  • Time Usage and Quota Balance
  • Work Schedules Catalog 

The “Employee Information” report selects MSU organizational units through a hierarchical list. Use the "OrgStructure" button to do this.

org. structure button

Variants with Additional Features

Some links display the last variant you used as a third button in the toolbar, so it is easy to select.

example of variant toolbar showing last variant run

  • Approve Employee Time for Unit
  • Recorded Time Entries for Unit
  • Time Recorded by Fund

The "Additional Selection Fields" button allows you to add more fields to your search screen.

additional selection fields button

  • Employee End Dates
  • Pay Changes Initiated by HR
  • Reminder of Dates

 

 

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