Monday, September 29, 2014

Crystal Reports : Where Did My Group Tree Go?

Very recently a client asked: "where did my Group Tree go?"

They were referring to the left-hand windowpane where the Groups are displayed in a hierarchical view.

You may enable or disable the Group Tree by selecting View | Group Tree from the top level menu.

Crystal Reports : Introduction to MID()

Ah, MID(). Is there anything you can't do?

Let us suppose that we are reporting on history, and our field {HISTORY.REF} has some annoying characters padded into the beginning of the string, like this:

"oc: Justin Hill - Appointment"
"oc: Gene Marks - Phone Call"
"oc: Corey Babka - Next Action"

For cosmetic purposes, we will create a formula to strip out the "oc:" with the following code:


This will return the entire string, starting at character position five.Using the function as outlined above will return;

"Justin Hill - Appointment"
"Gene Marks - Phone Call"
"Corey Babka - Next Action"

This is also great for cutting out parts of model numbers, serial numbers, etc.

Crystal Reports : Zero Divide Blues

When division occurs within calculated fields, there is always the risk of getting the dreaded "zero divide error". This happens, obviously, when a calculation tries to divide the number zero.

And since we all know that underlying data cannot be trusted 100%, it is necessary to test for these zero divide errors within our Formula Field.

Example: The formula field called {frmSalesPerDay} is a simple division of {NumSales} by {NumDays}.

So our {frmSalesPerDay} code should look like this:

if {NumSales} = 0 then 0 else {NumSales} / {NumDays}

So, if {NumSales} equals zero, then we simply return a zero and exit the formula. Otherwise, we let it perform the division.

This is important any zero divide error will halt the report completely!

Crystal Reports : Selection Logic Unleashed

Here is a nice technique to use when your selection criteria starts to get out of control; offload the "heavy lifting" to a formula, then just reference that formula within the Selection Expert.

For instance, let us imagine our Selection Criteria needs to test for multiple things; {CONTACT.STATE} should be either NY, PA or NJ, AND {CONTACT.SOURCE} should be "XMAS 2011" AND {CONTACT.LASTESTIMATE} is at least $100 but no more then $500.

Now, the Selection Criteria for that would look something like this;

Note the use of enclosing parenthesis around the last two conditions; we want the LASTESTIMATE to be BOTH greater than 100 and less than 500.

But you are a Crystal Reporter, and know deep in your heart that someday, someone will need you to change this report. Here is how I would handle the same situation; I would create a separate formula for each condition, thusly;




Now, once those formulas are created (and can be viewed right within the report itself, making troubleshooting very easy), you can use them in the Selection Criteria like this;

{@frmState} = TRUE AND {@frmSource} = TRUE AND {@frmEstimate} = TRUE

This leaves lots of room for compounding, making changes, and plugging in the eventual Parameters. Try it!

Crystal Reports : Setting Grouping at Run Time

This is neat: Let us suppose we want a report to be Grouped on either Users.UserID or Users.UserTerritory, depending on a Parameter field.

So, provide a simple parameter, {?Group} and let the user set it to "UserID" or "Territory".

Now, within your report, create a formula field called {@Group1} and paste in the following code:

IF {?Group} = "Territory" THEN {USERS.USERTERRITORY}

Now, create your Group in crystal, and use {@Group1} as your Group Field.

This way, the user can select how the report should group itself, affecting all summaries, etc.

Try it!

GoldMine : Streamlining Scheduling

In the Date field when scheduling an activity, instead of typing in a date or using the lookup to bring up a calendar, type in 1D. Then, when you tab or click to the next field the date will be set for 1 day from today.

Do you want to schedule the activity 2 days from now? Just type in 2D; and for 3 days 3D.
D works for Days, W for Weeks, and M for Months. So to schedule something 2 months from now, just type in 2M!

Sometimes you have an activity that you want to complete on a particular day, but it doesn’t matter what time you do it. In the Time field, you can prioritize activities instead of scheduling specific times. Instead of entering a time, simply enter A, B, etc. and GoldMine will prioritize them in alphabetical order according to your notations.

Please note: Prioritizing activities means they will show up in the Task portion of your Calendar, but will not be assigned a block of time, so we recommend you use this shortcut for flexible activities only. All activities will also appear in your Activity list.

GoldMine : Changing Data and Label Colors

Did you know that you can change both the Data and Label color of any field on the Contact Record? This can help make "required" or important fields stand out for the end user. To do this;

(You must have Master rights)

1. Right-click on the field you want to modify.

2. Select Properties, go to the Color tab.

3. Use the "Colors" button to modify the Label and/or Data color.

(Expert users will notice that they can drive these values with xBase expressions - very cool)

4. OK you way out.

One of the more popular uses of this I've seen is to turn certain labels red to make them stand out as "required"*.

* - I put required in quotes because you can also set the field properties to be truly Required, but that is not impacted by anything listed above.

GoldMine : Who's Logged In?

Did you know that you can inspect who is logged into GoldMine at any time? There are two ways to accomplish this;

1. Select Go To | Calendar from the top level menu. Then click on the "Peg Board" tab. From here, you can see everyone who is in GoldMine and the amount of inactive time they've accrued since their last keystroke.

If you don't see all the Users in the list, right-click, select "Users", and add the desired names to the list.

2. Select Tools | Users Settings. From here, you can also see who is logged in or out. This feature is only available to "Master" users.

This is a great way to see exactly how many of your precious GoldMine licenses are being consumed at any given moment.

GoldMine : Using the Clipboard

This is such a useful feature, it's a tragedy that it's so hidden. You are able to copy values from the Current Contact Record into the windows clipboard, then paste them into something else as separate lines.

1. Select Edit | Copy Contact Details from the top level menu.

2. When prompted, select which values you want to copy from the record. A good place to start is selecting "Name, Address".

3. Hit OK. The corresponding values from the Contact Record are now in the clipboard.

4. Simply Paste the contents into a Word document (or other windows application) as you would Paste anything else.

This is a great way to send someone contact details without having to copy out each individual field on the record.

GoldMine : Multiple E-mail Addresses and Websites

Did you know the E-Mail and Website fields on the Contact Record can actually store multiple values? They appear to be "normal" fields, but when you click into them, a window is brought up that lets you choose the following options;

- Hit "New" and/or "Delete" to add/delete a new value.

- When adding an value, you can mark it as "Primary" (which is the one that shows on the record).

-  E-Mails can be marked as using Rich Text by clicking the associated checkbox.

Pro Tip : You can see all the available E-Mail addresses and Websites under the Details Tab as separate rows.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Bulk Edit More Than 250 Records

I recently added a new field to the Account entity in CRM.   The field, "Client Since", is the year the Account became a client.  Since I just started my business this year, this field can be set to "2014" for all of my existing 3,000 Accounts. Fortunately, I can use the Bulk Edit feature accomplish this.<yay!>

Problem: You can only Bulk Edit the records on the current page of a View, which is a maximum of 250 records.  To update 3000 records, I'll have to do 12 bulk edits.  <Sigh.>

Solution:  Use the Outlook Client!  CRM for Outlook does not have a limit on the number of records per page.  Here's how to update your records in the outlook Client:

Step 1- Select the View with the records you wish to update

Step 2- Pin the View: Right Click the View and select "Pin this Tab"

Step 3- Hit CTL-A to select all the records in the View

Step 4- Click Edit from the Command Ribbon

Step 5- Enter the value for the field you wish to update, click OK


MSCRM 2013: Keeping Your Online CRM Up to date

I recently asked a client if they had updated their CRM with the Spring '14 updates.  They responded that they had the "cloud-based version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft takes care of all the updates".  Mostly True.

Some updates require a System Administrator to install the update.  Microsoft sends out plenty of email announcements when updates are available, but in case you missed them, here's how to check if your CRM Organization is up to date.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings==>Administration

Step 2:  Scroll Down!

Step 3: Click on Install Product Updates:

If there are no Product updates, you will see this message:

If there are product updates, click the Install Update button.  Note: Your CRM may be unavailable for a few minutes during the update.


MSCRM 2013: Viewing User Security Roles

Setting up Security Roles is a very important step in configuring your CRM.  It's also very complicated and usually an iterative process.  As the months go by, it's easy to forget which users have been assigned which roles.  If you are not a System Administrator, you may not even know what Security Role(s) have been assigned to you!  You can, of course, go to the User record and click Manage Roles to view each user's Security Role(s), this can be tedious if you need to check multiple Users.

Fortunately, there's an out of the box report called the User Summary which can help you sort things out- and you don't have to be a System Administrator to run it.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings==>Administration==>Users

Step 2: Click "Run Reports" and select User Summary

Step 3: Select All Applicable records and click "Run Report"

The report shows each user in CRM and the Security Role(s) assigned to them

Very handy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ZOHO CRM - Quickly and Easily go back to where you were...

As you are moving around in and through the data in your CRM, sometimes you find you need to go back a revisit a record you were just looking at.  You might find occasionally that it seems to take a few clicks too many get back there... No More!  The easy way to navigate back to records you were just in is to click the little clock icon below and to the left of the Top Menu Bar. (see below).  A list of the previous10 records are listed with clickable links!

ZOHO CRM - You can put help tips and hidden fields on Web forms!

Zoho CRM provides an easy drag and drop interface to create a form you can host on your website. When the form is completed and submitted it will create a record in your CRM from the data entered into the fields on the form. There are Lead, Contact and Case forms.

Easy enough to drag and field onto the form, but here's the tip... after you add the field to the form, mouse over the field to expose the settings icon (see below).  Click the settings icon to bring up the Field Properties window where you can choose to make the field a hidden field, mandatory, and add a hint next to the field that can help your website visitor determine how to complete the field.  You can also change the Label here, if you'd rather the label on your form be something different than your field name.


ZOHO CRM - Create Sections in your Zoho Web Forms and other enhancements

The Zoho CRM drag and drop interface for creating web forms is really nice and easy to use, but it has its limitations... you can basically create a single column list of fields with a title, and choose your background and text colors.  Wouldn't it be nice to maybe organize the form fields into sections (especially if you have a lot) with section titles and lines?   Here's how you do it...

Drag the fields into the window in the order you want them on your form.  Mark fields mandatory, and add hints if desired (see previous tip on how to do that).  Next, enter the URL links, ownership assignment strategy, and notification information.  The last page provides the embedding options.  I usually recommend the <iframe> method so that the embedded form is automatically updated when the form is changed in CRM, but if you want to augment the form, copy and paste the html code into an html editor.

Zoho CRM creates the form as a <table> with two columns.  To add Section headers with an underline, simply insert rows between the fields where you want to create a section break:

<tr><td colspan="2">SECTION HEADER <hr></td></tr>

if you want to give these section headers some style, simple add <span> tags with embedded CSS with the text like this:

<span style="font-size: 22px; color:red; font-weight:bold;">SECTION HEADER </span>
results in:


There is no limit to what you can do here, just be careful not to change any of the Zoho CRM specific data!

Monday, September 22, 2014 - Adding Trusted IP Addresses

Save time by adding your IP address to Trusted IP Ranges, which will allow you to not have to use your security token when loading data with Dataloader.
When accessing the Dataloader you have to append your Salesforce token to the end of your password, and if you make changes to your Salesforce environment, Dataloader does not automatically update, you have to re-login; this means re-entering all your info along with the long security token code…
How can this process be sped up? 
First you have to find out your IP address.  Go to and copy your IP address.

Then, add this as the 'start' and 'end' IP addresses in Security Controls->Network Access

Now just log into the data loader with your org’s Username and Password and you are all set! - Making related lists work best for you

You can sort records on your related lists so you are viewing the most useful data, and also edit how you see the records.  This is important and can be adjusted in the related lists.  For example, you may want to see records based on a particular date or number field, not necessarily just the most recent record.  Lets take a look:
Go to Edit Layout on your sidebar if you are on a record detail page, if not on the page itself, you can access the Page Layout from Setup, under Customize for Standard objects or Create for Custom objects.
Once on Edit Page Layout, scroll down to the related list you’d like to edit, Click on the wrench icon.

To set up your columns, choose the fields from the Available Fields you want to display in the list, add them to the Selected Fields list, and put them in the order you want (top-to-bottom will come out left-to-right on the page).
Now, lets organize what records we want to view.  Below the columns section, there is a "Sort By:" section.  

Choose a field from the dropdown, then pick ascending or descending to pick which values go on the top, you can pick from most field types.

There you go, now you are seeing the data and records that best assist you and your organization! - Adding Multiple Fields to an Object

Need to create a bunch of fields in an object?  Well instead of going one-by-one, and through the many steps it requires in the standard way, take advantage of the Schema Builder and save time.

First, go to Setup, then under Build in the left hand column, click on Schema Builder.

Once the Schema Builder has opened, you will see two tabs (Elements and Objects) in the left hand column of the Schema Builder.

Next, click on the Objects tab and it will bring up an option to select and view any of your objects, you can also use the search box to find an object, in this example we’ll use Account:

Next, click on the Elements tab, which contains the field type list.

You’ll see all the current fields in the object.  To add a new field, just drag and drop the type of field you’d like from the Elements list.  In this example we’ll choose “Text”.
Once the element is dragged and dropped, a new popup window will appear as shown below:

Fill the object information into the popup window and click Save. The field will get added to the object.

Simply repeat this quick and easy process in order to add multiple fields and save a bunch of time!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Crystal Reports : Ignoring Time Precision

Here is something very handy when you start to deal with databases that track both a date and time precision for records.

Let us imagine we are trying to group call records based on {CALLLOG.CREATEDATE}, but when we create a simple Crystal Group on this field, we end up with a bazillion little groups, like this; (may look different depending on your database back end)

01/01/2011 13:45:015
01/01/2011 13:47:001 on and so forth. What we are really after is "calls per day", so instead of Grouping on the raw database field, let us Group based upon a formula;


The DateValue function returns only the date portion of the field, so now you'll only have one group for each unique "day" in your database.

I've always been a huge fan of grouping on formulas, it allows you total control over what values are being "grouped on", essential when dealing with less than pristine data sources; here you could even choose to exclude certain values, or build in any logic you'd like. Try it.

Crystal Reports : Count Formulas, not Fields

Using simple Summaries (Insert | Summary) in Crystal is great, don't get me wrong, but they are inflexible. For instance, when summarizing (trying to get a count) on {INVOICE.INVNUM}, ALL invoice numbers are evaluated, including duplicates (unless a Distinct Count is being used).

Which usually is fine, but there is always some sort of exclusion to be made; we only want invoices that DON'T begin with "000150" because it a House Account, etc. And you could handle this within your Selection Criteria handily enough; but let's imagine that it screws up other parts of the report; excluding House Accounts impacts other Subtotals, etc.

So to accomodate this little pickle, we will use a formula to count, one record at a time. This is actually a very popular Crystal Technique and you see it a lot in older, more "veteran" reports.

Create a formula called
IF MID({INVOICE.INVNUM}, 1, 6) <> 000150 THEN 1 ELSE 0

So what the formula is doing is evaluating the first six digits of the Invoice, and if it ISN'T a House Account, it returns 1 (we want to count it), otherwise it returns 0 (we want to exclude it).

Now, create a simple Summary on {@InvoiceCount} and make it a SUM operation, this way you get a count of only the records you want (for the particular task at hand), without sacrificing any existing Selection Formulas or Summary operations.

Crystal Reports : Ordering Groups

When Inserting a Group in a Crystal Report, the report then becomes automatically sorted by the highest level Group. This is usually no big deal, but sometimes, you just want a little control over "what comes first", by which I mean "what is printed on the first page".

Let us consider my father's management report for Hill's Heating. In his accounting software, Hill's Heating appears as a normal company alongside customers, so it would always appear on the sixth or seventh page of the Report, alongside the rest of the "H's".

So what I did was instead of Sorting the report on {CONTACT.NAME}, I created a Group on it instead. Then went into my Group Expert (Report | Change Group Expert from the top level menu) to enable the Specified Sort Order under Options. You'll be able to select it from the "in ascending order" drop down list.

Once you select Specified Order, the "Specified Order" tab becomes available. Here you can explicitly add the values you'd like to appear first in your "sorted" list (by selecting the items from the "Named Group" drop down list).

You will also NEED to go into the "Others" tab and select "Leave in their own Groups", otherwise any Group not defined the in the Specified Order is resigned to this "Others" category.

This way, I could force Hill's Heating to the top of my report, then resume normal sorting after that first entry was out of the way. Try it.

Crystal Reports : Ode to the Tractor Printer

To make a report easier to read, you can alternate the background color to help different lines stand out. (Think of the old green and white striped paper you used to put in your tractor printer years ago)

To make this happen, we will need to format the Details Section of our report.

Step #1 : From the top-level menu, select Format Section.
Step #2 : Select the "Detail" section on the left hand side.
Step #3 : Click on the "Color" tab on the right hand side.
Step #4 : Click the [formula] button with the "x-2"on it to bring up the formula editor.
Step #5 : Paste in the following : if RecordNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

This will alternate a white and silver background for each row printed.

Pro Tip : To alternate color for Group rows, paste the following into the Group section color formula: if GroupNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

Crystal Reports : Using the Groups Expert

You may need to change the existing report "Groups" after defining them.
To do this, select from the top-level menu, Report | Change Group Expert.
Here, you will see all your defined Groups. You may select any of them and use the "up" and "down" arrows to change the Group order.
This is a nice way to regroup the report without having to do a lot of work.

GoldMine : Create your Cockpit; Adding Toolbar Items

Why we never think to do more of this, I'll never know. The problem is thus;

To Complete a Call, I go to Complete | Unscheduled Call | Outgoing Call. I have to do that EVERY TIME. It's a pain, and I don't even know it. I'm so used to being forced into navigating menus, I never stop to think "this is dumb".

Same deal with Scheduling something. I go to Schedule | . If I'm always scheduling Calls, why am I always picking "Calls" out of a list of possible menu-items? It's inherently inefficient. 

You can add any menu-item in GoldMine to your toolbar;

1. Find and click on the "little down arrow" which is all the way to the right of your toolbar.

2. Select "Add or Remove Buttons".

3. Select "Customize", the go to the Commands tab.

4. From here, click-drag the desired menu-item up and onto your toolbar. Buttons will spread themselves to make room.

5. To remove buttons from the toolbar, right click on it and select Delete.

6. When you're done arranging your masterpiece, OK your way out.

You'd be amazed at what shaving a few mouseclicks off can do for productivity. Try it!

GoldMine : A Few Simple SQL Queries

I wish more folks would use the SQL Query tool in GoldMine. But I think that's mostly because I'm a data geek. I love seeing what's underneath the system, all those extra columns that we never observe from the graphical interface.

At any rate, here are a few simple queries that you can run right now (Tools | SQL Query). These queries will return ALL the columns. But once you get a sense of what's there, it's easy enough to pick out just the columns you want;

A list of all calls completed in the last seven days;




A list of all appointments completed in the last thirty days;




Just the user, the date and the notes of all appointments completed in the last thirty days;




...and don't forget the all-powerful Right-click | Output To | Excel. Have fun!

GoldMine : Using the Notes Tab Effectively

I see this on a weekly basis; the Notes tab comes up as a problem. Whether I'm upgrading an older GoldMine to the latest build, or trying to report on history, this can always present itself as a challenge. The reasons are thus;

- The notes tab is free-form HTML text. As such, is usually riddled with carriage returns and all manner of nonsense. Exportation becomes tricky to anything other than, say, Excel or directly into a SQL server. Kiss any kind of text-file export goodbye.

- Depending on the version of GoldMine you're running, the Notes tab is limited. Which means it's running out at the bottom. No, really. If you've been tracking a decade of call history in the Notes tab, you might want to scroll down and make sure years 1-3 are still there.

Technical Note: GMPE 8.5 and up is not affected by the notes limitation.

- Reporting is painful. There's no way to differentiate between Calls and Appointments. What was just a simple note, and what was actual action for the client? So, any kind of meaningful measurement like "Calls per day" becomes impossible. 

In my experience, the Notes tab excels in one thing; storing general info about the client. I've seen driving directions, parking validation procedures, shipping instructions, kids names, you name it. Which is all good stuff to have, but it's general. It doesn't run on for pages and pages. 

Remember, the History tab is there to record all your Calls, Appointments, Actions, etc. It's reportable and unlimited.

Pro Tip : The Notes tab can be disabled on a per-user (or global) basis in Tools | Options | Record | Tabs.

GoldMine : Alarming Everything... And Dealing with the Consequences

Certainly, in GoldMine, you may alarm every kind of Activity Type. This is done by checking the Alarm box directly on the "Schedule a..." window in GoldMine. Advanced Alarmers will sometimes set the alarm date/time specifically, depending on what kind of window they want before their activity. For instance, if I schedule an appointment that's an hour away, the default ten minute lead time isn't enough.

And, of course, Alarms summon the Alarms Window. This is the "screen pop" that happens when GoldMine is open, and from here you can do a few different things;

1. Click "OFF" to turn the selected Alarm off permanently. The scheduled item is left intact.

2. Click "Snooze" to delay the next alarm screen-pop by X minutes. You can choose your favorite interval.

3. Click "Ignore" to snooze for one minute only.

4. Click "Suspend Alarms" to prevent any further alarms until you restart GoldMine.

5. Click "Show/Hide Notes" to inspect the scheduled items' Notes.

6. Click "Delete" (in the lower left-hand corner) to DELETE THE SCHEDULED ITEM. This is the same as if you deleted it from the Calendar. And just as irreversible.

7. "Complete" works as you would expect, it completes the selected Alarmed Item.

8. "Schedule", "Attach a Process" and "View Contact" all work as you might expect; they bring you to those areas of GoldMine when clicked.

What no one ever talks about is "When" to Alarm. The Boss will typically say "Alarm Everything, because Everything is important!" And, in his defense, that's true. But what happens when there are Too Many Alarms? For starters, the scheduled user will get into the habit of continually clicking "Suspend Alarms" because they are annoyed by the constant screen-pop. From what I observe in the field, a better result is achieved through alarming priority items; allowing the presence of an Alarm to denote importance versus being a simple nagging reminder.

GoldMine : Using the Search Center to Create a Filter

Did you know that you can save any Search in GoldMine as a Filter?

1. Bring up your Search Center by clicking on the "Search" button on the top level toolbar.

2. Perform your Search normally.

3. Now, click the "Save" button in the top left-hand corner of the search center. Select "Save as Filter".

4. Give your new filter a friendly name, hit OK.

5. You're done! The Filter now appears in your collection of filters.

Pro Tip : Don't forget that you can add/remove levels to/from your searches by clicking on the "plus" or "minus" buttons in the top right-hand corner of the Search Center.

Monday, August 25, 2014

ZOHO CRM - Using Workflow Alerts to Update Customers

A great way to keep your customer's informed on the progress of their Cases in your system is to use a Workflow Rule in conjunction with an Alert to send your Customer an Email when the status of their Case changes.

STEP 1: Create an Email template that pulls in and nicely formats the applicable fields from the Case/Solution modules that will provide your customer with sufficient insight into the progress made on the case.

STEP 2: Set up the workflow rule to trigger when the Case Status field is updated.

STEP 3: Create and associate an Alert to the Workflow Rule, using the email template created above, that gets sent to the Customer's Email.

ZOHO CRM - Removing Modules you're not using.

Zoho CRM is built for action! There are a total of 20 modules that help you manage every aspect of the Sales Process: from Marketing all the way to Customer Support.  But suppose you only want to use Zoho CRM for Marketing and Sales?  How do you remove all those other modules that are cluttering up your navigation menu?  EASY!

Set up -> Modules -> Manage Modules

Move the modules you are not using to the Unselected Module list by clicking on the module name and then clicking on the left pointing arrow.  Then click Save. This will remove them from the Top Navigation Bar.

If you're using many of the modules and want to better organize them in the navigation bar, see our tip on using Tab Groups.


When you are using most of the modules Zoho CRM has to offer,  often times you find yourself hunting across the top navigation bar and down the over-spill list for the name of the module you need to use.  Use the Tab Group feature to better organize your modules and make them easier to find.  Tab Groups are kind of like folders.  You create a Tab Group and then place modules into that group.  When you select that Tab Group ONLY the modules associated with that Tab Group are displayed in the navigation bar.

To create a Tab Group:  Set up -> Tab Groups -> Create Tab Group
Give your Tab Group a meaningful name and select the modules for the Tab Group by clicking on the module name in the Available Modules list then clicking the right pointing arrow to add the module to the selected module list.  For example, you might want to have a Tab Group called Marketing, that includes Campaigns and Leads.  You can also assign which Profiles will have access to the Tab Groups you're creating

To Use a Tab Group: Mouse over the area next to your company Logo to reveal the select arrow
This is the tricky part!  You've created your Tab Groups easily enough, now how do you use them?  Simply mouse over the area of your screen next to your logo to reveal the Tab Group Select Arrow. Click on the Arrow and Select the name of the Tab Group you want to use.

MSCRM 2013: Viewing Activities in Related Entities

Here's the scenario- 

You've got a custom entity, let's call it "Job".  A Job is created when an Opportunity is Won.  You'd like to have all the Activities from the Opportunity visible in the Job form.  

Quick View form to the rescue!  If you are a System Administrator or Customizer, you can create a Quick View Form in the Opportunity:  

Place the Activitites Subgrid on the form:

Save and Publish.

Next, Add the Quick View Form to the Job Form:

Save and Publish.  

That's it, now you've got your Opportunity Activities displayed on the related Job form.


MSCRM 2013: Printing Views

Printing a view is a quick way to get a “report” and you don’t need to be a System Administrator or Customizer to do it!    

From the web browser (not CRM for Outlook), navigate to a View, click the gear in the right corner and select “Print preview”:

A print preview window will pop up:


MSCRM 2013: SPRING ’14 Update- Social Listening

The Spring ’14 update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM brought some notable changes, among them is Social Listening.  Social Listening is a service that monitors social media.  This service is included at no cost if your organization has a minimum of 10 Professional Licenses.  It can also be purchased separately (Dynamics CRM and Social Listening must be on the same Office 365 tenant to integrate).  

Let's walk through the set up.  First, you will receive a notification from Microsoft if Social Listening has been included with your Dynamics CRM subscription.  Upon receipt of this notification, click the link to get started:

Once you've signed in to Social Listening, you'll notice it has the same look and feel as Dynamics CRM 2013.  Set up your searches by clicking on the logo, then select SETTINGS:


Finally, Click the “Add search topic” to define your searches:

For more detailed information on setting up searches, click here:

Once you have your Social Listening searches defined, integrating with Dynamics CRM is easy.  You must have System Customizer or System Administrator security role.    
Sign into CRM, Navigate to SettingsèAdministration,  select Microsoft Social Listening Configuration:

After accepting the Disclaimer, select your Solution.  After clicking the Select button, it will be greyed out, confirming your selection:

Finally, we can create a Dashboard for Social Listening results.  Click SettingsèNavigationèCustomize the System.  Select Dashboards and click on New:

In this example, we select the 3-Column Overview dashboard, click Create:

Give your Dashboard a Name, then click the “Insert Social Insights” icon:

Select Search Topic:

Select a Topic for the Chart:

Then Select the Chart to Display:

Repeat for each Chart on your Dashboard.  Save and Close when you are finished:

Don't forget to Publish!  Locate your new Dashboard:

Every Part of the Dashboard is clickable and will take you to Microsoft Social Listening for detailed analysis.


Friday, August 22, 2014 Drag and Drop Scheduling

Would you like to access your calendar and create an Event from an Account, Contact, or Lead list view, you can with Salesforce’s Drag-and-Drop Scheduling.  

To enable Drag-and-Drop Scheduling Go to Setup-> Customize -> User Interface -> Go down to Calendar and Check:
Enable Click-and-Create Events on Calendar Views, and Enable Drag-and-Drop Scheduling on List Views.

After your administrator sets up drag-and-drop scheduling, you can click the Open Calendar link at the bottom of a list view to display a weekly view of a calendar underneath the list. Then, you can drag a record from the list to a time slot on the calendar to quickly create an event associated with the record. When the calendar is open, you can:

Select the Change link to switch to any calendar to which you have access

Click the Previous Week () and Next Week () icons to view the previous or next weeks in the calendar

Click the Date Picker icon () to choose a specific date on which to view the calendar

Select the This Week link to view the current week in the calendar

Select the Show Weekends checkbox to display weekends on the calendar

Click the Close icon () to close the calendar at any time. Alternatively, you can click the Close Calendar link at the bottom of the list view to close the calendar. Advanced Searching for Custom Objects and Fields

Would you like to save time and be able to Search for Custom Fields and Objects in your Salesforce environment?  If so, Enable Advanced Setup Search (Beta).

Go to Setup -> Customize -> User Interface, and under Setup check Enable Advanced Setup Search (Beta).

You will search by going to your Sidebar search and entering at least 3 characters.  You will then be prompted to press Enter for Advanced Setup Search:       

Along with Custom Objects and Fields, it will also search Groups, Permission Sets, Profile, Roles, and Users. Single Click Login

Is logging into your Salesforce org with a single click possible?  By saving a simple URL code as a bookmark it is.  Here is the code:   

Simply input your password where it says in red, and do the same for your user name (the %40 represents the @ character).  Copy and Paste in your URL, and or in your Bookmark section.  Now with a single click you’re up and running in your Salesforce org!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crystal Reports : Copying Formatting

In order to shorten the time it takes to make a report look nice, we can use the format painter to first, "copy" the formatting from one field, then "paste" it onto another. Formatting includes everything under the formatting options menu, including things like decimal places, currency symbol, etc.

1. Click on the object you want to "copy" the formatting of.
2. Go to Format | Format Painter on the top level menu
3. Click on the object you want to apply the formatting to

Note: Some versions of Crystal will not have this menu option, but will instead provide a format painter toolbar icon, in the form of a little paintbrush.

Crystal Reports : Exporting to Excel

To export to Excel, click on the little "envelope" icon on the toolbar.
Select Destination: Disk File
Now drop down the Format list box. You'll see two choices for Excel. One should read "Excel", the other, "Excel (Data Only)"
In general, Crystal does a great job of exporting to a spreahsheet. However, it does take some pretty serious liberties with cell spacing and sizing. But if you're looking to act upon the data in the spreadsheet after exporting, you should try the Data Only format, as it will export none of the cosmetic touches of the report.

Crystal Reports : Conditional Fonts

You can specify the color of any font in your report to change based upon a "condition".
A typical example would include making a sales total field "red" if it drops below a certain value.
Let's assume our Sales Total field is called "SalesTotal".
Step #1 : Right-click on the field in question and select Format Field.
Step #2 : Click on the "Font" tab.
Step #3 : Click on the "x-2" (formula) button next to Color.
Step #4 : Use the following fomula: if SalesTotal < 100 then crMaroon else crBlack

This formula forces the sales total to be drawn in red if it drops below 100, oherwise it stays black.

Pro Tip: When testing a condition to change the font, any fields on the report are available to use.

Crystal Reports : Notes Fields

I don't see a lot of these in use lately (thankfully). But if you come across a Note data type, Crystal has special ways of dealing with them;

- After inserting the field, you may specify whether or not it "can grow" (meaning vertically) by going to the fields' Formatting page and selecting "Can Grow". You may also specify how many lines it "can grow" by.

- Certain databases keep their notes in HTML format, in which case the output will look garbled. You may, again, go to the fields' Formatting page and go to the Paragraph Formatting tab, then select a "Text Interpretation". Choices include HTML and RTF (Rich Text Format).

Crystal Reports : Setting Bckground Color

To make a report easier to read, you can alternate the background color to help different lines stand out. (Think of the old green and white striped paper you used to put in your tractor printer years ago)

To make this happen, we will need to format the Details Section of our report.

Step #1 : From the top-level menu, select Format Section.
Step #2 : Select the "Detail" section on the left hand side.
Step #3 : Click on the "Color" tab on the right hand side.
Step #4 : Click the [formula] button with the "x-2"on it to bring up the formula editor.
Step #5 : Paste in the following : if RecordNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

This will alternate a white and silver background for each row printed.

Pro Tip : To alternate color for Group rows, paste the following into the Group section color formula: if GroupNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

GoldMine : Cloning Users

Turnover is crappy; it's never a nice situation and it sometimes can leave a bunch of "orphaned" records in your GoldMine database. It's easy enough to create a new GoldMine username, but what do you do about the Pending and unanswered e-mails from the previous user?

Fortunately, GoldMine makes this rather easy. In our example, let us imagine that Bob is leaving our company and Jim is taking his place.

The first thing we can do is Clone an existing user. This allows us to create a new username for Jim which will be a "carbon copy" of Bob's old username. This would include user preferences, e-mail configuration and user access permissions.

To do this;

1. Select Tools | Users Settings from the top level menu.

2. Find the user you wish to duplicate in your list. Right click on them and select "Clone".

3. GoldMine will now prompt you to enter in a new Username, Full Name and Password (optional). Do so and hit Ok. You now have a new username that has been cloned from the old.

Now, to deal with the Pending Items and unanswered e-mails attached to Bob's GoldMine username. This actually happens when we Delete Bob's old username.

1. Select Tools | Users Settings from the top level menu.

2. Find and select the user you wish to purge from the system. Right click, select "Delete".

3. GoldMine will now prompt you about what to do with Bob's old pending records. You can;
  - Reassign the Users' Activities to a new user (most popular)
  - Automatically Complete all outstanding Pending and E-mail activities (less popular)
  - Leave the activities as is
  - Delete all Activities for the deleted user

Keep in mind that when you delete a GoldMine username, that username no longer appears in any drop downs.

GoldMine : Which Activity Type?

Clicking on your "Complete" or "Schedule" menu in GoldMine can be an aggravating experience. You'll notice there are several different Activity Types to choose from. And for the most part, they're all kind of equivalent. All need a Date, a User and usually, a Reference. But that's where the similarities end.

Here is a list of the different types and their respective uses;

Phone Call - The simplest and most frequently used Type. Appears on the graphical calendar as a "phone" icon.

Appointment - The is the default Type selected if you drag out a time on the Calendar. These appear as a pair of shaking hands.

Next Action - Here is where the Types start to "lose meaning". A Next Action can be anything; typically used to identify "internal" or busy work which isn't necessarily communicated with the client. Appears on the Calendar as a push pin.

Sale - The only Activity Type that has fields for a Dollar amount. You'll notice that there are Quantity and Price fields, but these are actually optional. You don't necessarily need to be selling Widgets in order to capitalize on this feature.

Literature Request - Probably the most complicated Activity Type. This allows you to Schedule or Complete an item for the Contact Record out of your Literature Fulfillment Center (Go To | Literature)

GoldMine E-mail - Used under the Schedule menu, this item appears for the scheduled user as an item in their GoldMin inbox, but is never "sent" using an e-mail server.

Event - The only Activity Type that has a non-standard Duration. You'll have noticed that most Types have the option of specifying the Duration in Hours or Minutes. Events are Days long, and do not appear on the graphical Calendar.

To-Do - The lightest weight Type. To-do's don't require a Date, just a User, some notes and a Priority. To-Do's appear on the Calendar in the Task Pane (lower left hand corner).

Happy Scheduling!

GoldMine : Creating Cases from E-mails

The Cases module is something that was added to GoldMine Premium. It lets you track Service Tickets against Contact Records. A lot of our clients like to be able to create a new Case from an E-mail (typically this is how new "issues" are submitted).

To do this;

1. Open the e-mail you want to create a Case from.

2. Click on the "Link to Opportunity..." button from the top toolbar (within the e-mail message).

3. Click on the "New" button next to "Case" (the bottom item).

4. GoldMine will now drop you into a New Case window for the associated Contact.

Unfortunately, this does not present the "full blown" New Case window; rather it only allows you to create the "default" Case Type and enter in some Notes.

However, it's a great way to easily create a Case, something which I don't see a lot of folks doing. Try it!

GoldMine : Click Drag to Schedule

The best way to schedule something in GoldMine is from the graphical calendar (Go To  | Calendar). When you do it this way (as opposed to using the Schedule menu), the Date, Time and Duration are automatically filled using whatever swath of time you dragged out on the calendar.

1. Open the Calendar.

2. Using the Week or Day view, click-drag out a section of time.

3. GoldMine now prompts with the "Schedule a..." window. Please be aware that GoldMine automatically thinks this is an Appointment. You can feel free to change this to "Call" or "Next Action", or whatever may be applicable.

Notice that the scheduled item is linked to the Current Contact, that is, whomever we're looking at right now. If you need to relink to a different contact, simply click on the little "person" button to the right of the Contact name within the Schedule window.

GoldMine : Hotkeys

I'm a big fan of hotkeys. The less I have to touch the mouse, the better. With this in mind, here are my favorite GoldMine hotkeys;

CTRL+SHIFT+E : Create a new e-mail to the current contact.

F3 : Search the current tab for text.

F4 : Bring up the Search Center.

F5 : Bring up the E-mail Center.

F6 : Activity List.

F7 : Calendar.

F9 : Opportunities.

Have fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Help with the Quick Find View

One of the most common, and frustrating, issues people have when first using Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the inability to find records using the search box.  Let's look at an example.

Scenario- I'm in Opportunities, I can't remember the Topic name, but I  know the Account starts with "Fabrik".  As you can see from the list below, There is an Opportunity for the Account Fabrikam:

Yet when I type Fabrik in the search box, no results are found:

Why is that?

Only fields that are defined in a system View called Quick Find View are searched.  To see what fields are included in the search, first navigate to the Default Solution, search the list of Opportunity Views for the Quick Find View.

Open the Quick Find View and click "Add Find Columns" to determine which columns are currently included in the search:

We see Account is not currently included in the search, which is why Fabrik yielded no results:

Only the Topic field is included in the search in the out of the box Quick Find .  Lucky for us, adding additional fields is as easy as checking the box next to the field name (if you have System Administrator or System Customizer privileges).  Save and Close the View.  Publish.

TIP: Don't forget to use the wildcard search (proceed search text with an "*")  to search for the text anywhere within the field.


MSCRM 2013: Why Can't I enter Estimated Revenue in the Opportunity Form

Here's a quick tip for the folks who are just getting started with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The estimated revenue generated by an Opportunity can either be "System Calculated" or "User Provided".  The field where this is set is called Revenue.  If Revenue is set to "System Calculated", it will be locked for editing:

In general, if your Organization uses the Product Catalog, this field will most likely be System Calculated.


MSCRM 2013: Printing CRM Records

Although we all strive to be "green" and limit the amount of paper we use, some of us still need to print records from time to time.  Whether you access your CRM Online through a web browser or through Outlook, printing a record is easy.

Scenario 1-  Within Outlook:   In this example I'm looking at contact "Patrick Sands" and I'd like to print this record.  I simply type ctl-p (or click File==>Print).  Your printout will look like this:

Not very pretty, but the information is there.

Scenario 2- From the web browser:  Click on the Gear in the right-hand corner, then click "Print Preview".  The preview window opens and looks like this:

The printout generated from the web browser is much like the form.

And there you have it, two different ways to print a record with two very different results.


Monday, July 21, 2014

ZOHO CRM - Using Multiple Currency Feature

When your company is Global,  it is often necessary for your CRM to communicate in multiple currencies.  Zoho CRM makes it pretty easy to set this up.

  • Setup-> Organization Settings -> Currencies
  • Choose your Home currency - CHOOSE WISELY - once set, this cannot be changed!
  • Customize the format (if needed) then click Confirm
<you will get a message saying it takes a while... this is normal> - the software is adding the currency field to your modules

From this screen - You can add additional currencies by 
  • clicking the Add Currency button
  • Choose the currency from the drop down list
  • Option to customize format
  • Enter an exchange rate
  • click save

Using Currencies: When you configure your account for multiple currencies, Currency fields are automatically added to the appropriate modules.  You just need to select the desired currency from the Drop down list.  NOTE - ALL currency fields are converted to the selected currency.  Values are shown in selected currency as well as the home currency, so be sure to update your exchange rates!

ZOHO CRM - Workflows not working after Account Re-activated?

Say you are using Zoho CRM on a trial basis, and your trial lapses before you upgrade to a paid account.  When you re-activate your account you may notice that workflows you built during your trial period are no longer working... simple fix - check to make sure your Rules are Active.  They sometimes de-activate when an account lapses.
  • Setup -> Automation -> Workflow
  • Open Rule by clicking on rule name
  • Check "Active" Box