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

ZOHO CRM - Executing Workflows on Imported Records

We're all familiar with using workflows to automate functionality in Zoho CRM, right? Workflows can be triggered based on record events (create, edit, field update, etc), or if you're using the Enterprise Edition, time-based events.  Oddly enough, when records are created by import (e.g., from an excel spreadsheet), workflows set to run on the record event of Create are NOT triggered.  So how do you get this workflow to run?  Easy... (just click the Advanced Options link to expose).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Crystal Reports : Using MAXIMUM() and MINIMUM()

If you are using a date parameter that is Ranged (i.e. a single parameter field that prompts for a starting and ending date), you will probably want to display these dates on the report. This helps prevent confusion as to what data is included in the report. To do this, we will need to create two formula fields, one for the starting date and one for the ending date. The formula fields will use the Minimum and Maximum Crystal functions.

For this example, our parameter field is called {?DateRange}

Formula field #1 (Starting Date) : Minimum({?DateRange})
(Pulls out the minimum value of our range)

Formula field #2 (Ending Date) : Maximum({?DateRange})
(Pulls out the maximum value of our range)

Crystal Reports : Parameters with Multiple Values

When using a parameter that accepts multiple values, you will notice that you can't just drag it onto the report. We must pass it to the "Join" Crystal Function to "split" the values out.

Our parameter field is called {?UserID}, and accepts multiple values.

Create a formula with the following code:

Join({?UserID}, ", ")

This will return all UserID values within the {?UserID} parameter, separated by commas.

Crystal Reports : Age Calculation

One of the many things you will want to do with a bona-fide date field is calculate age.
Crystal makes it easy for us here; as long as we're comparing two date type fields, we can perform simple math.
Let us suppose that the date field in question is {CONTACTS.SOURCEDATE}, which represents when a particular prospect was imported into our database.

1. We can see how many records were imported in the last seven days

{CONTACTS.SOURCEDATE} <= CurrentDate() - 7

2. Or how "old" any particular record is, expressed in days


3. To calculate the age in years, we must use the Crystal DateDiff function:

DateDiff("yyyy", {CONTACTS.SOURCEDATE}, CurrentDate())

The "yyyy" specifies we want the answer in years; "m" and "d" are also options (months and days, correspondingly)

Crystal Reports : Subtotaling Formulas

Let us suppose we have an Invoices report. This report is subtotaling a value called {INVOICES.TOTAL}, which is simply a "raw" dollar amount for each invoice. You could simply use the "Insert Summary" menu item under "Insert" in Crystal. However, this limits you if you ever need to modify the way Invoices are subtotaled.

It would be better to create a formula field called {@frmTotal} and then Summarize that.

The code for {@frmTotal} is simply {INVOICES.TOTAL}. Depending on your back-end database value, you may need to convert it with TONUMBER{INVOICES.TOTAL}.

The reason for this is simple; now that we have control over how an Invoice total is expressed, we can do anything we want, including multiplying each invoice by a "markup", like this:


Which returns each Invoice Total plus three percent of itself. Because you are still Summarizing {@frmTotal}, you need only change this in one place.

This is good practice as any Crystal Reporter knows that report usage has a way of changing. Leaving yourself "wiggle room" is always a good idea.

GoldMine : Required Fields

When customizing your GoldMine record layout, you can make any field "required". This means that the user will not be able to navigate away from the Contact Record until the field has been filled.

To do this;

1. Enter Customization Mode by right-clicking on the Contact Record and selecting "Screen Design".
2. Find and right-click on the field you'd like to make Required.
3. Select "Properties".
4. Go to the "Security" Tab.
5. Check the box which says "Required Data Entry".

"Ok" your way back out. Users may need to restart their GoldMine to get the new changes.

GoldMine : Password Policies

Another new security measure in GoldMine is the ability to set a password policy. This is done system-wide and applies to all users.

To do this, go to Tools | Configure | System Settings.
Click on the "Password Policy" tab.
You can set a minimum length, whether or not to block after three unsuccessful attempts, and also save a password history that cannot be repeated.

To set up password expiration, this is done on a per-user basis.

1. Go to Tools | Users Settings
2. Change the "Valid for Days" value.

You'll notice the "Next Change" date becomes activated after you choose x number of days.

Caveat; I once worked in a place that forced password changes every month. And as you walked around the office, on virtually every desk (usually on a stickynote) was each users password. So I guess the moral of the story is to use with care.

GoldMine : Carry Over Completion Notes

If you're using Automatic Followups in GoldMine, then you might want to set up your History Notes to "flow" to the followup activities;

1. Go to Tools | Options
2. Click on the Schedule Tab
3. Check the box next to "Carry over completion notes when scheduling follow-up calls"

Having this checked will copy the Notes from the currently completed item to the Automatically Scheduled Followup Item.

GoldMine : Securing Picklists

Did you know that you can configure any one particular Pick List to make it easy (and consistent) for users to enter in data?

1. Bring up the Pick List for any field you like by clicking into the field and hitting F2.
2. Click on the "Setup" button.
3. Here are a few of the most popular options:
a. Unchecking "Allow Blank Input" will force the end user to enter in a value.
b. Checking "Force Valid Input" will force the end user to enter in a value that matches a Pick List item.
c. Pop-up when selected does what it says; pops up automatically when the end user moves to the field.

I have a lot of clients that protect the integrity of the data model with just a few modifications to existing picklists. My advice is to start slow with this process; try configuring a few fields at first, then expand as you get a feel for how the changes affect the end users.

GoldMine : Viewing Two Contacts at Once

Did you know you can view multiple GoldMine records simultaneously?

By default, GoldMine displays one contact record at a time. If you also want

to open other contact windows simultaneously, follow these steps:

Select Window | New Contact Window. This will bring up the Contact List.

From the contact list, select the second contact you wish to see and
double click on that contact.

This opens the second contact window. You will see a second record tab at
the top of your screen. Then, select Window | Tile Horizontally for a side
by side view or Cascade Windows for a Vista-style window display

This option is particularly useful when you wish to compare two contact
records in GoldMine. It saves time by eliminating the need to alternate back
and forth between the two records. Enhanced Lookups

Would you like to expand your search capabilities in your lookup fields?  Enabling Enhanced Lookups can make that happen.

To turn on Enhanced Lookup in your org, go to Setup -> Customize -> Search -> Search Settings, then enable Enhanced Lookup and choose which objects should have access to this feature.

Once you’ve turned on this feature, you will have the option to select All Fields when you’re in the Lookup window to search by any field on the object, such as Account Number or Email Address.

With this feature, you get the power of universal search even in your lookup windows! Dashboard Components Through Chatter

Would you like to post a snapshot of a dashboard component to Chatter?  A snapshot is a static image of a dashboard component at a specific point of time when the dashboard last refreshed.

First Enable Feed Tracking for Dashboards:
  1. Go to Setup - > Customize - > Chatter - > Feed Tracking.
  2. Look for the Dashboard object and click Enable Feed Tracking

Next Enable Dashboard Component Snapshots in order to Post to User or Chatter Group:
  1. Go to Setup - > Customize - > Reports & Dashboards - > User Interface
  2. Look for Chatter Options and click Enable Dashboard Component Snapshots

If you have enabled both options above, go back to your dashboard, make sure to refresh, then hover your mouse over a dashboard component and you’ll see an arrow at the top right of the chart component:

Click on either and add an optional comment.

Below are screenshots of a post to a Dashboard feed and to a Chatter Group: Messages and Alerts

Want to get a message or an announcement out to your entire organization?  Use Salesforce’s message and alerts.
  1. Go to Setup -> Customize -> Home -> Home Page Components.
  2. Click Edit next to Messages and Alerts. Enter your message to everyone and click Save. You can also use HTML if you’d like.
  3. Now, go to Home Page Layouts, edit the Home Page Layout, and make sure Messages and Alerts are turned on. Click Next and place your message where you’d like it to appear for your team.
  4. Now go to User Interface (it should be the last item in the Customize header), check Show Custom Sidebar Components on All Pages and click Save.

Monday, June 23, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Fun With Advanced Find

If you're a CRM guru, you already know that Advanced Find is your best friend when it comes to getting a handle on what's happening in your CRM.  You can get lots of answers, you just have to know what to ask and how to ask it.

Some examples-

Want to see what's been going on with your organization's Open Opportunities, aka who's doing what?  Try setting up an Advanced Find like this:

The Results will list all the Activities (Phone calls, emails, tasks, appointments) related to the Open Opportunities:

Trouble with email messages?  Use Advanced Find to look for email messages:

The Results will show all email messages and their Status reason- sent, received, draft (often an issue with the "From" email address) and pending send (possibly stuck):

Verify the integrity of your data- Use Advanced Find to search for blank fields.  In this example, I need to make sure that all crm users who are listed as Account owners have their Job Title and Phone number filled in on their user record because I'm using this information in a mail merge template.

I set up my Advanced Find like this:

The results show that there are 2 users with no data in the Title field on their user record.

As you can see, Advanced Find is very powerful and allows great insight into your data.


MSCRM 2013: Cool (Free!) Inline Grid Editor

There are a number of cool add ons for MSCRM 2013, one of my favorite time savers is the Editable Grid  from Sonoma Partners.  This free solution turns your existing Account, Contact, Opportunity and Case Views into editable grids.   

Here's a link to the download:

Once you have imported and published the Solution (if you don't have sufficient permissions to do this, ask your System Administrator to do it for you), navigate to any entity to see it in action.  

For this example, we are using Accounts:

The menu options look the same, until I place a check next to one or more account names.  Notice the "Edit Records" button:

*Note- depending which entity you are in, "Edit Records" may be listed in the 'More Commands' section:

Clicking "Edit Records" opens a new window with all the records and columns in the current view that are part of the Account entity:

Email (Primary Contact) is not displayed in the Edit Records window because it is actually part of the Contact record, Not the Account record.

To update data, click in the cell and start typing:

Notice that modified records are identified with a red exclamation point.  You may save and close this window, or choose not to save your changes:

You can't edit composite fields like the Contact field "Full Name" in the inline editor, instead edit first name and/or last name.  Just make sure to add whatever fields you would like to edit to the View.