Saturday, September 27, 2008

HEAT: Changing the Color Scheme

A client asked this: We recently upgraded from version 7.0 to version 8.4 but our old color scheme and layout are still there. Is there any way that the look and feel of Heat 8.4 can be added during the upgrade?

Unfortunately, no. However, there are complete instruction to convert to the 8.4 color scheme available from the Marks Group. Please contact us if you are interested in receiving this technical document. Below are plenty of tips to help you convert to the 8.4 format or your own variation!

All changes can be done using the Heat Administrator module and the techniques below. It is assumed that you customize your 7.0 Heat forms before you upgrade, although you can do it afterwards, as well.

The first, and by far the most time consuming step, is ensuring that all of your fields, lines, and boxes in your current database are set using the “flattened” properties—the absence of Shadowing.

If you are starting with a HEAT 7.0 database, all fields, lines, and boxes used the Shadow properties and will need to be modified. After all of your fields have had the 3D looks modified, you are ready to start on the color schemes.

All of the colors used within the HEAT 8.4 demo databases are customized colors and it is recommended that you use True or High color and a minimum of 1024x768 resolution.

It is also recommended that you do not log out of Administrator in-between commits, if at all possible. HEAT 7.0 Administrator does not “remember” the customized colors and will have to be reset with each use. You should do this in multiple Edit Sets and always back up your database before committing any Edit Set.

Modifying the color schemes is still rather time-consuming, but if you take the advice above and leave the Administrator module opened in between commits, you may significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to make these modifications.

You will be modifying everything from the form colors, to changing fonts and adding labels on every screen you feel necessary. Validation Tables changes are not a must but all tables that will be viewed on a regular basis should be modified to provide continuity. Also, all fonts have changed from Lucida Sans Unicode to Tahoma.

Below are the color scheme items - the hues change automatically. If you complete the changes above and add the colors below, you will be finished with the majority of the changes needed to get the look and feel of the HEAT 8.4 database.


Banner— the dark blue headers
Red: 0
Green: 102
Blue: 153

Label and Text Box Borders - around text boxes/labels
Red: 127
Green: 163
Blue: 199

Label Background — provides background to labels
Red: 184
Green: 209
Blue: 248

Background — actual form color
Red: 209
Green: 225
Blue: 250

Read Only — fields that are read only
Red: 209
Green: 225
Blue: 250

The following are the pixel sizes top to bottom—length and width may vary depending on your preferences:

Large Blue Border > Top of Call Log, Subsets, and Profiles—40 pixels top to bottom
Small Blue Border > Sub sections in the different forms – 22 pixels top to bottom
All fields and labels are 18 pixels top to bottom
All labels are right justified
All fields are left justified

HEAT: Database Password

A client wants to know: We are setting up a number of workstations with Heat. We do not want to release the sa password to users or enter it at every workstation. Is this what the "Database Password" in Administrator is used for?

Yes, this is exactly what the Database Password (under Security) is used for. To enable this, you would do the following:

* Launch the HEAT Administrator module.
* Select Security>> Database Password.
* You will be prompted with a window
* Use the Browse button to locate the Setup.exe
file in your Administrative Image of HEAT.
* Supply the database User ID and Password for the
data source you are logged into the Administrator module
* Click OK > Click Yes > Click OK
* Exit the Administrator module
* Browse to the root of the Administrative Image to
where the Setup.exe file is located.

Note: the GMLogin.sec file may not be located here even though
the message above was supposed to create it. This issue was
fixed in version of 8.03.)

If the GMLogin.sec file is not found along with the Setup.exe file,
continue to with the next step. If the file does exist, you skip the
next three steps and continue from there.
===========================================================
* From the root of the Administrative Image, select Program
Files>> HEAT.
* Locate the GMLogin.sec file in this directory and copy it.
* Paste the GMLogin.sec file to the root of the Administrative Image
if it does not already exist. ===========================================================

* Users that do not have HEAT installed can now run the Setup.exe
from this Administrative Image.
* The GMLogin.sec file will then be copied locally to their machine,
allowing the default database login.
* Note: In order for this encrypted User ID and Password to work,
the client machine must have the same ODBC connection name
configured on their machine.
* Users that already have the HEAT client installed will need to copy
and paste the GMLogin.sec file to their WINNT or Windows directory
depending on the machine’s operating system.

Once copied to this location, the user can then log in to Call Logging and not be prompted for the SQL login.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

HEAT: Connect to External Profile

A client recently asked: We would like to integrate Heat with an external customer database to populate our Profile. How is this done?

This is done using the external connection feature of Heat which is initiated through the Administrator module. You can then connect to a SQL database, a SQL view, Access database or any other ODBC compliant data source that you have. You can also connect to multiple data sources.

To create an external Profile, you would do the following:

* Open Administrator > New Edit Set
* Select the Profile table > click the New button
* Leave the table as Profile > click External
* To define the Connection Manager > click Connect Data Source
* Connect to the OBDC data source > supply password if needed
* Leave the type as Profile > Supply a Description
* Select the table from database > select the field to be the key
* Click OK > use the Form Wizard to populate the form
* When you create a Profile, a Subset is created
* Go to the related Subset and add the CustID to the form

This will provide you with a read-only Profile comprised of the external database. There are ways to create a Profile from an external database that can be modified, however, this is the easiest and quickest way.

* Commit the edit set and open Call Logging.
* Click File > Customer Type
* The Subset with the CustID should appear.
* Use Validate to show the customers in the external profile.

Select a customer and it should bring forward the CustID from the external database. Now you just need to complete the Subset and clean up the Profile form.

HEAT: Populating the Subset

A client asked: We have an external read-only Profile based on a SQL View. How do we make the fields in the Subset editable?

Whenever you create a new Profile, a related Subset is automatically created with the custid already there. The minimum you need to do to commit your new Profile is to place the custid on the Subset form. However, you can use this custid to also bring forward other information from the external Profile and this information will be editable.

* Create a new Edit Set > select Subset
* Select the Subset form related to the new Profile
* Open the table > select Add Field > enter characteristics
* Leave validation empty unless you want this field to be searchable
* Check autofill > select custID as the field to identify the field
* Select the field from the profile to autofill the subset field
* Continue this for all fields on the subset
* Commit the edit set

Now when you select a customer in the Subset it will link you to external database via the custID. The remaining fields will be autofilled int the Subset table and, because they are stored in a Heat table, they will be editable.

HEAT: External Database Problem

A client asked this: We created an external connection to a database to populate Heat. It works fine on the server but on the workstations, it gives us an ODBC error. What might be causing this?

Most likely, on the server, you created a second data source to connect to the external database. If this second ODBC DSN is not defined on the workstation, then the connection to thee external database will fail. To resolve, create the second ODBC DSN on the workstation and name it exactly as it appears in Connection Manager in the Administrator module.

To create an ODBC DSN, do the following:

* Select Control Panel > Administrative Tools
* Select Data Sources (ODBC) > select the System DSN tab
* Click Add and enter the DSN exactly as in Administrator
* Select SQL Authentication and enter sa/password
* Then click next and uncheck the boxes indicated by FRS
* Test and then click OK to exit

The ODBC error should be gone after you close and restart Call Logging. This is because the workstation is now able to connect to the external database.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A QuickBooks Enterprise client asks, " Is there any way to delete memorized reports that I no longer use?"

Sometimes our memorized reports lists get somewhat out of control. It is very simple to delete memorized reports that are no longer necessary. From the Reports drop down, select “Memorized Reports List”. This will display the entire list of reports you have memorized. Click Memorized Report at the bottom of the list and click “Delete Memorized Report”.
Click OK if you are sure this is the report you want to delete.Note: You cannot undo a deleted report

Monday, September 22, 2008

An Enterprise client is having a difficult time controlling invoice numbering errors and wants to know how to find and correct these errors.

There are two errors that are very common in QuickBooks – skipped numbers and duplicate numbers. When you enter an invoice number, instead of letting QuickBooks assign it you will find that QuickBooks will continue with that number for future invoices. By the same token, you can accidentally start over and reuse numbers. QuickBooks will allow you to assign the same invoice number to two invoices, particularly if you are using some sort of import program to add invoices. It can keep this all straight because there is a hidden unique transaction ID to each invoice – the "invoice number" is not the key to each transaction.

QuickBooks makes it easy to find these errors by using the "Missing Checks" report. This report is found with the Banking reports. Reports>Banking>Missing Checks.
Instead of picking a checking account, select your Accounts Receivable account. This report highlights where there are missing numbers as well as duplicate numbers. This can be very helpful if you have an audit, or if you are trying to catch problems before they get out of hand.

Did you know that you can create “To-Do” Lists in QuickBooks Enterprise?

Use these “To-Do” Lists to remind yourself of tasks you want to complete by a certain date. You can look at your notes in the To Do list at any time, or you can use the Reminders list to see the notes whose dates are due.
Go to the Company menu and click To Do List.
Click To Do at the bottom of the list and click New.
Enter the text of the note as you want it to appear on the To Do list.
Note: Notes display in numeric order, followed by alphabetical order. Those that start with a number appear higher in the list than those that start with an alphabetic character.
If you use notes extensively, you can create short titles to make your list easy to scan. Type 6-10 words as the title, press Enter to insert two periods after the title, and type the rest of the note. When you scan your list, the periods separate the title from the body of the note, and make it easy to understand your notes at a glance.
In the Remind me on field, enter the date you want the note to appear on your Reminders list.
For example, if you enter May 15, the note will not appear on the list until May 15.
Click OK.

A QuickBooks client asks how to change between accrual and cash basis when printing a report

The basis of a report determines when income counts as income and expenses count as expenses. A report can be on either a cash basis or an accrual basis.
You can change the basis of:
-Just the report you are using or -All summary reports in QuickBooks.

If the report you're working with is a summary report (a report that summarizes transactions instead of listing them), you can change its basis from cash to accrual or vice versa.

To do this task:
1. In the report window, click Modify Report.
2. Select either Cash or Accrual as the report basis.
3. Click OK.

DID YOU KNOW THAT QB'S ENTERPRISE HAS A BUILT IN BUSINESS PLANNER FEATURE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO BUILD A FINANCIAL PROJECTION AND WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN?

Whether you need a loan to expand your business, purchase equipment, or hire new employees…or you just need to figure out where your business is going, the QuickBooks Business Planner can help.
Using your QuickBooks data and answers to simple step-by-step questions, a balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and statement of cash flows will automatically be projected for the next three years. The business plan is based on the format recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration for loan applications or a bank line of credit.
To do this task
Go to the Company menu and click Planning & Budgeting.
Click Use Business Plan Tool.The easy step by step instructions walks you through building a 5 yr financial projection

MS CRM: Tracking Instant Message Conversations in MSCRM

You can IM from inside CRM! If your company has Microsoft Office Communicator enabled and you are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook, you can install Communicator on your computer and chat anywhere you can see the IM presence in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

The IM presence (it looks like a green gumball next to the contact or user name) appears in most lists that include customer or user names with an e-mail address.

You can hover over the green gumball to see a summary of availability, or click the arrow beside it to see the communication options. To start a conversation, click Reply with Instant Message and start typing.

When you are done and before you close the conversation, you can save it as an e-mail. In Outlook, the conversation is saved in your Conversation Folder. You can open it and then click Track in CRM (or Set Regarding to save a step), and select a Record in CRM. Just like regular e-mail messages, the conversation will be saved as a linked CRM record. The Subject line captures that it is a conversation.

This conversation is really just an e-mail activity and can be managed in the same way as other activities.

Thanks to Crystal Smithwick (http://blogs.javista.com)

MS CRM: Type-in lookup fields in MSCRM 4.0

In CRM 3.0, if you want to populate a lookup field, you have to click on the lookup, scroll and select. This can be annoying if you already know what the value is.

With 4.0, you can just type the value in the lookup field. If the value exists in the lookup list, it will resolve to that item in the lookup list. If it doesn't exist, it will place a red X next to it and force you to hit the lookup button (which you would have had to do anyway). When the lookup dialogue pops up, it will use what you entered as the search criteria.

MS CRM: Use Advanced Find to locate quotes

  1. On the Actions toolbar, click Advanced Find.
  2. In the Look for list, select Quotes.
  3. Click Select, and from the list select Status.
  4. Click the operator and select Equals.
  5. Click Enter Value, and click Select to change the values for this field.
  6. In the Select Values dialog box, in Available Values, press and hold the CTRL key while you select Active, Draft, and Won, and then add them to Selected Values.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click Find and available quotes appear.

MS CRM: Automatic E-mail links in MSCRM

Suppose you want to discuss a company or an opportunity with a colleague. You might send an email saying "Let’s talk about ABC”; but then the recipient of the email would have to go to CRM and search for the record to see what's going on.

One of the advantages to CRM 4.0 is the ability to automatically e-mail links to any record, or almost any view in CRM. To send the above email, you would first select that company record in the list (or pull up the record), click More Actions, and select Send Shortcut.

A new email message will be created with a link to the selected record or view. The recipient of the email will not have to search for the record – they can just click on the hyperlink and connect directly.

MS CRM: How to retrieve your Microsoft CRM license key (3.0 or 4.0)

Your license key is stored in your MSCRM database, so it is simple to retrieve if you need to. On the SQL server, open the SQL Server Management Studio and start a new query against your MSCRM database. Execute the following query:

Select LicenseKey from License

The returned record will be your license key.

A GoldMine customer says, “Shortcuts! I love shortcuts!”

Quick way of finding Additional Contacts in GoldMine: When using the contact search center in GoldMine, type ALT+O to select Additional Contacts.

How to speed up the completion of activities: Put the Complete a Pending Activity icon on your GoldMine task bar so that you just click on one button to complete any type of activity – much quicker than going via the main menu.

To put the Complete a Pending Activity icon on your task bar, open your taskbar by clicking on Customize Taskbar in the top menu. Right click on your task bar and select Add New Item. From the available Main Menu Actions, open Complete and select Complete a Pending Activity. Highlight it, click OK, and it will be added to your taskbar.

A GoldMine customer says, “I need to know more!” Research your customers on the Web through GoldMine

You can use GoldMine’s Internet search to find out more about your contacts. All you have to do is:

1. Choose Web on the menu bar (for GM 7 or lower, choose "Lookup")
2. Choose Search Online from the drop down menu (for GM 7 or lower, choose “Internet Search”)

You will be directed to popular search engines which will throw up results for your contacts. You can also add in your own searches and lookups.

A GoldMine customer asks, “Is this a project or an opportunity?” How to Display in your Calendar Where Actions are Linked

Insert this expression into your Calendar display preferences to show if a pending action is linked to a Project or Opportunity:

Trim(Contact1->Company) + ', ' + Trim(Cal->Company) + ': ' + Trim(Cal->Ref) + ' ' + IIF(Left(Cal->LOPRECID,1)<>' ','(Linked Proj/Opp)', '')

A GoldMine customer says, “I want my work to stand out!” Assigning automatic colors to activities in your GoldMine calendar

With the Lookup.ini (held in your central GoldMine folder) you can assign colors to activity types (such as calls and appointments) and activity codes. Using the Rectype and Activity codes you can automatically specify what color to show the activity on the calendar as.

Adding the example code below to your lookup.ini will make all appointments blue, appointments with a activity code of ‘HOL’ yellow, calls red and other actions black.

[CalClrCode]
A-Hol=5
A=0
C=2
O=15

Use the Rectype values and Color codes below to help assign the auto colors according to your preferences.

Rectype values
A: Appointment, C: Call Back, T: Next Action, D: To-DoM: Message, S: Forecasted Sale, O: Other, E: Event

Calendar Color Codes
0: Bright Blue, 1: Bright, 2: Bright Red, 3: Bright Cyan, 4: Bright Green, 5: Bright Yellow, 6: Cyan, 7: White, 8: Gray, 9: Red, 10: Green, 11: Yellow, 12: Blue, 13: Purple, 14: Dark Gray, 15: Black

A GoldMine customer says, “I’m on top of it!” Creating a Hot List

A hot list is simply your top prospects or opportunities, something every effective salesperson must have at his or her fingertips.

Here’s an easy way to create a group within GoldMine that will keep these at the top of your list. There are many ways to do this; this particular example offers the individual sales rep the most flexibility, but will also allow managers to report on the lists if necessary.

First, create an empty group. To create a group, first, go to Tools>Filters and Groups and go to the Groups tab.

In the top half of the Groups window, click New Group.

The Group Name is how you’ll reference the group. You may simply call it “Hot List”, or, perhaps, you want to have a couple of hot lists, so you can name it something more specific, such as “Gadgets Hot List”.

Uncheck Build the Group. If you are in a sync environment with laptops and you want others to see the group then check Synchronize Group.

Click OK. You’ll now see your “Gadgets Hot List” group with 0 members.

To add someone to the hot list, find the Members tab in the bottom half of their Contact record.

In the Members tab do a Right-Click>New from within the open area under the tab. In the Add a Group Member window, choose the Group from the lookup list to add the contact; in this case our ‘Gadgets Hot List’. The contact is added to the group.

You can also easily add contacts to a group by opening the Contact Search Center. Highlight the contact you want in your group, and drag and drop them into the members area of the Groups window (make sure the group you want to add them to is also highlighted).

You’ll see the complete list of contacts in a group from the Filters and Groups window (Tools>Filters and Groups, go to Groups tab). Your group’s member count is listed there in the top half of the window. From here you can also Right-Click in the bottom half of the screen, where the members are listed, and choose Output to to print the members list in Excel or Word or just straight to the printer.

Once the Hot List is built you can run reports against it, schedule calls against everyone in the group, print them out from the Contact Search Center, etc.

A GoldMine customer says, “At the end of the day, it all looks the same.” Changing Field and Data Colors

You can change the colors of fields or data to make it stand out from the rest of the information.

Right-click on the field you want to change and go to Properties. Choose the Colors tab. There are two sections to this window: the top one will alter the color of the field label, and the bottom one will alter the color of the data.

To choose the color, click the Colors button in either section, click on the color you want and OK. You’ll see that every color has a number that will appear in the Expression box below – this number can be used in a dynamic expression to more closely control the value of the color as needed. (See tip below: “How can I encourage my GoldMine users to fill out more fields without making every field required?”)

Once you have selected the color for the field label and/or the data, just click on OK.

A GoldMine customer says, “But that’s a proper name!” Quick Cleanup After Poor Capitalization

Doesn’t it bug you when you see a contact entry in all lower case or upper case letters? You can’t always control your data entry unless you’re the one doing it all – and who has time for that kind of micromanagement?

Here’s a trick for giving those field values ‘proper’ capitalization without having to do any typing! Click on the field you want to correct – for this example, the Contact field – and go to the Field Lookup window by clicking on the arrow to the right of the text box. Click New.

In the F2 Entry window, enter:
~Proper(contact)

The name of the field you are correcting goes between the parentheses, and don’t forget the tilde at the beginning.

Click OK to get back to the Field Lookup window. Highlight the selection you just entered and click Select – and the field will be corrected to proper case! You don’t have to enter this Field Lookup entry more than once for any field, and any time you need to correct the case, go to the Field Lookup window, select that entry, and you’re done.

Note: If you are correcting the Contact field, you can subsequently just click on the Last name field and it will auto-correct too!

A GoldMine customer says, “Oops, that doesn’t go there!” Moving History Activity from One Contact to Another

Perhaps you logged an appointment or call to the wrong contact. Or maybe you want to move an email from a colleague about a contact to that contact’s record.

Here’s how to move a history activity from one contact to another: From the History tab, Right-Click on the activity and select Edit. This will open the Completed window for the type of activity you are moving.

To the right of the contact name you will see an arrow – click on this to bring up the Contact Search Center. Find the contact to which you want to link the activity in this window, highlight it, and click Select. In the Completed window you will see that the original contact has been replaced with the contact you just chose. Click OK.

That’s it – the activity is now linked to the correct contact!

A GoldMine customer asks, “Isn’t there a way to streamline scheduling activities a little?” Scheduling Shortcuts

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.

A GoldMine customer asks, “Is Bob at lunch?” Logging Away from GoldMine

When leaving your desk – and GoldMine - for a period of time, you can post information about your current location and the time/date of your expected return.

  • Select File>Log Away. The I'm away from my desk dialog box appears.
  • In the My Whereabouts area, type where you have gone in the text box, select from the F2 lookup list , or select one of the radio button options:
  • At lunch
  • On break
  • On the road
  • Gone home
  • In the I'll be back at area, select the time you will return from the drop-down list, or select a time period using the radio buttons to the right.
  • Select the date from the day radio button options (Tomorrow or On Monday) or select the date from the F2 graphical calendar on the date text box.
  • Select an option:
  • Logout: Posts the time of logout in the Peg Board(Go To>Calendar and choose the Peg Board option at the bottom of the screen).
  • Wait for me: Minimizes GoldMine. Although you are not logged out of GoldMine, you are prompted for your password to restore the display. After returning to your work session, GoldMine automatically clears the reference in the Whereabouts column of the Peg Board.
  • Cancel: Cancels the action.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

September Forbes Column

For September, I wrote a column about measuring the elasticity of demand for inventory.