Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crystal Reports : Using a Parameter with Multiple Values

When creating a parameter field that should allow the user to select multiple values, make sure to check the Allow Multiple Values checkbox in the field properties window. This way you can still use the equals operator (=) in your Select Expert, yet test for multiple values.

Crystal Reports : Using a Specified Group Sort Order

When selecting sort options for your Group, select Specified Order. Notice that a Specified Order tab appears when you do so. Simply choose in which order you’d like your Group printed. This is helpful in situations (for example) when the Group named "Thirty Days" must come before "Sixty Days", yet "Ninety Days" must be the last. Note that neither Ascending nor Descending order will solve this problem.

Crystal Reports : Format Multiple Objects

You may select multiple fields in the Design View by Control – Clicking multiple objects. To easily apply formatting to all selected fields, right-click on one and select Format Objects.

Crystal Reports : "Most Recently Used" Data Connections

When creating a new Crystal Report, you can browse and select data sources used in the past by selecting the History folder. To see this, select Database, then Add Database to Report..., then view the History folder.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

HEAT: Migrate FLS To HPK

A client recently asked: We currently use FLS for our knowledge base and would like to upgrade to Heat Plus Knowledge (HPK). Is there a way to migrate our FLS knowledge base?

Yes, you can export the FLS knowledge base as html and then add the html pages to your HPK installation. The steps are below:

First, you need to export the FLS Tree to Index Server

When the First Level Support tree(s) are exported to Microsoft Index Server, the nodes are written to a directory as HTML pages. The FLS tree is exported through the First Level Support module.

Note: Make sure that the path to FLS32.exe is set in Call Logging by selecting Edit > User Preferences > Paths tab.

* Create a folder for collecting the HTML documents. For example, you can create an FLSExport folder in the Program Files\HEAT Plus Knowledge\Data directory.

* From the First Level Support menu, select File>>Export to Index Server. A warning message appears stating that a large number of HTML files will be generated.

* Click OK. Note: If a branch was selected, the Export Tree or Branch dialog appears. Select Entire Tree and click OK.

* The Export to Index Server dialog box appears.

* In the FLS directory for HTML Pages field, type the directory name where the FLS Web pages will be collected, or click Browse to navigate to the directory. (e.g. the FLSExport folder).

* In the Template File field, type the path to the HTML template file. Note: The selected HTML template determines the look and feel of the FLS HTML files. The default is FLSTemp.html

* Select the number of node lines for the FLS pages. Users can choose to show all the tree branches on one page or limit the number of branches that can appear on a single page. If limiting the number of branches, type the maximum number of branches in the Number of links per pages field. Click OK.

Next, you need to create a File System Content Bridge

Launch the Library Manager and create a new library to view the HTML pages exported from the FLS tree.

* Select File > New.

* In the Build Output Dir text box, browse to the Program Files\HEAT\Plus Knowledge\Content folder.

* Select Content > Add > Collection Builder.

* Select File System Content Bridge and Basic Configuration.

* Type Name and Title for the File System Content Bridge.

* In the Root Directory text box, browse to the location of the HTML files that were exported.

* Save the library to the Program Files\HEAT\Plus Knowledge\Content folder.

* Build the library by selecting Content > Build Entire Library.

* Exit the Library Manager and launch the HEAT Plus Knowledge Web site.

* Click Admin > Click Content Collections > Click Add Existing Collection.

* Type a Display Name and the Filename of the FLS content collection. Ensure that the content collection resides in the Program Files \ HEAT\ Plus Knowledge \ Content folder and be sure to include the .nxt extension when typing the filename. Click Save.

* Exit the Admin page and review the results in the HPK Table of Contents.

Note: Select FLS Template in the Table of Contents to view all FLS Tree nodes in their proper hierarchy. Expanding the HEAT folder presents the node hierarchy as well, however, all nodes appear in a folder hierarchy that begins with the Tree ID, followed by each node in a Node ID folder.

HEAT: Search Using Call Logging

A client asked: We setup HPK and are using it for our knowledge base. Is it possible, however, to have it automatically search for what is typed in the HEAT Incident Description?

Yes, but it requires some additional setup and a change in the way your analyst use HPK to search for a solution. See below:

First, you must install the HPK client on the workstations of your analysts or technicians:

* From the workstation, navigate to the server directory where the Client setup subfolders were installed during the server installation (by default, they install to C:\Program Files\HEAT\Plus Knowledge\Client).

* Locate and double-click the setup.exe file in the appropriate folder. The InstallShield Wizard Preparing to Install dialog box appears. A progress indicator on this dialog box tells you the status of the Installation Wizard preparation.

* Once the progress is complete, the Welcome to the InstallShield Wizard for HEAT Knowledge Connector dialog box appears.

* The installation wizard is ready to install HEAT Knowledge Connector, click Next. The Ready to Install the Program dialog box appears.

* Click Install to install the files or Back to review your selections.

* When installation is complete, the InstallShield Wizard Completed dialog box appears. Click Finish to finalize the HEAT Knowledge Connector installation. You successfully installed the HEAT Knowledge Connector for the client workstation.

The client workstation can now access HEAT Knowledge Connector from HEAT Call Logging.

Next, to use this with the HEAT incident description, the analyst or technician should use the HEAT search in HPK (instead of the Basic or Advanced search). This will populate with the Incident description automatically and search the KB with keywords in the Incident Description.

HEAT: Searching the Knowledge Base from HSS

A client wants to know: Can Heat Self Service (HSS) users also use HPK for searching for their own solutions?

Yes, to integrate the HPK knowledge base with HSS, you would:

* Access the HSS Configuration Tool by selecting Start>>Programs>>HEAT>>HEAT Self Service Configuration Tool. The HEAT Data Source dialog box appears.

* Ensure the data source is compatibility licensed for HSS > Click OK. > The HEAT Self Service startup window appears.

* In the User ID box, type your user ID. In the Password box, type your password.

* Click OK. The HEAT Self Service Configuration Tool main window appears.

* Select Edit > Knowledge Base Setup > The Knowledge Base Setup dialog box appears.

* Select the Enable Customer Self Help check box. The text areas of this dialog box become available.

* Click Add > In the Label text box, type an identifier such as HEAT Plus Knowledge. This label appears as a link on the Search page of HSS.

* In the URL box, type the following text: http://[hssmachinename]/SelfServe/Default.aspx?Requester=HSS where [hssmachinename] is the name of your HEAT Self Service server.

* If desired, type a description in the Description box.

* Leave the Please enter the default search URL box blank > Click OK.

* Save your changes.

You have successfully integrated HEAT Plus Knowledge with HSS. Now, if the HSS users click Search while in HSS, a linked called Heat Plus Knowledge will appear as a search option. When they click on it, they will be directed to the HPK Self Serve page to search for their own solutions.

HEAT: Adding Content to HPK

A client asked this question: We want to use HPK for our Knowledge Base but are concerned about adding to the KB articles. Is there an easy way to do this?

There sure is! First, if you are already using FLS, you can migrate the FLS content using HTML pages (see the related blog entry). Otherwise, there are several ways to add content, however, the easiest way is the import function.

You use the HPK administrator module to import Word, Excel and Adobe pdf documents as read-only and searchable documents. Simply do the following:

* On the HEAT Plus Knowledge navigation bar, click New Article. The Create a New Article window appears.

* Select the knowledge article template you want to use, which in this case would be “Add Document”. A series of windows specific to this template will appear.

* Follow the series of windows, clicking Next after you’ve filled in the necessary information. At the last window, click Finish to submit the article to the content collection.

Every new knowledge article has a workflow status of Draft by default (your knowledge administrator can add to workflow status types). After review, your knowledge administrator, the article owner, or the designated approval contact changes the workflow status to Approved.

When you use Add Document to import a document into HEAT Plus Knowledge, you can import Microsoft Word (.doc), Microsoft Excel (.xls), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), HTML (.htm or .html), XML (.xml), and text (.txt) files. These are not imported as attachments, fully searchable (and in some cases, like Word or Excel) editable KB articles are created.

HEAT: Workflow State Appears

A client asked this: We are already using HPK but when we access it through HSS, we see the Workflow State (Draft, Approved, etc). Is there a way to correct this?

Yes, you can do one of the following:

Option 1:

Edit the SSDocumentTools.aspx in the c:\Inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServe\selfserve directory, and comment out the following:

This will remove the Workflow State from the web page.

Option 2:

Upgrade to the latest version of Heat and Heat Self Service. This has been corrected in Heat 8.4 and HSS 8.4 (note: you must upgrade both because you need Heat 8.4 to use HSS 8.4)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Many of our QB’s clients are asking : “What’s new in QuickBooks Enterprise edition 9.0?” Well here you have it….

Intuit Statement Writer:

QB’s now has a built in statement writer that allows you to create professional financial statements. From the Accountant menu, select “Intuit Statement Writer”. You can choose to create a ”New statement from a Template”, or “Open an Existing Statement.” To create a new statement using a template, select that option. A list of available templates will display for you to choose from. You can choose from “Income Statement”, “Balance Sheet” or “Budget to Actual” report templates. Select a statement type and QB’s displays a description as well as a preview of the report. Click “select”. Choose a date and select a basis. Select “Create”. You work with statements directly in Microsoft Excel (versions 2003 or higher). The Statement Writer pane on the left side of the screen allows you to customize your report using the tools provided. Any changes made in this pane are displayed on the right side of the screen. You have the same functionality you have when working with any other Excel workbook.

Many of our QB’s clients are asking : “What’s new in QuickBooks Enterprise edition 9.0?” Well here you have it….

Company Snapshot:

QB’s has also made it easy to get a “Real Time” overview of your business, all in one centralized and easily accessible location. Click on the “Company Snapshot” icon in the toolbar and see at a glance a snapshot of your companies’ income and expense trends, a list of money owed to you as well as money you owe to your vendors. It also provides a list of reminders and account balances. You can customize the snapshot to meet your needs. For example, graph dates can be customized to show the time period you want . You can set your reminder preferences, as well as selecting which account balances you wish to display. You can also receive payments and pay bill directly from the snapshot screen. The snapshot automatically updates throughout the day.

Many of our QB’s clients are asking : “What’s new in QuickBooks Enterprise edition 9.0?” Well here you have it….

Chat with Co-Workers:

Now you can easily communicate with other people logged into your company file. From the Company menu select, Chat with a Co worker. This opens the new “QuickBooks Messenger” window, displaying all users currently logged into the company data file. There are two ways to send messages. First, select a user, then hit “Start Chat”, type a message and instantly send your communications to any user logged into your data file. You can alos communicate with all logged in users. Click Actions, then select “Send Message to all Logged In Users”. Also, if your coworker is not at their desk and you need them to log out, select “Close company file for Users…” choose the user and log them out. You can also alert your coworkers that you are busy, away or don’t want to be disturbed, by selecting “Admin (online)” and choosing one of the available options.

Many of our QB’s clients are asking : “What’s new in QuickBooks Enterprise edition 9.0?” Well here you have it….

New search features:

QB’s Enterprise edition 9.0 has made it much easier to search and find Customers, Vendors and Items in lists. From the Customer/Vendor center, enter your search criteria in the Find box, click on the lookup icon and QB’s will automatically display all records that contain the search criteria in any record field. If you wish to narrow your search to a specific field, leave the find box blank and click on the lookup icon. This will pull up the Custom filter window where you can narrow the search even more.
From the Item list, you can also search based on a specific filter. Just select List>Item List and enter your search criteria in the “Look For” box. It’s that simple!

Many of our QB’s clients are asking : “What’s new in QuickBooks Enterprise edition 9.0?” Well here you have it….

Improved On Line Banking feature:

Intuit has made it much simpler to setup and use the Online Banking feature.

To setup an account for online banking: select "Online Banking" from the Banking drop down menu, then "Setup Account for Online services." Select the QuickBook’s account, then enter the name of your financial institution and follow the instructions provided. In some cases, depending on your financial institution, you will be required to download a statement to finish the process. Follow the instructions for your specific financial institution. It’s that simple.

Intuit has also improved it’s online banking functionality making it easier to work with downloaded transactions. First you confirm or reject matched transactions, then add or delete unmatched transactions. This includes supplying missing information such as payee or account. Some payees are downloaded with a different name each time, for example some vendors are appended with a different number each time. To avoid creating multiple vendors when there is just one, QuickBook’s creates renaming rules based on how you assign payees. QuickBook’s now allows you to customize these renaming rules for your company.

MS CRM: Displaying the Parent Account field from CRM in the Outlook Contacts view

You can use this tip to show any contact field from MS CRM in your Outlook contact display. For this example, we will display the “Parent Account” field. To view the list of available fields, open up any Microsoft CRM contact in Outlook contact view, then click on the “All Fields” tab. Note: You can change these fields in the Outlook Contact form, so be careful.

Launch Outlook >> Go >> Contacts

View >> Arrange By >> Current View >> Customize Current View…

Click on “Fields…” button

Click on “New Field…” button

Enter “Parent Account” in the Name field and click “OK” button. Note: Enter the exact field name as listed on Step 1.

Position the “Parent Account” field using the “Move Up” or “Move Down” button, then click “OK” button when done; Click “OK” button again at the next window “Customize View..”

Now you will see that the “Parent Account” value is displaying in the Outlook Contact view for the CRM contacts.

Thanks to for the tip

Monday, November 24, 2008

MS CRM: Putting images in e-mail

Although you cannot insert images or HTML directly into Microsoft Dynamics e-mail messages or e-mail templates, you can use the Copy feature in Internet Explorer to copy an image from a Web site and paste it into the e-mail message or e-mail template. The image is available as long as the Web site is accessible.

MS CRM: Training resource

Here's a link to a great training course for CRM users, made available by Microsoft Partner ISV Innovation:

Entering Dates in MS Dynamics CRM

As you are probably aware, it is faster and easier to populate a date field by manually typing in the date instead clicking on the calendar button. What most people don't know, is that you only need to type in the month and day and CRM will auto-populate the year once you tab to the next field. CRM will fill in the current year if the month/day has not yet passed. It will fill in the next year if the month/day has already passed for the current year.

MS CRM: What are 'Campaign Responses' good for?

The Campaign Responses area helps with you report return-on-investment (ROI) from your marketing campaigns.

So say you're planning a seminar. You've entered your planning tasks, organised the caterers, invited your guests through a personalised bulk email invitation, etc, now what? Who responded to your invite? Who attended? Who said they'd come but never showed up? Is it worthwhile doing another one of these seminars in the future?

From the Campaign Responses area, you'll have replies to your email invitation.
You can edit/add vital information to each 'response' such as 'Interested', 'Registered', 'Attended' etc. (which can all be customised in a few minutes in your MSCRM).

Then, depending on who you sent the invitation to (a Lead or Contact) you can Convert the Campaign Response to an an existing lead, a new lead or a new opportunity for an existing customer.

Now, this is where the ROI stats are useful: You can then click 'Reports' and 'View Campaign Performance'.

Microsoft CRM and Quick Tabs in IE 7

One easy way to simplify Microsoft Dynamics CRM navigation is to use tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer 7. With tabbed browsing enabled, CRM forms will open in a new tab rather than a new window, keeping all of your CRM windows in the same place.

To enable tabbed browsing, go to your IE internet settings General tab and click the settings button under the Tab section

Under "When a pop-up is encountered:" select "Always open pop-ups in a new tab." Now any forms in CRM will open in a new tab.

One important thing to note--do not enable Quick Tabs. Quick Tabs is a new feature in IE 7 and 8 that allows users to hit a button and see thumbnail previews of all tabs.

The problem is that if quick tabs are enabled, CRM will freeze when new forms or advanced find is opened. After disabling quick tabs, CRM forms should open properly.

A GoldMine user says, “My Mailbox file is HUGE! WHY?”

This SQL Query will help you figure out who’s got the giant mailbox:

userid, folder, count(*)
userid, folder
userid, folder

Note that the long list of folders in the not in section of the query will rule out the more legitimate locations in the mailbox file for mail to collect. The common results of this query will be Liz in accounting and her TRASH folder with 32,000 messages in it.

For a fun variation, run this one:

userid, count(*)
folder = 'X-GM-OUTBOX'

…to see who has a bunch of mail in the Outbox that they probably have no idea was never sent.

Thanks to Doug Castell for the tip –

A GoldMine user says, “I need to really dig in with a filter but I keep going over the character limit!” Long OR query strings

There is a limit of 255 characters for a filter expression. Often when doing a large OR comparison this limit can be reached. For example, you may want to filter based on a certain group of individual states by gathering up contact records whose state is CA, MA, NY, KY, OH, and so on.

A filter expression for this COULD look like the following, but the more states you add to the criteria, the closer the expression gets to exceeding the 255-character limit:

contact1->state=”CA”.or.contact1->state=”MA”.or.contact1->state=”NY”.or. contact1->state=”KY”.or.contact1->state=”OH”

A better way to do this in a shorter expression and without the added concern of exceeding the character limit would be to use the $ (the “contains” operator). For example, the above filter can be shortened to the following:

contact1->state $ “CA MA NY KY OH”

This essentially limits the filter to records whose state is contained within the list of states shown.

A GoldMine user says, “I need to find Pending and History items more efficiently!” Show contact name in Activity tabs

If you’ve ever tried to find that one e-mail in from that one person at one of your company’s best clients, you know that the history tab can sometimes be difficult to search. You can filter the activity column to show only e-mails in, but that still doesn’t refine it enough to find that one e-mail without spending time searching.

It’s simple to set the option to show the contact name column. To do so, go to Tools>Options and then to the Record tab and check the option Show contact name on activity tabs.

Now when you look at Pending and History items, you’ll see a column with the contact name.

Thanks to Doug Castell for the tip -

A GoldMine user says, “My customers have more than one website. How can I record this?” Adding Multiple Web Sites to a Record

The primary web site entered into a contact record is shown in the upper right quadrant of the record. It’s displayed like a hyperlink, in blue and underlined. You can simply click the Web Site field name and GoldMine will open up your web browser and display your contact’s web site.

If the web site isn’t filled in or if you want to add another one, then click to the right of the Web Site field name. A new window will open and you can type in the web address.

This window allows us to add multiple web sites via the New button, and to exchange the new site for the primary one as needed without losing the original information. Click OK to exit the window for easy launching of your prospect’s web site.

You’ll then find all the web sites listed under the Details tab – jus right-click on the item and go to Launch Web Site.

You can also enter additional web sites by right-clicking in the Details tab, going to New Detail, and choosing Web Site as your type.

A GoldMine user asks, “Is there a way to make scheduling follow-up appointments and calls automatic?” Auto Follow-Ups When Completing Activities

When completing an activity or call, at the bottom of the Complete an Activity screen there is a check-box to indicate whether you want to schedule a follow-up activity. Checking this box generates a new activity window that carries over notes and results from the last activity.

Here’s how to have that check-box on by default.

First, open up your .ini file, which will be located in the root of your GoldMine directory, e.g. Jen.ini.

Find the [GoldMine] section, add FollowUp=1 underneath it, and then save the file.

Upon opening GoldMine after adding this, when you complete an activity you’ll find the Follow-up box automatically checked!

A GoldMine user asks, “How do I know when this group was created?” Date Stamp your Group

Groups, unlike filters or SQL Queries, are static, meaning they represent the database when the group was created: a snapshot of the database at a particular point in time.

Since groups are static, it’s wise to 'Date Stamp' the group so you know when it was created. To do this we can use the 'Code' field for a group.

To make this process even easier we can add a dBASE macro to insert the data automatically for us. The value should be:


That code will automatically insert today's date into the field. The Code field is limited to 8 characters so we have to stick with the MM/DD/YY format. All you need to do is to go to the Groups tab and click on New Group. In the next screen, click on the arrow to the right of the Code field to bring up the Lookup List; choose New. Type the value above into the Enter the F2 value field and hit OK.

Now when you select that value, the Code field will automatically fill in with the date.

Note: If your date is reading incorrectly, you will want to change the ‘short date’ setting in Windows. Go to Control Panel>>Regional and Language Options>>Customize and set the short date setting to M/d/yy. Hit OK, go back to GoldMine and reselect the Code value, and the date should read correctly.

Thanks to Chad Smith for the tip -

A GoldMine user asks about keeping records private. Ownership and Curtaining

To keep a record, any record, in GoldMine private to you, set ownership and curtaining. Ownership determines who is the owner of the record. A record that is owned cannot be edited by anyone other than the owner of the record or someone with master rights. Curtaining determines how much of a record (if anything) a non-owner can see.

These options must be set for each individual record. To set Ownership and Curtaining, first pull up the record you want to make private. Go to Edit > Record Properties > Record Related Settings.

Then choose the Ownership tab. Set “Owned By” to the user or user group who should own the record. Then set Record Curtaining to the appropriate level.

If curtaining is set at None the entire record will be visible.
If Semi-partial is selected the top half is visible but none of the information in the tabs.
If Partial is selected then only the top few lines of the record (Name and phone numbers) are visible.
If Complete is selected then the record will not appear in the search center or anywhere else.

A GoldMine user asks, “How do I customize Search Center columns?”

You can customize the columns you see in the Contact Search Center.
By default, you will see the Company, Contact, City and Phone1 fields. However, this can be changed. In the Contact Search Center toolbar, all the way to the right, you'll see an icon that looks almost like an Excel spreadsheet, labeled ‘Columns’.

Click it, and a Browser Column Selection window will pop up. To add a column, simply find the column label on the left (they are in alphabetical order) and double-click on it, OR single click on it and use the right-arrow button. It'll then move to the right side of the screen. The order of the columns can be changed by clicking on a field on the right and using the up or down buttons.

Click OK and you'll see your Contact Search Center with your customized fields. Any field from the top half of the screen (except for email or website), the summary tab, or the fields tab can be added. Also, the column widths can be adjusted in the Contract Search Center by dragging the dividers between the column headers, just like in Excel.

When you change the columns you see or their widths, it's a 'Sticky' setting. So once it's set it does not change when you exit GoldMine, close the Search Center, etc. Also, it affects only you, no one else.

A GoldMine user asks, “How can I get all the information on a contact, to go?” Printing Contact Information

You have the ability to print out a contact record including all of its details and history. First find the record. Choose File > Print a Report.

Set your Print Report options as follows:

Type: GoldMine
Category: Contact Reports
User: < youruserid >
Report: Contact Profile (Detailed)
Current Contact Only
Output: Window

Click OK.The report will be displayed. Use the Printer icon to choose where to print the report to and the Print icon to send it to the printer.

A GoldMine user asks, “Some of my records have no email address. How can I easily correct that?” Finding contacts with no email in GoldMine

Here’s a SQL query that will show you all your contacts without an email address:

select company, contact, city, state, zip, key1, key2, key3, key4, key5 from contact1 where accountno not in (select accountno from contsupp where contact = 'E-mail Address' and rectype = 'P') order by company, contact

To use this, from GoldMine’s main menu choose Lookup > SQL Queries. You can easily copy and paste the above query, then click Query. If you are using GoldMine Premium Edition, go to Tools > Filters & Groups and then the SQL Query tab.

You’ll see your results. If you find this useful use the 'Save' button to reuse this later on. Within the results, you can do a Right-Click>Output To>Excel to save the results, print them, and further analyze!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

productivity and market value

My November column discusses how maintaining productivity impacts a firm's market value.

obama and business owners

Admittedly I lean to the right. But there's plenty of ways for entrepreneurs to make money under the Obama Administration. Another piece I did at Businessweek explains how.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Market Crash and Technology

This month's Business Week-Tech column is about how the market crash has influenced the way I buy technology.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008