Friday, November 30, 2012

Crystal Reports : Hyperlinks as Objects

Within a Crystal Report, you have the ability to make any field a hyperlink to a Web Site, Disk File, E-Mail Address or another Crystal Report file. This can be handy if you typically view the report within the Designer and want to provide easy access to commonly used items.

1. Right-Click on the field you'd like to hyperlink (text fields are by far the most popular for this).
2. Select the "hyperlink" tab.
3. Choose your hyperlink "type", as outlined above.
4. Provide the actual hyperlink address (ie. in the "Hyperlink Information" text box.

Crystal Reports : Object Borders

In the formatting section of each field in the designer, there is the ability to add a Border or "rectangle" around them. This is on a per-field basis.
For example:
1. Right-click on the field you want to format.
2. Select "Change Border"
3. This displays the "Border" tab in the "Format Editor" window
4. Notice that we can specify a border for
   a. Top
   b. Bottom
   c. Left
   d. Right
5. Simply choose the appropriate border style for each "side" of the field
   a. The styles are Single, Double, Dashed, or Dotted

This is a nice way to make certain fields stand out on the report. For instance, a Grand Sales Total.

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.

Crystal Reports : Multiple Values within Parameters

Let us consider a parameter named {?UserID} within our Sales Report.
We can allow the end-user to select multiple UserID's by creating our {?UserID} parameter to "Allow Multiple Values". This is a checkbox on the main parameter property page.
This will allow the end-user to add however many UserID's to the report output they want. The "Allow Multiple Values" functionality is also transparent to the Report Selection Criteria.
{SALES.USERID} = {?UserID} will return every userid the end user has selected.

Crystal Reports : Providing Custom Parameter Choices

Let us consider our {?UserID} parameter, which accepts multiple values.
Let us further consider that the end-user will need to occasionally print the report for all UserID's. They could simply add each UserID to the parameter before printing the report, but in cases of many UserID's, this becomes cumbersome.
A better solution is to give an "all" option in the parameter choices, then use the following code:

if {?UserID} not like "*all*" then {SALES.USERID} = {?UserID} else true

Here is what's happening:
IF our parameter DOES NOT have he word "all" within it, we execute the Selection Criteria normally. The trick here is that our ELSE clause ends in TRUE, which means that we "skip over" this part of the Selection Criteria, therefore returning ALL UserID's.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

GoldMine : Customizing Tab Names

One of the unsung functions of GoldMine allows you to change the actual Contact Tab names.

To do this;

1. Open up any Contact Record.

2. Click the arrow just to the left of your tabstrip, select "Customize".

3. Select the Tab you'd like to rename, then click "Rename".

4. Give the new Tab the name you'd like it to have, hit Ok.

5. If you want all GoldMine users to have the same renamed tab(s), click "Customize Tab Labels Globally", otherwise leave this unchecked and hit Ok.

This is a really nice feature if your business uses very specific terminology that your end users would be more comfortable with. Try it!

GoldMine : Choosing Columns to Display in the Search Center

Even lately, we are still seeing folks with "older" GoldMines upgrading to the Premium Edition. And one of the nicest things about the new version is the ability to pick and choose which columns you see in your Search Center.

1. Open your Search Center.

2. Click on the "Columns" button, go to the "Column Selection" tab.

3. To add a column, find it on the left-hand list and add it to the right-hand list with the arrow buttons.

4. You can also arrange the column order by using the "Up" and "Down" buttons.

5. Ok your way out.

You should now be the proud owner of a more useful Search Center! Try it!

GoldMine : Create a Case from an E-mail

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 : Increasing the Number of Most Recently Used Contacts

Much like any other Windows application, GoldMine keeps track of the last items you've been working with. In GoldMine's case, it tracks the last few viewed Contacts along the left hand side of your screen. However, it comes "out of the box" only tracking the last five.

To increase this value;

1. Select Tools  | Options | System tab
2. Under Navigation, increase Recent items shown to 99 (the maximum)
3. Restart Goldmine

This happens on a per-user basis. Anyone who wants their recent Contacts list to be 99 lines long will need to do this.

GoldMine : Activity Types and their Different Uses

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!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

MSCRM 2011: Creating a Custom Activity Type

CRM 2011 allows interactions with Contacts and Leads to be recorded as activities. Following are some of the activity types that are available right out of the box:
            ·        Phone Call: Use this to record a received or initiated telephone call.
·        Task: Use this to record a to-do or follow-up item.
·        E-mail: Use this to record a received or sent email message.
·        Letter: Use this to record the mailing of a physical letter or document.
·        Fax: Use this to record a received or sent facsimile.
·        Appointment: Use this to record a meeting or appointment. Many companies use appointments to track conference calls or online meetings, in addition to face-to-face meetings.
CRM 2011 allows you to define a custom activity type. For example, if we want to include a custom activity to record interactions through text messages and then report on, analyze and view them on a par with the out-of-box CRM activities, we can define a new custom entity as an activity type.

When creating a custom entity that you wish to have function as an activity type, the following steps should be performed:
1.     Check “Define as an Activity entity”.

2.     Check   “Display in Activity Menus”.

3.     Save and Publish.
Once you create a new entity as an activity type and save it, all the standard ‘Activity’ type relationships and fields are also created.  The following fields are automatically included on a Custom Activity Entity:
·        Subject

·        Required Attendees

·        Optional Attendees

·        Regarding

·        Priority

·        Start Date

·        Due Date
The ability to “Mark Complete” and “Close” the activity are also automatically provided.
Some of the constraints that are imposed by a custom activity entity are as follows:
·        You cannot configure different security settings for different custom activities. Therefore, if a user has access to create any activity, they would also be able to create a custom activity.

·        You cannot use custom activities as part of a quick campaign or create campaign activities with them.

·        Custom activities cannot synchronize into a user’s Outlook tasks the way that phone calls, letters and tasks do.

·        You cannot configure custom activities to be regarding a specific entity type.

·        All custom activities have a primary attribute named Subject.
Custom activities are new in CRM 2011 and are a powerful feature that allow users to create functionality that more closely match business processes.

MSCRM 2011: Differences Between Quick Campaigns and Marketing Campaigns

Clients often ask about the differences between a Quick Campaign and a Marketing Campaign in MSCRM 2011. Below, please find specifics on these differences.

Quick Campaigns are generally used by Marketing and Sales teams as a fast and easy way to distribute content to their Marketing List members. You can select members for Quick Campaigns in three ways:
  • Select records from Account, Contact, or Lead views; then click "Create Quick Campaign" in the ribbon.
  • Use Marketing Lists to select the members;then click “Create Quick Campaign”.
  • Use Advanced Find to search records; in the Results area, click“Create Quick Campaign”
 You can assign Quick Campaigns to:
  • Yourself
  • The owner of the records the activity is being distributed to
  •  Another User or Team
You can distribute only one activity to the Marketing List members.

The following are features of “Campaigns” in CRM:
  • Target Marketing Lists - used to create lists of Leads, Contacts, or Accounts in order to distribute your Marketing content (can also be used for Quick Campaigns).
  • Campaign Activities –  are the customer touch points for the Campaign and can either be distributed to the Marketing List members or act as “To Do’s” for the campaign (can also be used for Quick Campaigns).Planning Activities –  Helps you organize all of the activities required for launching and operating the campaign. These are different than “Campaign Activities.”
  • Planning Activities can be any type of activity record and has the same functionality as all other Activities in CRM. Target Products – can add products to a campaign to reflect what the campaign is promoting. This will also reflect what revenue those campaigns generated if the campaign responses are promoted to Opportunities, and then Closed Sales.
  • Sales Literature –if the content is about a product or service, Sales Literature can be added to a Campaign to make it easy for follow-up about the Campaign.
  • Campaign Templates – Can ensure that multiple campaigns driven by different staff members all contain the same activities, product info, etc. and can reduce the amount of time and planning required.
  • Campaign Costs – Cost values can be added to a Campaign in order to accurately track the ROI and financial information associated with that Campaign. These cost values include:
§  Budget Allocated – The amount budgeted for the campaign
§  Misc. Costs – Any cost not incurred by campaign activities
§  Estimated Revenue – The expected revenue generated from the campaign
  • Campaign Activity Costs – Cost values can be associated with each Campaign Activity in order to track the actual cost of that activity through your Marketing Campaign. These cost values include:
§  Budget Allocated – The amount budgeted for that specific activity; this is not rolled up to the campaign budget allocated
§  Actual Cost – What the actual cost was for that activity

Note:  When you save the above cost-related information, CRM calculates and displays the following information in the financial tab of the campaign:
§  Total cost of campaign activities = Accumulative cost of all campaign activities
§  Total cost of campaign = Campaign activity cost plus misc. costs

Below is a table that shows the details of the differences between a Quick Campaign and a Campaign in a clear and concise manner. Thank you to Gonzalo Ruiz for putting this together.

Marketing Campaigns
Quick Campaigns
Campaign activities
Can distribute multiple activities
Can only distribute one activity
Several built-in reports are available out of the box
No built-in reports available
Can save campaigns as templates and create campaigns from templates
Cannot use templates with quick campaigns.
Can track financial information and measure ROI
No financial information tracked/ROI.
Can create multiple planning activities associated with the campaign
No planning activities can be created / associated.
Products / Price Lists
Can associate target products and price lists
Cannot associate target products or price lists


MSCRM 2011: Full Name in Contact Record

"Full name" is automatically configured through a system setting that describes the format of the name in the Contact record. This is automatically populated when a Contact is created either by adding an individual contact or importing Contact data. For example, it can be formatted as “Last Name, First Name”. This setting can be modified in Settings, Administration, System Settings in the  "Set the Full Name format" section under the General tab. This full name can be shown in views, used in templates etc.
If you would like to modify existing records to change the format of the full name value after the import/addition of Contact data, you can write a Workflow to accomplish this as follows:
·        Navigate to Settings>Processes>New. Give it a name and set it to run on the Contact
·        Set it to run on demand.
·        Add a step to update the Contact record.
·        Click set properties, click in the first name field in the left pane. In the right pane, under look for, choose Contact. In in the lower box choose first name. Click Add, then OK. You should see a yellow highlighted text appear in the first name field on the left pane.
·        Click Save and Close.
·        Activate your workflow.
You can then run this workflow on the records whose Full name value you would like to modify.

Monday, November 19, 2012

QuickBooks: Opening/Closing Shortcuts

When you open QuickBooks the program will usually try to open the last company you worked with, and possibly open all of the windows that you had open when you last exited (this can be controlled by your desktop preferences). Sometimes, when you are having problems with a QuickBooks company file, you want to change how it starts. If you hold down one of these keys when you click on your QuickBooks shortcut, it changes how QuickBooks starts.

Start QuickBooks without opening a file. This is useful if you are having problems with the last company file you were using – and you want to start with the Open or Restore Company window
Start QuickBooks without all the windows. If you have your desktop set to remember what windows you have open, sometimes it takes a VERY long time to start QuickBooks. This option will start it without opening all the windows
Close QuickBooks

QuickBooks: Emailing Reports

I created a report for one of my customers.  I would like to email it to them but I don’t know how.  Can you help me? 

You can email reports as two types of attachments: individual Adobe PDF files or Excel workbooks.

If you want to set Outlook as your default email, select Edit > PreferencesSend Forms from the menu bar. Select the My Preferences tab where you can set the default email application to be QuickBooks or Outlook. You can also choose from other email providers.
To email a report, follow these steps:
1. From the open report, click Email and choose whether to Send Report as Excel or to Send Report as PDF.
2. If a security message displays, indicating that sending information over Internet email is not secure, click OK to continue or click Cancel.
3. If you are using QuickBooks email (as you would email and invoice), click Send Now and QuickBooks transmits the email for you.
If you are sending the report through Outlook, add your email address and any additional comments to the email. Click Send when you’re done. You are returned to your QuickBooks data file, and the email is stored in your Outlook sent folder.