Friday, December 27, 2013

GoldMine : 2014 Resolution #1

Resolution #1 : Update the Credit Cards in my Infocenter

I pay for a lot of stuff online, being a shut-in consultant and all. And I keep my credit card numbers in my GoldMine infocenter, which works great until the expiry dates, well, expire and CVV numbers change with new cards.

1. In GoldMine, select Go To | InfoCenter

2. This is where I keep my Info. That is, along with my credit card numbers, I keep driving directions to my office from different highway exits (for easy sending to clients). There are how-to's on using my FedEx account to send a package, instructions on how to access the system bios of Dell Laptops. All kinds of things.

3. Don't forget you can arrange the Infocenter using the Book, Folder and Page tree to make stuff easy to find.

4. Don't forget that you can attach a file to a Infocenter entry by clicking on the paperclip button along the top hand toolbar.

I've often found that this is one of the most underused features of GoldMine. Being able to look up my credit card info, or directions easily just saves so much time in the end.

GoldMine : 2014 Resolution #2

Resolution #2 : Organize my Picklists

  I am chagrinned to say that my GoldMine Picklists are atrocious. Just beastly. This hurts the whole keeping-good-history thing and needs to be corrected! This is also a good time to mull over next years strategies a bit. Picklist items feed reports which in turn feed the business. But on the other hand, too much picklist can be a hinderance. Confusing for new users. In all cases, keeping it simple is the best policy.

1. As MASTER or equivalent, from within ANY picklist, you can create New, Delete or Edit existing entries.

2. The Setup button will allow access to the "fun stuff". The ability to revoke Deleting or Editing from Users. To force a valid input (from the list). Play around a little, see how different settings behave before you decide to keep them.

3. Don't forget you can always right-click | Output To | Excel if you need to print one of the picklists.

Happy cleaning!

GoldMine : 2014 Resolution #3

Resolution #4 : Delete Users who Haven't Worked Here in the Last Ten Years or Ever

  I'm going to stop putting it off, really I am. Even though PAM's now married and isn't PAMB anymore; now she's PAMV. But her e-mail is set up under PAMB. What will happen to her e-mails? And there's another user, something called WEBAPI. Can I delete that user? Pretty sure there's no one here by that name.

  Today we're just going to do it.

1. In GoldMine, as MASTER or equivalent, select Tools | Users' List

2. Right-click within the User List and select Output To | Excel

3. Take that list and check it twice; make sure you don't delete anything that won't bear deleting (i.e. a WEBAPI login or something like that). Understand every username on the list.

4. Once ready to delete, go back to Tools | Users List

5. One at a time, select the User to delete. Click the Delete button.

6. You'll be prompted with four choices:

  a. Reassign Pending Activites to a Specified User. When deleting this user, all their outstanding calendar items and unfiled e-mails will "land" on the specified user.
  b. Complete the Pending and Unfiled... This allows you to complete the outstanding items en-masse. A resultcode is recommended here.
  c. Leave the Users... Choose this to leave the outstanding items alone. They'll still be there "in the database", but since the GoldMine user is going away, those items will be impossible to "see".
  d. Delete... The most popular choice. Will only delete PENDING and UNFILED e-mails. All User history is preserved forever.

I'm gonna get to this tomorrow, I swear!

GoldMine : 2014 Resolution #4

Onward we go...

Resolution #4 : Complete my History when the History Actually Happens

  Those who know me know that I shout loudly from the rooftops "complete your histories!". I do so with fervor and righteous anger. But I will confess, I don't always complete them when I should. Often I will get "small" service incidents, where I answer a simple question. Nothing billed. Not entirely appropriate for GoldMine History, is it? Is it? Or when I finish a painful call at the end of business on Friday. Do I stop on my way screaming and crying out the front door to complete my call notes perfectly? I am honor bound to say that no, I do not.

  What does it matter? In the first case, nothing billed so nothing lost, right? But what if I told them the Wrong Thing? What IF my advice screwed everything up over there? Or - every consultants worst nightmare - WHAT IF my advice was MISUNDERSTOOD, acted upon, and THEN screwed everything up and now we're being blamed?

  What if all that was needed to set the world to rights and save my job was KNOWING what the hell I had advised on the phone those few days ago. Which I WOULD know if I simply completed the history at the time of the call.

  Or the second case, where Call Notes are completed, but do not contain as much detail as I would like. Again, the same scenario results, in a way. Your service reports to the client/boss look like crap because they aren't voluminous enough.

  Remember the Consultants Nightmare; good history is an IMPENETRABLE DEFENSE.

GoldMine : 2014 Resolution #5

My New Years' GoldMine resolutions!

Resolution #5 : Check my backups.

This does not fall, ordinarily, within the GoldMine scheme of things, but this is a question worth asking to yourself. The Cryptolocker virus actually made headlines this past year, and that should be enough to wake you in the middle of the night, visions of impending doom racing through your mind.

Your backup strategy should not only be thought out, it should be tested. In these, the halcyon days of the Cloud, this is sometimes easy to forget.  

If you have an IT guy, you can ask him; How often is GoldMine backed up? How many days can we "go back"? What if a synchronized laptop failed in the field? Could we just re-sync it, or is their data on it that will be lost forever?

If you don't, you can ask us.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

MSCRM: Quick Way to Set Default View

Here's a quick but handy tip on setting your default view.  Let's suppose you are looking at a list of LEADS:
The default is My Open Leads.  I know this is the default because the push pin is pointing down.  To change the Default View to something different:

1. Click on the down arrow next to the View to see the available Views:

2. Select the View you'd like to make your Default View.  In this case, I want Open Leads:

3. Set the View as Default by clicking on the Push pin on the left side of the View name:

We've successfully changed our default view:

MSCRM: Deleting Dynamics CRM Users in the Office 365 Portal

There are currently two ways organizations access Miscrosoft Dynamics CRM.  Some organizations still use live id's, some login through the Office 365 Portal:

If you are a System Administrator and access your CRM through the Office 365 Portal, you already know that you add your users in the Office 365 Portal, then set security roles for them in CRM so they can log in.  Fine.  So how do you remove a user from CRM?

Step 1: Go into the Office 365 Portal.
Step 2: From the Dashboard, select Users and Groups:

Step 3: Don't click on the name of the user you want to delete.  Simply put a check in the box next to their name, then the option to delete them will appear:

After you delete the user(s) in the Office 365 Admin area, the deleted users will be disabled automatically in CRM.  The licenses associated with the deleted users are now available to new users.  If you don't have someone you want to assign the freed license to and you wish to remove it (aka stop paying for it), you must call Microsoft Billing Support at 1-877-913-2707.

MSCRM: Customizing the Sales Process

One of the first thing people notice when they test drive Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is that often the Sales Process displayed in Lead and Opportunity records doesn't correlate to their own business process.

Can this be customized?  Of course! That is, if you have a security role with customization privileges. And it's pretty straight forward too.

Here's what the out of the box sales process looks like in a Leads record:

 To make changes to this, go to Settings >> Customizations >> Customize the System >> Processes:

The Process we are looking to change is called Leads to Opportunity Sales Process.  We could change it directly, but I'd like to keep this around just in case, so let's deactivate it:

Now, let's create a new Process to use in Leads.  We'll call it My Company Lead to Opp Process:

After you click OK, another screen will open.  Here's where you can add your customizations:

You can enter your own Stage Name, in this case I've called the first stage INITIAL CONTACT.  Now you can add the steps associated with this stage.  My first step is to get a person's name.  I select Last Name as the corresponding field, that is, this step is complete when a last name is entered for the lead.  Check the required box if you don't want to allow users to skip this step.

When you're finished defining your Process, you can assign Security Roles to it.

 This allows different groups to use different Sales Processes.  Handy.  Now Save, Publish, and you're all set!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crystal Reports : Alternating Background Color

Ah, such an oldy and goody! Did you know you can leverage the section formulas in Crystal to mimic an old-school printout format of alternating colors per row?

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 : Currency

Ah, commerce and currency; the very fountainhead of all Crystal Reports! I suppose it is very well that Crystal allows us to format pretty much any numerical value to a "Currency" format. To do this;

Any numeric field can be formatted as "currency" by:

1. Right-click on the field itself
2. Select "Format Field"
3. Go to the "Common" tab
4. Select your Style (i.e. thousands seperator, etc)
5. Click the checkbox labeled "Display Currency Symbol"

ProTip: This does not change the Data Type! It simply controls the formatting of the numerical value provided. 

Crystal Reports : Why is the Print Date important?

When printing the same report frequently, it helps to have the Print Date somewhere on the report. If you're anything like me (and saints preserve you if you are), you are always working on several reports at once and printing copies at different stages in the report development process.

So, once you have three or four (or more) printed out reports laying around on your desk, you will need an easy way to determine which is which. The easiest way to do this is to simply add the Print Date to the report somewhere (typically the report header). This is one of those "cosmetic" things that developers rarely think about until the report is ready for production.

Within your Field Explorer, find the Special Fields group. Within that group, find and insert the Print Date field into your report. This field is automatically updated every time you refresh the report.

Another popular Special Field is Page N of M, which can be inserted into the report footer to easily provide a page count.

Crystal Reports : Using "Last Weeks" values as Dates

This is a nice trick for those of you that want to cut down on parameter input for your end users.

Suppose a report needs to only print records with dates from last Monday through Friday. You could of course provide a date range parameter and let the user choose for each printing of the report.

You could however, use the nifty LastFullWeek function in crystal to return these values automatically.

The first thing to keep in mind here is that LastFullWeek will actually return a Date Range, NOT a Date Value. In order to see what dates LastFullWeek is actually returning, we will need to create two formula fields. {@DateStart} and {@DateEnd}.

The code for {@DateStart} : MINIMUM(LastFullWeek)
The code for {@DateEnd} : MAXIUMUM(LastFullWeek)

Drag those two fields onto your report. You'll see that in the Crystal Universe, the LastFullWeek starts on a SUNDAY and ends on a SATURDAY. So if we just want Monday through Friday, we need to do some tweaking.

The code for {@DateStart} : MINIMUM(LastFullWeek) + 1
The code for {@DateEnd} : MAXIUMUM(LastFullWeek) - 1

Now the formulas are returning Monday to Friday and we can use them in our Selection Criteria thusly (assuming we are looking at a field called {HISTORY.ONDATE})

{HISTORY.ONDATE} IN {@DateStart} TO {@DateEnd}.

Try it!

Crystal Reports : Using MID() and INSTR()

Okay, so the problem is thus; cut out the lastname of any given Contact Name (i.e. Justin Hill should return "Hill", etc). This is actually very easy to do using both INSTR() and MID()

The INSTR() function searches a string for another string. It takes two parameters, like this:

INSTR(string to search, what to search for)

We are going to use it to search for the space in our {USERS.NAME} field.

So, going back to our "Justin Hill" example,

INSTR({USERS.NAME}, " ") = 7 - finds the space between first and lastname

So going back to our original problem, cutting out the Lastname, we can now substitute the starting position in our MID() function with the INSTR() from above like this:

MID({USERS.NAME}, INSTR({USERS.NAME}, " ")) returns " Hill" (note the leading space).

What you really need to do is increment our starting position by 1, because the Lastname starts one character position after the space. Like this:

MID({USERS.NAME}, INSTR({USERS.NAME}, " ") + 1) returns "Hill"

Because the MID function is always being passed the location of the space by INSTR it should reliably "kick out" the Lastname.

Then it is a simple matter to make this code into a Crystal Formula, then use that as your sort field in your Sort Expert.

GoldMine : Scheduling against Multiple Contacts

Did you realize that you can schedule items across multiple GoldMine contacts?

From within your Schedule window,

1. Click on the little "person" button to the right of "Link to Selected Contact", then select "Select multiple Contacts".

2. GoldMine will bring up a "Contacts Selection" window. Simply use the "New" button to bring up the search tool to add contacts to the list.

3. When finished, hit Ok.

You'll now notice that each Contact's name appears within the "Link to Selected..." field. Try it!

GoldMine : Displaying View Counts

This is something I wish was turned on by default; the ability to see the "count" of records in virtually any window.

For example, within the Search Center, right click and select "Summary". This will provide a simple count at the bottom left hand corner of the Search Center.

You can also right-click and select "Summary" from;

- The History Tab
- The Pending Tab
- The Activity List
- The Details Tab

...and almost any window in GoldMine that displays "rows" of data. Try it!

GoldMine : Increasing the Number of Recently Viewed Contacts

One of the nicest things about GoldMine version 8 and up is the "Most Recently Viewed" window that appears alongside the left edge of the program window. Unfortunately, by default, this only tracks the last 5 or 10 (depending on your version). We can increase this value by;

1. Select Tools | Options from the top level menu in GoldMine.

2. Select the "System: tab.

3. Change the "Recent Items Shown" value to 99 (this is the maximum).

4. Ok your way out.

Now, as you navigate to contact records, GoldMine will add them to the Recently Viewed list until the number reaches 99. At that point, GoldMine will start to re-use the list from the top.

Try it!

GoldMine : Create a new Contact from the Scheduling Window

Did you know that you can perform a few handy contact-related actions right from the "Schedule" window in GoldMine? One of the most useful is the ability to create a new Contact.

1. In GoldMine, select Schedule | Call.

2. From within the Schedule window, click the little "person" button to the right of the "Link to Selected Contact" line. Then, select "Create a new Contact".

3. GoldMine will bring up the "New Contact" window. Fill this out normally, then hit OK.

4. You'll notice that your phone call is now being scheduled against the newly created contact.

Try it!

GoldMine : Adding Multiple Websites to a Contact Record

Much like the e-mail address "field" in GoldMine, the Web Address area will let you store multiple addresses per Contact Record.

To see how this works;

1. In GoldMine, click within the "Web Site" field to open it up.

2. Instead of providing a simple field to fill, GoldMine brings up an actual data input window that you can use to add multiple addresses.

3. Simply type in the desired Web Site address on the "Web Site" line. If you need to add multiples, simply click on the "New" button to add another. Also, make sure to mark the appropriate Web Site as the "Primary", using the checkbox provided.

4. Ok your way out. It's just that easy!