Monday, July 28, 2014

Crystal Reports : Copying Formatting

In order to shorten the time it takes to make a report look nice, we can use the format painter to first, "copy" the formatting from one field, then "paste" it onto another. Formatting includes everything under the formatting options menu, including things like decimal places, currency symbol, etc.

1. Click on the object you want to "copy" the formatting of.
2. Go to Format | Format Painter on the top level menu
3. Click on the object you want to apply the formatting to

Note: Some versions of Crystal will not have this menu option, but will instead provide a format painter toolbar icon, in the form of a little paintbrush.

Crystal Reports : Exporting to Excel

To export to Excel, click on the little "envelope" icon on the toolbar.
Select Destination: Disk File
Now drop down the Format list box. You'll see two choices for Excel. One should read "Excel", the other, "Excel (Data Only)"
In general, Crystal does a great job of exporting to a spreahsheet. However, it does take some pretty serious liberties with cell spacing and sizing. But if you're looking to act upon the data in the spreadsheet after exporting, you should try the Data Only format, as it will export none of the cosmetic touches of the report.

Crystal Reports : Conditional Fonts

You can specify the color of any font in your report to change based upon a "condition".
A typical example would include making a sales total field "red" if it drops below a certain value.
Let's assume our Sales Total field is called "SalesTotal".
Step #1 : Right-click on the field in question and select Format Field.
Step #2 : Click on the "Font" tab.
Step #3 : Click on the "x-2" (formula) button next to Color.
Step #4 : Use the following fomula: if SalesTotal < 100 then crMaroon else crBlack

This formula forces the sales total to be drawn in red if it drops below 100, oherwise it stays black.

Pro Tip: When testing a condition to change the font, any fields on the report are available to use.

Crystal Reports : Notes Fields

I don't see a lot of these in use lately (thankfully). But if you come across a Note data type, Crystal has special ways of dealing with them;

- After inserting the field, you may specify whether or not it "can grow" (meaning vertically) by going to the fields' Formatting page and selecting "Can Grow". You may also specify how many lines it "can grow" by.

- Certain databases keep their notes in HTML format, in which case the output will look garbled. You may, again, go to the fields' Formatting page and go to the Paragraph Formatting tab, then select a "Text Interpretation". Choices include HTML and RTF (Rich Text Format).

Crystal Reports : Setting Bckground Color

To make a report easier to read, you can alternate the background color to help different lines stand out. (Think of the old green and white striped paper you used to put in your tractor printer years ago)

To make this happen, we will need to format the Details Section of our report.

Step #1 : From the top-level menu, select Format Section.
Step #2 : Select the "Detail" section on the left hand side.
Step #3 : Click on the "Color" tab on the right hand side.
Step #4 : Click the [formula] button with the "x-2"on it to bring up the formula editor.
Step #5 : Paste in the following : if RecordNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

This will alternate a white and silver background for each row printed.

Pro Tip : To alternate color for Group rows, paste the following into the Group section color formula: if GroupNumber mod 2 = 0 then crSilver else crNoColor

GoldMine : Cloning Users

Turnover is crappy; it's never a nice situation and it sometimes can leave a bunch of "orphaned" records in your GoldMine database. It's easy enough to create a new GoldMine username, but what do you do about the Pending and unanswered e-mails from the previous user?

Fortunately, GoldMine makes this rather easy. In our example, let us imagine that Bob is leaving our company and Jim is taking his place.

The first thing we can do is Clone an existing user. This allows us to create a new username for Jim which will be a "carbon copy" of Bob's old username. This would include user preferences, e-mail configuration and user access permissions.

To do this;

1. Select Tools | Users Settings from the top level menu.

2. Find the user you wish to duplicate in your list. Right click on them and select "Clone".

3. GoldMine will now prompt you to enter in a new Username, Full Name and Password (optional). Do so and hit Ok. You now have a new username that has been cloned from the old.

Now, to deal with the Pending Items and unanswered e-mails attached to Bob's GoldMine username. This actually happens when we Delete Bob's old username.

1. Select Tools | Users Settings from the top level menu.

2. Find and select the user you wish to purge from the system. Right click, select "Delete".

3. GoldMine will now prompt you about what to do with Bob's old pending records. You can;
  - Reassign the Users' Activities to a new user (most popular)
  - Automatically Complete all outstanding Pending and E-mail activities (less popular)
  - Leave the activities as is
  - Delete all Activities for the deleted user

Keep in mind that when you delete a GoldMine username, that username no longer appears in any drop downs.

GoldMine : Which Activity Type?

Clicking on your "Complete" or "Schedule" menu in GoldMine can be an aggravating experience. You'll notice there are several different Activity Types to choose from. And for the most part, they're all kind of equivalent. All need a Date, a User and usually, a Reference. But that's where the similarities end.

Here is a list of the different types and their respective uses;

Phone Call - The simplest and most frequently used Type. Appears on the graphical calendar as a "phone" icon.

Appointment - The is the default Type selected if you drag out a time on the Calendar. These appear as a pair of shaking hands.

Next Action - Here is where the Types start to "lose meaning". A Next Action can be anything; typically used to identify "internal" or busy work which isn't necessarily communicated with the client. Appears on the Calendar as a push pin.

Sale - The only Activity Type that has fields for a Dollar amount. You'll notice that there are Quantity and Price fields, but these are actually optional. You don't necessarily need to be selling Widgets in order to capitalize on this feature.

Literature Request - Probably the most complicated Activity Type. This allows you to Schedule or Complete an item for the Contact Record out of your Literature Fulfillment Center (Go To | Literature)

GoldMine E-mail - Used under the Schedule menu, this item appears for the scheduled user as an item in their GoldMin inbox, but is never "sent" using an e-mail server.

Event - The only Activity Type that has a non-standard Duration. You'll have noticed that most Types have the option of specifying the Duration in Hours or Minutes. Events are Days long, and do not appear on the graphical Calendar.

To-Do - The lightest weight Type. To-do's don't require a Date, just a User, some notes and a Priority. To-Do's appear on the Calendar in the Task Pane (lower left hand corner).

Happy Scheduling!

GoldMine : Creating Cases from E-mails

The Cases module is something that was added to GoldMine Premium. It lets you track Service Tickets against Contact Records. A lot of our clients like to be able to create a new Case from an E-mail (typically this is how new "issues" are submitted).

To do this;

1. Open the e-mail you want to create a Case from.

2. Click on the "Link to Opportunity..." button from the top toolbar (within the e-mail message).

3. Click on the "New" button next to "Case" (the bottom item).

4. GoldMine will now drop you into a New Case window for the associated Contact.

Unfortunately, this does not present the "full blown" New Case window; rather it only allows you to create the "default" Case Type and enter in some Notes.

However, it's a great way to easily create a Case, something which I don't see a lot of folks doing. Try it!

GoldMine : Click Drag to Schedule

The best way to schedule something in GoldMine is from the graphical calendar (Go To  | Calendar). When you do it this way (as opposed to using the Schedule menu), the Date, Time and Duration are automatically filled using whatever swath of time you dragged out on the calendar.

1. Open the Calendar.

2. Using the Week or Day view, click-drag out a section of time.

3. GoldMine now prompts with the "Schedule a..." window. Please be aware that GoldMine automatically thinks this is an Appointment. You can feel free to change this to "Call" or "Next Action", or whatever may be applicable.

Notice that the scheduled item is linked to the Current Contact, that is, whomever we're looking at right now. If you need to relink to a different contact, simply click on the little "person" button to the right of the Contact name within the Schedule window.

GoldMine : Hotkeys

I'm a big fan of hotkeys. The less I have to touch the mouse, the better. With this in mind, here are my favorite GoldMine hotkeys;

CTRL+SHIFT+E : Create a new e-mail to the current contact.

F3 : Search the current tab for text.

F4 : Bring up the Search Center.

F5 : Bring up the E-mail Center.

F6 : Activity List.

F7 : Calendar.

F9 : Opportunities.

Have fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Help with the Quick Find View

One of the most common, and frustrating, issues people have when first using Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the inability to find records using the search box.  Let's look at an example.

Scenario- I'm in Opportunities, I can't remember the Topic name, but I  know the Account starts with "Fabrik".  As you can see from the list below, There is an Opportunity for the Account Fabrikam:

Yet when I type Fabrik in the search box, no results are found:

Why is that?

Only fields that are defined in a system View called Quick Find View are searched.  To see what fields are included in the search, first navigate to the Default Solution, search the list of Opportunity Views for the Quick Find View.

Open the Quick Find View and click "Add Find Columns" to determine which columns are currently included in the search:

We see Account is not currently included in the search, which is why Fabrik yielded no results:

Only the Topic field is included in the search in the out of the box Quick Find .  Lucky for us, adding additional fields is as easy as checking the box next to the field name (if you have System Administrator or System Customizer privileges).  Save and Close the View.  Publish.

TIP: Don't forget to use the wildcard search (proceed search text with an "*")  to search for the text anywhere within the field.


MSCRM 2013: Why Can't I enter Estimated Revenue in the Opportunity Form

Here's a quick tip for the folks who are just getting started with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The estimated revenue generated by an Opportunity can either be "System Calculated" or "User Provided".  The field where this is set is called Revenue.  If Revenue is set to "System Calculated", it will be locked for editing:

In general, if your Organization uses the Product Catalog, this field will most likely be System Calculated.


MSCRM 2013: Printing CRM Records

Although we all strive to be "green" and limit the amount of paper we use, some of us still need to print records from time to time.  Whether you access your CRM Online through a web browser or through Outlook, printing a record is easy.

Scenario 1-  Within Outlook:   In this example I'm looking at contact "Patrick Sands" and I'd like to print this record.  I simply type ctl-p (or click File==>Print).  Your printout will look like this:

Not very pretty, but the information is there.

Scenario 2- From the web browser:  Click on the Gear in the right-hand corner, then click "Print Preview".  The preview window opens and looks like this:

The printout generated from the web browser is much like the form.

And there you have it, two different ways to print a record with two very different results.


Monday, July 21, 2014

ZOHO CRM - Using Multiple Currency Feature

When your company is Global,  it is often necessary for your CRM to communicate in multiple currencies.  Zoho CRM makes it pretty easy to set this up.

  • Setup-> Organization Settings -> Currencies
  • Choose your Home currency - CHOOSE WISELY - once set, this cannot be changed!
  • Customize the format (if needed) then click Confirm
<you will get a message saying it takes a while... this is normal> - the software is adding the currency field to your modules

From this screen - You can add additional currencies by 
  • clicking the Add Currency button
  • Choose the currency from the drop down list
  • Option to customize format
  • Enter an exchange rate
  • click save

Using Currencies: When you configure your account for multiple currencies, Currency fields are automatically added to the appropriate modules.  You just need to select the desired currency from the Drop down list.  NOTE - ALL currency fields are converted to the selected currency.  Values are shown in selected currency as well as the home currency, so be sure to update your exchange rates!

ZOHO CRM - Workflows not working after Account Re-activated?

Say you are using Zoho CRM on a trial basis, and your trial lapses before you upgrade to a paid account.  When you re-activate your account you may notice that workflows you built during your trial period are no longer working... simple fix - check to make sure your Rules are Active.  They sometimes de-activate when an account lapses.
  • Setup -> Automation -> Workflow
  • Open Rule by clicking on rule name
  • Check "Active" Box

ZOHO CRM - Executing Workflows on Imported Records

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