Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Calculated Fields in SmartList Builder for Reminders

One of the most underutilized features in SmartList Builder is the Calculated Fields functionality.  This allows the user to create new fields on the fly based on other fields and calculations as if they were part of the database which can be the basis of reminders, data dumps to excel, etc.

A particularly useful attribute of this is for date fields.  Anniversary dates, Birthdates, Expiration Dates can all be customized to meet various needs. 

In this example, we are using the Licenses and Certifications Table from a SmartList Builder Item and creating a Reminder that will always let the user know of any Licesnses or Certifications that are expiring in the next 30 days.

Rolling Dates: Licenses and Certifications Rolling 30 day period

1. Open SmartList Builder by going to Tools>>SmartList Builder>>SmartList Builder
2. Create Licenses and Certification SL Builder Item based on below table:

3. After Saving this choose the Calculations Button on the main SmartList Builder Screen and Click the + sign from the main Calculated Fields Screen.

4. Create the Calculated Field below by expanding the TW_UPR_MSTR_License_Cert table and then double clicking the Expiration Date field highlighted below.  In the Calculation Box on the left hand side, manually type in "-30" (minus 30) after the date field as show below.  Make sure you type in an appropriate field name and the Field Type will be Date.

5.  This has created a brand new field called "Expiring Minus 30" that can now be used like any other SmartList field - and the result will be the Expiration Date minus 30 Calendar Days.  So if the Expiration Date is Feb 15th 2010, the Expiring Minus 30 field will return Jan 16th 2010.

6. Save and set security as normal along with setting default fields for both the License and Certification Table and the new Calculated field as with any SmartList Builder Object.

7. Create a Favorite and save as a Reminder with the below criteria:

8.  This will result in a reminder that has a rolling 30 day period.  Any expiration dates in that 30 day window will return as a reminder shown below.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Extender Enhancements with Darwin 10.0

For those of you that utilize Extender to track extra fields, you will love the enhancements available in Darwin 10.0. 

If you are unfamiliar with Extender, this Microsoft tool allows you to add unlimited windows and fields to any screen within Darwin - including fields for emails, files, phone numbers, text fields, lookups to existing tables, lists, etc.  All these fields become part of the Reminders and Reporting systems native to Darwin.

In Darwin 9.0, you were required to link these windows to existing forms within the system, creating a one to one relationship.  With Darwin 10 these limitations have been removed.

Enhancements include:
  • Free standing Detailed Forms with Sub Windows - Essentially a Mini-Application Builder



  • Detailed Windows with Sub Windows allowing for the creation of One-to-Many Extender Items
  • Window Groups for complex tracking
  • Detail Windows directly off any existing window expanding One-to-Many functionality

In addition, two huge navigational enhancements have been added -
1.  Extender Forms can be added directly to the Navigation Menus - for example, you can Choose Cards>>State Unemployment Claims>>State Unemployment Claims and access the Extender window directly as a free standing application.
2.  Extender Windows that are added directly to existing Forms are now part of that Form's native menu structure:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Microsoft CRM Mobile Express

Microsoft has released a bunch of free accelerators that attach to CRM to enhance the product.  One of the best add-ins, that has since become a standard part of CRM, is the Mobile Express tool.  It works seemlessly with native and customized data in CRM - including data managed by the Darwin Integration.  This allows all information tracked in CRM to be viewed realtime on virtually any device that can connect to the internet, specifically any Smartphones.

Choose Settings, Customization and the Customize Mobile Express Icon

Then you will see you have all entities, including items like Darwin Invoices, Checks, Clients, Employees etc to choose.

By choosing an entity, such as Client Invoice on the left, you can decide what specific attributes will be available for a mobile device - whether it is a Windows Mobile Device, Blackberry or iPhone.

A Darwin Invoice as seen on an iPhone:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Darwin 10 is coming!

Darwin 10 is right around the corner, coming this summer!  In addition to new functionality we will be adding, Microsoft has enabled some very cool new features.

- Excel Report Builder - Standard and Custom Reports in refreshable Excel Report Format

- Mini-Application Builder - Through Extender, independent mini-applications to track any data can be built right within Darwin, no developer experience needed - all can be done by the end user.

- Expanded Web Services -More options for customizable live integration with the web, allowing more exposure of data to your customers on the web

- Sharepoint and MS-SQL Reporting Services - Greatly expanded reporting delivery options, including Auto Publish, Auto Email, Sharepoint Dashboarding, expanded Outlook interface for reporting, and much more.

As we get closer, I'll post examples of the new functionality.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration

I would like to open this blog to say how excited we are about our new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration.  If you aren't familiar with Dynamics CRM, it is an excellent Workflow, Sales, Customer Service and Marketing Tool that enables users to see the true 360 degree view of a client from Lead to Client to Termination.

The Workflow engine is integrated with the Darwin back office, to see it in action visit:

http://www.thinkwareinc.com/products/darwin.html and choose View Our Product Demos.