New & Improved Features Version 6 (build 0.56)

“… Lucy! I’m home….” :)

Yep, almost 2 years since my last post. Well no time like the present to publicly announce a new version. See while I’ve “neglected” this blog, I have indeed been programming new features and bug correction all the while.

I started on version 6 in late August 2010, released to pre-beta in early April 2011 to a select group, and full beta testing at the end of August 2011. I’ve been moving 120 MPH, for a possible release date early 2012, however the beta team did such a great job, I believe we have a very stable version 6 now. Version 6 brings with it some significant structural data changes, with the ability to attach multiple equipment to be serviced to a single work order.

WARNING: Those who have a support package subscription, and want to upgrade (highly recommended) it’s necessary that you perform 2 tasks BEFORE updating.
1) Backup your main database files (sxpdbe.mdb and calendar.mdb)
2) Rename your settings.mdb database, (Example: settingsOLD.mdb)
3) ALL machines MUST be upgraded at the same time, not doing so will 100% guaranteed a corrupted database.
4) Keep in mind, once you have upgraded to Version 6, and opened SXP (This makes the structure changes), you can not revert back to a previous version.

1) Because there has been significant changes to the underlining data structures, it is necessary to update several (External) reports to accommodate this new data structure. I have, in most cases, created completely new reports definitions, which include the “V6″ nomenclature in the report name. In some cases you will need to make some customizations to your reports, as the equipment nomenclature information is no long printed separately. It’s now dynamically parsed and created into a single line (or double) string.

Example of Equipment Nomenclature String

This screen shows an example of how the equipment nomenclature string looks.

External (.vrd Reports) (all Internal Reports Should be Converted Internally)
a) Service Call
b) Time and Material Invoice
c) Flat Rate Invoice
d) Customers Equipment Report
e) Drop Ticket
f) Service Call Mini

Here are some screenshots

New Layout (New WO)

This is a screenshot of the New/Edit Work Order window with the new tab layout.

Equipment Tab (New WO)

This is where you attached equipment to the work order. You can, if the equipment exists, simply use the drop down box to select an item to attach. If you need to add a item that is not currently part of the customers list by either double clicking inside the field, or click on the “Add Equip.” button.

New Equipment Layout

This screen shows the new layout of the Customer Equipment manager. One of the changes that may go unnoticed (but not for long) is that you now MUST DOUBLE CLICK inside of the field for the desired item to attach it to the work order.

New Equipment Group Tab

This screen shows the new Equipment Grouping tab. This new system allows you to create Equipment Groups. If 2 or more items rely on each other for functionality, you can now group them as unit.
1) This enables you to take items that have different Model and Serial numbers and group them as a unit.
2) Double clicking the group name will automatically attach all assigned equipment to the work order. (If creating a new work order)

Equipment Group Assignment Window

This screen shows you how easy it is to create a group.

Equipment Group Completed

This screen shows a newly created group. If you only want to add a single item to the work order from the group simply double click on that item’s field.

Service Navigator Equipment Tab

This screen shows the new function of the equipment tab on the Service Navigator. It now displays all attached equipment.

New Quick Change Layout

New layout of the Quick Change system.

ARD New Layout

This screen shows the new layout for the Add Repair Detail (ARD) window.

ARD Job Kit Equipment Assignment

This screen shows how you can assign a work kit to specific equipment if desired.

ARD Warranty Part Equipment Assignment

This screen shows the new required field for warranty submissions. It is now necessary to assign the equipment to a given warranty item.

Some Other New Features:

Award Bonus System

Bonus System:
Can assign kit ID’s or Inventory ID’s for specific bonus awards.

Model Number Link System

Model (Serial for Future) Number Link System:
Allows for a global model number document/messaging link system. Just as is the case through-out SXP, you can now attached documents and messages to equipment model numbers in a general way. This was previously available but the scope limited it to a specif customers equipment link or TANS article. Now when entering a model number the system will notify the user in the event it finds a link. Currently the search algorithm uses the first 7 characters (left to right) of the model number to base it’s search on, however this can be changed in settings.

…. More to come….

New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 6.02)

Here we go again, major work, for some major upgrades…

First things first….. I have had many e-mails about SXP Pro and the new Windows 7 OS.  There has been no testing done at this point, but I would image the same issues SXP Pro has in Vista exist in this version of Windows also.

 I have not move my development platform to an all Win 7 platform yet.  With that said, over the next 6-8 month that transition should be complete.  From that point on, all future versions of SXP Pro will no longer be tested on Windows XP machines.  100% of my development will be in Windows 7. At least that is the goal…

Ok; now for the new features…

Customer Manager: Adjustable Phone Type Captions:

Screen shot of phone fields

Screen shot of phone fields

With this build we now have adjustable phone type for the 4 phone positions. You will notice in the screen shot above, there are no longer phone type field captions..

Example List of Phone Types

Example List of Phone Types

You will notice that each of the 4 phone fields now have drop down box for selecting the phone type. The screen shot above is an example of possible entries.

Phone Type Settings 

This list can be found in settings under the Program Lists >> PhoneType Tabs.

When you first open this build, the system will update your database and auto-insert the phone type captions for all existing customers. Position 1 = Home; Position 2 = WK 1; Position 3 = WK 2 and Position 4 = Cell.  You will want to go into settings, and indicate your preference for the 4 phone positions,  1 through 4.  Once this is complete, when entering a phone number is the said position, the selected default phone type will automatically fill in.

The external report engine has also been updated with the new phone caption system. You will need to change the phone caption fields NAME property on the report to the following… The internal reports have NOT been updated with this new feature as of this post..

Billing Phones: (“Phone1Type”) (“Phone2Type”) (“Phone3Type”) (“Phone4Type”)
Service Phones: (“SAPT1″) (“SAPT2″) (“SAPT3″) (“SAPT4″)

Visual Report Designer

Visual Report Designer

Edit Inventory — ICS

  1.  Added bold indicator for inventory items that have been de-activated. Also add some code to warn against re-entry of an de-activated item.
  2. Added different report for an un-finalized physical inventory count.
  3. Better handling of part labeling and auto pricing.
  4. Added a method to perform a mass item delete from an inventory location (excludes the “Main” location) from the “Mass Transfer” system. (note:  You can only delete items with 0 Qty.)

Contract Maintenance — Task Manager

  1. Added a method to open and load a selected customer in the Customer Manager.
  2. Added a couple of search fields.
  3. Added auto charges added to MA Work Orders.

Graphic Scheduler

  1. Added a right click method to create an in place Contract Maintenance Work Order. (Same as when creating a normal Work Order, but with a listed contract)
  2. Corrected a long term bug in the Graphic Calendar (separate program used for technicians to view their schedule), where it would not correctly load the calendar.
  3. Added a “Time Critical” field to the external report engine.  This matches the graphic schedule property.

ARD –  Add Repair Detail

  1. Added 2 label boxes that show the total entered time.
  2. Added code logic to better handle automatic completion dates.
  3. Added code logic to handle when there is no equipment listed for service on a Work Order.
  4. Added Credit / Debit field and functions (Double Click in the field). To easy apply credit amounts to work order.
  5. Added “relaxed” credit card expiration date entry. Now the system will attempt (with-in reason) to automatically format your entry into a date. Example: you can now enter 410 or 0410 and the system will return 04/30/2010. (This is a system wide change for CC expiry dates)
  6. Added a method when entering a model number, the system will now look in your history and compare it with your Manufactures and Product lists, if it finds a  match will automatically enter the information (Mfg name and product type) for you.
  7. Added Sys. Notes field to the Repair History window (Repair History Button)

Advanced Payment — Service Navigator

  1. Added a sentry to guard against a situation that would occur if sending the payment to Quick Books Pro.  Quick Books Pro requires a “salesman” be associated with the payment (and invoice – sales receipt), but in SXP Pro, a work order may not be assigned when added a payment.  The system now warns of these situation before the payment information is entered.
  2. Added a 2nd “Duplicate” print option when tripping the duplicate printing warning, now allowing you to cancel the print job.

Contract Navigator

  1. Added better handling of historic contract history.
  2. Added direct contract linking on for expired contract to quickly view the contract details.

Other minor enhancements and bug fixes..

Until Next Time….


New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 5.71)

Ah, you thought I forgot about updating the blog did you,.. No way….:-) It’s been a very busy and productive summer. Lots’ and Lot’s of changes with-in ServiceXp Pro. Not to mention, having some technical issues with the blog that would not allow me to post… As you can still see we are have still some more issues with pictures… anyway….

The “User Feedback” system (under the help menu) has really been successful, so Keep the feedback coming…

WARNING: Make sure you backup your data files before Upgrading…

Noteworthy changes:

1) Completely redesigned backup system.
The system now incorporates a single file, zip compression format.
Options to backup additional files, and added the ability to upload the zip to a FTP server for “Off Site” storage.


2) New “Service Rate” system:
When setup properly, the system will now determine what the Service Charge should be based on the Manufacture and Product chosen to be worked on. The system consists of 1 new table (for storing Override Texts); a new field for both the Manufacture & Product Type tables called “Charge” (under Settings >> Program Lists >> Manufactures tab); and a new dropdown list on the New / Edit Work Order window.
The system will always choose the higher of the 2 amounts.
You can setup your override list (such as “Recall”; “Warranty”, etc..) under the “Complaint Codes” tab (next to the Manufactures tab) and clicking on the “Charge Text” button.
The field name that is used for External Visual Reports is “SCAmount”.

NOTE: The system does not currently enter this amount in the ARD system.

3) Customers Equipment Window:
Added some error control to prevent equipment deactivation when equipment is still listed on a contract.

4) Inventory Control System (ICS)
Improved Sentry control of part movements for historical records.
Changed the automatic sorting patterns for the “Transfer History” window.
Added field “Last Used” for “Qty Needed For MA Service” list box, located on the Inventory & Request Navigators.

Last Used

Changed the nomenclature of the Historical Graveyard information written to the Old and New location fields.
Added Pre & Post Qty counts to historical information for the Inventory Navigator transfer system.
Improved data collection method for recording inventory count changes.
Improved the Price calculation and printing system.

5) Task Manager:
Sentry to guard against creating Work Order on expired or disabled contracts.
Improved Work Order creation system.

6) Services Navigator:
Services Navigator now open with no records
Used to help speed up time window takes to open
Added a “Quick View” tab

Quick View

Enables very quick data access to several key customer areas.
Added additional fields for viewing and searching.

7) Add Repair Detail Window (ARD):
Added a Customer Credit notification and handling system.
If the customer has a credit on file, the system will, on the first ARD window, notify the user of such credits.

There is also a new report field “Credit” where the system will print any credits the customer may have on the Work Order.
Simply double click in the credit amount field and the system will automatically apply the credits to the work order.
The system will, upon work order completion, remove those credits from the customer’s account.
Now using the newer “Customer Equipment” window when changing the equipment on the work order.
When opening the ARD window, the system will now evaluate the date completed fields with the last date schedule and if different offer to set the Work Order completed date to the last schedule date.

8) Warranty Navigator:
Added Extended Contract number to the Warranty Processing Window.
Changed the error sentry to allow for incomplete equipment information.

9) Report Changes:
Added a “Duplicate” record sentry and field to the external Visual report system.
The user is now notified when a Work Order has been printed 2 or more times. This system will also prevent the ticket from being printed after the 5th time.
Added a “Items Needed” field.
Any item listed for a piece of equipment will now be sent to the field name “EquipNeeds” for printing on your work orders.

10) History Navigator:
Added the ability to change the equipment listed for the Work Order.

11) Quick Shipment:
When entering a Work Order number as the PO, the system will offer to add that number to “Repair Number” dropdown field.

12) PO Manager:
When changing the “Expected Date” on the Navigator, the system will automatically update the “Date Expected” for the items listed on the PO

Many other minor enhancements throughout the program.

Known Issues:
Vista users may not be able to use any of the external communication systems (e-mail,Feedback,Error Msg).

Unitl Next Time!


New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 5.01)

ICS (Inventory Control System)
1) Added the ability to add part requests directly to an open PO.

2) Added an “Active” state to Inventory Items. When an Item only exists in the “Main” location, you now have the option to “hide” or to deactivate that item (qty must be 0). You will see the new check box in the Inventory Navigator Detail Frame.

3) Enhanced the Inventory Purge System. The system will now allow you to set an item to “in-active”. You can now also narrow down your purges to Equipment Type, Manufacture and Date.

4) Removed the XRef popup for the Request Navigator, and corrected a bug that would not fire the “Over Order Protection” system.

5) Quick Receive system now automatically tic’s the “Update Inventory” check box.

AR System
1) Added the automatic CC On File notification system to the AR payment receiving and MA Payment receiving windows.

2) A few minor corrections to the Statement Navigator. (Still working on a known calculation bug)

3) Compatibility with QuickBooks Pro 2009.

Schedule Navigator
1) When using custom schedule widths, you can now horizontally scroll an event to a non visible schedule.

2) Individual FE (Front End) user selectable calendar widths.

3) Equipment / Complaint window now utilizes the Age Finder system

1) All Systems now uses the improved customer support file and folder system. Any time you create a MS Word document the system will utilize the existing Document Link file and folder creation system. Folder creation would look something like this…

Root folder path as defined in settings (User choice; Default “C:\Program Files\ServiceXP\Document Links”) then Customers Last Name then Customers Account# EXAMPLE: “C:\Program Files\ServiceXP\Document Links\Gracie 054585″. This will make managing customer information much easier and more uniform throughout ServiceXp Pro.

2) New invoice (when using a Visual Reports) to .PDF file creator system and E-Mail Client. The E-Mail client is a basic E-Mailer that can be used for any communication to a customer. Copy of Communications are not stored in the database, however there is a copy made to a text file that is located with your datafiles.

E-Mail Client

3) Added “Help” under the Help Menu. (I have no idea why it was removed)

4) Added a “Feedback” system. Found under the “Help” menu. Used to communicate via E-Mail directly to me.

5) Added “Equipment Age Finder”. Found on the Equipment / Complaint window (left click Graphic Scheduler) and on the “Quick Change” windows. Currently only works with Whirlpool products. Will add more as requested.

6) Added a New Customer Navigator.

Customer Navigator

Miscellaneous bug fixes throughout the program.

Make sure you backup your datafile before installing. Also make sure everyone is logged out of ServiceXp Pro before opening build 5.5.01 as the system needs to update the tables in the database.

To those with active support plans, you will be receiving an e-mail shortly with upgrade information.

Until Next Time


Well it ain’t over yet…

While the big problem with the ICS not correctly identifying and submitting part replenishment stock to the Request Nav has been fixed, the ICS is still not correctly distinguishing and navigating the Cross Reference tree.

I’m Working on identifying and correcting the problem…..

Until Next Time,


New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 2.97)

1) Internal Update Not Working:
There was a change at my website hosting company, that caused the internal update system to fail. Those who purchased version 5, should have received an e-mail with a link to upgrade to the latest version for free.

2) ICS (Inventory Control System) fails to request for order any part(s) that have more then 1 cross reference attached. This bug was most likely introduced in version 2.48 (November 22 2008). This is a very large problem, so I’m offering a free update for any version 5 user.

Those who have an active support package can simply use the internal update system to update to the latest version. Those who do not, will need to request the patch.

Other Small enhancements / refinements through out ServiceXp Pro…..

Until Next Time

New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 2.88)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!. I’m looking forward to 2009, and all the challenges it will bring.

There have been 3 minor releases since the last blog entry. I have been pressed for time to get in here and write at each release. For those with support packages, make sure you check for updates regularly.

Many enhancements / refinements through out ServiceXp Pro.

Top 10 Bug Fixes

1) Customer Equipment window caption not updating with the selected customer information on the New WO window. Fixed
2) Graphic Scheduler right click function “Start New WO” would not always work. Fixed
3) Parts On Order indicators scope has been change to show the order Qty. on the Main inventory Location. Fixed
4) ARD (Add Repair Detail) refresh problem on slower network or systems. Fixed
5) Last MA Service Tech information not printing on service ticket. Fixed
6) Turned off auto spell on “New Work Order”.
7) Improved communication logic between the XRef and ICS. Fixed
8 ) Work Order getting assigned “0000″ as the work order number.. Fixed — I Think…
9) When no equipment is selected for a work order, the system would not handle the service history section correctly. Fixed
10) Alert messages (From the Quick Msg. Center — Ctrl + M) not causing alert to display to the user. Fixed

Other minor bug fixes…

Until Next Time

Demo Download Problems..

I was made aware of a bug that would not allow the EULA (End User License Agreement) agreement window to properly display on new, first time, installs. This would cause the program to look like it “Locked Up” on startup, thus not allowing the user to move forward.

I have no idea how long this bug has been lurking but if you encountered that bug, please re-download the demo, and try it again.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.


New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 2.48)

It’s been a while I know…. :-(

There have been several new builds since the last post, lots of new features and bug fixes.

ICS (Inventory Control System)
Improved replenish search speed. I’m ‘front loading’ some of the calculation in this process, so now you will see a bit of a delay after you hit the replenish button, but the post calculation are about 500% faster. This yielded an overall speed increase of about 300% in performing the task.

There has always been a break in logic when handling stock replenishment evaluations as it relates to Cross References. In the past, the ICS system would ignore the X-Ref system when it evaluated for stock replenishment. The end result went something like this: You could have a qty. of 4 of a superseded item and be at the reorder trigger point for the non-superseded item in the X-Ref relationship and the ICS would still request more of the non-superseded item. Furthermore the ICS would continue to request for reorder of a superseded item when the trigger point was reached. These situation are handled now, and should look something like this: When an item is evaluated for replenishment, the ICS will check that Item ID against the X-Ref. system. It will then evaluate all superseded items in the X-Ref relationship. If the ICS finds an item in this superseded relationship that has a qty > 0 it will perform some additional calculations based on the quantity of the superseded item with that of the item being evaluated for replenishment, and will only request replenishment for the needed difference.

Added a remaining stock indicator on the Inventory Pull Sheet. This will help perform easy spot checks of inventory quantities.

Added direct edit capabilities to the Current Order window found via the Review Orders button.

When searching for a Part ID (Inventory Navigator) and no match is found, the system will automatically search in the Other Part # field.

“Sort” added to the repair number field to the Request Nav, Order Manager & Receive Shipment to help group items needed for jobs.

Graphic Scheduler
Hopefully corrected some intermittent refresh and update problems.

MA / Contract System
Did a bunch of work to help prevent the renewing of a contract before all services have been rendered for the current contract. You can still renew the contract, but the system will suggest you create the MA service ticket first. This coupled with some additional code in the ARD (Add Repair Detail) system, will properly link the service against the correct contract date range.

New / Edit Work Order
Added POC (Point of Contact) and Contact P# fields.
Hooked Map Grid field, so now it will display the Map ID for the selected service address.

Customers Manager
Added a reverse link to the equipment window. Now when you return to the Customer Manager from the Equipment Manager the selected equipment (in the Equipment Manager) item will be selected on the Customers Equipment list.

Hopefully corrected a nasty little bug where in some cases you would end up with orphaned records. Records that have no information. .. If you see that you have been hit by this bug you should clean up those records. To do this simply go to Customers and hit the ALL button. Then load and delete any records that don’t have any customer information. The easiest way to clean up orphaned Service Address is to use the Transfer Customer system, Tic the SA table check box and open. There you will be able see and delete any records that are blank..

Added “Date Completed” to Recall window.
Added the capability to add a Recall when the previous work order has not be completed out in the system.
Corrected a few installation problems.

Many other little improvements and bug corrections.

Until Next Time…

New & Improved Features Version 5 (build 2.16)

The latest….

The version 5 updates to the help file are progressing, slowly but surely… You will notice the update program size has increased quite a bit (by almost 11 megs). The update now includes the latest version of the help file.

Customers Equipment Window
I was never really happy with the updates to this system. While tasks where much easier to accomplish, we lost some functionality. Well I re-wrote the entire system yet again. This time I’m much happier (not 100%) with the results. I was able to keep the same ease-of tasks, while gaining the functionality we had previously.

Schedule Navigator
I finally did it… I unloaded all of the older scheduler system from the Schedule Navigator. The old scheduler is now called the master schedule and can be loaded with the button found on the Schedule Navigator. You should rarely need to use it but since the database structure is tied around it, it needs to remain.

Unloading the master schedule from the navigator should also help speed up the opening of the window.

Customer Manager
Changed some of the nomenclature of the search types.

Inventory Add/ Edit Screen
Added window sizing.

Recall System
You can now add a recall tech to a work order without having to have the originating work order completed in the system.

Fixed numerous minor bugs (48).. I know kind of high… but in retrospect much lower then the Version 1.78 to 2.00… Upgrade :-)

One bug/observation to mention.. It was discovered that if you have your monitors dpi setting, set to anything other then 96dpi, you will not see the new field filter system drop down arrows. This is a known Microsoft bug, and there is not much that I can do about it at this time..

Until Next Time…