Welcome to the Exact Product Blog

On this blog we will cover stories from all around the Exact ecosystem.

Exact Globe add-on: Quality management

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

This is the first in a series of articles on add-ons for Exact Globe. Add-ons are additional solutions that run on top of Exact Globe, in a fully integrated way. These add-ons are globally available for Exact customers, so not limited to 1 country or region.

The first one is Quality management.

In many companies, it is essential to monitor the quality of goods received and produced. These goods may be purchased from suppliers or manufactured by the company. In addition to the identification of specific batches, mandatory checks on predefined criteria are required to reduce waste, improve customer service levels and comply to regulations.

For more information, feel free to contact Marcia Vermeer at Exact Software. Click on the video for a brief explanation of the solution:

Photo credit: Sergei Golyshev

Ready.Set.7. with Exact Globe

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

In April Exact concluded that its software would run better on the Windows 7 platform than on Vista. The decision was made to have Exact Globe running on the new operating system as soon as possible. As announced on Exact’s product blog in July, Exact Software wanted to become one of the first European software vendors to receive certification. By the time the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference took place in July, Exact Globe was certified and ready to run on Windows 7.

As a result of the certification, Exact is one of a select group of partners currently being promoted by Microsoft on the Ready. Set. 7. website. The certifcation places Exact Globe  (as per product update 395) among the first wave of products that is Windows 7 compatible, well before the launch of the new OS, and allows us to profit from the exposure on the Microsoft website.

On the Ready. Set. 7. website you’ll find our logo and behind it, a short piece describing the advantages we’ll be able to provide to our customers thanks to the Windows 7 productivity enhancements.  A short film featuring Aad ‘t Hart can also be viewed, in which he gives his views on what Windows 7 can do for our customers. “Windows 7 increases the  productivity  of the Exact Globe end user,” Aad says.

For end users, the OS will be faster, use less memory, and lengthen the battery life. For Exact Globe users, the user-friendlier task bar and ‘jump list’ will allow them to work more quickly and efficiently, with faster access to their most frequently used administrations. In short, the new Windows 7 will create value by allowing our customers to focus more on their core business.

Exact customers with access to Exact’s customer portal, can read more details in the release notes.

Some tips to run Exact Synergy as well as Exact Synergy Enterprise on a Vista machine

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

On my Windows Vista machine I run Exact Synergy Enterprise locally. Today I tried to install Exact Synergy (ASP version) on the same machine as well. It was only with the help from some development colleagues and extensive analysis, that we got this working. Here’s 3 topics that ‘did the trick’.

1.       When you start the Productupdater to download the Synergy targets to your local machine, make sure to start it with the parameter /Nocheck=1. So i.e. Start>>Run>> “C:\Users\voet1108\Desktop\SynergyProductUpdater.exe” /nocheck=1

Fill in a different virtual directory for your Synergy installation. I used SynergyASP as virtual directory name

2.       Go to control panel>>programs and features>>Turn Windows features on or off. Now make sure you enable “ASP” in the following path:

pic1 

3.       Go to Administrative tools>>IIS

 pic2

4.       Click on ASP and enable parent paths

Good luck!

if you have anymore tips on this same topic, please leave a comment.

 

Photo credit: William Hook

Small enhancements…big impact!

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

As from August 11, product update 394 of Exact Globe can be downloaded by our customers. In this product update, as with previous ones, Exact brings several major enhancements to the market. These projects are based on input from our customers, from the ERP market in general and market trends we see and finally, input comes from the technology side.

A considerable slice of the development capacity ‘pie’, is allocated to what we call ‘small enhancements’ that are a direct result of customer feedback. Exact receives quite a bit of customer suggestions every day and we’re happy with such feedback since it helps us to improve the product and increase the satisfaction our customers have when using the product. The best ideas are often generated by those users who work intensively with the software in their daily operations. Check for example this earlier post.

In this blogpost I want to highlight one of the ‘small enhancements’ we made in product update 394: Perform Multiple Payment/Receipt Allocations and Cost Bookings Simultaneously.

Originally brought to the attention of Exact by a customer who updated to product update 393. After this update, he couldn’t use ‘Analytical accounting’ (menu path[FGY])  anymore to allocate multiple debtor entries on to another debtor. He used this functionality frequently because as a result of his business (a parking garage) he received a huge number of electronic payments that have no invoice and are from unknown debtors. Exact had changed (disabled) the functionality they used since it lead to financial inconsistencies.

After we understood the scenario this customer was using every day and dived into it, we concluded that the allocation to a debtor is only a part of the process. There was a lot of manual work involved to get it booked on the correct cost or revenue ledger, using the right  tax code and other analytical values.

So we came up with a simple, small enhancement that would have the same result as before product update 393 and even better: next to allocating multiple receipts/payments to a debtor/creditor, users can also book it on the correct ledger and assign cost center/cost unit/project/tax codes in 1 go. have a look at the screen to see what I mean:

Product update 394: multi allocate

Building this new screen wasn’t a lot of effort from a product development point of view. That’s why we classify it internally as a ‘small enhancement’… But from an external point of view (the customers using it) this turns out to be an enhancement that is very much appreciated. Now that product update 394 is being downloaded and deployed by our customers, we’re receiving more and more extremely positive feedback on this particular enhancement. Of course the customer based on who’s input we developed it, was happy with the improvement and another customer, an organization delivering professional services on accountancy and business software,  told Exact (quote) “This new functionality is in 1 word GENIAL. It saves me hours of work”. More of these positive quotes come in on a  regular basis now.

A clear example of how a small project turns out to be a major improvement to many customers. That’s also the challenge for people working in any product development organization: balancing the time spent on ‘big projects’ based on market research that aim to capture new opportunities, versus smaller projects based on direct feedback from your existing customers. For the customer, this differentation between ‘big’ or ‘small’ is irrelevant by the way: the end-result needs to add value and contribute to a more efficient or effective way of working.

 

Photo-credit: spettacolopuro

 

Exact introduces E-Risk Management for Exact Globe

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

E-Risk Management provides real-time data integration with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. The movie below shows you how this integration between Exact Globe and D&B works and what value it offers. 

The aim of E-Risk management is to improve your decision-making and the management of your business relationships at both local and international levels. With this tool, the finance and procurement departments in your company can retrieve comprehensive business and financial information to enable more intelligent credit and purchasing decisions. The sales and marketing departments can also create new accounts based on D&B information, thereby initiating customer life cycles with correct and complete information. They can also optimize their marketing efforts through an increased understanding of customer at both local and international levels.

All information retrieved from D&B is stored directly in your Exact administration. It is linked to the account via the D&B® D-U-N-S® (Data Universal Numbering System) number, which is a unique, nine-digit identification number for each physical location of a business worldwide. This allows you to share the information within your company, perform analyses or trigger events based on key performance indicators, for example by using E-Report or Exact Event Manager.

With E-Risk Management you can reduce bad debts, discover sales opportunities, and generally avoid wasting time and money on business activities based on incorrect account data. You also benefit from having a structured electronic data instead of hard copy documents.

All it takes to get started is a D&B user ID and password from your local D&B office (www.dnb.com) and the module E-Risk Management.

This functionality is available as per product update 394 of Exact Globe. Product update 242 for Exact Synergy Enterprise will also introduce an integration with D&B services.

Photo credit: masochismtango

 

Connecting Exact with other applications

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

Within Exact, but also outside our organization, we experience more and more the need to have the capabilities to connect our software with other applications to exchange information. On this blog we already gave multiple examples where we have realized a connection with other applications. Just a few of these blogposts are: OCS presence in Exact Synergy Enterprise, Electronic Invoicing, E-Risk Management for Exact Globe and the Synergy Office Integration.

Those examples describe a connection with a specific application where we, as Exact, have established the connection ourselves. Here we are fully in control to define the connection. But other organizations also want to exchange information between their applications and our applications. They want to use the connection the same way as we do in our applications to:

  1. Present information from other applications
  2. Exchange data to help their users to improve their productivity

In our applications we had basically two main possibilities to establish a connection to exchange information. Those two possibilities are:

  1. XML; With XML, Exact and other organizations have the possibility to exchange data via an XML file.
  2. SDK; With the Software Development Kit, certified solution partners can develop their own solution for exchanging data, real-time.

Those two possibilities are very useful to exchange information but are not the solution to establish easy, standard connections between Exact’s applications and other applications. The main reason is that those possibilities are not standardized and /or do not work real-time.

To come to the situation that we can easily connect with other applications we have made several steps. We have built a layer in Exact Globe and Exact Synergy Enterprise which we call the connectivity layer. This layer gives the possibility to exchange data, real-time in a standardized format based on a request – reply structure. Via this layer, entities, which are different types of data such as ‘accounts’ and ‘resources’, can be exchanged. At this moment 6 entities are supported for Exact Globe and 20 entities for Exact Synergy Enterprise and we are extending this number with every new product update.

The beauty of this connectivity layer is that the same structure is used for both applications. So we basically get one way of connecting for both Exact Globe and Exact Synergy Enterprise. The difference is only that Exact Globe supports the entities on component level and that Exact Synergy Enterprise supports the entities on component level as well as through web services.

I think that with this connectivity layer we make connecting with Exact Globe and Exact Synergy Enterprise much easier. Ok, it’s still something that is only to be used by developers, but it makes their lives much easier.

Although we know that this is a good step, we also know that establishing connectivity between two applications can be made  even easier than this. To realize this, we have signed a strategic partnership with Pervasive to use their Data Integrator as a preferred middleware solution to establish the connection. More about this partnership in my next blog post.

Please share via a comment to this article your opinion about you vision on connectivity and please let me know if you see possibilities to improve it even further. Do not hesitate to share your great ideas!

 

Photo credit: Visulogik

New report engine for Exact Globe product update 395

Written by Michiel van Rooijen on . Posted in Exact Globe

As of product update 395 the reporting engine for Exact Globe will be Crystal reports XI. From the start of Exact Globe the reporting engine used was Crystal reports 8.5. With this upgrade we and all e-report users can make use of all the new features in Crystal reports XI like dynamic and cascading prompts, HTML preview, dynamic image location, editable RTF format and intelligent charting. This upgrade also ensures we are up to date with the new technology in Crystal reports and users  can be sure they are working on a version that is also supported by Crystal reports in the future.

The upgrade process to the new version is very simple for the standard reports in Exact Globe: just update the normal way and all standard reports are upgraded to the new report engine.

All users of e-report, the module that provides the abilty to create your own Crystal reports in Globe, will have their own customized reports. We have developed a simple tool to convert these reports to Crystal XI in one go, you just need to know in which folder you keep your own reports:

Convert small

Crystal reports is one of the most used professional reporting tool.  So users without e-report in Exact Globe may still have Crystal reports provided to them via consultants, solution providers, custom solutions etcetera. When these reports make use of the report engine in Exact Globe these reports have to be converted also. Again the same tool can be used, without the need of installing a copy of Crystal reports.

Upgrading to new technology can be a challenge but with this upgrade we think we have made it as simple as possible!

Improving the performance of Exact Globe

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe

In an earlier post on my personal blog, I wrote about improving the performance of Exact Globe. A discussion was initiated in the Exact Globe user group on LinkedIn, resulting in a few webinars with customers, implementation partners and contacts at Exact resellers to exchange our thoughts on the topic. In this post I want to give a first update on what has been going on since then, what the outcome is and how organizations and the people that use Exact Globe, could benefit from all this.

The approach taken by Exact’s product organization to improve the performance and scalability of Exact Globe has been divided into 3 parts:

  1. Reduce the number of records in the main transaction tables. More specifically, do a clean-up of MRP records that are generated during logistic, project or production processes.
  2. Introduce tables that capture financial balances. So we’re removing the need to retrieve totals by doing a sum across all records in Exact Globe’s financial transaction table (a.k.a. GBKMUT)
  3. Build an archiving function that enable organizations to remove all transactions related to old financial years

So what can you expect in the next product update of Exact Globe?

We’re currently in the final stages of the development of product update 395. Topic 1) and 2) will be a part of that product update; topic 3) is still under analysis. A little more detail on the improvements we made:

1) Reduce the number of records in the main transaction tables

Logistic processes in Exact Globe generate MRP planning records. Examples of logistic processes are sales orders, blanket sales orders, return to merchant authorization (RMA) orders, purchase orders, blanket purchase orders, return to vendor (RTV) orders, interbranch transfers and quotations.

Over the years, as customers’ databases become larger and filled with logistic transactions, the database actions on these MRP records becomes slower. Purpose of the adjustments that have been made in product update 395, is to improve the performance of logistic and MRP related data, by removing obsolete MRP records from the Exact Globe database.

After the completion of the logistic processes over a certain period of time, the historical records (i.e. the completed sales or purchase orders) might be obsolete and no longer required. In order to delete these obsolete logistic and MRP planning records (and hence improve the performance of the administration), a tool dedicated for this function is available as per product update 395.

Functionally, this is done via a wizard that will explain the user about the consequences and what pre-conditions have been set. Reason for setting some preconditions and limitations, is that we didn’t want to build solutions for every possible scenario and thereby delay delivery for the majority of our customers. We expect to get quite a bit of customer feedback and we intend to take that into consideration in next iterations of the cleanup application. That’s why you’ll see that i.e. the clean-up will not work in combination with production orders. See the screenshot below for an impression of how it looks like:

Logistic MRP cleanup, 395

2)      Introduce tables that capture financial balances.

In order to speed up the retrieval of transactions totals, new tables have been introduced to capture

a)      Total actual financial transactions per ledger

b)      Cash/bank balance

c)       Actual  stock per item

d)      Total accounts receivable per debtor

e)      Total accounts payable per supplier

Applications that benefit from these improvements are AR/AP/GL cards, cash/bank entry (where cash/bank balance is retrieved in the header) and viewing your stock positions report.

These tables are populated by making use of SQL triggers. This means that consistency and correctness of the values in the table, is ensured on a database level  outside of the Exact Globe applications. In order to keep the size of these new balance tables small and fast, a background process (a SQL agent task) will be automatically enabled on your SQL server and scheduled to compress the records in these new tables every night at 2am.

We’ve also implemented a fallback scenario J. Just in case anything would go wrong, the administrator can simply disable the use of these balance tables and Exact Globe will retrieve financial totals in the same way as it does in 394 and before.

A nice side-effect of having these balance tables is that organizations who have their own customized reports that show any of the 5 totals listed above, can rebuild these reports on the new tables, making retrieval of the report faster.

Interested?

In a next blogpost I will go into some more detail about the balance tables concept and the performance results we’ve seen in our labs.  Meanwhile, in case you’re interested to be an early adaptor of these improvements and give feedback to Exact, please contact your local Exact office to participate in the Controlled release of 395. We expect this controlled release to start mid September.

Product Update 394 can now be downloaded

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

After an extensive controlled release phase, product update 394 for Exact Globe and Exact Synergy is now generally available and can be downloaded by all our customers with an active maintenance contract. Only customers with custom solutions should first make sure that their custom solutions are made compatible before updating to product update 394.

As you might know we have developed an integration with Dun & Bradstreet, the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. For this integration we created the new module E-Risk Management, which will continue in controlled release till further notice. If you are interested in integrating the Dun & Bradstreet services with Exact Globe, please contact your local Exact Software account manager.

When we announced the start of the controlled release phase we also already introduced to you the other new module E-Charges and Discounts, we already told you about Blanket Sales Orders and we already mentioned several other projects we have completed for this product update. A detailed overview of all new and enhanced functionality can now be found in the release notes. Below you can also find four movies in which Richard Smits and Michiel van Rooijen, both product managers for Exact Globe, show you four new features in Exact Globe.

 

 

Photocredit: cell105

Exact Software getting ready for Windows 7

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Online, Exact Synergy

Last month the Windows 7 team of Microsoft announced on their blog that the General Availability of Windows 7 is planned for October 22nd 2009. Windows 7 is the successor of Windows Vista and includes many new features.

Exact Software is preparing to become one of the first European software vendors to receive an official certification for Windows 7. In the movie below Aad ‘t Hart, technology & research director of Exact Software, explains how Exact is getting ready for Windows 7 and what are the advantages for our customers.

If the movie does not play, you can find the original movie here.