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Rafiki’s Corner: The Art of Grouping with Exact Event Manager

Written by Sander van Triet on . Posted in Exact Event Manager

Exact Event Manager 1.8 is now in Controlled Release around the world. Folks are testing the solution against real life use cases and things are looking up. In this edition of Rafiki’s Corner, I want to deviate slightly from my normal approach of information broadcasting to functional insights into a specific feature. This is more of a How To type blog, and the attention now turns to The Art of Grouping…. using the Grouping capabilities within Exact Event Manager that are now embedded into the core solution.

The Grouping capabilities with Exact Event Manager comprise a mini collection of functionalities.

  • Simple Data Grouping at the Query Level – Single Level Grouping
  • Tables inserted into emails for grouped data
  • eMail Repeats – one email for grouped data
  • Summation on Columns in tables

Each one of these items represents a Product Backlog item based on market driven requirements. However, they are combined together into the simple title of Grouping (Single Level). What this really means is that Exact Event Manager is capable of performing a query, grouping data, then sending this data to an action, such as email, and then insert this grouped data into the ONE action (e.g. email). Gone are the days where one row of data from a query would create one action, resulting in potentially multiple emails going to the same recipient. You also no longer have to perform your grouping inside SAP Crystal Reports or SQL Server Reporting Services! So, lets’ take a look at how to go about creating a Grouping based Event within Exact Event Manager 1.8. We will start with a Use Case…

Once upon a time, there was a sales manager, Tommy, who really liked to know what was going on within his revered customer base. He prided himself on knowing the very pulse of what was happening and when. However, those were the days when we had lots and lots of assistants whose sole job it was to provide you with that sort of information. Today, Tommy no longer has any of those assistants, and has no idea to operate his Business Intelligence tool that his father recently had implemented in their aviation supplies company. This meant that Tommy had to reliquish his daily golf game and park his Diamond DA40 in the hanger! Oh, how unhappy Tommy was now that he was tied to his desk learning how to get information from the systems.

All this pain simply because Tommy wanted to know what Customers placed orders of $2,000 or more, and what those orders were, once a week. Once he had this information, he would always send them an email thanking them. Now, he has to try to figure out a way to extract this information, and without the help of a bevy of assisstants who had all been re-assigned. Surely his newly acquired iPhone 4S could help him with this task and he could fly to a new golf course every day? Then he heard about Exact Event Manager 1.8……. “Show me please!!!!” cried Tommy. Low and behold, Tommy found the instructions on how to set up Exact Event Manager 1.8 to handle exactly his needs. He took them to his IT Manager, his uncles’ brothers’ sister, Wanda and asked her to get to it. Here is what Wanda had to do….

1. Understand clearly what Tommy wanted and why (aside from being able to play golf and fly!)

2. Make sure she knew what data to extract from what tables

3. Go into Exact Event Manager 1.8 and create a new Event

4. Set up the Source and go into the Command Builder and build her query

5. Seeing that Wanda needed to create a Grouped Event, she has to make sure that she checks the Sort Type and Sort Order columns against the Customer Number. This turns on the Break On First Field (Grouping) Capability

6. Inside the Command Builder, Run the Query now to ensure there is accurate data coming back, and make sure the Query Type is set to Tracked

7. Click OK to Save and return to the Design Canvas

8. Select the email Action off the default templates on the right, and double click it to bring it onto the canvas.

9. You will notice that there is now a Check Box at the bottom of the Action box, called “Break On First Field”. Make sure this is Checked to indicate Grouping is in play.

Grouping Indicator on Action

10. Select the Connector between the Query and Action, so this it is red

11. Go down to the bottom right of the screen and select fields in the Property Grid, specifically the email address for the To field, and CUSTOM for the Body field.

12. Click on the ellipsis to the right of the Body field to bring up the Rich Text editor (with some cool new features in it!)

13. Start building the bosy of the email with tags being inserted.

14. Go to Insert on the top menu bar and insert a TWO (2) Row Table with as many columns as you need. You must have 2 Rows.

15. Lable the Columns of the Table and place the cursor in the second Row cells, inserting the data tags you need.

Insertion of Columns for Grouping of data

16. Click OK, exit out to the Design Canvas, click on the Save and Exit Icon

17. Don’t forget to set a schedule, or hit the Queue Now button to run this immediately!

18. Go give the good news to Tommy to get him out of your hair, along with a gift voucher for new golf balls.

Following these steps, Wanda was able to create a set of Events that would help Tommy with his hectic life. And so it came to pass, that both Wanda and Tommy were happy, and customers received weekly information and emails showing gratitude for their business.

And they all lived happily ever after. Tommy with his Golf and flying, and Wanda tending to her network and fish.