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February 2018

Written by Rich on February 22, 2018

Using Notifications to keep your customers and vendors up to date on their orders - and your internal staff too!

VISUAL's email capabilities have been further enhanced in Version 9 with the introduction of Notifications.  In fact, it should be noted that VISUAL's entire email system has been updated and now works with multiple email systems including Office365, Gmail, Thunderbird, etc. 

For those of you using Workflow to send emails - this is awesome news.  Workflow and emails were sometimes a hit and miss depending on your environment - and a PITA to troubleshoot!

So, Notifications in VISUAL allows you to communicate updates to your customers and vendors on:

  • when a New Order is entered;
  • when there is a Change Order, and/or
  • when there's a Shipment/Receipt on the order.

These notifications can ALSO be sent to people within your company as well - think of notifying...

  • salesperson of shipments
  • production/planning department of order changes
  • accounting of an invoice payment of a large order

And all of this can all be done automatically and behind the scenes.

Notifications can be set globally at the customer and vendor level as well as at the order level.

In the Customer Order Entry window, under the Notifications tab in header area - you can indicate whether notifications should be processed. 
 

Infor VISUAL ERP - Order Notification

 

You can also bring up the following window by selecting Order Notifications under the EDIT menu:
 

Infor VISUAL ERP - Email Notification


Notifications to your customers and vendors will always be sent to the contact tied to the specific order.  Internal communications (your employees) are specified in the window above (right area) or can be set globally at the customer and vendor level. 

To set these parameters at the customer and vendor level - look for the Notifications option under the MAINTAIN menu of the respective module (Customer Maintenance/Vendor Maintenance)

The amount of details in these notifications are entirely up to you and can be easily configured - using templates.  Managing these templates can be done in the Notification Maintenance window, which can be found under the ADMIN menu
 

Infor VISUAL ERP - Notification Maintenance

 
You will notice across the top are the various templates particular to the notification type (business event) - ie: customer order, purchase order, shipment, receipt, etc. 

The right area lists all the available tokens (placeholders) to personalize the content of the notification.  These tokens will be replaced with content from your data of the related document when the email is created.

The main area of the window allows you to define the content for:

  • Subject Line
  • Header Message
  • Line Details
  • Footer Message

Once set - you are good to go.  It's another option to keep everyone apprised of what's going on - externally and internally.

  

Written by Rich on February 13, 2018

How to Dynamically Interact with VISUAL from another application

There are many options and paths you can take to integrate VISUAL to your other business applications.  Some are easy, and some are not so easy.... some may involve 3rd party integration tools/services and some may require custom programming with APIs and BODs. 

However, there is one way where Infor couldn't make it any easier to integrate....

 Infor VISUAL ERP - Integration

...using a VMX file!

Yup!  That's right, a VMX file....but a "special" VMX file 

I written posts in the past on VMX files....in fact, I wrote one a couple of weeks ago where you can use a VMX as a way to have VISUAL start up with your default windows after signing in.

In this case, we can use a VMX file to interact/interface with VISUAL from another application.  It involves creating a VMX file on the fly based on end-user contextual request on demand...I may have made that terminology up...lol...not sure if that really means what I trying to explain.

Here's an example...

You could have an excel file with a list of parts where you can click on a cell containing a Part ID to call up VISUAL's Material Planning Window for the demand and supply of that specific part - without having to leave Excel.  This can be done behind the scenes using simple (more or less) VBA code that creates the VMX file and executes it.

Here's a visual of it in action

Infor VISUAL ER{P - Integration
Double Click on Image for a better visual.


Let me walk you through it

We're going to create an Excel file with a list of parts that when you select a cell/row - it will open VISUAL Material Planning Window for that specific part.

Now I'm using Excel for my walk through - because it's easy and everyone uses Excel.  But you can do this with any application where you can program simple code to create a VMX file based on user input.

Assuming we are on VISUAL 9 - (if you are not on Visual 9 - why aren't you?)

  1. Create an Excel File containing a list of parts with the following columns:
    • Column A: Site ID (required)
    • Column B: Part ID (required)
    • Column C: Description
    • Column D: UM
    • Column E: Qty

  2. Be sure to populate the list with parts starting on Row 2
  3. Open the Visual Basic module of Excel (under the Developer Tab).  If you don't have the Developer Tab - you will need to enable it - go to File > Options.
  4. Insert the following code in the SelectionChange event/procedure of the worksheet.

    Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)

    Dim VMPath As String
    Dim VMXPath As String
    Dim PartID As String
    Dim SiteID As String

    'Path to your VISUAL executable file - VM.EXE
    VMPath = "{VISUAL Executable Directory}\VM.exe"

    'Path to where you want to create your VMX file. You would typlically want
    'this to be in your VISUAL local directory
    VMXPath = "{local Directory Path}\VISUAL.VMX"

    If Selection.Count = 1 Then

       If Target.Row > 1 Then
          Set objShell = VBA.CreateObject("Wscript.shell")

          PartID = Range("B" & Target.Row).Value
          SiteID = Range("A" & Target.Row).Value

          'Create the VMX file to open VISUAL Material Planning Window
          Set filesys = VBA.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
          Set filetxt = filesys.CreateTextFile(VMXPath, True)
          filetxt.WriteLine ("LSASTART")
          filetxt.WriteLine ("VMPLNWIN~" & SiteID & "~" & PartID)
          filetxt.Close

          'Drilldown into VISUAL using VMX file
          objShell.Exec ("""" & VMPath & """ """ & VMXPath & """")
          objShell.AppActivate ("Material Planning Window - Infor VISUAL")

          'Focus back to Excel
          Application.Wait (Now + TimeValue("0:00:02"))
          AppActivate ThisWorkbook.Application.Caption
       End If

    End If

    End Sub


    It may look like a lot of code....but it's not.

    Be sure to replace directory highlighted in RED to your environment.
  5. You can exit out of the Visual Basic module and return to Excel.
  6. You are good to go.

Click away on any row with a part and you should see VISUAL dynamically respond.

If the above steps are too involved....you can download the example excel file for your convenience

Let me know what you think.
  

 

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