Odds & Ends

Written by Richard on February 11, 2015

Get your shades! Future is looking mighty bright on things to come in VISUAL 8!

Ryleigh's reaction when I told her about VISUAL 8

Just got back from the Infor Partner Conference last week....and I gotta tell you that I was floored on all the new features and functions that are coming down the pipe with VISUAL 8.  Rich Lagoy and Frank Maglio did a great job on presenting (and demo'ing!) VISUAL 8 and discussing the products' roadmap.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Macros will be managed within the database
  • VISUAL API Suite -  That's right, the COM objects are back!  They will be upgraded and incorporated into a full API suite and part of the VISUAL core.  Oh, did I mention that they will be supported and documented?  What does this mean to the VISUAL user? Integrating to VISUAL will be easier, faster, more secure.
  • Built-in Automation of Processes - You will now be able to autorun Global Scheduler, Costing, MRP and VISUAL Analytics
  • New UI, Navigation, and Document Information Capture
    • New and improved Graphical Document Lifecycle.
    • You want more drill down capabilities?  You got 'em - even at the order line level!
    • Source & Target Navigation - Easily walk through the lifecycle of a document to view upstream or downstream relationships.  For example, from the Customer Order you can jump to the corresponding quote and/or the packlist(s).
    • Activities and Reminders - You can now create and log activities on all documents - allowing you the ability to categorize and record various “activities”.  In addition, users can set follow-up reminders associated with these activities.
    • Enhanced Query Tool - Yes this little tool is undergoing a much needed facelift.  You will be able drag and drop tables and fields into the query window, export results to Excel and save to the database.
  • Wait until you see the View Panels.  Major Enhancements!  They can display data graphically which you can also drill-down into for details.  So many features have been added that each document can have it's own living dashboard/KPIs metrics.
  • Dashboards, Dashboards and more Dashboards - Remember EIS?  Those days are long gone and forgotten! Amazing stuff - and very much needed.
  • VISUAL Mobile Automation
  • Customer Sponsored Feature Enhancements - You've asked for them - so you're getting them.  Thank you very much
    These are just a few - but there's many:
    • Print Packlists by warehouse or territory
    • Customizable UDFs on AR, AP and GL Entry modules
    • View Work Order Receipts option from the Manufacturing Window
    • On-hand balance check when backdating in Inventory Transaction Entry window
    • Printing associated documents when printing a range of Work Order Travelers
    • Security Enhancements - Permission settings to Add & Delete parts, customers and vendors
    • Added "Entered By" fields to Customer Order Entry (in both the header and line level)
    • Vendor Supplying Part - ability to add the same vendor more than once to a part.
    • Added OnDelete and OnAfterDelete for macros
    • Supplier Performance window - to compare performance on delivery and quality

I should add a disclaimer here only to let you know that what was presented on VISUAL 8 may change - many factors can affect Infor’s product development plans and the nature, content and timing of future product releases, all of which remain in the sole discretion of Infor.

That beings said - I'm anxiously looking forward to VISUAL 8!


Written by Richard on November 28, 2014

Pimp your VISUAL Browse window

The BROWSE window is available all throughout the VISUAL application.  You likely use it day in and day out as you filter through the records you need.  With every new version of VISUAL, you may have noticed added functionality to the window - such as:

  • Dynamic Searching
  • Searching on Initial Entry
  • Stopping the Searching Process
  • Sorting by Columns
  • Printing the Result Set
  • Browsing by SQL Statement
  • Editing Data in the Browse Table
  • Exporting and Import using Excel

These are all great features - but you can do so much more....

The BROWSE window can be customized to include additional information and fields that are not typically available "out of the box".  You can then search on these fields.

Couple of examples are:

  • Specifications Field
    Specifications are used in many areas of VISUAL (parts, customer orders, purchase orders, work orders, etc).  Once they are configured to your browse window, you can perform searches on them.
  • Line Items on Quotes
    If you use quotes extensively in your company, you know how difficult it can be to sift through quotes for non-Part ID line items.  By adding line item details to the Quote Browse window - you can easily search through to the quote you want.
  • Line Item Details on Orders
    Much like the previous example, you can browse through your orders at the line level as oppose to the header detail.
  • Shipper line details with Trace IDs
    This one, I use quite a bit.  I have configured the Packlist BROWSE window to include not only the shipped line information but I also include all the Trace IDs (if any).  Now if I want to know when (or how) a particular Trace ID was shipped - I just enter the Trace ID to pull up the packlist that it was shipped on.
These are just a few examples - but the possibilities are endless. (well, maybe not endless...)
The easiest way to customize the BROWSE window is to use SQL Views and having the VMBROWSE.ini file point to it.
Infor VISUAL ERP - VMBROWSE.ini fileWhat the heck is the VMBROWSE.ini file?  The VMBROWSE.ini file contains all the parameters and settings to all the BROWSE windows in VISUAL.  This file is user-specific - every user "should" have their own unique file.  And depending on how your VISUAL environment was installed - it can be found in the users' local directory for VISUAL.  If you open the file, you'll notice sections that refer to the various areas of VISUAL where the BROWSE window is available.  Each section starts with [section name] (open and close square brackets).  Within each section, you'll find the database table(s) used, visible columns to display in the grid, column sizes, sort order, etc.
So to customize the BROWSE you need to change the value set for the database table and the columns to display (based on the SQL View you created).
Here's a quick example to customize the QUOTE BROWSE window to include the line items.   Please keep in mind that this example assumes you are current and on VISUAL 7.1.2.  You have upgraded - haven't you?
Step 1 - Create a SQL View that links the QUOTE table to the QUOTE_LINE table.  Give the SQL View the name V_QUOTES.  Download this script to create the SQL View.
Step 2 - Open your VMBROWSE.ini file and find the section [Quote].  Set the value for table to V_QUOTES (as shown).  Download this section to copy and paste into your VMBROWSE.ini file.
Step 3 - Log into VISUAL and browse your Quotes with line items.  You will need to add the new columns using EDIT COLUMNS under the DATA menu.
You may get an initial error when you first browse for your quotes.  This should only happen once.  It's because you need to reset the columns to display.  Just ignore the error and reset your columns.
There you have it.
Here's the solution (which I get asked quite a bit for) to PIMP your PACKLIST browse window to include shipped line items with Trace IDs.  The solution includes a SQL function to concatenate multiple Trace IDs per shipped line item (if any).
Step 3 - Modify the [Shipping Packlist] section of your VMBROWSE.ini file. Download the entire section.
Infor VISUAL ERP - Shipper Browse Window with Trace IDs
Packlist Browse Window that includes Trace IDs which you can search against
Written by Richard on May 27, 2014

Here's a neat little tip that's undocumented when entering a date in the grid.

Some of the "little" challenges of manually entering dates in the various grids throughout VISUAL...

Is it mm/dd/yyyy?  dd/mm/yyyy?  yyyy/mm/dd ? ...  You can easily mix up the month and day positions - which could greatly affect your day-to-day operations - and not in a good way.

Is the date you've entered land on a day that you're closed?  It's difficult to meet a ship date if it falls on the weekend.  It's hard to tell without having a calendar in front of you.


These are just a couple of things to consider when you have to manually key in a date in a grid in VISUAL.  Wouldn't it be great if you can visually pick a date from a pop-up calendar (similar to the available calendars in the header areas of orders)?

Well you can....just hit the space bar when you are in a date column of the grid.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Calendar
Hit the space bar to pop-up the calendar.  Presto!

Space bar, select a date...done...move on

Who has time to manually enter dates anyway?  Not this guy.


Written by Richard on August 15, 2013

VISUAL Connect 2013 – What’s in it for you?

It’s that time of the year again!  The 3 Infor GOLD Channel Partners (Visual Business Solutions, Synergy Resources, Visual South) are hosting the 3rd Annual VISUAL Connect 2013 conference – providing users a great opportunity to network with other VISUAL users and learn all the great things that VISUAL has to offer.

What’s unique this year from previous years is that the sessions have been carefully designed into 12 educational tracks for the person wishing to take a deep dive into a particular area of VISUAL.

The available tracks are:

  • Manufacturing Track
  • Sales Track Track
  • Inventory Track
  • Procurement Track
  • Scheduling Track
  • Material Planning Track
  • Quality Track
  • Standard Financials Track
  • Global Financials Track
  • IT Track
  • Data Extraction Track
  • Extent/Macro Track

What else does the conference have to offer?  Glad you asked!

  • One-on-One Consulting – Sign up for a dedicated time with one of the experts to have your specific questions answered
  • Networking Opportunities - Hundreds of users will be in attendance, every user you meet uses the same product you use;  a diverse network of users from your industry
  • Vendor Presence - Talk with approved vendors to learn what additional products and services are available to you in a no cost, no obligation environment (ie macros, barcoding, configurator etc).
  • Awesome Location – Conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago, and an evening event on the Spirit of Chicago cruise ship which departs the iconic Navy Pier!

If you're interested and want to register - check out www.VISUALConnect.info

Have Questions?  Call me @ 613-298-9949

Early Bird Registration ends TODAY! - August 15, 2013

Infor VISUAL ERP - Visual Connect 2013 Conference

Written by Richard on February 5, 2013

Using the REFERENCE TYPE to limit the available documents that your users can reference to

The Document Reference feature allows you to associate documents to various records in VISUAL.  These documents can be drawings, specifications, standards, images, etc - basically anything that is in an electronic format. 

Your users can then link to these documents throughout VISUAL.  When documents are referenced - it allows you to view, email, and print them with the record itself. 

For example, you can have a work order linked to a drawing file that you can have printed along with the work order traveller.  Another example - emailing a purchase order to your vendor with an attached spec file that you referenced on the PO.

You get the point.

Managing these documents is done through the Document Maintenance window.  All documents are managed through this module.  When you first start you may only have a handful of documents that you may what referenced.  But as your list  grows - you'll want to start looking carefully at the REFERENCE TYPE field.  This field allows you to dictate where in VISUAL a document is available to be referenced.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Document Maintenance

So if you have a document that is part-specific you can set the reference type to "Part" so that it is only available to link to from PART MAINTENANCE.

If you want a document to be available throughout VISUAL, then set the reference type to GENERAL.

Written by Richard on February 4, 2013

Deleting multiple lines in the VISUAL grid

Have you ever wanted to select a group of lines in a grid of VISUAL (such as the customer order lines) and hit the delete button on the toolbar to remove them all?  It won't work (in most cases).  It will only mark the one line that has focus for deletion.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Order Entry

Next time - hit the DELETE (DEL) key on your keyboard.  You should get what you want.

Yes I know that this may be an obvious post to some, but you'd be surprised by the number of VISUAL users who will find this post to be a revelation!

Infor VISUAL ERP - Revelation
Classic moment - however I prefer Chris Farley's rendition


Written by Richard on December 17, 2012

Big Impact with these new Service Packs

Infor has recently released a slew of service packs for the following VISUAL programs:

  • Infor ERP VISUAL Enterprise 7.0.0

  • Infor VISUAL Enterprise 7.1.0

  • Infor ERP VISUAL Quality 7.0.0

  • Infor ERP VISUAL Human Resources 7.0.0

  • Infor ERP VISUAL HR/Payroll 7.0.0

These particular service packs are significant because they include NEW runtimes.  And as a result, the entire VISUAL 7 application has been recompiled...WOW!

Couple of other things you should know...

  • The new runtimes are incompatible with previous versions of VISUAL.  So if you own more than one of the VISUAL programs listed above - once you apply the service pack to one - you basically need to apply it across them all. 
  • If you're thinking of running the two runtimes simultaneously - you can't - they don't play nice.
  • Be sure to use the new runtimes included in the service packs as they have been modified specifically for VISUAL.
  • All future maintenance updates and fixes will require you to install this service pack

So what does the service pack do for me than cause me grief and aggrevation?

The SendKeys Fix - Hallelujah!!
Some good things my friends...

  • The SendKey issue has been address.  Now I can re-instate my automation macro scripts and properly capture my menus using EPAK.  This alone is worth applying the service pack.
  • Screen flicker reduced.
  • Improved performance accessing the Scheduling Window with remote desktop on Windows 7.
  • Oracle “long data” no longer truncated.
  • Improved BOD performance for PLM integration.





Written by Brent on October 30, 2012

Keeping your macros and configuration (ini) files current across your VISUAL network

VISUAL macros are computer-specific - meaning if you create a macro on one computer it won't be accessible from another computer unless you copy it and place on that computer.  This may not always be true in a Citrix/Terminal Services environment - but let's assume this is not the case. 

The same holds true for the VISUAL configuration files.  I'm talking about those "ini" files that hold your default settings, grid layouts, screen sizes and position, etc.

If you want every VISUAL user to have access to all macros and also want them to have the same VISUAL configurations - you will need to physically copy the files (macros and INIs) to each computer on your network.  Now consider every VISUAL module can have it's own set of macros and configuration file - that's a lot of files to manage across your network!  Now think about keeping those files current of any changes or modifications - giving you a headache yet?

One way to manage this is through the use of a login script.  The script can copy over the default configuration files and all current macro revisions from a central repository down to the user's computer or profile.

Here's an example of what that script might look like - modify it to suit your environment.  In this script, it will copy over the current macro revisions and only the configuration files that do not exist in the user's local directory.    

Download LoginScript

Brent Fanguy is our special guest author at visualnuggets.com and is the IT Director at CORTEC Fluid Control. You'll find Brent contributing and assisting fellow VISUAL users on LinkedIn and Yahoo forums.

Connect with Brent online at LinkedIn 

Written by Richard on October 16, 2012

Looking to set your users VISUAL experience?

The visual.ini file is a simple text file that contains settings to control how VISUAL will function within your environment.  With this file, you can specify whether you want to:

  • allow users to delete inventory transactions,
  • allow users to delete PO receivers, 
  • hide/show the personal menu,
  • hide/show unshipped line items on the packlist, 
  • specify screen sizes,
  • set default values in various VISUAL windows,
  • drag and drop work orders in the scheduling window,
  • and the list goes on and on and on....

The number of available settings is extensive - allowing you to really control your users VISUAL experience.
  Infor VISUAL ERP - The Visual Experience

Now hold on a minute!  Aren't these settings maintained in the database using the Preferences Maintenance module?

Yes!  You're absolutely correct!  In VISUAL 7, you can now maintain these settings through the user interface.  This was a great enhancement to the software - making it easier to manage all the user-specific settings. 

The Preferences Maintenance module can be found under the ADMIN menu.  You can then configure the system by user.  The list of available settings is extensive - over 1800 of them (wow!).  You'll likely only need to manage a fraction of them. 

If you're looking to get a complete list of the available settings, you need only to do the following from the Preferences Maintenance module:

  1. Click on the INSERT icon.
    Infor VISUAL ERP - Preferences Maintenance
  2. Double Click on the BROWSE icon
    Infor VISUAL ERP - Preferences Maintenance Browse
  3. The following window lists all the available settings (with short description).  You can also export the list to excel.
    Infor VISUAL ERP - Preferences Maintenance list
Written by Anne Jan on October 2, 2012

How to run a macro from the manufacturing window toolbar

For some of you techies this may be a well know option in VISUAL, but it has taken me forever to figure this out so I am posting it anyway.

Some of the programs in VISUAL won't allow you to execute a .vms macro from a button in a User toolbar (ie: concurrent scheduler, manufacturing window).  For the manufacturing window, for example, this means you need to open the header card and click on the macro button to run a macro.  Not particularly user-friendly.

However, there are ways to execute a .vbs (vbscript) file instead.  Obviously, this will not enable you to do as much with the data in your screen buffer as a .vms macro file, BUT each VISUAL program does send a number of parameters to the macro you execute from the toolbar and for some cases this may be all the functionality you need.

Here's how you set it up:

  • Create a macro and save it as a .vbs file.
  • Infor VISUAL ERP - Toolbar MaintenanceIn toolbar maintenance, make an entry for the manufacturing window:

    Select the program you want, enter a ToolbarId and position. As a Bitmap, I usually pick one of the standard VISUAL bmp files - that way you are sure it has the correct dimensions. As execute command, use wscript.exe "[path to your macro]\[macro file name.vbs]".  Make sure you tick the Use Key in Cmd Line tick box.
  • You will need to include UserToolbar=Y in the Visual Mfg part of your Visual.ini or Preference Maintenance.
  • This will give you a new icon in the toolbar. Click this icon to execute your macro.
  • In the macro script, you will have to include some logic to retrieve the separate parameters from the arguments that VISUAL provides. See the code below for an example how you can do this.  This example is for the Manufacturing Window - in other VISUAL programs the arguments will be different, for example: a Customer Order Id and the line you selected.


Infor ERP VISUAL - Toolbar Maintenance window
Entry in Toolbar Maintenance

Example macro code (save as .vbs)

cntArgs = WScript.Arguments.Count

If cntArgs > 0 Then

        'Display the total string of arguments:
        msgbox WScript.Arguments.Item(0)

        'Split the arguments on the , :
        arrSplitLine = Split(WScript.Arguments.Item(0), ",")
        'Retrieve separate parameters:
        DataBase = right(arrSplitLine(0),len(arrSplitLine(0))-1) 'Database = first argument
        UserId = arrSplitLine(1) 'User Id = second argument
        PassWord = arrSplitLine(2) 'Password = third argument
        WoType = arrSplitLine(3) 'Workorder Type = fourth argument
        WoBaseId = arrSplitLine(4) 'Workorder Base Id = fifth argument
        WoLotId = arrSplitLine(5) 'Workorder Split = sixth argument
        WoSplitId = arrSplitLine(6)'Workorder Split Id = seventh argument

        msgbox "No arguments"

End If

Anne Jan Breman is our special guest author at visualnuggets.com. Anne Jan is a consultant for Quartess SCS, an Infor Channel Partner based in the Netherlands. 

Connect with Anne Jan online at LinkedIn