Posted by Richard on February 1, 2015

Auto-Issuing from multiple locations for a single Part

Yes it is possible.

VISUAL allows you the capability to setup a part to be automatically issued to a work order as labor is reported against an operation.  To do this there are a couple of settings that you need to have in place for this to happen.  At a minimum, you need to flag the part as being AUTO ISSUE and specify the Warehouse and Location to issue from.  These settings can be found in the PART MAINTENANCE module

Infor VISUAL ERP - Part Maintenance
Part Maintenance in VISUAL 7.1.2

Now you may have situations where you need the ability to auto issue a part from multiple locations.  From the onset it may appear that you are limited to only having one - but it is possible to configure VISUAL to have more. 

Here's how...

  1. Call up the part in PART MAINTENANCE.
  2. Go into "Warehouse Locations..." from the MAINTAIN menu to bring up all the warehouse locations assigned to the part
  3. Now your first instinct would be to check the checkbox in the Auto Issue column.  DON'T because you may find yourself in a frustrating game of "Whack-A-Mole"!  Go ahead and try - you'll see what I mean.

    Whack a mole
    A Classic!
    Instead, simply select the checkbox under the Default Part Auto Issue column (the AUTO ISSUE checkbox will check automatically).  Once you have all your auto issue locations set - save and close the window

    Infor VISUAL ERP - Part Maintenance Warehouse Locations 
  4. Now you have configured the part to have multiple auto issue locations.  The only step left is indicating which location VISUAL should auto issue from on your work orders and/or engineering masters.  You can do this in the MATERIAL (REQUIREMENT) card of the auto issued part in the WO/EM under the PLANNING tab.

    Infor VISUAL ERP - Work Order Requirement Material Card Location ID 
    Note: The locations available will only be those that belong to the WAREHOUSE specified on the Work Order Header.  Also, if you choose not to override the location - then VISUAL will auto issue from the Default Auto Issue Warehouse and Location in PART MAINTENANCE.

Now you're all set.


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Posted by Richard on December 9, 2014

How to ensure that your VISUAL "peeps" are using the current version of a macro

Don't you hate it when you find out that one of your VISUAL users is using an old version of a macro?  Wouldn't it be great if you could modify a macro and it would instantly be deployed across your VISUAL network? 

Well you can...and here's how you can do it.

The solution involves 2 sets of macros. 

The first set of MACROS (let's call them your ACTION macros) are  your main macros that contain the scripts that account for your business logic and rules.  Place these ACTION macros in a centralized location on your network where your VISUAL users have access to. 

The second set of macros (let's call them your SHELL macros) will have the same file name as your ACTION macros but will contain a script that will run it's respective ACTION macro.  These SHELL macros are the ones that should be place on each VISUAL workstation (and/or profile) in their respective VISUAL local directory.  You will only have to configure these SHELL macros once for each workstation.

Once the ACTION & SHELL macros are in place - any modifications you do to the ACTION macros will immediately be deployed in your VISUAL environment because your SHELL macros are pointing to the ACTION macros and executing them.

Say what?!?  How do you get these SHELL macros to run the ACTION macros?

I'll demonstrate with a simple example (much easier to explain)

Let's say you have an OnSave macro in Part Maintenance that checks to see if the user has populated the PRODUCT CODE field. 

Your ACTION macro would contain something similar to the following:

Infor VISUAL ERP - Action Macro

So this ACTION macro would have the filename "VMPRTMNT_OnSave.vms".  You will want to place this ACTION macro file on your network where your VISUAL users have access to.  In this example - let's assume it's stored in location \\SHARED\MACROS

Now let's create it's respective SHELL macro, which will also be an OnSave macro, BUT it will contain the following script to call the ACTION macro.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Shell Macro

Download the SHELL macro script

Place this SHELL macro on each VISUAL workstation (in the local directory).

You're all set. 

Now when you save in PART MAINTENANCE, the SHELL macro will call the ACTION macro to verify whether the PRODUCT CODE has been entered.

With this setup - you don't need to chase down and update workstations if you modify a macro (or have users log out & log back to initial the login script to deploy macro files).

Just modify the ACTION macros - and the update is instant.

I would like to thank Jenifer Barcus, Applications Specialist at Waukesha Foundry Inc., and Jim Herzfeld for allowing me to share this solution on It's awesome! 


Posted 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
Posted 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.


Posted by Richard on December 12, 2013

Should you CLOSE or LOCK an accounting period?

Infor VISUAL ERP - Financial Calendar MaintenanceWhen you maintain your fiscal calendar in the Financial Application Global Maintenance window,  you can set a period to have either an Active, Closed or Locked status. 

The ACTIVE status is pretty straight forward -- It will allow transactions to occur in the period. 

Setting the period to CLOSED or LOCKED status will prevent new transactions from being entered into the period. 

But why have 2 settings to prevent transactions?  What is the difference?

Well it all comes down to security.

If you CLOSE a period, anyone who has access to the Accounting Window (under the LEDGER menu) can easily toggle the status back to ACTIVE using the "Close/Reopen Period" function (as shown below) - and allow new transactions to occur in the period.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Accounting Window

If you LOCK a period, then this "Close/Reopen Period..." feature will be disabled.  The only way the period can be "Reopened" is through the Financial Application Global Maintenance which should be locked down (with limited access) from users. 

This setup allows for tighter controls in your organization.


OK.  So no sooner did I just post this piece I get pinged from a colleague letting me know that I may be promoting bad “Visual” accounting practice. 

Infor ERP VISUAL - Accounting WindowSo let me put on my accounting hat on…

By no means did I intend to say that you should be opening and closing your periods from the Financial Application Global Maintenance window.  You should be doing this from the Accounting Window using the “Close/Reopen Period” feature.  The reason being is that the Accounting Window will ensure that there are no unposted transactions in the period you’re closing, whereas the Financial Application Global Maintenance window will allow you to CLOSE or LOCK a period with unposted transaction (not good). 

The Locked status is only available from the Financial Application Global Maintenance window and will prevent users from reopening the period from the Accounting Window - reinforcing the fact that the reporting of the period is final

This post was intended to explain the difference between the CLOSED and LOCKED status when maintaining your fiscal calendar.

Accounting hat off

Posted by Richard on December 10, 2013

Automatically link new work orders to line items in the customer order entry window

The New Work Order feature in Customer Order Entry (and Order Management Window) allows you to create and link work orders as you enter the sales order into VISUAL.


This feature can save you quite a bit of time for situations where creating work orders on the fly from the order entry screen makes sense.  It allows you enter the sales order, create the work order and link (allocate) it all in one step. 

If linking work orders to customer order lines is common practice in your work place you might want to consider this option - Again, if it makes sense for your business

If you do use this feature or plan to use it - this macro might be of use to you.

Chances are, not all line items of a sales order require a work order....

  • Some items may be purchased.
  • Some items may be stocked items
  • Some items fall under specific planning policies
  • Some items are service charges
  • etc...

So the decision to link work orders to customer order lines may rest on the person entering the sales order.  You can streamline this process (and make the decision automatically) coding the business logic into an OnSave macro.

The following macro will automatically create and link work orders to line items for FABRICATED parts.  Simple requirement - but you get the idea

Macro breakdown

The Database Connection parameters:  You will need this to for the database lookup - which we will be doing to verify whether the line item meets the criteria to create a new work order.

strServerName="E N T E R   Y O U R   S E R V E R    N A M E"
strDatabase="E N T E R    Y O U R    V I S U A L    D A T A B A S E    N A M E"
strUserName="E N T E R    Y O U R    R E A D O N L Y    U S E R    I D"
strPassword="E N T E R    Y O U R    P A S S W O R D"

'*** Connection string for SQL Server
strcnn="Driver={SQL Server};Server=" & strServerName & ";Database=" & strDatabase & ";Uid=" & strUsername & ";Pwd=" & strPassword & ";"

set rs = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

The remaining code uses the LINES object which allows us to read the line items (grid) of the customer order.  As we cycle through the lines, the macro will do a database lookup to determine whether the PART meets our requirement to create a new work order.  If a work order is required, we check the "New W/O" checkbox.  To do this we set the ADD field to "true".

FYI: In macro terms, the variable ADD represents the "New W/O" checkbox you see in the grid.

Now because whenever you set the New W/O checkbox, VISUAL prompts the user to set the status of the new work order (Unreleased, Firmed or Released).  To accept the defaults, we use the SendKey function to hit the enter key. 

Infor VISUAL ERP - New Work Order Defaults
New Work Order Prompt - Use the Sendkeys to "hit" the OK button


set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")


Set OrderLines = LINES.VALUE

For i = 0 To (ORDERLINES.COUNT - 1)

    '*** Check SUPPLY_TYPE to make sure that line has not been allocated yet
    SupplyType=ORDERLINE("SUPPLY_TYPE") & ""
    '*** Verify that the line item is a VISUAL Part and that
    '*** it has not been allocated yet
    if PartID<>"" and SupplyType="" then
        '*** Database lookup to check whether part meets
        '*** new work order requirement
        '*** In this case if the part is FABRICATED

        if not rs.eof then
            if rs("FABRICATED")="Y" then
                '*** Part meets requirement.
                '*** Check New W/O checkbox

                '*** Send the ENTER key to accept
                '*** new work order defaults

            end if
        end if
    end if

Download the macro and try it yourself

Posted 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

Have Questions?  Call me @ 613-298-9949

Early Bird Registration ends TODAY! - August 15, 2013

Infor VISUAL ERP - Visual Connect 2013 Conference

Posted by Jaime on August 14, 2013

Why you need to dispatch Outside Services in VISUAL

Outside services (OS) on work orders need to be purchased and linked to a purchase order number.

Yeah, Yeah …. you know that already. 

Infor VISUAL ERP - Global ScheduleBut did you know that if you don’t dispatch these OS purchase orders in VISUAL, it can greatly affect the Concurrent Scheduler?

Dispatching in VISUAL allows you to keep track of parts that are physically sent to your OS vendors. Each service dispatch is linked to the corresponding purchase order which in turn is linked to the work order.

The Concurrent Scheduler works with the dispatch records when it is performing the service checks (if selected).  If the parts are not dispatched, then the Scheduler does not recognize that it is out at the OS vendor and will just continue to plan using the transit days specified for the SERVICE ID in Outside Service Maintenance.

The PO’s Desired Received Date will only be used if the OS is dispatched.  This should only be of concern if you’ve checking service availability when generating your schedule.

Another tip: Be aware that if you do change the desired received dates for OS purchase orders --> be sure to update the dates on the dispatch records too!





Jaime Bzdok is a guest author of and is an active participant in the VISUAL community.  Jaime is the Director of Customer Engagements at Visual Business Solutions, an Infor Channel Partner. 

Connect with Jaime online at LinkedIn 

Posted by Richard on June 13, 2013

Be careful when using the Material Requirement Part Replace function

The Material Requirement Part Replace function is a great feature of VISUAL when you have to replace a large number of requirement cards for the same Part ID with a new one.

Infor VIUSUAL ERP - Manufacturing Window
The REPLACE feature can be found under the EDIT menu of the Manufacturing Window

If you need to do a mass update, you can selectively replace Part IDs across Eng Masters, Quote Masters and/or Work Orders.  This function also allows you to change quantity (Qty Per, Fixed, Scrap) and cost information during the replacement process.
Infor VISUAL ERP - Manufacturing Window
The Material Requirement Part Replace window.


So this feature can save you a lot of time and effort

BUT it can also cause you a lot of grief if you're not careful.

First of all, I'm sure you're aware that this feature has the potential to modify a significant number of material requirements (especially if you hit the "REPLACE ALL" button) - so proceeding with caution is warranted

What you may not know is that this has the potential for causing major delays and issues the next time you run costings!  Say What?

This feature, if not carefully used, will allow you to replace materal cards on CLOSED work orders if the material card is UNISSUED (regardless of the cards' status).  And because of the way VISUAL works - these work orders will then have their POSTING CANDIDATE set to YES and will be re-assessed by the costing utilities.  Whoa!

This issue only applies to replacing parts on work orders.  So be very sure before you commit to replacing parts on a large number of work orders - especially if you hit the "REPLACE ALL" button

The Material Requirement Part Replacement window is definitely missing a much needed filter (or column) --> Work Order Status.  That or only show orders that are FIRMED/RELEASED.  This would be a great Enhancement Request.

Posted by Jason on June 5, 2013

Sweep the Leg
Sweep The Leg

There’s always that big debate of whether to use leg and detail and having one complex engineering master, or breaking it up into layers.  From the recent projects I am working on, the latter is working out excellent.


Here’s how we use Easy lean to simplify our builds, simplify planning, and reduce inventory on the floor. 

We had many complicated builds using a lot of leg/detail.

Here is an example of an engineering master that goes 6 fabricated layers deep comprising of 50 sub IDs (legs).

  • Top layer – 1 final assembly
  • 2nd layer – 5 sub IDs
  • 3rd layer – 8 Sub IDs
  • 4th layer – 10 Sub IDs
  • 5th layer – 12 Sub IDs
  • 6th layer – 14 Sub IDs

We broke out each of these Sub IDs as make-to-stock parts.  As an order was created for the top level part, Easy Lean would go through the requirements and create firmed work orders with appropriate release dates for each.  Release dates for each part is calculated by the parts “buffer”.  The Buffer is basically the time it takes to complete that work order.  In the example above, here are the buffers we assigned to each layer:

  • Top layer – 1 final assembly - 4 day buffer
  • 2nd layer – 5 fabricated parts – 5 day buffer
  • 3rd layer – 8 fabricated parts – 3 day buffer
  • 4th layer – 10 fabricated parts – 2 day buffer
  • 5th layer – 12 fabricated parts – 3 day buffer
  • 6th layer – 14 fabricated parts – 2 day buffer

When you calculate out the buffers and how the “layers” will be released it would look something like this:

Infor VISUAL ERP - Buffer Easy Lean

Notice we only gave the shop floor what they needed.  Instead of 50 work orders (sub IDs) getting printed and released all at once; the work orders were released in ‘layers’.  No human intervention was required in the planning of things as Easy Lean planned it all.  We could also set up replenishment levels and min/max/multiple rules in Part Maintenance for each make-to-stock part and plan all those to stock.

There are many other benefits of Easy Lean but what I find the most beneficial is this “MRP automation” it can do.  As long as you can define the logic it needs to follow, Easy lean will do all the planning for you!

Jason Snoeyink is a frequent contributor to and is an active participant in the VISUAL community. 

Connect with him online at LinkedIn 


Richard Ferlatte
Results Driven VISUAL Specialist


Taking it to the next level and designing a program around "Hands On VISUAL Training".

Check them out - there's sure to be one to interest you!

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