Odds & Ends

Here are the steps we did in upgrading VISUAL

Jon Davis is our special guest author at visualnuggets.com and is an active participant in the VISUAL community.  Jon is a Software Engineer/Systems Analyst at Helwig Carbon Products - who recently upgraded to VISUAL 9 from VISUAL 7 on a SQL Server platform.

I want to sincerely thank Jon for sharing his upgrade thought process and experience.

Connect with Jon Davis online at LinkedIn 

Our Background

Helwig Carbon Products is a mid-sized manufacturing company, makers of specialty carbon products, has been using VISUAL for almost 15 years.  This past year we upgraded from VISUAL 7.0.0 to 9.0.3, doing all the upgrade work internally.  Our IT department consist of three employees and it took roughly 3-4 months to prepare and execute the upgrade. 

We have 75 user licenses and have added a lot of customizations to VISUAL over the years.  Most of our customizations are done through Macros or internally built applications that connect to the Visual database directly. 

We also use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) as our reporting solution and our database is SQL Server 2008 R2.  Our client machines are running Windows 7, mainly because VISUAL 7.0.0 doesn’t work in Windows 10 and we had to hold off on our Windows 10 upgrades until we moved to VISUAL 9 (which does support Windows 10).


Our Challenges

The biggest hurdles to overcome in the upgrade were caused by the schema changes in 9.0.3 especially because we’re a single-site company that was using 7.0.0 which didn’t include multi-site functionality. 

We also had several applications and reports that referenced the VISUAL database directly and all had to be reviewed to see if the schema changes affected them.  Fortunately, the “look and feel” between VISUAL 7 and 9 are roughly the same so little training was required for end users.

  Here are the steps we did in upgrading VISUAL

Our Preparation

To prepare yourself for the upgrade you’ll first have to set up a test database and application server.  We ended up having to run through the test upgrade process roughly 6 times before we were even able to get the actual upgrade script to run successfully, so having a test system will be necessary. 

The first thing to note is that the upgrade caused our database file to more than double in size and it caused most of our problems.  In our case, we have nearly 20 years of data in our VISUAL database (some was migrated from our old ERP system) so our DB file went from 70GB to 200GB. 

If you can purge any data in your VISUAL system before upgrading it would be highly recommended. 


Our Considerations & Decisions Made

A lot of the steps you’ll need to take depend on how your current system is set up, so I’ll just run down a few things that affected us or you might need to review in your environment

  • We had our Macros stored on the client machines as VMS files and would be switching to saving Macros in the Database after we upgraded. VISUAL has a built-in process for migrating from files to the database
  • We never used User Profiles, so we never had any set up or assigned to users. Because database macros are applied to users via their profiles we had to set up a series of profiles after the upgrade was completed. We speed up the process by scripting this in SQL queries
  • We are a single-site company but because 9.0.3 uses multi-site we had to assign all users to a site. In the upgrade process it’ll ask you what you want your default site to be, but it didn’t automatically add all users to that site. We created a script to run after the upgrade to update all users to the correct site.
  • Preferences are now stored in the database instead of the INI files on the client machines. We had to add some new Preferences to some users because of changes in functionality that were different than in 7.0.0. We had to add the following preferences to maintain the functionality as it was in 7.0.0 (but your experience may differ)
    • SuppressZeroLines in Shipping Entry (without this a packlist will include all lines on the order, even if they aren’t being shipped in that packlist)
    • ConsolTaxesByID in InvoiceGeneration (Invoice taxes were showing line by line instead of summarized)
    • NewMaterialMode in Inventory Transactions (without this a user cannot issue new material to a work order)
  • Review if you have any customizations in the VISUAL database schema itself. This was an issue we had in a prior upgrade but have since resolved. We currently never change any of the data tables in the VISUAL database and instead maintain a second database (but on the same instance so it can be referenced in the same SQL query as the VISUAL database) outside of VISUAL. If you have schema changes in your VISUAL's DB you’ll have to undo these before you run the upgrade script


Our Timeline

It took us roughly three months from start to finish. The complexity of your customizations and your specific environment will greatly change this for you.  Our actual project timeline looked like this:

  • Discuss client installs with IT department to decide on deploy strategy
    • 1/5/2018
  • Set Up copy of current DB on Test system and run VISUAL 9 upgrade scripts
    • 1/12/2018
  • Confirm upgrade worked with several users
    • 1/19/2018
  • Convert text file based macros into VISUAL 9.0 DB versions and confirm they work
    • 2/2/2018
  • Database Compare to see what custom Triggers, Indexes, etc. did not transfer and need to be rebuilt
    • 2/9/2018
  • Discuss training strategy with managers
    • 2/9/2018
  • Begin user testing in VISUAL 9.0 test environment
    • 2/16/2018
  • Train users for VISUAL 9
    • 2/23/2018
  • Deploy (Weekend TBD by IT department)
    • Back Up of Database and Server
      • Friday After Hours
    • Install 9.0 on server and run conversion utility
      • Friday After Hours
    • Install clients
      • During the week whenever a user is done for the week
    • Super user testing
      • Sunday morning
    • Go/No Go
      • Sunday 3:00pm


Our VISUAL Upgrade Steps

As for the details on our upgrade process...here are the step-by-step instructions we followed on our actual upgrade.  I’ve included some notes to help clarify some steps:

  1. Back up Database
  2. Disable Database Jobs that will interfere with upgrade
    1. Make sure SQL Sentry monitoring is off (This was monitoring software that constantly pings the database and checks for issues)
    2. Turn off all scheduled tasks on automated server (These are scripts that run against our VISUAL database and our automated Work Order Printing and Costing Utilities)
    3. Turn off Pick Ticket Printing service (We have our own custom-built software that prints Pick Tickets)
    4. Confirm all backups are off (We don’t want backups running during the upgrade and slowing things down.)
  3. Install VISUAL 9 on VISUAL Server
    1. Uninstall VISUAL 7
    2. Uninstall Gupta Runtimes
    3. Uninstall Macros (you probably won’t have to do this depending on if and how you use macros)
    4. Install V9 Runtimes
    5. Install V9 Application Server
  4. Run “Before update scripts” (These scripts basically removed our custom indexes and triggers from the database, so they don’t interfere)
  5. Run V7.0.0 to 9.0.3 upgrade
  6. Install V9 Macros on VISUAL
    1. Install V9 version of Macros on VISUAL (including VMS files)
    2. APPLICATION GLOBAL  MAINTENANCE -> Default “Store Macros in Database” (Check this box)
    3. Convert file Macros into DB Macros
    4. Copy all VMS files from Project Folder onto VISUAL
    5. Go to V9 -> Admin -> Load Macros
    6. Remove VMS files
    7. Import MACRO_PROFILE table
  7. Update all users with Default Profiles
    1. Run “Macro Scripts” in VISUAL Users List and Scripts.xlsx (These were the scripts I mentioned that added the profiles to VISUAL and added those profiles to the correct users)
    2. Set Default Profile permissions all to “Yes” (Including menu security and program security) (This was because we had a default profile we never used before but will now be using it to set macro permissions on all users)
  8. Update all users with Site ID 1
    1. Run scripts in “Site ID Scripts” tab of VISUAL Users List and Scripts.xlsx
  9. Insert InvoiceGeneration Preference Script
    1. Run scripts in “Preferences Scripts” tab of VISUAL Users List and Scripts.xlsx
  10. Copy over updated QRPs
    1. Copy updated V:\modified QRP files (This was the directory where all of our customized QRPs are stored, they were prepared ahead of time to work in VISUAL 9 so they needed to be copied over existing ones)
    2. Rename Accounting/QRP folders (We already converted all of the QRPs for the Report Writer, so we changed the directory to point to VISUAL 9 updated QRPs)
  11. Match To Standard on all Custom QRPs
    1. Update Order Acknowledgement QRP to new V9 directory (Ord Ack QRP is stored on Client machines to avoid conflicts when you share the QRP amongst multiple users)
  12. Update Preferences
    1. Admin -> Application Global Maintenance -> Options -> Preferences -> Preferred C/O Entry = Order Management
  13. Deploy SSRS Reports
    1. (This was a list of our custom applications that reference the VISUAL Database, unique to our company)
  15. Give SQL Service account permissions to the following tables: (If you have custom apps and reports that reference VISUAL you may need to add those permissions to these new tables.  Not included in this list is CUSTOMER_ENTITY and CUSTOMER_SITE)
    1. PART_SITE (select)
    2. EMPLOYEE_SITE (select)
  16. Enable all things turned off in Step 2
  17. Deploy MacrosDeployment to all PCs (A lot of our VISUAL Macros just call .NET dll applications so these updated DLL apps need to be deployed alongside the new VISUAL)


Since VISUAL doesn’t have an MSI or any solution to easily mass install clients on multi PCs we used a piece of software called “Auto IT” to semi-automate the process. 

After our GO LIVE Upgrade, we had a few things to work out, mostly because VISUAL 9.0.3 was a little tighter on data integrity with certain things VISUAL 7 didn’t care about.  Namely, how our terms were set up for customers and our allocations of Customer Orders to Work Orders. 

Most of our issues stemmed from custom macros needed to be tweaked to work with VISUAL 9 but we did have a handful of actual bugs in the VISUAL 9.0.3 code that needed to be resolved with Infor Incidents.  Most of those issues have been resolved as of now (4 months after our upgrade) but we are still waiting on one or two more to be fixed. 

All in all, the process took a lot of preparation, but the actual upgrade was deployed over a weekend. 


Compatibility Matrix for VISUAL ERP made easy

If you are considering a VISUAL upgrade or at the beginning stages of one - there's no doubt that you are navigating your way through system requirements and compatibilities.  All to determine whether your environment is "ready" for a VISUAL upgrade. 

Depending on how many supporting business applications you use with VISUAL, this can be a arduous task ⇒ reviewing release notes, manuals, calling on colleagues, forums, user groups, channel partner, Infor, etc.

Infor Xtreme Online Compatibility MatrixWell, Infor has actually made this process a little easier.  They've created an Online Compatibility Matrix tool which is available on Infor Xtreme.

This tool enables you to quickly determine what Infor products play well together as well as what versions of browsers, servers, O/S and other 3rd party software are supported.  Simply select the version of VISUAL you are planning to upgrade to - and you get the entire list which you can then export for further review

You can use this tool for any of Infor's products.


How to measure Customer Satisfaction and grow your business

Using VISUAL to manage customer satisfaction
So you managed to convert a prospect into a customer and an order - good stuff! 

Now what are you going to do to keep them as a customer?  One thing for sure is that you want to keep them happy.

Happy Customer = Profitable Customer

Building up loyalty fosters repeat business - which reduces the cost of sales in customer acquisitions.  Happy customers are also most likely to refer you to others; acting as your champion and bringing in more sales....bonus!

How do you know if your customers are happy? 

You need to measure it.

And after you measure it, you need to manage it

And then you need to report and act on it.

You may already have a process and methodology in place (or maybe not).  Either way, you can have VISUAL be part of the process and help facilitate and manage accordingly.

Let's walkthrough how we can do this with VISUAL ERP.

Let's say we want to measure our customer's satisfaction based on Price, Quality and Delivery on each sales order.  So after each shipment of an order, someone will follow up with the customer and have them rate the service based on Price, Quality and Delivery.  The customer can rate each as "Great", "Okay" or "Not Good".

Simple metrics - I leave it to you on what the definitions should be.

Now to configure VISUAL ERP, go in Customer Order Entry, and bring up the User Defined Field Maintenance window from the EDIT menu (Edit > Customizable UDFs...).

From there, you will want to click on the Insert Tab UDF toolbar icon (or select it from the EDIT menu).  We'll first start by adding the first customer satisfaction metric "Price".  Set the following parameters:

  • Data Type: select String List (which will contain the 3 possible values Great, Okay and Not Good)
  • Tab: enter "Customer Satisfaction" - this is the tab that will appear in the customer order header area
  • Label: enter "Price" - this is the caption of the first metric
  • Seq No: accept the default value

Customizable User Defined Field in VISUAL ERP


As mentioned earlier - Price can be either "Great", "Okay" or "Not Good" - so we will need to create a pre-defined List containing these values. 

Check the LIST checkbox on the right...and click on the SET LIST button.

In the following window, use the INSERT button to enter the 3 values.  You may notice in the screenshot - I also refer to a number range - so that customers can be asked to rate on a numbered scale too.  Again - your company's metric definitions may be different.


Customizable UDF String List in VISUAL ERP

Once you have created the above list.  Click Save to continue

You will want to repeat the above steps for the Quality and Delivery metrics (fields)

We'll also create an extra field to capture any additional information a customer may provide (a free form field). 

So, in the same manner as you did previously, click on the Insert Tab UDF toolbar icon and set the following parameters:

  • Data Type: select String
  • Tab: enter/select "Customer Satisfaction"
  • Label: enter "Comments"
  • Seq No: accept the default value

Adding a Custom UDF in VISUAL ERP


Your User Defined Field Maintenance window should now contain the 4 fields created (shown below).  Click on the Save toolbar icon to save everything to VISUAL - which will create these new fields to the Customer Order Enter user interface.


List of Customizable UDFs in VISUAL ERP

Your Customer Order Entry window should now have a "Customer Satisfaction" Tab in the header area - with the 4 fields we created.

Customer Satisfaction Metrics in VISUAL
Custom "Customer Satisfaction" Tab in Customer Order Entry window

So now you have a place to capture and maintain Customer Satisfaction at the customer order level.

Having a place to capture this information is great - BUT how can we ensure that someone from customer service will remember to follow through and contact the customer? 

Well, one way to help facilitate this is through using VISUAL's Workflow.

With Workflow, you can have VISUAL send an email reminder as well as create a task for customer service after the customer order has been shipped and closed

The workflow structure could look like this (simplified):

  Customer Satisfaction Workflow in VISUAL ERP


The above is one example on how you can leverage VISUAL's features and functions to measure and manage customer satisfaction.  I hope this get's you thinking on how you can incorporate something similar into your practice.


VISUAL Focus 2018 – The Premier Conference exclusively for VISUAL ERP Users

Visual Focus - Premier VISUAL Conference
Come October, hundreds of VISUAL users from far and wide, will be descending upon a little known place we all call Walt Disney World. 

And not necessarily to take in all the wonders of Disney, though that in itself is magical – but there to Connect, Communicate and Collaborate with others who have one thing in common – VISUAL ERP.

VISUAL Focus 2018 Conference is the “VISUAL” conference – created, organized and sponsored by 3 Infor Channel Partners – Visual South, BizTech and Synergy Resources – all with YOU in mind.

VISUAL Focus 2018 will be taking place October 21-24, 2018 – At Walt Disney World.

The 3 day VISUAL event where users come to work, share and be inspired - helping them get the most from their ERP investment. The event facilitates the exchange of information and ideas among users, expert ERP consultants, Channel Partners and Infor representatives

There’s tons going on at this conference, among them being:

  • Over 130 sessions and workshops, including 30 brand new sessions.
  • In-depth, hands-on Workshops – 2-hour workshops with your own virtual VISUAL image collaborating with consultants and other users
  • One-on-one consulting sessions. Bring your issues and challenges to our experts.  Or dive deeper into topics not covered in sessions.
  • Vendors with products that complement VISUAL’s functionality.
  • Networking opportunities. You will be surrounded by hundreds of other VISUAL users, consultants, partners and Infor representatives.

I’ve been to many VISUAL conferences in the past – and what I enjoy most is everything in between.

Yes - the sessions and workshops are awesome and the organized events are spectacular. But, for me, it’s the meeting of people, face-to-face - in those spontaneous interactions, talking VISUAL and sharing ideas in the hallway; on the way to the next session; during lunch; at the hotel bar; waiting in line to meet Mickey (ok maybe not then).

If you’ve never been to one of these conferences and are considering it – I encourage you to GO!  In fact, you should bring your co-workers too - it's impossible to attend everything yourself.  You won’t regret it and neither will your company. These conferences are amazing – not only for the sessions, workshops and networking opportunities – but for the inspiration and motivation that it generates - it's highly contagious

Am I drinking too much from the Kool-Aid...hmmm…maybe…it sure is darn good! :-)

More information can be found on the official website - VISUAL Focus 2018

Early Bird discounts run through until the end of April!


Be an Influencer - and be part of VISUAL's roadmap into the future

Over the past weekend - Infor made available the latest release to VISUAL 9 - we're now sitting at version 9.0.3.  This is the 3rd minor release of VISUAL 9 and part of Infor's Quarterly Release Cycle.  You can download the latest from InforXtreme.

As expected, each release includes patch fixes to address known bug issues, but it also includes enhancements and new features and functions.  All of which are detailed in the release notes - and you should always read before actually applying the update in your environment.

Looking over the notes from the last 3 minor releases - I found something very interesting.  Over 65% of the enhancements came from requests from the customer base.

Majority of the Enhancements Are Initiated
by the VISUAL User Community

  Infor VISUAL ERP - Enhancement User Community


This is good stuff.

You do have a voice.  And you can use it to influence the roadmap of VISUAL.

Who better to collaborate with in the development of VISUAL - then the users themselves!?!  Their in-depth knowledge and use of VISUAL in real world scenarios are invaluable to Infor.

So, if you have a wish list or an idea- which would put VISUAL over the top and make things easier for the masses...

then be the "Influencer" and submit it to the folks at Infor

Infor is listening.....So don't hold back!

Submit your requests on InforXtreme or work with your VISUAL User Group in your region and submit as a group.


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.


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)

          '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.


Hey Google! Can I build this product right now?

Infor VISUAL ERP - Caden using Google Mini Home
Caden using his Google Home Mini - He's asking the same question, but in his case, it's to build up his youTube channel - "Caden's World"

Google may not be plugged into your operations....yet

BUT if it were, it would likely answer you with results generated from the BOM Xploder.

The BOM Exploder is a VISUAL extension tool that quickly lets you know on whether you have all the materials to complete a job (work order) - right here, right now. 

The tool looks at ALL of your jobs (works orders) in VISUAL, drills down through all levels deep, looks to future supply and demand of parts - and tells you if you have any shortages anywhere throughout the multi-level BOM - even if parts of that BOM have their own engineering master that hasn't been released yet

One of the great things about the BOM Xploder is that it allows you to work at the Job Level rather than at the Part Level like the Material Planning Window. 

I know how arduous it can be going down the rabbit hole in the Material Planning Window chasing parts that may cause you grief in production.

The BOM Xploder gives you an overview of all your jobs to see what can be built or not based on what's available or expected to be available.  The Jobs are color-coded to providing you more information on whether you can build or not:

  • BLACK → You can build right now
  • RED Part Shortages - no supply purchase orders and no supply work orders
  • BLUE Part Shortages - supply purchase order and supply work orders in place
  • ORANGE You can build now - BUT you would be stealing from other jobs


Infor VISUAL ERP - BOM Xploder
Static screenshot does not do this justice
Contact me for a demo! -

You can drill down to investigate further as well as jump directly into the Material Planning Window, Manufacturing Window and Work Order Traveller

A "bonus" feature allows you to view all the parts that are causing jobs to be late.  This list can be considered your Hot or Expedite List as it prioritizes the parts based on the number of jobs they are causing to be late.

It's definitely a tool you should consider if you have deep BOMs and spending a significant amount of time in the Material Planning Window to investigation possible part shortages.

Ping me if you are interested in hearing more about BOM Xploder!

Now full disclosure :-) 

BOM Xploder is product developed by the great team at Synergy Resources who I work for.  So you may consider this post as being biased - but I do think it's a great VISUAL extension and it's currently being used in the community with great success.

If you have or know of a great product or solution for VISUAL - I'm interested in speaking with you and showcasing it

Have VISUAL automatically open your "Start Up" windows after signing in

Infor VISUAL ERP - VMX Default windowsDo you often find yourself opening the same VISUAL windows after signing in?  It'd be nice if you can have VISUAL open them automatically.

VISUAL doesn't have this as a built-in feature - but that's not to say we can't make it happen.  

We can use a VMX file to achieve this.


VMX files are shortcuts to specific records in VISUAL.  You may have come across them if you have ever used the Send To feature in VISUAL - they will be attached to emails for recipients to open.  VMX files are associated to the VISUAL application - so the system will know what to do when the user double clicks on them. 

The VMX file is basically a text file that VISUAL reads and executes.  If you look at the contents of the file (using a text editor like Notepad), you will notice that all VMX files start with LSASTART.  The next line indicates the module (program) to open and the document id to retrieve.

For example, if we wanted the VMX file to open Customer Order Id 123897, the file would contain:


VMORDENT refers to Customer Order Entry window - which is the VMORDENT.EXE executable file.  The 123897 is the customer order record to retrieve.  The tilde("~") is used to separate the program file and the record.

Now why am I explaining this?

Well, we can use this in our VISUAL hack.  The VMX file does not limit us to the number of programs to open at once.  And the document id reference is optional - meaning we can just reference the program without having it retrieve a record.

And another thing, because the VMX file is associated with VISUAL - the system will check whether you are signed in.  If you are not, the Sign In window will appear before opening your windows.  

So, all you need to do is create a VMX file with all the VISUAL windows you want to have opened after signing in.  This VMX will now be your Shortcut to Signing into VISUAL (as oppose to your standard sign in shortcut pointing to the VM.exe file)

Here's a quick Walk-Through

  1. Create a new file using your favorite text editor (like Notepad)
  2. Enter "LSASTART" on the first line
  3. On the next line(s), enter the program name(s) of the VISUAL window(s) you want opened as part of your startup.  For example, if you want Part Maintenance, Customer Order Entry and Material Planning Window to be part of your start up - you should have the following:


    If you are not sure of the program name, you can look this up by calling up the window in VISUAL and selecting "About..." under the Help menu.

    Infor VISUAL ERP - Material Planning Window
  4. Save the file to your desktop.  Be sure to save it with a "VMX" extension.
  5. At lastly, make sure VMX files are associated to VISUAL. 

    To do this, right click on your VMX file - and select OPEN WITH from the popup menu. 
    Select Infor VISUAL from list of applications (and check the checkbox to always use the application) - and click the OK to confirm

    Infor VISUAL ERP - VMX File association


Speed things up by skipping over default confirmation prompts in the Manufacturing Window

Have you seen these before?

Infor VISUAL ERP - Manufacturing Window - Load Operation Type Defaults
Infor VISUAL ERP - Manufacturing Window - Part ID already is used

Oh, I'm confident you have.  I'm also betting that for the most part you responded YES, YES, YEEESSSS!!!  

In fact, for some of you, it's probably so second nature you don't even notice what's being asked and hitting the ENTER key.

These prompts mean well - and they may have stopped you from making a mistake and made you seriously think of what your doing - but for the most part they are annoying and slowing you down - and yes, you know what you're doing! 

You can prevent these prompts and skip over them by configuring your preference settings.

Your preference settings can be found in Preference Maintenance under the ADMIN menu. 

The two settings that affect these prompts are in the ManufacturingWindow section: SkipMsgLoadOpTypeDef and SkipMsgPartAlreadyUsed

If you have these two entries with a value of 'Y'  -  VISUAL will skip over these prompts and you can now speed through your builds

Infor VISUAL ERP - Preference Maintenance


One of the many options you have available to enhance your VISUAL User eXperience!

Infor VISUAL ERP - Preference Maintenance - User Experience 


Rich Ferlatte
Results Driven VISUAL Specialist


Of course, I am available for hire!

ERP Implementations & Upgrades
Analytics & Reporting
Integrations & Macros
General VISUAL Support


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!

Operational Workshops
Reporting Workshops
Financial Workshops
Inventory Workshops
Quality Workshops


BOM Xploder
Drastically improve your BOM visibility and discover shortages at ANY level of your bill of material no matter how deep.
See, analyze, and track information that helps you better support individual, departmental, and your company’s performance metrics and goals.
eBoard - Financial Power App
Developed for accounting professionals looking for powerful and easy-to-use GL reporting software. Access live financial data, drill down to support details and export financial statements to Excel in one click.
Inventory App
This Inventory Reconciliation App provides a systematic approach to control and manage your Visual inventory effectively and efficiently
Credit Card Integration
Easily accept and process credit card payments right from within VISUAL.
ACH Document Processing
Leveraging VISUAL's payment scheduling and batch payment functions, with the added convenience, performance, and security of Electronic Funds Transfer payment processing.
Latitude Manifest & Shipping System
A seamless multi-carrier shipping solution that integrates to Infor VISUAL ERP. See how it can simplify your small parcel and LTL shipping and package tracking.
Sales Tax Automation with AvaTax
Easily automate sales and use tax in VISUAL with AvaTax. No more manually entering data or uploading rate tables and tax information.
Workforce Management with Kebrite Solutions
Streamlines the collection of Job, Labor, Payroll, Time & Attendance, and a vast array of HR related data-- with live VISUAL integration.