This is a compilation of ideas, tips, and suggestions that have accumulated from working with different clients. These apply to Tigerpaw Software CRM+.
Modified Reports Path
Under normal LAN installations, the program files for Tigerpaw Software are installed on both the server and the client. This includes a subdirectory that stores all the reports used in Tigerpaw. These reports are normally installed into the subdirectory ‘C:\Program Files\Tigerpaw CRM+\Reports’ and all end with the file extension of .rpt. Without manual intervention, each Account Rep is set to use this local subdirectory for all of his reports, which is fine until the first report is modified, either by the customer, Tigerpaw support staff, or consultant. When the first modified report is received, a system wide decision must be made on how to handle all modified reports. The two options are:
- Each Rep continues to use his local subdirectory for reports, so the modified report will be loaded locally. The drawback to this method is that every time a new report is modified, or a change is made to a previously modified report, the new file must be copied into each client’s subdirectory. This normally entails the administrator going to each client machine, and copying the new files onto that machine.
- Use a shared subdirectory on the server as the central repository for all report files. This is accomplished by changing the Tools –> Options –> Reports ‘Use Global Reports Path:’ setting to the Tigerpaw CRM+\Reports subdirectory on the server, and checking the checkbox. All modified report changes are copied into this server subdirectory only, and not the client machines. The drawback to this method is increased traffic on the network.
Modified Reports Backup Path
Although not required for operations, it is strongly recommended that as soon as you get the first modified report, that you create a subdirectory outside the path named above to store a copy of all reports. Tigerpaw makes the statement that they will not overlay the names of certain reports during an update or Service Pack installation. I’d prefer to have a backup copy of both the original report, and my modified report in a subdirectory that Tigerpaw Software does not know about (and therefore can’t erase or change). In addition, many backup programs do not backup the Program Files subdirectory, using the logic that there is not need to backup files that exist on an installation CD.
Modified Reports Naming Conventions
Within Tigerpaw CRM+ Software, there are Standard Reports and three different types of custom report names â€“ Each type is discussed in detail:
- Standard Reports – By inserting your company’s logo into the Image box under Tools –> Options –> Reports –> Global Settings, you can produce Standard (NOT custom) Invoices, Quotes, Purchase Orders, Work Orders, and Service Orders. There are specific requirements for the size of image that can be used. You may need to add white space around your logo to make it fit the provided rectangle. You can select to print your logo either centered or left-justified.
- Specific Custom Reports – If you wish to modify the standard reports for these external forms, they need to be placed into a specific subdirectory for them to be selected (covered in the Users Guide, ~page 487.)
Tigerpaw supplies this file structure for using Custom Reports:
â€¦Reports –> Custom
- Credit Memos
- Debit Memos
- – Contract Price
- – Contract Usage
- – Regular Invoice
- Service Orders
- Modified Reports (manually added â€“ not supplied by Tigerpaw)
- Custom Reports generated from the Reports Explorer – In general, these reports are modified copies of existing reports. To retain both the original report and the modified report, the original report is duplicated in the Reports Explorer, and given a new name and a new entry in the Reports Explorer. Then the report with the new name is modified to suit the requirement. Tigerpaw suggests changing the first letter of the report name to z or a number, since they state that they will â€˜neverâ€™ name any of their reports starting with those characters. This is one of the reasons for having the backup subdirectory mentioned above. It is suggested that these report files be copied into the Modified Reports subdirectory for safekeeping, and to copy back into the Reports subdirectory after Service Pack installation.
- Custom Report Not Generated from the Report Manager – In general, these reports can be called by clicking on the Print or Print Preview buttons on the screen (instead of, or in addition to, being on the Reports Explorer). The names of the reports that are generated by these buttons are hard coded in the system, and cannot be changed by the user. For this reason, you must make a copy of the original report for backup, and modify the original reportâ€™s content, but not its name. This type of report requires the Modified Reports subdirectory mentioned earlier, since the next Service Pack from Tigerpaw Software will set the modified report back to its original content.
- FREE Custom Reports â€“ Tigerpaw includes several custom reports in their distribution package. These are standard reports, with one or two minor changes to enhance their usefulness. For example, there is a standard Quote form, but it does not print the ItemID on the form. Several customers use this to quote their customer without specifying the exact ItemID. Normally these companies use the Manufacturerâ€™s part number as their own ItemID, ad printing it would allow their customers to use the internet to shop the parts. These reports are installed into the path C:\Program Files\Tigerpaw CRM+\Reports\Custom. These reports must be copied to an active subdirectory to be usable. For example, the file â€˜Quote â€“ no Item ID.rptâ€™ must be copied into the subdirectory C:\Program Files\Tigerpaw CRM+\Reports\Custom\Quotes. Then it will appear in the Custom Reports listing in Tigerpaw.
How to Add Custom Reports to the Reports Explorer
If you create or are sent a new Custom Report, you will need to add it to the Tigerpaw Reports Explorer before running it. This is a two step process, first to create a new Category, and second, the report parameters.
- Copy the Custom Report .rpt files into the reports subdirectory as mentioned above.
- Add a new Report Category. From the Tigerpaw Main Menu, Select Reports –> Report Manager. From the Report Manager screen, select File –> New Category. Key in the new Categoryâ€™s name, such as â€œCustom Reportsâ€, and click OK. This adds the Category to the listing. Hint â€“ you can add several categories to the Reports Explorer. This may be added as a security item in later releases of Tigerpaw.
- Add the New Report. From the Tigerpaw Main Menu, Select Reports –> Report Manager. From the Report Manager screen, select File –> New Report Definition. If you have been sent the parameters for the new report, simply copy each parameter from the delivery file into the parameter on the Report Definition. Be very careful to copy all the characters, including the last single quote. Select the Category(ies) where you want the report to appear. Save and Exit.
How to ‘recover’ from a new Service Pack
A typical Service Pack (SP) will contain new reports, and changes to existing reports. During the SP installation on the server, the default sub-directory will contain the new .rpt files, and a new set of EMPTY custom subdirectories. It is recommended that you make a duplicate of the central reports subdirectory before this procedure to insure they have a copy of all reports on the system. You need to insure that all your custom report files have been previously copied into the Modified Reports subdirectory. To preserve your custom report changes and still use the newer reports, you need to follow these steps:
- Copy all .rpt files from the default sub-directory into the Global Reports subdirectory at the â€˜Reportsâ€™ level. You should have many replacements. DO NOT COPY THE CUSTOM SUBDIRECTORIES. You may copy any individual .rpt files from the default Custom subdirectory into the same subdirectory in the Global Reports subdirectory.
- Copy all the .rpt files from the Reports\Custom\Modified Reports subdirectory back into the â€˜Reportsâ€™ subdirectory.