e-Newsletter, June 13, 2001

Roundtable Software E-Mail Newsletter Issue #10, June 13, 2001

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Version 3.3 For Unix Released

Roundtable Software Advantage Accounting System version 3.3 for Unix is now (finally) available. We apologize for the tardiness of this release, but trust that Unix users will find that the wait has been worth it.

We are offering a special manufacturers deal on version 3.3 Unix to those of you who are still on version 3.0. For the month of June only, you can update from 3.0 Unix to 3.3 Unix for $795, rather than the full price of $2995, a savings of $2200!

The update price for upgrading from version 3.2 to 3.3 is $279, the same as the DOS product.

Note: All prices are manufacturers suggested list prices, dealer participation and pricing may vary.

New Patches for Version 3.3

Two new files for version 3.3 are available in the Patches section of our website. The first new file corrects a problem of not being able to assign security to program 35 (Price Standardization) in the Inventory module. This is a system data file and can be unzipped and copied to your SYS directory. This patch does not use the DeltaDOS program.

Patch #4 corrects a number of small problems:

* Accounts Receivable program 31 did not page break correctly in some circumstances when using dunning messages.

* Payroll program 20 (Update Checks) would not update a check for an employee who has a direct deposit account but received their entire pay through a regular paycheck (in other words, none of the employee’s pay was actually direct deposited)

* When using the Shrink option in File Fixer, the program was not properly updating it’s accounting of the new number of records in the file. This meant that you would have to run a Reorganize before using the files again.

Windows 2000

As you may recall, there has been a question of whether the OPLOCKS fixes need to be done on Windows 2000 servers. It has become apparent that the answer is yes.  Several dealers have now reported that they encountered the same data corruption problems on 2000 networks as they did on NT, and that applying the OPLOCKS fixes have taken care of the problems.

Q & A

Q: If I put an explosion item on an order or invoice and then go make changes to the contents of the explosion in Inventory before updating that invoice, what will happen? Will my Inventory be relieved of the items and quantities that were on the explosion when I put it on the invoice, or the items and quantities at the time I update it?

A: Because orders and invoices (both in Point of Sale and Billing) do not store the contents of an explosion but just the parent information, the child items that will be relieved are always those that exist at the time you update the invoice.

Because of this, it is inadvisable to redefine the contents of an explosion when it may be in use on existing invoices and orders. Any sales that are updated to AR after a change to the explosion item will reflect these changes, not the original contents of the explosion when it was initially sold.


Q: Your list of enhancements on new releases often includes adding of new fields onto reports. Sometimes I get those new fields, sometimes I don’t. What gives?

A: Whether you can immediately see the new fields on your reports depends on whether you use custom print layout files or the default ones that come with the software.

When we refer to custom print layout files (PL files for short), what we mean are files that you have created that are specific to a given module and company number in the product. What we ship with the software is a company 00 PL file that is used only if you do not have custom, or company-specific PLs. To create a custom PL file, you go to System Administrator program 11 and either create it with the New PL option, or just read in a format and specify your company number rather than 00 (in this case the program will ask you if you want to create the company-specific PL if it doesn’t already exist).

Using company specific PLs is important if you use customized reports. If you customize your reports in the 00 PL file they will get overwritten every time you install a software update. Company specific PL files are left alone by the installation program.

Back to the original question now. If you use the default company 00 PL files you’ll get the new fields immediately on installing the update. However, on company-specific PL files you must do a little work to get those new fields. First you must run the Update option in System Administrator program 7 and at the File Options prompt tell it to update print layout files. This procedure compares your company specific PL to the company 00 PL and adds any fields that are on the 00 but not on yours.

Because we don’t want to interfere with what may be painstakingly created custom report layouts, System Administrator program 7 does not add the new fields willy-nilly into the middle of your reports. All new fields are placed outside the printable area of your report so that they will not print until you move them onto the printing area in the places you want. To do this, go to System Administrator program 11 and read in a report that should have new fields. Once you have chosen the appropriate section (all reports are divided into sections, such as header, body, and totals) you can see the layout of the report. Now use your cursor to start moving right. Once you get past the printable edge of the report you’ll see that there are additional fields out there--in addition to the new fields we just added there are often others, sometimes many more. The new fields will be those that are furthest to the right. Now you can move these fields onto the printable area of your report and they will print on the report.


Q: Starting with version 3.2, when I use the Ctrl-U to add a customer or Ctrl-T to add an item on the fly I can’t get to some of the fields, and other fields have weird defaults. What’s wrong?

A: Beginning with version 3.2 we added the ability to set up RapidEntry on both these options. RapidEntry is a feature that allows you to set defaults and to skip fields that you don’t need. When you use the hotkeys to access these features the system assumes you want to use the RapidEntry settings. If you have not set up RapidEntry for these windows it uses the defaults that we set, which is what you are seeing now. To set up RapidEntry the way you want it on these two windows, press F4, then select File Utilities, then choose either Add Customer or Add Item. In the next window you’ll see the Setup RapidEntry option. Select this and you can now set up RapidEntry the way you want it. Once you complete that setup, whenever you use the Ctrl-U and Ctrl-T hotkeys, the on-the-fly add routines will behave the way you want them to.


Q: I’ve set up a Billing invoice through Report Generator. Everything prints exactly like I want when the invoice is only one page, but if there is enough detail to go onto a second page, the items print too far down on the first page and I don’t get a title on the second page. What’s going on?

A: When a report is first created by Report Generator, there are only 4 sections available: 1-Title, 2-Detail, 3-Subtotal and 4-Grand Total. When list detail is first added to a report, Report Generator adds five new sections to the format: 5-Footer, 6-Header, 7-List Title, 8-List Detail and 9-List Total. For each additional List file added to a report, Report Generator opens up three sections: List Title, List Detail and List Total. For example, on a Billing invoice, you might first add the box detail list which would add sections 5 through 9. If you then add the item detail list, Report Generator would add sections 10-Item List Title, 11-Item List Detail and 12-Item List Total.

Now let’s go back to the two special sections added with the first list detail, sections 5 and 6. While these sections are called ‘Footer’ and ‘Header’ they don’t print on every page; in fact, they will only print when detail from a list file breaks across a page. And even though they get added with the ‘first’ list file, they would be used when any list file had more data than could fit on a page.  For example, if the data in both lists was more than would fit on a page the sections would print as follows:

    PAGE 1: 1-Title, 2-Primary File Detail, 7-List Title, 8-List Detail, 5-Footer
    PAGE 2: 6-Header, 8-Continued List Detail, 9-List Total, 10-List Title, 11-List Detail, 5-Footer
    PAGE 3: 6-Header, 11-Continued List Detail, 12-List Total, 3-Subtotal, 4-Grand Total.

Of course, each section might not be opened and used on every format; but you get the idea of how it decides when to use sections 5 and 6.

Let’s get back to the original problem: To make each page of an invoice look the same, you would open the Footer section and add lines until it is the same size as the Subtotal section. Then open the Header section (see the NOTE below) and make it the same size as the Title section. Now copy the contents of the Subtotal section to the Footer section and copy the Title section to the Header section. If you’d prefer to have “Continued next page…” print on all but the last page of an invoice, you would still want the Footer to have the same number of lines as the Subtotal section, but rather than copying, you would just add the “Continued…” text somewhere in the Footer section.

NOTE: To open up sections, hit the “O” key (the letter “O”) while in the Edit mode of Report Generator program 2. This brings up a list of all sections. By selecting a “Closed” section, Report Generator will open up one line in that section.

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