A version of this article was first published on 25 August 2017. Three years to the day on, we think it warrants another look.
What are Extended Notes?
There are many ways that Orchid's Sage 300 add-ons can be used together, making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. A prime example is using Orchid Extender to generate content, which is then displayed on a Sage 300 screen using Orchid Notes. While not a product in its own right, the synergy is so strong that we've given the combination a name of its own.
Our business partners have been using their imagination to come up with creative new uses for Extended Notes almost daily. This article shares just some examples of how the combination is being used, or could be used, to generate and display custom information where and when it’s needed within Sage 300.
Truly, my mind is overflowing with all of the possibilities of the interplay between Extender and Notes. This new relationship between them feels like such a game-changer!
DAVID GELULA, GELULA CONSULTING, ILLINOIS, USA
Notes + Extender Configurator
Enhanced Audit Logging
- Configure Extender to monitor specific Sage 300 events (e.g. Insert, Update, Delete) and create a Note when they occur.
- Configure Notes to display a history of these events when viewing related Sage 300 screens.
- E.g. Display the latest change (who/what/when) to Customer Credit Limit during Order Entry.
Notes & Comments Integration – Basic
An example of enhanced audit logging using “out of the box” Notes and Extender Configurator functionality:
- Create a Note each time a Vendor Comment or Customer Comment is entered.
- Display all these Notes, or just the latest one, whenever you view a masterfile or transaction record associated with that Vendor or Customer.
Notes + Extender Developer
This is where the true power of Extended Notes comes through. The flexible configuration options that come standard with Orchid Notes are used to trigger the execution of Extender (Python) Scripts when specified conditions are met. This could include:
- Conditional Notes: whether or not a Note is displayed is determined by the result of the script.
- "On The Fly" Notes: The Note becomes a blank canvas, with custom Extender scripts generating infinitely variable content in real-time.
Notes & Comments Integration - Advanced
With a custom Extender script, you could take the enhanced audit logging idea much further, e.g.:
- Create a Customer Comment record whenever a Note is added to that Customer.
- Use custom logic to select a sub-set of Comments to display as a Note.
- Configure multi-field Notes, e.g. to match the fields in Customer or Vendor Comments.
- When entering a Comment, tick a box if you want it to be displayed in Notes.
- When entering a Note, tick a box if you want it to be displayed in Comments.
Some other examples of Conditional and/or “On The Fly” Notes
- Check the customer’s Credit Status when Order Entry is initiated. If they are on hold or overdue, display a Note prompting the user to deal with any credit issues before taking the order.
- For selected Customer Types only, use a Note to display YTD sales for the Customer or Customer / Item Category combination.
- Automatically display the stock on-hand and stock on-order quantities in a Note during PO Entry, so the user doesn’t need to look them up manually in Inventory Control.
Orchid Extender just might be the most powerful third party app ever. The sky's the limit!
IAN COOK, KERR CONSULTING, TEXAS, USA
Sales Tax - A Case Study resulting in real $ savings!
- A company is required to self-assess and pay state sales tax on purchases from out-of-state vendors.
- The sales tax is payable on “shipping and handling” charges…but not on “shipping only”, making it very easy to inadvertently pay too much tax.
- With Extended Notes, a script can parse vendor invoices, identifying those that include a charge for shipping, but not handling. When this occurs, pop-up a conditional Note to remind the A/P clerk to do a manual override on the tax payable calculation.
Combining Extended Notes and Custom Tables
Extender can be used to set up Custom Tables. Extended Notes can then perform calculations using that custom data, and display the results. E.g.:
- During Order Entry, run a script to determine if the customer is eligible for reduced freight charges, or other discounts, dependent on Customer Type and transaction value. If so, display the result in a Note.
- Use custom data to determine if a maximum sale amount applies for a Customer/Item combination. (E.g. where a Vendor is offering rebates on an item, but only up to a set volume for the budget period.) If so, display the result in a Note.
- Display context-sensitive Notes about a Location, based on custom data. (E.g. special receiving instructions that apply to specific items.)
Drill-Through…or even Drill-Up!
Extended Notes supports drill-through, e.g.:
- From the O/E Shipment screen, use a custom script to display all open orders for the Customer within a Note, and allow drill-through to a specific Order.
What’s more, while Sage 300 doesn’t support drill-up “out of the box”, Extended Notes can. A custom script can identify the target record for a transaction, and allow you to click through to it. E.g.:
- Drill-up from OE or PO into AR/AP/GL.
- Drill-up from AP/AR into GL, or into any other sub-ledger
Thanks again for introducing me to Orchid Extender…that’s quite an incredible product you have there!
SCOTT DAVIES, EQUATION TECHNOLOGIES, ENCINATAS, CA, USA