Oracle Database: The Only Enterprise Solution

Recently, we have made a determination. If you are standing up an enterprise database to support mission critical applications, Oracle is the only database worth considering.

Microsoft SQL Server is fine as far as you can throw it. If you plan to go beyond a mid-tier application, however, you will eventually wish you had used Oracle.

At IBM databases, we only scoff….unreliable, slow, buggy, arcane. What else can we say?

Save yourself a lot of headaches, and go with Oracle.

Oh, you want evidence to back up our claims? Someday soon…we promise. Right now, we have to go write more software because the IBM database is taking up all of our time.

Ask Deft Flux: What Does Epicor Error 7175/7224 Mean?

Several of our clients have experienced the infamous 7175 error and the subsequent “Tried to call a method in an invalid procedure. (7224)” error.  This error normally indicates a broken network connection between the client machine and the server, so after a user sees this error, Epicor will stop functioning withal.  For users with elusive but persistent network hiccups, this is especially aggravating. Continue reading

Leaders, Do You Know How to High Five?

Leaders, as we look back at the previous year, we remind ourselves that it is apropos to review ourselves, praise our teams, and celebrate some wins.  Amongst our teams, we have observed uncertainty.  Folks are asking, “How much gaiety is required?” and “What is the appropriate mode of celebration?”

Some wins call for raucous cheers. Others call for a quiet “yes!”  Our purpose today, however, is not to prescribe appropriate celebrations by context.  Instead, we share a lesson we learned at the Leadercast — namely, that the high five is a universal tool, the lineman’s pliers of celebration.  A high five always works.  It is always powerful.  Moreover, the high five is most powerful in its simplest form.  Like a pair of lineman’s pliers, it does not need our improvements.

Today, we present a brief instructional video by Leadercast host Tripp Crosby, reminding us to use high fives appropriately.  Remember, they do not cost anything, so hand out a few today.

Epicor – Let’s Dump a File

How have we at Deft Flux made life easier by implementing elegant solutions to real business requirements?  Herewith, we present two examples.

Company A needs to produce an XML file for the Job Order Interface of its Trumpf Inventory Manager Machine.  Company A also needs to produce a tab-delimited advanced ship notice (ASN) for upload to a customer’s system.  Both of these cases are interesting because they cannot be solved with a Business Activity Query (BAQ) or simple Business Process Management (BPM) Method Directive.  Although a BAQ can be exported, the XML is not in the right format for the Trumpf machine.  A simple BPM cannot handle file output, let alone tab delimited.  How do we proceed? Continue reading

Ask Deft Flux: How can I log changes in Epicor?

We often hear from someone who needs to log changes to data in his business system. Perhaps a production supervisor wants to know when the description of a part was changed or a human resources manager wants a record of everyone’s pay rate changes. Maybe the human resources manager also wants to be notified by e-mail every time the pay rate gets updated. Using Epicor, logging table changes is as easy as pie. This week, we show you how to use the Business Activity Manager (BAM) to meet this requirement.

First, the BAM is found on the menu under Executive Analysis >> Business Activity Management >> Setup.

Open the BAM.

Open the BAM.

In the BAM tool, on the first tab, we simply choose the table and the columns in that table that we want to be logged.

Select the table.

Select the table.

On the second tab, we choose the action or actions we want to take to accomplish the logging. We can have a log created. Simply check the “Create Log” box.

Select [Create Log].

Select [Create Log].

We can also choose to have a message sent to the interested party. The message can include a simple alert, a link to the changed record, a copy of the log, or all three.

Select [Send Alert].

Select [Send Alert].

On most master data screens, the log viewer is ready to go.  The on screen log is accessed by pressing the log button. Note that when a logged change is present, the book lights up with a sparkly-bit.

View the logs.

View the logs.

The log simply tells you the date and time of the change, the old value, and the update value, which can be quite valuable.

View the log details.

View the log details.

Now, the BAM can also automatically kick of a report whenever some key thing is updated.  That, however, is another story for another day.

If you need help setting up your logging, or any other business process, give us a call.  We are here to help.

Ask Deft Flux: How do I Query a Hierarchical Bill of Material in Epicor?

On occasion, an Epicor ERP user will want to write a report that requires a hierarchical view of a part’s multi-level bill of material.  In Epicor, we would prefer to do this using a Business Activity Query (BAQ).  The Epicor 10 BAQ tool is much more powerful than the tool from version 9, so it comes close to being able to do this, but just misses the mark.  In order to query a hierarchical BOM, we must write the SQL and create a view in the database.  Once we create the view, we can use a BAQ to access it (in version 9 or version 10 as long as we’re using SQL Server), or we can query it directly using an SSRS report.  Herewith, we provide the SQL:

Continue reading

Leaders, Do Your Meetings Sound Like This?

Leaders, in our continual quest to take down obstacles for our teams, to help them succeed, we always asks, “Is this meeting necessary? Will it add value today?” We try to make our meetings bearable by stating a clear purpose, by inviting only those who are central to that purpose, and by keeping focus on the goal, yet even in the best run meetings we experience the agony of missed communication. Let’s all watch and laugh at ourselves as Leadercast host Tripp Crosby demonstrates how the best of meetings can go awry.

What’s worse than a conference call? A conference call in real life.

Ask Deft Flux: How do I format money using knockout.js

We have recently benefited from using knockout.js to add richness to some of our web application forms.  Once our view model is bound, the library allows us to update text on the form dynamically and easily.  Naturally, it wasn’t long before someone asked, “How do I format money using knockout.js?”  Some folks had some partial answers and some folks had some answers that didn’t work.  It was particularly challenging to deal with users selecting partial fields, negative amounts, and what not, so we rolled our own knockout extension.  We wouldn’t say our answer is perfect, but we think it is a fair compromise that works with the major browsers.  Behold, the jsFiddle for money formatting in knockout.

Cogburn Crows is launched!

We have great news folks.  Cogburnt, our first game, has been launched.  This is new territory for the Deft Flux stable of information designers, but we think this product is going to be a hit.  We know that many parents and families feel on-line and mobile games driving them apart.  They no longer are sitting around a table playing games together.  In response, we have attempted to provide a game that requires the players to sit together in the same room and (at least for now) on the same device.  So head over to the App Store or Google Play, install Cogburnt, and let us know what you think!

Cogburn Crows is coming

Coming soon from Deft Flux – something unlike anything we’ve created to date.  It’s called Cogburnt.  It might be a little too soon for you, but your kids are going to love it.

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