Sage CRM - You may need to create views manually

By BAASS Author | Oct 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM
 
Why does it appear? 

The can be several reasons why this message appears and it usually comes when there has been a change in the configuration of the system. This maybe as a result of an upgrade, or if the SQL password for the "sa" user has been changed, and the same change has not been affected in CRM. 

There are some helpful questions to ask when this happens. 

Does the error appear for all users? 

If the system administrator can logon but another user can not, you will have to turn on the system logs and see what happens. Start looking at the SQL logs and see if the requests are getting to the database. It may give you enough information to sort out the problem. 

Is your database running? 

UnableToConnectToDB 
[DBNETLIB][ConnectionOpen (Connect()).]SQL Server does not exist or access denied 
Driver: MSSQL 
Server: UKTRAINING 
Database: CRM 
LoginName: sa You may need to recreate views manually. 

This is symptomatic of a database server that is not running. Can you connect using query analyser or other SQL tool? 

If the database is already running.. stop and start the database service and retry. 

Have you just restored a backedup database? 

The error message can appear when you have a mismatch between database and CRM versions. For example you may get the message if you have restored a Sage CRM 5.8 database to an install of Sage CRM that is 6.0 

Is CRM trying to connect to the correct database? 

Go to start\run\regedit\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\eware\config click on the CRM beneath that and see the right panel see that default databaseserver name is exactly you have, if it is not, then change it manually. You'll need to do an IISRESET before you try and logon again. 

Have you changed the database password? 

UnableToConnectToDB 
Login failed for user 'sa' 
Driver: MSSQL 
Server: UKTRAINING 
Database: CRM 
LoginName: sa You may need to recreate views manually. 

This can be symptomatic of when the "sa" password was entered correctly but contains a special character, such as $, in the beginning. 

Or more alarmingly it can be symptomatic of someone or something (e.g. a Virus, worm etc) changing the password on the database server. 

Note:
If you need to change the "sa" password, the correct thing to do is to logon to CRM, change the database password under Administration>System>Database first, then reset the password in MSSQL, and finally reset IIS and logon to CRM again. 

But if the database "sa" password has been reset first, then it will not be known to CRM, so you will not be able to connect to the database. Then you'll need to reset the password in MS SQL to the previous password. 

But what if you don't know the database "sa" password? You will first need to reset the "sa" password to something you do know. Then you will have to reset the password in the CRM registry. (Backup the registry before doing this!!!). 

In the registry browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | SOFTWARE | eWare | Config | [CRM], where [CRM] is the name of the CRM instance. 

You can set the DatabasePassword to the new database password in plain text. Do an IISRESET, then you should be able to logon to CRM. Once you have logged on to CRM go and reenter the new password and it will be saved back into the registry in encrypted form. 

But how do I recreate views manually? 

There is a view in the Sage CRM database called "vsentinel". When CRM first starts up (after an IISRESET) and it finds that vsentinel is not present, it will use this as the trigger to force the recreation of the views based on the definitions stored in meta data. Once the other views have been recreated it then creates the trigger view "vsentinel" again. 

To force the recreation of the views do this: 

1. Do IISRESET from the Run prompt. 
2. Go to the SQL Manager. Take a backup of your CRM SQL Database first. 
3. Now through SQL Manager itself, select the CRM SQL Database instance. There you will find an option Views which lists all the Views against it. 
4. Select the user view "vsentinel". All CRM views are prefixed with ‘v’. 
5. Press the Delete key from the keyboard and drop the view. 
6. After the IISRESET, try to login to CRM and see whether you are able to log in to CRM now or not.
 
Have you been editing the Themes CSS files in Sage CRM 6.2?
 
Sage CRM 6.2 has introduced a new way of generating this message.  This can seem surprising as it has nothing to do with the database and everything to do with a corrupt CSS file being in the Themes folder.
 
Sage CRM 6.2 introduced the idea of themes.  There is some training material that covers this within the Resources section of this website that development partners can download and there are also additional sample themes available.
 
As part of developing a theme a cascading stylesheet will have to be created and edited that contains the style settings for the new look and feel that is being constructed.  But there is a section of the stylesheet that has to be preserved.  This is clearly marked in the existing stylesheets.
 
e.g.
 
C:\Program Files\Sage\CRM\CRM\WWWRoot\Themes\default.css
C:\Program Files\Sage\CRM\CRM\WWWRoot\Themes\neutral.css
C:\Program Files\Sage\CRM\CRM\WWWRoot\Themes\sage_green.css
 
/* 
  CRM GREEN CUSTOM SETTINGS 
  DO NOT CHANGE FORMAT BETWEEN 'CRM SETTINGS' TAGS
  [CRM SETTINGS]
    [INITIALIZATION]
      //theme file version
      VERSION = 1.0
    [COLORS DEFINITION]
      //wsEmailclient
      COLORCAPTIONBLUE=#6795C3
      //TSearchEntryGroup.GetEditHtmlFromContent
...
    [FONTS]
      //WrbTriPage, WsEmailClient
      FONTFAMILY=MS P-Mincho
...
  [CRM SETTINGS]
*/
The values within this section maybe changed BUT the structure must be preserved.  If this section is corrupted or is absent in any css file contained in the Themes folder
 
C:\Program Files\Sage\CRM\CRM\WWWRoot\Themes\
 
then it will generate the 'You may need to recreate views manually' message when someone tries to first logon after IIS has been reset.  It does not matter is the CSS file is not referenced in translations. All CSS files in the folder are scanned.  The origin of the error may be shown in the system log in this case.

So what happens if I still can't log on

Remember this was not an exhaustive article. Don't panic. Think about what has just changed in the system? Have you applied a new component? Can you restore to the prior state? Have a good look through the forums and knowledge base and then log a case with support. 

I hope that this article has helped.
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Sage CRM How To: Document Templates

By BAASS Author | Jul 8, 2013 10:32:00 AM
 
 

With all of the excitement over the release of Sage 300 ERP v2012 and its new features, it’s easy to forget how many amazing tools you already have at your fingertips. One of the handiest tools for those of us in administration is also one of the more under-utilized features in Sage CRM – Document and Email Templates.

If you’ve done any work with us in the past, you’ll know we send out Project Plans in the preparation phases for projects. They enable everyone to be on the same page prior to commencement, and are often full dates and information useful throughout the duration of the project. If we had to manually fill in each and every detail of this document for each customer, it would be a very tedious process.

In order for us to maximize our efficiency and maintain consistent formatting, regardless of who is planning the project, we have created a Document Template for our Project Plans in CRM. We have also created an Email Template for sending them onto you, to make sure you are getting the same level of customer service with each communication.

As daunting as it may seem, it’s actually a very simple process that can save a lot of effort in the long run:

1. Layout: Create a general layout in word for the type of document you are creating. For familiarity sake, I will use our project plan document as my example:

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2. Merge Fields: Depending on your security rights, you may need to contact your administrator to complete this step. Because of CRM’s ability to be customized to suit your business, field names are often company specific. This means there is no one document that will outline the field names to insert into our templates. In order to find out what the field names are, you need to:

        i. Click on “Administration”, located below the “Main Menu” option on the left side navigation.

        ii. Click the “Customization” icon that has now appeared in the left side navigation.

        iii. Select the Entity which contains the information you would like to have auto-merge in your document. This often directly relates to the type of document template you are creating.

                1) In my example of our Project Plan document, I would select the “Opportunity” option, since my template is directly related to an opportunity.

        iv. This will take you to a screen that contains a list of all fields related to that entity. You may need to go between the entities in the previous step to collect all relevant “Field Names” to add to your template.

                1) The screen should appear similar to:

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        v. Enter a Field into your word document (In our version of word I navigate to the Insert tab, click on quick parts, Field) which will then give you a pop up.

                1) Select the field name “MergeField” and enter the Field Name from CRM into the Field Name section of the pop-up.

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                2.) For example, if I want the company name to auto-fill each time I use that template, I would use the Field name of comp_name .

4

                In the project plan document, I used comp_name in the Field Name section:

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        vi. Continue to fill in each part of the template* where you would like information auto-populated from CRM. My final project plan looks something like:

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*Note: You can utilize Word features in any part of your document as well. For the “Date” section in the example above, I have inserted a date field to auto-update each time the document is accessed.

3. Upload Template to CRM: Depending on your security rights, you may need to contact your administrator to complete this step. You now need to upload the template to CRM to ensure it’s availability to anyone that may need it. To do this:

        i. Click the “E-mail and Documents” icon on the left side navigation

         ii. Select “Document Templates” under the “Documents” heading

        iii. On the right side navigation, select “Add File”

        iv. You will now need to fill in the information as it pertains to your document. For our Project Plan, I selected the following:

7

 

 

 

 

  

         v. In the “File” section, browse to your saved word document and click “Save”.

       vi. Your document will now appear under the “Shared Templates” header.

8

4. Using the Template: Now that the template has been created, you can access it whenever you need to.

        i. To use or test the document, you need to navigate to the relevant entity. In my example, I have gone Company – Opportunity and am now in summary.

        ii. Right click on “New” in the left side navigation and select “Document”

        iii. Click on the file name you would like to use and select “Merge and Continue

        iv. If you have further information to add, click the “View Merged Document” option. This will open the file in Word. If you would not like to create a communication with that document as is, uncheck the create communication box. You will be able to file this document when it is completed.


5. Problems: If you have any tags that were not automatically merged, you may need to revisit Step 2 and double check the field names are correct, and that you have inserted the field correctly, or are using the correct entity to pull the information from.

You will be amazed at how handy Document Templates in CRM can be for day to day tasks and documents, and it’ll be a bit hit amongst the admin staff.

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If you don’t currently have Sage CRM but would like more information or think it may be something that could benefit your company, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be more than happy to show you how CRM may be a valuable asset to your company!

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Sage CRM – The Personal Assistant for a Personal Assistant

By BAASS Author | Apr 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM
Every now and then I like to reflect on the beauty of Sage CRM and voice my appreciation. Sometimes I, (perish the thought) try to contemplate my position without it in my life and that…that takes me to a dark place.
 

Schedule management and maintenance is no laughing matter, I’ll have you know! When it comes to keeping track of 5 consultants’ schedules on a daily basis and you are solely responsible, things can potentially turn pretty sour if you mess up. The billable appointments, the non- billable ones, the personal commitments, internal meetings, external meetings, phone calls in, phone calls out, ongoing support with clients, vacation requests, technical support coverage, kick off meetings, follow ups, yes friends, the lists goes on.

crm calendar

Sure, you go right ahead, visit your nearest calendar store and take your pick ( Cute puppies, nature, Brad Pitt- whatever floats your boat) and prop that calendar up beside your desk and I wish you all the luck in the world keeping tabs on everyone’s schedules by hand. Of course, you have the benefit of your images of choice and that may bring a smile to your face from day to day but does it have the following? The following being what I would consider the icing on the cake of the CRM calendar:

  • I can set reminders. I love this ability. Just as much as I love the snooze button on my alarm clock in the morning – this in affect is the same. Consultants have no excuses and either do I!! So as soon as I log in to have a look at my calendar, I can see all of my 593 reminders of the things that I have to do. Okay, hopefully it doesn’t get to this stage for most of you but it is reassuring to know that you will not be allowed to forget to do those little niggles and if you keep seeing them blasted into your face each day, you are bound to get fed up of looking at them and so this is motivation to get it done.
  • I can set a recurrence communication – so this saves me manually entering a new appointment for something that I know is going to be taking place each week, bi – weekly, monthly, and yearly. Can you say time saver? Think back to and imagine the days when we had to make the same appointment over and over and over. Sends shivers down my spine!
  • It also helps to manage the comings and goings of our hardware – if our training laptops and projectors are being taken onsite somewhere and I am panicking as they are all missing from the office, I can add the laptop / projector to the appointment and then easily find out where they are at any given time.
  •  I have an appreciation for the “created by” and the “updated by” because it lets me know if some little fairy has been messing with my appointments and thinking that they will get away with it!J
  • When I am done or when the consultants are finished with whatever the task on hand was or the appointment, they can then set it to complete. Simple, clean, efficient. Oh organization – it’s a wonderful thing!!

Are you using the options and fields in Sage CRM to their full potential?? If you are – you can easily delve a little further in and pull up a report in seconds if you want an analysis of what is done, what isn’t complete, or just to get a simple grasp of where things stand. For example, say its Friday morning and its time to do the weekly invoicing and you need to know what work has been completed this week so that you can invoice it in an efficient manner. Providing that staff change their billable appointments to complete once completed, you have yourself a neat little report here that aptly provides you with the details you need to go ahead and bill. Go to your Find button and click on the Communication option. Fill in the specifics according to what you require and voila!

CRM

 

If you want to talk to us about getting a personal assistant in the form of a CRM system in place, contact us!

Learn more about Sage CRM here.

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A Practical Example of Business Intelligence Powered by Sage 300 ERP

By Glen Mund | Feb 5, 2013 8:27:00 AM
 
 
  
 rawpixel-252130-unsplash
 
 

BAASS Business Solutions has been using Sage CRM to manage staff schedules for several years now. It has powerful scheduling features for recurring appointments, conflict notification, email and on screen reminders and more.

One of the Key Performance Indicators I use as a predicative indicator of our capacity and revenue forecast is an adhoc report I export from CRM on a weekly basis. The report takes me about a minute or two to export but once exported it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to manipulate so that it provides the number of days in the month that are booked as compared to those that are not, and the number of days that are booked for non billable vs billable activities. It also requires some sorting to check for double bookings. The report is critical to predict future revenues, lead time, and resource allocation.

I knew this report could be automated with some work but it was beyond my expertise. One of my staff saw the request on our CRM wishlist and decided to take it on. As I was creating the adhoc version of the report in Excel he felt that Sage Intelligence was the best option as it is an Excel based BI tool that can look at any data source including our CRM data. In a few days he designed a report that not only gives me the data I want with the click of a button it allows for easy configuration if we add employees or make other changes to our organization. It now takes less than 15 seconds to get a report that formerly took a half hour to prepare. I can also run the report hourly or more frequently if I want, as opposed to weekly.

We have even set the report to be sent to my email so it is waiting for me every morning.

I now have valuable information at my fingertips when and where I need it.

Thanks Mitch!!!

If you would like us to see if we can help your business get access to data in a more effective manner or get access to data you can't get access to now, give us a call. You might be surprised what your software is capable of doing.

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An Update on My Dashboard - Sage CRM

By BAASS Consultant | Jun 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM

It has been a while since I last updated you on my executive dashboard so I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know where we are at today. I have spent most of the time since we last spoke enhancing the Dashboard within Sage CRM. I check this dashboard almost everyday as it updates me on where BAASS Business Solutions is at from several different departmental perspectives.

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10 Awesome Tricks You Can Do in Sage CRM

By BAASS Author | Feb 2, 2012 4:03:00 PM

Many of our customers use Sage CRM to help their sales, marketing and customer service teams build more profitable relationships every day. It is a full-featured, web-based CRM solution that is easy to use and quick to deploy. In this blog I will outline 10 things that you may not have known you could do within Sage CRM. Hopefully you can learn something new that will improve your user experience of Sage CRM.

1.) Use the Recent Button. By clicking on the Recent Button on the side menu of your Sage CRM you will see a menu of the most recent activities you have performed. It will include company searches, people searches, campaigns, cases, opportunities, leads and groups pulled. This can save time instead of re-typing your search criteria or remembering who just logged a case, etc.

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How to Create One Report from Two Independent Systems

By BAASS Consultant | Dec 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM
 
 I recently met with the President of BAASS to determine the best way to get data from our Sage ERP 300 (formerly Accpac) and Sage CRM.  Sage 300 and CRM are two independent, but synchronized systems.  All customers, vendors and their respective contact details are updated live between each.  It’s an out-of-the-box solution provided by Sage.  The limitation that we were up against was that the customization nature of CRM was leaving Sage 300 behind.  


In CRM we keep many additional details about our customers in addition to the standard details that you might find in any typical ERP.  CRM is designed to be able to handle these extra details by allowing us to add extra fields to a company’s details.  In this case, SIC codes.  In Sage 300, there is no place for a SIC code without creating an optional field.  Optional fields are a powerful addition to Sage 300 that allows for the creation of custom containers of information, like a SIC code.  Although Sage 300 and CRM are synchronized, you can’t expect two independent systems to be able to automatically keep up with structural changes made by the end user.

When the conversation started, we were talking about how are we going to get this piece of information reliably from CRM to Sage 300.  So I proposed a little piece of custom software that would check for changes in each and make the same change to the other, a common approach to address this type of functionality gap.  It’s not a difficult thing to create, but like anything else, it was going to take a bit of time. However, I then asked the magic question which should have been asked at the beginning...

“Why do you want to do this?”

To which he responded; “I want to be able to get a sales report that groups by SIC code”

SIC codes are in CRM and sales numbers are in Sage 300.  It seems logical that if you want to report on two pieces of data, to put one where the other is.  In this case, put the CRM data in Sage 300.

But wait! There is an easier solution! Just because data exists in two different places, does not mean we can’t combine them into one report. Using any number of techniques, we can create a single report that would give all the required results in far less time than creating a tool that moves data around.  Solutions like Sage 300 Intelligence are designed exactly for this purpose.

If you have Sage 300 5.6 or 6.0, you already own Sage 300 Intelligence and that is a great starting point.  If you have multiple sets of data that you would like to combine, let's see what we can do for you.

Contact us for more info and subscribe for more Sage 300 Tips & Tricks.

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Sage CRM - Save time during busy tax season!

By BAASS Consultant | Apr 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM

I am writing this article on my desktop and considering where I am going to find the time to do my wife's and my tax return I thought to myself how would I manage this before the advent of technology. I am not sure I could have done it or maybe I could but I would have to have given up a lot of other things to do so.

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