9.5 Release Summary

April 21, 2018 in Release 9.5

The 9.5 Release of Online Advantage is a major new version with a long list of new features and improved functions for our customers to put to good use through the course of their daily activities. Below is a summary of the 9.5 Release highlights:

End of Day Reporting

We have completely overhauled the End of Day (EOD) overnight processing and converted all the reports into the more modern graphical format to match the rest of the reporting. This change gives you the flexibility to receive EOD reports in any of the available formats (e.g. pdf, xls, csv, word etc.) plus the ability to specify whether the reports should be sent via email, fax or directly to a network printer.

To help manage all this new flexibility we’ve created an End of Day Report Manager which lets you set all the formats and destination of reports, plus even lets you exclude any non-critical reports that you don’t want for even greater control.  Where possible, some End of Day reports are now also available within the menus to run on-demand as needed. We have also added the ability for you to tag reports of your own creation so they can be included as part of the overnight End of Day process.

Displays

We have a new look for all our displays!Inventory Display

The new version of Displays has the following exciting new features:

  • a Print Preview option that allows you to View & Print the display details in a controlled format
  • collapsible panels so we can fit more on the screen and you can decide what to show/hide
  • new display features for row/column type data as follows:
    • search a column by filter
    • group columns
    • resize columns
    • freeze columns
    • enable/disable columns
    • row data publishing on-demand
    • row scrolling

Stationery

We’ve designed an alternative set of stationery with a fresh new look. The previous format is still available and will remain active when you upgrade. You may choose to move to the new format as part of your upgrade or at a later date as required.

Other stationery changes we’ve made in this release include:

  • Alternate formats with BPAY logo
  • Showing the country name in the address
  • Currency symbols next to amounts that are in accordance with International Standards (ISO)
  • New company details for your web address, sales email and account details

Electronic Document Delivery

We call it “EDD” for short. This is all about delivering the stationery documents (i.e. Invoices, Statements, Purchase Orders and Remittance Advice’s) electronically.

We’ve added some cool new features to this area:

  • You can now send Transfer Invoices via EDD by adding an email address to the Stock Location
  • You can give specific users the power to override EDD (i.e. not send via EDD)
  • Contact changes have been made to allow a dynamic selection of reports that can be sent via EDD
  • The ability to choose the file format for a document sent to a Contact e.g. Joe from Ace Suppliers may need to receive purchase orders in XML format
  • For convenience we’ve added ‘Quick Launch and Close’ options to the EDD launch page
  • You can now choose an alternate stationery layout per Contact or User e.g. you can have a regular Invoice format that you send to most customers, and an Invoice with a specific compliance statement or special formatting that you send to some customers
  • An ‘SMS’ delivery option has been added

Reporting

Following on from EDD we’ve also made significant changes to Reporting functionality:

  • We’ve updated the Report Designer including some new features like calculated columns
  • Included support of the .xlsx Excel file format
  • New “Grouping” function on Excel output
  • Enabled report content in the body of emails via “Rich” text
  • Added a function available to retrieve and view previously saved Cube reports
  • Tagging of columns to appear in Excel output via the Report Queries editor is now available
  • Also in Report Query editor, you can now optionally have the entered run-time filters included on the report (to remind you what selections you made)
  • When creating reports, there is improved intelligence for the layout generation in terms of expected width of data columns
  • New HTML output viewer in reports has been included
  • Mandatory filters can now be specified for all reports including those where data is retrieved from a data table (previously only available on selected reports)
  • Included the ability to prevent blank reports from being emailed. An example would be the Customer Transfer report that EOD produces every run. Chances are you don’t transfer a customer every day, so most nights you would get a blank report unless you switch it off
  • Added the option to include additional attachments (besides the report itself) when you email a report

Scheduler

Staying with the reporting theme, there have been major changes to the Report Scheduler which is the ‘engine’ that runs all system reporting. The following changes have occurred:

  • First off, there’s been a major restructuring of how the schedule data is held in the system
  • There is a new option to schedule items to run at intervals
  • There is a new option to schedule reports in a batch task so that they are executed in sequence
  • The Process Scheduler has improvements that allow you to edit the destination (e.g. email address) and output format (e.g. pdf) of previously scheduled items
  • If for some reason a report item fails to send, a notification will now be sent to your OA Message Inbox instead of being emailed to you (this is because if your email is down, you would never get an email saying your report failed to send!)
  • There is a new report that shows you a list of your currently scheduled items
  • There is a new report that shows you which users have access to scheduling items
  • There are new reports for items that failed to send, and items that sent successfully

User Interaction

There is a new look login page and the ability to tailor the messages on the login is now available.

For user entry, we’ve improved input focus on all OA forms with a view to improving efficiency. We’ve also added a HTML editor for Product and Product Index web descriptions.

When entering line items data (row, column style) we’ve added a new ‘Add+New’ button to many forms which allows the user to make a new entry, add it on and then be prompted to add a new entry without the need to do anything extra. This is to improve speed of entry and it is a significant time saving when entering multiple line items (rows) into a list. This feature has been added to Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Manufacturing Specifications and the Inventory transaction entry functions like Manual Stock Issues and Receipts.

Searching

Some great new search features have been added to this release:

  • Key-stroke searches for quick lookup of probable results. For example, type the start of a Product Code to see all the products whose code begins with what you have entered. Or type ‘Thomas’ in a contact code input, and see a list of all contacts with the name ‘Thomas’
  • You can now specify fixed filters for procedures to get better search results. We call it ‘Smart Searching’. For example, for Sales Order Entry, you can’t enter orders that are already on pick, so we exclude on-pick orders from the search results when searching in Sales Order Entry. The same applies, but in reverse, when searching in Picking Docket Adjustment
  • Multi-selection of search results. This is particularly useful when entering report filters. For example, if you want to produce a report where colour is red, white or blue, you can select all 3 colours and the report filtering will be automatically filled with your three selections

General Ledger History

We’ve extended the General Ledger detailed history retention from ‘This Year’ and ‘Last year’ to a full 8 years of historical data. GL Reports and Displays have been changed so you can select the year you require. Journal entries have also been enhanced to allow posting back to a previous year. This will allow users to go back to look at the details that make up the balances of all GL Account Postings, and the transaction information relating to those details for the full 8 years.

Please note that the older GL data will not automatically appear as soon as you upgrade. The data will of course start to build once you are on the upgraded version though, as the years pass by. However if you are interested in having access to this historical data in your GL, it will involve a process of restoring information from backup and placing it in the appropriate file. Contact Support if you would like to undertake this process as it will incur a set up fee. It will require an access to your historical backups in order to retrieve the data which can be up to 6 years old. Note that for Hosted clients we keep backups going back to at least 2007 so a full 8 years of data should be achievable.

As part of this change, and for other reasons, there are significant improvements in this release to the ability to drill down to sub ledger items and transaction details of General Ledger postings.

Supplier Default Posting Account

You can now specify a ‘default’ posting account on Suppliers. This new account will be used as the default posting account when entering any new Invoices or Returns for that supplier. For example, add your ‘Electricity Expense’ account to your electricity provider supplier account, your ‘Rent Expense’ account to your landlord supplier account and your ‘Phone Expense’ account to your telephone service provider. Then invoice entry for these suppliers will be quicker and more accurate.

Manual Invoices and Credits

They’re back! These functions were only available in the terminal emulation edition, but are now available in the browser edition for all users. For those people who have not used them before, they provide the ability to raise an Invoice/Credit and post the line item values directly to GL Accounts without the need to use pre-established products. The new and improved versions include the ability to enter a ‘text’ description along with an Invoice/Credit print/email facility similar to Order Management invoice/credit processing.

Account Approvals

Something new for Accounts Receivable users.

Create a new customer account, but whilst you’re doing your credit checks, set the ‘Credit Flag’ to the new ‘Unapproved Account’ option. Then hop over to the Account Approvals menu where you will find a suite of tools to manage the account approval credit approval process.

Quick Stock Take

This is a new function that lets you enter a stock take count for a single item without having to do a stock take run using the Stock Take sub-system. It makes doing stock takes quick and easy for a small number of inventory items.

Sales StatisticsService Statistics

There is a new menu under Order Management with new set of Sales/Service statistic style reports.

Order Runs

A new set of Order Run processing features have been added to the Picking Docket generation area of the system. These target users who want to “pull” their order for picking off the system in batches based on targeted selection criteria so they can focus on a particular sub-set of warehouse despatch tasks. The Order Runs functionality includes Run Templates, Run Sheets, Manifests and the ability to perform Consolidated Picking.

Activity Audit Logging

We’ve extended user activity logging to additional areas of the system including: Standing Payments, Debtors Statements, Assets, Stock Take Runs, Manufacturing Specifications, and User maintenance. Essentially we are now recording who makes any changes in to this data, and when/what they changed to provide a better level of visibility.

Also, we are now recording the activity of document delivery. When a document is sent, the docket activity is updated with the details, the notes for the docket reference are updated and the sending users outbox is updated. As an example, if you email a Purchase Order to a Supplier, the Purchase Order activity will be stamped with ’emailed to jim@supplier.com’, the supplier Notes will be updated with a record, and the users outbox will also have a record of the details too.

Other Minor Changes

Last, but not least, there are many other Minor Changes to the 9.5 Release that have been included in the new version. Too many to list here in this summary so please review the details of these other enhancements here.

Post Release Additions

Finally, as with all our releases, there are always new features that we add in during the life of a version as part of the patching & minor upgrade process we perform for clients. The complete history of these Post Release Additions can be read here.

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