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Accpac Can’t Do That, YES it can!

Posted by Alistair Hill on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 @ 10:59 AM

It's been said many times, and unfortunately often by the Accpac experts, that Accpac can't do "that".  I'm sure there are cases of that being true, but often it is not.

Accpac has an excellent API (application programming interface) that allows you to interact safely with Accpac data.  You can add, remove, and modify most data in Accpac and be completely protected by the methodologies that Accpac uses.  You can achieve the same results by skipping the API and accessing the database directly, but you stand the chance of making a change that is unacceptable and causing corruption in your data. 

A simple example of this is creating an AR invoice.  Using the API, if you try to create an invoice for a customer that does not exist, you'll get a warning.  If you delete an invoice, all the line items that exist in other tables will get properly deleted, as well as any other processing that Accpac must do such as statistics.  If you did the same thing directly to the database, you stand the chance of missing or mishandling records.

So what can be done?  It's really limited by your imagination, but here are a few quintessential examples of things I've already created.

Data Import

I have a customer who has franchise retail locations.  These locations have proprietary POS software that exports a monthly report of sales in Excel format.  They would then take this output file and use it to key the data into Accpac by hand.  This was time consuming and created opportunities for errors. 

To resolve this, I created a program that would read the Excel file and input the values directly into AR automatically.  Each file would have a batch created and each day or week (depending on the respective file being imported) would be an entry.  This saved hours of work and eliminated all human error.

Data Export

I have a customer who wanted a very complicated report, with data pulled from and compared against data from many different sources, but with Accpac's user level security applied. 

Using the API from within Excel, the user is prompted to sign into Accpac and then the data is pulled and inserted into the Excel document, all without compromising Accpac security or asking for complicated database information.

Data Entry

For some entries in Accpac, like an AR Invoice, for example, you may want entries to be created with a specific format and be the same every time. 

One solution is to train your employees to enter the data in that manner, but that's not always possible, especially if they are being rushed through the process, as is often the case. 

I have a customer who rents storage lockers.  These are charged by square meters.  The customer wanted every invoice for a locker formatted the same;

Locker Number: 123 (12m x 5m x 1 Year)

Because this one item deals with 3 multipliers, the QTY had to be calculated.  This process was prone to many mistakes, such as formatting errors or math errors.  To resolve this, I modified the AR Invoice entry screen to recognize the type of entry, make the description and QTY column read-only, and when those columns are attempted to be modified, a custom interface pops up with fields for length, width, duration, and locker number. 

Using this modification, the customer's employees had no choice but to enter the data correctly.  At the same time, line entries that are not of this type are unaffected.

These are just some examples of what it possible.  Next time you want Accpac to do something different, give Plus a call & work with us to come up with a solution!

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