The topic of this post is the Contract and Defect reports that come with a standard Sage SalesLogix Implementation. There are are a total of 5 reports between the 2 areas. All reports use the ModifyUser and ModifyDate for condition filtering except where detailed otherwise.
Contracts is an area of SalesLogix that provides away of tracking the service agreements that you have with your clients. In this area we have the ability to associate to both Tickets and Assets.
The Contract report provides very high level detail of the agreements that you have in the system along with some roll up of data. This report is a candidate for major modification. I would like to see the list of covered Assets and Tickets that have been worked under each Contract. I would add a parameter for ticket with in the last 30, 60, or 90 days. I would also include parameters for Current or Expired Contracts. Read "Improving the SalesLogix Contract Crystal Report" to see how this report was updated.
The next report is the Expired Contracts report which indicated to me that the report provides a list of all the expired contracts. I think the better name for the report would be the Contract Expiration report because this provides a list of all Contracts and their expiration dates. The report displays very little information but I think with some additional filtering could be a valuable report. Besides the naming of the report the only other modification I would make is to have the report sort by Expired Contracts, and then Active contracts grouped together by 30, 60, and then 90 days out from expiration. Read "Modifying the SalesLogix Expired Contracts Report" to see how I adjusted this report.
What I do not see at Contract level is a report that represents the agreement between User and the client. In reality the Contract would be a great area to capture the details for a service contract and then produce the actual contract. We could even build a process to launch the report from the Contract detail view. Maybe even build some kind of version control for each version of the Contract sent to the client.
In the Defect area we see the ability to track a issue with products that you sell. From this area you can define the defect and detail the known resolution, associate products from your database that are involved in the defect, keep track of current and future Tickets that are related to the defect, and associate any returns because of the defect. All of this will help determine the cost of the defect to your organization and provide a one stop shop for your users to rely upon when dealing with clients.
The reporting area for defects has three reports. The first is labeled the Defect report. The reports intent is to provide the details for all of the defects in the system. During my review I discovered a number of issues with this report. First, when I went to open this report I received an error, I checked several other databases to ensure it was not just a fluke with my evaluation system. The error read "Bad Date time format string"
When I ran the report from Crystal I received the same error which guided me the RMA sub report. The DateDifference formula fields uses the RMADATE field for determining the number of days since the RMA was created. I checked the SQL data which showed me a number of null values. I still received the error after several attempts to adjust the formula so for this post I removed the field that was causing the issue. I will follow up on how we adjusted the formula in a future blog post.
There are no Condition filters installed for this report so some of the standard filtering is turned off. Also, When running this report, you are prompted with 5 Yes/No questions. It is my opinion these parameters should be set up to default to yes and allow the user to simply change the parameters to no instead of having to set each one by one. Finally, there are a couple of minor issues with layout that could be worked on. Follow this link to see how I fixed the Defect Report.
The next report from the Defects area is the Defect Activities report, SalesLogixs provide the ability to track, under the Defect Tasks tab, the Activities required for correcting a Defect. There was no evaluation data for testing against so I created two items in SalesLogix and ran the report. The report presented a parameter on if the report should display the comments from either Defect or the Activate level which I like.
Once the report opened I noticed that the defect I was working with only displayed one of the two activities. Again, I looked at several items to try and determine the issue, to no avail. I also discovered that the Received Date label has the Completed Date data displaying and the Completed Date label has the Received Date data displaying. Read how this report was updated.
The Defect Items report on the other hand looks like it is working great compared to the prior two reports. This report display general defect level fields. There are no parameters set up to run in this report. My first impression of the report made me feel that the Product information should be included, that way as a user I could know what products are involved in each defect listed. I also thought that it would be nice to only see the open defects. This report was updated, see how by following this link.
This was frustrating blog to write with all of the issue with the two reports. Hopefully the History reports will go better. If you are in need of help with planning new or improving existing reports please consider asking the staff at Customer FX for help.
Please read up on the 3 new service offerings for Crystal Reports that Customer FX now provides. Keep Smiling. Geo