Since reporting is one of my interests I always tend to take notice when I hear of a reporting tool. A few weeks ago Scott Weber, Customer FX’s own CRM Practice Manager and Senior Consultant, introduced a product to me called Stonefield Query. It was a ten minute demo but I was pretty impressed by what I saw. I thought I would take some time and dig into the Sage SalesLogix version of this this reporting tool and write about my experience as a new user of this reporting tool.
To their credit Stonefield Query has been around for a number of years, since 1991. When you type in the words “SalesLogix Report Writing” they come up easily in the top 10 on any of the search engine. Jason Okrepkie and Chris Hodgins at Stonefield Query provided a NFR license for the purpose of this series of blog posts. You can go to their web site to download a free trial of the software for many types of CRM, Accounting, ERP, and Help Desk Applications. Using the website I found it very easy to find and download the software version for Sage SalesLogix. The file size of my download was about 23 MB so it took only about 3 minutes. The software loaded in less then 1 minute and when finished I was presented with a cool little wizard to help complete the set up.
The first step in the wizard is selecting a location where your custom reports will be stored after they are created. This allows you to centrally store your reports on the networks for others to use. The system defaults to the Program Files folder for your local machine but the interface allows for you to custom set this to any location.
The second step is setting up your email information so you can email your custom reports. I selected the help button which immediately helped me figure out what setting I required.
As soon as I set my email preferences I was presented with Stonefield Query login interface that had a list of all my SalesLogix database connections. The default login info for Stonefield Query is user name = Admin and the password is also Admin. Stonefield Query gives you this information right on the login interface and you can change these settings once you are in.
I selected my target SalesLogix database then the Stonefield system provided an interface to select an ODBC connection. This connection allows access to all of the custom tables that are in the system. The help file was pretty good at explaining the process for the unexperienced. FYI, I used the Search Tab and the value “ODBC” and I was brought right to the information I needed. The challenge here is this step requires a login into SQL. From my experience working with the readers out there, most report writers do not have a direct login to the SQL client. You will have to work with your SQL Database administrator to acquire this information. Also, you need one ODBC Connection for each database you want to work with. Overall this step was a little confusing but with the help file and little persistence I was able to log into Stonefield Query with access to the database.
I backed all of the way out and closed out of Stonefield Query. Logging back in I received the Stonefield Query login with my targeted database already selected and that was it. So the interface must store the SalesLogix user name and password and maintained the ODBC Connection. I am up and running in Stonefield Query in less then and hour. I am set up to report against a SalesLogix database that has been customized into Customer FX’s Power2Project for SalesLogix the 752 web client. Next time we will review the interface and work with the standard reports that come with the tool.
Thanks for reading. Geo
Please Contact – Scott Weber @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in seeing a demo of this reporting tool.