I’ve written on this blog before about the advantages of using a web-based ERP application. In this post, I’d like to focus on the fact that the client in the old school client/server architecture basically gets eliminated when you move to a web-based product like Acumatica. This allows Acumatica to easily track which screens a user is accessing. If the screens are all stored on the user’s local Windows machine, it’s not so easy for the central database to know who is launching which screens and when. But when you move to a web-based application like Acumatica, there is no local client so your web browser needs to talk to the central server every time it wants to access a screen. It’s more like a server only rather than a client/server architecture.
So, why does this matter?
First, a little background. This month, at my current company, we have had 85 different people login to our Sage 500 ERP application (I had to write a customized routine to even be able to figure out that 85 number since it’s not a feature of Sage 500 ERP). So, with 85 people logging in, it can be difficult to know who is using what screens and when. This is especially relevant when it comes to reports. We have created many different custom reports over the past few years, but we don’t know for sure who uses which reports and how often they are used. I would LOVE to be able to analyze this. But, alas, I don’t have a reliable way to track the usage on our screens, including all of our custom reports. It would be great if I could have this kind of visibility.
Enter Acumatica and the Access History (SM201045) screen. If you filter on Operation: Access Screen within this screen, you will be able to see a full list of who accessed which screens and when. Has that report that you created become a sensation and it’s now being used by everyone in the company? Or maybe it’s a complete flop and the person who asked for it isn’t even using it. Acumatica tracks this for you. Yet another advantage of using a web-based ERP application.
In the video below, I’d like to walk through a quick example of analyzing the screen usage in the GL module. In the video I will export the Access History (SM201045) screen data for the GL module into Excel and do some quick analysis. Now, my Acumatica data is pretty boring. I pretty much always login as admin and I haven’t used that many screens yet, but I hope the video at least gives you some ideas. For the sake of the video, I did create one other user and launch a screen just to make the data look a little more exciting (wow, two users!). If you have 85 different people using your ERP application like my company does, this kind of analysis can be very useful.
One other note, in the video I use Power Pivot for Excel. I’m only using it so I can count the number of distinct users because I think it’s useful. You can do a lot of meaningful analysis using Excel without Power Pivot.