Recently I passed the S100 Installation and Site Management and S120 Configuration Settings courses.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of software installation because I find it boring, but it’s an important part of implementing Acumatica so it needs to be done correctly. It’s also good to be aware of the different deployment options available since Acumatica allows you to choose.
I found the configuration course to be much more interesting because it introduced some new features that I’d like to learn more about in the future. Here is a quick recap of my takeaways from the two courses.
- The following web browsers are supported (pretty much all the major ones):
- Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox
- Apple Safari
- Google Chrome (my personal favorite)
- There is a secure company login form option which only displays companies to a user if that user has access to them. I can see this being useful, especially in a multi-tenant environment or a large multi-national corporation with many subsidiaries.
- Command line installation and maintenance can be used instead of clicking through wizards when installing and maintaining the Acumatica system. This could be useful for consulting companies who develop their own installation best practices for their clients. They can build their own installation routines that will automatically install Acumatica according to those best practices.
- Web Services API and Integration Services are the recommended ways for third-party applications to access Acumatica. I learned this lesson the hard way (click here).
- Multi-Tenancy can be used to store multiple tenants in the same database, yet security can be setup so that no tenant can see the information of the other tenants. This is used by the Acumatica SaaS option (I think), but it could also be used by an accounting firm, for example, that wants to keep the books for their clients on something more sophisticated than Quickbooks or Xero. By using Acumatica, an accounting firm could take advantage of the paperless capabilities, customization flexibility, and other advanced features that are available in Acumatica. Another possibility is that you could get together with the other companies in your office building and split the cost of deploying Acumatica. You could put the server somewhere in the office building and everyone could have their own company in Acumatica without having to pay for the entire deployment individually.
- Acumatica is based on Microsoft technology, unlike NetSuite which is based on Oracle technology (click here). Some evidence of that Microsoft technology: .NET 4.0 is required in order to install Acumatica and Acumatica can be deployed on Windows Azure. Actually, Acumatica was even the first ERP product to be available on Windows Azure (click here).
- Acumatica deployment options are flexible, giving you the ability to use:
- A hosting company
- Windows Azure Cloud service
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for the web server and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for the databases
- On-premise (which I think is good for a larger company that already has a solid IT infrastructure in place)
- Windows Azure versions vary depending on your needs. I’m not sure yet what the difference is between each version but here they are:
- Here is where things start to get interesting.
- Field-Level auditing allows auditing of rows, columns, and screens. I haven’t used this yet, but it looks like a very useful feature, especially if your company has to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, or some other kind of regulatory legislation. I’d like to look into this further in the future and make a post dedicated to it.
UPDATE June 19th, 2014 – click here for more in-depth post on Field-Level auditing
- Segmented keys allow you to put things into groups and enforce data validation on all the stuff in that group or make everything automatically get the next number available for the group. This is used for things like GL Accounts, Vendor IDs, Customer IDs, and Item IDs, but I’m sure there are other more creative things that you can use it for as well. Segmented keys can have as many segments as needed as long as the total length doesn’t exceed the total length of the underlying field in the database.
- Input validation allows you to enforce what information is allowed to be entered into a particular field. You can use this in a number of different places, including the Attributes (CS205000) screen. My favorite thing about input validation in Acumatica is that you can use regular expressions. The advantage of regular expressions is that you can get very sophisticated with data validation. I plan to explore this further in the future and make a post dedicated to regular expressions with some cool regular expression examples.
UPDATE June 26th, 2014 – click here for more in-depth post on Input Validation
- Personal Certificates allow users to sign PDF files electronically. This is HUGE if you are trying to take your organization into the digital age by going paperless. I have a lot to say about paperless, but I’ll save it for a future post after I’ve had a chance to become more familiar with personal certificates. I think it’s safe to say that the paperless office potential of Acumatica is very strong, especially when compared to the other ERP products out there.
- Incoming email monitoring. Acumatica supports the POP3 and IMAP protocols which allows Acumatica to actually monitor an email inbox and do things based on the emails received in that inbox. You could have a central product support email address which automatically routes emails to support agents in Acumatica based on their content, time of day, etc. You could do the same thing with email that comes from your company’s website feedback form. Lots of potential here and, like some of the other features, it probably deserves its own dedicated post.
UPDATE July 31st, 2014 – click here and click here for more in-depth posts on Acumatica email