I completed the R180 Abbreviated Business Intelligence course tonight which is a really short course that just points you to some videos on the Acumatica website and then you take a test.
I had seen these videos before when I first started looking into Acumatica almost a year ago. However, true to APAL form, I always seem to learn something new. This time around, there were a few things that caught my attention:
- In the Favorites and Usability Features video, it talks about how you can be reviewing a customer invoice, then a vendor calls wondering if a bill has been paid. You can jump to another screen, then go back to the customer invoice screen, and it will remember which invoice you were looking at. I hadn’t noticed this because I always use the Google Chrome Duplicate feature when I need to jump quickly to another screen. I have to admit though that this is a nice feature. Sometimes it’s the little things like this that make a person really like an ERP system.
- The ability to add an inquiry screen to a dashboard. I haven’t really looked into the dashboard feature that much yet, but I did recently “discover” the inquiry screens and the way that you can create your own custom inquiry screens. I also got a terminology lesson. Even though the inquiry screens are in the Explore folder, they are called “inquiry” screens, not “explore” screens as I was calling them. I leaned toward calling them “explore” screens because I was influenced by my Sage 500 ERP terminology. I stand corrected!
- The financial report writer. I did one post on this a while ago, but, other than that, I haven’t really looked at the financial report writer. The more I think about it, the more I realize how bold of a move this is. In the 1990s, most mid-market ERP systems relied on FRx for their financial reporting which was a 3rd party application. Acumatica’s approach to rely on 3rd party developers to build industry vertical applications on top of Acumatica allows them to focus on the core product which includes their own report writer program. It’s nice to have this built into the product without having to integrate a 3rd party application, especially when it comes to something as sensitive as your company’s financial data.
- The respecting of security policies during imports and in inquiry screens. I haven’t look at security much yet, but I know that Acumatica allows you to go beyond screen-level security to control things like who has access to certain GL Accounts or certain Vendors. There might also be the ability to control security at a field level, such as read-only access to the primary salesperson field on a customer (however, I’m not sure if this is possible yet). The point is though that the imports and inquiry screens use the same business logic that the regular screens use and they respect the security settings for the specific user. No more setting up a separate user that has unlimited permissions for the sake of importing data. Also, no need to design multiple reports with different sections hidden because the security will automatically restrict access to certain data depending on the user who is running the report. You can design one master report with the confidence that the users will only be able to see the data that they have permission to see. I made a previous post about how I wondered why Acumatica needed it’s own report writer when it could have utilized another web-based report writer like SSRS. I hadn’t considered the affect of security. By making their own report-writer, Acumatica was able to make it respect user security. This is pretty cool.