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Using Extensions | Weighing With ScaleQ

January 29, 2020

ScaleQ provides a function called extensions that allows an ILS customer to capture and use data this is specific to their business requirements. 

Each customer can structure extensions on their own. In IT parlance, this is the ability to define and acquire metadata. Two types of extensions exist. 

  • Category
  • User Text

All master files except tare can have extensions. Both types can supply specialized data for reports. 

Using categories

Once type of extension is called a category, which is a fixed list of predefined choices. Categories allow you to build fixed lists of choices in pulldowns for the scale operator to use when entering master files information. By having the data in pulldowns, data consistency can be enforced. For example, you may want to classify your customers according to the type of business they are in. For example, residential, commercial, government, etc. Then, in the report application, you can build a report sorted and totaled by market sector to give you insight as to where your company's customer activity is. 

Categories are used in ScaleQ and Report. In ScaleQ, categories are defined in Package and the data is selected in Files. In Report, categories can be selected on, sorted on and printed. Categories are available for all master files except Tare. Up to four categories can be defined for each one. Users working with categories require permissions to edit Package and Files, plus the permission to create reports. 

As an example, let's suppose a company wants to be able to report on its activities by sector such as residential, commercial government. 

To enter the values in a master file record:

  • In Files, select the master file record where the values are to be entered. In our example, this is Customer. 
  • Double click a record to open it for editing. Alternatively, right click and choose edit. 

 

  • Select the extensions tab. Choose the appropriate value from the pulldown. In our example, this would be commercial, government, residential, etc. 
  • Click save. 

  • Category data can be seen in the files browse view. The operator may have to click on the chevron >> at the right-most end of the column headings to enable displaying the column. The column can be moved from the end by grabbing the column title and dragging it to the desired position. 

Note: Category data may also be chosen when a new record is added using the same procedure.

Using Category in Report:

Categories can be used in Report as criteria for printing, sorting and record selection. As an example, let's suppose a company wants to be able to report on its activity by business sector like residential, commercial, government, other. 

  • Start the Design a New Report wizard. 

report design wizard in ScaleQ

  • For example, choose transaction as the file to be used. This will give access to customer. 
  • Fill in title and add a comment or tags as needed. Click Next>

 

  • On the second page, select the fields to be printed. In the example, this includes sector. Note that daily tons and loads are totaled. 

  • On the third page, choose the sort fields. In the example, these are sector and name. We'll also choose to subtotal based on name. 

 

  • On the fourth page, choose the reporting period and any additional selection criteria, in this case eliminating transactions where the customer is not assigned to a category. 

  • Click finish. The report is ready to view or output. 

To create a category in ScaleQ:

  • Click on Package in the navigation sidebar. Alternatively, choose File> Package.  

  • Select the master file where the category is needed. In our example, this is customer. 
  • Note in the layout tab four "user_cat" names. 
  • Hover the cursor over the icon for the user_cat in the left column you want to use so it becomes a hand. Click on the icon. 

  • Fill in the dialog by giving the category a label, and define the types - this, the values that are possible. For this example, "sector" is the label and commercial, government, residential, transient and other are the values. 
  • Click OK. The category and its values are defined. 

To remove a Category:

The best practice is to remove a category and its values. If only the label is removed, making the category invisible, or if the label and values are simply charged, inconsistent data may result. 

  • Open the dialog for the user_cat by hovering the cursor over the icon. 
  • Delete the label and types.
  • Click OK.
  • The catalog data will be removed from the affected records, The category and the data will no longer be available for reporting. When the category is reused for the same or another purpose later, only the new data will apply to records. 

Using User Text

One type of extension is called user text. For example, you may want to add a general ledger account name for a customer. Or, you may need to supply QuickBooks with a different customer code than ILS users. 

User text is used in ScaleQ and Report. In ScaleQ, user text is defined in Package and the data is entered in files. In report, user text can be selected on, sorted on and printed. User text is available for all master files except tare. Up to four user text dialog's can be defined for each file. Operators working with user text must belong to a permission group with permissions to edit Package and Files, plus the permission to create reports. 

The difference between Category and User Text is where a category has a pulldown with a list of predefined choices, user text allows the operator to type in free-form text including numbers. 

As an example, let's suppose we need to add a general ledger account and QuickBooks code for customers. 

 To enter the values in a master file record:

  • In files, select the master file record where the values are to be entered. In our example, this is customer. 
  • Double click a record to open it for editing. Alternatively, right click and choose edit. 

  • Select the extensions tab. Type in the appropriate value from the pulldown. In our example, this would be the general ledger account and QuickBooks customer code. 
  • Click save. 

  • User text data can be seen in the files browse view. The operator may have to click on the chevron >> at the right-most end of the column headings to enable the display. The column can be moved from the end by grabbing the column title and dragging it to the desired position. 

Note: User text data may also be input when a new record is added using the same procedure. 

Using User Text in Report:

  • Select the design a New Report wizard. 

  • For the example, choose transaction as the file to be used. 
  • Fill in title and add a comment or tags as needed. Click next>

 On the second page, select the fields to be printed. In the example, this includes the customer code, customer name, the general ledger account and the total charge. GL account will be found by expanding customer in the available fields. Note that total is checked on. This enables totaling the total charge field in the report. 

  • On the third page, choose the sort fields. In the example, this is GL account and total charge. We'll also choose to subtotal based on both fields. 
  • On the fourth page, choose the reporting period and any additional selection criteria. 

  • Click finish. The report is ready to view or output. 

To create a User Text field:

  • Click on Package in the navigation sidebar. Alternatively, choose File>Package. 

 

  • Select the master file where the category is needed. In our example, this is customer. 
  • Note in the layout tab four "User Text" names. Select one. 
  • Right click to open the menu and choose rename. 

  • Type in the name for the field. 
  • Press enter. 
  • To remove a user text, right click on the name, delete the name, and click OK. 



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