Usability and Administration for SAP Business One
How to Improve Your Usability and Administration in SAP Business One
What makes SAP B1 stand out from all other software on the market, is its ability to be customized. The defaults for SAP Business One have multiple options to ensure your company finds what they need. But how do you customize these options to suit your Company?
Explore the ins and outs of SAP Business One with Pioneer’s guest speaker, and SAP Business One expert: M. Cristina Ramirez, SAP Administrator at Gaumard Scientific.
You can read on below to see the highlights of Cristina’s talk, or watch the webinar On Demand now!
Check out our Webinar: Usability and Administration in SAP Business One On Demand here, or on our Youtube page.
Usability & Administration in SAP Business One
You have SAP B1, and now you want to make it your own. Where do you start, and what can you customize to make SAP B1 perfect for you and your company?
Similar to how one would clean a gigantic mess, customizing your SAP B1 begins one step at a time. Cristina lists a few elements in SAP B1 that you can change to suit your environment:
At the end of it all, you’ll be left with an SAP B1 Environment that fits your company perfectly.
In order to accommodate several different industries, SAP Business One software tends to have a lot of information fields. Depending on your company, you may not need all those fields and may feel your forms look cluttered with extra information. Cristina gives a few great ways to help “de-clutter” those forms and cater them to your company’s specific needs.
First, you can rename certain fields to relate to your company specifically:
Hover over the field you want to rename: Hold down CTRL + Double Click
A “changing Description” window will open, where you can give the field a “New Description”.
EXTRA TIP: If you have a field that you need to make sure is filled out every time, you can use the same window to bold the field name to make sure it stands out.
Don’t think you’ll need to keep those fields?
HIDE, REMOVE, OR DISABLE FIELDS:
TOOLS > EDIT FORM UI
You can Hide fields you don’t use anymore.
Or you can Disable fields that you don’t want users to be able to change, such as a phone number, or address. (And of course, you can re-enable them should you need to make changes.)
You can also Move fields to the Main Screen. Just Hold Down on the field you want and Drag it to the main form. (To move it back, simply Right Click, and choose: “Restore to Default“)
Don’t have enough Tabs? Create a New Tab, and simply Drag and Drop the fields you need from the UDF, or move them from other tabs.
Any form that you are in can be customized to your specifications.
UI Configuration Template
Now you must think, do I have to make these changes for EVERY user one-by-one? For companies with less than 10 users, this may not be too daunting a task, but for anyone with 10+ users, it can be a time-consuming uphill battle. Fortunately SAP Business One has thought of that!
With the UI Configuration Template Tool, you can make mass changes.
To access the Tool go to Administration > Utilities > UI Configuration Templates
This tool allows you to create groups of templates that you can assign to Users.
If you want to make a change to any particular document, the UI Configuration Template tool will apply any changes made to all of the users associated with that document group.
As of 9.3 you can also assign groups of templates to certain Groups of Users.
NOTE: When Editing fields in the UI Configuration Template, sometimes the formatting changes after being saved. If that is the case, Cristina recommends using the Edit Form UI window to move fields one at a time.
Another handy aspect that you can format in the SAP Forms, is the “Query” or Formatted Search. These can help with things such as quicker data entry, or with accessing On Demand reports, and so on.
You may notice on your forms several magnifying glass icons. These are actually a query that is saved to a field, that allows you to access and edit the system when you click on it.
For Example, When Cristina clicks on the above, it brings her to a list of choices. This can help standardize what notes can be entered in to your inactive remarks fields.
Perhaps you only know a portion of an SAP internal number or part name? With a part-search query, you can enter a portion of the part number and a list will pull up of every part that includes those numbers/letters.
Need to find the information for all the customers you added within a certain time-frame? You can also create a Query that allows you to search for specific information added during certain dates.
**Any field that you can query can be saved as a formatted search and can be made easily accessible to a customer**
Can’t find any magnifying glasses? They could be disabled! Go to View > Picker’s Display > User-Defined Values to able or disable them. You can also click SHIFT + F2 and it will open the same window.
When you have software like SAP Business One with all of its features, sometimes it can be hard to remember where something is located, or how to access certain tools. And for that, Cristina points out 3 different types of Shortcuts that she has found work well in SAP B1.
When you have the Cockpit enabled, you have quick access on the main screen to Categories of your choice.
To add anything to the main screen, simply Drag and Drop it into the Category where you want it. And if you don’t need it anymore? Simply drag and drop it back!
Do you want to create a new Category? Add it from My CockPit > Widget Gallery > General Widgets
Click on the “Settings” icon in the Category upper right corner and enable the different things that you wish to be displayed in that category.
One important Widget Category in the cockpit is the Messages and Alerts Category.
If you have your cockpit enabled and the Messages and Alerts Category active, the Alert Window won’t pop up and disrupt your work and over-take your screen whenever something new is added to it.
Cockpit not enabled? Easy! Go to Tools > Cockpit > Enable My Cockpit and check the box. If you didn’t have your cockpit enabled before, it will then ask you to exit SAP and come back to reflect the changes.
If you are a user and you don’t see “Enable My Cockpit”, it could be you don’t have the authorization to enable it, or it has not been enabled on a Company level yet. If you are a general user, reach out to your System Admin. to have them enable it for you. If you are an Administrator, to enable the Cockpit for the Company go to: Administration > System Initialization > General Settings > Cockpit Tab and check Cockpit and OK.
Another feature of the Cockpit is that you can have different “Decks” to work in depending on what you need.
If you don’t Cockpit enabled, or you would just prefer not to use it, another great way to make shortcuts for your screen is through My Menu.
You can assign and run queries really quickly
You can’t assign Crystal Reports to your My Menu
**Depending on the types of reports your user’s run, Cristina recommends you use different Shortcuts.**
The 3rd way Cristina recommends making shortcuts in SAP B1 is through… My Shortcuts!
To view which keys are associated with your My Shortcuts go to: Tools > My Shortcuts > Shortcuts
To Configure which keys you would like to assign to which shortcuts go to: Tools > My Shortcuts > Customize
Choose the Shortcut, the Module, the Window, and click Allocate.
There are several reasons to set an alert. In this world of constant technology, who doesn’t use their phone calendar to remind or alert them of upcoming events? Alerts in SAP can be used the same way. There are alerts about expiring contracts or monthly update notifications, to alerts that are generated based on mistakes that people have made. You can also set procedural alerts to let you know that a step has been completed, so you know that you need to take action yourself.
“An alert is really a query that you schedule to run every so often.”
CREATE A NEW ALERT:
To create a new alert go to: Administration > Alerts Management
- Create a Query that will generate results
- Save on Alerts Management
- Select users, you want to be reminded of the results when it runs
- Schedule the frequency
- If you do Every day you can select the time
- If you do Every week, you can select the day and the time
As of 9.3 you can also select which Groups of Users you wish to associate with the alert
The next module Cristina covers can be found under: Business Master Data > Activity and is one of the forms that she uses at Gaumard very extensively.
The Activity module can be described as a very flexible way to document a specific event. And because it can be customized to a great extent, it can be used for multiple things.
For example sales calls/meetings, equipment requests, waiting lists, training sessions, item requests, and etc.
Cristina’s personal favorite use is for Expenses.
The Reps and Field Employees use this simple form to capture their expenses:
**They can even attach receipts and invoices!**
After the activity is generated, it gets sent to a Supervisor who can then “Deny” or “Approve” the expense.
And then a weekly approved expenses report is sent to the Accounting Department.
Need to check something you already submitted? Each user can look at a report based on their activities.
First, you have “My Activities“, where each user can look at just their activities and can toggle on/off the things that are closed.
And then you have “Activities Overview” which allows you to do a specific search on the activities module.
In 9.3 the Activity module is grouped under CRM
Now in the previous section, we mentioned that the Expense Report would be sent to a Supervisor for approval. How would one go about setting up that Approval Process? Cristina covers that next!
In Versions 9.2 and earlier, this module was called “Approval Procedures”
In Version 9.3 they started calling it “Approval Process”
With a new name, but functionality still intact, this module can be accessed by going to: Administration > Approval Process.
This Process can be used to trigger an approval event between users. You can customize certain conditions or perimeters to trigger this process.
1) Create a Stage – Who is authorized to approve this process?
2) Create an Approval Template
- Which user can trigger it?
- Which documents?
- Terms to Launch Approval?
- You can choose from predefined terms or;
- You can create your own query
While awaiting approval, the document will say “Draft ” and you will be unable to officially add the document.
The person authorized to approve will receive the request in their Messages and Alerts module. They can then view the document and choose whether to approve or deny it.
As of 9.3 documents can still be edited even after being approved!
9.3 Enhancements of the License Administration
Version 9.3 brought us some great enhancements of the License Administration window!
In 9.2 depending on how many users you have, managing the licenses can be a little painful, because the License Admin. window doesn’t resize.
But in 9.3 the window can be resized! You can also filter by user.
A useful feature introduced in 9.2 is the “Assignment” Tab! It allows you to look at license assignments by users. And of course, you can also filter by license type.
User Groups are something we’ve mentioned a few times already, and as you may remember, they are something that was only recently introduced in Version 9.3
There used to be a version of it in 9.2 called “Authorization Groups”, but it was a Limited Functionality.
The form “User Groups” uses one page to set up multiple Group Types. And even within those Group Types, you can have several Group Names that have different users associated with them.
This is useful for group alerts, mass emails to certain users, changing user settings, and so on.
9.3 Enhancement of the Users Setup
Another useful window updated and enhanced in Version 9.3 is the Users Setup window.
If you manage users, you can now change some settings that used to only be changed at the company-level, but can now be changed on a user-level.
Even if you are a user, you can click on the My Personal Settings icon and change some personal settings yourself (Depending on your authorization level).
For example, you can change display settings, alerts, transactions, and etc.
That’s all for now! Hopefully, all this information will help make SAP Business One the perfect environment for you! And thanks again to Gaumard Scientific’s M. Cristina Ramirez for the in-depth and informative Webinar!
SAP Business One Usability and Administration Resources
Looking for more information? Below are a few links carefully selected by our experts that should give you everything you need to know about SAP Business One’s usability and administration. Feel free to browse our resources or check out our knowledgebase. If you have any questions about SAP Business One Version 9.3 or want to know how you can run your business better with SAP B1, reach out to us by phone 855-202-5087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.