If you’re currently using BatchMaster (often called BME for BatchMaster Enterprise), you’re at some stage of feature adoption that’s different from everybody else. You’re somewhere on a spectrum between “having heard of the BatchMaster software” and “being a power user with SQL skills and development capabilities who speaks at international forums and dines with royalty.” If you’re like most users, you’re probably in the “I know how to do my job functions, but there’s probably a lot more under the hood that I could use if I knew all my options” camp.
Our hope is that by looking through some of these new features, you’ll have some blind-spots exposed, and you’ll get some new ideas for productivity. If you haven’t upgraded to BatchMaster 8.7 yet, it’s been live and testing at client sites since 2019—its stability has been proven—it’s time!
New BME versions always have new features or options that previous versions didn’t have—these are almost always due to Customer requests for functionality. (Hint! If there are things you don’t like, you can submit customer support requests to BatchMaster that they can incorporate into future releases.)
With BatchMaster Enterprise Version 8.7 (released in late 2019), there are a number of significant additions that can REALLY empower you to take your BME system to a new level of productivity and insights.
PARTIAL List of Exciting New Features in BME 8.7:
- BME SDK – Customization Tool Kit to Allow Screen (and other) System Modifications
- Document Management – File Attachments with (Meta) Tags and Authorization Workflow
- Report Scheduling – Automated, Emailed BME Reports
- Control Center BI Dashboard – Customization tools to allow Business Intelligence (BI)-style dashboard widgets to be customized and created
- BME CRM to Microsoft Outlook Integration – Puts BME document Creation Tools in Outlook
BME SDK – Customization Tool Kit to Allow Screen (and other) System Modifications
On a sales call in 2008 with one of my clients where we were watching a BatchMaster demo, and the question came up about customization capabilities. The BatchMaster demo person had invited a developer to sit in and show some of the customization capabilities.
At the end of the demo, I asked if there was an extra charge for the customization tools. After a brief (confused silence), it was explained to me that those tools were not available to the end users but were available to the BME support team to develop customizations FOR the end users (additional fee per customization!)
Version 8.7 finally includes those tools!
Xcellerated Solutions learned how to emulate those tools and have been able to functionally do the same things at a database level. Since the formal front-end tools now exist, these tools make things available to the end user. Training may be a bit of an issue, and programming skills are required to implement customizations, but they are available.
With the new SDK tools, you can customize BatchMaster to collect all the extra data you need to run your organization.
Some of the things the BME SDK allows users to do:
- Change Screen and Field Names
- Custom Database Tables and Forms to manage them
- Field Extender – A pop-up window data paradigm with custom fields and sub fields per screen
- User Validation – Logic that can be added to screens to force users to enter correct data
- Drill Down Automation – Custom logic that allows BME data fields to launch other screens and show linked data
- Add custom data fields to existing screens – .NET – style data objects that allow extra data to be collected, shown, drilled down, linked out, and validated
Document Management – File Attachments with (Meta) Tags and Authorization Workflow
The “Note” function in BME has been around for a long time, but it has been enhanced to allow the management of files. The available activities include:
- Attach any document
- View any attached document
- Delete an attached document
- Check out any document for change
- Check in any changed document
- Undo the checked-out document to get the previous version of the document
- Attach any scanned document
- Provide user access to the attached document – document authorization
- Search anything in the created activity – tag entry
- Change the status of the document from supersede to active
- Record a new document
Report Scheduling – Automated, Emailed BME Reports
Previously, when reports needed to go to certain people at certain times, either IT support needed to automate something with their own tools, or somebody had to remember to manually send things.
With the new scheduling tool in BME, most major (Crystal-based) reports can be automatically emailed. The new tools include the ability to:
- Create a new schedule for each report that needs to be sent.
- Specify the Schedule ID as Active/Inactive.
- Specify the E-Mail ID of an individual to whom the email is required to be sent.
- Specify the report name which is required to be sent.
- Specify the subject line and content of the E-Mail.
- Specify the frequency of E-mail to be sent automatically by the system on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
- Specify the scheduled time on which the report needs to be generated and sent automatically via E-mail.
Control Center BI Dashboard – Customization tools to allow Business Intelligence (BI)-style dashboard widgets to be customized and created
The Control Panel is a familiar panel on the BatchMaster screens, but the new tools allow you to add existing (and CUSTOM!) data widgets BME calls “Tiles”. Tiles are customizable data objects that present (typically) summarized data with KPI totals and graphs like:
Each tile has its own SQL definition that can be modified to fit your exact needs. Your own custom objects can be created, or you can use the built-in objects as a starting point:
- Account Payable (Available with BME Finance)
- Account Receivable (Available with BME Finance)
- Alerts and Reminders
- Purchase Orders
- Quality Control
- Sales Order
BME CRM to Microsoft Outlook Integration – Puts BME document Creation Tools in Outlook
Although the CRM tools have been growing over the last few versions of BatchMaster, version 8.7 puts new tools into Microsoft Outlook that allow the capture of CRM activity from Outlook, and the associated email becomes linked to the CRM activity.
If you’ve relied on BatchMaster support, tried to do everything yourself, or a trusted IT partner, if you’re not getting the results you think MIGHT be available to you, it might be time to reach out to somebody who can not only relate to your specific business’ needs, but who also has deep technology and software knowledge AND experience with BatchMaster.
We might not have been easy to find, but you’ll be glad you reached out!
Xcellerated Solutions has over 15 years of experience with BatchMaster implementation and support, BatchMaster integration and customization development, and report and data analysis (BI) building. If you’re using BatchMaster, are considering purchasing BatchMaster, or need help with any aspect of BatchMaster and/or ERP systems, we’re here to help!