Answers to Automating Construction Tasks
Perhaps you’ve heard of MyAssistant for Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate. It’s like having your own personal assistant that continuously monitors all phases of a construction project or property, and then automatically generates reports, spreadsheets, documents, and email alerts when it finds something that requires immediate attention.
In this article, we’ll answer a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our Sage 300 CRE clients about MyAssistant.
How do I send a separate report for each Job, Customer, tenant statement, etc.?
Use the “Send one email per” option in Task Setup to generate multiple email messages for each recipient.
For example: To send each project manager one email for each of their jobs, add the Project Manager Email Directory to the “To” line on the Email step of Task Setup. Next, go to the Notification Options step, check the box for “Send recipients one email per”, and then select “Job” from the window that opens.
To filter the content of an attached report in the above example, simply add a parameter for Job number to the report design and then re-add it to the MyAssistant Task. In the Report Options dialog, change the Source of the parameter value to “Sage Field”, the Record to one that contains the Job number, and the Column to “Job.”
How can I set up a Task to run every day but only send me emails when there’s something new?
Set the Notification Frequency on the Notification Options step in Task Setup to “Notify once”
Note: the first time the Task runs it will send all Notifications that match the Task Condition. On all future Task runs, only new Notifications that have not been previously sent will be included in any emails sent by MyAssistant, even though the message that appears after the Task runs will say MyAssistant found the total number of records that match the Condition.
How do I send each person just their information?
Adding a MyAssistant Email Directory to the Email step of Task Setup can result in each person being sent only their information. MyAssistant Email Directories work by associating an email address with each Notification that meets the Task Condition.
When MyAssistant has associated an email address with each Notification based on how the Email Directory is set up, the Notifications are grouped and sorted into one email per unique combination of email addresses. This means that only Notifications associated with a given email address will be sent to that email address.
Email Directories can be set up one of two ways: either by pointing to a field in Sage where email addresses are stored (e.g. a Project Manager Email field on the JC Job record), or by looking at a list of values from any Sage field you choose and then associating each value with a an email address you provide.
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How do I filter an attached report by project manager?
Modify the report design to add a parameter (or a prompt and condition on TS report designs) for project manager that filters the report for only that project manager’s information. Once the report has been modified, add or remove and re-add it to the MyAssistant Task that you want to use.
In the Report Options window that opens after attaching the report design, change the Project Manager parameter Source to “Sage Field”, select the Record that contains the project manager field you’re using to filter the report (e.g. JC Job) and choose the project manager field from the dropdown for the Column.
Once you’ve updated that parameter clicked “OK” to save the changes, add the Project Manager Email Directory to the Task to send each project manager an attached report that’s filtered to just their information. See the Email Directories section of this FAQ for more information about Email Directories.
How do I secure attached reports?
Passwords can be added to attached Crystal or Sage 300 reports in the Report Options dialog. This dialog opens the first time a report is attached to a Task, and can be re-opened by right-clicking on an attachment in the Email step and selecting “Edit Parameters”. Add a password to an attached report by checking the box for “Protect PDF with password” and entering the same password in the two fields.
Note: If an Email Directory is on the Task and the report parameters have been set up to filter the report contents by recipient, clicking the button labeled “Use field for password…” and selecting a field can generate unique passwords for each recipient. For example: you can set up a MyAssistant Task that sends each Employee their direct deposit pay stub to have the password for the attachment be the employee’s birthday by clicking “Use field for password …” and selecting the Birth Date field.
How do I filter spreadsheets by project manager?
Adding the Project Manager Email Directory to a Task filters any attached spreadsheet just like how it would filter the Notification table included in the email. Because attached spreadsheets are generated after MyAssistant uses the Email Directory (if there is one on the Task) to sort and group Notifications into one email per unique combination of email addresses, the spreadsheets attached to the emails sent will only contain the Notifications that were associated with each Project Manager’s email address.
Where can I find help on how to write MyAssistant conditions?
There are example Conditions that begin with “zzEXAMPLE” and demonstrate how to develop a Condition to perform a specific task (i.e. test for a date that is within the last 7 days). To access these Conditions, click File > Define Conditions in the main view of MyAssistant. Next, click Open in the Define Conditions window and click the Built-In Conditions tab. Finally scroll to the bottom of the list to find Condition Names that begin with “zzEXAMPLE” or type “zz” into the search bar under the “Condition” column heading.
MyAssistant Help also provides several articles on Conditions, including one on the Functions that can be used in writing conditions. This article provides a description of each function, how to enter it and an example of how it’s used. Start by clicking File > Help > Help in the main view of MyAssistant, then clicking “Conditions” when Help opens. You’ll see “Functions” under Related Topics.
You can also leverage the prebuilt MyAssistant Conditions as a starting point, then modify it to meet your specific needs. To start, click File > Define Conditions in the main view of MyAssistant. In the Define Conditions window, click Open and then click the Built-In Conditions tab. Next, select a Condition and click OK. To make a copy of the Condition that you can modify, click the “Copy” button in the ribbon. You can also test your Condition at any time by clicking the “Test” button in the ribbon.
Can I be notified when someone changes a value in a Sage database field?
Yes, using the Notify on Change feature which can be enabled for a Sage field in the Notification Table in the Email step of Task Setup. To activate, click on the delta (Δ) symbol in the Sage field you want to track. The first time the Task runs after enabling Notify on Change, all Notifications that match the Condition will appear. On subsequent runs, it will only show the Notifications that match the Condition and have had a change in the value of the Sage field you’re tracking. Additionally, MyAssistant will show both the current value of the field being tracked and add a column to display the previous value.
Note: It’s highly recommended that you create a new Task with a new Condition (with little or nothing in the Condition Expression) if you plan to use Notify on Change. For example, if you were to enable Notify on Change for the Name field on the AP Vendor record on the Task “AP Vendors with expiring General Liability insurance”, the first time the Task would run it would return all Vendors with expiring General Liability insurance. However, all subsequent times that Task would be run would only show Vendors with expiring General Liability insurance and whose names have changed since the last time the Task was run. If none of the Vendors have had their name changed in Sage, the Task would show 0 Notifications even though there still may be Vendors with expiring General Liability insurance.
What are common reasons the MyAssistant Server fails to activate?
- Incorrect Customer number or Product Key
- Firewall (software or hardware)
- Add the “Innovative Software Design” folder and all its subfolders in Program Files (x86) to the Firewall Exceptions/White list
- Antivirus software
- Add the “Innovative Software Design” folder and all its subfolders in Program Files (x86) to the Anti-virus Exceptions or White list
- If individual files must be selected: – MyAssistant.exe, MyAssistantConfigurationManger.exe, TaskRunner.exe and ReportRunner.exe at C:\Program Files (x86)\Innovative Software Design\My Assistant – ISDAdminService.exe at C:\Program Files (x86)\Innovative Software Design\My Assistant\SenderService – ISDAdminService.exe and TaskRunner.exe at C:\Program Files (x86)\Innovative Software Design\My Assistant\TaskService
- Windows User Account Control (UAC) is enabled
- The MyAssistant Server has been activated with another Windows user account
Can you provide examples of common event triggers?
With literally hundreds of different and customizable conditions, triggers, and alerts that can be setup in MyAssistant, the possibilities are wide-ranging. But here are just a few examples of common tasks:
- Provide a list of invoices as soon as they’re overdue and remind past-due customers of their delinquency.
- Send employees their direct deposit play stubs.
- Generate and distribute tenant statements.
- Notify you of work orders completed and not billed in a certain period of time.
- Indicate leases or lease options expiring.
- Reveal invoices with discounts soon to expire.
- Generate a list of AP invoices that should be paid after a cash receipt.
- Produce alerts when working capital drops below a certain amount.
- Identify terminated employees and send the insurance company a letter to remove them from coverage.
- Learn invoices not coded to a job but that use a job account number.
- Audit processes such as job, contract, or employee setup to ensure they are completed correctly
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