Erika Marwood

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Erika Marwood has been working with TeamTrack/SBM for over 15 years.  She originally started with the Professional Services organization with TeamShare, the company that originally created the TeamTrack application.  She cut her teeth on building a TeamTrack workflow to manage the TeamTrack education class registrations.  From there it has been a rewarding journey helping people realize process efficiencies and money/time savings.  When Serena Software, Inc. acquired TeamShare, Erika transitioned to the pre-sales team.  She spends her days travelling around the Southeastern US and visiting customers and prospects evangelizing the benefits of SBM and helping customers leverage all of the fantastic features that have been added over the years.

Embedded Reports in Print View

I have frequently come across customers that are looking to replace paper or MS Word forms with SBM.   This is a fantastic idea and SBM is a good fit.  The challenge we encountered in the past was that there was the occasion when the contents of the SBM record needed to be printed that included an embedded listing of related records.  

As you know we offer the print form that provides you the ability to configure the print view.  If you desire a pdf format, then you can choose to print to pdf.  However, not until SBM 11.2 did you have the embedded report widget available in the print form.

So, now as of SBM 11.2, you can add an embedded report widget, which now allows you to include that related list in your print form.  

Still trying to think of a use case?

How about invoicing?  If you read my blog on inserting line items, I used the invoice as an example.  Now you have the ability to print that invoice with the embedded list of items included on the invoice.  Check out the SBM_Invoice.pdf.

Configuration is not different from adding an embedded form to a state or transition form, but now adds a new benefit!

RECOMMENDED:  Use a report created in the User Workspace and ensure that you set the Optional HTML Template to "urlrpt.htm" in the Additional Options of your report.  This way you will not end up with a bunch of hyperlink text in your print view report.  This also hides the report title, number of items and other extraneous characters at the top of other report templates.

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Advanced Reports Group & Roles || Users & Roles

Included in this post is the configuration and report queries so that you can create a list of users and their assigned roles by project and a list of groups and their assigned roles by project.

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YOUR Process Application Help

SBM has come a long way in providing many areas for you to provide contextual help for your users.  In addition to the tool-tips that you have been able to add even back in the TeamTrack versions, now you can add HTML formatted help in the General properties of any state, transition, and workflow.  Even the field end-user help can be HTML.  Another option is to include text boxes on the form it self or buttons that open a dialog to provide users with context specific help.

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Save status update summaries to journal

I have come across some customers that are using SBM for processes that require users to enter weekly status updates or next steps.  This could be for things such as project tasks, sales opportunities, or any other work item where a someone needs to be kept informed of the progress of the work.  In addition to capturing the updates, sometimes there is a requirement to store the previous entries in a journal field.  This way you can go back and review the status update history but still be able to have a clean listing report with just the latest entry.  This blog entry provides details on how to implement this type of functionality using form actions.

Recent Comments
David Sheaffe
Another fantastically simple and practical solution
Sunday, 04 June 2017 10:10 PM
Ashish Kumar
It has been wonderful information. Thank you
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 10:10 AM
cs joshi
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 4:04 AM
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Sub-task Numbering

Use Case:  You are creating a sub-task workflow and you want the numbering to be similar to the parent for ease of identification of the relationship.  For example, if my parent’s number is 000512 then I want my child to be 000512-1, the next child to be 000512-2 and so on. 

Using the field refresh properties and transition actions we can enable this type of numbering, WITHOUT coding. J

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Create a Draft State in SBM - easier than before

A couple of years ago, a colleague of mine wrote a blog about implementing a Draft state in SBM.  This has been a common request and is quite simple to configure.  His blog here outlines how to implement a bonus capability with a specific button to "Save as Draft" instead of the user clicking a check box and then clicking ok.  From a usability standpoint, it is easier on users and flows better.

Since the time of that entry (2015) we have made significant advancements in SBM and now you can implement the functionality described in that article with a form action and not all of that complex JavaScript.  

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Line Item Creation - Insert Rows in Grid/Listing

The information contained in this blog post provides a way to implement a solution for line items on invoices, expense report entries, time entries or other ideas you may have that would require a user to enter a list of items with multiple fields per entry.

Recent Comments
Jeff Malin
Aw, my poor old URL-context-AppScript el cheapo API's are feeling about these latest developments. But I certainly won't miss the... Read More
Thursday, 02 February 2017 10:10 PM
Erika Marwood
Friday, 03 February 2017 2:02 PM
Roger Jensen
I don't see the blueprint in the zip file. Am I missing something? The only files I see are:1. Ajaxjs.tx 2. CalculateTotalInvoicej... Read More
Friday, 03 February 2017 7:07 PM
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Permanently Deleting Fields While in Development

I don’t know of an SBM administrator that has created a new workflow, created a field, deployed and then realized that they needed a different field type and now are saddled with an extraneous field in their system that they can never delete.  I have heard requests for the enhancement for years!

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Paul Thompson
Just to emphasize, that "lose history" doesn't mean Composer version or deploy history. When you "Remove Publish Restrictions" on... Read More
Monday, 06 February 2017 6:06 AM
Erika Marwood
Hi Paul,I have not considered that scenario. I will put that on my to do list to test out. If you beat me to it, may I have you ... Read More
Monday, 06 February 2017 2:02 PM
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Compare and edit more than one User or Group

I try to keep up with all of the new features that are added each release, but there always seems to be some little efficiencies that are developers give to us that don't get a lot of media coverage.  This feature is one of them.    Now if you have been using this for a while, which you may have been since it came out before version 10.1.3, that is great!  Otherwise, read on and add another tool to your SBM Admin toolbox.

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Rory Bronx
xx
Friday, 24 March 2017 10:10 AM
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In Case You Missed It....SBM 11.2 New Feature...Email Responses

A couple weeks ago, we released version 11.2 of SBM.  I know you all are busy with your daily to do lists, so I thought I would bring your attention to a new feature that may be of interest.

EMAIL RESPONSES

If you have been keeping up with the last few releases of SBM, you will remember not all that long ago we added the ability for you to include in your email notifications buttons or links that enable users to execute transitions right from the body of the email.  Say for instance you have an approval in your workflow and do not want those approvals to be held up because users need to go to their desk and login to SBM and then execute transitions, they could not just click the link or button you included in the notification and that would transition the record.  

SBM 11.2 makes that feature even better!  

You can now allow users the ability to reply to that notification, include a key word and the transition will be executed on their behalf.  Imagine how happy your executives will be when they can just reply to an email, type the work approve, ok, yes, or whatever words you have defined  and their approval can be captured.  See the screenshot below.  Notice you can type one or more words with either a comma or colon to separate the values.  Other languages can be included as well. 

Also note that the transitions no longer need to be quick transitions.  This means you can now map elements from the email to fields in your SBM record.  See the screenshot below for mapping attributes.

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Graphics for Selecting Values in a Selection List

 

Here is an idea to enhance the UI for your form when users need to make selections and you want to associate those selections to images.

 

 

For my workflow, I wanted to allow users to make a selection of size based upon a coffee cup graphic.  What I did is add a panel to my form along with each of the size images.  I also added an image of a selection button below each image.  The rest is through the “magic” of form actions.  When a user clicks one of the selection images, there is a form action that sets the selection list value and changes the image to make it look selected.  In my example, I chose to create an action for each selection. 

 

First, here is the part of my form illustrating the panel.

 

Second, here is the form action for the selection of the medium size button.  Notice that it sets the value in the Project Sizing single selection list when clicked.

 

**Note**  You can copy paste your actions.  This will save you some time.

 

 

 

 


If you want to add the image to your state form, you just need to include a form load action and set the image based upon the selection list value.

Hopefully there will be a way in the future to make this easier, but for now, this no code solution does provide a nice UI enhancement.

 

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Graphics in a Listing Report

I was visiting with a customer recently and noticed that in their listing reports they were able to provide an icon as one of their columns to easily identify record status (red, yellow/amber, green).  So I start with that to say this is not my original idea, but folks are doing this today and it is pretty simple to set up.

Here is what it looks like:

Steps to implement:

  1. Copy the icon files you want to use into the images directory on your SBM server.  (Serena\Application Engine\bin\images)
  2. Go to the System Administrator and perform a “Put Files in Database”
  3. Stop and restart your web server.
  4. Add a memo field that renders rich text to your workflow.  I called mine “Status Icon”.
  5. Add the new field to your form.
  6. You may want to add an action to hide the new memo field. 
  7. Add form actions that set the value of this new memo field when your status field changes. 

Selection

Default Value

Red

<img src="/tmtrack/images/error_256.png">

Yellow

<img src="/tmtrack/images/warning_256.png">

Green

<img src="/tmtrack/images/checkmark_256.png">

8.  Here is what my form action looks like.  I also chose to display the icon on the form when the field value changes so that is why there are to “then” actions for each selection.  If you choose to do the same thing, you will also need a form action “on load” to set the image based upon the current selection.  **NOTE** You likely will need this action on several forms if you have more than one transition form.  You can right click and copy the action from one form to the next J

1.      Now you are ready to create your report and add the “status icon” or your new memo field as a column to your report.  I have tried putting the icon as the first column and have noticed that since SBM makes that first column a hyper link to access the record details that the image works better as the second column an then I set the column width to 25 pixels.

 

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David Sheaffe
What a simple - but great idea. Kudos to you and the customer
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 9:09 PM
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Hallelujah! SBM Relations.....PART 3

SBM 11.1 is a jam packed release with a lot of new features and functionality.  Unfortunately with so many great things, we just don't have the space on the marquee board to list them all.  This little nugget is part of SBM 11.1 and just so happens to solve the problem I outlined with my SBM Relations series.

Relational Grids in SBM now include a property setting to only show selected values.  What this means is you no longer need to execute an orchestration in order to set a relational field when associated existing records. 

Here is a screenshot of the transition property panel for the new Relational Grid. 

 

Here is a screenshot of the state property panel for the new Relational Grid.

Here is the final product of only the selections you have made.  

***IMPORTANT NOTE****  This is a great solution if you are just wanting to associate those records and view from the place where they were selected.  The records selected in the relational field do not have a data field pointing back to this record unless you incorporate the orchestrations in SBM Relations part 1/2.

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SBM Relations - Part 2

 

Relating Records in SBM - Part 2

 

SBM Blueprint built using version 11.  Download Here ->  RelationsPart2.zip.

 

In the previous post, well previous…previous post, I introduced the ability to selected related records via the Relational Grid.  Or you could go the old fashioned route and use the relational fields themselves.  Either way is fine, the Relational Grid gives your users a better experience.

 

The example we will cover this time picks up once I select those related items, how do I go and update the downstream record’s relational field so that regardless of which record I am looking at, I can see the relations.

 

Recent Comments
Adam
Hey Erika,Thanks for the wonderful blog post! This gives me some really amazing ideas for apps that I'm working on. However, I got... Read More
Thursday, 05 May 2016 11:11 PM
Erika Marwood
Hi Adam, What version of SBM are you using? I used SBM 11 to build out the example. Erika
Friday, 06 May 2016 6:06 PM
Adam
I'm using SBM Composer Version 10.1.4.1 Build 016. Does this mean I will be unable to open your example?
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 12:12 PM
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Never have I ever went to test my change in Dev but I was logged into Prod.

I was doing a little research today and stumbled across a new feature in SBM 11 that I thought should get a little extra attention.  It is small, but has a lot of impact if you have been in the situation of have a browser tab with Prod open and the next browser tab has Dev open and you are tweaking a workflow and testing changes and then getting frustrated when you are not seeing them, only to find out that you were looking at Prod. 

Wouldn't it be nice to have a bit red flag to let you know you are not in Prod?  This feature does just that.  I suspect you will not include the banners on your production system, but any other development or test SBM instances would be a great place to make this change.  It does require a database row modification and a template modification, but the level of effort is minimal.

This enhancement is referenced in the ReadMe and here is a link to the KB article for instructions:  http://knowledgebase.serena.com/InfoCenter/index?page=content&id=S141379

My image below shows how this is represented via the Work Center.  Banners are also visible in the classic UI, Admin and App Repository.  By default the background is light blue, however you can change the HTML so that it jumps out at you as I have in the image below.

 

 

Recent Comments
Brian Amos
Cool feature. Another cool idea I saw a customer doing was on their Dev system they would would change the "Theme" to the "Modern ... Read More
Friday, 15 April 2016 3:03 PM
cs joshi
x
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 4:04 AM
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SBM Relations - Part 1

Relating Existing Records in SBM

Many processes you implement in SBM will require either creating related items or linking to existing SBM items.  (For the purposes of this blog entry I will use the generic term “item” to refer to a record moving through an SBM workflow.)

For those of you that have used SBM since the days that it was called TeamTrack or if you have ever seen that dropdown list called Item Link Type, this was the method used prior to relational fields to relate records and take action on them.  There are several drawbacks to this feature, especially since we now have better options.

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Mikaela Nilsson
Good article, do you have a suggestion on how to best print this? Will there be relational grid introduced to print forms in the f... Read More
Monday, 15 February 2016 1:01 PM
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Notifications: Due Date, Tickler, Expiration Date, Reminder

Depending upon how long you have been using TeamTrack/SBM, "Due Date" notifications has been a desired feature for a long time.  Historically, it was not possible to generate a notification based upon a date field in a specific record.  The reason for this is because the notification server would only process changes to records.  Now there were ways around this using TeamScript/AppScript and inserting records into the notification events table, but if you are like me, that starts to make my system fragile and what if I want to change that stuff in the future?

The great developers that we have here at Serena solve the problem and implemented a feature called Delayed Notifications.  It is important to know how we refer to this when search for help in the documentation.  This feature is detailed in the Application Administrator guide accessible at http://help.serena.com.

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Value Display Format….What is that?

 

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

b2ap3_thumbnail_tableproperty.png

This property is actually very important as it drives the view in many places when looking at workflow items or auxiliary table items.

  1. Built-In Report display
  2. Relational Field display
  3. Linked Item display
  4. Sub-task widget display
  5. Relational Field Sorting and Searches
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Running down the trail of SBM Inheritance

 

SBM Inheritance

If there is one thing that causes some folks heartburn, it is the built in inheritance in SBM.  If you started with SBM back in the day when it was called TeamTrack, you may be familiar or you may have the most heartburn.  J  SBM has addressed some of the headaches that comes along with inheritance with the introduction of Composer, but the old saying that we give you enough rope to hang yourself is still in effect.

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David Sheaffe
What a great flowchart. Next time I run into an "inheritance" issue, I will know exactly where to start
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:11 PM
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Parallel Approvals

Parallel Approvals

Use Case:

CAB or Change Advisory Board – each person on the CAB must respond and either Approve or Reject the Change.

Implementation:

There are two ways to go about implementing this functionality.  In the past, before orchestrations, we used TeamScript/AppScript to perform the behind the scenes processing.  Unfortunately with AppScript, you can only set the state value and not actually perform a transition, so the change history ends up showing an update.

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