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Best Practices for Administrators

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Purpose

This document outlines the recommended “Best Practices” for Administrators to ensure they are maintaining their Empowering Systems suite of software in optimum condition. 

Prerequisites

The access and ability to perform the recommended actions below will require the SysAdmin role on the Access Control List of the appropriate database(s).  Additional settings may also be required on the “System” tab of the AccountManager User Profile. 

Ensure System Maintenance Agents are enabled and running on schedule.

(Applicable Databases:  AccountManager, SalesAnalysis, PartNumbers, LeadManager)

The System Maintenance processes identify and/or correct documents which may not comply with certain criteria defined in the system.  The processes are designed to run automatically on schedule at predetermined times, during non-peak hours (such as 2:00am), however they may also be run manually at the discretion of the administrator.  The administrator should take heed when opening a database, of any warnings advising that System Maintenance is “not enabled” or “has not completed” within a certain number of days.

If your company hosts your databases on your own server, the below actions should be performed in the “NLNotes client” on your Domino Server.  

If your company’s databases are hosted by Empowering Systems, the below actions should be performed on Local replicas of one administrator’s computer.  This administrator’s computer should be left on overnight, every night, with IBM Notes running, so that the agents are allowed to run on schedule.

  1. Open the appropriate database, and go to the “Maintenance > Agent Control” screen.
  2. Click the “Enable” button next to “System Maintenance”, and then “Yes” to the the prompt about running System Maintenance every night.
  3. Make sure the “Reminder Set” is set to “Y” so that if the agents should accidentally become disabled, you will be prompted upon entering the database, that they need to be re-enabled.
  4. Save and Close the Agent Control screen.  (Note:  Additional agents may be visible in this screen.  Click the “Help” button for more information and recommended usage for your company’s configuration).
Ensure the Administrator is set to receive notifications when Errors are identified by System Maintenance.

(Applicable Databases:  AccountManager, SalesAnalysis, PartNumbers, LeadManager)

When the System Maintenance processes run, corresponding log files are generated and stored by the system.  The “Update Log” is informational only, does not need to be reviewed on a regular basis, and does not generate notifications to the administrator.  The “Verify Log” will generate a notification email to the administrator whose email address is listed in the Configuration Profile.  Notifications are only sent when errors are detected.  A clean Verify Log will not generate a notification.  

The administrator should ensure their email address is listed on the Configuration Profile of each database, so they receive the notifications

  1. Open the appropriate database, and go to “Settings > Configuration Profile”
  2. Click on the “Agents” tab, and enter one email address for the administrator
  3. Save and Close the Configuration Profile.
Address Errors on System Maintenance “Verify Logs” in a timely manner.

(Applicable Databases:  AccountManager, SalesAnalysis, PartNumbers, LeadManager)

Log files documenting the System Maintenance processes are generated in each database and stored in the “Maintenance > Log Files” view.  These logs should never be deleted as they are an important historical record of the conditions of your systems and data.  If problems or errors are identified by System Maintenance, the administrator will receive a notification email with the subject line of “Critical errors found in (name of database) please see log file for more details.”

The administrator should prioritize reviewing the most recent Verify Log and taking the necessary steps to fix the errors.  Additional information specific to fixing errors in each database can be found in this Knowledge Base at the links below:

AccountManager System Maintenance: Errors on “System Verify Log”

SalesAnalysis System Maintenance: Errors on “System Verify Log”

PartNumbers System Maintenance: Errors on “System Verify Log”

LeadManager System Maintenance: Errors on “System Verify Log”

Review and process “Delete Pending” views on a regular basis.

(Applicable Databases:  AccountManager, SalesAnalysis)

The “Delete Pending” views provide administrators the ability to review documents marked for delete (MFD) by users with that right enabled on their AccountManager User Profile.  In these views, administrators can either “Restore” documents that should not have been marked for deletion, or “Approve Deletion” of records that are OK to be purged.  Documents that are approved for deletion will be permanently deleted from the database during the next schedule “Remove Deletions” process run on the server.

The administrator should review the “Delete Pending” views on a regular basis (i.e. weekly or at most, monthly) in order to process MFD records expeditiously.  Avoid waiting several months to review this information as having a large number of records accumulated makes it difficult to properly review the information and make the best choices.  Additionally, other users may have recreated information they did not know could have been “restored.”

  1. Open the appropriate database, and go to “Maintenance > Delete Pending”
  2. Click the “+” to expand the “Delete Pending” views and choose a view in which to review data.
  3. “Restore” or “Approve” documents as needed until the view is empty.  (Click the “Help” button inside the Delete Pending view for more details).
Adjust “Date Profiles” on a regular basis.

(Applicable Databases:  AccountManager, SalesAnalysis)

Some databases have time-sensitive features that require the periodic adjustment of a Date Profile in order to function properly.  Examples of this would be AccountManager Forecasting or SalesAnalysis “Year-To-Date” views.  These features are configured to display information, or prompt for data entry based on the current date set in the profile.

AccountManager Forecast Profile

AccountManager Forecasts are displayed based on the current date indicated by the “Forecast Profile”.  Most companies will adjust this setting monthly or quarterly, so that the Forecast views always display the current or “next” month/quarter, plus subsequent months/quarters at any given time.  This would prevent having a lot of “old” information displaying for an extended period (i.e. if it was currently November 2009, you would probably not want to see Jan.’09, Feb.’09, etc in the Forecast views, but instead have them begin with Nov.’09, Dec.’09, Jan.’10, etc.)

The administrator should move the “Forecast Profile” on a regular basis in conjunction with your firm’s internal policies.

  1. Open AccountManager, go to the “Maintenance” view, and click the “+” to expand it.
  2. Click on “Forecast Profile” to open it.
  3. Change the date as needed, and click Save.  You will be prompted that this will require re-generating views, and could take a few minutes to complete.  Click “Yes” to continue. 

SalesAnalysis Date Control Profile

SalesAnalysis “Year-To-Date” (YTD) views (for Billings and Firm Commissions) and YTD Reports display information for the current year and previous years up to and including the date indicated in the “Date Control Profile”.  Sales information for months after that date are hidden.  Most companies will adjust this date to reflect the last complete data entry month.  This would prevent comparing all 12 months of “last year” to only a few months of “this year.”  (i.e. If it was currently November 2009, you would have probably only received Firm Commissions for shipments through September 2009.  You might have received some commissions for things that shipped in October, but not likely the complete month’s worth, and certainly no commissions for things that just shipped in November.  Setting your Date Control Profile to September 2009, allows you to compare Jan.-Sep.’09 with Jan.-Sep.’08 and Jan.-Sep.’07, etc.)

The administrator should move the “Date Control” on a regular basis in conjunction with your firm’s internal policies.

  1. Open SalesAnalysis, go to the “Maintenance” view, and click the “+” to expand it.
  2. Click on “Date Control Profile” to open it.
  3. Change the date as needed, and click Save.  You will be prompted that this will require re-generating views, and could take a few minutes to complete.  Click “Yes” to continue. 

SalesAnalysis “Booking YTD Year” Setting

This setting only applies to customers tracking Bookings in SalesAnalysis.  The Booking YTD Year setting controls which years display in Booking related “YTD” views.  These are maintained separately from the views controlled by the Date Control Profile.  The Booking YTD Year is normally only adjusted annually, and the views display a comparison of the current year to years past.

The administrator should move the “Booking YTD Year” annually in conjunction with your firm’s internal policies.

  1. Open SalesAnalysis, and go to the “Settings” view.  Click the + to expand it.
  2. Click on “Configuration Profile” to open it.
  3. Click the “System” tab, followed by the “Bookings” sub-tab.
  4. Change the dropdown for “Booking YTD Year” to the current year.
  5. Save and Close the configuration Profile.  You will be prompted that this will require re-generating views, and could take a few minutes to complete.  Click “Yes” to continue. 
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