Tag ArchiveOffice 2007


Copying Microsoft Word Reports

In my last post I showed how a new Microsoft Word report could be created by copying an existing report. The method that I showed is how this works in version 3.3.0 onwards. It’s very simple: create your new document; copy an existing Report Manager report; give your copy a name and make it point to your new file.

Prior to version 3.3.0 the process was similar but not quite so straightforward (which is why we changed it). Previously the act of copying a report actually created the new Word document for you. This is how it works in older versions:

1. Run the Report Manager and select the report that you want to copy.

2. Click Copy

3. Enter a new name for your report

4. Click the hyperlink labelled Specify the new report definition file name. The contents of this  file will be copied from the source report

5. Then you could edit the new Word document

There might not seem to be much difference:

With the latest version you create the Word document and put it wherever you like

With older versions e-Quip created the Word document and put it where you chose

Lots of people (including me) found this confusing. They would create a Word document in the right place and then when they clicked Copy it would then be overwritten with a copy of the original. I’m hopeful that this change will make the process a lot simpler



How to Create your own Microsoft Word Reports – 1

In e-Quip for list reports we use either Microsoft Excel or PDF. These can both be generated from any summary screen. For data sheets we use Microsoft Word. A data sheet report is a “one report per item” type of report. Perhaps the most common example would be a job sheet. e-Quip ships with a number of sample Word reports. These samples can be used to create your own reports.
Let’s start off with a simple example of a job sheet – so simple in fact that it will just contain “Hello from xxx” (where xxx will be the Job No). This is about as simple as it gets.

Step 1: Create a new Microsoft Word document. Normally you would do this on a server that everyone can see. For convenience I’ll do this on my C: drive (this would be a really bad idea in practice because no-one else would be able to see it apart from me!). So, I have created a Word Document on my desktop called “Sample Job Sheet.docx”.

Step 2: I now need to create a new job report in e-Quip. Go to the job screen and click on the Reports icon. It doesn’t matter whether you do this from the summary screen or the job property page. This will show all of the available reports.


Step 3: Select any one of the Word reports and click Copy


Step 4: Type in a name for the report. I’ll call mine “My New Report”


Step 5: Click the blue hyperlink “Specify the new report definition file name” and browse to the Word document you have just created. In my case this would be C:\Users\Graham\Desktop\Sample Job Sheet.docx. Then click Ok to create the new report.

Now that we have a new report we can run it. If you have been working from the job property page then you can run the report straight away. If you’ve been working from the summary screen you will need to make sure that you have selected at least one job in the summary screen before you run the Report Manager. Let’s suppose you are on the job property page. All you need to do is click the icon for your new report then click Run Report.



So far so good, but an empty report is not much use to anyone. We need to put some content into the report. e-Quip allows you to lay out your report using Word and to insert content from the database wherever you like using mail-merge tags. Note that e-Quip doesn’t actually use Office mail-merge, it just uses the tags as a convenient way of marking database items. So lets define the report.

Step 1: Open the Word document

Step 2: Type “Hello From ” anywhere you like in the document.

Step 3: Leave a space after the word “From” and then add a Word merge field. How you do this depends on the version of Microsoft Office that you are using.

If you are using Office 2007 or later then click on The Insert tab and then the Quick Parts icon. From the menu that appears choose Field and the following screen will be displayed.


If you are using Word 97-2003 then just select Insert -> Field. The same form will appear.

Step 4: In the Field names list select MergeField. Then in the Field name box type in “JobCode” (exactly as it appears)


The click Ok.

Step 5: Your document should now look like this:




Now run the report again. If you’ve done everything right then your new report should be displayed.

How do you know what to type in the merge field names? That’s why there’s a standard report provided with e-Quip. You can just copy & paste from the sample into your own report. In the next example (coming soon) I’ll show you how to do something a bit more complex: a list within a data sheet



Automated EMails

It has been our intention for some time to add an automated email facility to e-Quip. Those of you using version 2.13.3 may have noticed that the job property page now includes an email button on the ribbon strip. This email integrates rather nicely with the job details micro-site. You can generate an email which includes a hyperlink which, when clicked, shows details of the job so that the user can check on progress. In version 2.14.0 we will be adding auto-email support to deliveries as well as jobs.

Configuring the EMails

Clearly, it must be possible to configure the emails so that they say what you want them to say. This is done using the e-Quip Options utility. A new tab has been added specifically for this purpose. Currently there are two sets of email options, one for jobs and one for deliveries.

Job EMail Configuration

The email generated from the job property page is made up of three components: a subject line, the primary body text and the secondary body text. The reason that there are two alternative pieces of text is that you may wish to send slightly different emails when a job is first created and then subsequently when the job is edited.

The subject and body texts can contain various placeholders which will be substituted for the appropriate value when the email is sent. These are: {EquipmentCode}, {JobCode} & {ReportedFault}

For example, the subject line:

Medical Device {EquipmentCode} Service Request No {JobCode}

might generate an email with a subject line of:

Medical Device 12435 Service Request No 879843

Note that this text can include HTML for formatting.

Delivery EMail Configuration

The delivery email also has a subject line and a main body, but unlike the job email, a delivery email may consist of multiple lines, at least one for each line of the delivery. If a spare part is referenced in multiple uncompleted jobs then there will be additional lines for each job. For example:

Subject: Delivery of Items for Order No. 12345

You have been sent this email because items have been delivered for this order that you may be waiting for.

Job No: 12345, Technician: John Smith, Part No: 34567, Qty Required: 1, Delivered: 2

Job No: 34567, Technician: Tom Brown, Part No: 34567, Qty Required: 2, Delivered: 2

Job No: 34567 Technician: Tom Brown Part No: 7891 Qty Required: 1 Delivered: 4

For this email, the subject line contained:

Delivery of Items for {OrderCode}

The body is:

You have been sent this email because items have been delivered for this order that you may be waiting for.

The individual lines are formatted as:

<p>Job No: {JobCode},  Technician: {Technician}, Part No: {PartNo} Qty Required: 1 Delivered: 4</p>

Note the embedded HTML formatting characters.

Sending Job EMails

To generate an email from a job simply click the EMail button on the ribbon. This will display the following screen in order to collect your preferences.

The checkboxes labelled Caller, Caller Contact, Job Contact and Technician will be enabled if a) the appropriate field on the job has been completed and b) if the field is a personnel record, then that record contains an email address. You cannot, for example, choose to send the email to the technician if either the technician field is empty or the technician does not have an email address.

Any additional recipients can be added by entering their details in the CC field. If you are entering multiple addresses then separate them with the “;” character.

The text tab shows the text that will be used for the body of the email. You may choose either the primary or secondary body text. You can also edit this text and also edit the reported fault.

That’s all there is to it! As soon as you have selected one or more recipients the EMail button will be enabled. To send the email simply click this button. A sample email is shown below.

Sending Delivery EMails

Delivery emails are similar to those for jobs. One difference is that while job emails are a fixed (but configurable) piece of text, a delivery may consist of multiple lines which may be in turn referenced by multiple jobs. Delivery emails are therefore variable length.

Look at the order below which was requested by Paul Brown. The first line was specifically ordered for job 163806. The technician for this job is John Day and the engineering contact is Michael Miles. While the other lines are not linked specifically to jobs, there are several outstanding jobs which need those parts. These are:

Job No: 163808, Part No: 5151, Technician: Jim Green, Contact: Les Hammond

Job No: 163806, Part No: 5151, Technician: John Day, Contact: Michael Miles

Now suppose that a delivery is created for this order which is accepted by Ian Founder. When the delivery is saved the screen below appears.

The email generated is shown below. Why isn’t Les Hammond included in the recipients? This is because his personnel record does not contain an email address.

These are only our first steps in email automation. We will shortly be adding email to Medical Device Alerts and Competences.

As always, any feedback will be much appreciated.



Let’s Get Stylish!

New in 1.17.3 – Application Styling

By default, E-Quip AM is designed to emulate the appearance of the Blue colour scheme within Microsoft Office 2007. All of the rules which define this style are held in a file called EQuipDefault.isl. Each time E-Quip AM runs it searches for this file in the folder C:\ Program Files \ Integra \ E-Quip AM \ Bin and loads the style definition from it. Below you can see E-Quip running with 2 different styles: the appearances are significantly different.

Office 2007 Black


As from version 1.17.3 E-Quip AM now ships with several alternative style definition files and also with a powerful run-time utility which allows new styles to be loaded. This utility, the Application Stylist, also allows individual styles to be modified by users at an extremely detailed level.

To run the Application Stylist, go to the user Options screen. You will find this under the Application Control Menu (the circular icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen).

Click the Show Application Stylist button to display the Application Stylist.

This is a complex and powerful utility and does far more than can be explained in a few lines. However, it is simple enough to show how to configure E-Quip to use a different style.

1. Click the Load button, then select one of the style sheets in  C:\ Program Files \ Integra \ E-Quip AM \ Styles. This will instantly change the style of E-Quip, but this change is only temporary; the next time you run E-Quip the style will revert back to its default.

2. In order to make the change permanent, click the Save As button, then navigate to  C:\ Program Files \ Integra \ E-Quip AM \ Bin and overwrite the file EQuipDefault.isl.

Before experimenting it would be a good idea to save a copy of EQuipDefault.isl so that you can restore the application’s original appearance at any time.

Have fun!


Office 2007 – Introducing the QAT

What is the Quick Access Toolbar?

It’s surprising how many Office 2007 users don’t know about the QAT, but it can be really useful. Think of it as “Favourites”; a way of putting the commands that you use most often where you can get at them with a single click.

First of all, where is the QAT? As with most things in E-Quip this is configurable, but it will always be on the Office ribbon (that’s the large blue toolbar across the top of the screen), either above or below the ribbon itself.

To add any ribbon tool to the QAT, just right-click on the tool and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”

To remove a control from the QAT, simply right-click on it and choose “Remove from Quick Access Toolbar”.

Any changes you make to the QAT are automatically saved so that it will look the same every time you run E-Quip (from version 1.16.0 onwards).

How do you use the QAT? Simple, just click on an icon and the appropriate screen will be opened, or command executed, depending on the icon. So if you add the job screen icon to the QAT, for example, clicking on it will take you straight to the job screen, no matter what screen is currently displayed.

I hope you found this useful. I will add some more posts soon to describe some of the useful Microsoft Office 2007 features of E-Quip.