Spring (March) 2010 Release

Spring (March) 2010 Release

Spring (March) 2010 Release

The Spring 2010 upgrade to the Workbooks Service took place on the evening of Friday 26 March. 

The upgrade contains many changes including some significant new features, minor enhancements, and resolution of a number bugs.

On-going improvements to the platform will also provide you with an even better user experience along with the functional enhancements we have made to make the service easier to use.  A good proportion of the enhancements ideas have come from our user base, this feedback is essential for us when we consider our roadmap priorities. 

We will be updating the roadmap page on our website shortly after this release, with details of the Summer upgrade, candidate items which we are committing to for later releases and candidate ideas which have not yet been committed.  All the candidate features have been posted as suggestions on the forum, so please feel free to vote for your favourite! 

The list below details some notable feature changes in the Spring upgrade which may be of interest to you.

Opportunities with Product Analysis

It is now possible to detail an Opportunity with individual product and pricing information on a line by line basis. The Opportunity screen has been enhanced with the product line item grid which is similar to that already available on the Quotations and Order screens.

The Opportunity values, in terms of the sales value, cost and gross margin (in both home and foreign currency if applicable) will therefore be available for analysis without the need to generate related transaction documents.

It is also now possible to create a Draft Customer Quotation or Order directly from an Opportunity with all the line items pre-set.  If separate Qquotations or Orders are required for a single Opportunity then each transaction should be modified to reflect the sub-set of order lines required for that transaction.  This modification will not affect the Opportunity which will also show the total value of the Opportunity.  If multiple versions of Quotations or Orders are required for a single Opportunity then this is also possible without affecting the originating Opportunity values.

For your existing Opportunities, a single line item will be created with an appropriate description based on the Opportunity product categories stated on the existing Opportunity record. The Opportunity values will be mapped to the net value and total cost columns.

For users of Opportunities who do not wish to detail product information or wish to maintain product pricing, it is possible to simply enter a single Opportunity line item without a product code and manually enter sales and cost values.  If product category information is important to you, then product categories can be set up directly in the product book as products.

Known Issues - Sales Forecasts & Opportunity Reports

Foreign currency Opportunities cannot be included in a Sales Forecast.

For existing Opportunity reports/views which you may have written, which include columns for fields which no longer exist, the column will not display.  The logical alternate new column will therfore need to be added as required.

Opportunity Stages mapping to % Probabilities

For users of Opportunity probability %, it is now possible to automatically set the probability for an Opportunity based on a mapping to the stage the Opportunity has reached in the sales process.


Today, a Lead record can be entered into Workbooks either manually, using the Lead input screen or via a Lead Import function.  Within this release we will extend that functionality significantly with the introduction of Web-to-lead. This will enable you to capture Leads directly from your website that will automatically populate a Lead record in your Workbooks CRM.

Within Workbooks you will be able to easily generate the necessary HTML code for the form that will used within your own website.  This code will contain the necessary fields which are available within the Workbooks Lead screen and your webmaster can use this code to embed within your website. They can utilise all of the fields or just some depending on your requirements.

Lead Conversion Improvements

When converting a Lead into a Person or Organisation record, additional duplication checks have been added to ensure that the Person or Organisation does not already have an existing Workbooks record.  If a duplicate record is detected, based on either the email address or Lead/Organisation name, it is possible to create a new contact record or relate the Lead information to the existing contact record.

In addition, when a Lead is converted, Activity, Notes and Custom Field data associated with the originating Lead will be copied to the resulting Person, Organisation or Opportunity records.  Custom field data will only be populated automatically where the relevant Custom Fields exist within the target record.

Activity Management Improvements

Following feedback from our customers, we have improved the navigation and on-screen workflow using Activities. We have enhanced the Activity management module in the following ways:

  • It will be possible to complete and create a follow-up Activity from an existing Activity record.
  • You can now send an email from within an Activity record.

For users of the Campaign membership module, in particular if used to manage telemarketing Activities, setting Campaign Member Status from within the Campaign Member Activities screen, will be of great benefit.  We have therefore added Campaign Status update to the Phone Call and the To Do Activity types when specifically accessed from the Membership tab in Campaigns.

Email Template Improvements

Personal Email signatures can now be appended to Email templates.

In addition to this, it is now possible to create a general Email Template which is applicable across any record type, i.e. which are non-specific to a particular area of the service and can be used whenever an Email is created. You will however not be able to include user defined fields within these templates.

User Interface Improvements

With the growth in our customer base and larger customers coming onto the Service with greater levels of complexity, we are continually looking to find ways to improve the user experience and interface.   The interface is already rich and very easy to use however we feel some improvement was necessary when navigating large lists of data on small computer screens. To enable better navigation we have added additional scrolling features on long menus and landing page column selectors.

Filters on Reports

We have now added the column filtering capability which is already available in views (landing pages) to the reporting module.  Criteria to existing pre-configured reports can therefore be further defined when viewing and making enquiries into the CRM database.  This we are sure will prove to be a popular and extremely useful feature, which will help users target the data views required whilst also reducing the need to set criteria directly in the report designs.  We will be also adding the ability to save the filtered view of reports in a future release, so that individual users can have their personal selection criteria based on a shared report. 

Custom Fields on 'Posted/Completed' Documents

For customers that have a requirement to edit custom field values on posted/completed transaction documents, a new capability has been added (in user security) to allow this.  This capability would normally be restricted.

Known Issues which will be fixed in the week following release* or in the next service upgrade

  • When downloading files from Workbooks to your local client, e.g csv data files, files in notes, pdf documents and you are using Google Chrome, you will need to enable pop-ups.  In addition there is currently a 1000 row limit on csv file exports.
  • The short description of the accounting period i.e 'March' is no longer available as a column in the customer and supplier transactions landing page, this has been replaced with the long description, i.e. 'FY2009/10 Mar'  for users which have saved views using the short description, the view will need to be re-configured. 
  • *Custom fields set up on specific accounting transaction document types e.g Customer Invoices, can be viewed as a column in a view with other types of transaction documents e.g Customer Orders.  There is a bug, which displays arbitary custom field values for the transaction types which the custom field does not apply.  These values should be ignored. 
  • If a user submits a lead record using the Web to Lead functionality, i.e. from an external web page and is also logged into the Workbooks service at the same time and also the same browser type e.g. Chrome, the Workbooks session will log out.
  • The currency and date/time fields created as part of the Web to Lead functionality, i.e. for the external web form HTML code, are created as a single fields rather than two separate parts as is implemented in the Workbooks standard user interface.  Currency values entered need to be entered with the amount and the required currency code together in a very particular format in a single field.  This is also true for the two part date and time fields.
  • Foreign currency opportunities cannot be included in a sales forecast.
  • For existing Opportunity reports/views which you may have written, which include columns for fields which now longer exist, the column will not display.  The logical alternate column will therefore need to be added as required.
  • *On the created by and updated date columns on the leads landing page cannot be used to filter data for certain filter conditions.
  • *The 'On-queue' column on the leads landing page displays incorrect time periods.