ABC Focus FAQs

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FAQs-ABC

How to import data using Excel. For ABC Focus, Version 3

How to import data using Excel. For ABC Focus, Version 3

The import and export functions are available from the menu.

To access the menu, open a model and get to the map. Then choose the appropriate option from the menu as shown below.

 

Export import menu
The export and import options provide an interface between ABC Focus and other packages. On the first tab, Section, the available items that can be imported or exported are shown.

  • These include: Lines, pools, cost objects, drivers, allocations, capital, processes, tasks and or categories.

import export data
Specification button – click this for a description of the import and export formats. This document can be printed.

Tip: The easiest way to see the required structure of an import file is to open an existing model and export the data.

On this page you also choose Import or Export.

 

Note: If you are importing data, there is a recommended order in which the data should be imported. Read the Information button on page 1 where the order is explained:

 

import order
Also, the import file should be closed before doing the import. For example, if the import file is in Excel, Excel itself can be open, but the spreadsheet should be closed before processing.

 

 

Example:

This example will demonstrate how to import data for an entire model into ABC Focus. Download the attached zip file, and then unzip it into a new folder on your hard disk.

 

 

Right-click here to get ABC Focus sample import files File name is: ImportABC.zip 5 kb

 

Before you import data, start a new model. Otherwise the data will be imported into the existing model. Any existing data in the model is not removed. When you import, the imported data is always added to any data already in the model.

 

 

  • Import categories

On first page, choose categories and import.

import categories into ABc Focus

 

On page 2, File type, choose the appropriate type of file. We suggest that you usually choose the first one, ASCII text file. For this example, you must choose ASCII text file.

Tip: When you create your own import files, we suggest that you always use the ASCII format. The easiest way to create your own import file is to enter one item manually into ABC Focus, and then export it. You can then use that as an example for other import lines.

 

 

import categories

 

On page 3, File name, you can type in the full path and file name. The Find the import file button is provided for easy navigation to an appropriate location.

For this example, click Find the import file. Change to all files. Locate the file categories.CSV on your hard disk. Then choose Import.

All files

 

The file name to import, categories.CSV, is entered into the box. Nothing has been imported yet.

 

 

To import the file, click on Do the import!

Do the import

 

You will see a message similar to the following:

 

 

 

The last page is a review of what was imported, what was not imported and what was refreshed. If any lines were not imported, click on them and read the explanation given. Then fix the import file and repeat the import process.

Review the data imported on the Import review page:

 

Two new categories were included in the import file. The refreshed categories means that some categories in the import file already existed in the model. Note: New models always contain some categories.

 

  • Now import the other data files in the order shown below.

NB: Make sure you go to the first page and choose the item you are importing, then go to the other pages and import each in turn.

 

 

  • Import drivers: drivers.csv
  • Import lines: lines.csv
  • Import pools: pools.csv
  • Import cost objects: CostObjects.csv
  • Import allocations: allocations.csv

 

You can now exit the import form. When you open lines, pools, etc on the map, you will see that the model has all the data from your import files.

 

Note: You can import and export data using this module.

Posted in FAQ-abc

ABC Focus: Fix driver allocation table

When I go to a driver allocation, it tells me table CDV has one or more non-structural indexes open. This will fix it.

Fix for: table CDV has one or more non-structural indexes open.

Solution:

How to download the file: fixcd.exe

Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as: (or Save Link As…)

 

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get the fix    File name is: faq-abc3-fixcd.exe     11 kb

 

Instructions:

Copy it into the problem model. For example, in the picture below, the problem model is fixabc2. It is in the Models folder under ABC3.

 

 

 

Double-click the fixcd file and run it.

The problem model should now work.

Open the model and get to the map.. Then choose Reindex.

 

 

How to import data using Excel. For ABC Focus, Version 4

The export and import options provide an interface between ABC Focus and other packages.  

Introduction

ABC Focus provides the ability for data to be imported and exported. The import file used or export file created can be in several formats, including Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file. The import / export routines are often used to import data from an external source into the software.

Note: Reporting is an alternative to the export module, as most of the reports in the software can be printed as well as exported to Excel and other formats.

Tip 1: The easiest way to see the required structure of an import file is:
Open an existing model and export the data.

Example: Export the Lines into an Excel file, then open that file to see the import structure needed to import Lines.
In summary, a file can be exported, the data changed in the spreadsheet, and then imported to refresh the model or add new information.
Tip 2: When a file is imported, the existing items in a model are usually not deleted (unless stated in this document or on screen). This means that several import files can be used and imported in succession.

Tip 3: Where FALSE is mentioned, you can use any one of these: FALSE, F, N (N for No). Can also leave the field empty or blank.
Where TRUE is mentioned, you can use any one of these: TRUE, T, Y (Y for Yes).

 

 

Import and export

 

To access the import and export functions, open a model and get to the map. Then choose the appropriate option from the menu (shown below).

 

ABC Focus Export/Import menu

 

 

 

 

 

Import and export data

In the software, the first page, Section, has all the items that can be imported or exported.

As shown below, these include:

  • Lines, pools, cost objects, internal allocations, capital, processes, tasks, categories, other processes, driver names and allocations.

 

import export data

 

On this page you also choose Import or Export.

 

Specification button – If you are offline click this for a description of the import and export formats. The document can be printed. (The web page you are reading now has more detailed information than the specifications document and should be preferred if you are online).

 

What to import first

 

Note: If you are importing data, there is a recommended order in which the data should be imported. The Information button on the top of the Section page explains it as follows:

The order in which data is imported is important. Decide whether you need to do the preliminary steps.

Preliminary steps
a. If you are using your own categories or processes, import these.
b. If you are using Drivers, import the Driver names.

Main import steps
1. Import Lines, pools and cost objects.
2. Allocations are next.
3. Capital, Tasks, etc are last.

If you are importing lines with categories and/or drivers, the category and driver must already be in the model.

Lines, pools and cost objects should be imported before allocations are imported.

Notes

The import file should be closed.
You can create a sample import file by exporting data from any model!

General information

Choose a section (e.g. Lines), and then click on Import or Export. On the next page choose the file type, e.g. CSV or Excel. On the third page type in the file name (overwrite the name suggested with whatever you prefer).

The import file should be closed before doing the import. For example, if the import file is in Excel, Excel itself can be open, but the spreadsheet should be closed before processing.

 

 

Excel examples:

 

Tip: The easiest way to see the required structure of an import file is to open an existing model and export the data.

The recommended way to create an import file is to first export some data to see an example. Then use the exported file as an example of what is needed to import your own data! This technique is explained below.

 

How to import expense lines

To see the file structure required, open a model in ABC Focus and export the data.

For the sample data in ABC Focus, the first few lines of the exported lines file looks like this:

 

We have highlighted the key fields for the expense line: Accounting fees. They show the minimum information needed to import expense lines into the software.

 

How to import new expense lines

Here is the same file with three additional expense lines added:

 

import order

 

Notice that the first spreadsheet above has most of the fields filled with data, whereas the added lines have minimal information. To import an expense line you need four pieces of information:

  • X because it is an expense
  • The account Description and Your code.
  • The Amount.

 

Most users will be satisfied with just this information. However, the other fields can be used to specify additional details if required.

 

Default folders (which are present in every model)

This example shows the spreadsheet for exported lines:

 

Notice the first four rows are the folders that are always present. They are folders because is_folder is TRUE.

The last line shows a user added expense, for Office expenses. The exported file can be imported into a new model, or it can be simplified: All the default folders can be deleted. Only the one row for Office expenses need be present. Also, only the items highlighted are required. The other columns can be left blank. So to import this line, the import file can look like this:

 

 

 

Important: If you keep the default folders in the import file, ensure that their is_folder column remains unchanged at TRUE.

How to import new revenue and material lines

The importing of revenue and material lines is similar. Here is an example:

 

 

 

Structure of a revenue, material and expense line

 

The fields are:

Type_item: Revenue, Material or Expense. This column is filled when data is exported for information. It can be empty when data is imported, as it is not used during an import.
Type_abc:  Type of line. Should be R, M or X (for Revenue, Material or eXpense).
Descriptn: Item description
ITEM_NO: Your code
Is_folder: TRUE or FALSE
Under_acc: Use Your code
Category: Category name
Quantity
UNIT_DESC: Unit of measure
Is_fixed: Short-term fixed: TRUE or FALSE.
Driver: Your code of driver

 

Note: Only the highlighted fields shown in the examples above are required. The rest are optional.

 

Driver field

To use this field, you should be familiar with the three allocation methods in ABC Focus. In the software, the allocation method is chosen on the Allocation page. For example, this revenue line uses the internal allocation method of Units:

 

 

On the other hand, this expense line uses the Driver allocation method:

 

 

 

This shows Your code for the Driver:

 

How to import an expense line and tell it to use the Driver allocation method

To specify that the Driver method should be used, enter Your code for the driver name in the Driver column.

So if an expense line Rent is to use the Driver named Rent expense, enter RENT EXPENSE in the Driver field when importing the expense line.

If the driver field is empty, the item will use the internal allocation method. If filled, it will use an external driver.

 

 

 

 

How to import Employees

The importing of employees is similar. Example:

 

 

 

The fields above are the same as for Expenses (discussed above). The additional fields for employees are.

noemployed: Number employed (e.g. 3 people)
PAID_NORM: Salaries / wages (before on-costs and other payments)
oncost_amt: On-cost amount
PAID_OTHER: Other payments
HRS_NORMAL: Normal hours paid
HRS_OTHER: Other hours paid
hrs_flow: Hours to pools. TRUE or FALSE.

How to import Employee hours

To include employee hours in the import file, fill in the appropriate columns. Here is the employee line Receptionist with additional information supplied.

 

  • Quantity: This is the total hours for the receptionists. It does not have to be filled in. If it is zero, it will be worked out during the import – it is the sum of the two HOUR fields discussed below. Note: If only the Quantity field is filled in for an employee, the import file will assume that it is normal hours paid.
  • Number employed (noemployed): 2 receptionists.
  • Normal hours paid (HRS_NORMAL): 2,000. See Employee HOUR fields note below.
  • Other hours paid (HRS_OTHER): 1,500. See Employee HOUR fields note below.
  • Hours to pools (hrs_flow). T or TRUE or YES. See note below.

Hours to pools

This column should normally be TRUE. If you are importing a new employee, this field is imported if it contains data.

However, if the employee already exists in the model and the import file is being used to refresh some of the information, then:

  • If Hours to pools is YES/TRUE in the import file, it is imported.
  • If it is NO/FALSE (or not filled in):  It will not overwrite the existing setting for this employee unless you go to the Import options page and check Hours to pools.

 

Employee HOUR fields

When importing a new employee, these fields are imported if they contain data.

However, if the employee already exists in the model and the import file is being used to refresh some of the information, then:

 

If the import file has a non-zero amount for the Quantity field, and the import file has:

Quantity field = Normal hours paid (HRS_NORMAL) + Other hours paid (HRS_OTHER)

 

then: all the Hours values are imported (irrespective of the Import options check-boxes below).

If you want the two hours fields to be imported, and the number employed, go to the options page and check these options:

 

 

 

The reason that these are unchecked by default is:

When refreshing existing employee information, often the import file is filled with the amounts paid and the hours are left zero. If the hours have been filled in manually or via another import file, one would not want the zero hours values to overwrite existing values. If required, use the options page to choose the items that should be updated during the import.

 

For employees, this applies:

Amount = paid_norm + oncost_amt + paid_other

 

If only the Amount field is used, the paid_norm field will be made the same as the Amount field.

If the Amount field is zero, and the other three fields are used, the Amount field will be calculated as the sum of the other three fields.

 

 

How to import pools

To see the file structure for pools, export pools from a model in ABC Focus.

For the sample data in ABC Focus, the first few lines of the Pools file are shown:

 

The key fields are highlighted for the primary pool Consult specialist patients.

They show the minimum information needed to import pools into the software.

 

The spreadsheet below shows how to import three pools:

 

To import a pool three pieces of information are needed:

  • P, S or T to specify the kind of pool: Primary, Secondary or Tertiary.
  • The pool Description and Your code.

 

Most users will be satisfied with just the information shown above. The other fields can be used to specify additional details if required.

 

The first few fields for pools are the same as for Expenses (discussed above). The additional fields specific to pools are.

process: Process name. It can be left blank. If it is entered, the process must already exist in the model. It is case sensitive.
IS_VALADD: Value adding: TRUE or FALSE.
IS_QTYDRV: Use driver quantity: TRUE or FALSE.

The Value adding and Use driver quantity fields are check-boxes available when you enter pools manually. Look at the Data entry screen for pools for more information on these check-boxes.

Additional note for: Use driver quantity (Y/N):
This note applies if the pool already exists in the software and you are using the import file to refresh some of the information.
If Use driver quantity is YES/TRUE in the import file, it is imported.
If it is NO/FALSE (or not filled in), then it will not overwrite the existing setting for this pool unless you go to the Import options page and check Use driver quantity.
 

Default folders (which are present in every model)

As was discussed above for lines, the first few rows of exported pools have the three pool folders that are always present. They are folders because is_folder is TRUE. All the default folders can be deleted when creating your own import file if you wish.

 

 

How to import objects (both cost objects and composite objects can be imported)

To see the file structure for objects and composite objects, export Objects from a model in ABC Focus. This technique has been discussed above for lines and pools and is not discussed further.

 

The spreadsheet below shows how to import objects and composite objects:

 

Note: The first column can be left empty. It is used to illustrate which row is the cost object and composite.

To import an object, three pieces of information are required:

  • C or B to specify the kind of object: Cost object or Composite.
  • The object Description and Your code.

The other fields can be used to specify additional details if required, but are not required.

 

The first ten fields are the same as for lines. The following additional field is specific to cost objects:

Process: can be left blank. If entered, the process must already exist in the model. It is case sensitive.
 

How to import internal allocations

 

As an example, here are the allocations for a revenue line in the software:

 

 

 

This data can be exported using the internal allocation option shown below:

 

 

Below is an example of the exported data for a revenue line. As usual, export first to see what is required to create an import file. The export and import files are the same.

 

 

The exported columns are:

 

ITEM_NO: The item being allocated. This is the Your code for the item. In the example above, the Revenue line has Your code = REVENUEAC.
Notice that ITEM_NO is the same for the 6 rows shown (row 2 to 7). This is because the revenue item is allocated to several items.

TO_ITEM: The item it is allocated to. This is the Your code for the item it is allocated to.

QTY_PERC: This is the allocation Quantity or Percentage. The CD_AMETHOD column specifies whether it is Quantity or Percentage (see below).

Weighting: Weighting.

CD_AMETHOD: Use 1 for percentage and 2 for units. All rows for the same ITEM_NO must use the same CD_AMETHOD. It warns if they are inconsistent.

The final two columns are not required in the import file. They are shown for convenience in the exported file.

type_abc: the type of the item in column A. R is Revenue.

totype: the type of the item in column B. C is Cost object.

 

These are the valid values for type_abc and totype:

Lines:
Revenue: R
Employee: E
Material: M
Expense: X

Pools:
Primary pool: P
Secondary pool: S
Tertiary pool: T

Objects:
Cost object: C
Composite cost object: B

 

 

 

How to import capital

This is an example of Capital entered into the software:

 

This is the same data exported to Excel:

 

 

The fields are:

ITEM_NO: Your code for the pool (capital is allocated to a pool)
descriptn: Capital description
Amount.
Special note for importing of capital: When capital is imported for a pool, any prior capital for that pool is deleted.

How to import processes

An example of Processes entered into the software:

 

The same data exported to Excel:

 

 

There is only one field for the Process description. When importing Processes: if the process already exists, it is not deleted or imported. If the import file contains a process that is not yet in the file, it is imported.
 

How to import tasks

An example of Tasks entered into the software:

 

The same data exported to Excel:

 

 

The fields are:

ITEM_NO: Your code for the item.
descriptn: Task description
Special note for importing of Tasks: When Tasks are imported for an item, any prior Tasks for the same item are deleted.
 

How to import categories

This is only required if you are adding to the standard categories provided in the software.

These are the fields:

 

Descriptn: Category description
Type_abc:  Type of category.

These are the valid values for type_abc:

Lines:
Revenue: R
Employee: E
Material: M
Expense: X

Pools:
Primary pool: P
Secondary pool: S
Tertiary pool: T

Objects:
Cost object: C
Composite cost object: B

Example of importing a revenue category called Department 1 via a CSV file:
“Department 1”, “R”

 

When categories are exported, the standard categories are shown first, and then any added categories.

Note: The standard categories have a space in front of their names, as this places them first in selection lists. This is recommended.

To create an import file, you can delete the standard categories or leave them in the import file as you choose. The example below shows new categories at the bottom. This example is for new Cost object categories (type_abc is C).

 

How to import other properties

These are the fields:

ITEM_NO: Your code for the item (can be a line, pool or object: anything that has the Other property page available within the software).
Descriptn: Description of other property
Worth: Worth is a character field, so can have a numeric or non-numeric value.

 

How to import drivers: names and allocations

These are options on the Export / import screen:

 

 

Import drivers: names

This is a driver name in the software:

 

 

Exporting to Excel gives the following:

 

The key fields are highlighted below. To import a new driver name, add information as per the example below:

 

The fields are:

Type_item: Expense, etc.
Type_abc:  Type (see below).
Descriptn: Driver description
ITEM_NO: Your code
Is_folder: TRUE or FALSE
Under_acc: Use Your code
Quantity
UNIT_DESC: Unit of measure

 

These are the valid values for type_abc:

Lines:
Revenue: R
Employee: E
Material: M
Expense: X

Pools:
Primary pool: P
Secondary pool: S
Tertiary pool: T

Objects:
Composite cost object: B
(Cost objects do not have a driver).

 

 

Default folders (which are present in every model)

This example has exported driver names:

 

 

Notice the first several rows are the folders that are always present in an exported file. They are folders because is_folder is TRUE. When making an import file, all the default folders can be deleted, or they can remain in the file as you prefer.

Important: If you keep the default folders in the import file, ensure that their is_folder column remains unchanged at TRUE. For your additions, the is_folder column is usually FALSE (or can be blank, which the import routine interprets as FALSE).

 

The last line shows a user added driver name for Telephone & fax. The exported file can be imported into a new model, or it can be simplified: All the standard rows can be deleted. Only the one row for Telephone & fax need be present. Also, only the items highlighted are required. The other columns can be left blank.

 

So to import this item, the import file can look like this:

 

 

Note: It does no harm to leave the default folder rows that were exported in the file if you wish, but they are not usually required.

As already mentioned, if you keep the default folders in the import file, also ensure that their is_folder column remains unchanged at TRUE.

 

 

Import drivers: allocations

The internal allocation method discussed above and the Driver allocations are similar – there is one difference:

ITEM_NO: For driver allocations, this is Your code of the driver. For internal allocations, ITEM_NO refers to the item being allocated.

 

This is the driver allocation page in the software:

 

 

Exporting to Excel gives the following:

 

 

The key fields are highlighted.

Notice that some of the rows have the qty_perc field at zero. When you export the allocations, all the possible allocations available are exported. This corresponds with the items seen in the allocation grid in the software. Only the rows that have allocations will have a value for the qty_perc field.

 

The exported columns are:

ITEM_NO: The item being allocated. This is the Your code for the item.
In the example above, the Expense driver name has Your code = RENT EXPENSE.
Notice that ITEM_NO is the same for several rows. This is because the Expense driver name is allocated to several items.

TO_ITEM: The item it is allocated to. This is the Your code for the item.

 

QTY_PERC: The allocation Quantity or Percentage. The CD_AMETHOD column specifies whether it is Quantity or Percentage (see below).
weighting:     Weighting
CD_AMETHOD:    Use 1 for percentage and 2 for units. All rows for the same ITEM_NO must use the same CD_AMETHOD. It warns if they are inconsistent.

The final two columns are not required in the import file. They are shown for convenience in the exported file.

type_abc: the type of the item in column A. R is Revenue.

totype: the type of the item in column B. C is Cost object.

 

These are the valid values for type_abc and totype:

Lines:
Revenue: R
Employee: E
Material: M
Expense: X

Pools:
Primary pool: P
Secondary pool: S
Tertiary pool: T

Objects:
Cost object: C
Composite cost object: B

 

 

Sample import files

We have created a complete set of import files to illustrate how data can be imported into ABC Focus. The import files were created by exporting data from an ABC Focus model. The files as exported are completely suitable for importing into another model. However, for clarity, we removed the extra information from the Excel files using the notes above as our guide.

Note: The import files can be opened in Excel and used as examples. The files were created as XLS files (instead of XLSX) so they can be used by a wider range of users.

 

 

Before you import data, start a new model.

Otherwise the data will be imported into the existing model. Any existing data in the model is not removed. When you import, the imported data is always added to any data already in the model. Once the model has been created, unzip the file obtained from the link below into the folder that has your new model, e.g. c:\abc4\models\test.

 

Click here to get ABC Focus sample import files    File name is: ImportABC.zip     44 kb

 

Data order

As previously mentioned: If you are importing data, there is a recommended order in which the data should be imported. Read the Information button on the top of the Section page where the order is explained, then follow below.

Import Categories, Processes and Driver names

Note: All three can be skipped if you are not using these features. In this description we will import everything, but for your own data you can skip any steps that are not relevant.

 

 

 

  • Step 1: Import categories

On the first page, choose categories (1 in the picture above) and import.

 

 

 

On page 2, File type, choose the appropriate type of file. For this example, you must choose Microsoft Excel 97, because that format was used to create the sample files you are importing. Later, for your own data, use any of the formats.

 

 

 

 

On page 3, File name, you can type in the full path and file name. The Find the import file button is provided for easy navigation to an appropriate location.

For this example, click Find the import file. Locate the file cat.XLS on your hard disk. Then choose Import.

 

 

 

 

The file name to import, cat.XLS, is entered into the box. Nothing has been imported yet.

 

 

To import the file, click on Do the import!

 

 

You will see a message similar to the following:

 

The last page is a review of what was imported, what was not imported and what was refreshed. If any lines were not imported, click on them and read the explanation given. Then fix the import file and repeat the import process.

Review the data imported on the Import review page:

 

 

 

Three new categories were included in the import file. The refreshed categories (if any) means that some categories in the import file already existed in the model. Note: New models always contain some categories.

 

Now import the other data files in the order shown below.

NB: Make sure you go to the first page and choose the item you are importing, then go to the other pages and import each in turn.

 

 

  • Import processes: process.xls
  • Import driver names: drname.xls
  • Import lines: line.xls
  • Import pools: pool.xls
  • Import cost objects: CostObject.xls
  • Import internal allocations: alloc.xls
  • Import driver allocations: dralloc.xls

If used, these can also be imported:

  • Import capital: capital.xls
  • Import tasks: task.xls
  • Import other properties: other.xls

 

Exit the import form. When you open lines, pools, etc on the map, you will see that the model has all the data from the import files.

 

Conclusion

 

The export and import options provide an interface between ABC Focus and other packages. All the data that a user can enter into ABC Focus can also be imported.

The easiest way to create your own import file is to enter one item manually into ABC Focus, and then export it. You can then use that as an example for other import lines.

It is easy to import and export data using the techniques discussed above.

General FAQs

FAQs general

New Zealand Sales and Support

Sales and support in New Zealand is available locally.

To place an order, or for support, please contact your local office below.

 

New Zealand sales and support

If you are in New Zealand, please talk to Steve on (04) 479 3039
or email him: steve@strategicfocus.co.nz

Destination drive during install

Question: When installing software, the Remaining Disk Space is negative.

Cause
An invalid drive has been selected. Or the mapping is not recognized.

 

Solution

If you are on a Windows 7 or Vista PC, see: Windows 7 and Vista drive mapping

 

If you are on an ealier version of Windows: change the drive to a valid drive. If it is a mapped drive, check that the drive is accessible in Windows Explorer.

 

 

Network users – speed of processing

Network versus PC performance

Network versus PC performance

For normal data entry (i.e. when you enter data into the software), you won’t notice much difference between running the software on a PC or over a network.

However, when the data is activated, the speed of the network becomes a factor. You will see this because the same model will often take longer to activate over the network than on a PC. The speed of software operation is a function of the speed of your network. Also, your virus checker can have a significant influence (see below).

 

Suggestions for speeding up performance

 Citrix /  Terminal server

If your network is Citrix or Terminal server, the speed of activation will usually be as good as on a PC, and often better (because usually one has better hardware on such a server).

 

For other servers, here are some suggestions:

1. Turn off indexing of the folder on the server

If the server is running Windows, turn off indexing of the VCF8 folder.

For example, for Windows server 2008, in Windows Explorer, find the VCF8 folder, right click on the folder and select Properties. This is what you see:

VCF8 folder

Click Advanced.

Make sure “Index this folder for faster searching” is unticked. Click OK twice.

VCF8 folder index faster searching

 

 

 

2. Temporary file location

During activation the software does a lot of processing and needs to work with a lot of data. That is why on a slow network it may take a while. Also, if TEMP files are configured to a network share, everything will be slow.

You can speed things up by telling it to put its working files onto a local drive. That should speed up processing because some of the data is used on the fast local C drive rather than the slower network drive.

How to tell the software to put its working files onto the local drive

Do this:

  • Create a new folder on the local C drive.
  • Call it say c:\work (or c:\temp)
  • Open config.fpw with notepad. This file is in the application folder (e.g. VCF8 for Visual Cash Focus).
  • Near the top change TMPFILES, for example:

* Temporary file location:
* Can change this to a faster drive. Example: TMPFILES=C:\temp
*TMPFILES=SYS(2023)
TMPFILES=c:\work

 

If the folder you are using contains spaces, then put it in quotes, example

TMPFILES=”C:\steve work area”

Don’t leave spaces around the equal sign, and remove the asterisk in front of TMPFILES (if it exists) as shown in the example above.

 

All user must have this directory.

If on a network, all users must have the working directory. In the example above c:\work must exist on all the workstations.

This technique should speed it up. However, one can never expect the same fast speed as when operating the software on a local drive, as the speed of moving data over the network is limited by the speed of the network itself.

 

Where are the temporary files being stored?

Right-click here
for a program that can be used to show the current location of the temporary files. Then choose Save target as or Save link as to download the file showt.exe.

Note: Using Windows Explorer, put showt.exe into your VCF8 folder and then run it. If you change config.fpw, you can run it again to check the temporary folder location.

 

3. Speed of hard disk and speed of network

The network speed and server hard disk performance are performance factors. You want the fastest hard disk you can get.

Also the network itself can often be the bottleneck. The (GigaBit) LAN device and hard disk speed on the server should be as good as possible for optimum performance.

4. Virus checking

During activation a lot of data is processed, and your virus checker can cause a significant slow down. To speed it up, these are some options:

Tell it to exclude the VCF8 folder, and all its subdirectories.

Alternatively, tell it to exclude checking of the following files:

  1. *.DBF
  2. *.FPT
  3. *.CDX
  4. *.IDX
  5. *.DBC
  6. *.DCX
  7. *.DCT

 

Also, tell your virus checker not to check any files in the temp folder (E.g. in c:\work as discussed above). This has been reported to result in a significant speed improvement.

Peer to peer network

If you have a peer to peer network rather than a real server, with one of the clients holding the data, then such a setup is inherently slow at data processing. It is fine for data entry or word processing applications, but for data activation it will be slower. The techniques described here will help, but if you work with large models, then running the software locally instead of over the network may be a good solution for you.

5. Other suggestions

If you have big models, and want better performance, then consider running them on your local PC. For backup purposes, you can then zip the models and store the zipped files on your network if required.

 

The techniques discussed above should help you achieve better performance.

 

 

Allowed user count exceed message

When the software is installed on a server, the software counts the number of users currently logged on.

To assist you to keep within the number of licences you have purchased,the software alerts you if the number of users exceeds the number of licences purchased.

 

 

 

Please ask us for a licence for additional users if you see this message.

 

 

Tip: Occasionally the number of users reported will be incorrect. This can happen if a user exits the software abnormally. This is usually self correcting, as the next time the user logs in, when he exits his user flag will be released normally.

 

If you wish to reset the flags, do this:

  1. Exit the software. Important: do not use the re-login button for this. 
  2. Start the software and Log in as Supervisor with the Supervisor password. 
  3. Open a model (or start a new one if none are available to choose). 
  4. Go to the menu option shown below to reset the users.

 

Reset users

 

Help file problem: The topics on the left display, but the contents on the right page does not display

 

When you open the help file this is what happens: – the help file comes up with all topics in the tree on the left, but a Page Not found or Operation Aborted or Action cancelled message shows on the right.

Visual Cash Focus users who have at least version 8: Your solution is here: http://www.cashfocus.com/faq-vcf8-helpnet

For the other software packages, read on.

Why this is happening: Microsoft recently released a security patch that prevents viewing help files (CHM format) that are stored on a network drive.

The security patch and its effects are fully described on Microsoft’s web site at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896358 and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892675/

Answer:

Comment: The fixes and workarounds that Microsoft suggests are not for the novice. Here is a work-around you may prefer:

Our recommendation:

 

For Visual Cash Focus users, try this: rename the file vcfhelp.chm to: zvcfhelp.chm.

If that does not work, read on:

 

The problem only exists when the help file is installed on a network drive. You can copy the help file to your desktop. To do this: copy the file vcfhelp.chm from the vcf7 folder in your network drive onto your desktop. Double-click the file on your desktop to open it. You should now be able to read the help file without problem. Unfortunately this does not maintain the links between the software and the help file, but at least you can read it.>

 

Other options are mentioned here: http://west-wind.com/weblog/posts/2928.aspx
One of the suggestions there is:
The simplest method is to RIGHT-CLICK on the file, select PROPERTIES and UNBLOCK.

 

This security patch affects many major programs – personally, we are going to see if Microsoft releases a more user-friendly solution before applying their recommended patch.

 

For advanced technicians only:

 

If you have access to technical resources, you can ask them to fix it the Microsoft way.

 

Important: Make comprehensive backups of everything before doing any of this, just in case.

 

This note might be useful:

 

If you trust all the computers on your LAN or intranet (and the people using them), you can lower the restrictions on the Local Intranet zone to allow CHM files to be displayed with the following steps:

 

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate and then click the following subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\HTMLHelp\1.x\ItssRestrictions
If this registry subkey does not exist, create it.
3. Right-click the ItssRestrictions subkey, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type MaxAllowedZone, and then press Enter.
5. Right-click the MaxAllowedZone value, and then click Modify.
6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
7. Quit Registry Editor.

 

 

If this solution does not work for you, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896358 and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892675/ for alternatives.

OLE error, class not registered

Answer:

These messages occur when the software libraries have been overwritten by other software installations. The easiest way to fix them is to re-install the software from the original CD, using the following procedure:

The example below is for Visual Cash Focus.
If the software is installed on the local C drive (see below for network installations).

Rename the c:vcf6 folder to something else, for example c:\vcf6now.
Install the software from the CD into the c:\vcf6 folder.
Delete the c:\vcf6 folder. This step may surprise you – during step 2 all the libraries that are required by the software were installed. Deleting the vcf6 folder does not delete those libraries, which we wanted to install.
Rename the folder you created in step 1 (for example c:\vcf6now) to c:\vcf6.

All should now work OK.

If not, it may be a rights issue. You may have to repeat the installation as administrator.
If the software is installed on the network:

Run the net.exe file from Windows explorer, which is in F:\vcf6\net\ (assuming F is the network drive). Be sure to change the directory suggested from C: to F: (assuming F is the network drive – change to the appropriate letter for your installation).
Note: If that does not solve it, update your net.exe from this page. Then repeat the step above.

Error on starting or installing the software

a) Cannot communicate with Machnm1.exe!

b)  c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications.

c) Can’t run 16-bit Windows program

Answer:

The latest versions of our software tools are all 32 bit applications. One or two users have reported the above error when starting the software.

An internet search on the above phrase shows that it is common in a wide range of situations and there are several suggested solutions.

How to fix:

Note: We use C:\WINDOWS in the notes below, but on some systems the folder may be called C:\WINNT. Substitute as necessary when following these instructions.

Solution 1: Firstly, see if you have the following files in your C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory.

 

Machnm32.sys

Machnm64.sys

 

If these files are missing:

 

Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as (or Save Link as):

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get file File name is: machfiles.zip

Save this file into a temporary folder. Then unzip it and copy the two files: Machnm32.sys and Machnm64.sys into your C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory.

Start the software. The problem should be resolved. If not, reboot your PC, then start the software. The problem should now be resolved.

If there is still the same problem, read on for further solutions.

 

Solution 2: Microsoft has a fix for it.

Research on this issue on the Microsoft site and other places suggests the following solutions.

Reason for error: A file (Autoexec.nt) in your operating system is faulty or missing.

Easy fix:

1. Look at the C:\ WINDOWS\System32 directory. If there is a file called Autoexec.nt here, rename it to something else.

2. Look in the C:\ WINDOWS\Repair directory. You will probably find that Windows had automatically made a backup copy of Autoexec.nt, so just copy this file into your C:\WINDOWS\System32 directory. The problem will now probably be fixed. (You should reboot and then start the software again).

 

Alternative solutions:

Note: If you can’t find a copy of the missing file (Autoexec.nt) in your Repair directory, use your original Windows CDROM to get the missing files. (You may also be able to get it from another PC running the same operating system).

At the command prompt type the following commands:

expand e:\i386\autoexec.nt_ c:/windows/system32/autoexec.nt

exit

Substitute “e:\” for your CD-ROM driver letter, and “c:\windows” for where your OS is located.

Microsoft’s solution:

Microsoft has a fix for this issue. Here is a link to Microsoft’s fix:-

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;324767

Other comments found on the internet that may be useful:-

Comment 1:

The autoexec.nt file needs to be replaced. You can copy this file from your Windows XP CDROM. Go to a command prompt (Start/Run/cmd), making sure your CDROM is in the drive. Then type in:

expand d:\i386\autoexec.nt c:\windows\system32\autoexec.net (note that I am assuming your cd drive is “d”, if not then substitute with the correct drive letter, also note that there is a space before c:\…..)

Press enter after you type in the command and you should see the file being copied.

If it does not copy, try this command:

expand c:\windows\repair\autoexec.nt c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt

Press enter. Hope that helps!

Comment 2:

Customer is getting a message when he tries to open MYOB “C:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt

The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications.

Choose close to exit. Tried this: Copied C:\windows\repair\autoexec.nt to C:\windows\system32 Re-ran Application and was able to get in and everything looked ok.

Comment 3:

Try replacing autoexec.nt again, but this time, right click autoexec.nt, select properties, and select “read only”, click ok.

Comment 4:

It’s because one of the following files is missing from \WINNT\System32:

      • Config.nt
      • Autoexec.nt
      • Command.com

 

Check to see that these files are there. If not, expand them from the install CD and copy them to \WINNT\System32 They’ll be in the \I386 folder as Config.nt_ autoexec.nt_ command.co_ From a command prompt window, type Expand /? to get instructions for using Expand

 

Cannot delete a model

Why can’t I delete the model?

If a model has been created with a Windows reserved word, then Windows will not allow you to delete the model.

Windows does not like folders to be named with reserved words. For example, do not use directories that contain these:

      • \COM1, \COM2 or \COM3
      • \LPT1, \LPT2 or \LPT3
      • \PRN, \PRN1, \PRN2 or \PRN3
      • \AUX, \CON, \NUL, \CLOCK$

 

Say you inadvertently create a model called CON. How do you delete it?

Answer:

Step 1: In Windows Explorer, delete all the files in the CON folder.

Step 2: Rename the folder CON. (See below for instructions on how to do this).

 

Windows Explorer won’t allow you to delete the folder called CON. It also won’t allow you to rename it. To be able to delete the folder CON, it must be renamed. Here is how to do it:-

 

Example: c:\vcf7\Models\Con 

Note: The notes below refer to the example above. You should change the commands below to your own situation:

 

In Windows, choose Start, Run.

 

Type cmd and click OK.

 

Type the following:

c: (press enter)

cd\vcf7\models (press enter)

 

ren con xxx1 (press enter)

 

 

 

(There should be no messages from any of the above three commands).

 

Close the command window.

 

Now using Windows Explorer, delete the xxx1 folder you created above.

 

The job is done.

Number of files in zipped file archive compared to model folder

When I Zip a model, there are fewer files in the Zip archive than in the model folder. Why?

Answer:

The Zip archive contains everything that is needed to re-make the entire model.

When you use the Zip option within the software:

 

The zip routine is quite clever – it extracts just what it needs to re-create a model. Some of the files are only required when the program is run, so there is no need to include them in the zip archive, as they will automatically be re-made. This enables the zip file to be quite small, which is convenient when emailing a model to someone.

So if you unzip a model, and run the software, you will find that the entire model is there.

Printer issue (printer prints garbage)

Printer prints garbage. Instead of words, it prints symbols or Greek characters.

Solution: “UNICODE ISSUE”

This is a function of your printer. We use Crystal Reports for reporting, and this requires that the printer used supports Unicode. Almost all recent (5 years) printers do. You should check with the printer suppliers to see if your printer supports Unicode and how to activate it. If not you should use a different printer.

Here is a reference to this issue on the Crystal web site.

http://support.crystaldecisions.com/library/kbase/articles/c2013278.asp

This is what they say:

Printing from Crystal Reports 9 displays cryptic symbols: This will occur if the printer driver does not support Unicode. CR 9 uses Unicode functions to print. Previous versions of CR did not use Unicode. To determine if your printer driver supports Unicode, see the printer driver manufacturer’s support website.

Note: Most modern printers do have drivers that support Unicode. Contact the printer supplier to ask them. For example, Kyocera Mita originally had a driver that did not support Unicode, but they brought out a revised driver that does. So the solution was to get the latest driver.

If you contact the printer company and are advised they do not have a UNICODE print driver, we suggest you find another printer that does. An alternative could be to use emulation mode for your printer. For example one of our clients found that one of the HP LaserJet drivers worked for their printer. You may have to install a few HP printer drivers until you find one that works.

Printer issue (export reports)

When attempting to export a Crystal report, the following error message appears: Export DLL cannot be found

This scenario occurs on a computer with a Citrix Server or Terminal Server environment when working with Crystal Reports.

Other error messages that may be applicable: “No Database DLLs Found…”

 

Solution:

On the Crystal Reports web site, there is an article called “Citrix Server and Windows Terminal Server” that describes this error.

Steps to Resolve:

To resolve these issues, copy files from the Crystal directory to the Citrix Server’s or Terminal Server’s System directory.

This means that you should copy files from c:\program files\Common Files\CrystalDecisions\2.0\bin to C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\

CAUTION Do not delete the c:\program files\Common Files\CrystalDecisions\2.0\bin directory. Other Business Objects products may require this directory.

With the DLLs in the System directory, the User Path Variable will be able to locate them. The error messages should be resolved and exporting should be successful.

Printer issue (crystal reports not loaded)

Cannot open report ….Filename.rpt. Try again?

Applies to: Visual Cash Focus when run on some non-English Windows platforms. Does not occur on English Windows.

Download technical support module below

 

There is one file to download. Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as (or Save Link as):

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get module    File name is: CrystalDo.exe    10.5 mb

Save this file into a temporary folder. Then run it and follow the instructions on the screen.

Mapped drives and Windows

Note: This file is for use by Cash Focus software clients only.

Question: When installing software onto a Windows PC, the mapped drives cannot be selected.

 

Cause
Unfortunately some versions of Windows do not find the drive mappings when install programs are run.

 

Solution

This implements the solution mentioned in Microsoft’s KB937624. Download and run the file below. After installation a reboot is required.

 

 

Download setup program for Windows drive mapping

Here is where to get the setup program. There is one file to download. Right-click on the link below. Then choose: Save target as:

Important: use the right-click on your mouse, not the left-click!

Right-click here to get the map setup fix    File name is: setupMap.exe   1.3 mb

 

(Instructions are below)

 

 

Instructions:

Note: Close the installation program you were busy with.

1. Download the file above into a temporary directory.

2. Run the program setupMap.exe to install the map setup fix.

3. It will ask you to reboot. Do so, then run the normal install program. Your mapped drives should now be found.

 

Note: if the drive mappings are still not available, restart your computer one more time.

 

 

Background

Install programs automatically elevate your rights so that files can be installed. Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista require the drive mappings to be redone or made available. The setup program provided here sets a system policy registration key entry for “EnableLinkedConnections”, as per Microsoft Knowledge Base Article KB937624 available here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937624.

 

Reg virus

Support file to fix REG virus – only run when advised by customer support Support

 

How to re-install the software, and then transfer the models into the new installation

Re-install the software
How to re-install

This assumes that the existing location will be the same after the re-install.

Visual Cash Focus example (other software is similar):

If Visual Cash Focus is installed in C:\VCF8, then rename this folder. E.g rename to C:\VCF8_old.
Install the software from the CD or setup program that was supplied initially.
Start the software and register as normal. Close the software.
Copy the models: copy all the folders under C:\VCF8_old\Models to C:\VCF8\Models
In C:\VCF8_old\Data there are 3 files that are called Model, namely model.dbf, model.fpt, model.cdx. Copy these three files into C:\VCF8\Data.
Start the software.
Open a model and get to the map.
Run the option: Check shared tables. It is under the Utilities menu, under Technical utilities.