Links allow you to launch any program in your system to open a file created by that program. However, that definition understates the power and flexibility of links because you can tie a link to a specific record, create systemwide links available anywhere to all users and custom program links, such as link a customer, ship-to or vendor with Google Maps.
Typical links are images for inventory items, various documents associated with customers or vendors, or useful URL links for these records. Links are designed for linking external documents and URL resources to Elliott master records, where these type of documents or URLs can't be stored in the Elliott database. The following are some examples:
- Item Images, specifications, CAD-CAM drawings
- Customer or vendor contracts, support documentation
- Purchase orders from customers
- AP invoices
Like other Elliott five amigos features, in order to access or manage links, you should bring up one of the master records -- like customer, vendor, item...etc. Then click on the link icon, which looks like a link on the tool bar. See sample screen below:
The following link list window will show up:
In the above examples, you can see the following type of links are avalable for this customer:
- Netcellent Direction & Map: This link points to a URL
- Edward Dell Vosotro 420: This link points to a PDF file, which is a packing list of the computer hardware.
- Terminal Servers Listing: This link points to a folder where the RDP (Remote Desktop) connections are stored.
- Employee Handbook: This link points to a PDF file of the employee handbook.
- Google Map: This link will bring up Google Maps for this customer. It also has a hot key of Alt-M. That is to say, when you bring up this customer, you can use Alt-M to bring up the Google Map for this customer without going through the link user interface window.
Links are managed mostly by Link Type. Links that do not have link type are called "add-hoc" links. We encourage you to use link type whenever possible. Linking with a link type will be much easier to manage when you decide to change the folders where the link documents are stored.
To manage Link Type, you can click on the "Types.." button in the above link list window. You can add, change and delete a link type. To add a link type, in the "Type" field simply add a link type that does not exist yet. The maximum value for a link type is 6 digits.
There are three types of link to choose from when you define a Link Type:
- User Link
- System Link
- Program Link
These are links that attach to a master record, such as the Customer, Vendor and Item File. Wherever that master record is open (e.g., Inquiries or Maintenance) you have access to all links for that master record. In the tool bar, a red Link icon designates that a user link is available. The following is an example of a User Link type:
- "m:\elliott7\CONTRACT" indicates the contract documents will be stored in the "M:\ELLIOTT7\CONTRACT" folder.
- "@@VAR1@@ is the file name you will supply when you create a "Contract" link for a master record.
These are links designated by the user as “System.” They are automatically available anywhere to all users in Elliott and designated by a yellow Link icon on the tool bar. The following is an example of System Link type:
Once you add a System Link type, it is available everywhere in Elliott. Above is an example of a System link for an Employee Hand Book, which points to the "m:\elliott7\DOC\EmployeeHandbook.pdf" file.Program Link
There are two types of Program Links:
- Programming Link
- Automatic Program Link
These are links that require program modifications by Elliott or third-party developers. Elliott currently provides two Programming Links: Google Maps and Weather Channel. See example below:
Generally speaking, you will not be able to add programming links on your own since the special programming is required. You should not change the "Template" variable in the programming link. It is possible Elliott may add additional programming links in the future.
Automatic Program Link
These are the links that get created automatically based on the detection of the existence of a document file. See the following example:
In the above example, if you have a sales order -- say 123456 -- and you place the file 123456.pdf (or 123456*.pdf) in the m:\elliott7\cus-po folder, then the link is established automatically without needing to add that link manually for the order.
An Automatic Program Link is different from Programming Link in the following ways:
- You must have a "@@REF-ID@@" in the template for an automatic program link.
- You must have a @@VAR1@@ (and maybe @@VAR2@@) in the template for a programming link.
- You must specify "For this File Only" for an automatic program link. In the above example, the link is designed as the received hard copy PO of the sales order, so it is a link that's related to the sales order header, and the corresponding table name is "CPORDHDR." To add an automatic program link, you must know the table name of the link you are adding for. These are the common ones: ARCUSFIL (Customer), APVENFIL (Vendor), IMITMFIL (Item), CPORDHDR (Sales Order), POORDHDR (Purchase Order).
In a way, an Automatic Program Link is similar to a User Link because they are designed to link to documents or URLs from an Elliott master record. The difference is you do not need to add the link manually with an Automatic Program Link. Thus, an Automatic Program Link is easier to use than a User Link.
Generally speaking, an Automatic Program Link detects if the target documents exist. If they do, then the link is displayed. In the above example, if the order number is 123456, then Elliott will check if there are any files that exist with "m:\elliott7\cus-po\123456*.pdf." If one ore more files is found, then they will be displayed as a link in the list. Elliott links support both drive letter and UNC path. You can also use http or https in the template for Automatic Program Links. In that case, Elliott does not check if the URL exists and will always display the link. Also, when you use http or https with an Automatic Program Link, the wildcard character "*" or "?" will not work as you would normally expect.
The following is a list of Automatic Program Links created by default with Elliott:
AP Open Invoice Link
The value @@REF-ID(8:6,1:1='V')@@ refers to the AP invoice voucher number. This is because in the APOPNFIL table, the first byte can be "V" (Voucher) or "X"" (Check). So 1:1='V' will check if the primary key (@@REF-ID@@) of APOPNFIL first byte = "V".. Then the following 6 bytes is the vendor number -- starting from the 8th byte, it is the 6-byte voucher number. Therefore, the voucher number is from the 8th byte for 6 bytes and hence "8:6."
The purpose of this link is so that you can scan your AP invoice as a PDF file. Name them as the <voucher-number>.pdf. With the above example, if your voucher number is 012345, then save 012345.pdf file in the m:\elliott7\apinv folder. Then in AP Summary Account Inquiry, as you highlight the invoice, you will be able to bring up the invoice image through a links list or the hot key Alt-V.
AP History Invoice Link
This is similar to an AP Open Invoice Link, except it is applicable to the AP History Table for open invoices that are purged to the history.
AP New Trx Invoice Link
This is the PDF file that's attached to the AP New Trx file before it is posted. Note that the APTRXFIL primary key is the voucher number.
COP Customer PO Link
Customer Info Link
Vendor Info Link
Since user links are at the master record level, we will go directly to Customer File Maintenance, open a customer file and click the Links Icon. From here, we will define the Link fields; create User Links and a System Link.
A/R Main Menu à Maintenance à Customer file à Change
Customer File Maintenance for Customer # 300, click the Links Icon to access the screen below.
Two links currently exist because:
- First link is a System Link that is automatically available anywhere to all users in Elliott.
- Second link is a Program Link that appears when an address is available in a master record.