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PowerSearch: Setup and Configuration

Release Date: 11/18/22
Version 8.6 and above

PowerSearch provides a powerful developing environment for Netcellent to deliver modern searches with enhanced functionality.  PowerSearch uses the PSQL relational engine to access the Elliott database.
Many searches are user-definable. This means, as an end user, you can modify Elliott’s user-definable search layouts by adding or removing columns, changing search sorting sequence, and choosing different filtering criteria to retrieve the data.

Enable PowerSearch

By default, PowerSearch is not enabled in Elliott V8.6. To enable it, you will go to System Utilities -> Global Setup -> System -> Comp. Specialized Control and answer “Y” to “Enable PowerSearch/Use Def Search Only?” flag.

When you enter Y and press Enter, the following dialog will be presented if the Report Desk is not enabled (indicated by a Y in the "Use Report Desk/Use Def Report Only" flag).

At this point, you must review the status of your database index.   If you have previously converted your database with the DDF2BTR.EXE to make your data compatible with Report Desk or other third-party relational applications like Crystal Reports or Web Services, then there’s no need to convert it again. If you are not sure if you have previously done so, call Netcellent to confirm. 

If you determine that you need to run DDF2BTR, you should do that now, before proceeding with PowerSearch setup. DDF2BTR.EXE can be found in <ElliottRoot>\bin86 . For more information on how to use this utility, see 

Once your database index is converted, enter Y and press Enter to continue.

At this point, the application will pop up a window and ask if "Users Can Only See The Default Searches." This option controls whether the "Show" option on the Search Selection screen is applicable for users. 

Enter Y if the "Show" option seen on the Supervisor user Search Selection screen is used to determine which searches non-Supervisor users can run. Enter N if the "Show" option is not used and all searches are available to all users.

Make Limited Number of Searches Available for Users
You may not be ready to make all of the searches available to these users. You can limit the users' access to PowerSearch's searches by changing the EL860U.CFG file. See the following KB articles for more details:

Determine Which Users Can Modify PowerSearches

The following flag is new in System Utilities -> Password Setup -> User Global Security -> Screen 6:

Allow Run & Modify Report Desk/PowerSearch? - The default value is N.

This flag will determine if a user can modify a PowerSearch. Initially, you may only want to give your admin user this ability. Once you are more familiar with the functionality of PowerSearch, you can decide who should have this flag turned on. This flag does not give you the right to modify the variance created by other users. To modify other users' variance reports, user needs to be one of the supervisor in Global Setup -> System -> Print Option Window.

Match Your Database Version with the Right Database Name (DSN)

PowerSearch requires knowledge of which database name (also known as DSN, for Data Set Name) to use for each Company.  The database naming convention, which is not mandatory, works like this:

  • ELI86DATA??, where ?? is the Elliott company number, indicates that this database has been converted to 8.5 format, which has document numbers defined as strings.
  • ELI85DATA??, is similar to ELI86DATA?? and means the database has been converted to 8.5 format, which has document numbers defined as strings.
  • ELIDATA?? is the convention for databases in 8.2 format, where document numbers are defined as numbers.
If your database is still in the Elliott V8.2 format, then you should use database names like ELIDATA??. To use PowerSearch, your 8.2 DDF must come from the latest 8.6 installation utility which will copy to <ElliottRoot>\Bin\DDF40\LASTUPDATE folder. Then login Elliott 8.6 as SUPERVISOR, system will then copy the latest DDF files from <ElliottRoot>\Bin\DDF40\LASTUPDATE to <ElliottRoot>\Bin\DDF40. See KB article for more details:

You must supply the database names for PowerSearch in the Elliott V8.6 Configuration utility. When you are logged in as SUPERVISOR, the first toolbar button will launch this utility.

Or you can browse and execute <ElliottRoot>\Bin86\EL860CF.EXE if you login as a Windows admin user.

Once in the configuration application, select the Databases tab:

You will only be able to use PowerSearch for companies with non-empty, non-red database names on this screen (like ELI86DATA03, above). If any of your companies that will use PowerSearch have blank or red text database names (in the red boxes above), you can press the Create Standard Databases... button. This utility can create and/or maintain them, with standard V8.2 or V8.6 database names.. See the following KB articles:

If you need to enable PowerSearch for a company that needs a non-standard database name, do the following:

  1. Use the Pervasive Control Center program to create or verify the database you will use for that company.
  2. On this screen, enter that database name in the column on the line for that company. When you complete the database name, its existence will be verified. If the Comment column says D/B not created, you have misspelled the database name and need to reenter it.

Once all of the databases have been identified, click Finish to update the configuration file.

PoweSearch also use database from <ElliottRoot> folder. We assume the Elliott root database name is ELI86ROOT. If there's any reason that the root database name should be different, you may define the following entry in <ElliottRoot>\Bin86\EL860.CFG file to override:


Next, select the Options tab.

Set the default value for the Limit to Top Records option. This will be the default value that is used to limit the number of records that are returned when running a search. The larger the value, the longer the search may take to run.

Now you and other enabled users should be able to begin using PowerSearch.

Using PowerSearch

As of the writing, we have the following PowerSearch options implemented:

  • Customer: All areas where F7 to search customers is supported.
  • Vendor: All areas where F7 to search vendors is supported.
  • Item: All areas where F7 to search items is supported.
  • Ship-to: All areas where F7 to search ship-to is supported.
  • Sales Order: All areas where F7 or F8 to search orders is supported (Order Inquiry by Customer & Order Entry).
  • Sales Order History: F7 and F8 keys in Order History Inquiry.
  • Invoice History: F7 and F8 keys in Invoice History Inquiry.
  • Work Order: F7 keys in various areas in BOMP to search for work order numbers.
  • GL Account: All area where F7 to search account numbers is supported.

If PowerSearch is in Global Setup, then in those areas where the user can press F7 and F8 in Elliott, the F7 key will now show a list window with the PowerSearch option.  The F8 key will continue to be the legacy search.  The following is an example where you can press F7 in the Item File Maintenance to produce the PowerSearch list window:

The first entry is always the legacy F7 search.  The PowerSearch are those descriptions starting with "UDS." Let's say you choose UDS Item Multi-Field Search. You will see the following sample screen:

You may enter a partial item number, description, product category, or user-defined code, then press Enter or click OK to view the results. Highlight and press Enter, double click, or click OK to return the choice to the calling application. Press the ESC key or click Cancel to abort the search with no selection and return to the calling application. Clicking Cancel while on the list will take the user to the first parameter, and the user can search again.
The Limit to Top option sets the maximum number of records shown in the search result list. This number can be adjusted higher or lower if necessary.
For each "like" field search, if the user enters a value, the system automatically puts the "%" symbol around it. The "%" symbol is equivalent to a "*" wildcard. You may also specifically enter the "%" in the beginning or at the end of the value to make it an "End with" or "Begin with" search. For example "%VERIFONE" means to search for records ending with "VERIFONE." "VERIFONE%" means to search records beginning with "VERIFONE."
In the same manner, for each "begins with" when the user enters a value, the system automatically appends the %" symbol at the end. You may specifically enter the "%" around the value to make it a "Like" search. You can also specifically enter the "%" in the beginning to make it an "End with" search. In many case, the "End with" search will not work well with description or name fields.  For example, if you try to search a customer name end with "INC." The chances are the name end with "INC." plus additional spaces.  So the filter criterial of like "INC.%" will not find the customer name you expected.
For fields with drop-downs, you may press the down arrow key or click on the drop-down to show a list of values. If you enter a specific value, then the drop-down list will show up with the first entry highlighted and matching the entered value. See sample screen below:


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