If you didn’t make it to the last SAP Business One Special Interest Group meeting on March 11th, here is what you missed. We had a good turnout of over 20 SAP Business One users who met at SAP UK near Heathrow Airport. We would like to thank SAP for their continued support and use of a very smart meeting room including AV equipment.
Delegates arrived from 9.30am for coffee and a catch up with acquaintances. We also welcomed 2 new members to the group who were quickly made to feel at home by the other members. We’re a friendly bunch!
The first session was a presentation about running B1 on Hyper-V by John Wager, IT Manager at SAP Business One user Saddleback. John spoke with first-hand experience about his experiences of running SAP on the minimum spec recommended by SAP and the benefits they have found by giving SAP it’s own dedicated virtual server. There were comments from the floor and everyone agreed it is best to give SAP it’s own Server and the benefits of Hyper-V are clear.
After John we had Mads Madsen from SAP Accredited and award winning Add On Partner Boyum IT. Mads was giving a hands on session on the Boyum Usability Pack and some of the cool features. This was far from a “Sales Pitch” and more of a How To session focussing on configuring B1 to suit our users’ needs. Mads showed how to add function buttons and User Defined Fields in minutes. How to make fields mandatory or read only for certain users. He also looked at the integration with the Mail Chimp API which increases the CRM capability of B1 and also the Business One Budget module.
The group welcomed Andrew Fox back again to speak about Analytics for Business One customers. Andrew looked at the out of the box Dashboards that come with B1 and concluded they are very dull! They are also not configurable but the end user. We looked at the other options available from SAP starting with the free tool called Lumira which can be linked to the SQL data source for approx. £900. For the B1 customers who want to design their own Dashboards you will need to look at Excelsius / Crystal Dashboard Designer which costs circa £2,000 for a 25 user site and is a real advance to the standard dashboards. If you really want to push the boat out and demand high quality live dash boards Andrew suggested the cleverly named product called “Dashboards”. This is a Business Objects product and really s the Rolls Royce of analytics for B1 users but the price may put people off!
Our next speaker made a special effort to fly in to London as he is usually based in Atlanta USA. Zal Parchem is a lover of all things Business One and his SQL writing skills are excellent. Zal also worked on the famous book by Gordon Du (Mastering SQL Queries for SAP Business One). Zal went over the basics of SQL, where to find table information, what an inner join is, outer join etc and showed us where to find instructional info. Zal also gave us a template to store all our own SQL. Most of us have written over 50 queries that are saved in the B1 system but Zal said to copy them to word and lay them out in a format so everyone can understand what they are for. He also said to include a brief intro as to what the report is used for and who by including version control.
Zal worked on some live queries from the audience and got them working. He also gave everyone his stash of top 20 SQL queries we all took and use in our live systems. These queries would have cost several thousands of pounds if a SAP B1 partner had done them at the usual rate! Zal ran on for over an hour as the audience fired more questions at him. Everyone said it was an excellent session and Zal is happy for the attendees to contact him for advice if they have had a good go at a query but can’t get it to work. This sort of help makes users less dependent on their VARs and empowers them to learn themselves.
One of the benefits of the SIGs is meeting fellow SAP Business One users and chatting over lunch. Over the months many relationships have formed this way with users sharing experiences. The next SIG is planned for July 16th and we have another great line-up. We are also working on some exciting plans to grow our numbers so watch this space.
If you are not a member of UKISUG and want to join click here. If you are a member and want to sign up for next time click here