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Access Accounting is committed to delivering high-quality business solutions through a dedicated and fully accredited reseller channel. We build win:win relationships with consultancy-style dealers who can provide substantial added- value to the standard software. The Access product range is continually enhanced and expanded, to meet the challenges of changing marketplaces and new legislation, and to gain the full benefits of emergent ‘mainstream’ technologies. This ensures that Access resellers and end-users stay one step ahead of the competition. The Access SDK is designed to maximise reseller opportunity, while simultaneously providing exceptional value for the end- user. It is designed to help resellers provide custom solutions easily and profitably while keeping their end-users in the current version of standard software. Access Accounting Ltd The Old School Stratford St Mary Colchester Essex CO7 6LZ United Kingdom Phone 0845 345 3300 or +44 1206 322575 Fax 01206 322 956 E-mail email@example.com www.access-accounts.com All Access Accounts sof tware is supplied and supported by a national network of Specialist Centres and worldwide partners. REF : SDK01 All trademarks are acknowledged. E&OE D S K SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS KIT Accounting the way you need it Access SDK the complete solution... A customer’s perspective My company has grown organically, in response to the many challenges of the manufacturing industry. I’ve ended up with a diverse and in many ways unique business operation – and I want a solution that can handle this. It needs, for example, to be integrated 100% with my order processing system. Call me demanding, but I don’t want the expense and complications of a custom system. And I certainly don’t want staff constantly moving between different applications. I’m looking for a single, cost- effective solution that does exactly what I want and can be updated easily as my requirements change... and with the latest versions of the standard software, as soon as they are released. A developer’s perspective I want to customise the Dimensions system. What development languages are available? Ideally, I’d like to use XML, VB and VB.NET, C# and J#, Delphi, Java, Visual Studio, ASP and ASP.NET, MS Access, Excel… basically, all of the languages that support COM. Is this possible? 2 Introduction Contents This brochure highlights the tools available for customisation of standard Access Accounts software to 4-7 GUI API the specific needs of individual clients. It shows you how to deliver tailored solutions quickly and easily, without Changing the Dimensions graphical user interface impacting upon the basic structure, security or integrity of the core software. 8 COM API Interfacing applications to Dimensions By bringing together a range of new and existing tools for customisation, the Software Developersg’ Kit enables you to build on the underlying flexibility of all Access Accounts 9 Database API solutions. Although the emphasis is upon SQL software SQL programmers interface to the Dimensions database (Dimensions and DimensionsLite), many elements of the SDK also apply to LAN solutions (Horizons and 9 Transaction Broker FoundationsXP). Database integrator for all Access solutions For users, the benefits of customisation are enormous. Aside from enhancing productivity and reducing 10 Dimensions.NET API unnecessary errors – major advantages in themselves – Customisable browser interface for Dimensions customisation brings a sense of instant ‘familiarity’. This helps to minimise training costs and greatly reduces the likelihood of user rejection. 11 Business Intelligence XML delivery of critical information for all Access solutions Value Added Opportunities for Accredited Resellers 11 Microsoft Add-ins 2-way integration with Microsoft Office for all Access solutions • Benefit of a custom environment • Security of standard software 11 Documents & Management Reports • Comfort of your favourite development language 250 Crystal templates for all Access solutions • Backing of a proven brand • Opportunity of a mass market 3 CHANGING THE DIMENSIONS When all the custom modifications are installed the GUI API GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE screen below will still be TOOLKIT 1 completely standard. This means A typical user requirement: A typical user requirement: you can upgrade the customer To subtly modify a transaction screen, while retaining all Hide the button that to every new release its flexibility. activates the standard SDK price-matrix within This user has a complex date-based price matrix, Dimensions. maintained in an external database. These five simple ➨ steps show how this requirement can be met. 2 Detect when the cursor leaves the quantity field. Then use a combination of customer code, product code, date and quantity to select and display qualifying products from a This table could be generated in range of different almost any database application, manufacturers’ including MS Access, Delphi, VB, catalogues. and SQL Server, or in an MS Excel spreadsheet. 3 Write the value of the selected item back into the Dimensions sales order. 4 5 GUI API Integrate 3rd party TOOLKIT mapping solution to display location of selected customer. SDK All I want is… How many times has a client (or potential client) asked for just a fraction more than the standard system can offer? It’s only natural for businesses to want all the comfort, security and feature-rich flexibility of the standard software… but with that little bit extra. Writing completely new entry screens is impractical, given the number of standard features they need. And the client will also want to take advantage of any updates to the standard software… all within a limited time-scale and tightly controlled budget. There is a simple answer With the SDK: • You do not have to change a single line of Dimensions code • You can win the sale, add value and build stronger ties with your clients • Your modification appears to be an integral part of Dimensions, yet it can be developed using VB, C#, Delphi 4 and a host of other COM compliant languages Disable the discount, • Your customisations work immediately with updated discount percentage and versions of Dimensions... and you do not have to update total discount fields. This will your code to suit. prevent the operator from inadvertently breaking the This is a profitable way to deliver exactly what your business rules of the customer wants. modification. 5 CHANGING THE DIMENSIONS An example of VB script GUI API GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE TOOLKIT A profitable environment A profitable environment When all the custom modifications are installed the In the diagram. steps 1 to 4 show just how easily 1 screen below will still be custom solutions can be developed. completely standard. This SDK This illustrates the means you can upgrade the The screenshot for steps A and B shows the Access API code required to pop-up customer to every new release Spy facility. It illustrates how you can quickly identify the a custom price matrix format and field names required in your custom code. when the cursor leaves the quantity field. 2 The data can be stored in anything from Excel to a database 3 The selection of available matrix prices is displayed in the new pop- up window, which can be styled to compliment 6 Dimensions The Access API Spy A Using the API Spy you can click anywhere in GUI API the live software to TOOLKIT display its programming name SDK GUI API Toolkit The toolkit provides instant information on the file names, window formats and field names required to write new code. It includes the following: Events Properties B • Log on / off • Auto launch custom application and log on from Click on a field in • Screen opens / closes within Dimensions the live application to view its programming • Enter / close field • Auto launch Dimensions name and log on from within custom application • Log on returns user ID and provides ADO connection Methods to grant permission as if • Add toolbar the user were within Dimensions, providing • Create button referential integrity • Edit / Hide / Disable field An example of VB script • Log on returns WIN API • Save hWnd reference to Dimensions - option to run • Force navigation invisibly in the background 4 Your code is kept completely separate from Dimensions, yet from the This is the code user’s viewpoint it forms an integral part of the system. Now you and required to write the your clients can have the best of both worlds, with a custom solution that selected value back is easy to maintain, economical to run and incredibly secure. into Dimensions 7 INTERFACING APPLICATIONS TO DIMENSIONS COM API TOOLKIT A typical user requirement: A typical user requirement: COM API Toolkit To accommodate a highly specialised process using a This toolkit provides: completely bespoke entry screen. SDK Methods Properties In this example the user is a PC manufacturer. The sales • Retrieve • Data dictionary for every field order entry screen must lead staff through the logical • Create sequence of steps needed to price the components of • Descriptions for entire a ‘made to measure’ PC. • Save dictionary • Delete • Every field from every record Display Objects multiple • Look up selection lists customer throughout properties • For all static data: customers nominal accounts every record type Create customer • Popular transaction types object list and select customer The task of creating a custom transaction entry screen is hugely simplified when it is built as the front end of a standard accounts system. You simply call Dimensions COM objects into your chosen development environment. Create product This is an illustration of Data integrity and compliance with object list and a totally bespoke business rules is assured, as the select product transaction screen that resulting updates are passed through integrates fully with the Dimensions database API. standard Dimensions. Call ‘save’ method Display multiple which posts product properties transaction using Dimensions API 8 business rules Database API TOOLKIT Database API Transaction Broker SQL programmers’ interface to the Dimensions database Database integrator for all Access solutions Transaction Broker The Dimensions Database API enables SQL programmers to This configurable application sits between Access SDK TOOLKIT interface third party applications directly into the accounts Accounts and third party data sources as a non- database, with minimum effort and maximum security. programming interface to the API. It poles the third party data source for new transactions (or records) and, once Transactions and records can be presented to the API using available, collects and delivers them into Access as if they the simplest flat file format. Stored procedures and triggers had been keyed in directly. Incoming transactions are validate the data and update every relevant part of the validated in the normal way and seamlessly update all system. Using this method, integration is straight-forward relevant parts of the system. and system integrity is totally assured. Transaction Broker provides fast and easy integration for any A single flat file entry into the API can update as many as 40 transaction type, resulting in a highly cost-effective solution. Dimensions data tables, bringing processing speeds of up to Data sources can include virtually any ODBC complaint 50,000 orders per hour. database, even e-mail applications. fast and easy integration for any transaction type, resulting in a highly cost- effective solution A single flat file entry into the API can update as many as 40 Dimensions data tables. 9 CUSTOMISABLE BROWSER .NET API INTERFACE FOR DIMENSIONS TOOLKIT A typical user requirement: A typical user requirement: A totally bespoke solution that requires changing the Copy a look and feel of the software. transaction form as a template SDK When you need to re-arrange every field to produce Dimensions.NET API forms with their own corporate style, then the .NET API Customisable browser interface for Dimensions provides a total solution. The .NET developers’ toolkit includes the complete source code for the vast majority of Dimensions (and DimensionsLite) record and transaction entry screens. It provides the ideal environment for creating bespoke forms. Studio.NET Hide or developers are given complete control over the graphical reposition user interface, while the integrity of the system is protected by fields the business rules in the Dimensions Database API. Your clients can use bespoke forms to provide their own Add and customers with secure ‘self-service’ order placement. Here, remove on-line forms may be tailored to the specific requirements of fields each and every trading relationship, streamlining transactions and reinforcing the client’s own business rules. Every form has hooks that enable developers to divert into a different process or screen as part of a custom solution. For example, when entering a new customer the user may wish to access a web service of postcodes, to validate and return the customer’s address. Customisation opportunities are unlimited and include: .NET API Toolkit Change • Copy templates Initiate hooks colour of any • Change colour of: to 3rd party part of the form data / backgrounds / labels / fields / menus Change font • Change fonts, styles and sizes applications and • Add logos and graphics web services Add a logo style, colour and • Add / remove fields background to size • Hide / reposition fields part of the • Initiate hooks to: 10 screen third party applications / databases / web services CUSTOM REPORTING MADE EASY Reporting TOOLKIT SDK Business Intelligence Documents & XML delivery of critical information for all Access solutions Management Reports 250 Crystal templates for all Access solutions The configurator module provides control over the querying, sorting, drill-down, graphing, delivery and content options in Crystal developers can have complete access to this huge Executive Desktop. It enables XML developers to modify the library of Crystal formats, all of which can be changed or presentation and structure of Executive Summaries and their duplicated to meet new reporting requirements. Custom associated Smart Tags. Existing views can be used as forms, documents and reports can be added to the standard templates to create new views, which then appear within Access Accounts menus. standard menus. Summaries can be structured to consolidate information held across multiple databases, A full data dictionary and detailed descriptions make working including third party applications. in this environment productive and profitable. Microsoft Add-Ins 2-way integration with Microsoft Office for all Access solutions crystal decisions Add-in technology allows users to pull and push information between Access Accounts and MS Office (Excel, Project & Word). Developers can easily construct custom solutions to meet specific user requirements. For example, an Excel spreadsheet that reviews product margins, enabling the user to quickly set new margins and update all affected product XML eXtensible Markup Language lines with a single click. Horizons (and FoundationsXP) add-ins are constructed in VBA. Dimensions (and DimensionsLite) add-ins are constructed in VBA and COM. Developers can use standard add-ins as templates for their own custom work. 11 The Access SDK uses 3rd party solutions. Access acknowledges all trademarks and copyrights.
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