SPS Data Categories
The data category function of SPS provides the administrative ability to classify data and data ownership into a hierarchal structure. Contact category management is done through the Contact Categories application found within the System Configuration application under the “Configure” tab of the SPS Main Menu. Categorizing data has the following benefits:
· Organization of data in an orderly and hierarchal fashion. In this manner, locating records should be quick and intuitive for SPS users. For example, you may wish to classify your company employee contacts into a contact category named “employees”. This will help separate employees from customers and vendors.
· Electronic forms (tickets) may be linked to specific contact categories. For example, electronic forms pertaining to human resources functions may be linked to be available when working with a contact found in the “Employees” contact category and not appear when dealing with a “Vendor”.
· Group ownership of categories ensures that only those users with permission are able to access specific records. For example, you may wish for the only human resources department to access employee contact records.
· Contact Attributes may be defined to display only for a specified contact category. This provides extensive control over the SPS Contact Manager user interface allowing you to tailor input screens based on the type of contact selected.
Contact categories allow the classification of contact records found in the SPS Contact Manager application and the attributes associated to those contacts. Any categories created in the Contact Categories application will appear in the category selection drop-down menu of the Contact Manager. In addition to access to the selected category database, the Contact Manager application will display only those attributes associated to the selected category.
Three Default Categories
SPS is pre-configured with three default contact categories: customers, employees, and vendors. You may expand these categories, rename them, or delete them altogether using the Contact Categories application. For example, if your business is a medical clinic, you may wish to rename the category ‘Customers’ to ‘Patients’ in order to better reflect your clientele. Additionally, you may wish to add sub-categories of ‘Physicians’ and ‘Administration’ to the employees category as seen in the figure below.
Contact categories that have been configured using the Contact Categories application will appear in the contact category drop-down box of the SPS Contact Manager application, providing a configurable classification scheme for any contact that appears in the contacts database.
Companies and Individuals
You may designate contact categories to accept either or both company or individual record types in the contact database.
Company record types provide company specific input fields in the SPS Contact Manager application such as Company Name and DBA along with the attributes created to apply only to companies.
Alternatively, individual record types display First, Middle, and Last Name input fields in the SPS Contact Manager application along with only those attributes that you have defined to apply to individuals (such as Birthday or Spouse Name).
For example, while your customer database may consist of the companies who purchase your product, you may also wish to keep contact records of the individuals that work at these companies. In this manner, you can ‘tree’ the hierarchal relationship between the company and individual contacts for a particular customer. The individual is linked to the company by the tree as seen in the figure below.
In contrast, your employee contact records may only need to consist of individual type records – meaning that information such as first, middle, and last names need to be included in the database instead of a company name or dba.
Comment categories appear in the comment category tree found under the Comments tab of the SPS Contact Manager application for a chosen contact. As in the case with contact categories, comment categories may be as simple or extensive as accommodates your company data, although categories typically assist in searching for comments and improve system performance by limiting the database lookup breadth.
Comment category management is done through the Comment Categories application found within the SPS System Configuration application under the Configure tab of the SPS Main Menu.
Comment categories added using the Comment Categories application appear within the “Activites” tab of the SPS Contact Manager application when viewing a specific contact record as depicted in the following graphic. Utilizing comment categories is an easy way to organize all notes and comments pertaining to a contact.
Ticket categories appear in the Category Selection pop-up when a new ticket (electronic business form) is initiated from the Contact Manager primary screen for a selected contact. The ticket category essentially represents the “name” of the ticket. For more information about ticket categories, see the section titled “Electronic Forms”.
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To create a new category, simply select the existing category that you wish to become the parent of the new category (if any) from the category tree from either the Contact Categories or Comment Categories primary screen and click New.
Based on the type you are adding, you will receive the appropriate detail screen. All categories must have a Name assigned. If you are adding a contact category, you must also choose whether the category can contain company or individual records by choosing either or both of the ‘Companies’ or ‘Individuals’ checkboxes. See the section above titled “Companies and Individuals” for more information.
By default, a new category is owned by all SPS groups. As described above in the section titled “Category Ownership”, a category may ‘belong’ to particular SPS groups (and hence exclude others). To exclude a group from a category, simply choose the group from the ‘Owners’ section of the Owners tab of the detail screen and move that group (along with all the groups below it in the tree) using the > button. You may move all the groups found in the Owners or Non-Owners trees by using the >> or << buttons. The < moves the selected group back from the Non-Owners tree.
Once you are ready to save the changes, click either the Save or Close button. As with all other SPS applications, if using Save, the screen will remain open and allow further modifications. The Close button saves the changes and closes the screen, returning you to the previous screen.
To view or edit a category, simply choose the category from the appropriate primary screen (either Contact Categories or Comment Categories) and click the Open button. Now you may edit the category and save your changes in the same manner as when creating the category.
To delete a category, choose the category from the appropriate primary screen (either Contact Categories or Comment Categories) and choose the Delete button (see figure immediately above). You will be asked to confirm your action. In order to preserve proper database record relationships, you will only be allowed to delete a category that does not have contact or comment records associated with it.
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