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Customization Sequence

Some customization tasks are sequential and others can be performed concurrently. For example, you cannot create custom fields until you have created the categories to which the fields belong.

Once you are done creating custom fields, you can create rules, define wizards, or define home pages in any order.

Creating custom objects and fully developing their pages, rules, search views, and so forth usually requires the most work. System objects come "out of the box" fully developed, although your organization's design may require some custom pages, wizards, and other extras for system objects.

Important: Collaborati Spend Management (CSM) is delivered as a group of custom objects. Although it is possible to alter the properties of these objects, you should not do so, since the alterations could prevent future updates to CSM from installing properly.

Customizing System Objects

Customizing system objects (optional) is typically done in the following sequence:

  1. Define general object information.
  2. Add items to system lookup tables.
  3. Define categories.
  4. Create custom lookup tables and their items.
  5. Create custom fields.
  6. Create custom pages.
  7. Configure Rules and workflow.
  8. Create Document Generator templates.
  9. Test the components of your custom design.

Creating Custom Objects

You must create custom objects in the following sequence:

  1. Define general object information.
  2. Define unique identifiers for records.
  3. Define record name patterns.
  4. Define phases and their transitions.
  5. Add assignee roles.
  6. Add items to system lookup tables.
  7. Define categories.
  8. Create custom lookup tables and their items.
  9. Create custom fields.
  10. Once the previous tasks are completed, you can perform the following tasks in parallel or in any sequence:
    • Create custom pages.
    • Configure Rules and workflow.
    • Create Document Generator templates.
  11. Test the components of your custom design.

Creating Custom Pages

You can define the following types of custom pages:

  • Custom object viewsLayout of fields and record pages
  • WizardsAn tool to guide end-user through creating or updating records
  • Search viewsPages for finding and displaying lists of records
  • Home pagesProvide a range of information and links in one location
  • Portal panesComponents of home pages that display sets of information and links

You can create custom pages in the following sequence:

  1. Define blocks.
  2. Define object views.
  3. (optional) Define templates for wizards.
  4. Define any user groups necessary for wizard rules.
  5. Define wizards.
  6. Define search views.
  7. Define portal panes.
  8. Define home pages.

Creating Custom Object Views

Object views define the layout of fields and record pages. You can customize and assign object views for different user groups.

To successfully create object views, you should understand the following:

  • Object categories, their purpose, full tree positions, how they are created, where they appear in the end-user interface, and so on. See Using Categories.
  • The differences between system and custom object views. See Custom and System Views.

You can create custom object views in the following sequence:

  1. Create a field specification document, including categories and display requirements for the object definition.
  2. Create the custom object definition (except for system objects).
  3. Create any necessary categories.
  4. Create custom fields.
  5. Create blocks.
  6. Create object views.

XML Templates

The design of Custom Java Blocks is outside the scope of this documentation. However, if you do work with Custom Java Blocks, be aware of the XML templates available in the \utitilities\samples\screens subfolder of your program directory. By using these templates for your work, your CJBs will preserve the look and feel of "out of the box" TeamConnect.

Creating Custom Messages

For error messages that may appear as a result of custom java rules, custom java blocks, or custom tools, TeamConnect lets you create custom message keys and associated message text for localization purposes.

You can define for the following:

  • Object-definition-specific custom messages used in custom rules and screens.
  • Common custom messages that are used in custom tools, custom portal pane content, and custom screens.

Once defined, when you export data from TeamConnect for localization, the message keys and message text appear on the Excel spreadsheet on the Custom Resources tab. You can enter your translations on this tab and then import the translated text back to TeamConnect. This allows users to see custom messages in their preferred language.

Once you create a message key, you cannot edit it, but you can edit the associated message. You can delete a custom key and its associated message.

Note: If the text of a custom message contains parameter tokens ({0}, {1}, etc.) these tokens must be retained in the translated text for each locale.

To create custom messages

  1. Open the Designer.
  2. Select one of the following options:
    • For object definition-specific custom messagesClick the Go to drop-down list, and then select Object Definitions. Select the object definition for which you want to create custom messages. Click the Custom Messages tab.
    • For common custom messagesClick the System Settings drop-down list, and then select Custom Messages. If necessary, click the Custom Messages tab.
  3. (optional) In the Number of entries you would like to add drop-down list, enter the number of keys with messages that you want to create.
  4. In the Message Key field, enter the appropriate message key.

    All common custom message keys are prefixed with custom.common.; all object definition message keys are prefixed with custom. only. You do not have to enter these prefixes or the periodthey are automatically added to the front of the message key when you click add more.

    A message key may contain up to 250 alphanumeric characters.
  5. In the Default Value box, enter the appropriate message text. The message may contain up to 4000 characters. A Default Value message must have an associated message key.
  6. Click add more.

To edit custom messages

Note: You cannot edit the Message Key, but you can edit the associated Default Value message.

Click the check-box for the Default Value that you want to edit, and then click edit. Make the appropriate changes and then click ok.

To delete custom messages

Click the check-box for the Message Key that you want to delete, and then click delete. Deleted keys are no longer available when you re-import localized date into TeamConnect.

Designing for Data Warehouse and Microsoft SQL Server

Before you begin changing your TeamConnect design, you must be aware of some limitations imposed by Microsoft SQL Server, particularly with regard to the Data Warehouse feature of TeamConnect.

The system objects and custom objects contained in TeamConnect can be synchronized with database tables in the Data Warehouse, a feature that is used for reporting. However, tables in Data Warehouse can sometimes have a very large number of columns, particularly when the related TeamConnect object has a large number of categories. In Microsoft SQL Server, Data Warehouse tables support a maximum of 8060 bytes per row. You should design your categories and reportable fields so that the 8060 byte limit cannot be exceeded. (For the bytes allocated per column for each field type, see Data Warehouse Requirements for Custom Fields.) These amounts are subtracted from MS SQL Server's maximum allocation of 8060 bytes per row.

For example, if there are 30 custom fields of the type Text within a single category, the Data Warehouse table has 30 columns that use 250 bytes each. Altogether, 30 custom fields of the type Text use 7500 bytes of the 8060-byte allocation, which only leaves 560 bytes for other field types in that category.

When run with Microsoft SQL Server, Data Warehouse has a 250-byte limit for custom fields of the type Text. If a user enters data in excess of this 250-byte limitation, the Data Warehouse scripts truncate the text when populating the table. In addition, some Non-ASCII characters use two bytes per character of the 250-byte data length limitation. To make sure that users do not exceed the 250- byte limit, which results in truncated data in reports, choose one or more of the following options:

  • Use memo text fields instead of custom fields of the type Text if users might exceed the 250- byte limit.
  • Develop rules in TeamConnect to enforce the 250-byte limit for each custom field of the type Text.
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