CBPF 2.00 Features

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ComicBook Pull File 2.00 Newsletter

This newsletter is going out to all CBPF users and those who have
expressed an interest in CBPF. See the bottom of this newsletter
if you wish to be removed from further e-mail updates.

It’s been so looong since I released an update. Many people have contributed
with ideas. Diamond is ceasing support for POW, so I’ve had to build in support for ComicSuite Ultra Lite (CSUL) and the Master Data File (MDF). I don’t know if this means the POW files are going to continue to be produced or not. As of this writing the Jan 2016 POW file is available. You’ll likely use CSUL or the MDF. Which is the right one? There are advantages (and disadvantages) to both, but CSUL will be the least change from POW as CSUL looks like a new version of POW, but much, MUCH larger on your computer. If you go this path, you’ll likely need to get Diamond to help you install it. They have self install instructions. But I’ve installed it on two computers and the process takes over an hour, and neither worked when I was done. Diamond uninstalled and reinstalled much of what I did to get both working. I have a table below to help you decide which method is the best for your store. Don’t hesitate to call me for help installing or updating CBPF. Subscribers will receive the
support call for free. Purchasers will get the call at no extra cost over the upgrade fee. I expect this upgrade to take longer than a normal upgrade as I’m moving to the 2013 version of Access. This will require an uninstall of the old version and a file conversion to the new format.
The Minimum requirement for Access 2013 is Win 7. So when you’re ready to upgrade, make sure you have a backup of the CBPF folder.

I have removed support for credit card data within the Customer Form. Though the credit card data has been encrypted within the CBPF database, there are too many laws and liabilities for both of us to keep this kind of data on your computer. There isn’t enough time in each day for me to make sure I am following the ever changing laws. If you keep credit card data in CBPF, you’ll want to transfer this data to some other system prior to upgrading. I believe that 3×5 cards in a safe or locked file cabinet meets the laws as written, but putting them in an unencrypted format on your computer is not a good idea.

Highlights

CBPF now uses a standard Microsoft Office Ribbon instead of the Switchboard to open Forms/Reports/Utilities.

Import monthly files from CSUL or MDF.

User Features

The following table is intended to help you decide which format file to import into CBPF.

CSUL

MDF

Previews Product Copy (Diamond Previews Descriptions)

Previews Plus

x

x

Previews Plus Diamond Descriptions

Previews Plus Creator Info

x

Multiple Creators per Job

x

x

Well formatted Creator info for accurate import

x

x

Import procedure

Import data within CSUL, then import into CBPF

Download file from Diamond website, then import into CBPF

Download file from Diamond website, then import into CBPF after CSUL or MDF normal monthly import. i.e. don’t import the Jan16 PP file until the Jan16 monthly file has been imported.

Diamond Descriptions (Previews Catalog text)

x

x

Well formatted Item Description

All kinds of junk added including issue# and parent item code (you may need to spend more time with Reconcile Not Found Items than with the MDF file). Also contains Variant info.

X – Two different formats selectable in the CBPF setup. One is Title of item only. The other includes variant info.

Variant Description

Contained in Item Description only

X

Previews Plus data is now available in CBPF. To import the data using the MDF download the Previews Plus file, then import the file the same way that the Master Data monthly file is imported. It is the same file format as the monthly file.
No Previews descriptions nor creator info is included within Preview Plus data from CSUL. No Preview descriptions are included in Previews Plus data from MDF, but creator data is included. To import using CSUL – When importing monthly data, all Previews Plus data for that month which has been imported into CSUL will automatically be imported into CBPF. So if Previews Plus data becomes available after that months data has been imported into CBPF, import the PP data into CSUL, then import the monthly data into CBPF again.

Comment: Both CSUL and the Master Data File contain creator info. However, Diamond does a better job with the Master Data File than with CSUL in storing these names. Second However: Diamond lists multiple names for a specific job (e.g. writer) within CSUL, whereas only one name is listed in the MDF. My code will index the creators better using the MDF, but CSUL will be more complete. The problem within CSUL is that the names are at the beginning of the Previews Description field which makes it hard to distinguish where the names end, and the description begins. Here is an example “(W) Larry Hama (A/CA) S. L. Gallant. G.I. JOE’s o…” The last character which Diamond includes at the end of the names is a period, but periods occur as natural characters within a person’s name as well as in sentences. A unique character (such as ‘;’ semi-colon) which can’t occur within a name that is at the end of the names would make coding much more reliable. The Previews Product Copy file contains
creator info also and multiple names per job. Therefore…

The short version: The Previews Product Copy file will fix creator errors when importing from CSUL and will allow MDF users to have the Previews Descriptions as well as multiple creators per creator job. For the most complete and accurate record of creators within CBPF, you’ll need to import the Previews Product Copy file after importing either from CSUL or MDF. If you decide to import from CSUL and the Previews Product Copy, you can turn off the creator import in the CBPF setup and this will bypass the creator indexing during CSUL import.

 

Utility added to update Item Description, Series Code and Vender from MAPs to new values if they change. This would be useful if the Item Description changes (e.g. vol 2), a title changes venders, or a new series is starting even if the Item Description is identical Diamond will give it a new Series Code.

The weekly invoice file changed format and removed (via Tim-tech support) a field which contained the original item code used to order an item. This would help indicate if Diamond used a different item code than the one the store used to order an item. This happened if an item was offered again, and the store used a current item code as listed in Previews catalog. Diamond indicates that the store is receiving an item that they did not order, but there is no longer any way to figure out that the item was indeed ordered, but just using a more current item code. THEREFORE, ALL STORES need to be using the Extended File format weekly invoice file so that items are correctly accounted for. CBPF will continue to import the regular format file, but I encourage you to call your Diamond Rep to request that you change to the extended file format. If you don’t know if you’re using the extended file format, look in the CBPF setup for the checkbox “Extended Format Weekly File”.

Added a separate setup for sending Items Ordered and Monthly Auto Pulls emails (Utilities>Mainenance>Create Definitions For…>) These setup forms are identical in function to the Weekly E-Mail Format form and are used when sending an IO or MAP email from the customer form.

Help System

CBPF help is now on its own tab on the ribbon which will take you to the CBPF website help page. This will make it easier for me to update the help system, but you’ll need an internet connection to access the help.

Removed Items

I removed the credit card fields from the Customer Form. This was done with a lot of angst. I believe this is the first time in CBPF history where I stepped backwards in features. The reason for doing this was to protect both you and me. The credit card rules and laws change and I don’t want you to be held liable because I didn’t follow all the rules.

Removed ‘Marvel Full Line’ and Caution 4 fields from Diamond All, Reconciliation, Last Minute Customer Adds, and Diamond Descriptions Forms

Forms

Diamond All

When ordering (ctrl-O), if the default customer already has the item ordered, allow a different customer account# to be input instead of just giving a ‘duplicate order’ prompt.

Diamond Descriptions form (Ctrl-D from Diamond All) contains new fields including the Order Form Notes which notifies you of any vendor requirements for ordering the item.

Ctrl-O form from Diamond All now includes the Order Form Notes

Added popup tips when hovering over checkbox filter fields on Diamond All Form

When using Ctrl-M to add a monthly autopull, the Series Code, category and Vender will be updated even if the title is already being autopulled for a customer (You will still receive, “Item is already on customers autopull list” messagebox). This will happen “behind the scenes”. This will simplify making changes when a title changes publishers, or a title starts over with new numbering (and Diamond gives the title a new Series Code).

Added Ctrl-U to the Item Code field. This will duplicate whichever record has the focus and prompt for a new Item Code. The purpose for this is to be able to quickly add old records which are no longer (or never were) in your database. Diamond frequently reverts reorders to a Parent Item Code when placing the reorder. To allow a customer to order this item (and the matchup to occur when you receive the item), you must use the same Item Code which Diamond is using, which is the Parent Item Code. However some of the Parent Item Codes go back several years, so may not be in the Diamond All form which gives you an error if you try to order the Parent Item Code for a customer. Specifics: All fields will then be duplicated from the old record to the new record with the exception of the Item Code, BatchNo (extracted automatically from the Item Code input, blanked if the input Item Code is not a valid Diamond Item Code), and Page Number (blanked
out). If the new Item Code is a duplicate of an existing Item Code, you will receive an error “-2147217887: The changes you requested to the table were not successful because they would create duplicate values in the index, primary key, or relationship . . .”

Added additional filter fields at top of form. Creator First Name, Creator Last Name, Creator Job (W, A, CA). This info will import from CSUL, MDF and
the Previews Product Copy automatically. It is not available from the POW file.

Added hotkey ctrl+(Up arrow) in the Qty Ordered field to add to both the Qty Ordered and insert a record in the cycle sheet with the amount added. Qty Ordered will accumulate the current value plus the value input. The cycle sheet will have a new record with only the new value added. Ctrl+(Down arrow) reduces the amount ordered.

Customer

Added Ctrl-(up arrow) and Ctrl-(down arrow) to add or subtract from the credit amount on the customer form. CBPF prompts for the amount to add or subtract. Note: Subtract can be input as a positive or negative amount. CBPF will always reduce the credit amount. The absolute value of the input amount is subtracted from the current credit amount.

Recalculated how the Ctrl-# totaled and placed payment in “Paid Amt” field and subtracted from the “Credit Amount” field.

E-mail button to send Auto Pulls and/or Items Ordered to a customer.

Cycle Sheet

Utilities>Maintenance>Zero Out Cycle Sheet button – This adds a line to the cycle sheet with an Inventory Qty of zero for items which match the options selected within a specified date range if they don’t contain an inventory amount for that date range. The purpose of this is to make it easy/quick to do an inventory count of some vender or category, then to zero out all items which contained no inventory count.

Cycle Sheet chart and Data have been moved to individual tabs so the chart can be larger. The chart has the number of items ordered by customers added to the chart. This number is calculated by summing the items in the Items Ordered tab and the Archives tab of the Customer Form. I also spent significant time figuring out how to speed up the data collection even though I’m now getting more data.

An explanation of Cycle Sheet Count Sheet column headings. “Acc Inv” is accumulated inventory which is identical to “Last Inv Qty” with the exception that if more items are received since the last inventory count they are added to the inventory qty to get the accumulated qty. “Last Inv Qty” displays the inventory count which was done last according to date/time. %Sold/#Sold/$Sold all are calculated using the Totals:Rcvd and the Acc Inv columns.

Cycle sheet report & Cycle Sheet Count Sheet report notifies user if no records are found (producing an empty report). This commonly happens if the source form (e.g. Diamond All Form) has been filtered, and no records in the report criteria are within the Source Form filter.

Ordered Comics

Changed name of “Ordered Comics” form to “Items Ordered” form to match naming of the report which shows the same data.

Reports

Pull Archives report. Added End Date to allow a range of dates to be printed instead of only a single date.

Cycle Sheet report – Changed “Date” format to strip time off. This makes the field smaller and eliminates “#####” if the date is too long.

Changed “Item Pulls” report name to “Items Ordered” to match the Customer form tab name, “Items Ordered” to eliminate confusion as to what was being printed.

Allow for batchNo range for items ordered report.

Items Ordered report available from customer form

Added email button on Items ordered report and monthly auto pulls report to email the person.

Utilities

Setup

Add button to force a relink of backend tables (Utilities>Setup>Change Location/Name of Back End button)

Corrected backup procedure so that it works across a network.

Maintenance

Weekly E-Mail Format form – For those users who send email via Outlook (as checked in the setup form), there are now three additional fields which show the text in rich text format allowing you to bold, change font, font size, etc without using the HTML tags. Either the RTF or the non-RTF field can be used to input data.

“Test Email” button. Sends a basic (not HTML or Outlook) email the same way CBPF sends a weekly email. This is to test if CBPF is the problem, or something in the OS or the mail program.

Changed so browse dialog boxes use same format as “Import Weekly File” dialog box

When importing the monthly data from a monthly Master Data File, the vender number is checked against the current table of vender numbers. If not found then CSUL is checked for a vender number. If CSUL is not installed, or the vender name cannot be found within CSUL, then CBPF will create a vender #. This will work fine unless at some point in the future you begin to import the files from CSUL because the vender #s will not match between the ones CBPF created and the ones which CSUL uses. Vender #s will need to be imported from CSUL and Items will need to have the Diamond Vender #s associated in the Diamond All form updated to match the vender #s in CSUL. The following two items apply to this.

Import>Vender Table from CSUL – Replaces the vender table contained within CBPF with the table within CSUL. The purpose for this is that it is possible that items can be out of sync with their venders if the Master Data File is imported which does not contain a vender #, but instead contains a vender name and so CBPF may have to make up a # if the vender can’t be found. If later, you import monthly files from CSUL instead of the Master Data File, the vender #s won’t match. If this happens, then this button should be used to rebuild the vender table.

Import>Vender # in Diamond All from CSUL – Replaces the vender numbers contained within the Diamond All table with the vender numbers within CSUL. See the previous note above. Both buttons should be performed if items are out of sync in CBPF.

Weekly Procedure

Monthly Auto Pulls and Items Ordered Report can now be emailed with the weekly email notification. When emailing Items Ordered, additional fields are made available to filter the Items Ordered to specific batch numbers. This is to allow sending only the current items.

Added optional attachment to emails sent out. Both weekly and newsletters are able to add an attachment by checking “Add Attachment” checkbox prior to clicking “Weekly E-Mails” button.

1A adjustments button. No longer a popup form. This allows for viewing many more records at a time and speed up adjustments. This form is still “modal” (i.e. it must be closed before you can do anything else in CBPF).

Monthly Procedure

 

Reconciliation Form: Add Category Description field to lower subform.

Utilities

Strip String from Item Description button: Remove a string of letter (or other characters) from the Item Description for a specified month. A checkbox is also available which will let you approve of every change made to the file prior to the change being committed. If the checkbox is not checked then changes will occur without prompting. The default for this checkbox is checked and this is suggested for the first several times this utility is used until you get used to how it works. The purpose for this utility is to remove family (crossover) events which Diamond places in the item description field (e.g. (Zero Hour)). Note these will usually contain parenthesis and you need to make sure you include the parenthesis in the string to remove.

Show/Hide Navigation Pane button. The navigation pane is hidden on startup of CBPF and would not need to be used by the average user. This feature was not available in CBPF prior to version 2.00 and gives access to the original tables of data within CBPF. It should not be used except for advanced users or with assistance of the CBPF tech support.

Misc

Now able to filter on any field in any datasheet (spreadsheet look) form or subform by using the down arrow to the right of the field name. This will let you filter on exact matches and use text filters (equals/does not equal/contains/ends with/etc) number filters (equals/does not equal/greater than/less than/between) and remove or show only specific items by using checkboxes. These are a great way of narrowing down to only show a specific list of items for doing cycle sheets, or copying a list of items into an email or searching for all items in a crossover to make a printout, but you want to remove alternate covers or promotional items).

Added new fields to Diamond All, Reconciliation, Last Minute Customer Adds and Diamond Descriptions Forms

A separate utility (setTrustedLocationForCBPF.exe) is included in the CBPF folder. This utility sets CBPF as a trusted location to stop security prompting when program loads. You may need to right click and “Run as Administrator” on the program in the file explorer.

All fields which have hotkeys associated with them are colored yellow. Ctrl-? Shows hotkeys.

 


Backup

Added Backup and Compact button in Utilities>Maintenance. This button will perform a backup as defined in the setup. If a backup is not setup then this button will not perform a backup prior to the compact. A backup should always be done before a compact. This button should be used if CBPF is not acting normal. This button attempts to fix database corruption. It will also shrink the size of the database if large quantities of records have been deleted.

If backup on exit of CBPF fails, CBPF now prompts if user wants to retry backup. If so, CBPF does not close, and the user can correct backup options to try exiting CBPF again. If user does not want to retry, then CBPF closes.

Changed backup to allow for a back end which is not named “comicbook pull file_be.mdb” and allow for 2007 format Access file .Accdb. This change applies to the date appended backup and the number appended backup.


UPC Form (Diamond All Form>Ctrl Y>UPC Button

Added DateEntered field to UPC form (Data to Enter) subform. This will allow you to see the date and time when an item was scanned. This date does not get transferred to the Cycle Sheet form. The date there is when the items are imported into the Cycle Sheeet. This form is not intended to hold data for long as it gets reset during an CBPF upgrade.

Move insertion pointer to UPC field when form is opened

Technical Features

Changed ADODB provider from JET 4.0 to ACE 12.0

If “Import Monthly from CSUL” errors, check ODBC Data Source pgm that System DSN contains CSUL (Name) and SQL Server (Driver) (Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Data Sources)>System DSN – Fix by checking all files which begin with dbo_ when in Linked Table Manager (Office Tab>Maintenance), and Select Data Source>Machine Data Source>Find system type (ours was named RMS)

Corrections

Error which occurred if an incorrectly formatted Item Code was entered. The error displayed was “3: Return without GoSub”

Reconciliation form filter ‘Previews Description’ field was not working.

As always, send me any suggestions on how to make CBPF
better.

Again, Thanks for your support.

James
ComicBook Pull File
james@comicbookpullfile.com
785-827-1133

Retailers Helping Retailers