Newsletters

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 time since I’ve 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 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 you 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

ComicBook Pull File 1.12 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.

Overview/Highlights
I have made a lot of changes for this update. Many people have contributed with ideas (as well as ideas I came up with). It has been a long time since an update, so if you don’t remember (or need help with the process), don’t hesitate to call for help. Subscribers will receive the support call for free. Purchasers will get the call at no extra cost over the upgrade fee.

An update that barely squeaked in, I’m very happy about. It will speed up reconciliation each month. I’ve added filters to the reconciliation form similar to the filters on the Diamond All form. This will allow you to see a subset of the Previews catalog on the bottom half of the form. There is a lot of flexibility that I added so be sure to check the detailed information below.

On the “Weekly Pull File” tab I’ve changed the Last Completion date fields to visually change background color so you can see which buttons have yet to be completed.

I’ve added a form to speed up adding data to cycle-sheets by bar-code scanner.

The cycle-sheet form now uses the source form (the form from which the cycle sheet was loaded) to filter by. Therefore if you filter items on the Diamond All form, then enter the cycle-sheet form, you’ll only see items which appear on the Diamond All form.

These are the highlights, below is a more detailed description of ALL changes.

1.12 features

User Features

Programs>Weekly Pull File tab –
When the email sending module errors out (mostly due to a bad email address), it must be restarted, causing some customers to receive duplicate emails. I added a starting and ending acct# when sending emails. So if a previous email errors out or is cancelled, you can start where you left off. You can also repeat a single email by specifying the same acct# in start and end boxes. If you specify a starting but not ending, all emails with account#s greater than or equal to the starting account# will be sent. If you specify only an ending email, the emails will start at the beginning of the customer list and quit after the ending account email is sent. I also added the customer acct# to the reference box to assist in knowing which emails were successful. This will stop customers from getting multiple emails because of a store starting emails over if there is an error. (thanks Chris-PLAY THE GAME READ THE STORY)

When emails error, offer the user to cancel the rest of the emails in the list.

Changed ‘last completion’ fields. They will specifically note whether they have been completed after the button 1 import with “sync to button 1” instead of a date. The background will also change to red in the last completion field if the button has not been ‘sync’ed with button 1. The two exceptions to how this works is with the “5. Weekly E-mail” and the “6. Remove Items Ordered” buttons. They instead sync to button 3, as both buttons are based on the last build of the weekly report.

added ‘Last Minute Customer Adds’. This is used if you receive something in your shipment which you did not expect. Maybe a Batman annual, which you want to add to each customers pull list who has a Batman Auto Pull. The top half of the screen shows all Monthly Auto Pulls, the bottom half of the screen shows the items received this week. As always, Ctrl-? in the Item Code and Acct# fields, gives you the valid commands. The hot-keys work just like they do in the Diamond All and Reconciliation forms.

Programs>Order Monthly Items tab –
”4. Export to Previews Program” button now displays the month exported as well as the date in the Last Completion field to the right of the button.

added first/last name to Reconciliation form. This is to assist in quickly noting who has the Monthly Auto Pull.

Show last month completed on the Program>Order Monthly Items tab>‘Find Monthly Items’ button ‘Last Completion’ field. This will show which Previews file has been processed and the date it was processed.

Reconciliation Form –

  • Added filters very similar to the filters on the Diamond All form. This will assist you in quickly finding matching items being offered in the current Previews catalog. Though I’ve added many checkboxes, I’ve come to rely almost exclusively on the “Auto Series Code OR Item Description Front”; the “Auto-Query” (under the ReQuery button); and the “New Items” checkboxes.
    • “New Items” – eliminates items which are offered again
    • “Auto-Query” – automatically queries each time the you move to a different record on the top sub-form (Items not found).
    • “Auto Series Code OR Item Description Front” – This automatically fills in the filter fields (Item Description, and Series Code) with the information from the current record. It also selects the Item Description>Begins With option. What this accomplishes is that any item which begins with the same Item Description will be shown. This would include alternate covers listed with CVR A, or Smith CVR after the item description. The series code will display any items which match the series code for the item. Using the “OR” means that if either the Series Code or the Item Description match the results will display. Without the “OR”, both conditions would have to match for the item to display.
  • Many other filters which are identical to the Diamond All filters.
    All MAPs (Live Data) allows you to view and change the Monthly Auto Pulls information for all customers. If the Item Description changes, it is a simple change to copy/paste a new Item Description for all customers pulling the same title. It also lets you quick find all customers who are Auto Pulling a title if there is a special or annual you want to sign them up for. The background color of the form changes so you’ll be aware that you are seeing all Auto Pulls, not just the ones not found.
  • Auto Repeat and Order repeats Ctrl-M and Ctrl-O to all following records which match Item Description and Vender exactly. Ctrl-M causes Ctrl-O also. There is also a checkbox, “No Prompting”, which eliminates the promptings/messages which occur when Ctrl-M/Ctrl-O succeed.
  • Bottom subform, now shows all items in the Previews catalog. Not only the items which have a vender. Diamond removed the vender numbers from some items, and those items stopped showing up on the bottom form without this change.

Diamond All Form –
added hot keys to jump to ‘item code’ (alt-m) and ‘first batchNo/IC’ filter (alt-s)

Added ‘Pg#’ filter. This will make it quicker to find items in the Diamond All form which match a page number in the Previews catalog.

Cycle Sheet Form –
Added form to be able to enter data into cycle sheet form via the UPC code.
This is done quickest with a barcode scanner. The form to enter data is on the cycle-sheet form>UPC button on upper right of form. This data can be entered into any of the cycle sheet qty fields this way (Inventory/Order/Received/Held Back).

Cycle-Sheet Form>Count Sheet with History. Assists in marking cycle sheet counts. There are some additional fields (last Inventory count/Total Rcv/Total Ordered/Accumulated Inventory [last inventory + Items Rcvd since the last count]) on this new report, and as it is accessed via the Cycle Sheet form, it is based on the filtering used in the source form (Diamond All, etc.) which is more comprehensive than that available from the Reports Switchboard.

Source Forms –
Concept adjustment – When opening the Cycle-Sheet form, it will display those items which are displayed on the source form (the form which Ctrl-Y was used to open the Cycle-Sheet Form). Then when choosing to run a Cycle-Sheet Report/Cycle Sheet Count Sheet/Export to Hard Drive, those items which were filtered on the source form will be what is displayed on the report. If additional filtering is chosen on the Cycle-Sheet Dynamic Groupings Form, then this additional filter will be chosen from within the original source form filter. If no filter is chosen on the source form, then these reports will work as in CBPF 1.11. The export to hard drive button will create the file based on the source form filter, but not on the dynamic groupings filtering or sorting. Source forms include the Diamond All/Customer-Items Ordered/Customer-Items Supplied/Crossover Events/Reconciliation/Last Minute Customer Adds. When using the Cycle-Sheet Report from the Reports Switchboard, the Diamond All form is the source form and so must be open. If a filter is currently in use on the Diamond All form, the Cycle-Sheet Report will take the filter into account. (Thanks Bub – UK)

Customer Form –
Added “Customer Form Format” combo box in setup tab.
This combo box changes the format of the Customer form to scale when it is resized by stretching or maximizing. My best suggestion on this is to try all three options and use the one which you like best. If you use CBPF on two different computers, you may end up setting this option differently on the two computers. The Customer form must be closed and reopened to implement the change to the combo box. The reason for this combo box is that resizing of the Customer form is working different in Vista than in XP. Any of the options may work, but if the Customer Form formatting is messed up, try changing this.

Added Items Supplied (Customer Form>Special tab). This form is similar to the Items Ordered tab, but it acts as a way to keep track of items which you are ordering FROM the customer instead of SELLING TO the customer. Or you can simply keep a list of items related to this customer, but the items won’t show on the weekly report or order these items during the monthly ordering process.

added Customer Form>Special tab>import/export buttons. These two buttons can be used to import into the Items Ordered tab or the Items Supplied table on the Special tab. The export button likewise can export from the Items Ordered tab or the Items Supplied table. The export creates a POW file from this customer using a specified month (or date entered range). You can use this process to copy items from one customer to another or one store to another. Or to copy items between the Items Supplied and Items Ordered tables (or vice-versa).

Customer>Items Ordered tab –
When adding new items on the Items Ordered tab, if the item is a duplicate of a previous item already ordered by the same customer, a prompt appears asking if the customer wants more. If answering the prompt “No”, the cursor was resetting to the top record. I’ve now changed the process to do an “undo” which if changing an Item Code, it will revert to the previous Item Code, if inserting a new Item Code, the cursor will return to the new record (empty) to be ready for data entry. If answering the prompt “Yes”, then the cursor stays on the newly added record so that any additional changes can be made to the record.

Customer>Monthly Auto Pulls tab –
Added category field to Monthly Auto Pulls table. This field shows up in the Customer/Reconciliation/Monthly Auto Pulls forms. Previously, I used only the Item Description and the Vender to determine if an item should be ordered. With this change, I am also including the category (e.g. COMICS, BOOKS – GRAPHIC NOVELS, MAGAZINES, etc.) This will make it safer to use the ‘Item Description Front’ and ‘All Venders’ checkboxes. If you currently have some Monthly Auto Pulls (MAPs) which are not Comics, you’ll need to change their category to the appropriate category before the Find Monthly Item button will correctly find these items. You can make the change within each Customer form>Monthly Auto Pull tab, or you can change all MAPs within the Monthly Auto Pulls form. To make the change, find the Category field and click on the drop-down, then select the correct category. I’ve made this change optional within the Programs>setup tab>Use Category checkbox. If it is unchecked (default), CBPF will work as in the past, looking at only the Item Description and Vender to determine items to be ordered from the Monthly Auto Pulls..

Monthly Auto-Pull Form –
Added “Dis” conditional formatting to the Monthly Auto-Pull form to highlight if an Auto-Pull has been discontinued.

Other –
removed Previews Update File import because Diamond changed the file format to match the ‘master database’ file format which has no field definitions.

Technical Features

Following is a summary of import/export formats available within CBPF
File format review –
Button Fields Mimics Format Where Comment
Import Order (to Items Ordered or Items Supplied)
Item Code, Qty
or
Item Code, Item Desc, Price, Qty POW input file format
or POW output file format .csv Customer>Special
Create Weekly File Qty, Item Code, Item Desc Weekly file which Diamond e-mails (either format as only Qty and Item Code are used by CBPF) .csv Customer>Special Includes 4 row header
Export Order (from Items Supplied or Items Ordered) Item Code, Qty POW input file format .csv Customer>Special Allows for items to be copied from one customers Items Supplied to another (or same) customers Items Ordered (even at another CBPF store) or to move a customers Items Ordered from one store to another.
Export to Previews Program Item Code, Qty POW input file format .csv Programs>Order Monthly Items
Import Completed Order from Previews Program Item Code, Qty
or
Item Code, Item Desc, Price, Qty POW input file format
or POW output file format .csv Programs>Order Monthly Items

Added Programs>Setup tab>“On-Line Order Deadline” button which opens the table from which the “# days left on xxx10 Previews” on switchboard. Normally this table will not need to be manually changed, as I’ll keep the dates updated. However, if I get behind, or a correction to the dates needs to be made, it can be changed at each store.

Insert UPC code from weekly email into the Diamond All form when “2. Add to received numbers” button is pressed. This will place the latest “best?” UPC into the table.

Corrections

Crossover event. CBPF 1.11 would add a crossover item which has just been added to a crossover event to a customer who had subscribed to a different crossover. This would only happen if the crossover event being added to had an identical item description to an item description of an auto pull which was not a crossover.

Emails so that the Customer Form>Personal Information tab>Weekly E-mail – ‘All’ checkbox, and ‘Weekly E-mail’– ‘Mine’ checkbox, work individually for each customer. They were only being looked at for the first customer’s weekly email, and used for all subsequent customers.

when importing POW file “5. Import completed order from Previews”, if there was already a Qty Ordered (probably a 0) in the Diamond All Form, the import qty would not appear for that item on the Diamond All Form. (Thanks Charlie!!)

Version 1.12 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $150 for purchasers. If you need help upgrading, please call.

This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system or have shown some interest in CBPF.

If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

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

ComicBook Pull File 1.11 Newsletter

This is a mandatory update for many users (Read On)

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.
I’ll be creating a page on the CBPF website for retailers who use CBPF (subscription or purchasers). If you’d like to be listed, let me know and attach a .jpg or .gif of a logo along with all your store info (I know, I already have it, but I’m lazy and figure you know it by heart). This is an Opt-in offer, so you won’t be included unless you let me know.

Overview/Highlights

Diamond is changing the extended file format of their weekly file. Therefore CBPF needs to be changed to match the file change. It is happening this weekend for next Wednesdays shipment. If you are using the extended file format, you’ll need to upgrade before importing next weeks file. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for this, but I tried with every breath that I had to stop Diamond from making this change. When that failed, I suggested some things which would make the process less painful. You should also know that Diamond refused to provide a test file to work from, so the importing of the new format is untested (I’ve mocked up my own file to work from, but it didn’t come from the horses’ mouth). To read more, check out the CBPF blog http://cbpf.blogspot.com/. Please watch the website, if you run into problems with the importing.

These are the highlights, below is a more detailed description of ALL changes.

1.11 features

User Features
Corrected strip option (strip issue # from Item Description) when importing the monthly Previews On Windows file. Diamond occasionally places an issue# in the Item Description. It was leaving an extra blank after the Item Description.

Fixed switchboard to display the online order due date.

Technical Features
added the monthly export path to the setup tab. This will allow the user to modify where the ImportWin.txt or StoreNum.csv export to. Both files export to the same folder. Currently it defaults to C:\program files\previews on windows.

extended file format change – Moved the discount code from the end of the item code into its own field

Added user friendly error msg when email error occurs with HTML checkbox selected, but not using Outlook.

Version 1.11 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers. If you need help upgrading, please call.

This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system or have shown some interest in CBPF.

If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

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

ComicBook Pull File 1.10 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.
As mentioned in the 1.09 newsletter. I’ll be creating a page on the CBPF website for retailers who use CBPF (subscription or purchasers). If you’d like to be listed, let me know and attach a .jpg or .gif of a logo along with all your store info (I know, I already have it, but I’m lazy and figure you know it by heart). This is an Opt-in offer, so you won’t be included unless you let me know.

Overview/Highlights

I’ve had many stores ask about how to go about backing up CBPF.
The Big One – I added an auto backup to CBPF. This backup will occur ONCE each day when you close CBPF. If CBPF is left open all night, it will backup at midnight. You’ll notice that closing CBPF takes longer than in the past because it is waiting for the backup to complete. You’ll notice on the status bar at the lower left of the screen when you close CBPF of the backup in progress notification. This backup is optional and must be turned on. There are only two things to do. First, set the number of backups you want to keep. Set to ‘0’ to turn off. Set to ‘-1’ to save all backups. Set to a positive number to keep a specific number of backups before CBPF automatically deletes the oldest backup and saves the new backup. Second, browse to the location where you want them stored. These configurations are on the Setup tab in the Programs section of CBPF.

These are the highlights, below is a more detailed description of ALL changes.

1.10 features

User Features
Adjusted the cycle sheet report so that it can show items which have been ordered but not received yet. (Previously the report would only work for items which have been received).

allow POW and description file to be imported more than once with a message box stating that it’s been previously imported. (previously CBPF didn’t allow the second import of the same file). This is only needed if the first import had a corrupted file.

check that email address is present before sending an email. If blank, skip to next person. Previously, this would cause the emails to fail in the middle of sending and the emails would need to be re-sent.

use nz function on first/last names when sending email. A blank last name in previous versions would cause an “invalid use of null” error while sending an email.

fixed so that qty (in Customer Form>Monthly Auto Pulls tab) works for crossover events. CBPF prompts for a qty when adding a crossover event to auto pulls for a customer (default is qty=1).

Retry a record locked error 20 times before aborting the process. This error occurs during a ‘Find Monthly Items’ button.

UK users
Removed extra space at end of “truncate” option (UK users) when importing Previews files the Item Description had an extra space at the end of each title truncated.

Add country code in setup tab so UK stores can import the POW file (it is a different format than the US POW file)

Corrected setup Item Descriptions so that it shows what was selected previously instead of resetting back to default.

Technical Features
used cCur function to convert bag and board price to currency from a variant. Gave an error with UK regional setting if bag/board price was empty.

Version 1.10 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers. If you need help upgrading, please call.

This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system or have shown some interest in CBPF.

If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

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

ComicBook Pull File 1.09 Newsletter

I’ve added a users forum back to the website. This one is hosted by Google groups and is different than the last one. So you will need to sign up again. I’ll respond, but I encourage others to provide input also. I encourage each of you to at least register and say hi and tell about your store so others will know who else is using CBPF. http://groups.google.com/group/comicbook-pull-file

Wow, 1.09 is just as big as 1.08 was, but in a much shorter time period. Check out the Overview to see what there is that can make you more profitable or save you time.

Thanks go out to the many stores which made suggestions which were included in this release.

Overview/Highlights

I need to apologize for this update. There are a couple of changes in the way things are done with this update. (Yuk ?)

  1. Hot-Key changes – You’ll need to check the hot-key help (ctrl-?) on several forms. George (Empire Comics – IN) suggested that I add a re-order hot-key to the crossover events form. I didn’t see the need, but upon asking for justification, he presented a reasonable use. Therefore, instead of simply adding one hot-key, I optimized the hot-key routines so most of the forms use the same routine. This was more time intensive, but as an example, you now can view the description and cycle-sheets forms from within the crossover events and customer forms. A few of the hot-keys needed to be changed for consistency between all the forms. The forms that were changed were the Diamond All, Customer (Items Ordered, Auto Pulls), Reconciliation, and the Crossover Events.
  2. Override weekly pull report – I added a button to the weekly process (I really split button 3 into two). There is now button 3 which builds the report and button 4 which views the report. The reason for this was that I wanted to add a way for a store to override CBPF customer selections. To do this I added button 3a to let you change the decisions made in button 3. There is no need to do this most of the time. It is only needed if quantity you received for an item doesn’t meet the demand for the item from your customer preorders. This could be due to you not ordering a sufficient quantity or being shorted on your shipment.

Import cycle-sheet data – Also on this update courtesy of Rob at Pair A Dice Games and 3rd Planet Comics – CA is the ability to import cycle-sheet information from a POS system.

Strip Issue Numbers – Bub in the UK called with a request. The UK Previews file Item Description field contains the issue number. So when we in the US complain because Diamond occasionally includes an issue number in the Item Description which causes an Auto Pull to not be found, UK retailers have every Auto Pull not found. The UK Item Description also contains other information to the right of the Issue Number which needed removed. I added the Truncate ability for the UK stores which removes the issue number (and other stuff) from the Item Description. But for the US (while I was at it), I added the ability for CBPF to strip only the Issue Numbers from the Item Description when they are found. This change is in Programs under the Setup tab.

Navigate within the cycle-sheet form – Courtesy of John Tannius is the ability within the cycle sheet form to navigate to the previous/next series on the Diamond All form (or whichever form the cycle sheet was loaded from) without closing and reopening the form. This will speed up cycle sheet entry. Of course getting the Diamond All form filtered and sorted into a good counting order (prior to opening the cycle sheet form) will help also.

Order due date reminder – And for those retailers who need to be reminded of the ordering due date, I’ve put a countdown on the switchboard. There is no calculation for this, CBPF must go from Diamonds announced dates. I’ll continue to update these dates each year and when you upgrade CBPF near the end of each year, you’ll get the next years dates. As this update goes out, Diamond has only announced dates through Nov 2007, so CBPF won’t have the 2008 dates until the next update.

Vista users – Because of the way Vista handles files within the “program files” directory, the ComicBook Pull File should be installed to a different directory (for Vista users only). The directory I’m suggesting is C:\users\public\public documents\comicbook pull file. However, when installing to a Vista system, you’ll have to choose a custom install and browse to the directory as this directory is not an option under the Microsoft install procedure which I use.

CBPF branding – I’m going to be branding CBPF to your customers with the intention of spreading the word to other retailers. If your customers are happy with the service you provide them (e-mails, reports, low error rates on pulling items), they will tell their friends. These friends will then be able to tell their local comic stores about CBPF and the great features they wish their local store provided them. Placing the CBPF website at the bottom of e-mails and reports will allow the customers to know what program is enabling you to provide them with the customer support that you do. In conjunction with this, I’ll design a webpage on the CBPF website with your store logo (send me a .jpg or .gif) and store information so that customers (and friends) which note the branding will be able to find out which stores can provide them with weekly e-mails, etc. You’ll need to opt-in to this as I’m not going to assume you want to be put on the website. If you have any other ideas in this area, be sure and let me know.
These are the highlights, below is a more detailed description of ALL changes.

1.09 features

User Features

  • Added these fields (Item Description Front, Series, and All Venders?) to the Reconciliation form and Customer Archive form.
  • Hot-keys revised in crossover events, Diamond All, Customer form (Items Ordered tab), and Reconciliation form (top and bottom). There is nothing lost but many hot-keys are now available from other forms. A few hot-keys have changed for consistency between forms.
  • Add ComicBook Pull File website to bottom of each report and “powered by www.comicbookpullfile.com” to the bottom of e-mails.
  • Added Import capability into the cycle sheet info – Programs>Maintenance>Import…Cycle Sheet Info button. The format is .csv (Item Code (required), Date (required), Inventory Qty, Order Qty, Receive Qty, Held Back Qty) Thanks goes out to 3rd Planet Comics in California for this suggestion. Help system shows format also.
  • Import Customer info also. See help system for format and fields.
  • Import previews update file. Note: Diamond only provides 4 fields (Item Description, Item Code, SRP, Discount Code), so when you import, be aware that there will be many blank fields in the Diamond All form including the Vender field.
  • Make the Dynamic groupings forms open completely.
  • Truncate item description beginning with # for UK (truncate option). Also, Remove issue # only and rebuild the Item Description (Strip option). The Strip option can be used by U.S. retailers to correct the occasional issue number which shows up in the Item Description field. The issue # will be copied into the issue # field if the field is blank. This can be found in Programs under the Setup tab.
  • Save Setup of Customer form. This will have the customer sort order open in the same order as when it is closed.
  • Hot key to Requery (alt-Q) and clear (alt-C) on the Diamond All form
  • Allow store to override customer choices for the weekly pull report. This need only happen if there are shortages and you want to choose a different customer to receive items.
  • On weekly e-mails, added ability to send an attachment to customers (ComicBase or other collector program/spreadsheet). This attachment will allow the customer to import the items which were pulled for them instead of inputting them manually. The title on the import at this time is using Diamond’s Item Description which doesn’t often match ComicBases Titles. The user can match up the item on import though. The attachment option only works if you are using the HTML option for e-mails. This attachment is a comma delimited file with the first row being a header. The fields are Title, Issue#, Quantity.
  • Cycle Sheet Report – sorted by Date last for showing ordered/recved/inventory in order by history
  • Added prev/next item and prev/next series buttons within the cycle sheet form. These buttons will navigate to the previous/next item contained on the Diamond All form (or whichever form you opened the cycle sheet form from). To move through the cycle sheet process as quick as possible, make sure the Diamond All form is filtered and sorted in the order you want to count your items. Thanks to John Tannius
  • Added Series Code filter on Diamond All form. Checked=must have series code greater than zero. Unchecked=series code is blank or zero, gray=both. This will allow you to filter to see one shots or exclude one shots, or items which aren’t comics.
  • When updating a record in the Monthly Auto Pulls tab, if the All Covers checkbox is checked, CBPF verifies that the vender # is not blank or zero. If so, a dialog box displays explaining that a series code must be specified to use the All Covers checkbox.
  • Blanking out a Customer credit card would cause an error. Now corrected.
  • Added online order due date to switchboard with a ‘# of days left on JUN07 Previews’ line
  • Added checkbox beside the e-mail button which is a bypass of sending the items received info. The e-mail sends everything as specified on the e-mail format but not the store receivals or the customer receivals and would only send to those customers who want the newsletter. Prompts for the subject line of the e-mails with a default of ‘Your Newsletter’ – Mike @ Samurai Comics
  • Added conditional formatting to Item Description of Reconciliation form (top half) so it is easier to determine if an Auto Pull has conditions (First/Last Issue specified). Also added conditional formatting to bottom half of form (Item Code) when item is Resolicited, or has a Parent Item.
  • Fixed Weekly Pull Report by Item Description. When receiving back issues at the same time as regular issues, grouping was only by Item Description and so all issues and back issues showed in same group instead of grouping separately. Now grouping by ID & Issue & Item Code. Thanks to Stacy at Comic Fusion.

Technical Features

  • Corrected an error msg in btnBuildWeeklyReport to read “Weekly Download Report Dynamics Grouping form (or Shortage Dynamics Grouping form) error” instead of “‘Weekly Download Report – Customer First Name’ report not found”
  • Changed logic in archiveAndPull function. Don’t include Issue# in Archive file if item was not found in the Diamond All form.
  • Ignore write errors to Diamond Recv table because it has referential integrity, but the Comic Pull Issues doesn’t. Therefore items could be marked as sold which are not in Diamond All. This causes a ref integrity error.

Version 1.09 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers. If you need help upgrading, please call.

  • This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system or have shown some interest in CBPF.

If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

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

1.08 newsletter

One year and still chugging. CBPF was released approximately 14 months ago, which means that several stores have just had their one year anniversary of using CBPF after the 60-day free trial. I cannot thank these stores enough for having the faith to trust their store and their customers to the best pull list program available (I am slightly biased). If anyone would like to respond to this e-mail with testimonials which I can add to my website, I’d appreciate it.

I’ve added a blog to the CBPF website to keep you informed about what is happening in the CBPF world on a more frequent basis. It’s also a great way for you to make comments.

The CBPF forum is temporarily out of commission due to some changes where I host my website (they broke it!!!). When I get a new one up, it may be different.

Thanks go out to the many stores which made suggestions which were included in this release. This release took several months because I just kept adding and adding (as well as fighting through some issues).

Overview
There are several updates included in CBPF 1.08. The mileage for several updates are dependent upon your usage. Many reports are now able to be exported so that the information can be used in another program. The Credit Card numbers are now encrypted on the hard drive. The weekly E-Mails are receiving a slight (but nice) facelift. When sending an E-Mail of the stores receivals for the week, instead of simply sorting by the Item Description, CBPF now sorts the items by category and within the category it is sorted by Vender. This will help customers insure that they haven’t missed their favorite items. I also fixed a couple of errors which crop up occasionally. See below for more details on these as well as other updates. Added at the last minute was a utility to assist those people who download pics from the Diamond website and use them for your own websites.

1.08 features

User Features
1. e-mails have the store receival list now sorted by category/vender/item description. With category and vender as headers to the table of HTML e-mails
2. Created Count Sheet report as a printout to assist counting cycle sheet info. Accessed via the Cycle Sheet Dynamics Grouping Form (Report>Other Reports>Cycle Sheets Report).
3. Monthly Auto Pulls report (by Item Description) – removed erroneously placed phone# in header.
4. A utility program added to allow a store to abbreviate all file names within a specified directory. This is designed for those who download Diamond pic files, but don’t want the description to the right of the Item Code. The files can then be used for store websites. The length of the abbreviation can be modified so you can keep the HI or LO if you download both size files. You must have administrative rights to the directory which contains the pics for CBPF to be able to perform this function. It creates a new directory called CBPFmodified within the chosen directory and then copies every file in the specified directory into CBPFmodified with the abbreviated names. This will protect the user if he accidentally chooses the wrong directory from disastrous results.
5. Encrypted Credit Card field. Displays normally on Customer Form, but is encrypted on the hard drive. You likely won’t notice any difference unless you open or import from the CBPF file. Also with the new exporting ability now available, I wanted to protect the credit card numbers from unintended exposure (e.g. e-mailing a file).
6. Added Total Sold field to Cycle Sheet report. (from cycle sheet form, and from Other Reports on switchboard).
7. Cycle Sheet dynamics grouping form, changed O/A, Res, and Limited Series from on/off checkboxes to tri-state fields.
8. Added Export to Hard Drive button with Include Field Names checkbox to export the report data to a .CSV file. If you want to know the layout but don’t want the Field Names, do it with the Field Names to see what each field is then do it again without the Field Names.
a. Reports changed –
i. Cycle Sheet
ii. Item Pulls
iii. Monthly Auto Pulls
iv. Weekly Download
v. Phone Book
vi. Notables
9. Removed display of e-mail prior to sending the e-mail msg (Outlook HTML users only).
10. Added comment field on reorders table so store can comment about reason for the reorder.
11. Reconcile what you actually received against what the system is expecting you to receive. Shortage corrections (negative Qty’s) are now ignored since the retailer is expected to correct the shortage on the week it happens. Negative numbers (shortages corrected by Diamond) are displayed as white text on a red background. Promotional and 8000 codes show up as red text on a yellow background.
12. Edit e-mail list prior to sending the e-mails. This will allow removal of special orders, Adult titles and promotional items from the list of items which the store received. This will allow a store to remove items from the list if they are sending a weekly store receivals list to customers.
13. ‘Diamond All’ form – made batchNo filter fields to accept 3 (e.g. 036) & 5 (e.g. SEP05) digit formats as well as a 9 character Item code.
14. Fixed date check on button 5 ‘Remove Items Ordered’ to give warning if button is used twice in the same week.
15. Create a file to upload to Previews online (If store prefers to use online ordering instead of POW ordering). This is the same format file as what POW uses but with a different name. If you use online ordering with this file, the final ordered numbers won’t be importable back into CBPF. This will mean that the store will not have initial ordering numbers in the cycle sheets unless they are manually entered. If a store creates a shelf customer, then the preorder data of cycle sheets will be incorrect. Ultimately, using POW is still the best usage and this feature was only added because some stores don’t use cycle sheets and would rather use the online ordering. If Diamond ever creates an export file for their online ordering system, it would work just like POW.
16. Added Monthly Auto Pulls form – This form opens in datasheet view and will allow for an easy overview of customers ordering specific items. This is similar to a Monthly Auto Pulls report, but some changes will be allowed from this form. This will allow for quicker bulk changes (e.g. Title changes, Vender # changes, or when a series ends and you want to remove all Auto Pulls for a title).
17. Ordered Comics form – Can now be viewed in datasheet view via the new ‘Datasheet View’ button.

Technical Features
18. Added buttons to view the Error Log File (Front End and Back End files)
19. Autoexec routine: changed errors so they print a line# also.
20. Add version to Local Setup file so FE can tell if it needs to make changes to the Local Setup table. Add upgrade procedure for FE. If Local Setup file not found, then create it with a Local Setup version of 1.07.
21. E-mails formatted in Table format if sent in HTML format.
22. in saveOption() coverted null data to “” (space). Gave error if removed all data from an e-mail format field. Now saves “” to the options table.
23. Because ‘archives’ file has acct#/itemCode/OriginalDate as primary key, it is possible for an item with a qty greater than one to be partially filled, then fill the rest later and cause a primary key error. Changed primary key.
24. An error with this word included “ChkMonthly()” occasionally happens at a few stores. It happens during the “1. Find Monthly Items” button. This error could always be overcome by repeating the process, and the “Find” would make it farther the next time until the process was completed successfully.
Version 1.08 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers. If you need help upgrading, please call.

Tell your friends, your enemies, and your competition across the street about CBPF.
I have a US map on my wall with all the stores who are using CBPF marked, and there are still some gaps.
Trivia question of the “month” – What is the easiest/fastest way to jump to the CBPF website? The first store to e-mail me the correct answer will receive something special.

This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system (or by request).

If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

As always, send me any suggestions on how to make CBPF better.
Again, Thanks for your support.

James
ComicBook Pull File
785-827-1133

1.07 newsletter

The Baltimore Summit was great and I was able to show CBPF to several stores. I only connected with one CBPF user (briefly). As I don’t know what most of you look like, I’m relying on you to see my CBPF T-Shirt. I hope Ft. Wayne will be even more productive. Anyone else going? Please find me, as I’d love to meet each of you.

Overview
Some of the new 1.07 features have been several months in coming. Saving the forms setup will help everyone. The ‘Import Weekly File’ button change is a protection against forgetting to complete the previous week. The Notables Report is targeted at helping you inform your customers of items which are available that they may not be aware of. This will lead to more sales in your store. If anyone comes up with a unique usage for the report post it on the forum for other stores to see. The CBPF weekly e-mail now has the ability to be sent in HTML format. There are also a few fixes and a few other minor features.

There is a lot of info below, but it is well worth your time to read and understand.

1.07 features

1. Save setup for each computer. (font/color/column width/hidden columns/column order etc). Frozen columns are not saved and restored at this time. This will allow for a computer to make changes to forms which include datasheets (e.g. Diamond All, Customer, Ordered Comics, Pull Archives, etc). When the form is closed, or CBPF is closed the setups are saved, then when the form is reopened, the previous form setup is restored to the way it was when it was closed. If the computer is on a network, each computer has its own setup.

This has been a long time in the works because of the research and complexity involved. (Thanks to Charlie at Charlie’s Comic Books – Tucson, AZ)

2. On ‘Weekly Pull File’ tab, the “Import Weekly File’ button (button 1) checks to verify that buttons 2,3, and 5 are completed for the previous week before proceeding with the import. If they were not completed a message box with a warning message will be displayed asking whether to continue with the import. If the ‘No’ button is chosen, the user has the chance to complete buttons 2,3, and 5. If ‘Yes’ is chosen, the import continues. (Thanks to all those who have accidentally imported the new file before completing the previous week, including me).

3. Notables report. This works like the ‘Previews Description’ filter on the Diamond All form. On the Diamond All form, you can enter word(s) to be found in the description information. Then only those items which have the word(s) contained in their descriptions will be displayed in the Diamond All form.

The notables report lets you save a list of “notables” (e.g. Alex Ross, Civil War, etc.) (Programs>Maintenance>Notables Report) that match the description information. Saving the list of “notables” will allow you to print the report each week/month without retyping the list. The report (Reports>Other Reports>Notables Report) will then build a report of those items which match the “notables” that have been saved.

This report is intended to inform your customers of items which they may not be aware. It can be filtered by BatchNo so that specific Previews Catalog(s) “notables” can be printed (in an effort to get preorders or special orders). Or the report can be printed by Received Date so that customers can be made aware of new items which you have received which are “notable”. The report can also be filtered by category (e.g. Comics, Posters, etc).

This report can be set on your counter or posted on a wall for customers. If a “notable” is entered in the “notable” field on the dynamic groupings form when preparing to print the report, it will override the saved “notables” and only build the report based on the word(s) in the “notable” field on the dynamic groupings form. This would be useful if a customer approaches the counter and asks for something. You can quickly check the Notables Report and hand him a printout of all the items (posters, statues, comics, etc) which contain the item he requested (You can do the same thing in the Diamond All form, the advantage here is to hand him a printout which may spur further sales as he browses the store looking at the items on the printout).

The description information can be turned on or off on the report.

4. Ctrl-z (hot-key) on the Item Description field of the Monthly Auto Pulls tab on the Customer form will cancel a monthly auto pull item and move it to archives. This will allow you to reference past Auto Pulls. (Thanks to Stacy at Comic Fusion – Flemington, NJ)

5. Added HTML e-mails with the requirement of Outlook on the computer. This can be turn on or off in Programs>Setup>Use Outlook E-Mails (HTML). Added e-mail banner field (information above the Customer First Name) on Programs>Maintenance>E-Mail Format. Using the HTML format is more flexible, but takes longer to format. When not using the HTML format, links automatically are clickable in the e-mail. But with the HTML format, links must have anchor tags added for them to be clickable. The easiest way to correctly format the HTML is to format the information in an HTML editor (e.g. Dreamweaver, Front Page, MS Word, etc) then copy and paste the HTML from the editor into the appropriate field of the Weekly E-Mail Layout form. HTML is not hard to learn and can really jazz up your e-mail by adding pictures, colors, etc, but is more work and is prone to typographical errors. If you don’t know HTML, but are interested in pursuing HTML e-mails, the easiest way to proceed is to acquire an HTML editor and check with high-school and college age customers who may be able to spend a couple of hours with you showing you the basics. There are also plenty of HTML books available.

The building of the HTML e-mails is displayed on the computer screen when they are being sent. On my computer when using Express ClickYes to bypass answering the e-mail security warning, if I don’t use HTML, the warning is bypassed quickly, but when using HTML, the bypass takes the full 5 seconds. This will make your computer unusable for 5 seconds multiplied by the number of e-mails being sent. This may have a bearing on when you send an HTML newsletter.

6. Added buttons (Programs>Setup) to allow modification/maintenance of Brand, Genre, Category, Vender.

7. Fixed ‘Comment’ field on cycle-sheet form to accept input.

8. Fixed Acct# sort on weekly download report.

Version 1.07 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers.

For those using the Online ordering system provided by Diamond instead of Previews on Windows. The import file format is the same with the exception of the file name. Therefore, if you want to continue using the online ordering system but would like to import the initial numbers from CBPF, you can rename C:\Program Files\Previews on Windows\importWN.csv to [your Diamond acct#].txt, then use this file to ‘Upload a completed Initial Order’ on the Diamond website. From this point you can add your shelf stock count. Though this speeds up the ordering, it doesn’t work as well for CBPF if you want to use cycle-sheets because you don’t get your final numbers in CBPF. Diamond does not have a method of exporting the completed numbers from the online system to your hard drive. POW is still the method which works better for CBPF because of its export capabilities.

I will be at the Diamond Summit (Ft. Wayne). I encourage you to find me in the lounge or catch me roaming. See the CBPF website for lounge times. I would like to meet each of you and be able to answer questions, give CBPF tips, show demos, etc. You can also be a great help by giving your unbiased opinions of CBPF to others. The larger the user base, the better CBPF becomes, and the cheaper (per user) it is to maintain. I have some t-shirts for CBPF users if you’ll wear one during the Summit.

This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system. If you are using CBPF Basic and would like to be added to the mailing list, please e-mail me.

If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

Is there anything I’m not doing that I could be doing to serve you better? As always, send me any suggestions on how to make CBPF better.
Again, Thanks for your support.

James

1.06 newsletter

It seems like each release is bigger than the previous. At 3 “noticeable” changes, I decided I’d better stop for this release. And yet my “to do” list continues to get longer.

There is a lot of info below, but it is well worth your time to read and understand.

1.06 features

1. There is now a shortages report which will be available for printing when you “3. Build Weekly Report” on the “Weekly Pull File” tab. You will be informed that you have more customers who have ordered an item than what you are receiving. This is your cue to get a re-order in to Diamond if you haven’t already. This process happens automatically and you don’t have to do anything different that what you are doing now. The dynamics grouping forms for both reports are mostly identical and both open so you can print/view whichever report you want to first. You can access either form from the >window selection of your menu bar. The header on the shortage report is in red so that it stands out and you don’t get confused between the two. Thanks go out to Jesse Mendoza at Comics Plus in Corpus Christie TX for the suggestion.

I also added a couple of fields to the bottom of the Item Pulls Report if printed by Item Description or Item Code. There is now a “total ordered” field which shows how many of the item your store ordered. Also is a ‘Cust%’ field which shows the percentage of your order has already been spoken for by customers. If this number is bigger than 100%, it will be in red. The ‘Total’ field from 1.05 and previous has been renamed to ‘Cust Qty’ to show you the total customer orders. If you are looking at an Item Pulls Report for a month in which you haven’t ordered yet, you will get ‘N/A’ and ‘#error’ in the two new fields. This is a good way to monitor how you are doing on items which you haven’t received yet. If you have already received an item on the report, the customers who had the item filled will not be counted on the report in the ‘Cust Qty’.

2. On the “Diamond All” form, you will notice many fields at the top of the form. If you fill in the information in one or more fields and press the ReQuery button, the Diamond All will filter based on the data you have requested. This has always been available with filter buttons on the toolbar. However, this should significantly simplify and speed up the process. For example, if you want to view the July 2006 Previews only, you would enter 200607 in the BatchNo field and press ReQuery. If you wanted to see all issue 1’s in the July 2006 Previews you would enter 200607 in the BatchNo field and 1 in the Issue field, then press ReQuery. All of your hot-keys are still available on the Item Code field after a ReQuery. I moved the Previews Description search from a special button to a field on the Diamond All form to be filled in just like the other fields. There are First Received Date and Last Received Date fields. If you enter a date in the First Rcv Date field and not in the Last Rcv Date, you will see all items which you have received from the specified date to the current date. If you enter a First and a Last Rcv Date, you will see all items between the two dates. This would speed up finding items which you are recording cycle sheet data for, if you record the data on specified weekly increments from when you receive them (e.g. 1 week, 3 weeks).

There is a drop-down box to specify a specific vender. Since this list is long, it is much faster to click the drop-down arrow (which highlights the field) and begin typing the vender name until it matches (or comes close), then use up/down arrows on the keyboard to move to nearby vender names. When your selection is highlighted, press tab, enter, or click on another field.

There is also a drop-down box which lets you save queries and quickly specify a saved query to use. If you want to save a query, fill in the selections on the Diamond All form, press the ReQuery button, then select ‘(save/modify/delete filter)’, then type a name in the ‘Save current Diamond All filter as’ field, then press the ‘Save Current Diamond All Filter’ button. If you close and reopen the ‘(save/modify/delete filter)’ form, you can see the query which you saved, with the name which you specified. At this point, you can manually change the query, however, this is very picky that the wording be exactly correct otherwise an error will occur when you try to use the query. If you have any tech-heads working at your store or who are customers, the query is a language known as SQL and they may be able to assist in modifying a query to do what you want. This is a very flexible language if you know what you are doing. I will include several predefined queries for you to use and learn from. These are by no means sacred. Feel free to delete or modify for your own purposes. I will explain how they work on the CBPF forum under the “Diamond All Form” section. This will help you modify them for your purposes. The ones I added are more challenging than what I expect you to add, which is why I added them. I’m leaving the easy ones for you. If you mess up one of the filters which I created, simply copy and paste the code from the forum over your mess up, to start over with a modification.

The checkboxes (e.g. Ordered Items) are tri-state check boxes. This means that if you check them, you are requesting in this case to see only items which you have ordered. If you uncheck it, then you will see only items which you didn’t order. If you unselect the box (grayed) then you will see items irregardless of whether you ordered them or not. With these check boxes, you can easily view items which you ordered, but have not yet received from a specified month. You must be careful to specify items which are possible. For example, and impossibility if to view one-shots and mini-series. The query doesn’t show both, it shows items which meet all criteria. If someone has a specific query request, let me know and I may be able to build a query for you to copy and paste into your predefined queries.

3. In an effort to broaden the user base of CBPF, this version contains CBPF BASIC (a “free” version) of CBPF which is a scaled down version. It leaves the basic necessities in place, but drops all the bells and many of the whistles. I think that there may be a smaller learning curve with this and people have the chance to use CBPF indefinitely, and decide if/when they want to financially support development of the program. Some of the items dropped from the free version

  • cycle-sheets,
  • Previews descriptions,
  • multi-store,
  • the new query options on the Diamond All form,
  • crossover-events,
  • custom requests,
  • e-mails.

Though the readers of this newsletter have committed to supporting CBPF, I don’t want any unhappy users. Therefore, if a subscriber wishes to use CBPF BASIC, I will certainly let him. However, I hope this can be the impetus to convince more paper stores to jump to computer and for computer stores to choose a pull file program designed for comic retailers. SPREAD THE WORD!!!

I would like to welcome Moonstone as a sponsor who has supported CBPF for nearly a year. They have helped with advice and encouragement as well. Check out their offerings each month in the Previews catalog. You will notice their logo on switchboard. I would personally like to thank Joe at Moonstone for his efforts.

Version 1.06 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers.

I will be at the Diamond Summits (Baltimore/Ft. Wayne). I encourage you to find me in the lounge or catch me roaming. See the CBPF website for lounge times. I would like to meet each of you and be able to answer questions, give CBPF tips, show demos, etc. You can also be a great help by giving your unbiased opinions of CBPF to others. The larger the user base, the better CBPF becomes, and the cheaper (per user) it is to maintain. I will probably get some t-shirts made for CBPF users. If you are willing to wear one while at the summit, e-mail me a size and I’ll get one made for you. I have found a roommate for Baltimore, but if there is anyone else looking, they can be added to our room to split the cost evenly. I’m not planning on being there much anyway.

This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system. If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

Is there anything I’m not doing that I could be doing to serve you better?
Again, Thanks for your support.
James

1.05 newsletter

Thanks for supporting CBPF!!! As the 60-day free trial is coming to an end for many, I am actually getting subscribers/purchasers to commit to CBPF.

This is the first ComicBook Pull File newsletter. They will probably only be sent when I have a new version to announce so that users can stay up-to-date. This e-mail is only going to those who have purchased or are subscribing to the CBPF system. If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, please respond with ‘Remove’ in the subject line.

I will be at the Diamond Summits (Baltimore/Ft. Wayne). I encourage you to find me in the lounge or catch me roaming. See the CBPF website for lounge times. I would like to meet each of you and be able to answer questions, give CBPF tips, show demos, etc. You can also be a great help by giving your unbiased opinions of CBPF to others. The larger the user base, the better CBPF becomes, and the cheaper (per user) it is to maintain. I will probably get some t-shirts made for CBPF users. If you are willing to wear one while at the summit, e-mail me a size and I’ll get one made for you. Since I’m so cheap (frugal), I am looking for a roommate to share costs at Baltimore. If you are interested in splitting the cost for a room, let me know.

Interesting story – More Fun Comics in New Orleans contacted me recently about using CBPF. He had been discussing pull list software with his rep at DC Comics (Michael Freeman) and Mr. Freeman suggested that More Fun Comics go to the CBPF website as DC Comics has a computer with the 60-day trial software and were impressed with the program. That made my day!!!

Check out the forum on the CBPF website for tips. I just recently posted a method for how to bypass the security prompt which displays for each e-mail sent. Users of the CBIA (Comic Book Industry Alliance) forum, should post their unbiased opinions of CBPF. This would include, how you like the program? How does it save you time? Why did you subscribe/purchase? If you are not a user of CBIA, it is a forum for Comic Book industry professionals to ask questions, give advice, swap overstock, etc. They do not allow non-professionals on the site. To apply go to www.thecbia.com

Version 1.05 is now available for download from the CBPF website www.comicbookpullfile.com
Subscribers receive the update for free. It is $90 for purchasers.

The biggest new feature is the dynamic groupings form for the cycle sheet report. It will allow for many different sorting methods and selecting of only a subgroup to view/print. This may reduce the cycle-sheet report to a manageable size.

Also, there is a way to match customers within CBPF to customers within a POS system or old pull list program.

Features of 1.05 –
Changed method of locating Data on hard drive (mainly used if on network, or if Data is physically moved between computers)

The following is designed to allow each customer to have store defined info associated with a customer. This might be an account # from a POS system. Since the fields added do not need to be unique for each customer, it could define subgroups of customers (e.g. Gamer, Comic Reader, Acct# from old pull list system, etc.). If the group has to do with how/when items are delivered to a customer, the delivery method should be used instead.
Added ‘User Defined Number’ on customer form and changed label of ‘Middle Name’ to ‘Middle (User Defined Text)’. If the info added is numeric only, use the former field. If it contains letters, or letters and numbers, use the later field. Added both fields to Phone book Export and Export of Weekly Pull File Customers.
Added user defined fields on phone book report and added subgroupings to dynamic groupings form..
Added user defined fields on dynamic groupings form on Weekly Download Report. Allows user to create a different sort order for their weekly report and also to match up CBPF with a POS system or old Pull list system account#

Sorted cycle sheet chart by BatchNo then Issue. Previously was just by BatchNo, but weekly comics (e.g. ‘52’ ) would number as 4,3,2,1,8,7,6,5 on the chart instead of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

Added Dynamic Groupings form to Cycle Sheet Report allowing for more sort and filter options.

Added Dynamic Groupings form to Monthly Auto Pulls Report.

Corrected subgroup by acct# on ‘Item Pulls Report – Advanced Item’ Was sorting as a string instead of a number.

Corrected subgroup by acct# on ‘Weekly Download Report – Advanced Item’ Was sorting as a string instead of a number.

Added subgroup by delivery method on ‘Item Pulls Report’

Again, Thanks for your support.
James

 

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