This is the first in a series of blog posts reviewing new features from the latest release of Acumatica 2020 R1. In this article I’ll be reviewing several key enhancements to the Acumatica User Interface.
User-defined lookup boxes
This is a big one! A new type of attribute in Acumatica allows for user defined fields that link to other Acumatica data. Previously users could create dropdown, also known as “combobox” controls, but each option had to be specified manually. The new control type is called “Selector” and can be connected to any Acumatica data access class in the schema. For example we can add a CSR field on the sales order form.
After defining the attribute, you can add it as a user-defined field to a data entry form using the Customization menu on the form.
Side panel enhancements
Another big one! Side panels were added as on option to generic inquiries in 2018 R2, and the Acumatica development team continues to expand this option with the latest option to add side panels on all forms, not just generic inquiries. Side panels in Acumatica make it easier for users to perform tasks while maintaining context. The side panel can be an inquiry, report, or dashboard. For example, without ever leaving the customer screen users could view opportunities, open cases, or even a customer dashboard on the side panel. Depending on the information required, parameters can be passed.
Make Visible on the UI
This new checkbox, “Make Visible on the UI”, appears to be a bit of a bonus. It’s described in the release notes with respect to Import and Export Scenarios, but also seems to be applicable to Generic Inquiries, Pivot Tables, and Dashboards. It sure does make it more convenient to add new menu options to the Acumatica UI. Clicking on the checkbox automatically populates the Site Map Title, Workspace, and Category fields. Your new menu option will appear under Data Views. Of course you can always modify the default settings.
Open a new data entry form directly from a workspace
The + NEW option appears automatically on workspaces next to every substitute form (list of records related to a form), allowing users to bypass the substitute form and open the new entry form immediately with a single click. Similar functionality could be achieved in previous versions of Acumatica by using a Tile (e.g. New Sales Order shown in screenshot below), but we can save precious screen real estate with this new and more compact option!
Enhancement to the use of the TAB key in grids
Column Configuration is an existing feature of Acumatica that allows users or an administrator to easily configure the columns on any grid. This feature improves productivity by presenting only the relevant data fields. Users can tab through the grid and enter the required data without taking their hands off the keyboard. In 2020 R1, Acumatica has further enhanced productivity by adding the capability to display a field for reference but remove it from the tab sequence. If needed, users can still use the mouse to select and edit any field.
For example, in the screenshot below, users can enter an Inventory ID and Acumatica automatically populates the transaction description based on the Inventory Item description.
When a field such as this one is displayed for reference but not typically changed, we can improve efficiency and reduce the chance for errors by removing the field form the tab order. The change is made within the Column Configuration. To remove a column from the tab order, simply click on a column name and then click again on the TAB entry to toggle the value.
Once we apply this change, the tab key will advance the cursor from the Inventory ID directly to the Quantity.
Those are some highlights of the 2020 R1 User Interface improvements. Stay tuned for my next post where I plan to review changes to the Acumatica CRM functionality!