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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AMODIT in ILF Consulting Engineers Polska

ILF Consulting Engineers Polska deployed AMODIT to accelerate purchase invoice acceptance. It covers whole process from scanning invoice, describing with analytical measures, accepting and accounting. It is planned to automate other processes in near future.
Deployment covers all office employees. Case study is to be published soon.


ILF Consulting Engineers Polska Sp. z o.o. is one of the leading design and consulting engineering companies on the Polish market.

The company renders services at all project's stages: design & engineering, project management, investment preparation, consulting. Its business areas are as follows: Oil & Gas, Energy & Climate Protection, Environment, Transport Infrastructure.

ILF Poland's customers are public sector institutions as well as private investors. Its projects are realized in Poland and abroad.


 
 

Eco Wind Construction deployed AMODIT


Eco-Wind Construction SA decided to deploy AMODIT for automation of workflow processes. Automated processes include purchase invoice acceptance, correspondence and advance settlements. AMODIT is to be integrated with Tableau Business Intelligence and CDN XL ERP systems.

Eco-Wind Construction SA is one of the leading players in the development of wind farm projects on the Polish market. Eco-Wind Construction SA undertakes projects in the wind energy industry, such as the acquisition of interesting locations for wind farms, further development of the project until the administrative permits and licenses for the construction and execution of the total investment, including financing and turnkey construction organization.

In addition, the company offers services related to complex management and exploitation of wind farms in the Centre for Wind Farm Operations for themselves and customers interested in those services.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Expiring signatures

Everyone who were using signatures in AMODIT knows that making any change to signed item leads to expiring signature. Therefore if you sign a form it becomes read-only and you need to cancel signature manually to make changes in the form. However, there are many situations when you can make changes and make signature expire. The problem with such a situations was that it was not always obvious why signature expired. This is why we have extended history of a case and since now it shows cause of expiration. It can save a little time when trying to understand what actually happened.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Customizing interface for external users

AMODIT has two main types of users: internal and external. Internal users are usually employees and they have access to almost all features (except for administrative ones).
External users are usually people who interact with the system and play some roles in processes but they are not employees. For example they can be customers, potential customers, applicants etc. They have limited access to functionalities and only to selected procedures.
Important difference between these types of users is also that external users create accounts themselves and do NOT need to be acepted nor verified. During registration external users create external organizations and then manage them.

In new version of AMODIT there are some new options for customizing interface for external users. For example you can define which fields show up on registration form. And also you can decide which functionalities should be hidden.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Programming trick

Here is some example how you can use sofisticated programming features of AMODIT.
Let's say you want users to choose option from dropdown list and then set some parameters value depending on that choise. Of course you can use bunch of "if-then" statements to achieve it. But it will make code of the rule quite long and not so easy to maintain and to make changes.

Smarter and more tricky way is to put different value of parameters in descriptions of dictionary items. Look at picture below. It is in Polish but focus on syntax of descriptions (column "Opis").


OK, but how to extract value of parameters from it. You can do it using proper Regular Expression:


desc=GetDictionaryDescription("DictionaryName");
parameter=RegExp(desc,"param1=(?<param1>[0-9,. ]*)","param1");


It looks pretty complex but saves a lot of code and makes changes easy...

Monday, October 15, 2012

New certified specialists

One of our customers decided to certify own employee to maintain AMODIT inside organisation. They have passed exams and became certified AMODIT specialists. Congratulations!


License price calculator

At www.amodit.com you can find license price calculator. It became necessary because now price depend not only on number of users, but also on number of processes. Feel free to use it!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hiding form fields "on the fly"

Sometimes it would be nice to show or hide a field depending on some conditions. For example depending on value of other field. Typical situation is when you have a drop down list with various choices but last one is "Other". When user chooses this option it is nice to show a field to let her/him type what "Other" really is.

And a good news is that from version 1.8.5 you will have such option. There two new functions:
HideField("fieldname")
and
ShowField("fieldname")


So you can use automatic rule to show or hide fields.

Note: To make it work well automatic rules are now also fired just before showing a form.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Qualia Development deploys AMODIT in a cloud model

Qualia Development is a developer with twelve years of experience, the company belongs to a PKO BP bank group. Qualia is known for its high-quality projects in the housing market, it can also boast of the fact that is the first and only developer in Poland building a network condohotels managed under the Golden Tulip hotel brand.

Challenge

Qualia Development strives for continuous improvement and optimization of business processes. One of the challenges is a matter of efficient workflow and approval of cost documents. This is particularly important because of the geographic spread of the company. Invoices received in different locations are to be scanned, described, validated and transmitted to the headquarters to handle the payments and accounting.
Another assumption was to use the existing network scanners and minimal interference with users' workstations, thus the use of a Web application.

Deployment

After reviewing the available solutions on the market Qualia decided to implement the AMODIT system (www.amodit.com). It is an innovative system that allows you to quickly search for information on the so-called metadata (the relevant parameters) and the contents of the documents, including the mechanisms of OCR (Optical Character Recognition). With the introduction of innovations in the field of document workflow, system logs all changes in documents’ content as well as monitoring their life cycle. In addition, significantly transferring documents between users have been facilitated.
Powerful modeling methodology has allowed an efficient mechanism to implement the service in accordance with pre-established plan.
Key factors for the decision were:

  • flexibility of the system allowing Qualia to independently model new workflows,
  • ability to run solutions in the "cloud computing" on the basis of a monthly fee, while preserving the possibility of transferring all to own on-premise servers at any time.

Most of the work related to defining workflow processes have been carried out by the expert staff of Qualia, which allowed a short time to reflect business requirements.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Colors and style setting

AMODIT lets you change color and style of user interface, so you can easily make it fit your corporate colors and logo or simply your personal preferences. To change color you choose "System settings" in menu.


Then you choose "User interface" tab. You can find "Change Colors" option there.
You can also upload your own logo and even upload your own alternate CSS file.


Color editor lets you choose favourite colors by clicking or typing RGB values.


So now you can make your AMODIT look like this:


Or this:
Or this:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tabs in toolbar

In version 1.8.1 we have introduced tabs in toolbar, because we are constantly inventing new features and number of icons is getting high. With tabs it is much easier to find a function you need at the moment.
It is especially useful if you define many manual rules and they all show up in toolbar. Not you have more place for them as only 3 to 5 icons are on the first tab by default.


Second tab:










We hope you like it.

Searching for empty values

Small new feature was introduced in advanced search. Sometimes you want to find all records with empty field. For example you want to find holiday requests when no person is assigned as a substitute.
Now you can...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sending emails from case and receiving responses

AMODIT gives you ability to send email from case using rules.
There are two functions which allow it.

SendMessage ( "userLogin" | "login@address.com", "Subject", "Text" [, "from@address.com"] )
,which sends simple email and
SendCasePrintMail ( "userLogin" | "login@address.com", "Subject", "Text", headers?, signatures?, attachments?, history? [, "Chosen Section", "from@address.com"] )
which can send email with form, attachments, signatures and history.

Important thing is that you can reply to such an email and AMODIT will receive it and store as a new comment into proper case. To achieve it AMODIT stores case ID in email header.

There is one more interesting thing. You can check who have sent the response. There are special fields that can be read in rules:

  • [CaseLastMailFrom] - sender of a last email (full name and address, like John Smith <john.smith@abc.com>)
  • [CaseLastMailFromAddress] - sender of a last email (address only, like john.smith@abc.com )
  • [LastMailFromTitle] - title of last email response received
All these features give you possibility to support sending and receiving emails inside AMODIT system and associate them with cases.

How to easily reorder stages in procedure

There is a new option to reorder stages. Till now you where able to do it using button "Move up" and "Move down". It was not very convinient when reordering many stages. There is new option now. You can choose new position for many stages using dropdown and then just click "Save positions".



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Optimizing performance: 37s -> 0.3s

There have been introduced important performance optimizations in AMODIT 1.7. We have tested performance using database with over 300.000 cases, 30 procedures and complex forms.
We have found several bottlenecks. One of examples is showing list on cases with different permissions. Before optimization in some situations getting list of cases was taking up to 37 seconds. We have realized that there were some operations (checking permissions) which were not necessary. When number of cases was small it did not make any difference. But with bigger numbers of cases it became important.
However everything can be optimized when you can modify source code. Our developers did great job optimizing whose operations. Now for the same data showing a list takes just 0.3s, which is great result.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Signing, forwarding, form validating etc.


There are some small changes we have introduced in AMODIT 1.6.8 (which will be perhaps 1.7 stable version) in area of signing and forwarding.
The point is you sometimes want to make some manual rules to accept or reject using just one click. Rejecting is simple but when you want to accept from rule there are several options. You may want to sign one field on a form and then change stage of case. Problem is that you may want to have some required fields.
So if you put simply:

SignField("FieldName","Some comment");
ForwardCase("Someone","New stage");

If there are some required fields empty then you will get signature but forwaring will fail (and show proper explanation to a user). So this is not something you would like.

So there are two new changes:
1. Function IsFormValid() which returns if all required fields are filled-in. So you can write:

if (IsFormValid()) { SignField("FieldName","Some comment"); }

2. You can choose to define rules by just clicking checkbox "Sign case after successful rule evaluation" and choose a field (till now it was possible to sign whole case only).

Friday, July 6, 2012

AMODIT and SharePoint in National Defense Academy

Bartosz Biernacik from the National Defense Academy has published a document "Selected aspects of IT tools usage for achieving IT security in organization." This document is based on experience with SharePoint and AMODIT systems.

Full article in Polish can be found HERE.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Defining deadlines

The 3 ways in AMODIT to define deadline for a case:

  1. Define notifications and escalations on procedure's stages. For example you can set that 2 days after entering stage user will get email notofication and 1 day later user's manager will get this notification, too.
  2. Request answer in defined period of time when sending case to someone else. If case doesn't come back to you in this ime you will be notified by email.
  3. Define deadline for a case. It can be for you or anyone responsible to the case (can be also a group of users). Cases with deadlines will be shown at the top of case list. And if deadline is exceeded then it will be marked red. Just before deadline comes person responsible for it will be notified by email.
I want to describe last option a little more. To define such deadline choose option from toolbar:

Then you define proper date and time. It will be shown in case header. And when deadline is exceeded it will be shown in red color.


Cases with exceeded deadlines will be shown at the top of case list and marked red.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MS Office document templates

AMODIT has one very nice feature that allows to print a case form. In most cases it is enough. But what should you do when you want to present or print the case form in more nicer or custom way? The answer is quite simple - just use MS Office documents (i.e. Word or Excel) as templates.

To accomplish this goal you should create your custom MS Office document (I will use a Word document as an example in this post) and attach it to a procedure definition in AMODIT. The following picture shows a few important steps you need to do while editing document templates.


These steps are:
[1] Create a case form in AMODIT. The fields may be of different types and using national characters for their names is not a problem.
[2] Create your own custom MS Office document with placeholders inside. The placeholders will contain fields values from the AMODIT case form.
[3] For each placeholder in the text insert a merge field.
[4] The merge field name should correspond to the AMODIT case field. It is important to replace spaces in the merge field name with underscores.
[5] One more thing you should do is to uncheck "Preserve formatting during updates" option.

As mentioned earlier in this post the document template should be then attached to the procedure definition in AMODIT. The document template appears on the "Document templates" tab on the case form ([6]). A sample result may look like on the following picture.


When you click and open the attached document template ([7]) you should see your custom Word document fulfilled with the data from the AMODIT case form ([8]).

Monday, June 25, 2012

2d barcodes support

Recently AMODIT was equipped with 2d barcodes support. To add it to a form you simply create a field of a type "Barcode". Then you can define from what fields values are to be taken to generate a barcode. For example "[VendorID] [ProductId]" means to get values from two mentioned fields divided by blank, and generate code from it.

You can then use this code to quickly input data from code to other system. Or just generate code with case ID and then use it to find electronic version on a basis of the printed code.

Now Aztec codes are supported but shortly we will add other codes like 1D and QR.

Below you can see example of code generated from a field [Company].

Codes are certainly visible on printed version too:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Password strength and expiration

AMODIT can use two types of authentication:

  1. Web forms - acounts stored in internal database
  2. Active Directory
Second type is usually used when customer already has AD. It gives "single sign on" and many security policies. For the first type of authentication those options were very limited, till now.
Now AMODIT is checking for strenght of password, so it has to contain at least one small letter, one capital letter, one digit and one special character. Administrator can also define minimal length of password (8 by default).
Furthermore, administrator can define number of day password is valid. Then it expires and user has to select new one.

This functions give proper level of security also for internal AMODIT account.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Error tolerant programming

One of principles of AMODIT is to make it as easy as possible. You can start using workflow in a few minutes and end users can propose new procedure giving it just a name and names of possible stages.
However, later some procedures get more mature and stable and we want to add some automation. This is why AMODIT is equipped with rules engine and special scripting language. Syntax is similar to C#, but is simplified. For example there are no loops, not to let user a chance to make infinite loop.

For those who are familiar with C# it is known that you have to put semicolon ";" after every statement.
For example:
a = a + 1;
b = a * 2;

But we assume that AMODIT users don't have to be experienced programmers and they can forget about semicolons. So compiler is trying to guess if there should be a semicolor and put it there itself. Thus previous example can be simply writtten as:

a = a + 1
b = a * 2

Another thing that is made simple is referring to form fields. Generally if you want to refer to a field you use its name in square brackets:
[field1] = [fields2] + 1;

However, there are some functions which perform special actions with fields. For example SignField(field,comment) function puts a signature into a sign field. First parameter is a name of a field (not its value) so you have to put is as a string:
SignField("field1","my comment");

But users very often make mistakes writing:
SignField([field1],"my comment") 
or
SignField("[field1]","my comment") 

From syntax point of view it is error. But it is common error and we decided to make compiler smarter.
So now you can use all combinations:

  1. SignField("field1","my comment");
  2. SignField([field1],"my comment") 
  3. SignField("[field1]","my comment") 

Just the first one is really valid, but all others are tollerated because compiler can clearly recognize user's intention. And this is what I call "error tolerant programming"!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Polatom deploys AMODIT and SharePoint

POLATOM is Radioisotope Centre, part of National Centre for Nuclear Research. Polatom deployed AMODIT to support workflow processes, f.e.: gathering opinions and workshop orders. There are plans to deploy more processes and it will be done in cycles.
This deployment was connected with deployment of intranet, based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010. Both systems were integrated and AMODIT is now integral part of intranet. Look&feel is the same. From users perspective it is one of intranet sites.


AMODIT as SharePoint site

Thursday, June 14, 2012

AMODIT in Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism

Since 2011 Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism is using AMODIT as a platform to gather applications for financing sport events and builing sport facilities. Number of organizations interested in getting such funds is above 30 000. Most people apply just a few days before deadline so it is every important to ensure high scalability and performance.

Applications forms are quite complex and can contain multiple subforms, tables etc. They are all defined using web browser. There are many restrictions defined as rules. So system checks validity of a form before it is sent to Ministry.


Forms are sent in electronic format but they can also be printed for archiving purposes.











System already supported numerous applying actions with load of over 4 thousand people applying at the same time.

Important achievements of deployments are:

  • modern way of applying in electronic way, even though forms are complex
  • automatic validation of application forms
  • quicker and less expensive process of applying
  • obtaining universal tools for all departments of Ministry
  • integration with financial (ERP) system
  • integrated reporting for the whole Ministry
  • electronic archive of all documents
  • tracking history of changes and decisions.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Collecting signatures and next step

Functionality of collecting signatures was present for some time already. But now it is extended with possibility to define what will happen if the whole process with finish with acceptance of rejection.
So from now on you can not only define who should sign the case (or part of it) and ask them one by one or at the same time.

So now you can define processes of collecting signatures and define who will take care of it after signatures are collected. You can also define more sofisticated scenarios if you use rules, because you can define automatic rule which will fire on certain stage. So you have lots of options :)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Merging cases

There are situations when two separate cases in AMODIT are started for the same issue.
What can you do when you realize it?
First you can connect them. So they both "live" separately but they have links to each other.
Sometimes however it is better to have just one. You can simply just close one. But there is better options now.
You can merge two cases. Then documents and comments from one case (called sub case) are moved to the other. But history and form of sub case is lost. So this is especially useful if sub case have been just created.

Note: One of such situations is when cases are created automatically from incoming emails.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Firing rules in background

Among many new featues in AMODIT 1.6 there is something very useful to make forms more interactive.
You can define rules that are fired in background while editing forms.
They can be used for example to make some calculations in background. Or to set value of one field depending on combinations of value of other fields.
What is important you can use them also in tables. There are special "table rules" which will be fired for every row separately.
To achieve it you just need to tick a checkbox:


Saturday, June 9, 2012

AMODIT in Academy of National Defence

Academy of National Defence have finished evaluation project with comparison of workflow systems. AMODIT and SharePoint were compared in area of modeling workflow processes.

As a result of this evaluation there were several advantages of AMODIT were indicated:

  • dynamic modeling of process diagrams based on history analysis and artificial intelligence
  • ease of defining electronic forms
  • built-in support for useful calculations, f.e. calculation number of workdays between two dates in accordance of weekends and public holidays
  • built-in integration with SharePoint, which lets use there two platforms as one product
- "Implementation of AMODIT and SharePoint significantly improved the management of information flow, which is an important qualitative change in the activities of the Department of Management and Command, and significantly increases our efficiency."
- Major MSc. Bartosz Biernacik,
Assistant in the Department of IT systems,
Institute of the Army,
Department of Management and Command.

Friday, June 8, 2012

BMM - new satisfied customer

BMM is an IT company specializing in deployments and trainings. Even though they use several information systems, they decided to use AMODIT. We have managed to deploy several business processes:

  • agreements
  • proposals
  • protocols (confirming work done for customers by consultants)
  • purchase invoices acceptance
  • correspondence
Customer is satisfied what is confirmed by this testimony:
- "Implementation of AMODIT reduced time and workflow needed to handle business processes. The Management Board received a tool to control the flow of information and quickly access documents. "
- Andrzej Ciupa - Board Member, BMM

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Demo version

You can access online demo version at https://app.amodit.com/demo_en


You can see concept animation here:


Rich support for e-mails

AMODIT had some e-email support before, which included:

  • sending notifications about new cases and changes,
  • sending alerts,
  • receiving scanned documents by email,
  • etc.
But it did not cover situations when you want to move your whole email communication with customers into AMODIT. One of our customers wants to use it this way. So recently AMODIT has been extended with new functionalities which allow really rich support for e-mails.

New features cover:
  • AMODIT can receive emails and convert them into cases.
    • Content of email is saved as comment, attachments are saved as files.
    • You can define mailbox for each procedure - every email sent to this mailbox will be transformed into case.
    • Newly created cases can be sent to chosen user or group.
    • There can be special mailbox for unknown content. Then special "unknown" procedure is used and proper procedure can be assigned later.
  • AMODIT shows cases sent from same email address and lets you merge them.
  • User can send email to person who primarily has sent email which created case. Such email contains caseID and replying to it will cause automatic attaching its content as case's comment.