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Commence RM: Designer Edition


For more than a decade, growing businesses have relied on the Designer Edition to create robust departmental applications to address their unique business requirements. The Designer Edition enables you to capture, track, manage and share vital customer information with the people and departments that need it to efficiently do their jobs.

Whether you need to create a simple desktop database or a larger workgroup application, the Designer Edition will empower you to create and deploy software solutions in a fraction of the time and cost of other alternatives. These solutions may also be extended to the world-wide web and synchronized with a PDA or remote users.

The Designer Edition offers a complete development environment and includes:

  • Application Development Tool - Quickly create departmental solutions that enable you to efficiently capture and manage information.
  • Database Engine - Allows you to create tables, fields and one or more databases to capture and store information.
  • Workflow Engine - Provides the ability to share this information with the people and departments that need it to do their jobs.
  • Synchronization Engine - Supports the exchange of data both internally and with remote utilization.

In addition, the Designer Edition incorporates:

  • Business Automation and Workflow Technology
  • Programming Features
  • Customisation Features
  • Network Administration Tools
  • Integration Features, MS Desktop Applications, Back Office Applications
  • Palm PDA Integration
  • Internet/Intranet Integration
  • Robust Remote Synchronization
  • Multi-Level Security

Core Features

Shared & Distributed Network Databases The Workgroup version of Commence allows users to share information with other Commence users and gain the full benefits of network-based information sharing. Commence automatically synchronizes any additions or updates to the database with other authorized users on the network. When one user/client makes a change, all other users will see the change on their systems as well. Users can disconnect from the network and still have their own local copy of the shared database to take with them. When they return and reconnect to the network, all their changes will be synchronized with the other users, and vice-versa. Anyone who needs business information, both in the office and on the road, gets the best of both worlds with Commence.

Flexible Database Architecture Commence includes a flexible database offering robust capabilities to meet the needs of growing businesses. The database includes many field types including text, number, email addresses, web addresses, telephone, image, and document fields. Commence’s unique 'connection' field type is used to quickly make relationships between tables, for example relating contacts and the companies they work for. Connection fields allow related data to be quickly accessed and instant access to attached records.

Calendar & Scheduling Individual users can keep total control of their schedules and calendar events through powerful calendar capabilities. Users graphically view their calendar by the day, week, month or year, which includes text and colour-coded busy bars. Users can drag and drop items to schedule or reschedule appointments as well as enhance their productivity, using features such as sounding an alarm prior to an appointment. Conflicts can also be identified which inform the user of multiple appointments booked at the same time.

Viewing & Reporting Data can be viewed and printed in a variety of ways. Users can display selected data and fields in report form, in familiar address book format, graphically as a Gantt Chart, and in day/week/month/year calendar form. Printing in various day planner and organizer formats is supported, as well as envelopes, labels, Rolodex, index cards, and much more.

Multi-View The multi-view feature provides a clean efficient way to view your data. Similar to the dashboard of your automobile, this feature allows the end-user to combine multiple windows of information into a single frame. Examples are provided below:

Multi-View Example 1

Multi-View Example 2

Grid View The Grid View allows you to present reports in a familiar spreadsheet style format. Examples are provided below:

Grid View
Example 1

Grid View
Example 2

Document View Use the Document View to display HTML content within your Commence database. Example is provided below:

Document View

Drag and Drop Items can be dragged and dropped to move them between views. For instance, users can schedule a meeting by simply clicking on a name in an address book and dragging it to the calendar.

Detail Form Layouts The arrangement of detail form layouts can be easily created, customized and modified by dragging and dropping fields on the screen. Individual fields' label sizes, fonts, colours, and other attributes can be set and modified. In addition, VB Scripts can be created for detail forms in order to validate field values, automate navigation on the form, and to perform advanced calculations.

Word Processing & Faxing Document templates with fields to insert for mail merge operations can be generated from within Commence. External word processors such as Microsoft Word, and Fax software such as Delrina WinFax can be automatically loaded and run from Commence. The name, address and other relevant fields can automatically be inserted into a letter and the letter (or letters for mass mailings) can be printed or faxed, all from a simple request from Commence.

Electronic Mail (E-Mail) Electronic Mail (email) enabling allows the user to send and receive email from within Commence. Using its powerful agent technology, Commence can send either a text message or a letter template. Commence can also filter incoming mail and act on the subject matter, the sender, etc. Commence supports MAPI for access to Microsoft mail and VIM for access to CC:Mail and Lotus Notes.

E-Mail Integration The enhanced e-mail integration with Microsoft Outlook simplifies the storing and accessing of e-mail in Commence. It allows the end user to log messages directly into Commence with a single click. Examples are provided below:

E-Mail Integration
Example 1

E-Mail Integration
Example 2

Microsoft Outlook Integration Commence is tightly integrated with Microsoft Outlook to enable logging email into Commence and for synchronization of Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks. Additional integration features support Outlook's group scheduling features and accessing Commence records as an address book when sending email messages.

Web Internet/Intranet Integration Commence includes Internet URL (web addresses) & email field types that are used to capture these special information types. These field types enable quickly navigating to a web site or launching a new email message with the proper address. Also, end users can access the Web directly from within their Commence desktop. An example is provided below:


Web Integration

Global Search Items can be located through global searches by providing selection criteria to Commence. Fuzzy global searching enables the user to find information in their Commence databases, even if they're unsure of the word spelling (for example, proper names such as "Jensen" or "Jenson" can be found through fuzzy searches).

Comprehensive Phone Support Commence can dial telephone numbers via a PC's modem by simply clicking on the phone icon once a company or person's name is selected. Capabilities include international dialling, outside line access, internal PBX extensions, and long distance access. Commence can also initiate a phone log to keep track of relevant information from the phone call. With its TAPI support, Commence can handle incoming and outgoing communications, such as a database lookup and screen-pop from the Caller ID passed from TAPI-compliant phone systems.

Help Facility Context-sensitive on-line help is available for any dialog box, menu command or error message. Balloon help is available whenever the mouse is passed over a button. The Help - How Do I command leads to quick help on dozens of questions such as How do I: Open a View? Sort items in a View? Print a Letter from Commence? Work with predefined Agents?

Customisable Desktop The Commence "desktop", like the Windows Control Panel, gives the user the ability to change the look and feel of their Commence environment. Users can change the size and position of their Commence windows as well as add colours, change fonts, and modify other attributes. The user has the option of saving their favourite window environment either on demand or upon closing a Commence database. Multiple desktops can be created to save different sets of view windows for various uses.

Database Protection Commence provides several methods for protecting data from being accessed by unauthorized users. All the information in a Commence database is scrambled automatically which prevents anyone from reading the data from outside a Commence environment, such as with low-level DOS utilities. Additionally, passwords can be assigned to a database to prevent unauthorized access to important data. Commence Workgroup Information Manager provides Login IDs and Passwords for workgroup users, as well as permissions for various record level access.

Multimedia Multimedia playback provides support for defining a Commence agent to play multimedia files, including sound or video clips, which are used to create custom alarms for your calendar.

Commence Database API Commence uses Microsoft's Automation technology (formerly OLE Automation) to seamlessly integrate Commence with other applications that support Automation. Commence can act as an Automation server, whereby external applications can access data from the Commence database or store data into Commence.

These standards based on API (Application Programming Interface) makes Commence data more accessible than ever before. Commence can communicate with any Automation-enabled application, such as the entire complement of Microsoft Office products.

The Database API allows developers and value-added resellers to create add-ons in the programming language of their choice, such as Visual Basic®, Visual C++, VBScript, Delphi™, PowerBuilder, Visual FoxPro, and Visual Basic for Applications (i.e. VBA, the scripting language used by Microsoft Office). In previous versions of Commence, this type of integration was only possible using DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange). With the new API, communicating with Commence is now more easily accomplished through a programming language of your choice.

Commence Differentiators

  • Agent Technology: Having Commence at your workstation is like having an executive assistant at your side. Commence Agent Technology automates routine tasks to make your life easy while increasing productivity. Agents can be used for simple tasks such as producing follow-up letters to sales prospects or something more difficult such as downloading detailed information from another internal system at mid-night each day. No other company offers this level of automation in their product.

  • Distributed Database Architecture: Most workgroup products rely on a central database with a single set of files that are accessed by all users. These systems use file and record locking to make sure that two users do not update the same information at the same time. This means that a user must work on some other task until the data they need becomes available. It also means that every user must use the same centrally defined database definitions and must be connected to the LAN to access shared data.

    Commence allows a group of users to share information as well as to maintain private or local information. Each client can function independently on the network and access the network at anytime to receive updated information. If the server is down, each individual client can continue to operate and receive updates when the server comes back on-line. This is extremely effective for mobile professionals who often require separate databases and dial in periodically to receive updates from the server.

  • Total Customisation: Unlike traditional Contact Managers that are often structured and offer only limited customisation, every field within Commence can be tailored to meet your requirements. This flexibility has made Commence a favourite among software companies, system integrators, consultants and department heads that need to create comprehensive solutions for their businesses.

  • Internet Integration: Many companies claim to be Internet enabled, but do nothing more than provide a vehicle to access someone's Web site. Commence has the ability to integrate your internal business process with the Internet by publishing views and forms from existing applications on the Web. Internal routing of customer information via workflow provides total integration between your internal staff and external customers, vendors, suppliers and remote employees. (Requires Allure Product).
Last Modified:  17:15May 15, 2007
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Advanced User Systems Pty Ltd - 2 Rudd St. North Ryde NSW Australia 2113 - ABN 54 054 718 311
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