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Using References within Printed Notices (#NTCURPN01)

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20130328 (Andy)   Pro, MultiUser, MultiSite, MultiView   Self Storage EditionMarina EditionVault Edition   8.X (and higher)   Video

Using References within Printed Notices (#NTCURPN01)

In StorMan, it is possible to use database fields within your printed Notices (more on this: #NTCABT01), allowing you to replace generic information with information specific to the person who is receiving your Notice in the mail. For example: You can use a reference to replace a generic "Dear Madam / Sir" opener with the recipients actual name. Additionally, you could mention the recipients Agreement number, Berth / Unit / Vault number, rental rate, etc. All of these and many more can be displayed via Database References.

 

How to insert Database References into Printed Notices

  1. Select Maintenance, Notice Plans, then double-clicking on the Notice that you wish to edit.
  2. On the Notice Design tab, click Click here to open 4D Write area; this will open the Word Processor.
  3. Select Insert then 4D Expression.
  4. On the left, you will see a series of tables. Click the + next to the table which you wish to expand. If you are not sure what table or field to use, try our list of common references: #NTCRFCM01 (nb. the table name is shown inside square brackets "[ ]"). Example: In our example, we will be inserting the Customer's name, so in our case, we're going to click the '+' next to the 'Customer' table.
  5. Once you have expanded the table, a list of fields within that table will appear. Click the name of the database field that you wish to reference. Note: You can also set the format to the right hand side. In most cases, leave this section as-is, but you can make adjustments here if you want to display the data a certain way (such as the display of dates, currency & phone numbers in various different formats etc). Note: If you want to display a referenced picture in your document, select the Pictures table, then the corresponding field that contains your desired image (Picture1, Picture 2, etc...), depending on where your picture is stored in the Notice Graphics section (more on this section: #NTCAITNG01). Example: As we are inserting the Customer's name in our example, we have clicked on 'CustomerName', as shown below... Inserting a database reference
  6. Once you have selected your desired database reference, click OK. The reference will now be inserted into your Notice. Repeat the process if you with to add additional references.

How do I show references? Or, how do I hide references? What are the grey boxes in my Notices for?

StorMan shows references as grey boxes with the name of the reference written within. To toggle between displaying the reference name vs. the actual referenced data, click the [ ] icon (along the top of the Notice editor); as shown below...

Toggle the display of References

Can I copy & paste references from other Notices?

Yes, you can - so long as you copy them when references are enabled (e.g. the grey boxes, as described per above).

 

Some of my references aren't displaying when the Notice is printed - why?

Relational databases need exactly that - relationships between data tables - to work. Gathering data via references from two completely unrelated database tables will result in a reference that doesn't display anything when the Notice is printed.

If you need to reference data that doesn't appear to be linked, try looking for it within the current table, as you may often find similar fields that reference the same information; this is done intentionally to allow tables to "join" one another and form a relationship - hence the term, Relational Database. For more on Relational Databases, see this Wikipedia article.

 

Is there a list of common references? What about unusual references - like the current date?

Yes, there is a list - and it includes some of the harder-to-find references. See #NTCRFCM01.

 

Can I reference pictures or images?

Yes. For details on adding pictures into the database (so that you can reference them using the instructions above), see: #NTCAITNG01.

 

Video:

On Thursday 28th March, 2013 we held a free StorMan PowerSession webcast on the topic of Using References in Printed Notices. You can download / view the webcast recording below...

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database fields in printed notices, database field in letter, using database fields in letters, using database fields in notices, customising notices, references, 4D reference, storman reference, using database references

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