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  • PIM- launching the client (overview)

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    Hello

    Todays blog will throw some light on the PIM desktop and the various  features and options available to manage and configure the same.

    Launching the client

    PIM Desktop works on the client/server concept. In order to use the client application that is installed on the computer, it must be constantly connected to the PIM Desktop server. All changes that are made to the data using the client are not saved on the computer but directly in the database. All the users connected to the PIM Desktop server have access to this data. The data can be accessed from any computer on which the PIM Desktop client is installed. However, settings are saved locally on the corresponding workstation computer.

     

    Program interface

    The program window  includes a menu area at the top and a status bar divided into two at the bottom. The menu bar provides program functions, while the status bar provides feedback from the system. You can select View > Status bar to show or hide the status bar.

     

    A toolbar and the perspective line can be displayed below the menu bar ,if required. Select View > Toolbar to show or hide the toolbar. The perspective line can be displayed separately under the toolbar.

    Windows and views

    The large area between the perspective line and the status bar normally contains windows. Every window has at least one view. Additional views for each window are displayed by additional tabs. A view provides functions for editing the data using menus and icons.

    Views can be linked to one another. PIM Desktop also offers unlimited display options in terms of the layout of views in perspectives. Using the mouse, move a view from one window to another, position a window anywhere inside the program window, and it will be automatically anchored there. Also detach a window from the program window entirely, perhaps to move it to a second screen.

     

    Menus

    The range of menu options displayed depends on the relevant program situation. Therefore, menus are displayed dynamically in PIM Desktop. If no perspective is open, only a few menu options are available. However, if a perspective is open, there is access to a much wider range of functions.

    The menus respond dynamically. Certain functions can be accessed using program menus. Menu options either provide functions directly or they call up a perspective. Besides the program menus, there are also context-sensitive menus with special options, which can be called up either from the Views menu or using the pop-up menu for a specific option. 

    In PIM Desktop the individual predefined perspectives are assigned to categories that represent typical task areas:

    • Data transfer : This category contains perspectives for importing supplier catalogs and transferring catalog data to the master catalog.  
    • Data maintenance : The Data maintenance category groups all perspectives that allow product data maintenance, classification of items and management of multimedia data and thus improve the data quality of master catalog. These are primarily the maintenance of user-defined structure systems, and the definition of assortments. 
    • Publications : This category contains perspectives that can be used to export and publish items.
    • Management : This category includes perspectives that are used for managing customers, suppliers, units and PIM Desktop users

     

    Perspectives

    The window group referred to as a perspective is a group of windows and views to which a task is assigned . PIM Desktop is supplied with an entire series of preconfigured perspectives. User can use these perspectives immediately or can adapt them to own needs. PIM Desktop also provides the option of creating custom perspectives .

    Opening perspectives

    1. Select Perspectives > Open.
    2. The dialog box for selecting perspectives opens. The perspectives are divided into various categories. Custom perspectives are found under User-defined.
    3. Open a category, e.g., Default > Data maintenance.
    4. Select a perspective, e.g., References.
    5. Click on OK.

    The perspective opens and is the perspective currently displayed.

    Adapting perspectives

    User can change perspectives by rearranging windows, closing windows, opening new windows, and creating, changing or deleting dependencies between windows. To reset a perspective to its delivery status, proceed as follows:

    1. Open the perspective, if it is not already open.
    2. Select Perspectives > Reset. 

    The perspective is reset to the original delivery status.

    Creating custom perspectives

    To create custom perspectives and design them according to individual needs by opening certain views or changing their layout:

    1. Change an existing perspective in such a way that it has the required appearance and composition.
    2. Select Perspectives > Save as….
    3. The dialog box for saving perspectives opens. Enter a descriptive name for new perspective so that it is easy to identify the purpose of the perspective from its name.
    4. Click on OK. The modified perspective is saved under the new name.

    Adapting the perspectives menu

    In the menu, configure fast access to frequently required perspectives:

    1. select Perspectives > Adapt…. The "Adapt perspectives menu" dialog box opens. Existing perspectives are shown on the left-hand side while perspectives displayed in the perspectives menu are shown on the right hand side. The perspectives are organized into categories within a tree structure.
    2. Open a category, e.g., Default > Data maintenance.
    3. Select the relevant perspective, e.g., References
    4. Click on Add->. The perspective is displayed on the right.
    5. Click on OK. The dialog box is closed.
    6. Now select Perspectives > References (items) to open the perspective.

     

    Windows and views

    In PIM Desktop windows have the following properties:

    • They contain at least one view.
    • They are either embedded in the application or they can be detached from it.
    • Their size can be changed.

    Windows can have a context-sensitive menu. This is known as the Views menu because it changes depending on which view is currently open. Additional icons for calling up the most important functions from the menu may also be displayed to the left. Views are provided in predefined categories to make targeted access easier.

    Opening a view

    1. Select Perspectives > Open view .
    2. The dialog box for view selection opens. The views displayed are organized into categories.
    3. Click on next to a category, e.g. "Item views".
    4. The category opens up and shows the views available. Views shown in gray are already open in the current perspective.
    5. Select a view, e.g., Item details (form ). 
    6. Click on OK. The dialog box closes and the Item details (form ) view opens in the current perspective.

    Resizing windows

    1. Move the mouse over the edge of the window until the pointer changes into a double arrow.
    2. Hold down the left mouse button.
    3. Move the mouse right/left or up/down in the direction of the arrow.
    4. Release the mouse button when the desired size has been reached.

    Two icons for minimizing and maximizing the window appear in the top right: The icon on the left minimizes the window to the size of the window's title bar. The icon on the right maximizes the window to the maximum size. The maximum size is defined by the program window.

    If the window has been maximized, the following icons are available: The left icon minimizes the window, while the right icon restores the window to its previous size. If the window has been minimized, appears on the nearest edge. Clicking on this restores the window to its previous size.

    Changing the layout

    User can change the layout of windows within the program window as required. The frame of a window always borders on other window frames. Changing the layout works in one of the following two ways:

    • After changing the layout, a window is displayed at a different location within the program frame. This often involves changing the sizes of the adjacent windows.
    • After the layout is changed, a window and its views are integrated into another existing window.

    To change the layout:

    1. Click on a free area in the relevant window title bar.
    2. Hold down the left mouse button.
    3. Drag the window to a different position in the program frame.

    Since the PIM Desktops program window can incorporate several windows and they can be arranged as required, PIM Desktop must apply a certain system to arrange them. This layout can be either row-based or column-based.

    Tables

    The Item #1 view is the default display for items. Similar to a spreadsheet program, the row and column logic is used to display the item. Entries are selected and deselected using standard Windows keyboard shortcuts combined with the mouse. The number of entries in this table is shown in brackets on the View tab after the description. In addition, use the Views menu to display a status bar showing the number of entries currently selected.

    The following selection options are available:

    • Load limited: Only the number of data records specified in the table settings is loaded.
    • Load all: The number of data records specified in the table settings is ignored on this occasion and all data records are loaded.
    • Load all optimized: In this case also, the number of data records specified in the table settings is ignored and the data is loaded using a virtual access, which enables optimized handling of the data.

    Selecting one of the three options does not change the value in the table settings. To change the table settings, place a check mark next to the Do no longer prompt for data type "x" option.

    Creating new data

    The procedure is always the same for creating new data in tables:

    1. Click on or press CTRL and N on keyboard. A new row is created in the table.
    2. Enter the data.
    3. Click on or press CTRL and S on your keyboard to save the new data record.

    Invalid entries are highlighted in red font. The system will display a response if when trying to save invalid entries. User can then choose to correct the entries or reject the new data record completely.

    Sorting a table

    A table has column headers, which are freely configurable. Clicking on a column header will cause the table to be sorted in ascending or descending order based on the criterion in that column. This works as follows: If user clicks on the column header of an unsorted column, the table will be sorted in ascending order. Each subsequent click inverts the existing sort order.

    The row number column is always renumbered in ascending order after a sorting operation. To sort two or more columns at the same time first click on the column header of the first column, pressing and holding the SHIFT key, and then click on the column header of another column. Hold down the SHIFT key to change the sort order.

    Selecting columns

    The Field selection dialog box is used to select the table columns to be displayed.

    1. Click on or select Field selection in the Views menu. The Field selection dialog box opens.
    2. Select the relevant entry in the list on the left. The fields are divided into different categories, which can expand and collapse. Use the search field in the top left to perform a targeted search for fields. Use the asterisk (*) symbol as a placeholder for one or more characters in the search. All available fields in a view are shown by default.
    3. Click on Add ->. (The button is inactive if no entry is selected.) The entry now appears in the list on the right. This list shows, from top to bottom, the columns in the table, in the order they are displayed from left to right.

    Remove column

    1. Select an entry in the right-hand list.
    2. Click on <- Remove.

    Alternatively, use drag and drop to remove the columns from the table directly in the view.

    Changing the order of columns

    1. Open the Field selection dialog box. The list on the right shows, from top to bottom, the columns in the table, in the order they are displayed from left to right.
    2. In the list on the right, select the entry to move.
    3. Click on up or down arrow to position the entry further to the right or further to the left in the table.

    Alternatively, use drag and drop to drag a column to a different position in the table.

    Changing the field qualification

    PIM Desktop provides some fields that need to be qualified in more detail. In other words, it is not enough to merely indicate which column is to be displayed; user must also specify which version is to be displayed

    1. Open the Field selection dialog box.
    2. Select an entry in the right-hand list.
    3. Specify the field qualification in the bottom right section of the dialog box.

    Changing the column name

    1. Open the Field selection dialog box.
    2. Select an entry in the right-hand list.
    3. Edit the column header in the "Field name" text field.

    Changing the column width

    The procedure for changing the width of the columns is as follows:

    1. Move the mouse to the right edge of the column in the column header
    2. Press the left mouse button
    3. Drag the mouse to the right or left with the button held down.
    4. When you have reached the width you want, release the mouse button

    Using field filters

    Define filters for a table to hide some of the data. A filter definition consists of one or more filter conditions for one or more fields. To create a new filter condition:

    Select Field filter... in the Views menu. The dialog box for filter definition opens. Existing filter definitions are displayed in the upper section, while the lower section is used to create new filters. In the Column drop-down list, select the field to assign a condition. This list shows only those fields that are currently displayed as columns in the table. In the center combo box, define the condition type. Choose from the following:

    • contains
    • does not contain
    • begins with
    • does not begin with
    • equal to
    • not equal to
    • ends with
    • does not end with
    1. In the right field, enter one or more characters in plain text.
    2. Then click on Add to transfer this condition to the filter definition list.
    3. Click on OK to apply the filter defined.
    4. To remove filter entries already defined, select the corresponding filter definition.
    5. Click on Remove. To remove all filter definitions from the list, click on Remove all.

    The table is only filtered using the current list; this means that data is hidden but no new data is added.

    Grouping tables

    The grouping function makes it easier to handle large data volumes, in a similar way to classification, assortments or filtering

    1. Click on to activate or deactivate the grouping mode.
    2. Using drag and drop , move one or a succession of columns shown in the table into the area.
    3. Click on the column header in the grouping column to sort grouped columns.

    Saving a grouping

    User can save the grouping from a CSV file to evaluate it statistically.

    1. Create the required grouping.
    2. Select Save grouping tree in the Views menu or in the pop-up menu for the grouping tree. The Save grouping tree dialog box opens.
    3. Specify: Where the table will be saved. Which character set is used - this is particularly relevant for special characters. Which separator is used. Additional options, e.g. saving the table columns as headers.
    4. Click on Finish.

    Saving data

    Selecting File > Save as… in the program menu allows you to save the currently selected content of a table as a simple text file (CSV).

    In the Save table dialog box, specify: Which character set is used - this is particularly relevant for special characters. Which separator is used. Additional options, e.g. saving the table columns as headers.

    Saving settings

    If user require different table settings, save them as layouts and quickly call them up again later.

    1. Compile a table with the required layout.
    2. Select Layout > Save as... in the Views menu.
    3.  Enter a name for the layout in the "Save layout" dialog box.
    4. Click on OK to save the layout.

    The saved table layout is now active in the current perspective. PIM Desktop remembers the layout of views depending on the perspective. User can switch between the individual layouts using Layout in the Views menu.

    To delete a layout:

    1. Open the layout.
    2. Select Layout > Delete.

    The layout is deleted. If the layout is still used in another perspective, a warning message will appear.

     

    Forms

    Forms have many similarities with tables. In a form display, user can choose between a one-column or two-column field layout. To switch between the two layouts, select Layout > Vertical or Layout > Vertical (two columns) in the pop-up menu for the view.

     

    Dialog boxes

    Dialog boxes are program components that deal with a specific topic or theme, e.g. the Print dialog box, to make settings for printing. There are two different types of dialog box:

    • Modal dialog boxes are dialog boxes in which the program transfers complete control to the dialog box called up. User must exit this dialog box to return to the program. e.g. The Print dialog box.
    • Non-modal dialog boxes allow to continue using the main program, e.g. the "Find and Replace" dialog box.

     

    Drag & drop

    Drag & drop is a method of operation in graphical software interfaces. It is necessary to use the mouse to drag an object out of a certain context and drop it into a new context. In the simplest case, this is done in three stages:

    • Select object: Select an object, by clicking on it. To select the row, left click on the row number and hold down the mouse button.
    • Drag: Drag the selected object across the screen to the new context with the left mouse button held down. A valid new context could be a structure group in a structure system that is displayed in the Primary structure tree view. PIM Desktop changes the mouse point to clearly indicate whether user can drop the object at the selected position.
    • Drop: Drop the object in the target context by releasing the left mouse button that has been held to this point. This triggers a specific mechanism in the target context.

    As well as dragging an object away from one context and into another, there are two other standard ways of using drag & drop: Copying the object to the new context and Creating a link to a target context.

     

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