3i Version 1.1 Now Available!
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Thanks to all of our evaluators and potential customers for making version 1.1 solid!
-The 3i team
Now its time to enter the groups and attributes, or fields, you'd like to track for your custom asset of type 'vehicle'.
Select 'Vehicle' from the select box titled 'Select Asset Type'.
After selecting the Vehicle type, lets add a group of attributes to describe the vehicle's engine.
Under the 'Add Group' column, click the button 'Add' and edit the row that is displayed to read 'Engine'.
You should now see a dialog similar to the one on the left.
3i allows you to add not only text, but also date, selection, numeric, and boolean (true/false) fields to your custom types.
Lets add an attribute or field to the 'Engine' type called 'capacity' and make it a numeric field.
Now, lets create another field for our Vehicle type, this time as a selection box. Under the heading “Add Fields to Groups” click the “Add” button. Highlight the new row that appears under the row for “capacity” and change the filed name to “number of cylinders”. In the “Field Type” column, select “SELECTION”. Notice that when you choose “SELECTION”, the “Add” button under the “Add Selection Values” section is enabled.
Lets now define a discrete set of values for the “number of cylinders” field. In the section titled “Add Selection Values”, click the “Add” button three times. You now see three new rows in the column “Value”. Select each row individually and enter values; I have added “4”, “6”, and “8” arbitrarily – you can add whatever you want! Perhaps a “3” for your Geo Metro? I would suggest “12” if you plan on tracking Italian sports cars.
Phew! We’ve almost created a new Vehicle type. Now for the hard part. Click “Apply” to save your work. Now click “OK” to close the dialog. Sweating or out of breath yet? Didn’t think so.
Lets take a look at what a real use of the Vehicle type would look like by adding a vehicle to 3i. From the ‘Edit’ menu, select ‘Add Custom’.
You are then presented with the ‘Add/Update Custom’ dialog, as seen below. Enter text into the Asset Display Label and Asset Description to help differentiate this particular asset.
Here's where things get interesting. In the Asset Type section, drop it down with a click of your mouse and select 'Vehicle', the custom type we just defined. Remeber all of those custom attributes we defined in the group we named 'Engine'? They all are contained in the new tab that appears magically in the Add/Update Custom dialog as soon as you select Asset Type 'Vehicle'. Lets click on the Engine tab.
As you might imagine, the two attributes we defined for the type are included in the Engine tab.
Enter a value for the capacity and number of cylinders. Click 'OK' on the bottom of the dialog to persist your values to the 3i database.
Now that you have created a type and a custom asset based on that type, you may want to make sure everything is where it should be. You may have the need to actually view or update this asset again, so how do you do that?
In the main 3i UI, find the Navigation pane and highlight 'Custom' You will see two subtrees beneath titled 'Type' and 'Location'. Click on 'Type'.
You will immediately see the fruits of your labor - a subtree titled 'Vehicle'. Click on it and your vehicle you just entered into the system is display in the Custom Asset List on the right-hand pane.
Double-clicking on the row for your vehicle will enable a new dialog titled 'Add/Update Custom ehicle'. You can view or update the information contained as you see fit.
"OK, great, but what about reporting?" you might be asking...
On the main 3i UI, select the 'Report' menu, followed by 'Custom' menu. Select the report titled 'Custom By Type'. An example of the rich reporting capability built into 3i is displayed below.
The flexibilty of custom assets allows you to choose the types of assets (as well as the attributes of those assets) you want to track. The powerful searching and reporting capabilities built into the framework of 3i make tracking and communications regarding these assets simple and surprisingly efficient.