Testing Your Free Purchase Order Software

Todd was trying to refresh his Testing (“sandbox”) copy of SpendMap so that it has the same data and configuration/settings as his Live (“production”) copy, using this menu option…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Test environment > Create a TEST system from your PRODUCTION system

…but he got the error message “This does not apply to the free version (A test system was already installed in your free folder)“.

Sorry about that Todd.  That menu is only used in our paid (commercial) version.  We use a different approach to manage Testing Systems in the free version of SpendMap.

Here’s how it works…

When you install the Free Version, you will get a folder in your Desktop called “SpendMap Free Version” with five shortcuts in it, one of which is the SpendMap Test System

free purchase order software shortcuts

To refresh the data in your Test System, just run that shortcut and you will be prompted for the location where your Live System is installed, so that it can be copied.  If you’re not sure, just log into your Live System, select the menu Help > System Information, and see #8 “Shared File Location”.

Reminder:  Use of the Test System is not always necessary.  You can also do testing in your Evaluation System, which is preloaded with sample data and the most popular settings.  That said, if you want to test something that might be affected by the settings or data in your Live System, then that’s what the Test System is there for.


Options for exporting data from your free Purchase Order Software

You may have noticed that there is more than one way to export items, suppliers, PO history and other data out of the Free Version of SpendMap.  I am referring to the “Export Any Table” utility versus the “dedicated” export utilities under UTILITY > DATA INTERFACES in each module…

export data from PO system

While you could use Export Any Table to export the same data that is available via the dedicated export utilities, the dedicated exports provide some additional features that might come in handy if you’re going to be doing this on a regular basis, such as…

  • The dedicated exports allow you to set up “export templates”, so that you don’t have to manually select the fields that you want to export each time.
  • When configuring the dedicated exports, you can specify the location/position of each field in the export file.  While Export Any Table does allow you to select the fields that you want to export, you cannot specify, for example, the target column in the Excel file.
  • You can specify the format of date fields (e.g. MM/DD/YY vs. YY-MM-DD) if the other system that will be importing the data uses a different format than you use in SpendMap.
  • You can specify a default value for fields that might be blank in the source table.

Hope this help you pick the best tool for the job!

PDF Printer Driver in Windows 10

If you install the free version of SpendMap on a PC with an earlier version of Windows and then later upgrade the PC to Windows 10, you may need to reinstall SpendMap’s PDF printer driver. Read the rest of this entry »

Upgraded e-mail features in your free Purchase Order Software

We made two fairly significant improvements to the e-mail features in the Free Version of SpendMap (including v12.65)…mail-GREEN

1) Encrypted E-Mail

SpendMap now supports encrypted (SSL/TLS) connections to the mail server.  Better security aside, we have been finding that more and more e-mail providers (like Google’s Gmail) no longer support unencrypted connections.  If you previously had trouble getting SpendMap to work with your e-mail system, please try again after upgrading.

Note the new “Secure Connection” setting under the Server Name or IP Address field, in…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > e-mail settings

Please note that to send e-mail, SpendMap now requires the Microsoft .NET Framework v4.0 or above to be installed on the PC (available since 2010).

We normally don’t make changes to published versions of SpendMap but we made an exception in this case due to recent changes at Google and the increasing number of requests for this feature.

2) Free, Built-In E-mail Service

The free version of SpendMap now includes a free, built-in e-mail service, which you can use instead of configuring the system to use your own e-mail server or ISP.

Just enter “SpendMap” in the Server Name or IP Address field in E-mail Settings to use this free service (don’t worry about the other SMTP settings as they will be ignored when using the built-in e-mail service).  The Online Help for the Server Name or IP Address field has additional details.

For new downloads of the free version of SpendMap, the Evaluation Copy is preconfigured to use this new e-mail service.  If you already have SpendMap installed, your settings will not change automatically but you can manually change the Server Name or IP Address field per above if you want to use this free service.

We moved the Getting Started Documentation for your free PO Software

It may seem like a small thing but lots of people rely on the Getting Started Documentation, so we thought we should mention that it was moved to the top of the Online Help…

Getting Started Docs for free PO software

Free Purchase Order Software now has purchasing, receiving and e-mail modules

For the next while, we’re going to try giving away the Purchasing, Receiving and E-mail modules.

If you’re already using the free version of SpendMap with different modules, your system won’t change.  New downloads, however, will have these modules.

If you have any questions, please use our Support Ticket System.

How to include your account number for the supplier on the PO form in your free PO software system

Chaim works in the security solutions industry in New Jersey and was asking how to include an account number for the supplier on the PO form…

When I place an order, our suppliers would like to know our account number. In the Supplier information there are fields to enter Phone, Fax, but not our Account Number.  The Account Number should appear on the PO.

Great question, Chaim!

Most people use the Comment 1 field for that. You can enter the supplier’s account number in the [Miscellaneous] folder of the Supplier Master File, and it will carry forward to the PO Header for each new PO for that supplier and will be available to print on the PO form…

supplier account number on Purchase Order

If you like, you can rename the field from “Comment 1” to “Account Number”, which will update the field title in the Supplier Master File, as well as on the PO Header screen and the PO form itself.  Just go in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO printing settings > Text-Based Field Positions and Field Settings > Standard

…and change the Title of field #21, then exit and re-run SpendMap.

History of sent e-mail messages in your Free Purchase Order Software

Jose works in the irrigation services industry in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was asking how to see a history of e-mail messages that were sent from SpendMap…

I couldn’t confirm whether the PO, RFQ was sent to the recipient….How do I know the PO and RFQ are being sent successfully?

There are two options for sending e-mail from SpendMap, 1) MAPI and 2) SMTP.

If you would like e-mails that are sent from SpendMap to show in your Outlook Sent Box, then use the MAPI option (using the two fields at the top of the E-mail Setting Screen).  TIP: In most cases, you do NOT need to enter any of the other MAPI-related settings further down the screen.

If, however, you prefer the SMTP option, you can enable the Sent E-mail Log, using the setting called “Maintain a log of sent e-mail messages” (also in E-mail Settings), and you will see a history of the outgoing e-mail messages in…
– PURCHASING > Utility > e-mail and internal messaging > e-mail log > Log of sent e-mail messages

Email Logs in free PO Software

TIP: It would be unusual for SpendMap users to verify that each and every e-mail was sent successfully (e.g. by checking Outlook or using the Sent E-mail Log), since you will be notified if an e-mail could NOT be sent.  If SpendMap cannot connect to Outlook or your SMTP server to send a message, you will see a “failed e-mail” icon in the Main Menu of SpendMap, and the failed message will show in the E-mail Error Log, in here…
– PURCHASING > Utility > e-mail and internal messaging > e-mail log > Local/Server e-mail error log

Or, if SpendMap is able to pass the message to the outgoing mail server but the message fails for some other reason (e.g. bad e-mail address), the mail server will send an “undeliverable mail” message back to the sender.

Terms and Conditions on PO Form (Ts and Cs)

Jody works in the hospitality industry in California and was asking how to include terms and conditions (Ts and Cs) on her PO form in the free version of SpendMap.

There are actually two options when it comes to terms and conditions on your Purchase Order form…

Short Terms Text

If you just need a few lines of text, try using the Short Terms Text in PO Printing Settings, which will be included on the face of the PO form, at the bottom, next to your signature line.  Here is where you can find the setting, and what it looks like…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO printing settings > Settings

Short terms and conditions on PO form

Long Terms Page

If you need more than just a few lines of text, the other option would be to use the full Terms and Conditions Page that will automatically accompany each PO that is printed or e-mailed to your suppliers .  You can configure the Terms Page using the [Setup Your Terms Page] button on that same PO Printing Settings screen.

When you click the [Setup Your Terms Page] button, you will be brought to a screen where you can either 1) enter lots and lots of text for your Terms Page, or 2) if you already have an existing Terms Page, you can scan it and upload it into SpendMap as an image file.

Finally, don’t forget to enable the Terms Page for one or more copies of the PO (likely only the Supplier’s copy) using the applicable check-box on the main PO Printing Settings screen…

PO Printing Settings