For as long as I can remember, the user community has been looking for ways to schedule and run certain VISUAL processes automatically and un-attended; Processes like Costing in Costing Utilities, MRP and the Concurrent Scheduler.
Earlier versions of VISUAL did not have this built-in feature – leaving many users to resort to creative ways and workarounds to accomplish this – some good and some not so good. Most involved 3rd party applications such as AutoIT and Automate.
But now with VISUAL 8 and up, using AutoRun Services, you can schedule and automate the following:
- Running Concurrent Scheduler
- Printing of Work Order Travellers
- Costing (Cost Utilities)
- Running Material Requirements Planning
- Updating the Reporting Database Tables (for Dashboard Analytics)
Setting up the schedule can be done within each window of the specific process – under the FILE menu.
EXCEPTION: For Updating the Report Database Tables, you need to go to Admin > Application Global Maintenance > Maintain > Visual Reporting Data…
For example, to setup an automated schedule for the Concurrent Scheduler, select “Set as Scheduled…” item from the FILE menu of the Concurrent Scheduler window
The following window will appear. The left area are the parameters that you would typically set for running the Concurrent Scheduler. The right area is where you set the parameters to schedule the running of the Concurrent Scheduler – the fields are fairly straight forward.
Also note that you can have the process run several times a day – up to 6 times – which is great if you have lots of activity (transactions) going on (inventory movement, labor reporting, shipping/receiving, etc)…it helps in keeping the system up to date (where needed).
Now, out of the box, these services are not installed…
Don’t fret – there are some setups involved but it’s not overly complicated
Each automated process has its own service executable file – which are typically found in the VISUAL executables directory
|Service EXE||What does this service do?||How many times do you need install this service?|
|VRDTASVC.EXE||Loads data into the Reporting database tables||Once per database|
|VMSCHSVC.EXE||Runs a schedule||Once per site|
|VMDBRSVC.EXE||Runs a schedule in a DBR-enabled database||Once per site|
|VRPTSVC.EXE||Once per database||Once per database|
|VMCSTSVC.EXE||Runs costing||Once per site|
|VMMRPSVC.EXE||Runs MRP||Once per site|
You may have to go through the installation procedure more than once for a given service if you are a multi-site operation.
I’ll walk you through an installation of the Costing Service.
- On the computer or server that will be running the service, go to the directory that contains the VISUAL executables and find the file VMCSTSVR.EXE (this is the service executable file to run the Costing Utilities as a service)
- Right Click on the VMCSTSVR.EXE and “Run as administrator”
- You will then be prompted to Sign Into VISUAL. You can use any VISUAL User ID as long as it has the permissions to the respective area (in this case the Costing Utilities).
- In the following window, you’ll need to specify the following:
Site ID: The Site to which the service will be running against.
Log File Directory: Directory Location to store the log files for this service
Polling Interval: Frequency the service checks for updates – I just accept the default
Log Level: You can specify the amount of details you want to capture when the service is running. The recommended level is to set to None (logs just basic information – timestamps, etc). Refer to the VISUAL manual if you would like more info on this
- Hit the Install Service Button
- Click Yes at the following prompt
- Then CLOSE the window
The costing service is now running!!
You can verify this by going into the Services Console in Windows and scroll through the list for the service. In this case, the service is called Infor Visual Costing Service (database name:site id)
Now that the Costing Service is running – you can now set the schedule to run Costings.
Remember how? … Go to the Costing Utilities window and click on Costing Service Schedule under the FILE menu.
OK…here’s a screenshot…