Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

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How To Use The Attachment Form

The Attachment form provides a convenient place for storing extra information about a debt, a Debtor, or a Client. It may be used to store any kind of additional information with an account--even documents and files. You may want to use it for information about insurance, or doctors or equipment. Perhaps you want to store credit reports or credit scores, skip tracing data, or other information that your suppliers send to you. You may also use the attachment to record all incoming data for auditing purposes. You can store virtually any number of attachments with each account.

How can attachments be of the most benefit to your operations? The flexibility of the attachment form requires that you spend some time thinking about this. You may want to customize several of the Attachment field labels to reflect the kind of information you are storing. You may want to use the indexed fields or modify the pick lists. As in most things, it is best to start with simpler uses and add functionality when you are more familiar with using attachments.

On the Client and Debtor forms, you will see the Attachment tab. Select this to create an attachment or view the list of attachments that are already connected to the account. Choose an attachment or press New to create one. This takes you to the Attachment form.

This topic covers two aspects of using attachments:

The Attachment Form, containing many fields where you can enter information.

The Attachment File, where you can put the file name of any type of file that you want to attach to the debtor's account.

At the end, you will find links to topics that explain some of the special ways you can use attachments.

Attachment Form

This is a very flexible form. It has many fields that can be filled in. Several fields can be used as indexes to speed up find and sort routines. There are date and currency fields. A pick list can be attached to any field. Field labels can be renamed to be intuitive. Information from the fields can be pulled into reports and letters.

Press F1 from the Attachment form for more information on each field, or hold your mouse over the field for pop up help. Additional information about various types of fields is provided further on in this topic.

This form should not be used for addresses. Please use the Cosigners form for addresses. Press F1 from the Debtor form for more information.

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Attachment File

On the Attachment form itself, there is a File field. This field can hold the file name of an attachment file. Any type of file can be attached to the account. As long as Windows is set up to handle the file type, you can instantly display any type of original information about the account. Additional information about using the File field is provided further on in this topic.

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Field Labels - Dynamic Attachments

You can change the field labels on the Attachment form to suit your needs and make them more intuitive. As this record is typically use to build user defined custom forms, we recommend using Control Files to get your labels. This allows the attachment record to be dynamic. Please refer to How to Use Control Files for more information.

tip.gif If you are already using a control file and pick lists for your Attachments, please be aware that the new control file and pick lists may change some of your choices. So proceed with caution, or try this out in your Demodb database first.

tip.gif The files for Dynamic Attachments are also available for download at the Member Center.

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Control File

The sample control file is assigned to the Class and Type fields and the Attachment form through the Access Rights. The control file assigns a pick list to the Type field depending on the choice that is displayed in the Class field.

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Pick Lists

The control file assigns a pick list to the Class field. Several additional sample pick lists are chosen dynamically by the control file based on the selection in the Class field. There is a pick list for each one of the different Class choices. Many different types of details are provided for insurance, assets, credit bureau pulls, court cases, skip tracing and more.

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Dynamic Changes

When you select a Class, the control file sets a Type pick list. When you select a Type, the fields on the Attachment form change to enable you to enter data relevant to the Class and Type of data you are storing.

tip.gif You must sign into Collect! as a user that is not User Level 99 to see the effects of these dynamic changes. User Level 99 displays only defaults as they ship in Collect!, it does not display dynamic field labels.

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Setting Up Dynamic Attachments

tip.gif If you are already using control files and pick lists with your Attachments, you may want to rename your existing control and pick list folders before proceeding as some of the files may be overwritten in Step 1.

1. Copy the sample control and pick list folders to your database folder.


Control and Pick List Folders in Database Folder

2. Sign into your database as a user with level 99 to set the control file and pick lists in the steps that follow.

tip.gif If you are not familiar with using the Access Rights form to assign control files, please refer to Help topic, How to Use Access Rights.

3. Attach the attach.ctf to the Attachment Class field.


Access Rights for Attachment Class Field

4. Attach the attach.ctf to Type field.


Access Rights for Attachment Type Field

5. Attach the attach.ctf to the Attachment form.


Access Rights for Attachment Form

tip.gif To attach the control file to the Attachment form, click anywhere in the gray area of the Attachment form to display the Access Rights form for the Attachment form itself, rather than any one of the fields on the form.

6. Sign out and back into your database with any other user level that is not user level 99. When you view an Attachment or create a new one, you can now select a Choice from the Class field, the Type pick list will change dynamically to match your choice. Selecting a choice from the Type pick list will change the field names so that relevant labels are displayed, matching the Class and Type of data you are entering.


Fields Available for Skip Debtor Information

tip.gif If you have existing Attachments in your database you may need to reset your choices when you view the Attachments for the first time.

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Browse Attachments

When using Dynamic Attachments, the Type of Attachment is dynamically set according to the Attachment Class. This means that the list of Attachments, viewed from the Browse menu, Attachments option, will not display the correct value in the Type field until you actually open the Attachment. If this is confusing, you can hide the Type field when viewing the list of all Attachments. Please refer to Help topic, How to Customize List Views, for details.

In the Demodb database, the Attachment Subclass field is visible in the Attachment list view. This is a hidden field which stores the textual value of the Type field pick list for each attachment. This makes it easier to find what you are looking for when browsing the list of Attachments. Class, Subclass and Description enable you to quickly locate and examine the information you need.

tip.gif If this field is not visible in your Attachment list view, please refer to Help topic, How to Customize List Views, to insert the column into your list view.


Attachment Subclass Column Displays Type

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Edit Search Or F6 Attachments

If you want to do a search using Edit, Search or F6 on the list of Attachments when using Dynamic Attachments, you may notice that the Field choices are aliased depending on the current Class and Type. This may not be appropriate for your Search criteria.

There is an easy way to set the Class and Type for your Search as outlined in the steps below.

1. Select Browse from the top menu bar and then select Attachments from the drop-down choices.


List of All Attachments

2. Press F3, or select the NEW button, to open a new Attachment.


Default New Attachment

3. Select the Class of Attachment you wish to search.


Selecting Class of Attachments

4. Select the Type of Attachment you wish to search. Notice that the aliases of the Attachment fields, match your Class and Type.


Class and Type of Attachment Selected

5. Select OK to close the Attachment and return to the list. The Attachment you just created will be highlighted.


Health Class Attachment Highlighted

6. Press F6, or select Edit from the top menu bar and then select Find from the drop-down choices. This will open the Edit Search Criteria form with the proper aliases in the left column for the type of search you wish to perform. Notice as well, that you can also select any Type in that particular Class to broaden your search.


Edit Search Criteria Type Pick List

7. To search a different Class, you can open the Attachment that you created and select a different Class and Type.


Setting Class and Type for Document Search

8. Now when you press F6 or Edit, Find, the Edit Search Criteria field choices will reflect your latest choice of Class and Type.


Setting Class and Type for Document Search

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Drag And Drop Attachments

As a convenience, Collect! offers the ability to drag and drop attachments on to the Collect! Window.

1. Open the debtor that you want to attach the document(s) to. This does not work for Clients.

2. Drag 1 or more files from your computer to the Collect! program window.

3. Go to the attachments tab and edit the records as necessary. Collect! will prefill the attachment record with:

* The filename of the file

* The file path of where the file was placed in the global folder

* The domain name of the user who created the attachment


Attachment Window after Creation via Drag and Drop

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Summary

Collect!'s Attachment form enables you to store many different types of information. Using Dynamic Attachments enables you to change the pick list choices and field labels to match whatever Class of data you want to store. When you view each attachment, you will see the information displayed according to the Class and Type of attachment you are viewing. When viewing the list of all Attachments, you can use the features of Dynamic Attachments to set the Class and Type for your search criteria.

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