Review and Synopsis

Because there's a lot of information in the foregoing chapters, it may help to have a summary regarding certain elements that might otherwise seem lost in the miasma of generalities.

Command Summary

In this section we provide a written summary of all the various commands available from within ServiceDesk. Each is accompanied with a short explanation of its function and purpose. In general, we think this will be handy as a method of review, to remind yourself of what you learned during reading in the text, and to go through kind of a rehearsal regarding the types of tools that are available.

However, please bear in mind that the format here is not the most ideal when you want simply to remind yourself of the particular command that’s needed—when you know there’s such a command and simply can’t remember what it is. For that kind of purpose, there’s a much better summary, provided right from within ServiceDesk itself. Just click in the MainMenu under the item that’s there labeled “Command Summary.” There’s a nice categorization, with commands in a compact, easy-to-find format (in contrast to what’s provided in this section). In fact, probably you'll want to read what's here provided just once. Subsequently, it will be much easier to use the on-screen summary.

In particular, in some of the contexts where you may need reminding most, you can easily bring up the particular section from the Command Summary that’s applicable to the context you’re in. From within the DispatchMap, for example, you can simply right-click in any empty spot, and the command summary as there applicable will instantly appear. From a Callsheet, just right-click on the large label area. From the Parts Process form, right-click on its large label area. Or, from the ScheduleList form, right-click on its label area.

General Commands, as Used to Load Various Forms

  • ‍F1 CstmrFind Invokes the CstmrDbase search if you are in any of the suitable Callsheet fields and do not already have previous search results displayed. If you do have previous search results displayed, it moves your focus into the displayed list (also does same in TechInterface-DbaseSearch context). If you're already in the displayed list, it moves you back into the Callsheet. This command also sets up for a CstmrDbase search when executed from the TechInterface form.
  • F1 CllshtRtrn If you are in any form other than a Callsheet or the TechInterface form, pressing this key will bring you instantly back to the Callsheets, without unloading the current form. Useful when you're in the middle of something in another form, the phone rings, and you instantly need a Callsheet to begin taking information from the caller.
  • Ctrl-F1 Settings Loads the Settings form. This is where you'll set all the specific parameters that pertain to your own operation of ServiceDesk.
  • Alt-F1 ViewBckps Allows you to view backup files from each of the various ServiceDesk forms, as though they were the primary files. In this way you can inspect such backups before copying them back over a possibly corrupted primary.
  • F2 TimeClock Loads the CheckIn/CheckOut form, from which employees may log into or off of the job. Creates a TimeClock-type record.
  • ‍Ctrl-F2 CS-Archve Loads the CallsheetArchive interface, which allows you to view and perform searches among all previously archived Callsheets.
  • ‍Alt-F2 RtOfEarngs Loads and displays the RateOfEarnings form, from which you can specify or change the earning basis and rate for each employee in your operation.
  • F3 AcntsRcvbl Loads the Accounts Receivable form, from which you can view and edit each of your Accounts Receivable records.
  • Ctrl-F3 A/R Dnng Loads the DunningList form, from which you can generate a list for use with your word processor to create form billing reminders for past due accounts, or produce reminders notices for HighVolume-type clients.
  • Alt-F3 MakeMail Loads the MakeMailingList form, from which you can generate mailing lists including each of your past customers.
  • SHIFT-F3 SalesView Loads the SalesView form, from which you can review your sales record, search for specific records, and edit them
  • Alt-F4 PrintClaims Loads the Finished-Form interface, from which you can edit and transmit a completed invoice/claims document.
  • F5 SchdMap Loads the DispatchMap, displaying all of your scheduled jobs in graphic format according to their relative geographic locations (as superimposed over a map of your service territory), sequence, and assigned tech. Allows for switching assignments between techs, confirming dispatch, auto-dialing to reach tech's at location, etc.
  • Ctrl-F5 Streets Loads the StreetList form, used for manually adding new streets to your street list, and for sorting into your list those streets names added in the course of creating jobs. Also copies updated files to other stations.
  • Alt-F5 SchdArchv Loads the ScheduleArchive form, which displays and provides for searching among all past items in your Archived ScheduleList.
  • F6 SchdList Loads the ScheduleList form, which displays the same data set as the dispatch map, but in a purely textual format that allows sorting, textual editing, archiving, etc.
  • ‍F7 JobsCrrnt Loads the JobsCurrent form, which displays the history and current status of every job "in progress" (i.e., of every job that's been created from a Callsheet, and which has not yet been entered into the SalesJournal as having been completed). Allows for record search, auto-dialing of customer, subsequent scheduling, appending notes, editing, and archiving.
  • Ctrl-F7 JobsArchvd Loads the JobsArchived form, displaying the history of all previously completed jobs that have been moved into the JobArchived file. Allows for specific record search and for creating CustomerDBase indexes from scratch, should the ongoing indexes for some reason be corrupted. Also shows unrestricted display of each item's History, and allows for certain kinds of searches (e.g., looking for a job by virtue of its street name) not available in other contexts.
  • Alt-F7 JobRprts Loads the PostVisitReport form directly, as opposed to the indirect loading that's done via the TechInterface context. You'd use this route if an office person was making the PostVisitReport on behalf of the technician, as opposed to the technician doing it himself.
  • Shift-F7 JobPerusal Loads the JobPerusal form, used for reviewing a particular status category of record from the JobsCurrent file.
  • ‍F8 PartOrders Loads the PartsProcess form, which displays pertinent information regarding all special-order requests, allows generation of faxed order/inquiries to suppliers, entry and recording of new information as it develops, and for searching of specific items, separate pricing by manager, etc.
  • ‍Ctrl-F8 PartsArchv Loads the PartsProcess form in its Archive-viewing mode. This allows viewing of, and searching among, all archived PartsRequest and PartsProcess records.
  • ‍Alt-F8 PartRqsts Loads the PartsRequest form, which displays each special order request individually, allowing for expanded notes, archiving of all PartsProcess files, etc.
  • ‍F9 SlsEnter Loads the SalesEnter form, providing for entry of all your completed sales.
  • ‍Ctrl-F9 FundsJrnl Loads the Funds form, which accesses the file containing a record for every item of money that comes into your business. Allows for specific search or selective display, deposit generation, cross-checking, managing receipt of funds received on accounts payable, confirmation of deposits, etc.
  • ‍Alt-F9 AppsJrnl Loads the Applications form, which displays the Applications Journal, a listing that shows how every post-completion payment (i.e., customer mails you a check on a billed job) was applied (i.e., to which invoices). It's also from this form that you can view any particular client's EDA (i.e., Errors and Discrepancies) account.
  • F10 InventoryControl Loads the InventoryControl form, used to track and manage actual items of stocking inventory. Facilitates ordering of deficient stock, filling needs on trucks, displaying existing quantities and locations, tracking usage, etc.
  • Ctrl-F10 MasterPartsPlan Loads the MasterPartsPlan form, providing the interface for you to create and/or edit your MasterPartsPlan—essentially the list of every type of item (including prices, etc.) you intend to maintain in your stocking inventory.
  • ‍F11 PrdcRprts Loads the Reports form, from which you can display or print periodic reports on Sales, Wages or Salary Earned by employees, and Commissions.
  • ‍Ctrl-F11 JobSource Loads the Job Source Survey form, which allows you to view results (interim or final) from your job source survey process.
  • Alt-F11 RedFlag Loads the SSA form (Special Situations Advisory), while simultaneously inserting text applicable to the customer if done from a context suitable for such (such as a JobRecord, for example).
  • F12 CstmrDase Loads the TechInterface form, while simultaneously invoking its CstmrDbase search feature. Thus, after hitting F12 you can immediately begin typing your search target. Once it's found, you may also, from this context, print the entire JobRecord to hard copy.
  • Ctrl-F12 E-Mail Loads the TechInterface form while simultaneously invoking its E-Mail function.
  • Alt-F12 TechIntrfc Loads the TechInterface form without simultaneously invoking the above functions (CstmrDbase search or E-Mail).

General Commands, as Used for Purposes Other than Loading Forms

Other general commands are focused more toward specific functions than toward loading operational forms, and do not use the function keys. These are as follows:

  • Ctrl-P Mscllns-Print Useable from virtually any form, this will print either an image of the form itself, or of text that’s printed to the form. If you’ve placed an image of the entire screen into the Windows Clipboard beforehand (press PrntScrn on your keyboard), it will print that entire screen image.
  • ‍Alt-X End program Terminates operation of ServiceDesk. Don't worry about doing this accidentally, ServiceDesk asks for confirmation before proceeding to shut itself down, and warns if you've got any unsaved Callsheet data. You can, in the alternative, use the MainMenu (select File Functions, then Exit) for shutdown.
  • ‍Rt-Clk, # AutoDial When performed on any telephone number field (Callsheets, Archived Callsheets, JobRecords, Dispatch Map, etc.), causes computer's modem to dial number (for an explanation of alternative methods, see page 301).
  • ‍Lft-Clk AutoAlpha When performed in either the Cstmr or Lctn labels of a Callsheet, allows a user-specified dial-up, including those described by alpha-characters.
  • Ctrl/Shft-Lft AlarmSilencer Each click grants one minute of reprieve the from Callsheet Overdue Alarm (also the mail pending alarm). In a sense this is a general command, for it can be accessed from any form, but it pertains most specifically to Callsheets, so is listed here.
  • ‍Alt-W techWindow Converts the station into a Window/TechMode format, meaning the available interface is entirely different, no longer setup for general use by office personnel, and instead transformed into the limited mode designed for direct interface with Technicians. Remains locked in this mode until the secret exit command is entered (see main text).
  • ‍Alt-K ChangeDesk Allows you to temporarily change the name that a particular station assumes is its operator (as opposed to changing the station name, typically on a more permanent basis, from the Settings form).
  • ‍Ctrl-S SlideShow Initiates the SlideShow demo. Once it's started, you can press the Spacebar to pause, or Esc to terminate the show (actual termination may be delayed for up to a minute).

General Commands, but Applicable Within Specific Form Contexts

Besides these general commands, there are also several for navigating around within almost any form:

  • PgDn PageDown Functional in almost all forms to perform the obvious.
  • PgUp PageUp Functional in almost all forms to perform the obvious.
  • Ctrl-PgDn LastPage Moves to the last page of data in a given form or form context.
  • Ctrl-PgUp FirstPage Moves to the first page of data in a given form or form context.
  • ‍L-Clk/txt Edit Allows editing in most circumstances.
  • Esc DprtPrsnt Extremely useful, handy, and easy. Functional almost everywhere to take yourself from the present context into that preceding, in a manner you'd intuitively expect. Same as clicking on a forms 'Exit' button when so equipped.
  • ‍Enter Execute Please, be sure to use a simple stroke of this key, INSTEAD OF THE MOUSE, in all cases where permitted (almost any where ServiceDesk can assume that such a stroke means you want to proceed). It saves a small amount of effort, and time, each time.
  • Alt-P Print Though mentioned separately in a few specific contexts, the command functions also in many others. If you're in any location where you think you should be able to print something, try it. Even if there's no specific command or option button listed for the purpose, it’s possible that formspecific printing is available.

General Commands, as Windows Editing Tools

Also, you should be aware that each of the standard Windows editing functions work within ServiceDesk, as follows:

  • ‍Ctrl-X Cut Removes highlighted text into the Windows clipboard.
  • Ctrl-C Copy Copies highlighted text into the Windows clipboard.
  • ‍Ctrl-V Paste Inserts Windows clipboard contents at cursor location.
  • Ctrl-Z Undo Restores text, in your current box only, to its pre-edit form.

Specific Commands: Callsheets

The most obvious and extensive of such commands are those pertaining to Callsheets. Several are simply alternatives to clicking on a provided button (remember: you can right click on either of the large label areas in a Callsheet (e.g., the label that reads “Customer Name, Address and Phone Numbers”), and an onscreen command summary will instantly appear):

  • Alt-S SwitchDesks Same as clicking on whichever button is non-selected in the 'DeskAssigned' section of the Callsheet. If the Callsheet is presently assigned elsewhere, this command switches its assignment to your desk. If it's already assigned to your desk, the command switches it to the other desk if there are only two in your network, or presents you with a list of other desks from which to select if there are more than two.
  • ‍Alt-C makeCurrent Switches the Callsheet into 'Current' status. Same as clicking on option button of same name.
  • ‍Alt-H Hibernate Loads the Hibernate form, from which you can put the Callsheet to sleep for a specified period. Same as clicking on option button of same name.
  • Alt-L deLete Marks a Callsheet for deletion (which will occur when the Callsheet Archive routine is next run). Same as clicking on button of same name.
  • Alt-J Job/Sale Loads the Create Job/Sale form, which allows you to review and/or change various parameters, then prints a job invoice. The same process readies the Callsheet for movement into the Callsheet Archive (which occurs when the Archiving routine is next run). Same as clicking on button of same name.
  • Alt-D othrwsDone Marks a Callsheet as having completed its purpose through events other than creation of a job/sale. Readies the Callsheet for movement into the CallsheetArchive (which occurs when the Archiving routine is next run). Same as clicking on button of same name.
  • ‍Alt-M MoreInfo Loads the Callsheet's MoreInfo form, which displays any MoreInfo notes previously created in its connection, and inserts an automatic time and date stamp for any note you may presently wish to add. Same as clicking on button of same name.

Other Callsheet functions have no button on the Callsheet itself, and can only be accessed by direct command:

  • Alt-A csArchive Invokes a routine to archive completed Callsheets (i.e., ones marked PrntToInv or othrwsDn), and to remove those marked for deletion.
  • ‍Alt-R RcvMssgs Loads the Communications form, which facilitates electronic downloading of messages from your answering service directly into each item's own awaiting Callsheet.
  • Alt-U Undo Removes all edits created since the last Callsheet save (i.e., restores the text that existed when you last entered the present Callsheet).
  • Alt-E Erase Erases all text from a Callsheet (after first requesting your confirmation, of course).
  • ‍Alt-F FlipFlop Moves the Callsheet's 'LocationInfo' text into the CustomerInfo section, and vice versa.
  • Alt-T TelFlpFlp Moves the telephone number of the box you're in into the other box of the same section, and vice versa.
  • Alt-O Originate Resets a Callsheet's origin info to the present desk, date and time.
  • Esc InvokeSave Useful, when pressed from Callsheet, for invoking an immediate save when, you don't otherwise have any reason for leaving the Callsheet (thus invoking a save naturally).
  • ‍Ctl-Enter DnCllSht Moves to the next following Callsheet.
  • ‍Ctl-Bkspc UpCllSht Moves to the preceding Callsheet.
  • ‍Alt-Enter FndActvDn Moves to the next following Callsheet that is active to your desk
  • ‍Alt-Bckspc FndActvUp Moves to the next preceding Callsheet that is active to your desk.
  • Alt-Q QuickEntry Loads the QuickEntries form, from which you can create, edit and enter into your Callsheet the entire data set for frequent customers.
  • ‍Alt-n QuickInsert Inserts QuickEntry templates 1-9 (from the QuickEntries form) directly, without having to load the QuickEntries form.
  • ‍Alt-I InsertEmail Causes system to check Windows clipboard for text from an email dispatch. System will appropriately insert such text to Callsheet if found there.
  • ‍SpcBar DisplayItem Causes the selected item from a displayed CstmrDbase list to show fully, with all JobRecord details. Left-clicking on the list item will produce the same result.
  • Enter InsertItem In a displayed-from-the-Callsheet CstmrDbase list, causes pertinent name and address info, from the selected item, to insert into your Callsheet (right-clicking on the item will produce the same result; insertion is into whichever Callsheet area—Customer or Location—that is active at the time). In a displayed-from-Callsheet street list, it causes insertion of the selected StreetName, together with city, map reference, etc. (left-clicking on the item will produce the same result).
  • ‍Shift-Enter ModifiedInsrt Modifies the CstmrDbase insertion, described above, to include only the name and telephone number (shift-right-click produces the same result). Modifies the StreetList insertion to include street, city and zip, with no map reference (i.e., mailing format; right-click produces the same result).
  • R-Clk/addrs LocateItem When performed on either of a Callsheet's address lines, loads DispatchMap and displays corresponding location thereon, with customer's name flagged in red (for an explanation of alternative methods, see page 301).
  • ‍R-Clk/-- ShowJob When performed in the CustomerName box of a Callsheet that includes a WipAlert message, will instantly call up the JobsCurrent form loaded with the particular record that caused the WipAlert (alternatively, you may double-left-click directly in the CustomerName box, or hit F1)

Though not commands per se, you should also consider actions that, from within the Callsheet, invoke certain other elements of program execution. When typing in a street address, for example, you are automatically invoking a search for matching street names from your own StreetList, and will prompt a display when appropriate matches are found. Similarly, if your Auto-CstmrDbaseSearch feature is turned on, you'll be invoking similar searches, but within your CstmrDbase, any time you are typing into any of the Callsheet's name, address, or telephone number fields. Finally, as you enter an appointment in the appropriate Callsheet box, you'll invoke the SourceOfJobs survey (providing the Survey feature is turned on), prompting you to ask the customer a series of questions regarding what prompted his or her call.

There are a few forms in ServiceDesk where, by design, we've felt that available screen space could be used much more effectively for display of information than for command or option buttons that remind you of the tools available. This does not mean, of course, that such forms do not offer many such tools. It just means you have to know (in a sense memorize) what those tools are, and which particular key and mouse combinations access them (even in the absence of command and option buttons that remind you of their presence).

Specific Commands: the DispatchMap

More than any others, our DispatchMap is such a form, boasting many, many tools, and yet not a single command or option button (or even a displayed instruction) to remind you of what they are, or of how to use them. It just happens, in the DispatchMap, that you need all the available space to see things more important. Remember, however, that you can right-click on any empty space within the DispatchMap, and instantly the portion of the Command Summary from the MainMenu as applicable to the DispatchMap. Anyway, the more explanatory summary follows:

  • CrsrKeys PanMap The up, down, left and right cursor keys will move your viewing window to different areas of your map, depending on which portions of your map are viewable from a single window.
  • PgDn NextDay Displays the schedule for the particular day which follows whatever day is currently displayed.
  • PgUp PreviousDay Displays the schedule for the day preceding whatever day is currently displayed.
  • Ctrl-PgDn DnToPrsnt Moves immediately to display the present day, providing you've been viewing day's schedules anywhere in the past.
  • ‍Ctrl-PgUp UpToPrsnt Moves immediately to display the present day, providing you've been viewing day's schedules anywhere in the future.
  • ‍‘C’ Calendar Causes display of the Month Calendar, to facilitate more rapid selection of a day distant from the present.
  • ‍Alt-P PrintSchedule Prints a copy of the displayed day's schedule.
  • Alt-S Auto-Sort Invokes the same Auto-sort routine as may be performed from within the ScheduleList.
  • ‍‘D’ DensityGraph Causes display of the Appointment Density Graph. Press again or press Esc to remove display.
  • ‍‘P’ Re-load data Causes a re-load of data for the day presently displayed. This may be useful, for example, if you suspect another user may have made changes and you’d like to update your display to show those changes, particularly before initiating additional changes of your own (which would, in fact, be disallowed if you failed to update first).
  • ‍Hld-SpcBar ShowOvrView Causes a reduced-size map to display, which allows you to see the entire area, with abbreviated job entries, on one screen.
  • ‍Lft-clk ScheduleItem With the mouse pointer on the red-representation of the customer’s location in an item-locate situation, a left-click will invoke the scheduling process, causing a list to display with proffered time-frames, etc. This is called On-Map scheduling.
  • ‍Rt-clk ScheduleItem With the mouse pointer on the red-representation of the customer’s location in an item-locate situation, a Right-click will cause the same little calendar to come up as does pressing ‘C’ from your keyboard, except here, after selecting a date, the system will immediately present the TimePicker for you.
  • ‍Lft-clk RemoteDsptch With the mouse pointer on a the tech’s name at top of his list of jobs, this will allow you to print out (or transmit via your computer’s internal fax) all the dispatch data regarding the jobs presently assigned to the technician for the day in question.
  • Sh-Alt/Rt-clk Alpha-Dispatch With the mouse pointer on any job's list representation, this action will allow printing or internal fax transmission of that single job, or in the alternative will insert its data into the Windows Clipboard, for subsequent transmission to the tech via alpha-numeric paging.
  • Lft-clk AssgnTech With the mouse pointer on a job's map representation, this action presents a list that allows you to assign the job to a particular tech, or to change its existing assignment. To make it even easier, don't release the mouse button until you've highlighted the tech wanted.
  • Ctrl/Lft-clk SwtchStatus With the mouse pointer on a job's map representation, this changes its AssignmentStatus from 'definite' to 'tentative', or vice versa.
  • ‍Rt-clk SwtchStatus With the mouse pointer on a job's map representation, this changes from which you can re-sequence a job within the particular tech’s list.
  • L-Clk/Drg Re-Sequence With the mouse button held down on a job's TechList representation, you may drag the item either up or down in the list, one position at a time. (May also re-sequence from the ScheduleList form: just click on an item, to enclose it in editing boxes, then move it up or down in the list using cursor keys).
  • ‍Shft-LftClk CnfrmDsptch With the mouse pointer on a job's TechList representation, this checks the job off as having actually been given to the tech indicated. A second click reverts status back.
  • ‍Ctrl-LftClk TechDone With the mouse pointer on a job's TechList representation, this checks off the fact that the technician's completed his work there (and presumably is headed for the next location). A second click reverts status back.
  • ‍Alt-LftClk CnfrmRprtd With the mouse pointer on a job's TechList representation, this checks off an indication that the tech has made his PostVisitReport on the job. A second click reverts the status back, but typically, this feature will not be used in such context (use it only for corrections, for the check-off occurs automatically, for you, when the technician actually does his PostVisitReport.
  • ‍Shft-RtClk ShowText With mouse pointer on either the job's list or graphic representation, loads the ScheduleList form selects the appointment reference involved and places it in edit mode.
  • Ctrl-RtClk ShowJob With mouse pointer on either the job's list or graphic representation, pulls its JobRecord and displays it for you.
  • Alt-RtClk ShowPVR-1 With mouse pointer on either the job's list or graphic representation, loads the PostVisitReport-DialogMethod form, appropriately prepped (providing the ‘Immediate call-in’ option is selected from the Settings form) to take a PostVisitReport on the job in question.
  • Sh-Alt/RtClk ShowPVR-2 With mouse pointer on either the job's list or graphic representation, loads the PostVisitReport-Fill-in-the-BlanksMethod form, appropriately prepped (providing the ‘Immediate call-in’ option is selected from the Settings form) to take a PostVisitReport on the job in question.
  • ‍LftClk-Title Send Schdl When you left-click on a tech's name (i.e., the underlined title over a tech's list of jobs), allows you to print (via internal fax if wanted) entire schedule info for the tech.
  • RtClk-Title ShowOneRoute When you right-click on a tech's name (i.e., the underlined title over a tech's list of jobs), invokes the DispatchMap’s ShowThisTechsRouteOnly mode, which means route-lines for all other techs are hidden, making it much easier (if multiple route-lines overlap) to discern the particular tech’s route in question. Hit Esc to exit the mode.

Specific Commands, the PartsProcess Form

The PartsProcess form is another place where you may invoke several specific commands that are not obvious on the face of the form (remember, you can right-click on the label area in this form for a concise on-screen summary). These are as follows:

  • ‍Rt-Click New-InfoBand With the mouse pointer on an existing inquiry/order band (in the right two-thirds), this creates a new daughter band, in which you can enter info regarding an additional inquiry/order pertaining to the same originating parts request.
  • Rt-Click ShowRequest With the mouse pointer on an existing inquiry/order band (in the left onethird), this displays the PartsRequest form, loaded with an unabbreviated display of the originating request itself.
  • Shft/R-Clk Delete-InfoBand Again with the mouse pointer an on existing inquiry/order band, this calls for that band's deletion.
  • ‍Ctrl/R-Clk Send/Add Rqst Adds the clicked-on item into whatever inquiry/order document you are presently preparing for transmission to a supplier. If you have not yet designated any such items, it sets up the process, making the clicked-on item the first to be listed in such document.
  • Lft-Click Edit-Item Encloses the inquiry/order band in editing boxes, allowing you to add, delete or change its data at will.
  • Lft-Click ShowRequest With editing boxes already loaded and your mouse pointer in the InvoiceNumber box, does the same thing as described three items above (thus, you have this function for when editing boxes are displayed, the other for when they are not).
  • Spacebar RotateStatus With your cursor in the OrderStatus editing box, this causes the indicated status to rotate between "P&A Only," "Ship if I/S" and "Ship or B/O." With it in the Instruction editing box, it causes the instruction to rotate between "Definite," "Tentative" and "Declined."
  • "NOW" InsertDate When you type these letters in a DateConfirmed or DateReceived box, ServiceDesk will instantly replace them with the actual present date.
  • "nD" InsertDate When you type a number ("n") followed by "D" in a DateExpected box, ServiceDesk will instantly replace your entry with the date pertaining to that number of days hence.

Other specific commands, peculiar to individual forms, are in general indicated contextually within the forms (i.e., the forms will have command or option buttons for specific tasks, which may be executed either by clicking with your mouse on the command or option button, or by pressing the quick key that is indicated on its face). If you are in a form and are not certain whether some specific command is functional there, and you feel the need to use it, again, try it. In all probability, we've felt the need ourselves, and have already programmed the function in. If you find we have not and feel the function would be useful, let us know and we'll probably add it—and ship you a free upgrade in thanks for your assistance.

Finally, don’t forget the on-line command summary that’s part of the ServiceDesk MainMenu (with portions available contextually as relevant in particular domains). Generally, it will be much easier to use that than to re-read the summary that’s here provided. It’s right there at the click of a mouse; it’s more to the point, and the organization is more obvious than here. Please, don’t forget to use it as your primary resource and reminder.

Directory and file structure

In normal operation, you'll never need to know anything about the underlying directory and file structure that ServiceDesk uses. However, for tinkerers who may want to examine or manipulate the files directly, or even for regular operators who'd simply like to know how information is organized, the following is provided.

When you install ServiceDesk on any computer's hard drive, the installation program will create a main directory and sub-directories on that drive as follows:

Now, here is a description of the files contained in each of these directories.

This is the primary ServiceDesk directory, and aside from the sub-directories listed under it, you'll find it contains all the program files, and several ancillary files, some provided, and some which you must create. The first four are program files (that is, they are the actual programs you may run within Windows). These are:

  • ‍servdesk.exe This is the primary ServiceDesk programservdesk.exe This is the primary ServiceDesk program
  • sdbackup.exe This is the SD-Backup program
  • ‍sdtools.exe This is the SD-Tools program.
  • ‍zips.exe This is the bonus, little zips utility program.

Also, there are various support, non-program files that ServiceDesk uses for a variety of purposes, as follows.

  • A bitmap file for the ServiceDesk logo. If, as the user, you wanted a different logo
    displayed as ServiceDesk starts up, you could substitute the graphic of your choice,
    giving it this name and recording it to the c:\sd folder. Alternatively, you could use
    Microsoft Paint or similar utility and modify the existing logo, as wanted.
  • A list of all the states and their corresponding abbreviations, as needed when inserting
    full addresses into Callsheets.

The next five files are ones we have custom-created specifically for your business. The first of these is very basic, as it informs ServiceDesk simply of your company's name, and of the unique FileNamePrefix under which it must look for the other custom files in your installation.

  • Provides a company name and FileNamePrefix, as needed for initiating program

The remaining four of the provided custom files contain information that’s uniquely needed to perform properly in accord with your business's unique geographic territory.

  • This file contains instructions the ServiceDesk program uses to paint the unique onscreen map of your service area. It is written in Ascii format and can be edited—if any tinkerers are interested, from any word processing program. In the place of asterisks, the actual file name will contain a letter sequence (i.e., FileNamePrefix) derived from your business name.
  • This file contains the list of street names, coordinates, etc., that's unique to your business. For rapid access, each station keeps its own copy of this file opened at all times while ServiceDesk is running. In the place of asterisks, the actual file name will contain a letter sequence derived from your business name.
  • This is an additional, supplementary list of street names, except any street (within a single zip area) that's longer than about five blocks will have a separate entry for each five-block segment, and every entry includes numbers showing the block numbers included within it.
  • This file contains the list of city names and corresponding abbreviations for your unique service area. Again, in place of asterisks, the actual file name will a letter sequence derived from your business name.

The other operating file in this directory is one you'll custom-create yourself.

  • Substituting the appropriate FileNamePrefix for the asterisks, this name must be given to your Invoice-Format-Instruction, the file that ServiceDesk will use to produce a unique invoice output that is suitable to your own invoice format, using the driver for your printer that is built-in to Windows.

The remaining two files in this directory are not actually part of ServiceDesk, but are provided for your ancillary use, if wanted.

  • This is a sample document for printing dunning letters from a word processing context. It is configured for Microsoft’s Word.
  • ‍DunningEnvelope.doc This is a sample document, likewise configured for Microsoft’s Word.

Note that all these files must be found on each station's own 'c:\sd' directory—for each station looks to its own such directory when needing to use information from these files.

This sub-directory contains the primary ServiceDesk data files (i.e., virtually all the operating records that are specific to your business). By design, it is active only on the particular station you have designated as FileServer; all other stations (and the FileServer itself, if you're using it as a station) look to this sub-directory, on the FileServer drive, for their own use of the many files it contains. This means, of course, that on satellite stations this sub-directory will be empty and unused, while on the FileServer drive, it's Page 247 used from all stations, making it rather important indeed. The files stored on the FileServer's drive—in its \SD\NETDATA\ sub-directory—are as follows:

  • Contains all the network-wide setup parameters that you customize for your operation (i.e., those parameters you record from within the 'network' section of Settings form).
  • cllshtfl Contains the data pertaining to all current Callsheets
  • Contains the data pertaining to all archived Callsheets (this file will eventually become very large).
  • cllshtlg.arc Contains a directory which keys the binary structure of the above file.
  • ‍qcefile Contains QuickEntry data.
  • Contains the list of your own yellow page ads that will display during a SourceOfJobs survey.
  • jobsourc Contains data showing the results of each completed SourceOfJobs survey.
  • Contains results from the Mini-Survey that is completed during Survey-On periods if the main survey has been dumped.
  • invlog Contains the next-to-be-used invoice number.
  • Contains all items in the current schedule, including name, invoice number, date andtime scheduled, etc.
  • ‍schdlist.arc Contains all items archived from previous schedules.
  • wipfile Contains the data pertaining to all current JobRecords.
  • Contains the data pertaining to all archived JobRecords (eventually this file becomesvery large).
  • ‍wipfile.log Contains a directory which keys the binary structure of the above file
  • Contains the listing you create of all item types that you intend to maintain as standard stock (an example of a completed such file, as used by an appliance servicer, is provided on your installation CD as ‘\OtherFls\StckList’.
  • Contains most of the information entered the the PartsMoreInfo window, although quantities for each type of specialized truck remain part of the main MasterPartsPlan file.
  • Contains a description of your different specialized truck types, if any, and the listing of each of your trucks.
  • Contains an index which includes each of the alternative part numbers, included in the above file, in sorted order.
  • spplrlst Contains names and abbreviations for each of your suppliers.
  • Contains a unique entry for every item of your stocking inventory (supply items listed as bulk sets).
  • ijrnl Contains data regarding every transfer of a stocked-parts inventory item.‍
  • prtsrqst Contains data regarding every current request for a non-stock item.
  • prtsprcs Contains data regarding the process of ordering and acquiring each non-stock item.
  • prtsrqst.arc Contains archived data regarding completed non-stock item requests.
  • ‍prtsrqst.log Contains a directory which keys the binary structure of the above file.
  • ‍prtsprcs.arc Contains archived data regarding completed non-stock item acquisition processes.
  • ‍prtsprcs.log Contains a directory which keys the binary structure of the above file.
  • Contains records regarding tech, invoice number, name, and totals in various categories for every completed sale.
  • A secondary, substantial copy of the normal SalesJournal (see above), only this one is in Ascii, comma-delimited format, so as to be accessible for separate client use and manipulation from within any spreadsheet program.
  • arfile Contains data regarding every item of Accounts Receivable.
  • fndsjrnl Contains data regarding every receipt and deposit of money.
  • fndslog Contains data enabling an internal quasi-archiving of older data within the above file.
  • Contains record of each check received in payment on billed jobs, showing which invoices check was applied to.
  • With name you provide substituting for asterisks, contains a record, for a particular customer, of surpluses and deficiencies in payment, as applied by you at large to the customer's particular (i.e., this file) Errors and Discrepancies account.
  • Contains daily TimeClock entries for whichever person whose initials are found in place of the two asterisks.
  • Contains data you've input, from the Rate Of Earnings form, regarding the compensation method and rate for each person on staff.
  • Contains a list of streets that have been manually entered (because missing from main StreetList), whether via the job-creation process from Callsheets, or directly from the Streets form, and designated for addition into the StreetList.
  • Contains a list of P.O. Numbers from jobs you've most recently created. Builds, as you create jobs, to contain a maximum of the most recent 500 such numbers, then is automatically trimmed down to the most recent 300. Used, during the invoiceprinting/job-creating process to assure you're not, and to warn you against, using the same P.O. Number more than once.
  • Contains a list showing the complete name for each of the separate departments you may have created if having enabled the Departmentalize option.
  • Contains a seriatim listing, showing invoice number and department-assigned, for every job created while the Departmentalize option is enabled.
  • You may create this file if wanting a different set of time or time-frame options, as offered n the lists of time-frames appearing in the Callsheet, ScheduleList and DispatchMap, to assist in scheduling.
  • , define the format for each of the respective forms from which may produce completed invoice/claims documents

As you can see, these are your really important files, mostly ones that are continually changing on a daily basis as you conduct your work. They are, sensibly therefore, the very files your SD-Backup program is designed to make regular copies of. And, if you run any other backup routine, they are the files you should, at a minimum, have it setup to regularly copy. It's simple: just setup to backup the entire "C\SD\NETDATA" directory from the FileServer drive.

. This directory is used primarily for storing various temporary and backup files that are created during several different sorting and archiving routines. By storing these files locally on whichever station is performing the routine, the routine itself is often speeded up, and it frees the FileServer from the momentarily intense processing burdens which would otherwise slow down its service to other users. Also, and incidentally, this provides extra backups in case the FileServer happens to fail. You may, nevertheless, delete files on this sub-directory that have a 'bak' or 'tmp' extension—any time you like. Aside from such files, this sub-directory also contains the following:

  • Contains the settings, as created in the 'local' section of the Settings form, for this station's local operating parameters.
  • Contains the directory and file path last used when using the ViewBackups utility. Makes it more convenient when you next use the utility, allowing ServiceDesk to volunteer the location for you.
  • Contains the directory and file name last used when creating a Data document for the creation of billing reminders (i.e., statements or dunning letters). Again, makes it more convenient when you next use the utility, allowing ServiceDesk to volunteer the location for you.
  • Contains the directory and file name last used when creating a MailingList for creation of promotional/thank you letters. Again, makes it more convenient when you next use the utility, allowing ServiceDesk to volunteer the location for you.
  • Contains a list that remembers the particular printer you last specified from each printing context. Before printing, each printing context consults this list, and offers the same printer if one was previously specified.

This directory contains the CstmrDbase indexes and list, which (to review from the main text) reference entries in both the JobsCurrent and JobsArchived files. For the sake of rapid access, each station maintains its own current opened copies of these files, allowing each instant access for the frequent searches that are involved when your Auto-CstmrDbase Search feature is turned on. These files are as follows:

  • cmbnmndx An index based on sorted customer names.
  • cmbadndx An index based on sorted addresses.
  • cmdtlndx An index based on sorted telephone numbers.
  • A listing that sequentially matches entries in: first the JobsArchived file, then the JobsCurrent file, including identifying snippets from each. It is actually items in this file that the indexes reference, while this file in turn references records from the underlying job files.

. Contains a separate file for every item of current E-mail. Contains no files if there are no current items of mail.

. Contains a copy of each item of E-Mail formerly used and discarded. Each item exists as it's own separate file, named for the date on which it was discarded, followed by a sequential extension. Items may be loaded and read from any word processing program.

. Contains nothing except within its sub-directories, and these will contain nothing except on a station on which you've elected to run SD-Backup. On such a station, the SD-Backup program will, with commencement of running, examine its own "C:\SD\BACKUPS" sub-directories. If it finds no backups in its yearly sub-directory, or that existing backups there are non-current (i.e., they are from a preceding year), it will copy all files from the FileServer's "C:\SD\NETDATA" directory into its own "C:\SD\BACKUPS\YEARLY" subdirectory. And so on for the monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly categories. With each such backup of files from the FileServer, it will also create a tiny log file (within the relevant sub-directory) indicating when such
backup was performed.

Final Setup: Items to Check-Off

Following is a listing of tasks you should perform to assure ServiceDesk operation is physically ready and optimized for full and effective operation.

As a first area of consideration, we’d like to suggest you consider whether certain settings within Windows are optimized for ServiceDesk operation. In particular, there are three matters you should review:

  1. Since ServiceDesk is an application you may be starting with some frequency (unless you simply leave it running all the time), we suggest you move a copy of its icon directly into your Windows Desktop (from whence you may start it more quickly simply by clicking on the icon, rather than by having to go through the Windows Start Menu, then Programs, then the RossWare Computing selection, and so on). There are several ways to do this. Most easily, locate the “ServiceDesk for . . . “ listing/icon in the Rossware Program group (i.e., as though you were going to double-click on it to start the program), but instead of double-clicking, right-click instead. In the small menu that’s presented, one of the options will be to “Create shortcut.” Click on this, and Windows will insert a second listing/icon into the menu group. Now simply, drag this out of the menu listing section and onto the desktop. It’s that simple, basically, to create a desktop shortcut for any program.
  2. There's a particular configuration for the Windows TaskBar that we think works best, not merely in conjunction with ServiceDesk, but in general. Basically, this is to have it programmed to hide itself when not in use, and to always be by-mouse accessible even if you have some program in operation that would otherwise cover it. To set it up this way (again, there are methods other than what we'll describe, should you prefer to use them), simply right-click on any unused region of the TaskBar, then select Properties, then the TaskBar Options tab. Now, in the form presented, see that you have both Always on top and Auto-Hide checked to true. Also, it's best to have the TaskBar situated on the bottom of your screen (you can drag it to any of the four screen edges), because the ServiceDesk screen allows a small space for it to remain visible there when it's reduced to it's (mostly) hidden state. As so setup, you'll find you can simply drag your mouse to the bottom of your screen whenever you wish to use the TaskBar. Even while ServiceDesk is running, the TaskBar will immediately appear, allowing you to select from its options (including any other programs that may be running). At the same time, the TaskBar will not significantly cover any ServiceDesk space.
  3. If you’re familiar with Windows, you know you can change and select from among many different color schemes (right-click anywhere on the desktop, select “Properties,” then choose the “Appearance” tab). We want to give you one caveat in regard to selecting these schemes. Some create title bar text that is larger than standard. This makes the title bar taller, and results in a portion of your ServiceDesk Callsheets failing to fit on the screen. If you notice this has happened, it’s because you’ve selected such a scheme. To correct, simply change back to a scheme that uses ordinary size text in the title bar.

In regard to ServiceDesk itself, almost nothing (aside from minimal installation, etc.) is required for the most basic operation, though substantial setup effort is required for many, beyond-most-basic the features. At any rate, we’ll describe various of the elements involved, in something approaching a likely probable sequence.

  1. For any function at all, it is essential that at least some matters in the Settings Form be filled-in (see page 223). Most likely, you’ll want to complete it somewhat thoroughly from the very start. Remember that the ‘Net-Wide’ section only needs filled-in from one station (the same settings for that section will appear at every other). The ‘Local’ section needs to be separately filled-in at each. Also please consider that for beginning use it’s most sensible to leave optional, extra-work type features (such as the SourceOfJobs survey, for example, turned off). There is so much new stuff coming at you in the learning stage, it’s simply not wise to complicate things more than necessary at such a point.
  2. If you've created fictional data (i.e., pretend Callsheets, JobRecords, SalesRecords, etc.) as part of your testing and learning process, you may want to get rid of that stuff before starting entry of genuine business information. The relevant files are all in the ‘\SD\NETDATA' folder of whichever drive you are using as FileServer. We suggest using DOS or Windows Explorer (whichever you enjoy most) to see what files are in this folder and to delete whatever seems appropriate. It will make most sense, in this regard, to delete those files that contain nothing but practice information, while retaining those that contain setup information you’ve already worked to input and will be continuing to use (please note that we might have created an automatic utility for this purpose, except the decision to delete or not can vary depending on circumstance).
  3. Be sure to setup the SD-Backup utility on some drive or station other than your FileServer. Really, it can save your life, and to set it up all you have to do, essentially, is run it—or better yet put it in the Windows Start menu on whichever station you’re using it from. Thus it will start itself automatically each time that station boots up (see page 215).
  4. Before having ServiceDesk print up your service tickets, you’ll have to have a number of things ready. This includes having appropriate invoices in your possession, a machine that will appropriately type information onto them, and having created a Invoice-Format-Instruction file via which ServiceDesk will comprehend the wanted format (see page 267). The last task, incidentally, is very easy, and hopefully you’ll already possess appropriate invoices and printer (please note this step is not absolutely essential; you can easily run everything else in ServiceDesk and simply not have it print up your invoices).
  5. You should setup QuickEntry forms for your home-warranty, OEM-warranty or other very frequent, institutional-type clients (see page 57).
  6. If you want a different list of time-frames offered to assist in scheduling (other than the standard, default list), you’ll need to set that up too (see note 67 on page 96).
  7. If you want drop-down lists to appear in the Item(s) Type and Item(s) Make boxes of the Callsheet, you’ll have to do some advance setting up in the UnitInfo system (see page 201; but note this is typically delayed until reaching Learning Mode 6, see page 262).
  8. Prior to making use of ServiceDesk's InventoryControl features, you'll need to create your own company's MasterPartsPlan, using the MasterPartsPlan form, and you’ll need to log-in beginning inventory (see page 145).
  9. Prior to attempting to download messages electronically from your answering service (a substantial convenience, but hardly essential), be sure they have the technical ability and that they have appropriately adjusted their format (see page 266).
  10. Prior to invoking any SourceOfJobs survey (so important as to be a travesty if you didn't use it, though you can certainly wait many months before doing so), you must be sure to create an appropriate file regarding each of your outstanding Yellow Page ads (see page 281).
  11. You should turn-on the AutoArchive feature from one station (see page 209), perhaps also the WipAlert feature (see page 118), and so on.

Of course, there are other many features that may involve some degree of setting-up before use, but the above is a pretty good synopsis of most such matters at least.