Friday Feature - Search Favorites

Welcome to the second issue of the Friday Feature. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a productivity hound. If there is a way I can perform a task faster, better, more efficiently, I am all over it, especially if it is a task I am not too thrilled about: like entering data in a search form.

Most activities in Escape Online 5 begin with a search containing tons of options: so I can get just-the-right list. Look at the Employee activity - I can find just one employee, searching by name, SSN, Empid, etc. But I can just as easily create a list of employees with nearly any attribute: hire date range, certificated/classified, those with a particular benefit setup - almost any combination of over 100 different fields. That's amazing!

So how can I possibly be fast and efficient with 100 fields? I don't want to enter the same information over and over again when I have some common searches I run consistently. That's where Search Favorites come in!

Search favorites are a way that you can save the field entries of your search criteria. There is a Favorite button on every search page in Escape Online, and you can create up to 20 per activity. Each favorite can be set up to Auto Go, too. That means that when you select that favorite, the search is automatically launched, just as if you had pressed the Go button.

Now, I must admit that I don’t use the auto launch feature as much as our customers. What I like to do is create basic searches that I can build upon. For example, I just rewrote the Budget User Guide. I went through the entire process to create an original budget for next year. This meant that EVERY time I went into the Budget Entry activity, I had to enter the Fiscal Year and Model Id, regardless of any other search criteria I may need.

So, I created a favorite for that. It was a hundred times quicker. Okay, I exaggerate, but it was a lot quicker. Now I could use my mouse to quickly select my favorite, or press Alt+C, F, Enter (the keyboard equivalent for the Action menu, Favorites option, favorite 1). Voila! I had my basic criteria from which I could enter an account mask, look for vacancies or any other number of options. (Just think of what I might have done in the Employee activity!)

But enough about me, what about that Auto Go feature that customers love? Auto Go works great for favorites that contain all of the criteria you need. The example below shows a favorite that looks for business department requisitions that have had a PO number assigned during fiscal year 2009. The search is self-contained. It is a perfect candidate for Auto Go.

That’s the Search Favorites feature of Escape Online. If you have an example of a Favorite you would like to share, please leave a comment.