A number of features have been incorporated into SQL*Partner to give it the flexibility and performance characteristics required by our clients. These features allow the user to customize SQL*Partner to meet their information processing requirements, while at the same time allowing WSI to maintain a single set of source code.
Features available throughout the system include:
SQL*Partner is table driven so that the user may "customize" its use to meet the unique informational requirements of their Firm. All of the codes and descriptions are available in on-line lookups or searches, from within their respective fields on the screens.
In addition to codes and descriptions for identification, sorting, and reporting purposes, many of the codes can also supply direction to the system. For example, disbursement codes may be coded to determine how they appear on prebills and/or on bills, in either itemized or summarized format.
Data for any table driven field may be located in one of three ways:
In addition to the standard fields available throughout the system, input screens may be customized using User-Defined Fields, or UDF's, at each of the following levels:
The Notes feature attaches a free-form narrative to information stored throughout the system. The notes can be up to 50 lines of 64 characters each, and can be displayed or modified in a scrollable window from within the record to which the note is attached. Notes may be optionally printed on Prebills, Bills and Reports.
In addition to the standard name(s) that may be assigned to the entities in the system (i.e. client), SQL*Partner also allows dynamic creation of up to 10 alias names for each record. The alias can be used throughout the system as an alternate search criteria for the record.
On-Line, Context-Sensitive Help
WSI provides help screens throughout SQL*Partner. When a "?" is entered in any field, a description of what data should be in that field, entry restrictions, and uses for the data in the field are displayed in a pop-up window. WSI supplies the initial text for the help screens and also supplies the tools to allow the user to edit the help text to match the terminology and procedures of the Firm.
SQL*Partner includes its own menu sub-system allowing the Firm to define the programs displayed on each menu, and who has access to those functions. To reduce the administrative burden of maintaining the menu system by individual user, menu maintenance may be performed at firm-defined group levels, such as administrator, billing clerk, time entry, etc.
In addition to controlling access to programs through the customization of the menu system, SQL*Partner controls access to functions within each program. For example, the Firm may also allow users permission to edit transactions on bills, but be prevented from performing transfers, or attorney allocations.
On-Line, Real-Time Processing
With the exception of the batch posting of journal entries in the General Ledger Module, all maintenance and data entry functions in SQL*Partner are performed on-line, providing immediate access to current information.
In addition to controlling access to program through custom menus, SQL*Partner allows the Firm to define which functions are permitted. For example, a group of users may be restricted to add and modify only (not permitted to delete records). SQL*Partner provides extensive, interactive validation to ensure invalid data is not entered into the system. Validation includes:
SQL*Partner maintains an audit trail of all activity on key transactions. For example, when a time transaction, or conflicts record is modified, the original transaction is not changed. Instead, the original transaction is inactivated, and a new transaction, classified as modified, is written to the system. All transactions are stamped with the input date and the user who affected the transaction. The audit log is available in hard copy and in several of the queries.
The database interface layer of SQL*Partner will work with a variety of SQL compliant database management systems. Currently all installations are using Informix, but earlier versions of SQL*Partner supported Oracle, and future releases of the product will support other products, such SQL Server and Sybase. WSI supplies a both system files and data dictionary documentation that facilitates the use of third party SQL tools for query and report writing.
SQL*Partner is a modular series of information management software products for law firms. The product is comprised of the following:
The Financial Management Series includes the following Modules:
The Practice Management Series includes the following Modules:
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