In this video we’ll cover the basics about how you can configure Content Central to work with an external system like your accounting system or an Excel spreadsheet to fill in some field values for you automatically.
Most customers like to minimize the amount of information that they need to type into each field manually, and one way to do that is with ODBC integration or using external data sources. With external data sources configured, Content Central can use the information that you provide in a key field like the vendor’s name, then ask the other system, like an Excel spreadsheet for the vendor ID that goes with that vendor’s name, and then fill in the vendor ID field with the match. Content Central uses ODBC, a standard software interface, to pull data from the database that contains all of the data from your other systems like ERP or accounting systems. So as long as the external system has an ODBC driver that can be installed using Windows data sources administrative tool, then Content Central can use that connection in Windows to talk to the external system. ODBC is such a common method for connecting to data sources that there are a number of ODBC drivers available for other data sources besides databases like text files, CSV files, or even Excel spreadsheets.
This means that even if you don’t have a large accounting system, you can still create an Excel spreadsheet that contains a list of vendor names and vendor IDs so that Content Central can use it to fill in the vendor ID field for you automatically after you’ve chosen the vendor name. Regardless of whether you want to pull data from an Excel spreadsheet or for the SQL database that contains all of the data from your accounting system, the first step you’ll need to take is to set up a 32-bit system data source on the Content Central server. Most of the time, the manufacturer for your external system will have instructions for how to set up the data source in Windows and in some rare cases the manufacturer may charge you a fee for the use of their ODBC driver.
If you’re using a more common data source, like a text file, or Excel spreadsheet, the ODBC driver may already be available and installed on the Content Central server. To check, just open up the data sources administrative tool from the windows control panel, and on the system DSN Tab choose “add” to see you list of ODBC driver is already installed. Remember that Content Central uses a 32-bit ODBC connection, so if you’re on a 64-bit system, you’ll need to use the 32-bit version of the data sources administrative tool in Windows which can be found under the “cyst while 64” folder of the Windows directory. Once you get the driver installed, configured, and tested in Windows, you just need to let Content Central know to use it. On the admin menu. Go to the “external data sources area” and click “add source”. Select the system DSN that you created using the data sources administrative tool in Windows from the list. Then provide a name, and any other information that’s necessary, and click “apply”. Be sure to test the data source before moving on to the next step. After Content Central knows about your data source, you can use the field look up integration area to tell Content Centrall how to perform the field look up.
In this example, we see that the purchase order document type has been configured with one look up. When we look at the details of this look up, we can see more about how it’s configured. It is using an external data source named “vendor names and IDs” that we previously configured in Windows and already set up as an external data source with Content Central. Content Central is going to use the first sheet in that workbook to look for values. Starting from the bottom, this look up is configured to take whatever value we type into the “vendor” field of Content Central and then find an exact match in the “vendor name” column of the spreadsheet. Once it finds a match, it shouldn’t move across the row in the spreadsheet to the ”vendor ID” column, take the value that it finds there, and then fill it into the “vendor ID” field in Content Central.
To test out our field look up integration, we can go to the capture screen and provid a vendor name and use the “perform key field look up” shortcut at the bottom to fill in the vendor ID field for us. We can also configure Content Central to do this look up for us automatically using workflow, by creating a rule that performs the look up whenever we had a new purchase order to the system. So remember, to use the ODBC integration features of Content Central, you’ll need to perform the following steps. First, install and configure a 32-bit system data source on the Content Central server using the data sources administrative tool in Windows. Second, configure Content Central with access to the data source in the external data sources area of the admin menu. And third, configure the field look up integration area for each document type that has one or more fields that you want to have filled in automatically
In this video, we covered the basics about how you can figure Content Central to work with an external system like your accounting system or an Excel spreadsheet to fill in some field values for you.