The Document Attachment feature was introduced with the release of GP 2013. It was really neat, but had limited uses and visibility. With the release of GP 2013 R2 it has grown up some, with Microsoft taking Document Attach to a whole new level. Instead of the limited windows on which it was available, it has now replaced all of the OLE object windows! Anywhere you saw or used an OLE window, which includes additional products such as Manufacturing and Field Service, the paper clip or OLE icon now opens the Document Attach window shown below:
Not only does it allow unlimited attachments, but you can now also scan from this window if you have a printer set up to allow scanning. This is done by putting your document in the scanner and clicking the ‘Scan’ button. This alleviates the separate step of scanning to a file and then attaching the file to the document or OLE window. You can also elect to have the attachments flow through to transactions from master records. From a ‘housekeeping’ perspective, the attachments are stored in the company database as opposed to a shared folder on the network or a local folder where it is not visible to all users (Dex.ini setting where many times the OLE path was the local drive). Your IT maybe saying this is too much data to put into the database. Well, if attachments are going to be stored, why not keep them in one simple place? Drive space is as inexpensive as it has ever been. 1 TB is only a couple of hundred dollars or less. Regarding security, it is already set in GP so only users who can see the records have access so there is no need to do any additional security setup. It will free up data servers for other files that do not need to be kept there.
With all that information, you might ask, what if I have already been using OLE attachments? Well, you can continue to use them. With the new Document Attach version 3.0, when OLE notes are present, the attachment or paper clip icon becomes a drop-down button which will allow the user to select which product or method to use. There is also a utility to convert your OLE attachments to Document Attachments.
If you were considering a document imaging solution and found it not worth the investment, this is the tool to get. If you are current on your enhancement, you only need to upgrade to GP 2013 R2 or apply the service pack if already on GP 2013.
By Dan Liebl, CMA CPIM - Sr. Consultant at OTT, Inc. www.ott-inc.com