A detailed look at the fields and dependencies in the Contact records, how to create a new Contact & editing existing Contacts.
The Contact records are where you store information about the people who work within customers, sites, suppliers and even internal users if required. They operate independently however and only have an association field to Customers records. When creating Work Items that refer to Customers or Sites, they allow easy searching & selection of contact names to save time on entry. In most cases, you can record contact names directly within Work Items too.
Some features are dependent upon your select plan for your account.
Indicates a feature is only available in Standard or above.
Indicates a feature is only available in Enterprise.
Where Contact Records are Used
The following files refer to Site records so if you plan to use any of these, setting up the records in this file will be important or even critical:
- Generic Job
- Field Repair
- Internal Repair
- Depot Repair
- Field Maintenance
- Internal Maintenance
- Field Task
- Internal Task
- Help Desk Call
- Recurring Work
Prerequisite Files for Contacts
When setting up Contact records, it is recommended to review the other data files that may need to be referred to by each Contact record. These are the files that you may need to setup in advance of the Contact records:
- Categories (Contacts)
Field Descriptions for Contacts
The ID section holds the unique ID:
Reference - holds the unique ID for the record (most records in Solarvista have one of these). It cannot contain any spaces or non-standard characters. Once the record is saved, it is not possible to edit it afterwards. In most default situations, the Reference is automatically set using a counter sequence, however, you can setup your own if you prefer.
The Details section holds the names and some fuller forms of name:
Title – holds the title of the contact. The options are taken from the pre-loaded options in the design of the data source. It is recommended to fill out this if you plan to use the system as source data for communications, such as emails or SMS texts.
First Name – holds the contact’s first name. It is recommended to fill out this if you plan to use the system as source data for communications, such as emails or SMS texts.
Last Name – holds the contact’s last name (surname). It is recommended to fill out this if you plan to use the system as source data for communications, such as emails or SMS texts.
Job Title – holds the contact’s formal job title. This is useful for business analysis purposes but not essential for system use.
Full Name – holds a fully formatted combination of names and titles and is defaulted from the inputs of other name fields. It's recommended that this is populated for use within picklists or where screen space is limited.
Full Name 2 – holds a second variation of fully formatted combination of names and titles and is defaulted from the inputs of other name fields. It's recommended that this is populated for use within picklists or where screen space is limited.
The Communications section holds the preferred contact and the customer’s phone/email:
Email – holds the email address of the contact. Naturally, this is essential if the system will be used to communicate using email.
Phone – holds the phone number of the contact.
Mobile – holds the specific mobile phone number of the contact.
The Permissions section holds data protection related permissions information:
Legal Basis – in some jurisdictions, recent regulations (e.g. European GDPR) require permission for communications to be given or legally assumed and a record maintained. This fields holds the legal basis assumed or given, for communications via electronic means. The options are:
- Freely given consent from contact
- Legitimate interest – client/customer
- Legitimate interest – prospect
- Performance of contract
If “None” is selected, which also the default, no communications are allowed through the software even if requested or triggered automatically.
Allow Phone Calls – the contact allows phone call to be made to them.
Allow Emails – the contact allows emails to be sent to them. If not checked, any emails triggered manually or automatically will not be sent.
Allow SMS Messages – the contact allows phone call to be made to them. If not checked, any SMS messages triggered manually or automatically will not be sent.
The Associations section holds information about the customers, sites, suppliers etc. that the contact is associated with:
Customers – holds a list of the Customers that the contact is associated with.
Sites – holds a list of the Sites that the contact is associated with.
Supplier – holds the Supplier that the contact is associated with.
Office/Depot – holds the Office/Depot that the contact is associated with.
User – if the contact is an internal user, this associates it with the User from the Users file.
The Other section holds miscellaneous additional information:
Memo – a free text field that can be used for any purpose.
Category – a category for the site e.g. ‘Managerial”, “Executive”, “Technical” etc. These are defined in the Categories file and set with a Type= “Contact”. These are useful for business reporting and analysis.
Status – defines whether the record is in use or not. Initially, records are set to a status of “Enabled”. To remove a contact from visibility in selection lists, change this status field to “Disabled”.
Creating a New Contact Record
To create a new Contact record:
- Click on the “Plus” button.
A menu will appear.
- Within the “Data Sources” section, find “Contact”.
- Click on “Contact”. A new “empty” Contact record will appear.
- Populate all fields as you require.
- Click on the “Create” button.
- You may need to refresh the page to see the new record in a view.
Editing a Contact Record
To edit a Contact record:
- From the main menu, select Contact.
The default view for Contacts will open.
- Click on the Quick Filter button.
- Enter criteria for the Contact record you are looking for and click the Apply button.
The view will update.
- Find the record you are wanting to edit.
- Click anywhere on the row that shows the record. The record will open.
- You can edit any field that allows editing (some could be set to read only).
- Click on “Save” button to save changes.
Deleting a Contact Record
To delete a Contact record.
- From the main menu, select Contacts. The default view for Contacts will open.
- Click on the Quick Filter button.
- Enter criteria for the Contact record you are looking for and click Apply button.
- The view will update. Find the record you are wanting to delete.
- On the left side of the view is a column containing check boxes.
- Check the box of the record you want to delete.
- Click the “Delete” button on the top right.
A slide in dialog will appear prompting you to confirm the delete, by typing in the word “DELETE” again.
- To confirm, click the “Delete” button and the record (or records) will be deleted.
Note: You cannot delete a Contact record that is already in use with a Work Item. You can delete Contact records referred to only by other Data Sources however this will leave those records without an association to a valid record. If this happens by accident, you can manually recreate the record ensuring the Reference is identical. You can also change the status of the record to prevent it appearing on screen in future whilst maintaining historical integrity.
Customising or Adding New Fields
Solarvista™ is built upon a uniquely flexible platform that allows you to edit fields (or remove them in some cases) as well as add your own fields. These new fields (or edited characteristics of existing fields) automatically become available within the web portal and the mobile apps. For more information, refer to the Customising section.
Importing Contacts Data in Bulk using Import Tool
If you have a lot of contact information to enter, you may prefer to upload this using the Import Tool that’s built into Solarvista. The Import Tool enables Contact records to be created from “CSV” text files. CSV files can be created from a wide range of popular applications including Microsoft Excel. For more information on importing data into Solarvista, please refer to the article here.