First Option Newsletter
May 2016

Happy Spring,

This newsletter details the release of version 10.1 for the financial software with instructions on how to install the new version.

First Option has some exciting data center news as well for those customers using the cloud hosted version of the financial software. We are always looking for ways to improve our service and our strategic alliance with our infrastructure provider has allowed us to meet our high standards for our hosted product. 

We also have some helpful tips on how to search the Knowledge Base and some sample knowledge base entries that you may find useful. 

Lastly, First Option has announced a new release of our IBM i monitoring tool. For those of you not on the hosted product, it may be of interest to you.  A sample demo is included. 

Version 10.1 Now Available
Version 10.1 upgrade is available and has been in production for over year.  If you have not already installed 10.1, you can install it with the instructions below.  Please note that if you are a hosting customer you will not need to install the license key.  

Not on the GUI and would like a quote? OR want to upgrade to the hosted version of the financial software?

A couple of quick notes:

1.)   The user will not see any differences to the application.  This is an upgrade to looksoftware and migration work has been completed and tested.

2.)   Version 9.0 and 10.1 can be installed on a PC concurrently. Although, once you have installed and run version 10.1 for a week it is suggested that the 9.0 icon be removed from the user's desktop.

3.)    If you are using Adobe Acrobat toolbar on your internet explorer browser, please remove it.

4.)    It is best to install this on one PC first then after a successful installation and testing, install the application on all PC's.  

For Hosted GUI Customers:

For IBM i Installed Customers:

1) Enter a ticket on FOI Helpdesk and request your permanent version 10.1 IBM i license key.
Data Center Announcement
First Option is proud to announce that in the third to fourth quarter of  2016, First Option will be moving to new production and secondary data centers. We are constantly improving our equipment and infrastructure in order to keep pace with demands of our industry.  The production site will remain in Commack NY but will be moving to a new building. The First Option secondary site will be moving to Minnesota.  

Some things you should know about this move:

1.)   We will announce the implementation dates in the next few weeks.  There is nothing for you to do right now.
2.)   Customers using third party applications (e.g., Acom, etc.) will need to request new license keys. 
3.)   There may be an IP change required on your firewall for the VPN tunnel.  If this is required, a ticket will be entered and the IP address provided.
4.)   Although we do not anticipate any issues, it is advised that customers test the application prior to going live.  Test plans typically include totals (AP, AR, GL Accounts, etc), check run (usually one check), and downloads.  

Tips for Searching the Knowledge Base
TipsHelpful Tips for KB

The best way to search the Knowledge Base is to use "quotation marks".

Once you sign in to the support center, make sure you have clicked on Knowledge Base and then type your search request. Don't do the search request from the main support page. The results are not as targeted since it is searching the whole site not just Knowledge Base database. 

Try and keep it as simple as possible. 

For example:

You need to void a check.
Type "void check" in search field

Here are your results:

Or you want the steps to print 1099's
Type "1099"

Here are your results:

Lastly, you have an issue with accounting period.
Type "accounting period"

 KBKnowledgebase Entries
Financial Skeleton
I added a new financial skeleton using cloning but the report is not being generated.
The new skeleton had to be added in the Report Writer Definition Maintenance - option 1 from GL Report Writer Menu. Any time you create or clone a new skeleton you must add it to the maintenance file.


Our inventory is not updating based on purchase order receipt.

The PO header has the "affect inventory" flag set to "Y" but the line for the product has it set to "N". The line value defaults from the header value so it looks like the user overrode it during PO entry.

How do I delete a credit memo?
Use Transaction Modification (option 18) from AP Supervisor Functions menu.

Accounting Period Open/Close
How do I change the G/L accounting period open/closed flags if I have already cloned them from a previous year?
To access and change the Valid for General Ledger fields in the Accounting file, and if you have cloned the accounting period and therefore copied the Closed period fields;
Use #14-Update Accounting Period Flags on the G/L  Supervisor menu.  Enter the Corp# and year that need to be changed and press ENTER.  In the column 'Valid for G/L' key a 'Y' to allow entries to be posted into the period or an 'N' to prevent entries from being posted.  For more information about accounting periods, cloning and re-setting values go to the General Ledger Manual page 25 & 126.

Getting the message "Invalid check number entered" during Check Reconciliation.

The "invalid check number entered" message is typically displayed when a check has been reconciled. If this is one specific check and it was reconciled by mistake in a previous month's reconciliation, it can be added back to the reconciliation file using #23-Add Checks to Check Rec. File on the AP Supervisor Functions menu. Once it has been added to the reconciliation file, you will be able to reconcile it. If this is more than one check, I would double check the bank number to make sure it is correct.

New Version Release of IBM i Monitoring Software
IBM i Watchdog by First Option is a an IBM i (iSeries, AS 400) monitoring solution that provides centralized management via a user friendly interface for key system health threshold alert definitions, day, time and duration to suspend monitoring to accommodate scheduled maintenance, customized email groups for routing of informational and inquiry messages to a pre-defined support team.

New Enhancements in Version 4.0
  • User Interface - Using Bootstrap, the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework in the world, the application has a new look and is mobile aware.
  • User Interface - Only Show Systems w/ issues - Prior to this modification, a specific system OR all systems were displayed. For customers monitoring multiple LPARs, they will have the option to limit the list to those systems requiring attention.
  • CPU Monitoring - Capture list of top jobs responsible for sending the CPU % above its threshold.
  • Subsystem/Job Alerts - Ability to send message if a job queue/job is not running at a specified time OR job is still running. This allows the user to monitor if a mission critical application (e.g., EDI, Order processing, etc.) is active. It also allows the user to monitor if a time sensitive job (e.g., billing, invoice creation, etc.) is taking longer than anticipated causing delays in the following processes.
  • Security Audit Log (QAUDJRN) Monitoring - Using QAUDJRN, this enhancement will send an alert when a System Value or user profile is changed.
  • Threshold duration for DASD usage - For jobs that create temporary work files and then remove them when the process is completed, this will allow the user to only send an alert when the DASD has exceeded the threshold for a user specified amount of time.
  • Reporting - New reporting abilities using DB2 Web Query that includes historical reporting, and trend analysis.

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