24 May Working with Data in FZM
When we use the built-in search function in FZM, the results are displayed in lists or grids. Let’s discuss how to work with the data found in such lists. Note that this productivity tip works across all of FZM.
Let’s look at a typical FZM module with search capabilities – the Directory module. As we all know, the Directory module is where we add contacts, franchise partners and staff members. It also allows us to send Alertzee alerts to our contacts, Alertzee being FZM’s companion app for franchise communications. The Directory module’s Search function allows us to search for contacts, franchise partners, staff members and Alertzee alerts. In this particular example, we’ll look at the Search Contacts functionality within the Directory module.
First, let’s click Directory on the FZM menu, then Search Contacts.
By default, there are 20 search records to a page (you can see the total number of records at the bottom right of each page). Thus, the total number of pages for the search results depend on the number of contacts you may have in your directory. For example, if you have 100 contacts, then you will have five results pages, since 100 / 20 = 5. You can scroll through each page using the navigation bar at the bottom.
Without any search actually being performed yet, we refer to this as the Default view. We will get back to this default view near the end of this article, so please bear this in mind.
Figure 1. The Default View, with the Downward Buttons and the Number of Records Highlighted
At the top section of the Search Contacts page, note that we have five default search criteria, namely:
1. Contact Name
As an example, if we’re looking for a certain contact, we can enter the name on the Contact Name box, then click Search. To narrow down our search results, we fill up as many of the search fields as possible.
NOTE: The top section can be customized depending on your requirements. For example, if you frequently used Title when searching for contacts, you may want to add Title to the search fields. If this is the case, open a support ticket and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your requirement.
With an actual search being performed, the view is now termed as the Search view. Again, please keep this in mind. We will get back to this later in the article.
Below the search fields, or on the lower section of the Search Contacts page, we are presented with a grid showing our contacts. By default, our contacts are presented in descending order based on the first column on the left. In the image below, our contacts are arranged alphabetically based on their last names since Full Name is the first column on the left.
Figure 2. The Search View
To the right of each column name, note that there is a downward arrow (see Figure 1). Click this arrow to see the four options available underneath:
1. Sort Ascending
2. Sort Descending
Sort Ascending, as its name suggest, sorts the column in ascending order.
On the other hand, Sort Descending sorts the column in descending order.
The last two options, Columns and Filter, both have right-facing arrows. When you click these arrows, you are presented with other options.
The Columns option shows all the fields in the Contacts module. Check the corresponding box to add a field as another column on the Search Results page. Thus, if you want to show the Created Date column on the Search Results page, check the Created Date box.
The Filter option allows you to further narrow down your search criteria. This is particularly useful if you want to filter a result set by date. For example, if you want to search for records that were created after May 1, 2016 but before May 21, 2016, you will filter the results the way they are presented in Figure 3 below:
Figure 3. The Filter Option
Feel free to play around with the Filter option to know more about the various other ways to filter each column.
You can also drag the columns in the order you want. Thus, if you want Created Date to be shown first, just drag it to the leftmost column. This will move the Full Name column to the right.
This is shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Dragging the Created Date Column from the Right to the Left
Next, on the top right of the Results section at the bottom, there are five icons.
Clicking the leftmost icon displays the search results in a printer-friendly format that you can then print or save on your computer.
Clicking the second icon from the left exports the query results to a CSV file, allowing you to manipulate the data from outside the system, e.g. Excel pivot tables. Note that if you have a very large data set in the list it may take a minute to download, please be patient.
Clicking the icon in the middle restores the default grid settings, in case you change them earlier. The changes will take effect the next time you run a search.
Clicking the fourth item from the left saves the grid’s width, height and column settings, which you can manipulate through drag-and-drop, allowing you to override the default settings, with the new settings becoming your default view.
NOTE:This is where the distinction between the Default view and the Search view becomes important (see our discussion on the Default and Search views earlier in the article). The default view of the Search Contacts page, or any Search page in FZM for that matter (when no search has been performed yet), is different from the view that is displayed when an actual search has been performed. Thus, to override the settings for each view and make them uniform, you have to:
1. Apply the changes first to the Default view, then click Search Contacts again to refresh the view.
2. Click Search, then apply your changes to the Search view (which is different from the default view in Step 1).
The above is illustrated in the next two succeeding screenshots.
Figure. 5 below shows the default view, without any search being performed yet, and after adding the Created Date column and saving the new settings.
Figure 5. The Default View, after Adding the Created Date Column and Saving the New Settings
Figure 6 below shows the view after a search has been performed. Note that it still doesn’t have the Created Date column.
To make the Search view uniform with the Default view shown in Figure 5, you need to add the Created Date column, then apply your changes by saving the new settings.
Fig. 6. The Search View, still without the Created Date Column shown in the Default View
Lastly, clicking the rightmost icon hides the search results; clicking it a second time displays the results again.
That’s it. Hope you’re now able to understand how to manipulate your data in FZM a little better after reading this article.