Vision 7.0 and custom Infocenters – Finally!

Good morning, afternoon and thank you for visiting my site!

I have been working on the Deltek Vision platform for about 9 years now.  My first experience was a from scratch phased implementation (read more about what that means here) for a firm in Southern California.

The reason we had decided to purchase and implement Deltek Vision was because of the high degree of configurability and do it yourselfness that they offered. When it came down do it, we were a little disappointed in how limited the configurability was.  We had been under the impression that we could essentially create our own apps within the platform.  That was not the case.

But now it is.

With the release of Deltek Vision 7.0, or Deltek First, you now have something called Custom Infocenters. If you are going to Deltek Insight 2012 in Nasville, I will be talking about this for a few minutes during my session (PS-80 Putting Data in the Right Place) on Wednesday at 4:30 PM.

Even if you are not going to Insight, you can still benefit from this new feature or set of features.

One of the biggest limitations of Vision up to this point was that in order to store custom data… like a list of company vehicles or related equipment for example, you had to put that list somewhere inside of an already established section of Vision… like in Projects, or Employees, or Contacts or something… the problem was that a list of company vehicles really is its own entity, and belongs by itself.  The company vehicle fleet should be managed from within its own section… thus you had to rely on other applications to get the job done, then integrate these apps with Vision.

Now all that has changed… you can actually create your own module within Vision.

In about 30 minutes this morning I did just that.  I created a quick module for managing company vehicles in the Deltek Vision sample database.  The infocenter I created is simple and not well thought out… but it’s a simple idea that is very powerful at its core.  It is with this new tool that companies will finally be able to use Vision as a real ERP.  The ability to actually extend the app platform through the simple use of custom infocenters, coupled with workflows and a database that is completely open for development makes Deltek Vision a platform that can actually start living up to its promises.

I look forward to seeing what comes next!

Here are some screen shots from my brief experimentation this morning:

Here is the main section for the new infocenter I created in about 15 minutes. This is simple, but you can build on it even more using custom tabs, fields, grids etc… and automate the entire thing with workflows.
Note how the fields on this grid link back to other areas of the Vision application that are built in.

(click for larger image)

Here is an example custom grid I created. Note how the fields on this grid link back to other areas of the Vision application that are built in. You can also link custom infocenters to other custom infocenters. Very powerful indeed.

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