DESKTOP EDITION CLOUD EDITION SERVER EDITION GUIDES FORUM

[16.10.70] Added ability to attach documents to transactions (+local storage)


#41

Hi @lubos

As I’d like to start using the attachments feature starting from the new financial year (April), I wanted to revisit the naming convention of attached documents following the discussion back in November 2016.

You’ll recall my suggestion that attached documents should retain logical filenames in the physical file system structure to ensure they are easily identifiable outside of the Manager application and also therefore easily exportable. You said you’d look into this and I wonder if you have had an opportunity to do so? As I say, I’m keen to use the feature but unfortunately, I can’t do so with the current implementation, at least not without keeping duplicate copies outside of the application, something that obviously is wasteful in both time and storage space.

Related, I’d also like to see some basic reporting ability whereby I can pull up a report of all documents of a particular category (e.g., purchase invoices) that do not have an attached document. This will aid ensuring that all expenses have required documentation (i.e., receipts) associated with them. Alternatively, if this can be indicated in the P&L drilldown with the familiar attachment icon for transactions where their associated invoice has an attachment, this could also be a help here.

Thanks.


#42

Have you updated your software recently? Since attachments were brought inside the application, rather than being a remote cloud functionality, they retain whatever names they had when you attached them.

You can’t do that. But when you attach a file, it shows in the register. See this example for a purchase invoice that has an attachment:

Make yourself a test company and play with it. Or just attach some things to one of your existing transactions. They are easily and obviously deleted.


#43

Hi Tut,

Yes, as far as viewing the document from within the application is concerned, you are right; the original name is retained. However, if you look at the attachment in the file system, it’s been replaced with an apparently random string of numbers and letters - even the file extension is gone.

I can see a logic behind doing this - it ensures there are no duplicate names. However, I suggested back in October a naming scheme whereby files are still renamed by the system but to something logical and human-readably with a random suffix of characters to mitigate the duplicate issue:

So, when attaching a receipt to a purchase invoice for example, naming it something along the lines of PI_20161024_Supplier_abc123.pdf (where 20161024 is the date, abc123 is a random string of numbers/letters for uniqueness). Similarly, an attachment to a sales invoice could read SI_20161024_Customer_abc123.pdf, a quote SQ_20161024_Customer_abc123.pdf et cetera.

The above could perhaps be expanded slightly to include invoice numbers where present.

Whilst it shouldn’t generally by necessary to manipulate documents outside of the software (and indeed, it’s something that should not be encouraged since manually renaming or removing files would obviously cause file not found issues) the current implementation does mean that without an extremely tedious and time consuming inspection of individual files, it’s not possible to identify individual files outside of Manager.

I’m keen to maintain local ‘ownership’ (for want of a better word) with such non-proprietary files being easily available outside of Manager. Use cases are limited but would be beneficial, for example, in the event of a migration, or quickly wanting copies of, say, all documents relating to a particular supplier, something that’s quick and easy to do in Windows Explorer.

With regard to the reporting matter, yes the attachment icon present in the document list is useful. However, I’m thinking of an end of year review where there may be many lines to check and missing one or two icons in the list could easily be done. A report immediately highlighting where these attachments are missing would potentially be quicker and definitely more certain. There’d be no doubt that no attachments were missing if a report conclusively stated that.


#44

@BGPS, Manager is now using SQLite database and attachments are stored within the database. So there is just one file which contains all your accounting data and all attachments.


#45

Thanks for the clarification, Lubos.

In that case, could there be an option within Manager for bulk export of documents, perhaps with filtering options for date range, supplier etc. which would mitigate my concerns about having uploaded documents permanently tied into the system?


#46

It could be implemented in the future. There is more work to be done on attachments.


#48

Does putting the attachments in the database itself not massively increase the Manager file?

I am thinking of situations like when emailing your accountant at the end of the year with the latest financial transactions, you are basically emailing every attachment as well aren’t you. After 10 years that might get to be an unwieldy file size.


#49

Hence, why there are some user prefer having new financial period or after 3 years, they want the listings and settings like customer, supplier, coa, bank, cash, theme, form default, custom field, and business information. To be easily migrate or export to a fresh manager data. For continuity.


#50

this depends on the file size of your attachments which can be controlled by the user. as for Manager, the program uses SQL which is capable of handling database of sizes larger than the harddisk capacity of the user.

each government has their on rules regarding the records to be maintained for past financial years. its not like we should be maintaining them for a lifetime.
also, there are other methods to share your business file with your accountant.


#51

Well I am not going to be spending time removing the attachments after six years. That would be time consuming. I am just thinking more long term - the smaller the database, the more responsive the database is as well as the fact that sending the accounting file to the accountant is usually done via email.

I will think about how I want to handle that.


#52

I was thinking about this issue before. There will be a way to make a backup with or without attachments.


#53

+1 if able to export the important setting and listings (without transactions and attachments) to newly generated data. unless there is changes whether to include attachment in database again back to square one. but there is one thing I’m concern about what I’m suggesting, compatibility with updated manager software if more than 2 years.


#54

it would always be a good idea to save the Manager installer of the version available at the time along with your business backup file if you are not going to use it for a long time.


#55

which I’m doing it right now :smiley: since version 17.1.15 (Fixed database blob bottle neck)


#56

Couldn’t you do a light sql backup as in backup these rows/fields or a full sql backup as in backup these rows plus attachments rows/fields. Basically you are just excluding a field to backup aren’t you.

I am assuming that the attachments go in a field with a specific name, so one could in theory have a Full Backup Button and No Attachments Backup (presuming that covers the local folders as well.)

I think that would make sense.

I wonder if there is a way to delete documents older than six years or whatever the tax retention period is for any given country. By deleting old documents, one keeps the database small. Having said that, I might just prefer to migrate to a new Manager database after say 10 years.