J Albright & Associates        2710 Windemere Lane       Erie, Colorado       HOME

April 2014

a) All AIX releases prior to 6.1 are no longer supported by IBM.  If your system is more than 10 years old, you should upgrade to new hardware and AIX 6 or 7. INFOR will probably continue some support of older releases. New systems are, as always, much faster.

b) Check your disk capacity once a month by shelling out to unix ( >sh) and enteing #df.  Look for the percentage used for your /dbms filesystem.  If it is more than 75%, you need to purge data. You DO NOT want to run out of disk space.

c) If you use the Invision Viewer installed in 35 SHIMS report programs (the (S,P,I) ) option and are using Windows 7 or 8, you need my new Accuterm Viewer which will then allow you to continue to import the reports to a PC file.  Look at the Balance Sheet or the Open A/P report as an example.  Invue will not be upgraded to work with the new Windows operating systems. XP is no longer supported by Microsoft.

d) Internet faxing from SHIMS is now available using Esker, Inc., the worldwide leader in faxing services with this new custom mod.  The documents are e-mailed to Esker as 'pdf' attachments and they send the fax to the recipient.  No external changes to the SHIMS fax interface for the SHIMS user.  An e-mail confirmation is sent back to the sender. User configured daily reports are available.  Esker pricing is  8 to 10 cents per page.  Equal or less than your annual Monolith contract and the annual cost of a landline for the modem.

e) If you are looking for a non-4mm tape backup system, several SHIMS users have switched to the Unitrends Backup Device.  See them at www.unitrends.com. It's an external backup system to a removable harddrive.

February 2011

a) We are now able to send e-mails directly from the SHIMS screens in Adobe 'pdf' format.  This requires 24 AIX utilities to be downloaded to your system and special versions of the form building programs.  It also requires that the AIX release is 5.2 or higher.  These programs will not work on 4.3 or 5.1

b) The Universe release 10.3.9 contains a new 'ADE Module' for Automated Data Encryption.  This logic meets all new government security and privacy requirements.  This allows you to safely store credit card numbers, social security numbers and other sensitive data in 100% encrypted formats.

January 2011

If you are running SHIMS with AIX & Universe, you should be on AIX 5.3 or higher and Universe 10.  AIX 5.3 sales and marketing will end in April 2011.  The latest available release for SHIMS users is AIX 6.1 and Universe 10.3.9. You can find your AIX version  by shelling out ( > sh ) and entering '# oslevel -rat the unix prompt. It will display something like 5300-04 which is AIX 5.3, patch level 04.  Go to Rocket Software are www.rs.com to view the availability matrix for AIX and Universe.

You can find your Universe version by entering at TCL  ' > .L  RELLEVEL'  (thatís a period, capital 'L', space, then RELLEVEL).  The AIX and Universe releases must match up; so both may need to  be upgraded at the same time.  If you are running Universe with HP or Windows 2000; you should also check that you are using the most current versions. If you are using Ultimate Plus from OSS , check with them.  Put in a support call to Nicole Krantz at INFOR to initiate the upgrade process on the AIX and HP systems.

If your IBM box is more than 10 years old, you need to upgrade.  The new systems are much faster and you will be able to get hardware and software support from IBM if needed.  It is also a safety issue as one SHIMS user's old system overheated and caught on fire.

December 2010

It is imperative that you have a good system backup procedure. There have been several cases in the past year where auditors required information that the client could not produce because the backups were not available.

a) Have a set of 31 tapes that you rotate for your daily backups.

b) Save a rolling 24 months of EOM tapes made prior to the close.

c) Save at least 7 years of End-of-Year close tapes.

January 2008

We are officially announcing the availability of Release 2.0 of the SHIMS/1MAGE interface software.  We now have the ability to retrieve and display 14 different types of documents from within SHIMS. Document linkage is a key feature, e.g when you bring up an A/P check, you can also see the original P/O, vendor packing list and vendor invoice. We are continually adding new features to the interface.  Typical installation time is approximately 2 weeks. The software will be demonstrated at the TUG conference. Call me for a copy of the document describing the interface. Go to www.1mage.com for information on 1MAGE. This is the best new add-on to SHIMS in the past 10 years. The 1MAGE software is now operational a 5 SHIMS companies. 

July 2006

We connect to many SHIMS systems over the internet. Several companies use Microsoft VPN connections, several use Cisco VPN, others use Sonic Firewall software and others require static IPs; but many have no security other than the unix login and password. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is a very good idea to add some type of firewall on your internet connections.  You should check with your network administrator to discuss adding firewall security to your system.  The Sonic Firewall software (www.sonicwall.com) seems to be one of the most popular with SHIMS users.

January 2006

I have a full version of the SHIMS Sapphire release loaded on my system; so if there were upgrades in this never-released product that you were interested in, give me a call and Iíll see if they can be incorporated into your SHIMS version. See below for the Sapphire release list of major enhancements.  We have recently completed the integration of the  "Landed Cost" upgrade into the Hughes Supply Canada branch.

We have worked with Now Docs  (formerly RxLaser) to build an interface from SHIMS to the RxServer System.  RxServer is an incorporated feature on SXe. It handles the faxing, e-mailing and archiving of all forms. Printing will still be handled by SHIMS. On SHIMS, it will replace DQ for the faxing portion, and will add the e-mailing and archiving functions. It will contain a standard set of formats for the forms; which can be replaced with custom RxLaser formats.  Forms will include Bids, Sales Orders, Invoices, Statements, P/Os and Directs. For more information on the RxServer system, call Troy Sabrowski at RxLaser in California at (714) 986-1559.

We have also been working with Mark Paquette at York Worldwide for more than seven years to develop an alternative  EDI for SHIMS Users.  We are currently processing outbound 810 (invoices), 820 (Remittance Advice), 850 (Purchase Orders), 852 (Product Activity Reports) and 855 (Sales Order Acknowledgements.  Inbound 810 (Invoices), 850 (Purchase Orders), 856 (Advance Ship Notices) and 997 ( Purchase Orders Acknowledgements).

We are now sending out a bi-monthly e-mail SHIMS Newsletter to our clients with current SHIMS related news, a tech tip and special pricing on pre-developed custom modifications. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, please e-mail me your e-mail address to jim@jalbright-colorado.com.

Universe Training

We are now offering on-site training classes on Universe fundamentals. The 2 day schedule for topics is as follows:

Day 1
a) UNIX Basics
b) Universe System Structure & Components
c) The Dot Stacker
d) Retreive (aka ACCESS)
e) Universe Editor
f) Building Dictionary Items

Day 2
a) TCL Commands
b) List Processing
c) Proverb (aka PROC language)
d) Universe Spooler
e) SHIMS Behind-The-Scenes Commands
f) SHIMS Programming Standards (Procs, Menus & Dict Items)
The sessions will be structured individually for each company. These classes are also available for SHIMS clients using Ultimate, Ultimate Plus (OSS) or Sanyo Operating Systems. 

Sapphire Release

The SHIMS  SAPPHIRE release was developed; but never released or installed at any SHIMS sites due to the uncertainty at the time with SXe and future support of SHIMS by INFOR. We have the complete Sapphire system loaded on our system.  These upgrades are available for your Release 17.7 system as custom modifications.  Here are some of the major enhancements:

If you are interested in the complete Sapphire manual, please call or send me an e-mail.  It is available in Word documents or as an Adobe pdf file.

Miscellaneous Items

If you are converting to laser printers, you will find that many reports and forms do not properly fit. That is because the laser printers may not be able to print as low on the page as the dot matrix or line printers. INFOR does not plan to correct this in the current release. These can, however, be easily corrected in the programs or if you are using the RxLaser custom forms, it is not a problem. We are an authorized RxLaser form developer.

If you are no longer using System Builder, you can delete 1000s of unneeded dictionary items from your system. All of the items that start with "SB."; or with a period can be deleted. This will significantly clean up the DOC-FILE display.

Many SHIMS users that on on the current release are using out-dated forms programs. To determine the release level of your forms, look at the top 20 lines of the basic program. If it is the current release, you should see a Release 17.7 comment. If you are not current, you are missing many new features and error corrections in the forms printing.