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How to use the Line-Item Component Databases

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This video shows how to use the component chapter line-item databases used for the individual database enabled chapter templates. These chapter databases are for individual pages like the Budget, Income Projection, Cost/Benefit Analysis, etc.

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Video Transcription
How to use the Line-Item Component Databases

In this video we're going to show how the component chapter template line item databases work. The component chapter template databases, they're not normally visible in the drop–down menus because they are basically used on the fly by the Wizard to append to whatever database you're currently using when you add chapter templates that are database enabled to your project. There are about 60 of these and these are the little custom database definitions for the Cost Benefit Analysis chapter, the Budget, the Income Projection, Project Schedule, etc.

So about 60 chapter templates in the system have these predefined databases associated with with them and you can actually see these in the Template DBs button in the Preferences. If you scroll down you'll see all the custom ones and they're broken down into Cost Summary and Estimate related, Schedules and Business Plan databases You can load these into the system as a selectable database. When you do this it'll actually make a copy of the stock one and then that's the copy that you're attaching to your projects.

Now you don't have to load any of these yourself, this is all set up automatically, so I'll show how this works. When you are setting up your projects and adding chapters we're just going to add a new project. By default a project won't have any databases associated with it and if you pop into the Line Item Quote database you won't see these component ones selectable.

But what if we add one of the standard Cost Summary related databases and you'll see it's selected the Cost Summaryand Invoice chapters. If you go and add any other templates that are database enabled, let's say add a Budget chapter and a Project Schedule. Lets just add the Project Schedule.

Now we have four chapters in our project. We have a database already selected for the Cost Summary and Invoice. What the Wizard is going to have to do is it will have to append these little database definitions for these other pages to the database definition you're already using and that happens all automatically.

So we'll just go into the Line Item Quote and it tells us that we've got some chapters selected that don't have database definitions in our project yet so we'll just say Yes. Because we have a stock Cost Summary database the Wizard won't let you customize the stock templates just to keep them pristine and unmodified. So the Wizard is going to make a copy of our stock Cost Summary database we have selected and we can give it a new name.

We'll just call it Our Custom Db. So it's going to make a copy of it and it's going to append the checked chapters and database definitions for those other two chapters and it reassigns this new custom database as our project's database. Now we can go into the Manage Data button and you can see in addition to the Services category we have categories for the Schedule and the Budget.

We can go in and add some line items to all of these categories. All right, so we've added a few line items for the Schedule and it'll pick the current date as the start date. That's just how the stock database is set up.

For the Budget this database line item database is set up with categories for three years Okay, so I've just added some simple dummy line items here to the categories. When we build the document, now remember you can use that preview so you don't have to build the full document. So you can just change your line items, redo the previews and then once you're all done with everything then build the project documents.

Okay, so now we've generated our little test document, lets take a look at it. You can see the Invoice is output to a separate page and we have the Cost Summary. Now we didn't fill in tax amounts or anything so when we skip some of the global fields they're marked as not to be output if they don't exist.

So, if we had actually put in a tax amount or a shipping amount those additional line items would have actually been output. So that's another way to customize the system. This is how the stock databases are customized.

We have a lot more flexibility without people needing to customize the databases but if you would have actually filled in there's a discount amount, taxes and shipping can all be added in here. If any of those are used then the grand total will be output after that as well. You'll see the Production Schedule and you can actually customize using the Expert Edition.

You can customize the database formats if you want the dates to be output in different formats. If you want say instead of days to complete, weeks, months or years to complete. Those can all be calculated and output just by changing the layout of the database or the custom chapter templates.

If you create custom chapter templates with your own layouts there's a wide amount of customization that can be done here. The budget templates you can see how this is laid out with three years out and we only added one line item per category just to make it simple. You can see how this is all calculated out for for you using the database system.

Everything is customizable in the Expert Edition so you could completely change these calculations if you wanted to go 5 years out you can add extra columns. There are three year and five year budget options in the component databases. So that is actually set up already.

So that is how these component chapter templates are meant to be used, they are just appended onto your existing database as you select chapter templates that are database enabled. So it's all automated and you can also if you are using the Expert Edition and creating your own custom database you can actually clone in any components from other databases. So say if you need to add the Budget database or any of the schedules or other business plan categories you can just import into the database definition you're creating any of the existing databases.

That makes it a lot faster to build custom databases. So that is basically how the component databases work in the Wizard. Basically automated and you can import them into custom databases if you're creating them in the Expert Edition.

There will be other videos explaining those features.

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Create winning business proposals & contracts with minimal effort and cost. Proposal software, proposal templates, legal contracts and sample proposals.