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The Importance of Smart Coding

Setting up a new table or a whole new MainBoss database can be time-consuming. That means you want to make sure everything is done right the first time.

The most common reason why customers choose to redo one or more of their tables months or sometimes years after they purchased the software is because they coded their data in such a way that it?s difficult to work with. The following are commonly reported coding errors:

The codes are set up so that similar records are not grouped together. For example, suppose you use a haphazard system like labeling some boilers with BOILER and some with BLR. All the BOILERs will be sorted together, but the BLRs will be sorted in some other part of the report, making it difficult to get a straightforward picture. The codes are too short for you to decipher their meaning. There are duplicate codes/descriptions in the table. The codes are random numbers or letters that have no relation to the actual record, i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc. There is no consistency in the coding format. Some codes are misspelled.

When the above coding errors have been made, the following problems can occur:

If similar pieces of equipment have codes that prevent them from being grouped together, it will be difficult to create meaningful or accurate reports. The same applies to any other type of information. If you have duplicate codes or descriptions, you may create a work order for the wrong unit and won?t be able to track your costs accurately. If your codes are too short or only use numbers to identify information, new workers will have a hard time learning the software and what each code stands for

Proper coding of units and other MainBoss tables is vital for ensuring that the data is easy to work with and that you can produce meaningful reports for decision making. The most important point is to be consistent. For example, if you have five window air conditioning units in five different offices and one central air conditioning system, code your equipment as follows:

	AC-CENTRAL
	AC-WIN-OFF101
	AC-WIN-OFF103
	AC-WIN-OFF104
	AC-WIN-OFF203
	AC-WIN-OFF205

As you can see, all codes start with AC, ensuring that these units will be grouped together in the equipment list. The next portion of the code describes what kind of unit it is. The last portion (if needed) describes where the air conditioning unit is located (Office 101, etc). The above coding structure has the following features: Do not encode the location into units that can be moved.

  1. It is easy to decipher the exact unit just by looking at the code
  2. The coding is consistent (different portions of the code are separated by dashes and the spelling is accurate and consistent)
  3. The coding is set up to group similar units together
  4. The codes are unique

Please take some time to review the coding in your database to determine if it helps you use the program easily and effectively. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office to set up a training web based or on-site session.

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