Configurator Smart String INPUT

(Calvin Krusen) #1

I’m having trouble understanding how to make a configurator to use a Smart String Input.

I know how to make as smart string based on the user selections on the designed page. But I want to allow a user to enter the Smart String as the input.

For example, in the following configurator input, the user enters/selects values in the upper part, and the Part Number (lower middle) and Part Desc are dynamically generated (upon clicking the “Update P/N & Desc” button.


What I’m trying to do is have the user enter a Smart String instead of making the individual selections. I.E. the user would just enter “SPLF-A0500-AH010-010” during order entry.

I know I could make a textbox input, and parse it in code. But there is “Smart String Input” functionality that is supposed to allow me to do it. While it is mentioned in the Configurator Tech Ref Guide, there are no examples of it. Nearly all mentions of “Smart String” are as an output of the configurator.

P.S. :-1: to Epicor for calling both the input and output parameters the same (“Smart String”)

(Tim Shoemaker) #2

Agree that the word “Smart” is thrown around too much… Also, the incoming smart string is used for EDI to auto POPULATE fields… BUT one thing to be careful of is that this does not force any “on-field-changed” code in those fields to be run.
So… pretending that there is no such thing as a smart string input, here is how I have done what you described. I would suggest that you pass the smart string via the line item description on the sales order. ie, you would enter the configurator part number on the order, then enter the smartstring into the description. THEN you would configure it.
Inside the On-Page Loaded, you would add some code to examine the line description, and if found, split it out into all the other inputs (without the need for the button)

(Calvin Krusen) #3

Thanks. I used to make an OnLeave event in every control, to automatically regen the Part Num and Part Desc. Maintaining that same code in 10 different functions got to be a pain.

I’ll play with your Idea of passing the input smart string via the part desc.

One other thing. I need to have the Configured part create an entry in the part master. Is there anything special I need to do/watch for when the PartNum generated by configurator is for an existing Part table entry?


  1. Part XYZ-123 is not in the Part table
  2. Configurator is run in Order Entry, Part XYZ-123 is generated and saved in the Part table.
  3. Later, the configurator is run (again in Order Entry). Part XYZ-123 already exists in part table, so no new entry is required.

Assume the second time the Configurator is run, the part created would be identical.

(Mark Wonsil) #4

I’m sure @timshuwy will be all over this, practice the DRY principle: “Don’t Repeat Yourself”. Put that code in a UD Method and then call it from the 10 different locations. That way, you only have to update it if the signature changes (number/types of parameters).

Mark W.

Mark W.

(Calvin Krusen) #5

Pun Intended?

(Tim Shoemaker) #6

@Mark_Wonsil I actually started typing out names of UDMethods to create, and decided my answer was getting too convoluted for the question…
I will be covering the creation of UDMethods at #Insights18… IN FACT, there is a 4-hour Extended Education class on Monday Morning on the Product Configurator where we will build some UDMethods. There are still openings in the class (extra fee). Also, on Thursday afternoon I have a 2 hour lab that will cover this in a shorter format.

(Mark Wonsil) #7

I’m a Gemini. And so am I…

(Tim Shoemaker) #8

Here is the Table Of Contents from the Extended ED Session on Monday for those interested:

Creating Configure-To-Order Items with Epicor ERP Product Configurator 7
Before You Begin 8
Audience 8
Prerequisites 8
Training Environment 8
Overview 9
What is the purpose of the Product Configurator 9
Why are there multiple Product Configurator programs? 9
What are the Typical steps to create a new product configurator? 10
Classroom Example – Marina’s Sub-Shack 12
Configurator Entry – Create Configurator 14
Workshop 1: Create a new Configurator: 14
Configurator Design 15
Workshop 2: Define the Q&A PAGE: 15
Workshop 3: Test Configurator: 15
Discussion: Discuss the features of Configurator Designer: 15
Discussion: Input Naming Conventions: 18
Workshop 4: Define more Input fields: 18
Workshop 5: Additional Input Parameters 19
Workshop 6: Dynamic Combo Boxes 21
Lookup Tables 23
History of Lookup Tables 23
Epicor 9 lookup functions? Do they still exist in Epicor 10? 23
Can you have more than one Lookup Table? 23
Can you Add more columns to the table? Can you name your own fields? 23
Is there a limit on the number of ROWS in the table 23
What are the lookup Functions 24
Lookup Table Functions 24
Workshop 7: Lookup Table Maintenance 25
Discussion: Other Lookup table features 27
Define User Defined Methods 28
UDMethods are written in C# 28
UDMethod Creation guidelines 28
UDMethod Types & features 28
Server Side 28
Client Side 28
Parameters 29
Returned Value 29
Workshop 8: UDMethod Creation 29
Finishing the Design – ACTIONS 33
Workshop 9: Action definition 33
Document Rules 36
Workshop 10a: Create Record Creation Options 36
Workshop 10b: Document Rules 37
Method Rules 39
Connecting the Dots 39
Configured Part Setup 39
Super BOM vs Part Replacement 39
Workshop 11: Explore Part BOM & Assign Configurator to Part 40
Method Rules 41
Workshop 12: Building Method “Keep When” Rules 41
Workshop 13: Testing your Rules (so Far) 43
Workshop 14: Changing Job Material Records 43
Workshop 15: Changing Job Operation Records 46
Workshop 16: APPROVE the configurator: 48
Full Testing 49
Method Rule testing 49
Workshop 17: Method Rule Testing 49
Workshop 18: Document Rule Testing 49

(Brandon Anderson) #9

I’m taking that class, hopefully I can keep up!

(Dan Edwards) #10

I have seen a couple things to note - Let’s say you create a part named BLUE-LIGHT and create the description generation in the configurator as Blue Light. Now once the part is created let’s say someone does not like the description of the part and without knowing the impact changes it to Cool Blue Light using Part Maintenance. The next time this part is configured on a line it will change the description back to whatever the configurator is using. Just little things like that to watch for.

(kyle) #11

Hi Dan,

I have noticed this is happening to us recently, where an existing part number is overwritten with the description from the part record of the main part in part maintenance. Is there any way around this where instead of the part description being overwritten it is instead retained?