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Customizing field services
Solution No. 242


For some users in the field service industry, Method Field Services will solve their needs right from the starting block. If all you are looking for is a way to schedule one-time or recurring services on a calendar, print route lists and work orders, and turn the work orders into QuickBooks invoices…….well, that’s already done for you – so little customization would be needed.

Other users, however, will see Method Field Services as a starting point, and it is for this type of user that we built a development platform rather than a rigid boxed product. The type of user that has unique and complex needs would have previously only had one option to be 100% satisfied, and that would have been to create an entire business system from scratch with a custom programmer. For this type of user, Method Field Services is nirvana as it brings them 90% of the way to a custom app, for free, instantly, without any headaches – and they only have to get that last 10% customized to their specific needs.

This part of the guide gives you pointers on where to do basic customization, as well as where we think some great opportunities are for customization, and how you would go about starting.

Assistance for Customization

Where do I go to customize?

Every page in Method Field Services where you view and edit data is called a screen. You can customize these screens by going to the Customize tab and clicking on the Screens tab link.

All the data you see is stored in fields within tables. You can create your own tables, and your own fields, as well as add new fields to existing tables by clicking on the Customize tab, and clicking on the Tables / Fields tab link. Note, that simply adding new fields does not add them to screens. Once you add new fields, you must edit the screen where you want them to appear and drag the fields onto your screen.

When customizing a screen, it is always best to make a copy of the existing screen, and then to modify the copy, leaving the original in-tact. That way, if you make a mistake, you can always go back to the original. To copy a screen:

  1. Click the Customize tab.
  2. Click the Screens tab link.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom.
  4. Click Copy / Import Screen.  Note: You can also copy a screen by finding the screen in the list and clicking the Copy icon to the left of the screen name.
  5. Choose This Account, and click Next.
  6. Choose the screen you want to copy, and click Next.
  7. In Step 3, choose Replace Links to an existing screen. This way all tab links that previously referred to the existing screen will now refer to your copied version. This prevents you from manually going through your app and finding all the areas that pointed to the old screen and changing them to point to your new screen.
  8. Click Finish.
  9. Find your new screen in the screen list and click the Edit link beside its name.
  10. Drag fields and objects from the left-hand side of the screen over to the right-hand side of the screen.
  11. For each field or object you have dragged on the screen, click Edit and go through the wizard to set properties.
  12. When you are finished modifying your screen click Publish, which will make your changes live.

Tip: the easiest way to learn how to create a screen is to open up existing screens and see how those screens were made. Everything is available to you to look at and “reverse-engineer”.

What are the screen names relevant to Method Field Services?

  • FieldService_AddEditWorkOrder: This is the “Add / Edit Work Order” screen that you see when you edit a work order or create a new work order. This screen is based on the “Activity” table.
  • FieldService_Calendar: This is the “My Calendar” screen found in the Field Service Center tab. This screen is based on the “Activity” table.
  • FieldService_CopyWorkOrder: This is the “Copy Selected…” screen you see when you copy services from the Work Order list.
  • FieldService_CreateInvoices: This is the “Create Invoices” screen you see whenever you create an invoice. This screen is based on the “PreferencesMethod” table.
  • FieldService_CustomerEquipment: This is the “Equipment” screen found under the Field Service Center tab. This screen is based on the “CustomerEquipment” table.
  • FieldService_Dashboard: This is first screen you see under the “Dashboard” screen found under the Field Service Center tab.
  • FieldService_EditJobItem: This is the “Enter Details & Costs” screen found when you edit job items from the “Add / Edit Work Order” screen. This screen is based on the “ActivityJobItems” table
  • FieldService_Estimate: This is the “Estimate” screen found under the Field Service Center Tab. This screen is based on the “Estimate” table.
  • FieldService_PostToQB: This is the “Post to QB” screen found under the Field Service Center Tab. This screen is based on the “Account” table.
  • FieldService_PreferencesTimeTrack: This is the “Default Time Tracking Settings” screen you see from the “Enter Details & Costs” screen. This screen is based on the “PreferencesMethod” table.
  • FieldService_TeamMembers: This is the “Team Members” screen you see from the “Enter Details & Costs” screen. This screen is based on the “Users” table.
  • FieldService_WorkOrderList: This is the “Work Order List” screen found in the Field Service Center tab. This screen is based on the “Activity” table.

How do I find self-serve documentation?

How do I ask questions for free?

  • The Method forum can be found here: Our staff will answer limited questions on the forum, as will other Method users, and 3rd party consultants. Expect pointers and tips. Don’t expect someone to walk you through each and every click.

How is “technical support” defined, and what does it cost?

Technical support is free. Yes, free. BUT – technical support for Method is limited entirely to solving bugs and errors. This is not your typical tech support department that also answers “how do I?” questions.

“How do I” questions are asked in booked training and consulting times with your Method Field Services rep.

Can I pay someone to customize instead of doing it myself?

Yes, our staff, or a 3rd party consultant will be happy to help out. Contact your Method Field Services rep, tell them what you want to add or change, and they’ll put together a quote for what it will cost you to have done.


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