You-Decide-SuperShuttle-OptionsYou can never have too many options. Within SI 2015 Optional Items can be an important part of the Project editing process. In this article we will discuss what optional items are, how to effectively use them, and the different ways these items can be displayed on reports.

So what exactly are optional items? Optional items are items within your project that may or may not be added into the final project based on the customer’s choice. Products, Labor items, and packages can all be marked as Optional. These items will not count towards the Grand Total of the Project until the “Optional” check box is unchecked.

Labor

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Products

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Packages

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You can tell which items are optional and which are not from the Project Editor grid. Optional items will be displayed in Project Editor with a highlight color that can be selected and modified via the Application Settings.  You can also modify the Font Color as well.

Optionals in Project Editor

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 Application Settings

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Optional items are intended to be used for items that the project can be completed without. For example, if you are doing a Home Theater System you wouldn’t make the wiring necessary for the system to work optional. You could, however, make a device such as an Apple TV optional. The system can function without it, but it’s a nice additional the customer may want.

Next we will discuss how optional items are displayed on Reports.  By default, Optional Items will be displayed in black text on the report under the header “Additional Options”.  There will be an “Additional Option” section for each group within the report.

Optional Items in a Report – Default Settings

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There are several other options available for reporting Optional Items. One of these we can see via our old friend, Report Definitions.
First you want to click on the Report tab in either the Project Explorer or the Project Editor.

Blog Report Tab

Click on the Client button and expand the Proposal report.

blog client

For this example we are going to edit the “By Location” Definition, so right-click “By Location” and select “Edit Report Definition”.

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On the Parameters Tab if you scroll to the very bottom you will see the parameter “Hide Optionals items?”

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“Hide Optionals items?” checked.

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“Hide Optionals items?” unchecked.

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Along with the parameter within the Report Definitions, there are also settings within the Report Settings for optional items. These settings allow us to change the ForeColor and the Header text for the optional items within the report.

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A new report setting for SI2015 is the “Show Optional items subtotals in project summary” setting. Normally, in the Project Summary you will get the Equipment Total, along with the Labor Total, Price Adjustments, Taxes, and the Grand Total. Optional items are not included in the totals, as they may or may not be included in the final product. This setting will print a report with three columns for the summary. One without optionals, one with only optionals, and a third with the entire project with optionals included.

“Show Optional items subtotals in project summary” is true.

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“Show Optional items subtotals in project summary” is false.

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