This is a quick start guide to getting going with Parts Dashboard. All of the information here is covered in more detail in later sections of this documentation, but this will provide you a good overview of how to get up and running.
If you’re installing the free or trial version of the app then download it from our website.
If you’re running a paid version then we will send you the install files specifically tailored for your environment.
Either way, follow these simple steps to install the application:
- locate the install file, double-click it (or right-click and choose Open), and this will launch the installer.
- After you accept the Windows security warning the installer will ask you to install.
- Depending on what components you may already have on your computer, the application will install in a few seconds, or may take several minutes. Once that’s done the application will launch.
- You’ll first see the login screen, so go ahead and enter the admin username and password provided to you.
- After logging in you’ll be taken to the Dashboard screen and you’re using Parts Dashboard!
After the program is first installed there is some basic configuration that is needed
Parts Dashboard has various options for configuring the application to suits your specific needs. Let’s take a look at the general settings options.
To access this, go to the More Tools option in the Ribbon menu, choose Setup, and then System Settings.
Here you can set options for how users log into the application, your preferred paper size, whether or not you will use the Inventory module, and location of the File Storage folder, if you intend to use this.
Parts Dashboard catalogs the different things that you want to keep track of. These things are called “Items”. The primary categorization of Items is into Item Types.
Parts Dashboard come pre-loaded with some default Item Types, such as Document, Inspection, Operation, Part, Project, Raw Material, etc.. Each of these types is configurable from within the Item Types tab of the System Configuration window, and you can create new Item types here also.
To view or edit an existing Item Type, select it from the drop-down at the top of the window.
To create a new Item Type, hit the plus button next to the selector drop-down, and type in the name for the new Item Type.
See here for more info on Item Types.
3.3.File Storage Vault
Parts Dashboard can interact with your files, and can create a separate folder for each Item. These files are stored on any drive that you can point to, and are not interfered with in any way by Parts Dashboard, so you can move them around with Windows Explorer just as you normally would.
Parts Dashboard will give you a list of all files it finds for each Item, and you can open the files directly from inside the Item details, or open the folder.
In order to access files through Parts Dashboard, you need to set up 3 things:
1. You need to establish the location of your file vault. This is a single folder under which all other folders will be created & stored, and where all files will live.
You can access this either from the General tab of the System Configuration window, or directly from the Ribbon menu.
From the Ribbon menu, choose More Tools, then Setup, and then Set Vault Location.
Navigate to the location where you’ll store your files.
2. Each Item type needs to have its individual storage pattern set up. You can have a maximum of 2 levels under each Item Type in which to create folders.
To access this, go to the More Tools option in the Ribbon menu, choose Setup, then System Settings.
Then navigate to the Item Types tab.
Select the Item Type in question.
Scroll down to the Files and Folders section, and configure the storage options.
Parts Dashboard’s primary purpose is to serve as a catalog for all of your project, design, manufacturing, and quality information.
- Create content: all the different things that you want to catalog
- Store files: use cloud or local drives to keep all of the files for your things
- Build connections: join together the different things you’ve cataloged so that you can see relationships
There are three general kinds of content:
You can create these things in any order, but when you’re first starting out getting the application set up it’s best to create new content in the order listed above (Companies > People > Items). This ensures that as you create something that relies on something else, it’s already done.
4.1.Create a Company
It’s a good idea to at the very least establish your own company when you first start the application. You can create additional companies now, or come back here and create them later. When you create people you’ll be asked to assign them to a company, so that’s a good reason to add them now. However, you can also add new companies when you’re adding new people.
To add a new company, select Companies from the ribbon menu.
You’ll see a list of all the companies that are in your application. You can either double-click on a row to see the details for any company, or select the row and choose the Details button.
To create a new company, select the New button.
At a minimum, enter a name for the company. If this is your company, check the “System Owner” box. (Only check this box for your company.)
The Contact Info and Address tabs can be edited, and the People and Supplying tabs will show who’s associated with the company, and what items the company supplies, respectively. These last two tabs will populate with info as content is created elsewhere in the application.