Assistance and how to get it
When you strike a problem your first port of call should be the "
How to use Help" topic available through the ScreenHelp menu bar entry or by pressing F1 at any time.
Next try the > How do I... which are responses to questions from users and has replaced the web site based version. It is now in the form of a separate help file on your computer which requires periodic updating from the web site. Have a look at the Troubleshooting topic too.
If these do not answer your problem further support for the Aspect Property Manager is available by:-
sending an email from > Email Aspect Systems Ltd or your standard email program
standard post which is sometimes the best way if you need to send bulky reports to us XXXX
telephone is often convenient for you but not always for us. If you strike our answer phone please leave a message. The cost of toll calls, plus a billing fee, may be charged to you.
Support responses may be phone, email or standard post.
Before contacting us make sure you are on the latest version as support lapses on old versions and your problem may have been fixed.
One objective we had when developing the Aspect Property Manager was to make you as self-sufficient as possible, hence the extensive Help topics. However, with the best will in the world we could never manage to cover everything that can and will occur. To provide a solution quickly and efficiently while keeping the cost of support as low as we can we have some "support call rules". They are not designed to get up your nose rather to ensure you get the level of support and response that fit the problem. Just as our time is precious to us it can be expensive to you, so please assemble all you need before contacting us.
When requesting support please send the following information.
Company Name and Address
Email address for reply
Name of the person lodging the support call
Day time land line phone number.
All the above are supplied automatically when the email is sent from Help menu > Email Aspect Systems Ltd
Details of the problem.
Provide supporting materials where possible. When sending your database, screen images or reports by email please compress them first with WinZip, see details below.
So what's the best way ?
Obviously it depends upon the situation, how quickly you want a response, and what you will be charged.
Most support is provided within the monthly rental charge, however, we reserve the right to charge for some support regardless of the method used. The rate charged will be the hourly charge out rate current at the time.
You may like to send suggestions, nice ones only please, to us for improvements to the product or the support provided.
Sending supporting material
The best way for us to see the problem is for you to send a copy of the database, as described in the next section, unless you feel uncomfortable about us seeing your data. The time and effort to capture and send images etc is more often greater but for those who wish to do so go to the Capturing Screen Images section.
Sending the database
What we require is the content of the ...\PropMan\Data directory, nothing else. Prior to Version 126.96.36.199 you needed to use WinZip. After Version 188.8.131.52 use the File > Backup and Restore program to compress the database then attach the file to an email. Some ISPs place restrictions on the size of email attachments, common limits are 5 or 10 Mbs but some are as low as 1Mb. If your email bounces because the attachment is too large either copy the compressed file to a CDRom and mail it, or contact Aspect Systems for further help.
Run File > Backup and Restore program with "Backup - Data only" chosen. Use your usual target directory or the system default of ...\PropMan Backup and make a note of the output file name. Refer to the BackUp and Restore Aspect Property Manager topic for more details on using the back up procedure.
When the back up action is complete, go to Help menu > Email Aspect Systems Ltd or open your normal email program. Attach the "back up file" just created to the email and please enter or change the Subject line to read "Data YourCompanyName Date", eg "Data Asl Realty 25Sep".
Most email systems use a paper clip symbol as an icon to attach the zipped file. If not you will find it on one of the drop down menus.
When the files are attached enter the problem details in the email.
Use your email system help if you do not know how to attach files. It is easy.
Capturing Screen Images
The old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words", definitely applies when seeking support. If you can show your problem by capturing the screen display, often called a screen dump, it is of immense help.
If the problem is complex, or you need a number of images or reports consider sending your database instead. But you must compress it with WinZip otherwise your email is liable to bounce and also will take 10 times longer to send and receive.
Capturing screen images requires three major steps, to display and save the image to an image capable document, compressing the document and attaching the compressed file to an email.
Please do not save the image directly into the body of an email document as the email will take too long to send and receive and may be rejected because of it's size.
Selecting an image capable document.
Use Microsoft Word or even Wordpad which is included in most Windows operating systems. Wordpad is normally found on the Start > Programs > Accessories menu. You could even use Microsoft Paint or similar for the images but they are not text friendly.
To reduce the image size to be sent, reduce the Aspect Property Manager main screen so its horizontal and vertical borders are about 2/3rds of the full screen.
When the Aspect Property Manager displays the information you want to send press Alt+Print Screen which the active window in a buffer termed a clipboard.
Change to the document and press Ctrl+V which causes the saved image to be pasted into the document and you should now see it on the screen.
Repeat these steps as required and save the document where you can find it with Windows Explorer. A good place would be the ...\PropMan\Reports or ...\PropMan\Temp directories. If you need several files that's fine. Name the file(s) sensibly.
The method above is not suitable for capturing information printed on reports because you can only see a portion of the report. Instead save the report to a file using the File > Save option in the Report Viewer. Then attach the saved file to an email, alternatively print the report and mail it to us.
Compressing the document
Always use WinZip which can be obtained from http://www.winzip.com to compact any attachments being sent to us. This will typically reduce their size to around 10% of their unzipped size saving both of us a great deal of send and receive time. Use Windows Explorer to locate the saved file(s) and "zip" the file. You can put all the files in one zip file which is even better.
Attaching the document
Start your email either directly or from Help menu > Email Aspect Systems Ltd. and attach the zipped file(s) using a paper clip symbol common to most email system. If it is not present one of the drop down menus will provide an attachment facility. Enter the problem details in the email.