When you create a file in common software programs – MS Word or Adobe Photoshop, for example – you name the file and save it in a folder, most likely somewhere on your computer or on a server. You will probably have a variety of folders and sub-folders with different names for different types of files. This is a familiar and useful method for organizing your data.
Our programs don’t work quite like that.
Because Genesis R&D and Food Processor use database-driven data management, instead of saving files to a folder, you are creating records inside of a database. To help with organizing your data (Recipes, Ingredients, Persons, Menu Plans, etc.), we recommend making use of database Groups.
Groups are used within our programs the following four ways:
- Searching: You can search to include or exclude by Group.
- Exporting: When exporting records from ESHA Software to ESHA Software or using ESHA Port, Groups can be used to filter the exported records.
- ESHA Security: Groups are used to designate varying levels of read/write access permissions to records in the database.
- Genesis API: Groups can be published to the Genesis API to expose formulas, analysis, and label data from Genesis R&D and send the information to external and internal interfaces such as website, point-of-sales system, inventory management system, and QC or document controls.
First, let’s cover how to assign records to Groups.
Assigning Groups to Records
When you edit a Recipe or other record, you are given the option to associate that record with one or more Groups.
In the example below, this Recipe is associated with the “Desserts” Group. In the same manner, I would associate all desserts I create with the Desserts Group.
Later, when I go to open a file, I can search for items in the Desserts Group:
So, while you aren’t saving them into a folder, you will be able to view all of your Desserts by searching for them by Group.
Searching is how most users utilize Groups, and this is essentially how you will create your system of organization. You can associate records to as many Groups as is appropriate and you can search for the records by any combination of those Groups. For example, I can search for all Recipes that are associated with both the Desserts and Dairy Groups. I can also search for all Recipes that are associated with either the Desserts or Dairy Group.
You can also set a Search Preference option to exclude from the search returns any records associated with certain Groups. For example, it is common for users to create an ‘Archive’ or ‘Obsolete’ Group for all inactive product formulations and then exclude those groups from searches to ensure that they are only working with current product offerings.
You can see, then, how using Groups effectively functions as a method of organizing your records. To summarize:
- Associating Groups to records correlates to saving files into folders;
- Searching for records by Groups correlates to finding files by opening folders and viewing the items within.
When you export records from ESHA software to ESHA software, you can filter which records are exported by Groups. As with the search, you can export all records that are associated with all of the Groups selected or any of the Groups selected.
The same holds true when you are using the ESHA Port program to export records that will be read by other software.
When you use ESHA Security, the read/write access add-on program, you can designate varying levels of permissions to records in the database by using Groups.
The most popular way to use Groups in conjunction with ESHA Security is to create a “Playground” or “Sandbox” Group that has Full Access for the R&D Department to experiment, but No Access for the Marketing Team. Then create a “Production” Group that has Read Only Access for both the R&D and Marketing teams so that they don’t inadvertently mess up a production formula, but can reference it.
Under Database > Modify, in the Groups tab, you see an option to ‘Publish’ a Group. This option is specifically used for the Genesis API. In order for the nutrition analysis information from Genesis R&D to be exposed [to the API], any records (such as Recipes or Ingredients) must be part of a Group that is marked as ‘Publish.’
As a closing note, many of the Genesis users have found creative ways to use Groups, and we encourage you to experiment and find what works best for your business.