Concepts

User-defined constants are useful for two reasons: clarity and manageability.

Using User-defined constants makes your formulas more readable. For example, if the standard production rate for your Widget Maker is 6,700 widgets per hour, you could write:

ProductionTime Quantity * Widgets / (6700 per hour) ;

This may be obvious given the introductory remarks, but six months later, you may be wondering what the 6,700 means. If you defined a User constant called WidgetMakerProductionRate, it would be much clearer. The formula would then read:
|| ProductionTime Quantity * Widgets / (WidgetMakerProductionRate) || Now, imagine that since you have installed Control, business has doubled. You are now planning to replace your Widget Maker with a Widget Maker 2.
The production rate on the Widget Maker 2 is an astounding 12,000 widgets per hour. You have 65 products that all rely on the Widget Maker.
If you used the first formula above, you now have at least 65 different places to go and change the machine speed.
On the other hand, if you had used the WidgetMakerProductionRate User-defined constant, you would only need to change its value in one place to affect all of the products that use it.
Screens
User Constant Category List
|| Main Menu | Setup | Pricing Setup | User Constants ||

\\ //Figure 8 1 User Constant Category List// \\ The User Constant Category List is an alphabetical list of all User constant categories. Click on a category to select it and display the User constants under it on the right. \\ User Constant Entry Screen \\   \\ //Figure 8 2 User Constant Entry Screen// \\ || **Category Name ** || Enter a name for this category of user constants.  This category is just for reference and is not used anywhere else directly. ||

|| Text || Enter the text name for the user constant. This name will be synonymous with the value and can be used just like a number or text constant within any CFL formula. ||

Value F(x) Enter a value or formula for the user constant.

Effective Use
Typical instances when you should consider User-defined constants include:
* Average labor rates (production, design, painting)
* Machine production rates
* Material cost, if not inventoried
* Markup factors and multipliers
* Standard labor charges
* Standard machine charges
User-defined constants will not make using Control easier, as you will still have to learn how to navigate the system, but they will facilitate your maintenance and make pricing more accurate.
When possible, include units in your User constants. For example, suppose the standard length of the aluminum extrusion you purchase is eight feet. You decide to create a store constant for this called AluminumExtrusionLength.
If the User constant is defined as eight with no units (without the feet), you will have to use it in formulas as such:
|| IF Length > AluminumExtrusionLength in Feet THEN || On the other hand, if the User constant is defined as eight feet (with the units), your formula would look like this:
|| IF Length > AluminumExtrusionLength THEN || With all of the things to remember about your pricing, less may be better.

See Also

You could leave a comment if you were logged in.