Kinetic MES overview - things I have learned

This post may not be what you expect it to be about. We use MES here a lot, but not for job production at all (though we are looking into that). I actually use MES every day and I am a security manager. It’s more powerful than you think.

Today our users on MES use the old all-gray version. Everyone hates it.

But the new Kinetic MES (10.2.400 and up) is a big leap forward.

Here is my home screen. You’ll notice there are BAQ grids and links to the BAQ designer and accounting screens. (Orange boxes are me blocking sensitive info.)

And actually all I did was import my normal home-screen layout, but you can create from scratch, too.

And I checked - a lot - this still uses a data collection license.

How to get to this screen
It’s just a special shortcut. Copy any shortcut to Epicor. In properties, the end of the target is
/app=MES

Old vs. new

  • No need for the config change on every client and adding a menu item to Epicor. It’s just a layout. Publish it from the settings page when you (a security manager) are logged in to MES
  • In the new MES, you can open any screen in Epicor; the old version was limited.
  • Caveat to this: in the new MES, those limits do still apply to Open With menus. (Basically you can still get to tracker versions of everything, plus you can get to PO entry, order entry, and any dashboard or BAQ report you made)

Kinetic MES vs regular full version of Epicor

  • There is no menu on the left (so there’s no recents list, either)
  • There is no search bar
  • The only way to edit the layout is if you are a security manager. Yep, that was a heartbreaker. So I have to publish layouts for others to use and they can never edit them.
  • An ordinary user cannot change her layout from the drop-down,on the main screen, as far as I can tell, but she can change it in settings.

image

Other thoughts
Sure, you can make dashboards for MES users, but the Kinetic option opens up the ability to do something like this. I made this for sales. It’s a BAQ grid of all the parts in that site, with filters.Yes, I know, a dashboard can have filters. But this is WAY better because:

  1. It’s MUCH faster. It responds instantly.
  2. The filter boxes are right there. Just click and start typing.
  3. You can do partial description searches, even the middle of a word. I did “ydra” for “hydraulic” in the pic.
  4. It’s right on the home screen. No waiting for a screen to load.

Also, there is a web version (not through EWA), but it is not customizable at all and very limited. You access it with
https://<YourServer.Tld>/<YourAppServerInstance>/apps/MES

There is a good discussion of it here.

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I found in testing that in 10.2.600, they brought in the search and menu tree, and any user can customize their layout. It looks just like the full version.

Still the restriction on Open With, though.

This is demo DB, obviously:

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Some other restrictions that I have found.

  • Cannot “Get Details” in Job Entry
    • It froze my screen, too…
    • “Schedule Job” does work, and all the other related pop-up screens I tried
    • Quick Job Entry does work, though, if that helps
  • Cannot post an AR invoice group
    • You can create the group and “get invoices” and other things in MES, but you cannot post the group except in the full version. (Kind of a neat way to control it, actually.)
  • Write Off and Adjustment (AR)
    • You can open it, but when you save the pop-up is denied where you post it, so it renders this screen useless.
  • Buyer workbench cannot open PO Suggestion Entry
    • This whole setup is odd to me anyway… Just go straight to PO Suggestions. And that does still work for generating POs.
  • Cannot open Change Log
    • I made a separate screen for this anyway. It’s a lot easier to read.
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@JasonMcD - This is neat! Thanks for doing the legwork :slight_smile: I’m starting to play with active homepage and kinetic on our 10.2.500 environment too. Figured I should before we turn it loose on the rest of the company.

Will the MES be available via web browser? If so, is there a link we can try during our test?

Nice! So after the 10.2.700 demo today, the management team is eager to start the upgrade.

Has Epicor released the documentation on customizations with Kinetic?

Thanks!

MES was one of the first Kinetic apps done (that and the Scheduling Board). It was first generation Kinetic according to Christine Hansen. That version was not customizable but the second iteration will be.

I was just wondering if the shop floor team could use the web link instead of the MES client.

Yes. I would imagine a tablet will work too. I haven’t seen .700 to see what has changed in MES though.

@askulte You’re welcome.

I myself have used this almost exclusively for several months now, in testing and production. I very rarely need to open up the full version anymore.

And like I said, 10.2.500 is only customizable by a security manager, but 10.2.600 kinetic MES is just like the full version (for any user) except for a small handful of restrictions.

Next Monday will be the first full-scale test with actual users, when I upgrade us to 10.2.600.

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I went to it in a browser URL – its not really fully functional there, can’t open the trackers and some other stuff. Probably soon.

Random side tangent, why is all the Kinetic stuff horribly slow inside Epicor, but works really fast in the browser? It makes no sense…

they said it’s because the client is actually running the kinetic screens inside a browser, inside the client.

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Hmm, they must be un-loading and reloading the internal browser each time you open the app or something, there is no reason an embedded browser should preform that much worse. There are plenty of browser based apps that work much more smoothly. I suppose it will solve itself in time, but for now its contributing needlessly to the Kinetic Dread

@JasonMcD, that dashboard looks nice and I would like to do something similar for our parts group. I like that it responds quickly and the search is not required to be “Starts with”.

Is there an Application Studio User Guide somewhere? I have searched, including in Embedded Education, but I have not been able to find one.

@BKen I had bookmarked this, but it looks like it does not work anymore:

It just returns “Please access Epicor documentation from the Help menu in your Epicor application.”

FYI, the description columns are two or three calculated fields referencing the same description. Kind of hacky, but it sure works.

I’ve only seen what’s in the 10.2.700 help, which you can access from EpicWeb.

I’d also keep an eye on this site in EpicWeb:
https://epicweb.epicor.com/products/epicor-erp-10/kinetic-resources

@BKen, @Mark_Wonsil

Click the Question mark in the corner

It takes you here:

Learned that on the Midwest EUG webinar last week.

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@Mark_Wonsil, thank you. I do have that site bookmarked already.

@JasonMcD, thank you. I clicked the question mark (and because we are public cloud) it brought me to the 10.2.700 Zendesk site (so I have some additional reading to do). On the description columns, did you have to manually create the two or three references of the same description? Was this needed to find the mid-word text string in the search results? Can you share your dashboard?

It’s just a BAQ. No dashboard, just the normal “grid” app.

image

The BAQ is embarrassingly simple:

@JasonMcD, you are right…embarrassing for me. Thank you for your help.