Concepts of Feng Office

On this page we describe the basic concepts of Feng Office. Understanding these concepts is crucial for understanding the whole application, so make sure you read this page before the rest of the manual.

There are many different types of information in Feng Office, for example:

When we are talking about these types of information we often refer to them as content objects or simply objects.

The easiest way to understand and identify what we call “objects” in Feng Office is by knowing some examples of what objects are. Tasks, documents, notes, calendar events and even e-mails are objects in Feng Office.

The more information you have, the more important tools are to organize your information.

Feng Office offers unlimited power to create your own concepts for that purpose: 'Dimensions'.

Dimensions are entity sets that are used for classifying and organizing information inside the system.

A clear example to understand this concept is to think of a document. In most cases, a document may have several classifications: it is related to one or more clients or projects, it belongs to the commercial, operations or administrative area of a company, and it has a specific type (report, proposal, accounting document).

Creating a rigid hierarchical structure (the typical Windows folders) is not the ideal solution to organize this information. Dimensions are the best solution, since they do not require to replicate structures and make it easier to register, organize and search information.

On the Community Edition there are two dimensions: workspaces and tags. On the Professional Edition, the clients and projects dimension are added (by default), although there is the option to add more. On the Enterprise Edition, as many dimensions as necessary can be configured with the assistance of a Feng Office specialized consultant (this configuration requires adjustments to the system and the database in order to ensure the accurate integration and interaction with every module and feature of the system).

In short, a dimension is a way to look into information.

Most typical dimensions include:

Other dimensions can be configured into the system, when the business case requires.

Other popular dimensions include: * Vendors * Departments * Localities * Cases & Matters

Dimensions are similar to folders, where you store your information in a hierarchical structure, but with an additional power: they let you add up information.

A simple dimension, like Tags, help you to indicate that certain content objects belong to a certain topic. By filtering your information by a dimension, you can quickly find what you are looking for. Dimensions are universal concepts in Feng Office, which means that you can use them regardless of the type of information you are dealing with.

Entities (also known as “dimension members”, or simply “members”) are more advanced objects since, besides containing their own data, they integrate to a dimension, which allows them to be used as filters or categories, grouping the whole objects and data sets that are relevant to it. Typical examples of objects that are also entities are: a client, a project, a work order, a folder, a workspace, a category, a country or other geographic division.

Many information types allow you to add a comment. This is the simplest way to communicate in Feng Office. Your comment will be attached to the content object, and other users can read it (and reply, if they like). Comments in Feng Office work very much like comments in blogs.

Read more about commenting on objects.

Subscribing to an object means that you will get an e-mail notification for every comment made on that specific object in the future. This is very handy if you want to observe a certain object or if you simply want to follow an ongoing discussion.

Read more about subscribing to objects.

Information is often interdependent. For example, to fulfill a task you may need certain documents, or you may have a message that relates to a specific event. Feng Office makes it easy to show related information by linking content objects. Linking is a universal concept in Feng Office; you can link any type of content objects.

Read more about linking objects.

There is a full text search in Feng Office allowing you to search within all information stored in your Feng Office installation, no matter what type. The results are presented in a way that you instantly know where they were found (what information type they are).

Read more about search.

Information you store in Feng Office is usually not public, and you often have some information that is more confidential than other information. Therefore every user of Feng Office has an individual login, and every content object can be assigned to a limited group of users.

Read more about user rights.

Feng Office offers a powerful reporting tool to create and store custom reports. Simply choose the object type plus the data fields (or columns) to display and add as many filters as needed to generate a list of your data that suits best your needs.

Read more about reporting.

Custom properties are additional attributes that can be added to objects and entities. With this powerful feature, the system can be extended and customized so that it allows every data in the system to be registered in a structured and specific way. Combined with reports and advanced templates, multiple dimensions, objects sub-types and text customization, this feature makes Feng Office a powerful management platform capable of supporting the automatization and management of any operational or business process.

Read more about custom properties.

Task templates (also known as “workflows”, “checklists” or “task flows”) are a set of pre-defined tasks and actions that configure a consistent process and assure quality in a job's result. On their simplest form (“checklist”), they are a list of actions or steps to bear in mind when executing a process. On their more advanced forms they can help plan and control, quite simply, processes containing several steps that involve several people.

Read more about task templates or "workflows"