In this issue:
Tip 1: Deleting a GL Budget via Excel Add-Ins
Tip 2: Changing the Lawson Portal session timeout with LSF9
Tip 3: How to assign a Portal 9.0 Bookmark to a Group of Users
Tip 4: Accessing WEBUSER Variables in Design Studio
...and Worthwhile Reading
...Bonus!: LWSN & Dogfood?!?

As we kick off another summer, remember your sunscreen and enjoy these Tips & Tricks. You can view more on the Tips & Tricks page on  And, share your tips. Send them to

I'll be back soon with a great new issue! 

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Tip 1: Deleting a GL Budget via Excel Add-Ins

I'm a big fan of using the Lawson Excel Add-Ins whenever possible.  I recently was asked if you could use the Add-Ins to delete records, particularly in the GL "Flex Budgeting" module.  The answer, of course, is yes!  The ability to delete records on forms was added to the Upload Wizard some time ago, and you can use it with just about any form to which you can map for adding and/or changing.  And since you're just changing the way you interact with Lawson (in other words, you're using Excel as a "front-end" instead of LID or Portal), you're still making use of the Lawson application logic.

In this example we're going to delete this GL/FB Budget:

Create the spreadsheet to be used; include all of the records you want to delete.  Map to FB20.2:


Select the 'Delete Only' option; you'll be prompted to confirm that you want to delete:


The budgets will be deleted, and you'll see that confirmed in the spreadsheet:

And if you inquire again on FB20.2, the budget is no longer there:

Bonus!: LWSN and Dogfood ?!?

I was copied on this email from a Lawson client, who was addressing their concerns to Lawson: Making the commitment to use your own products is a matter of scale and features.  For some businesses and some products, it may be the right decision; for others, that may not be the case.

We are getting conflicting information from Lawson on this subject.
1.  Is Concur a Lawson Partner?
2.  Is Lawson using Concur internally for Expense Reimbursement?
3.  Does Lawson plan to use Concur internally for Expense Reimbursement in the future?
If the answer to any of these is “yes”, can you please explain why and what the plans are for the Lawson Time & Expense module?

If LWSN is indeed implementing Concur, what message does that send to LWSN's clients?  On behalf of my client, I asked Lawson CEO Harry Debes about the selection of Concur for Lawson's expense reimbursement system. Here is his reply:

Lawson has a global LSF and Apps 9 project undeway right now. We should be fully deployed within 6-9 months time. We have a temporary Concur license to deal with our Intentia business (in EMEA and Asia).
Once S3 is globalized, we will be dumping Concur and installing our own expense management solution.
We plan to continue to develop and sell PSA and expense management for some time.

Harry Debes

This whole episode got me thinking about Lawson and the whole idea of “dogfooding”.  If you’re not familiar with the term, it essentially means that a company "eats its own dog food" uses the products that it makes. (see's_own_dog_food).  The term was popularized in conjunction with Microsoft, and the use of their own products. I myself became aware of it while reading Show Stopper! (see, which chronicled David Cutler and the Microsoft team who built (and yes, dogfooded) Windows NT 3.1.
Making the commitment to use your own products is a matter of scale and features.  For some businesses and some products, it may be the right decision; for others, that may not be the case.  Prior to consulting to the Lawson market, I used to write custom financial software (AP, AR, Payroll, GL, etc. etc.).   And, I used to use my own products to run my business.  I could tweak the software to my own needs, and I could fix some of the pain points that drove me (and my clients!) nuts.  But, trying to use a product built for a large business (my clients) for a small business (mine) was not the smartest idea.  Just like with Lawson, a lot of setup work was required so that I could process my smattering of transactions.  With the debut of QuickBooks, I moved to a product that had more features and was scaled (smaller) to meet my business size.
Look at Microsoft—they are a huge company. Do they use Microsoft Dynamics (see internally?  Nope—they use SAP!
Which brings us back to Lawson.  At CUE a few years ago, I remember either Dean Hager or Jay Coughlan promising that Lawson would always be its own first beta customer.  Then, recently someone asked Dean at a user group meeting if LWSN was using LSF9 and his response was, “um, no....".

So, what do you think?  Should Lawson be Dogfooding?  Visit and cast your vote ( site registration required): 

Tip 2: Changing the Lawson Portal session timeout with LSF9

It’s one of the long-awaited features that arrives with LSF9—the ability to automatically timeout your Lawson Portal browser sessions (and before you ask—no, this doesn’t provide a timeout for LID sessions). What happens is, after a defined period of inactivity, if you still have the browser window open and try to access a Lawson-secured object, a dialog box will be displayed:

The default timeout is set to 60 minutes, which is probably too long for some environments. Changing it is easy—Administrators can use LID to invoke the ssoconfig utility (do not change the SSOP service that used to sign on):

The timeout is used across all users—regardless of group or role, etc.—an enhancement which a number of clients have already requested.

Also, keep in mind, of course, that session timeout does not actually close the browser; nor does it hide the information that is on your screen when you walk away from your desk. For that, you still need to rely on your screensaver's “on resume, password protection”:

Tip 3: How to assign a Portal 9.0 Bookmark to a Group of Users

In Lawson Portal 9.0, how do I assign a Portal Bookmark to a group of users?

First, create the Group in Resource Management Administrator:

Then, edit each Resource to add them to the new Group:

(Note to Lawson: please add an ‘Add People Resources to Group’ option)

Then, go into Portal Bookmark Manager, and Add the Group’s access to the desired bookmark:

Finally, each user still has to go and “subscribe” to the content:

Tip 4: Accessing WEBUSER Variables in Design Studio
Version 8:
You're creating a Lawson Design Studio page, and want to access some fields from a user's WEBUSER (RD30) record. How do you do it?  Using JavaScript, you can reference them using the getUserVariable function:

var vCompany = top.lawsonPortal.getUserVariable("COMPANY");
var vEmployee = top.lawsonPortal.getUserVariable("EMPLOYEE");


Version 9:
If you've upgraded to LSF9, you'll be in for an "Aha!" moment if you try to use the above code, because it doesn't work.  Here's the code, updated for LSF9's oUserProfile object and using portalWnd, which is used instead of top in case you're running Portal inside another framework:

var vCompany = portalWnd.oUserProfile.getAttribute("company");
var vEmployee = portalWnd.oUserProfile.getAttribute("employee");

Worthwhile Reading

Measuring Up


“Adding manpower to a late
software project makes it later.”
-- Frederick Brooks

Many companies still struggle to use metrics effectively. It may be that fresh thinking is what really counts.
CFO Magazine, June 2007

Businesses Get Serious About Software As A Service

InformationWeek Research finds companies using the delivery model for a wider variety of applications.
Information Week, April 16, 2007

An 18-Hole Character Test

No boardroom meeting can provide the insight into a CEO's nature that a round of golf can.
Business Week, May 28, 2007

Decision Analytics is an independent consultancy, focusing on Lawson technical projects, and specializing in reporting, customization/modification, data conversion, and integration/interfaces. Please visit for more information.