CAS Merlin help portal
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On our help portal, you can find the online help for users and administrators, helpful tutorials, and current release notes.
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CAS Configurator Merlin video tutorials
Click. Learn. Configure.
In our video tutorials, we are explaining various functions of our CPQ solution. You can also browse our Youtube playlist and discover the versatile functions of CAS Configurator Merlin.
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Highlights of the current version
Each new version includes modifications, extensions, and/or new functions. Stay informed and discover highlights as well as detailed release notes of the current CAS Configurator Merlin version.
Highlights of the new LTS version - Merlin 10.0
New possibilities in M.Sales
- Below the print dialog on the quote tab in M.Sales there is a new button to open a list of all print placeholders. The list is detailed structured to see the global placeholders, like offer parameters, the placeholders of the product structure as well as table placeholders. For each placeholder its name is shown and the value based on the current configuration. There is a text search on the dialog to be able to find a specific placeholder more fast and an option to hide empty placeholders.
- When loading a quote in M.Sales, there is now the option via a new checkbox in the load dialog to be able to "replace the current configuration" not. By unchecking the option to not replace the current configuration the loaded quote will be merged into the current configuration and the current basket.
Further price options and discount setting possibilities
- For each price type in M.Model the discountability and further price aspects for discounting can be set and defined. The level for which prices and discounts can be changed and set will be defined in M.Model. It can be activated on attribute level, product level or for the total quote or any combination.
The calculated discounts are visible on the price tab as well as on the price overview of the configuration itself. New options can be chosen how editable discounts will be calculated and distributed.
- Reset underlying discount: Activating this option will override all calculated and defined discounts on sub levels of the level the sales people edits the discounts.
- Distribute to underlying discount: When choosing this option a new entered discount will be distributed to all sub levels.
- Keep underlying discount: All discounts will remain unchanged and the edited discount will only be changed on the level of change.
- The following price aspects can be chosen to be calculated and shown in M.Sales:
- Unit / total price are the undiscounted prices
- Discount-% is always applied to the total price and granted by the user.
- Discount is the product of the total price and discount-%.
- Total discount is the sum of the discount and all discounts below.
- Discounted price is the total price subtracted by the total discount.
- Margin is the discounted price subtracted by the discounted base price. The previous price operation margin is deprecated.
- M.Doc tables can now be filtered for "set" / "not set (empty)" values.
- Standard placeholder can new be validated via new toolbar icon in M.Model. The new placeholder report view contains warnings and error.
Get recommendations in M.Customer via new smart assistant Vivi
- For better supporting the end-customer in there configuration in M.Customer the modeler can now activate to show the user recommendations based on the current configuration selections and the choice of other users in saved quotes. To activate the recommender there is a new file "recommendation settings" in M.Model. For each product and its features it can be defined whether and how recommendations shall be shown.
- only highlighting: Via that option the recommended attributes will be shown with a recommender label in the configuration form. For more important features the modeler can choose to show
- passive or active notifications. These recommendations will be shown in the new panel of the smart assistant Vivi. Whenever Vivi gets a new recommendation the eyes are open and the recommendation icon is activated. By clicking on the assistant Vivi provides a list showing all recommendations of the current configuration tab. By clicking on one recommendation the user will get detailed information for the recommended attribute and can directly accept and select the attribute. In the passive mode Vivi will show the recommendations when opening the new Vivi panel, for recommended attributes in the active mode, the Vivi panel will automatically pop-up.
- To meet exactly the level of accuracy which shall be provided, certain settings can be changed and defined.
- the minimum configuration count, where the amount of saved quotes which must be available in the database can be defined.
- the maximum quote age which defined the oldest considered saved quote for the recommendations.
- Further adjustments in M.Customer is on the one hand the possibility to revert adopted configuration alternatives and on the other hand to be able to configure variable product names.
Simplification of modelling default values and user inputs
- Both operators „Default=„ and „User input“ will be removed from M.Model in future. Existing rules defining default values and user inputs can also be removed and will be replaced by new settings within the definition of the variables. In the feature structure of a variable there is a new checkbox for the definition of the user input, which will be checked automatically when creating a new variable. Default values can also be set directly in the properties of the variable.
- A new operator „set as user input“ can be used for the case that more complex conditions are needed to define the user input. For complex conditions which must be fulfilled for default values, the operator „implies as default“ can be used.
Hint: The old operators are still working. When uploading the workspace the user will get a message that they will be dropped soon and warnings for all used outdated operators in the workspace to be able to change them.
For modelling documents it is now possible to define a template for each text module and not only to define one standard template. Thereby you can use different text modules with different formats within one document like e.g. portrait and landscape format or to have different header and footer formats.
Simplifications in M.Customer
- All selected elements of a configuration will be collected on the summary page of M.Customer. If a selection shall be changed, the user can click on the edit icon besides every element to jump directly to that element in the configuration form to be able to change it here.
- Using the date picker in the configuration form is now also simplified in the usage. Not only the already chosen date will be highlighted but also the current date will be highlighted in the shown calendar.
Internationalization in Merlins variant management
The whole application M.Variety is now also available in German. The product structure can show any modelled language.
Extensions in M.Sales Neo and go live of the live document generation M.Doc Live
- Prices of an element in the configuration form can now be defined in M.Model as „override manually“. Initially the price will be shown in M.Sales Neo as 0.00€ (or any defined unit), by clicking on the price this can be overwritten directly in the form.
- The user can now change the name of an element directly in the configuration form via the option „Name in M.Sales editable“ in the properties of the feature structure. Both the original names as well as the changed name of the element can be used in the new text search on top of the form.
- Products can be marked as optional in the price overview of M.Sales Neo by using the new checkbox. The price for these optional products will be overwritten afterwards.
- Documents can not only be generated in M.Sales Neo as before, but now via M.Doc Live they will be generated and changed immediately. M.Doc Live opens the document in a new tab and each change in the configuration form or e.g. changing the language selection will immediately be shown in that document.
Extensions for M.Sales Neo
- To optimize supporting the user during the configuration it is now possible in M.Sales Neo to add and show hint texts on elements in the configuration form. These hints can also be part of complex rules.
- The introduction of new file variables allows the user to upload files to the configuration form. These files will be saved along with the quote and be downloaded and checked at any time again. To also enable the upload of multiple files at once file variables can be defined both as single- and multi-selection.
Design optimizations in M.Customer
The new quantity variables for attributes are shown in the configuration form of M.Customer in a new tile size design. The entered values will be validated immediately and the allowed ranges and input types are shown in a hint box.
New features in Merlin variant management - M.Variety
- The attributes of single selection features are now part of the dropdown menu to reduce the tree selection to certain elements and enrich the search possibilities.
- The analyzer information about the occurrence is also part of the status flag of each displayed path. The percentage value indicates how many saved quotes of all Merlin modules contain exactly the same combination of element as the chosen variant in M.Variety.
Further new options to remove bundles from a configuration
Bundles are a set of attributes which can be build in at once in a configuration.
Previously, when a bundle was removed from the configuration, the corresponding attributes were not removed as well. The "Smart Bundle Removal" now also removes the corresponding attributes when a bundle is removed. All attributes that are part of the bundle are removed. Attributes of optional features however are only removed if they are neither pinned nor part of another bundle that is still part of the configuration.
New possibilities in document modeling
M.Doc: Alternative attribute names
There is a new M.Doc placeholder as alternative name for all attributes introduced and managed in the translations table. The placeholder can be printed by ‘element name” added by the suffix ‘_Name_MDoc’.
M.Doc: Table filter enhancement
New filter options are available to specify simple and complex rules to define which elements shall be visible and invisible in M.Doc tables.
Optimized Ressource Caching
To optimize the cache when using files, the caching is changed to only cache a preprocessed form of the files.
Design improvements and feature extension in the end-user configurator
- Design simplifications for chosen attributes in the configuration form. New checkboxes and radio buttons will be added for the current selections.
- Quantity variables are shown on the defined level after the user made a selection.
- To be able to distinguish the presentation of elements in the configuration form of M.Sales Neo and M.Customer of the same workspace, the element presentation tab can be duplicated to make separate settings for each clients.
New unit options in M.Model
- For many users it becomes more and more important to not only show prices for the configured elements but also other units like weight or carbon dioxode emission. Therefor the new possibility is available in the price configuration to override the unit manually to enter any free unit which will be shown as pricetype in the clients.
Further possibilities enabled for sales person in M.Sales Neo
- There is a new option to be able to import and export quotes in M.Sales Neo.
- Within the price page it is now possible to reorder the items in the basket.
Changed directed operators
There are two new definition possibilities for calculating sums or multiplications: You can define an operator as bi-directional or uni-directional.
- Good for variables that are used across many formulas (rules)
- When you want to use the transformations (a=b+c; b=a-c;...)
- When variables are not heavily linked to other variables and/or rules
- Aggregations from several operands into the result which is then used for few simple rules
- Missing values are skipped: (e.g. a=b+c --> a is shown as 0,00 even if b and/or c are not yet set)
Updates and extensions in M.Sales Neo
- Within the new Notification Area all notifications will be added and shown in historical order. The dialog can be opened at any time during the configuration. Icons indicate whether a new notifications appeared.
- The so far static quote parameters can now be opened and edited in a separate dialog.
- Choosing a bundle is now possible in M.Sales Neo. By selecting a bundle, multiple attributes will be selected at once, as defined in M.Model. These attributes can be a fix part of the bundle but also can be defined as an option of the bundle. If the user selected a bundle having options, a dialog will be shown where the user needs do decide which option to choose. The total price for a bundle can also overwrite the single prices of the attributes of that bundle.
- For elements of type date, time or date-time a new calendar is shown to easier choose the date and / or time.
New configuration area for sub products in M.Customer
Sub products, which are not placed on a specific tab for the end-user configurator M.Customer, automatically will be added on the tab "sub products" at the end of the configuration.
Extended feature scope in M.Sales Neo
- A new process indicator shows the overall progress of a configuration.
- Discounts can now be set on quote level
- It is now possible to filter for a specific price type within the price detail tables, to be able to understand the calculation of the displayed prices.
- The read-only mode is now available in M.Sales Neo.
New analyzer KPIs in the variant tree
The new analyzer of M.Variety shows certain KPIs based on all saved quotes in the variant tree. Thereby high- and low performing variants can be made visible quickly.
The analyzer shows different KPIs which can be switched-on for each single element build in the variant tree.
The following KPIs are now available in M.Variety:
- Total Occurrence:
- How many configurations contain a certain attribute, independent of the previous selected combination of attributes in the unfolded path?
- Conditional Occurrence:
- (Absolute) How many configurations contain a certain attribute within the exact given combination of attributes of the unfolded path?
- (Relative) How do the percentages distribute among the attributes of one selected feature of all configurations containing the exact given combination of attributes in the unfolded path?
The new cockpit of M.Variety contains graphs to see:
- how many new configurations have been saved,
- which products were configured how often
- and which attributes were selected how many times for one chosen product.
New configurable action buttons in M.Customer
In M.Model a possibility was added to configure up to two additional action buttons for the navigation panel in M.Customer.
An individual URL can be set as destination address together with an individual symbol and name for these buttons.
These new buttons can also be added in the translation table, to set different destination addresses and names for each defined language.
M.Variety – the first features of the M.Variety Analyzer are now available in the new dashboard
The first tiles are now available in the new dashboard of M.Variety
The first three tiles give an overview of all new created quotes in M.Sales Neo and M.Customer. They show the amount of quptes qhich were created
- in the last 24 hours,
- the last week
- and the last month
The pie chart shows (up to) 10 most configured products.
The tile on the right side shows (up to) 10 most often chosen attributes of the shown product, which can be changed via dropdown menu besides the title of the tile.
Extensions in M.Sales Neo
Extendable translation files
Standard translations can be changed in .json files within the M.Sales Neo installation path to be able to change standard names for buttons, menu-entries etc.
If you want to change the button „Add product“ to select a product in M.Sales Neo you can add a new entry in the translation file and rename it to for example tp „Add vehicle“. This change applies immediately after saving and refreshing the M.Sales Neo page.
Options are placed in the context menu of the products in the price overview table on the configuration page or directly on the main price view on the tab „Price“.
For each product you can add a new option, rename the option, delete it or apply the option via the context menu. Each step can also be reverted via the undo-button on top of the page.
All added options will be shown in the price overview table showing also the total delta price.
A free entry can be added on main price page in context menu of each entry. Or on the top right menu for the product on top level.
Each added free entry can be renamed and discounts can be entered in the price table which will be included in the total sum.
Optimizations at the heart of Merlin through a new clause approach
Increased performance is gained through the new "SmallOrClause" approach which guarantees uniqueness. The new approach is extremely fast in Java - no branches and no loops are necessary and precalculations are possible.
The old OrClause was index based, thus
- hash collisions could occur
- implementation needed a “while-literal-not-found-loop”
- path prediction was difficult
Through the new approach “SmallOrClause”
- all literals in clause are known in advance
- perfect hash functions are used
Performance increase in M.Model
Saving large ruletrees is up to three times faster. The workspace checkers were optimized the canvas elements are recycled and not thrown away.
Adaptions of price calculation in M.Sales Neo
For each price detailed price information can be opened in M.Sales Neo. If the new price operations are used the price information show each single calculation step to be able to understand how the price is calculated.
Furthermore the language used on the M.Sales Neo interface can be set independent of the language used in the configuration formula.
Optimizations at the heart of Merlin – from RuleGen to Delta RuleGen
The rule generation of the core of Merlin has been revised. The new method Delta RuleGenfocusses mainly on made changes contrary to the old method called RuleGen.
The optimizations can be felt over the whole application.
By the change of the rule generation only changed files as well as all file which are related to these changed files will be considered when uploading a workspace in M.Model. If a workspace changes during a configuration, these changes will be transmitted automatically.Unchanged rules are recognized automatically and will be reloaded from the memory. Through this the needed memory of the application will be reduced enormously and optimized efficiently.
Extensions of the end customer configurator M.Customer
For each configuration in M.Customer you can show the summary page and in addition it is now also possible to generate PDF documents.
The modeler is now able to define templates in M.Model to generate PDF documents in M.Customer. These document will be filled with details from the configuration by the used placeholders.
The new control center of Merlin – Merlin Server Manager
With Merlin 9.10 starting Merlin gets more easy by the introduction of the new tool Merlin Server Manager.In the new server manager tool all settings belonging to the servers are collected. The servers can be configured, they can be started and stopped and custom certificates can be managed.
M.Model – Introduction of the new operator Implies as default
The new operator Implies as default allows to define complex rules on the left side of the operator for the automatic build in or build out of elements. By using this operator you need less rules and rules of same character can bunch together.
Merlin 9.10 – the new milestone version of M.Sales Neo
The new seller platform M.Sales Neo has been adapted by certain big new features:
The usage of sub products is now supported in M.Sales neo.Product names can be set automatically via variables.The single configuration steps can be separated on single tabs in the configuration form.Product descriptions will be displayed completely, including texts, images and combined images.The calculation details can be opened for the new price operations as well as discounts can be set on product level.It is now possible to call an integrated version of M.Sales Neo in genesisWorld. The extended integration to genesisWorld contains also the possibility to save and load quotes directly in genesisWorld with the relation to the belonging CRM business object.The new genesisWorld
In order to be able to run analytics on quote longer they are now saved in the Merlin database instead of genesisWorld.The opportunities, receipts or projects in genesisWorld only contain a reference to a Merlin-ID in the database of Merlin.Via the importer all opportunities, receipts and projects can be scanned in genesisWorld, to be able to find existing quotes and import them into the database. On the business object of genesisWorld a reference to the belonging Merlin-ID will be set.
Improvements and extensions to the M.Customer start page
- The product catalogue, the start page of M.Customer, appears in a new design with extended functionalities.
- The layout of the products has been revised. They are now displayed in the new tile design including picture, name, heading and description.
- In M.Model, filter categories can also be defined and assigned to the individual products (*.clientorder file). The filter type can also be selected and accordingly displayed with radio buttons or checkboxes.
- The defined filters are displayed in M.Customer next to the product catalogue to narrow down the catalogue and make it easier to find the right product.
Definition of price operations in M.Model
The new price operations support individual price calculations.
In these operations, the prices of a price type can be determined using variables, constants or other price types. The initial basic price of a price type runs through freely definable calculation chains in order to determine other price types, such as conditional price change, percentage discount or total discount, a specific currency, margins or graduated prices.
- With the price operation Conditional Price Change you have the possibility to link the prices of the price table to certain conditions. If this condition is fulfilled, the basic prices of the price operation are changed according to the defined calculation.
- With the price operation "Margin", the difference between a sales price and an initial price, such as the manufacturing costs, is specified.
- Scale prices can be used to change the prices of a price table depending on the number of defined characteristics. Different calculations can be defined for each scale limit. If in the configuration the number of a characteristic is within the range of the scale limit, the defined calculation for the price is carried out. If the number is outside the defined range, the calculation chain is not run.
M.Sales Neo - growing range of functions
After the go live of the first M.Sales Neo version, we are constantly working on expanding the range of functions. With version 9.9. the following functionalities are now available:
- The product description is now supplemented and combined images can be displayed to visually track the changes of the individual configuration steps.
- For a better overview, the configuration steps can be divided into different tabs and the offer parameters are now also displayed.
- The integration to the CRM system genesisWorld was implemented.
- The functionality to assign discounts has been completed and the new price operations can be defined in M.Model and applied to the available price types, such as conditional price changes and graduated prices.
M.Customer presents itself in a new look
- Introduction of the new "pearl chain" in the navigation bar
- By colouring the "pearl" of the current section, users can quickly classify where they are in the overall configuration form.
- Numbers behind each section indicate how many mandatory features can be selected and have already been selected. This gives the user a quick overview of the current configuration progress of the individual sections.
- Fully configured sections are also visually indicated by a 'tick' in the bead.
- Simplified addition of sub-products
- The number of added product components can now be changed via the navigation menu. This means that the user no longer has to jump back to the point in the configuration form where the sub-product was initially added, but can make adjustments or even remove a sub-product from the configuration at any time.
- The display of product start pages is now configurable
- The modeller can configure whether an informative start page for added product components should be displayed during configuration. Especially for very small sub-products it can be useful to avoid interrupting the configuration.
Minor adjustments in M.Variety
- New possibility to cancel loading processes
If several features are opened at the same time in M.Variety, the exponential growth of the nodes to be displayed can lead to longer loading and waiting times. Now a loading bar appears during the loading times, which the user can use to stop the loading in order to return to the interface and continue working with the tree loaded up to that point.
- The version of M.Variety was adapted to the version scheme of Merlin. With version 9.8 also came minor design changes to the interface.
New possibilities through the M.Model extension of the parts list calculation
BOM calculations - ".bomcalc"
- By means of the new bill of material calculation (.bomcalc) downstream rules can be declared. Each bill of material calculation table is valid for the defined products. All rules of a table are executed before the table with the next higher rank is executed.
- The rules of the BOM calculation files are evaluated as soon as one or more of the assigned products have been installed. A rule is fulfilled exactly when all declared elements have been installed.
- Example: Evaluation of the rule in the BOM calculation for the product "Pizza":
- If the product Pizza is installed and the element Size S as well as the element Topping Hawaii are selected, then set the variable Number: Pineapple cans dto the value 1.
Functional enhancements in M.Sales Neo
- In the current functional scope of M.Sales Neo it is now possible to save offers, search and load existing offers.
- The "repair functionality" can be applied to existing offers and the printing of offers is now also available in M.Sales Neo.
- Changes of the operator "sets (changeable)" for product relations
- The operator "sets (changeable)" has initially taken over values of a product into a product component.
- Now the logic has been adapted so that the values in the product component can not only be set initially, but any changes in the product are also passed on to the product components. Even if the values have already been changed in the sub-product.
Continuous performance improvements in M.Variety
Several technical improvements have been made with the aim of improving the performance of M.Variety. These improvements have significantly increased the loading speed, especially for large variant trees and large workspaces.