It's helpful to know these 8 basic SAM terms when using SAM, talking with your SAM admin, or contacting SAM's support team. Here's an overview of some of the most common features and terms of SAM you'll come across.
1. Entity Tabs / Record Types
The tabs at the top of your SAM site represent the different record types your agency keeps. Each tab may have several programs created within it.
2. Tables & Fields
Every database is comprised of Tables and Fields.
Tables contain Fields. Fields are the space you enter values about the record you're working on. In the image below, Case Program, Child Case Stage and Case Start / Referral Date are all fields. They are included on the Case table. The specific value of Case Program = Foster Care is the entry a user made to the record.
Forms are the screens for data entry into SAM. Some forms may contain the fields found on documents.
The cover page is the first page you see when accessing an individual's record. It's purpose is to show the most relevant information and provide sidebar links for detailed info. Different Case Types may have different Cover Page layouts. The cover page is an example of a view form.
Like the name suggests, view forms are for viewing - not editing - information. They show SAM fields without the square edit boxes shown in edit forms. Because they aren't geared toward editing, view forms can include special generated fields such as "All Phone Numbers" and "Full Name."
It is possible to edit one field at a time on view forms - click the field value and a popup box will appear, allowing you to make changes.
Edit forms are for - you guessed it - editing. Each field on the form is shown as an editable box, allowing you to type in all the information at one time.
Multi-Record Forms (1:Many)
These special forms collect multiple records of the same thing, such as Communications, Education, and Placements.
Multi-record forms generally have three parts:
- A subform that holds all of the records. This subform must be shown on a main/container form.
- A detail form (view form) showing one record's details.
- An add/edit form, where you can edit or add a new record.
Multi-record forms can have special features such as stats or totals at the top.
These are the forms used by your clients and partnering organizations to provide your agency with information about your clients. Goodbye paperwork!
Documents are the electronic versions of paper files that are uploaded to your site.
There are several ways to upload documents in SAM:
From the Documents Section
This section is the repository for Documents uploaded from forms or checklists and available it is on all entities/records.
From a record's sidebar you can access the checklist, where your organization's program workflow comes to life. Your SAM admin is responsible for implementing checklists, so you may not have a lot of items at first. The checklist can be inserted automatically by SAM when triggered by changes to field values, such as milestone dates that transition your case process.
Templates are fill-in-the-blank emails, letters, reports, and other documents. When you use a template from a record or report, SAM automatically fills in the information for each particular record for personalized communications that save huge amounts of time.
Reports are super-powered spreadsheets that show real-time information which can be filtered, searched, and sorted. Reports can have stats at the top, with values that adjust automatically as you sort and filter the records. You can access records from a report, send emails, and make bulk updates to records within the report.
8. Auto Actions
Notice your SAM site doing work for you? It's likely due to an auto-action: triggered and scheduled tasks that work behind the scenes to send notifications, update record information, and keep your checklists in order. Ask your SAM admin about your site's auto actions and ways to automate more work!