What exactly is the Denning Law Office Suite?
The Denning Law Office Suite (DLOS) is a fully featured law practice and management suite that combines practically all aspects of the Malaysian SME law practice into a comprehensive, easy to use, graphical user interface (GUI).
It is the product of several years of collaboration and development between a team of Legal and IT Professionals.
A revolutionary upgrade from the traditional paper-based law firm framework, Denning enables full digital cataloguing – client, property, matter, accounting and other information is systematically organized in a database that allows for instant retrieval.
With MailMerge technology, your existing letters, agreements, forms, loan documents, etc are converted into MailMerge templates, which are then intelligently combined with information from your digital database to automatically generate complete legal documents. Drafting becomes a one-off job, and for future transactions, all that’s left to do is click ‘print’, sign the document and collect your fees.
Accounting woes are a thing of the past with clear, organized client, disbursement and office advance accounting, with built in IAT, GJ, DN, CN, Service Tax Reporting, Fees Transfer Reporting and more, in the midst of a full range of client accounting facilities.
Tell me more about Denning IT.
We’re a group of Legal and IT professionals who have come together to amplify the quality and speed of legal services in Malaysia through the provision of law practice and management software – The Denning Law Office Suite System.
We have approximately 10 years of experience in the law practice and management software segment and are continually working towards new milestones in creating and innovating professional software that exceeds the expectations of legal professionals.
How do I know if my firm is suitable for the Denning Law Office Suite?
You may make an appointment with a Denning Systems Consultant who will work together with you and your key members of staff (Chief Clerk, Accounts Clerk, etc) to assess the viability of your firm with regards to implementation. Consultation will involve viability & hardware analyses and a DLOS workflow demonstration. The consultation session may take anywhere from 20-30 minutes.
Generally speaking, the DLOS system is particularly essential for firms that:
- Are looking to expand without the need to hire extra manpower
- Are involved in bulk conveyancing/litigation work
- Are in need of a proper system of organization
The DLOS system, is not entirely recommended for firms that:
- Are exclusively centered around very specialized litigation and corporate work
- Hire staff that are not capable of using basic computer functionality (data entry)
What is “fully integrated” software?
“Fully integrated software” is a term that is used to describe software that contains a comprehensive range of features, in this case, features required to run your SME law practice. Every aspect of your practice – from case management, document generation, accounting, billing, HR management, productivity analysis and even your law book library – is coordinated within a fully featured software system.
Put simply, with the Denning Law Office Suite, you’ll never need to buy any other software to run your practice. It’s all you need to run an efficient, fully automated practice.
Is the software customizable?
DLOS is not a rigid system, ie. certain parts of the software can be customized to suit individual firm requirements. Among the customizable features of the software are:
a) MailMerge Templates (Legal Document Auto-Drafting)
b) KIV Checklists
c) Matter codes
d) Billing codes/formulas
e) Privilege settings (giving different members of staff different levels of access)
How will the security and confidentiality of my data be ensured?
All data is kept securely on your local server. The server can be secured against any unauthorized usage through password protection and/or file encryption. Individual documents can also be protected via encryption and/or password protection. In addition, privilege settings can be manipulated for individual members of staff to limit/allow access to the Suite’s features.
The Denning Server is pre-programmed to back itself up every hour. In addition, we recommend that clients perform an external backup at least once a week (ie. backing up the Denning data, templates and file folder to an external pendrive/USB hard drive.). Backing up is a simple and quick operation.
Will we be able to use the software right out of the box?
Every DLOS package comes complete with a comprehensive Implementation Program, spanning approximately 3 months – consisting of training sessions and technical support. Practically speaking, you will be able to use the basic functions of the Denning System right out of the box. However, individual user capability may dictate that the more specialized aspects of the Denning System, such as MailMergetemplate creation and Client Accounting, may require prior training.
What about product warranties, technical support and updates?
Unlike the majority of software providers, we do not impose a lifetime maintenance/subscription fee on our clients. Post-Implementation Program support is offered on either an optional subscription basis OR on an ad-hoc basis (pay as you use). Many clients who have confidently implemented the system throughout the initial Implementation Program do not feel the need for a maintenance package, thus they opt for support on an ad-hoc basis, so you only pay for the service you require.
Would it not be a tremendous hassle to transfer our existing data over to your system?
Many of our clients with existing databases opt not to transfer their databases over to the new DLOS system. The solution we recommend is to have a cutoff date – for example, all new files after 1st May 2011 are opened with the DLOS system. In addition, only existing ACTIVE files are ported over to DLOS. That way, the transition from the old model of operations is simplified and implementation can be carried out painlessly.
What are the minimum system requirements to run the Denning Law Office Suite?
- Operating System
5 workstations and below: Windows XP Professional
15 workstations and below: Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation
Above 15 workstations: Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) / Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (64-bit)
Minimum: Intel Pentium 4 Processor or equivalent (Pentium Dual Core recommended)
Memory: 1GB (2GB recommended)
HDD: Minimum 20GB free space
- Operating System
Windows XP Home/Professional SP2
Windows Vista Home/Professional/Ultimate
Windows 7 Home/Professional/Ultimate
Microsoft Office 2003 or newer
Minimum: Intel Pentium 4 Processor or equivalent (Pentium Dual Core recommended)
Memory: 1GB (2GB recommended)
HDD: Minimum 20GB free space
To take full advantage of the DLOS System (File Folder Organization, in particular), you will need a multifunctional printer/copier/scanner (with feeder).
How do I backup my database?
- Denning Law Office Suite Database – client/property/matter/accounting data
To backup the Denning Law Office Suite database, go to your Server computer. Look at the bottom right hand corner of your screen (next to the date and time) for the DES Server Setting icon. Right click on the icon and select “Show Me”.
- Document Database – built in/customized templates & scanned/generated documents
To backup your Document Database (templates & file folders), simply go to your Server and copy the contents of the Law Office Suite directory into a pendrive/external hard disk drive.
|Your Denning Server automatically backs itself up every hour to the [Law Office Suite>Backup] folder.||Hourly backups make for easy restoration of data from within the server itself.||If the server is destroyed, the backups are lost|
|External Backup to USB Device||The Denning Database/Templates can be backed up to an external USB pendrive/hard disk drive||If anything happens to the office server, a copy of the data is kept safe at an external location.||The backup is done manually.If the server is destroyed, Denning Software Engineers have to be onsite to reinstall the Denning Server program on a new server PC.|
|Extra Backup Server||An additional computer is installed with the Denning Server program. If the main server fails, the secondary server can take over with minimal downtime.||An extra backup server ready to take over will translate to less downtime in the event of a primary server failure.||Purchasing an secondary backup server may be relatively costly.|
|RAID Hard Disk System||The RAID system allows for two hard disks to run concurrently on the primary server in a “Mirror Backup” system, ie. both hard disks are essentially mirrors of one another. If one hard disk fails, the other takes over with zero downtime.||Zero to little downtime in the event of hard drive failure.||Can be slightly costlyDoesn’t mitigate against complete destruction of primary server.|
TECHNICAL ISSUES (Transit Folder, Server, Error Messages, etc)
My DLOS won’t start! What do I do?
Go to your Server and make sure that the DesServer program has been started. To ascertain this, look at the bottom right hand corner of the Server computer’s desktop for a small blue icon.
If the blue icon is present, try right clicking on the icon and selecting exit. Restart the DES Server program and try starting DLOS from your workstation again.
Check your workstation’s date and time and make sure that it is synchronized with the Server PC’s time and date.
After installing my Denning Law Office Suite, I see a message saying “Could not connect to server. Please contact Administrator. What now?
Go to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>ODBC Data Source>User DSN/System DSN. Locate the “des” data source. Single click on the des data source and then select Configure from the right hand menu.
Click “Test”. If you do not see a message saying that the Connection is Successful, your settings could be inaccurate or your physical connection to the server may be lost. Check your settings/connections.
Where do I save my generated/scanned documents?
Save your generated/scanned documents into the Transit Folder. A shortcut to the Transit Folder should be available on your desktop.
When saving files into the Transit Folder, rename the file as such “<File No> <Description of File>”. For example, “1000-0001 Sale & Purchase Agreement”.
The document will be automatically posted to the corresponding folder.
My documents have been properly named and saved into the Transit Folder, but they are not posting into the individual file folders. What do I do?
Try either of these solutions:
- If the Microsoft Word window where you are editing the saved file is still open, close the window so that the document can be posted.
- Go to your physical server and hold Ctrl + Alt + Del. Click on “Start Task Manager” and click on ‘Processes’. If there are more than 1 instances of ‘DesServer.exe’ running, click on each individual DesServer.exe process and ‘End Process’ until there are no DesServer.exe processes remaining, and then relaunch DesServer.exe from the server desktop.
- If only one instance of DesServer.exe is running in the Processes tab, click on the DesServer.exe process and ‘End Process’. Restart DesServer.exe by clicking on the Launch DesServer.exe icon located on your physical server’s desktop,
If I need to enter information for multiple customers who have the same contact details (e.g. a family of five persons), will I have to re-enter their data multiple times? Is there an easier way to do this?
Yes, in fact there is. Click on the Customer tab and select Add Serial Customer. Upon completing the first customer’s details, click the “+” button to add the next record. All details are maintained for the next customer record. Change only the necessary details and subsequently, save the information and click the “+” button to begin entering the next customer’s details.
It is possible to associate more than five properties to one file/enter extra information that is not listed in the Add Matter form?
No. The DeLOS system accommodates in excess of 95% of typical legal transactions. Some anomalous situations may occur when the number of properties involved in a single transaction may exceed 5, which is the maximum allowed.
If such is the case, you may use the custom fields in the “MORE” tab to record the extra information. For template creation purposes, please refer to the GIF and PDF files in Help>Open System Folder>MailMerge Fields>GIF/PDF for the relevant codes for the custom fields.
I am handling a loan file and I see two possible options to add the file under Add Matter – “Add SPA & SPA Related Loan File” and “Add Loan File”. Which is the right one to add?
For all loans that are related to SPAs, use “Add SPA & SPA Related Loan File”, as the SPA information will be necessary to generate documents relating to the specified loan. As for pure loan (e.g. refinancing), you may choose “Add Loan File”.
KIV (Checklist, File Task, File Note)
I want to assign a different checklist from the one already selected in an existing file. When I change the checklist code and view the checklist, the new checklist is not reflected. Why is this so?
The Denning System protects checklists from accidental deletion via the de-selecting of existing checklists/selecting of new checklists. When a new checklist is selected over an existing selected checklist, the items are maintained and can only be manually deleted by removing checklist items individually.
How do I import my customized templates into the DLOS system?
Go to your Server and look for the Law Office Suite>Customized Templates directory. Save your customized template into that location.
Tip: Ensure that your created templates are saved under the “Customized Templates” folder and not under the “Template” folder to ensure that your templates are not deleted in future updates. The “Template” folder is solely meant for Built-In templates.
How do I know which MailMerge codes refer to which specific fields in the Customer/Property/Matter information screens?
Go to Help>Open System Folder>Mail Merge Fields>GIF/PDF. These folders contain images which tell you exactly which codes correspond to which fields.
Subsequently, go to Help>Open System Folder>MailMerge Fields and open the Fields Standard, Litigation Fields and Litigation Fields (LOD) to locate the codes that you require.
I have enabled the “All-caps” attribute for a particular MailMerge code in my customized template but the generated text does not come out in capital letters. What now?
- Try and highlight the ENTIRE MailMerge code before right clicking and selecting Font and enabling “All-caps”.
- Go to your Server and open the Law Office Suite>Customized Templates folder. Adjust your folder settings to enable viewing of hidden files (open Windows Explorer or Control Panel and look for “Folder Options (or ‘Folder and Search Options’ in Windows 7) and click on the View tab. Under the ‘hidden files and folders’ sub-heading, enable the viewing of hidden files.)
Now, check if there are any similarly named files in the Customized Template folder. These files may be conflicting with your existing templates. Delete these files. This may solve your problem.
How do I delete templates?
ACCOUNTING / BILLING
Is it possible to change the heading of “Interim Bill”?
Yes. In the View Bill screen, left click on interim bill while holding F2 and an option will appear to change the label of Interim Bill.
Are bills, quotations and receipts customizable like templates?
No. Bills, quotations and receipts are automatically generated by the system and cannot be customised.
Our firm arranges to pay our despatch riders at every end of the month. However, we have difficulty in ascertaining for which file and how much exactly we need to pay each and every one of them. Can Denning help us?
Yes. Under the Client Account tab, create an additional account under Office Advance named “Despatch”. (Client Account>Bank Account>Add New Subsidiary Bank Account). Fill in the details accordingly and classify the account under ‘Office Advance’.
Each time you issue a voucher for a task done by a despatch rider, issue the voucher towards this “Despatch” account.
Now, under Client Account>Transaction Listing you can track each and every voucher issued towards this account. You also can check under individual file ledgers for any monies that are paid towards this account.
In the Denning Office Accounting Software, how do I add bank accounts?
Go to Office Account>Listings>Account Listing. From there, click the “+” button to add a new bank account.
MANAGEMENT / ANALYSIS
How do I add in a new clerk/lawyer/staff in charge to the existing list of staff?
Go to Office>Add New Staff and enter all the relevant details required. (Department & Position is a compulsory field.)
If the newly entered staff does not appear in the staff listing, restart DLOS.
Why are some of the DLOS features unavailable on my computer but not on my colleague’s workstation?
Privilege settings enable the system administrator to make certain features accessible by certain members of staff only.
How do I add edit existing staff information and/or login & password settings?
You will need Administrator Privileges to make this change. Go to the main bar and click on Office> View & Edit Staff to amend staff details.
To change your Login ID and Password, go to Office>Change Login ID & Password.
If I remove a clerk’s record from the Denning System, will it affect the current files assigned to him/her?
Yes. Instead of deleting that staff’s record, open the staff’s record and change his/her status to “Resigned”.
Where do I save and store newsletters/documents/important information for all Denning users to view/access?
Put these files in the transit folder and rename them “0000-0000 <file name>” (ie: 0000-0000 newsletter). The aforementioned files will be posted into the system folder.
To view and access these files, click Help>Open System Folder.
Is it possible to set a welcome message/bulletin board for the whole firm?
Yes. Go to Database>Company Profile> Welcome Message. Restart your Denning Software and you will see the message when you log into the system.