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Learning Center

Getting Started

Login (DoD Message)

Main Menu


Navigation Page

The List

The Bottom Line


To start, make sure your computer is turned on and you are logged in!! On your desktop, double-click on the following icon:


In  most cases, after you double click on the cairs.net icon, the program opens to the main menu. This is because you have Single Sign-On enabled. However, it some cases you may need to type your user name and password.

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Depending on your site rules, a DoD message may appear, click Accept to enter the world of cairs.net.

Cairs.net is a profile based system meaning, that your System Administrator has developed profiles or a set of set access rights for you based on your job description or what you will be doing within the system.  Based on your profile, you may see all the menu options or a select few.  For the purposes of this document, we will discuss all items contained within the user interface as if you would have access to the entire system. 

Before you can really start to manipulate items within your cairs.net, your System Administrators have certain requirements to meet. For example, creating the site levels, organizational levels, number plans, work flow setup, etc. Your System Administrators have worked closely with a Unique Communication Solutions representative to try to simulate the way you process your work today. We cannot always match your processes but we try to come close!

So, you have logged in, now what? Let us discuss what you are seeing.

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In the lower left hand corner is the main menu, there are nine menu options (again, you may not see all of them, the items you see are based on your profile). Here is a list of the menu items and a brief description of each:

1.       Configured Items – manage all information relating to your set devices, circuits, and cell phones.

2.       Orders/Troubles – open and close work orders, trouble tickets or general task relating to a set device, circuits, cell phone, circuit, subscriber, account, etc. You can also generate reports based on your open, closed, or cancelled order, troubles, or task.

3.       Subscribers – manage all information relating to your subscribers, telephone control officer groups, resource manager groups, commanding officers and supervising managers.

4.       Equipment/Services – manage all equipment and services offered as well as their associated vendors, service providers and manufacturers.

5.       Accounting – manage all one-time, recurring and call charges related to your official and/or unofficial accounts. You can perform several billing task that include generating a monthly bill, accepting payments, import vendor media, etc.

6.       Facilities – manage your sites, connection groups, buildings, terminal, and/or frames.

7.       Switches – manage your switches and their related information. You can also create an SMA (Secure Maintenance Access) connection to allow specific users to login and out of the switch.

8.       Directory/Organization – manage your organizational structure (we call it a tree!). You can also create operator phone books for both your standard directory and your DSN directory. For those who use Toll Tickets, this menu will become your best friend!

9.       System Admin – this is where your system administrators create the backbone of cairs.net and determines how your system will function in certain situations.

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Now, let’s start at the top of the window and work our way down.

The top toolbar has the following four items:

·         File – clicking File displays two options.

·         Change Connection – this option allows you to create the connection string for your database, you will need your administrative rights to set your connection string.

·         Exit – allows you to exit the program.

·         Actions – once you make a selection within the Navigation Pane, the Actions button becomes available with the actions that you can perform for your selection.  For example, when you select Configured Items – Set Management, the only action you can perform is to ‘Add a Set’.   If there are no actions to perform, the button s greyed out. 

·         Tools – contains two submenu, Options and Delete Local Settings.

·         Options – when you click on this selection, a small popup opens with the following options:

·         When Cairs.net starts – you can choose what menu option cairs.net goes to when you first login, there are three options available:

·         Go to Home Page

·         Go to the last visited page

·         Go to a specific menu – click on the … to choose the location you are currently on.  To change the location exit out of Options, navigate to the proper location, and then come back into Options and click on the … button again. 

·         Set home page – you can set your home page, click on the … button, this selects the page that you are currently on. To change the location exit out of Options, navigate to the proper location, and then come back into Options and click on the … button again. 

Once you have made you selections, click on the OK button.  To cancel the operation or delete changes made click on the Cancel button.  To restore cairs to the default locations, click on the Restore Defaults button. 

·         Delete Local Settings – when selected this will delete your custom form layouts and searches that you have created.  There is no undo option, when the process is complete, you will get a ‘Process Completed Successfully’ notification. 

·         Help – Contains three submenu options.

·         About – when clicked, the About CAIRS.NET pop up displays.

·         Version Notes – opens a web page displaying the cairs.net release notes, including information on new features, bugs, and refinements.

·         Check for Software Updates – when clicked the software checks for a newer version of itself. If one is available, a pop up similar to the following screenshot displays.

·         Keyboard Shortcuts – when clicked this will bring up a complete list of the keyboard shortcuts for each menu option, to view a complete list please see the KS Appendix

·         Search – you can quickly search for any piece of information in your database by typing in any portion of the record into the text box.  To learn more about the Search please see the chapter on the Super Search.

·         Add or Remove – if you click on the dropdown arrow just to the right of the Help button the Add or Remove options becomes available.  When clicked there are three options:

·         File Menu – this defaults to include all the options within the toolbar, to remove a menu click on it remove the checkmark. To re-add either click on the menu again or click on Reset Toolbar to display all option again.

·         Search Bar – There are three options within this selection:

·         Results by Record Type – uncheck the box to remove the All dropdown field.  This means that you will search the entire database for your information

·         Global Search Box – uncheck to remove the search field in its entirety

·         Hide Search Results – uncheck to remove the red ‘x’ next to the search field

·         Customize – This allows you to further customize cairs, please contact Unique if you want to use any of these options.  

The lower toolbar allows you some handy ways to use cairs.net. The following options are available:   

 Back and Forward Arrows - these arrows allow you to navigate between the areas of the software that you have accessed since you logged in.  Once you close the software, the buttons refresh and you start from scratch upon login. 

 New – Click the drop-down arrow to access a list of the items that you can create, it does not matter where you are in the software, and however, the menu option you are currently in appears first in the list.

 Export – Click this button to export the information contained within the list pane to a excel, pdf, or tab delimited file.

 Print – Click this button to print the information contained within the list pane

 Delete – When you highlight a record within the list pane and click this button, you can delete that record. This option is only available in specific menus.

 Refresh – Click to refresh the information within the list.

 Home – Click on the button to return to the main menu list.

 User Favorites – You can add your most frequently visited menu options into your favorites. To add a menu, navigate to the menu with the navigation pane, then click the User Favorites button and drag and drop the menu item into the list pane. You can add any level of sub-menu!

 System Favorites – This is similar to user favorites, however, these favorites are system wide, meaning that every user (with proper access rights) can see them.

Just to the right of the System Favorites icons is a small drop-down arrow, when you click the arrow an ‘Add or Remove Buttons’ option appears. This allows you to customize what icons you see on your toolbar!

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Directly above the main menu is the Navigation pane displays the appropriate sub-menus, actions, and views relating to the highlighted menu item.

Once you click on any menu item, the navigation pane displays a list of sub-menus. In some instances, the sub-menus automatically display, however, if there is a plus sign (+) next to the menu name, there are additional sub-menus. To view those menus click on the plus sign once to open, click it again to collapse the menu.

Directly below the System Admin menu option there is a small drop-down arrow, click on the arrow to access the following options:

·         Show More Buttons - this button is unavailable when all Main Menu options/buttons are visible. Show More Buttons becomes available once a button(s) has been removed and is used to restore a hidden/removed button.

·         Show Fewer Buttons - this button removes a one button at a time starting from the bottom button from the Main Menu. The following screenshot shows the Main Menu with the System Admin button removed.

·         Navigation Pane Options - Clicking this option opens the Navigation Pane Options pop up. Check mark or un-checkmark the boxes next to each Main Menu option and click OK to save your selection and close the popup. The button is either added or removed from Main Menu depending on your selection.

Additionally, you can change the order the button(s) appear within the Main Menu by clicking and highlighting the button name within the list. Click the Move Up button to move the selection up one spot or click Move Down to move the selection down one spot. Click OK to save your work and close the pop up or Cancel to cancel and close the pop up.

·         Add or Remove Buttons - Clicking Add or Remove Buttons displays a list of available Main Menu buttons.

Mouse over to highlight the button to remove and left click. The button is immediately removed from the Main Menu and the menu item is no longer highlighted in orange within the Add or Remove Buttons list, indicating it has been removed from the list.


Actions Pane

For each menu item, there are certain actions that you can perform, for example, adding a new item, deleting an item, etc. Each action that you can perform is located within the Actions pane. There might be a few, there might be several, it all depends on the menu option! Most of the links that you see within this pane, we represent as buttons within the lower toolbar as well as selections within the Actions dropdown list within the upper toolbar.

Views Pane

The Views pane contains additional ways that you can sort the information displayed within the List. When you click on the option button next to one of the views the list changes to display the information sorted appropriately. Depending on your selection, the list may appear collapsed, to view the information beneath a heading click the plus sign (+) next to the name, to collapse the selection, click on the minus sign (-). Not all sections have a Views pane.

! Not all of the Main Menu options consistently utilize the Action and Views areas. Actions will not display until you select a Subsection so depending on the Main Menu option selected you may not see one or both of these areas. For example, if you select either Orders or Troubles, the Actions section does not populate because there are no specific Actions related to the Section. In this situation, you need to click the plus sign (+) to the left of the Section, or double click the name (Orders or Troubles) to open and view the subsection menu.

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Finally, the big pane to the right, it currently displays a list of the menu options. Once you access a menu, it changes to display a list of sub-menus. Click on a sub-menu to view the list of associated items. Although the list may not populate right away, you will see the line display of the fields that will populate.

There are a few ways to get the list to populate, this is where you can search for the information that you want to see. There are a few different search options available:

·         Show All – this is the easy way, click the link to populate the list with every record within your database. Remember, if you have a large database the list may take a long time to populate. We recommend using a search option.

·         Instant – this search allows you to type any portion of the record within the textbox, and then click on the magnifying glass to view the matching records.

·         Advanced – this search allows you to place a descriptor on your search, for example, Contains, Equal to, start date, end start, etc. By clicking the double-down arrow, next to the magnifying glass, you can view a list of fields available to search on. Next, to each field is a Contains button; click the button to access a list of all the possible search descriptors. Once you choose a descriptor, type the search criteria into the field and click the magnifying glass to view the matching records.

Here are a few helpful hints to remember while working with the list:

·         Sorting – you can sort the list by clicking any column header to sort it alphabetically or numerically. To sort the list in reverse order, click the column header again. With either sort order, the list shows the fields that contain no value first.

·         Changing Column Order – you change the location of any column within the list by clicking the column header and dragging it to the new position. The list remains this way even if you logout!

·         Remove Columns – you can remove columns that appear within the list by right-clicking the column to access a pop-up menu, from the menu select ‘Remove this Column’. If you want to re-add a column header, access the pop-up menu again and select ‘Show Column’ or ‘Reset Column Visibility’.

·         Renaming Fields – you can rename any field at any time in any location. Right column anywhere within the list pane to access a pop-up menu, from the menu select ‘Rename Field Everywhere’ or ‘Rename Field in View’, a textbox opens allowing you to type the new field name.

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The bottom line of the cairs.net window displays some very helpful information. This is where you can see you last successful login and the IP address of your computer. Also, the location of your database.

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The messenger can be used to send simple messages to anyone who is currently logged in their CAIRS Client. When you click on the messenger, a popup opens with a list of the users that are currently logged into CAIRS.  There are a few options when messaging:

·         Message to User – within the popup double click on the user you want to send a message to, another popup opens.  Within the lower pane, type your message.  Once complete hit the enter key on your keyboard.  The messages will appear in the upper pane. 

·         Broadcast Message – you can broadcast a message to 2 or more users at one time.  Click on the Messenger at the top of the popup, a menu appears from the menu select Broadcast Message.  You will be required to select 2 or more users to broadcast.  On you final user, double click to open the message, within the lower pane type your message.  Once complete hit the enter key on your keyboard.  The messages will appear in the upper pane. 

If you have a large amount of people that are currently logged into CAIRS, you can use the Select menu to perform one of the following options:

·         Select All – this will place a checkmark next to all users to broadcast a message to, you can then use the Broadcast Message option

·         Select None – this removes all checkmarks

·         Invert Selection – this removes the checkmarks from currently selects users and adds checkmarks to those that were not selected.  Again, once selected you would use the Broadcast Message option

If you are a System Administration, there will be an additional menu selection at the top of the popup.  The Admin menu will allow you to perform two functions:

·         Log Out Users With Warning – after you have selected the users from the list, click this option to automatically close their CAIRS after 5 minutes.  The users will be sent a message that their CAIRS will close in 5 minutes and to save any unsaved work.

·         Log Out Users Without Warning – after you have selected the users from the list that you want to log out of CAIRS, click this option to automatically close their CAIRS.  The user is not notified and their CAIRS is closed immediately.