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Asked Questions
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I received a warning that my browser version is not supported. What do I do?

In order to serve users on older platforms, the contractor version of COOL works with an older version of Internet Explorer. Users of IE 6 and above can click the OK button to accept the warning and proceed to login. You do not need to downgrade your version of IE to use COOL.

image of COOL browser version warning.

How do I access the COOL application?

COOL is accessed directly from the main home page of the DPH contracts unit. This is the main page for all contract related information. From this page you can not only access COOL but also can learn about any current RFP/Q's that are available. Click on the COOL “ice cube” and that will take you to the COOL homepage.

Once at the main page, click the link entitled COOL System Contractor Login Page this will take you to the Login page where you will enter your password information.

What is COOL?

COOL is composed of two systems that interact seamlessly. The Contract Creator side of COOL is used exclusively by the Office of Contract Management and Compliance personnel. This system stores the contract data and generates reports. In contrast, Program Managers, Contractors and others will access the Contract Library portion of COOL. Contracts Staff will access both the Contract Creator and the Contract Library. The Contract Library manages the workflow, aids in collaboration, stores and routes the contract documents, etc. The Contract Library is accessible to contractors via the Web.

Do I need to have anything special installed on my PC? Do I need any special software to use COOL?

Here are the System Requirements for COOL. PC’s with Windows XP SP1 or 2 will need to have sun Java Installed. This is a free download from Once installed COOL will automatically prompt you to install a browser plug-in. This simple plug-in allows you to securely check documents out of the system for editing.

I would like to have my contract in COOL. Who do I talk to about this?

Just send an email to either DPH Webmaster( or Robert Longhitano ( Please include the following information:

Your Name, Location and Phone Number
Your Agency Name
Your Contract Analyst’s Name
Your Program Analyst’s Name

How does COOL and the Extranet handle viruses?

COOL has built-in virus checking software that runs during the import or check in process.

I’ve read this entire FAQ and I don’t see the answer to my question. What do I do now?

Reading the FAQ is the best place to start but since you didn’t find your answer, I would look at the Quick Reference Guide contained in the COOL Guide for DPH Contractors. This guide is designed to get you up and running as quickly as possible. In addition, be sure to check the Speed Sessions. These little 5-10 minute tutorials guide you through some of the most commonly performed tasks, including how to make a PDF!

I just logged in for the first time. What am I looking at?

COOL is setup using a tab structure there are five tabs in the Vendor or extranet version of COOL. They are:

Home Cabinet: If you are a vendor when you log into COOL the first screen you see is your “Home Cabinet” this is the location where you will find all the agency specific documents such as insurance certificates, Vendor set-up forms, compliance documents, Monitoring Reports etc. Do not load any contract documents (scope of work, budgets etc.) in this view. If you load a document by accident or see documents in this view please call the Help Desk.

Developing: The Developing tab this is where all your contracts that are in the developing stage will be located. A contract in the developing stage is a contract or contract modification that has not yet been certified.

Approved: The Approved tab this is where you will find you current contract’s that have been fully certified.

Inbox: This is your COOL inbox, when you receive a “task” this is where the task will be located.

Subscription: Think of this tab as your “favorites” the Subscription tab is where you can subscribe to a specific document or folder. It is useful if your agency has many contracts with the Department and you do not want to go through each contract folder.

I selected a contract in the Developing Tab what are these sub folders?

A contract folder in COOL is set up with the following structure:

Contract Folder > Vendor Folder > Working Folder. Each folder has it’s own special purpose.

The Contract Folder: Is where you will find the “final” version of your contract documents. These documents are generally going to include the completed Contract (boilerplate, and all exhibits) and documents that the Department needs to process along with your contract. The documents may be PDF, Word, and Excel documents.

The Vendor Folder: Is the folder with your agency’s name in all CAPS. This folder is simply a link back to your home cabinet. The link is included in the contract folder because if a City reviewer needs to check to see if your agency has current insurance or some other agency document they can just check in this folder without having to navigate out of your contract folder.

The Working Folder: Is where you can find all of the draft versions of the documents that make up a contract. Think of this folder as the “meeting” place where the contract analyst, program manager, and contractor go to exchange documents.

I just received an email stating that I have a new task in my COOL Inbox, what do I do now?

Click the Inbox tab on the navigation pane.That email is just a prompt to let you know that you have received a new task. Log into COOL and click the Inbox tab on the Navigation Pane.

When you complete a task, be sure to go back to your inbox and click the Finish button to remove it from your Inbox.

I am ready to import a document into COOL for my contract. Where do I put it?

A contract document needs to be associated with a contract. So the first step is to go to the Developing Cabinet. If you are a Contractor click the Developing Tab on the top of your screen and locate the correct contract. If you do not know which contract is correct. STOP, and call your contract analyst.

AIDS Office Contracts, including HIV Prevention, HIV Health Services, Seroepidemiology and Research Contracts:
415- 554-9086

Community Behavioral Health Contracts, including Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Primary Care and Prevention Contracts:

Community Health Network / Housing and Urban Health/ Environmental Health / Other Non-Health Service Contracts:

Once you have determined the correct contract folder you should import your documents in the Working Folder.

What do these Folder names mean? Can I change it to something else?

The Folder names follow a standard naming convention as illustrated in the diagram below. The Contract Analyst creates the folder names and they cannot be changed.

Folder names follow a standard naming convention.


How do I know where my contract is located within COOL?

If your contract is still being developed, check the Developing tab. The contract folder will be located within this tab. If the contract has already been certified, check the Approved tab.

Why are all my contracts still in the Developing cabinet?

Call your contract officer and explain the situation. COOL has been used internally at DPH for some time so many folders have been created. If these folders are no longer needed, they can be deleted.

My agency has a lot of contracts with The Department. Is there a way to make a short cut to the contract that I am responsible for?

Yes you can use the “Subscription” feature for folders or documents. When you subscribe to an object in COOL a link will appear in the subscription tab. This subscription tab is unique to each COOL user.

What is difference between a Workflow, a Route and a QuickFlow? This seems really complicated, why can’t I just email the document?

That is a great question. Let me first describe the differences between these three terms and then I will address the email question. A workflow is a term you will hear often when working with COOL. A workflow is a pre-determined series of steps and approval paths programmed into the system. Workflow controls who can access the document, it also controls what can be done to the document. Routing a document can be considered an informal workflow where you, decide where the document should be sent. This is much less formal than the programmed workflow. A QuickFlow is essentially the same as a Route (the term “route” was used in a prior version of COOL). The COOL interface used by contractor will use the term QuickFlow rather than route, but they are exactly the same thing. In summary, Workflow, Route, and QuickFlow are all methods of moving a document or folder through the system.

Emailing the document or folder circumvents COOL’s permission sets and security levels. By Routing the document to another COOL user, you keep the document protected by the COOL system. COOL is also capable of recording who has the document and what is doing done to it. COOL also helps you keep your versions straight and eliminates the confusion associated with multiple version of the same document being edited by many people at the same time.

What’s the difference between my COOL Inbox and my local email Inbox, isn’t it the same thing?

No, your email application is just that, email. COOL is your contracts application. Every user in COOL has an Inbox. This Inbox allows you to receive tasks and notifications related to your contract. The only relationship between COOL and your email is that COOL will use your email Inbox to let you know that something new is in your COOL Inbox. This email just serves as a heads-up. You must log in to COOL and access your Inbox to receive the task or item that was sent (routed) to you by another COOL user.

I’m currently using COOL. When I import a document, I see a screen that asks for Document Type. Why is this important?

Yes, it matters a great deal. The Document Type establishes the permissions associated to a document. Every Document Type has a different permission set associated with it. For example, the Document Type of Contract Document allows you and your contractor to make edits in the document. This will be the Document Type you will use most often and it is the Default choice you do not need to change it.

I need to work on a document but I noticed that is has a little “lock” icon located to the left of the document name. Also, there is no Edit link for the document. What happened?

The lock icon indicates that someone else has already checked the document out of the docbase. When a user checks a document out of the docbase, that user has complete control of the document. No one else can check the document out of the docbase until that user checks it back in. It’s just like going to the library to check out a book only to find that someone else has it. The difference is you can click the Properties link, see who has it, and give them a call. It is important to note that when looking at a document checked out by someone else, it will be flagged with the lock icon. A document that you check out will be flagged with a key icon. You are the only user who will see the key icon because you are the only one who can check it back in.

I don’t understand the difference between clicking on the document name and clicking the Edit link. Isn’t that the same thing?

No, clicking on the document name opens the document in read-only mode. When you do this, the document is displayed in the results pane. When you click Edit, the application will open on top of COOL. When you click Edit, you can make changes to the document, save your changes and check the document back in to COOL. Clicking the document name only allows you to view the document and print it.

Should I Export my contract document from COOL to my shared network drive or local hard drive?

Generally, you should never have a reason to export a document from COOL. Remember, when you export a document out of COOL, you are bypassing COOL’s permission sets, workflows and security levels. Working on an exported document leads to confusion since there are no system controls to edits or versions.

Does COOL only handle Word documents and PDF files? I have spreadsheets and scanned documents that need to be part of the folder too. What about these? How is this paperless?

COOL can handle whatever you throw at it. If you can create it, COOL can store it and help you manage it. Currently, there are many types of files residing in COOL: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, TIFF, and Illustrator, just to name a few.

How can I get the insurance certificates into one file and into COOL? Isn’t this what COOL is for?

Yes, this is exactly what COOL is for. COOL is a centralized repository for all of your contract related documents. If you have the certificates in electronic format, you can just import them into the Vendor folder in the Vendor cabinet. If you have the hardcopy, that’s OK too, you will just need to scan them first. Your Contract Analyst can assist you with this task.

The Contractor / Program that I deal with has a lot of documents that are linked to other documents (main documents and a data source) such as mail merge or Excel workbooks that are linked to external data sources. Can COOL handle that?

Yes, COOL can handle documents with data sources, but in order for the links to work (when working with both documents concurrently) you must have access to both the main document and it’s data source. It is often the case the one of the parties does not have access to the data source. So the link would not typically work in or out of COOL. However, if both the data source and destination document is in COOL and you want the links to work you will need to check out both documents and follow the prompts from Word or Excel to re-establish the links on the local machine. This process will need to be followed each time you want to work with both the destination document and data source concurrently.

I need to email a document to someone outside of COOL. How do I do this?

Email a file

Locate your document and click the1 More link to the right of the document name. This will create a pop-up sub-menu, click the 2 File link on the pop-up menu, this will then create another sub-menu, click the 3 Export link.

You will now see the Export File window (Below). Be sure to choose a destination that is easy to find such as 4 “Desktop” or “My Documents”. Check 5 the File Name, then click 6 Save. When you export a file from COOL, you are actually creating a copy of the original. The actual file remains in COOL and this is the one that you should always work from.


People are importing multiple versions of the same document instead of creating a new version of the original document and versioning it. This is confusing me.

Yes, this would be quite confusing. Before you begin to develop a contract in COOL you should check with all the players involved in the process (contract analyst and program managers) and establish some guidelines. If you need assistance in setting guidelines or finding out whom you should be working with, contact your contract office representative or call the Director of contracts at 554-2607.

I need to replace the whole file in COOL with a new version of a file that I got via an email how do I do that?

First make sure that the file you received is saved to your local machine. Then in COOL find the file that you want to replace and check it out of COOL. If the application launches (Word, Excel et.) just close it. Then click the check-in link next to the file name. This will take you to the check-in page to select the show options link on the bottom of the page, select check in from file, click browse and then navigate to the location on your local machine where the file is located, select that file then click OK. This will take you back to the check-in page in COOL review the screen and then click OK to upload the new file.

COOL says I need a version of Sun Java? Where do I get it?

Go to and download the latest release. Recent releases of Microsoft Windows XP no longer ship with java. So you will need to obtain a free version of it. Contact your local MIS support staff (at your agency) for assistance in installing Java on your machine.


When I try to edit a file in COOL I get an error message that says:

Error Message - document name or path is not valid

When using Windows 2000 or below the plugin for COOL does not recognize highly formatted file names.

First, check the name of the file you are trying to edit. If it has special characters
(i.e. “–“, “/”,”;”, etc.) or additional unneeded spaces (i.e. 03-04 budget.xls) or makes use of excessive periods or other punctuation in the file name (i.e. FY.03.04.budget.v1.xls) and you are using Windows 2000 or earlier the COOL Plug-in may not recognize the file.

To solve this problem first try to rename the file by clicking on the properties icon browser warning message in COOL to the right of the file name, if your security profile allows it you will be able to rename the file in the Name field. If the Name field is not updateable, please contact your Contract Officer and they can change the file name for you.

If you still get the error message please call the COOL Help Desk.

After clicking the “COOL System Contractor Login Page” link I get a “404 File can not Found” error.  What’s wrong?

The first thing is to call the COOL Help desk and ask if the COOL application is down.

If it is not down and you get this error repeatedly, then you should contact your Local MIS support desk. A common cause of this type of error is router / firewall configuration. In order to use COOL your firewall cannot block access to port 4447.

I receive a “page cannot be displayed” error message when I try to access the login page.

If you have been able to login before and you are now receiving this error message, check to see if you have CheckPoint VPN software installed on your PC. If so, make sure your VPN software is not running and then try to access COOL again. If you still cannot reach the login page, please contact the DPH Help Desk at 415-554-2689.

If you have never been able to reach the login page, it is possible that your organization’s firewall is blocking traffic from port 4447. As a work-around, create a shortcut on your desktop using this URL: