February 11, 2015: Scheduling, Simplified

Life is considerably messier than most people's calendars. Even the most organized serving schedule can fall apart and leave your volunteer leaders calling through half the church directory when Sarah remembers she'll be driving across three states Sunday morning or John's kid gets the flu. After all, how could you ask Sarah and John to find their own replacements when they have no idea who's available to serve and who's not?

Just because life is messy doesn't mean your serving schedules have to be. We're putting power into the hands of your volunteers — and so much more — on February 11, 2015.

Edit 2.2.15: Added note about discontinuing support for Internet Explorer 9.

New Features

Find a Replacement

We know it's a hassle to find a replacement when a volunteer — for whatever reason — can't serve in a position they've previously accepted. Now, volunteers can now find their own replacements through the system.

Find a Replacement interface

The new ‘find a replacement’ link is available on the schedule assignments page. It will display the names of anyone who might be available to fill in, giving the volunteer the opportunity to select someone to ask to replace them. If the replacement says no, the original volunteer will be notified and can ask someone else. If the replacement says yes, the schedule is changed and the coordinator is notified. And if there is no one available to replace the original volunteer, that person can still decline the request and provide a reason.

Find a Replacement

To make it easier to keep track of all this, we've also added a 'pending replacements' section to the scheduling assignments page. It'll only show if there are pending replacement requests, so it's simple to see what's going on with the volunteers in a schedule.

No Email Required

Just because someone doesn't have an email address in the system doesn't mean they'll never volunteer. Yet anyone who had no email address in their profile couldn't be confirmed on a serving schedule before.

That's all changed behind the scenes. After you add volunteers to the schedule and go to send volunteer requests to those with email addresses so they can respond, you’ll notice the change. For the weeks selected, clicking ‘Send’ will also change the status of people without email addresses from 'not yet sent' to 'pending'.

Their assignments will appear on the 'My Calendar' view, in the 'Upcoming' list on the homepage, and in the 'My Assignments' section of the profile’s scheduling availability area, just like those with email addresses. It's best for as many people as possible to have email addresses in the system so they can receive serving reminder emails, but when someone truly just doesn't have one, it's no longer a roadblock to scheduling them to serve.

Pre-event Attendance Reminder

One of the things we've heard from you about the emailed attendance reminders is that they're useful — but they'd be more useful if they were accessible during the event itself, especially now that they're optimized for mobile devices. That's why we're now sending an additional attendance reminder email one hour before the event takes place. If you've got your phone handy and want to track who's there while they're standing in front of you, all the power to do that is sent straight to your inbox before the event starts.

Attendance Reminder

New Report: Attendance Missed in a Row

When someone has been missing for a number of events and services in a row, it's a clear sign that someone needs to reach out to them. With this new report, it's easy to see that sign. You can set up the report to include whatever events you want, by Attendance Grouping, group type, department, or group, and however many consecutive events someone has to have missed to be included. The report will tell you people's names, membership types, and contact information, along with the last time they attended an event matching the criteria you set.

Group Messaging Improvements

The pop-up you see when you go to send a group message has gotten a facelift, making the page tighter and cleaner and keeping message options clearly visible at the top.

groupmessages

We've also added a new feature to the group message: the ability to send your message to specific group members, rather than the whole group. Now, your Main and Assistant Group Leaders, Coaches, and Directors can choose recipients by name, making sure that messages get to the people who need them — and only them.

Text Message Paging Improvements

This release is also improving the experience in Check-In when people are choosing the text message paging recipients. While the functionality hasn't changed at all, we've tweaked the interface to make it easier for people to use.

In the old design of this interface, the primary contact and spouse were listed in the modal with a slider to indicate if you'd selected them as text message recipients. A lot of people didn't realize they actually had to select those people, and went along with their Check-In, thinking there were text message recipients when there actually weren't.

Now, the 'Check-In' button will be disabled until a recipient choice is made, either choosing one of the recipient options, or choosing the new None option — so you can be certain that you can send messages when you need to.

textmessagepaging

No Allergies Confirmation

The Allergies profile field is vital information for children's ministry workers, but it's not infallible — an empty allergy field could mean the person has no allergies, or it could mean you simply don't know what they are. This opens up the potential for a mistake you can't afford to make. We've added a new profile field to eliminate this risk: a checkbox labeled 'Confirmed person has no allergies'. This checkbox will let your children's workers know that you've asked a parent about allergy information for their child, without having to type 'None' into the allergy field. And it can even be used as a search criteria in saved searches and custom reports.

Support

Discontinued Support for Internet Explorer 9

We have officially discontinued support for the Internet Explorer 9 browser. For more on why, how this may affect you, and what you can do, read more here.

Bug Fixes and Usability Improvements

API

  • Campus_id parameter in group_search service: We've added a new optional 'campus_id' parameter to the 'group_search' api service. Including the campus_id parameter will only return groups that belong to that specified campus.
  • Custom text in create_individual: When setting a custom text field using the 'create_individual' API service, we were inadvertently stripping out spaces in that custom text. We've fixed this issue.
  • Queue_individuals: The 'queue_individuals' API service was incorrectly returning a person's 'individual_step_id' value rather than their 'individual_id'. We've fixed this so the individual_id is returned.
  • Position_list: The 'position_list' API service was not returning 'date_modified' information when it should have been. We've fixed this.
  • Confirmed no allergies parameter added: We've added 'confirmed no allergies' as an optional parameter for all individual_profile API services.
  • Other ID field: If the Other ID field contained numbers and letters, the API service was not returning the information. We've fixed this so the API services using Other ID return information that is alpha and/or numeric, rather than just numeric.
  • Online_giving_insert_gift: We've added an optional parameter of 'date' to the online_giving_insert_gift API service.

Check-In

  • Numerical months in Check-In birthday screens: In the Check-In birthday screen, we've added the month's number beside its text abbreviation, e.g. Jan (01).
  • Check-In new profiles and name character limits: When creating a new person through the Check-In interface, the screen was allowing you to create a first or last name with unlimited characters, but the database was only saving 20 characters for each of those fields. We've fixed this so the interface only allows you to put in 20 characters per each name field, just like when you create a new profile anywhere else in the software, preventing some entertaining but unintentional abbreviations.
  • Security code blacklist: We've added 'SUX', 'VUK', and 'PCP' to the blacklist of 3-letter codes we will no longer generate as a security code on Check-In labels.
  • Pager numbers with text message paging enabled: When using Check-In, there was an issue where you were unable to save the pager number when both pagers and text message paging were enabled on the station, but no text message recipient was selected. We've fixed this so you can correctly select a recipient or enter a pager number and not have to do both.
  • Hyphenated names in search results: In some cases a person with a hyphenated name was not being returned in the check-in search results. We've fixed this.
  • Editing family information from Check-In: Editing a family in Check-In was sometimes causing the address to disappear. We've fixed this so that the database no longer believes editing a family's information is tantamount to an eviction notice.

Departments

  • Department Admins and unlisted groups: Department Admins were incorrectly finding unlisted groups in other departments. We've corrected this so Department Admins can only search for and find an unlisted group if it belongs to their assigned department.
  • Links to nowhere on the Department page: For churches with the Essential or Standard versions of the software, there were links to nowhere shown on the Department page listing affiliated groups and leaders. After confirming that none of these connected to digital Narnia even sometimes, we have removed them.
  • Missing information notification: When editing a department's name or the department terminology, leaving one of the fields blank wouldn't allow you to successfully save the changes. You will now be notified when there is missing information instead of the Save button just not working.

Events & Attendance

  • Event Summaries No Longer Checked by Default: At the bottom of the attendance-taking interface, there is an option for who you want to send an event summary to. Previously, this option had selected 'No one' by default. Unfortunately, this caused a lot of people to miss this option, and those event summaries weren't being sent out. With this release, that option will no longer have a default selection. This means everyone will need to actively need to choose a recipient (or choose 'No one') before the attendance can be saved. To make this change more evident, we've added a tooltip on the 'Save' button explaining why it is disabled.
  • Repeating events showing on Involvement tab: Repeating events are now showing up on a person's profile in the 'Involvement' tab > Events & Attendance capsule > 'Registrations in the Past' section. Repeating events will only show up in this section if the event is done and the end date is more than 7 days ago.
  • Recording attendance for all-day events: When recording attendance for an event from the group's home page, all-day events were not showing up in the list. We've fixed this so all-day events happening today and in the past will show up in the modal.
  • Event Setup Report permissions error: When attempting to run the 'Event Setup Report – Printer Friendly' from the detail page of an All Day event, the report was giving people a permissions error, even if they have permissions to run that report. We've fixed this problem.
  • Repeating events edited back into 'pending': In some cases, editing an approved repeating event was setting that event back to a 'pending' state, even if the edits shouldn't have changed that event's approval status. We've fixed this so approved events are staying approved when they are edited in a way that shouldn't affect their approval status.
  • Restoring event exceptions with attendance data: When an event exception had attendance taken, attempting to 'restore' that exception (adding it back into the recurring event series) was causing an error. Because restoring the exception would cause you to lose that attendance data, we no longer allow those exceptions with attendance data to be restored into the event series, and we now provide a helpful note explaining why.
  • Monthly recurring events' attendance on reports: If an event has a monthly recurrence pattern, attendance data for those event occurrences was not showing up properly on the 'Individual Attendance Summary' and 'Individual Attendance Detail' reports. We've fixed this issue.
  • Attendance not fully deleting: If you deleted an event occurrence with attendance recorded, we were incorrectly not deleting that attendance record from the database. This was causing some unexpected numbers in attendance reports. We've fixed this behavior so deleting an event occurrence now correctly deletes an attendance data associated with that event occurrence.
  • Deleting the last occurrence of a repeating event: There was a bug that prevented you from deleting the last occurrence of a repeating event. We fixed this bug.
  • Individual Attendance Detail report imaginary occurrences: When running the Individual Attendance Detail report, sometimes event occurrences were listed on the report that weren't actual occurrences of the event. We've eliminated those false occurrences.
  • Bare HTML showing on Excel reports: There was some HTML coding showing up in the output of the Excel version of the Attendance Summary and Individual Attendance Detail reports. We've stripped out that HTML coding.
  • 24-hour clocks: For churches whose locale uses a 24-hour clock, creating attendance only events using the Attendance Entry tool would set all event times as AM. We've fixed this so events on 24-hour clock locales can have times after noon.
  • Event summary email time zone: The timestamp showing when an event summary email was sent to a group was not always correctly based on the campus's timezone. We've fixed this.
  • Calendar subscription location data: The location shown when subscribing to a calendar was not always correct. We've fixed this so the location is correctly using the primary room, campus or custom name set for the event.
  • Attendance reminder email and Outlook 2007: When using Outlook 2007 to access the attendance reminder email, the link to the attendance entry page was not working correctly. We’ve fixed this.
  • Inviting non-leaders to administrative group events: Using the People by Name or People by Search option to invite people to an event in an administrative group was incorrectly allowing you to invite non-leaders. Because only leaders can see an administrative group, we have fixed this so you can only invite active group leaders to its events no matter which method you use.

Financial

  • Updating a profile from giving page: When a user is logged in to the system and navigates to the Online Giving interface, they will now have the option of updating their profiles with the contact information they fill in to the billing info fields. An admin creating an online gift on behalf of someone else will also now have that option.
  • Batch Report by Category Summary split into campuses: When running the 'Batch Report by Category Summary' report and splitting that report into multiple campuses, the last row of the report was being cut off. We've fixed this so the right information is always included in this report, regardless of whether the report is split into multiple campuses.
  • Re-saving account information: We fixed a bug where the system was asking you if you wanted to store your giving information even if you were giving using already saved account information.
  • Cursor position when entering transactions with MICR scanner: We've fixed some problems with where the cursor was landing when entering transactions using a MICR scanner. When there is no MICR match, the cursor lands in the name search field. When there is one or more MICR match, the cursor lands in the 'amount' field once a match is chosen.
  • Online gifts triggering Attention Needed: Online gifts that are still in a 'Processing' state were not triggering an alert in the 'Attention Needed' icon. We've fixed this so all gifts, including pending ones, will trigger that alert.
  • Closed batch permissions: Limited Financial Admins were incorrectly able to search for and see closed batches. Only Full Financial Admins should be able to see closed batches. We've fixed these permissions.
  • Confirmation when changing tax-deductible status: We've added a new confirmation modal that will be presented any time you attempt to change the tax-deductible status of a Chart of Accounts category. Changing the tax deductibility of a Chart of Accounts category will only apply to future transactions, and will not affect the status of existing transactions applied to that category.
  • Elimination of 'Group Transactions': We are no longer allowing 'Group Transactions' to be created. All new transactions in the software must be tied to an individual. Historical transactions tied to groups have not been affected by this change.
  • Email addresses on the Pledge and Giving Detail report: In some cases the Email Address column in the Pledge and Giving Detail Report was blank when the report was generated using 'family' as the type. The Primary Contact's email address is now correctly being shown instead of no email address.
  • Stopping a family member's repeating gift: The Primary Contact and Spouse in a family could not successfully stop a repeating gift belonging to another family member. Because the Primary Contact and Spouse in a family should be able to stop any gift for any family member, we've corrected this issue.
  • Family Giving Statement totals: When running Family Giving Statements with Pledges shown, we were failing to include both the Primary Contact and Spouse in the 'Given all time' total section. We've fixed this so 'Given all time' correctly totals giving from both the Primary Contact and Spouse.
  • Online giving confirmation typo: There was a typo in the confirmation message shown after giving online via the public link (rather than after logging in). We've corrected the typo.
  • Time zone for Merchant Settlement Summary report date range: The date range used to build the Merchant Settlement Summary report was considering the wrong time zone. We've fixed this so the date range will consider the time zone set in campus settings and return results based on that.
  • Saved account information and ProfitStars: We were showing saved account information when someone used ProfitStars for online giving but had chosen not to have their account information saved. We’ve fixed this and no longer show this information when you choose not to save it.
  • Wrong dates for online gifts: In some cases the date an online gift was given was a day off. We’ve fixed this so gifts given near midnight are correctly assigned that day’s date.

Forms

  • Form confirmation date display: The date displayed on the Form Confirmation page was based on mountain time rather than the time zone of the church. We've fixed this.
  • Saving when matching form responses: When matching a form response, if you started to create a new person and then instead decided to match to one of the 'Probable Matches', the matching modal was freezing and you'd be unable to save. We've fixed this so choosing a probable match allows you to save.
  • Form automations with separate profile and billing contacts: When a form had event automation, and a form response had a different profile contact from the billing contact, matching the billing contact in the system was causing the guest list for the event to go up. The guest list should only be increased by matching the profile contact. We've fixed this issue.
  • Form payment confirmation: When completing a form with payment, if the user is paying on the form using a debit or credit card, when they go to submit their payment, they will now be prompted with a confirmation modal verifying the amount they are about to charge their card. Hopefully this will serve as a final check to ensure the form has been filled out properly for the right total amount.
  • Form section break titles and description text: Form section break titles and description text were not showing up in the form response modal or in the print version of the form response. We've fixed this so that information is now shown in both of those places.
  • Automation to things with numerical names: If a form question had automation to a group, process queue, etc. whose name was only numbers, it was breaking the form and preventing you from being able to edit the question. We've fixed this issue.
  • Form matching to deceased: When matching form responses to a profile we were incorrectly including profiles with a date in the deceased field. We are now only showing people who are inactive, not deceased.
  • Form matching visual issues: The new UI caused some visual issues when matching a form response to a profile. We fixed those.

General

  • Software session timeout: We have extended the software session timeout to 6 hours. As long as your browser window is still open and you have not actively 'Logged Out' of the software, you will remain logged in for up to 6 hours of inactivity.
  • Calendar date pickers: In some cases, calendar date pickers throughout the software were not displaying dates in the proper format, causing some issues with which date was actually being chosen. We've fixed this problem.
  • Mobile login: We have revamped the style of the 'Mobile Login' tool for our software.

Groups

  • Group homepage reports: We've included the 'Attendance Marking Sheet' and 'Roster with Barcodes' reports to the reports menu found on a group's homepage.
  • File permissions: A Full Group Admin should only be able to access files uploaded to 'Open to All' groups, however they were able to see files in 'Invitation or Request Required' groups too. We've fixed these permissions so they can only see the files they have privileges to see.
  • Participants type in group reports: The type of Group Participants chosen when running group-specific reports wasn't being respected and all group participants were included. We've fixed this so the chosen type of participant is included and all others are not.
  • Administrative group leaders finding their groups: Group leaders of administrative groups were not able to find their groups via the Groups search page. We've fixed this so they can search for administrative groups they lead by name, via the '...or discover a new group' link or by clicking the magnifying glass icon.
  • Full Group admins searching for unlisted groups: Users with Full Group Admin Privileges who also serve as Department Admins were unable to search for unlisted groups that did not belong to their assigned department. We've fixed this so they can correctly search for all groups in their assigned campus.
  • Inactivating profiles of main group leaders: We recently made a change that prevented people from being inactivated if they were the main leader of a group. However, we failed to apply this change when you inactivate an entire family at once. We fixed this so now, when attempting to inactivate an entire family, if any family member is a main group leader, that person will not be inactivated. We also made a change so a person who is the main group leader of an inactive group can still be made inactive.

Mail Merges

  • Generating mailing labels: When sending a mail merge, if you choose to only send an email rather than generating a print version, the system was still generating a set of mailing labels. We've fixed this so mailing labels are only generated when a print version of the mail merge is generated.

Messages

  • Message access without admin privileges: The message search tool was not working for people who didn't have message admin privileges. We've fixed this so people without admin privileges can once again find messages they should have access to find.

Needs

  • Past Needs list: The Past Needs list for a group was including needs that had both past and future items. This list will now contain needs with all items in the past and the 'next available' sort option will cause the list to sort by most recent to least recent item.
  • Unlisted group members taking need items: If a group member's profile was unlisted they could not be assigned to a need item. We've corrected this so group leaders and appropriate administrators can add group members to needs even if their profile is unlisted.

People Search

  • 'Other ID' field search: When running a people search on the 'Other ID' field, only numbers were returned in the search results, even though you can save any alphanumeric characters into that field. We've fixed this so the complete 'Other ID' is returned in the search.
  • Phone number search improvement: We improved the people search so phone numbers are returned whether or not you include the country code in your search string.

Process Queues

  • Queue order when setting automation: When setting up Process Queue automation, queues in the 'Queue Sequencing' section were being reordered based on queue ID. We've fixed this so the queues stay in the order you set them up.
  • Adding someone to a queue they're already in: When adding a person to a Process Queue from their profile, we were not including any indication if that person was already in that queue. We've fixed this so the 'Add to Queue' interface will now indicate if the person is already in the queue and what their status is.
  • Reading recent notes while adding to Process Queue: When adding someone to a Process Queue from their profile or from another Process, we've restored the ability to read recent notes about that person.
  • Days until due: The number of days until a person is due, shown both in the list of people on the queue detail page and when viewing a single person in a queue, was not the same. This has been fixed and will show in both places how many days, not counting 'today', until the person is due.
  • Hidden Processes: Notes left in a hidden Process on one campus were visible to Process Admins from another campus if the profile was in a Process on the Admin's assigned campus. We've fixed this so notes in hidden Processes on one campus are not visible to admins from another.
  • Manager visibility into Process Queues: People serving as Process or Queue Manager could, in some cases, see Process Queues they belonged to but did not manage. We've corrected this so they only see Processes or Queues they manage and not ones they are just in.

Profiles

  • Accented characters in Notes: Accented characters recently started breaking in the Notes section of a profile. We've fixed this so the Notes section once again supports accented characters.
  • Export 30 Day Individual Change Log File report: The 'Date Created' column in the 'Export 30 Day Individual Change Log File' report was using the first date the profile was modified, rather than the date the profile was created. We've fixed this report.
  • Middle Name & Suffix fields when adding new family: When adding a new family, we now include a 'Middle Name' field and the 'Suffix' pulldown for each family member's row. We also no longer populate every family member with the Primary Contact's email address.
  • Form submission date on Involvement tab: On an individual's profile, in the Forms section of the Involvement tab, the date shown was the last time the form response was modified rather than the date it was submitted. We've fixed this so the date shown is the date the form was submitted.
  • Visual issues with adding people to groups: The new UI caused some visual issues with the interface used to add people to groups from their profile. We fixed those.
  • Special characters in form response profile fields: If the profile fields in a form response had text with special characters, the data was not correctly transferring to the profile when matched or when a new profile was created from the response. We've fixed this.
  • Visual issues on Financial tab: The new UI caused some visual issues in an individual's profile on the Financial tab. We fixed those.
  • Adjusting family positions with inactivation: We’ve changed how we adjust family positions when family members are made inactive. We will only change family positions around if it is necessary in order to make sure the family still has an active Primary Contact. In that case, the old Primary Contact would be made ‘other’ and the active Spouse would be made the Primary Contact.

Reports

  • Individual Transaction List by Amount: The Individual Transaction List by Amount report incorrectly showed 1900 instead of a blank cell in the Excel version of this report. We've fixed this so it shows correctly for cells with no dates.
  • Export All Individuals: The Export All Individuals report had a few deprecated columns still included and was missing a few newly added pieces of information. We've updated the report so that these new columns are included and the old ones are no longer included.
  • Individual Attendance Summary: In some cases the Individual Attendance Summary report was fudging its elementary school arithmetic and including one additional time, inadvertently causing the weeks/days/occurrences number to be higher by one. We've fixed this.
  • Giving Statement Summary: The Giving Statement Summary report, with the type set to ‘family’, was not including the Spouse’s name unless the Spouse had a transaction within the date range selected. We’ve fixed this so the Spouse’s name is included if the profile is active or is inactive and has a transaction within the date range.

Rooms & Resources

  • Non-number characters in 'Estimated Attendance': When typing anything other than a number into the 'Estimated Attendance' field in the Room and Resource request modal, the modal wouldn't save. There is no reason to restrict this field to only numbers, so we've fixed it so any string of 10 characters can be typed into this field without preventing the modal from saving.
  • Editing putting rooms into 'pending': When an event had booked a room that didn't require approval, editing that event was sometimes putting that room in a 'pending' state, even though no approval was required. We've fixed this so rooms that don't require approval are left as 'approved' if the event is edited and that room is still available.

Schedules & Positions

  • Adding or inviting via 'People by Search': When using the 'People by Search' feature to add or invite people to a position, using a custom pulldown field as your search criteria was accidentally returning people who didn't have anything set for that pulldown field, rather than just returning the people who had the pulldown option you specified. We've fixed this so the search is now returning the right people.
  • Leaders filling Positions in administrative groups: Positions in administrative groups can now only be filled by leaders in those groups. We made this change because the existence of an administrative group is supposed to be hidden from its members. Allowing non-leaders to fill positions in that administrative group was inadvertently exposing the existence of that group to those members.
  • Schedule times swapping: When creating a schedule, if your start time was before noon but your end time was after noon, then the system would swap the two times because it was treating your end time like 12:00am instead of 12:00pm. This resulted in a lot of frustration for users who would have to set their end time first to prevent the time switch from happening. We removed that logic so the times are never swapped.
  • Serving availability: We fixed some buggy behavior related to people's serving availability and their reason for being unavailable.
  • Schedue organizers without emails: When a schedule organizer didn't have an email address in their profile and attempted to send out scheduling requests, the page would freeze up and the requests wouldn't go out. We've fixed this so that person is first prompted to add their email address before they can send out scheduling requests.
  • Notification email for declined assignment: When a volunteer declined a scheduling assignment, the schedule organizer's notification email didn't always list the various service times for that schedule on the correct days. We've fixed this so the email accurately reflects the service times for the schedule.
  • Times showing on Upcoming and My Calendar views: People holding Positions that are not required to attend a schedule’s other time were still seeing those times in their Upcoming list and My Calendar view. We’ve fixed this so they only see those times if they are required to attend them.


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Topics: This entry was posted in Software News, This entry was posted in Blog, This entry was posted in Release Notes

Posted by Updates Team on January 29, 2015