April, 2017 Admin Email Part Three -- 4/19
Welcome to the third April, 2017 administrator update, sent to all ClubExpress club and association administrators. We are proud to announce more features in ClubExpress version 7.3. (I apologize for sending out three admin emails in one month. Those of you who have been with us for a while know that we don't normally do things this way. But this release was complex enough that it had to be split into separate builds to ensure that each update went as smoothly as possible.)
With this Part THREE release, we have deployed a new Collectibles module for clubs where people "collect" things! We have also deployed the first round of enhancements to the Event Calendar, more than 40 individual changes to make the calendar easier to use. These changes are documented below, along with the changes announced last week to the Documents Library, Emailings, and other minor enhancements. The Administrator Manual updates for the Document Library were done over the weekend; updates for Collectibles and the Event Calendar will be done by the end of this coming weekend.
We also have two other important announcements:
- Security standards are always changing. In the near future, we need to stop supporting a couple of older protocols for secure login, which may affect some of your members using older computers or browsers. See the special section below for more information.
- Please welcome Elonda Scott to the Support team. Elonda joins us from Advocate Health where she supported their internal medical systems. Elonda has an MBA from the University of Phoenix, specializing in technology management. She has two children and is a Chicago native.
Finally, we're also pleased to announce that PCMag.com updated their review of Association Management Software (AMS) platforms in January. ClubExpress was again the Editors' Choice and received the first ever 5 stars (out of 5) score in this category. ClubExpress was called "Outstanding".
In this issue:
The New Collectibles Module
The Collectibles Module is for clubs where people "collect" things! Some example clubs running on ClubExpress include car clubs, pottery clubs, pipe collectors, and quilters. This module makes it easy for members to record their collectible items, including whatever properties the club decides to collect about each item. Collectible items can be linked to a member's account and can include a single photo or a link to a separate photo album. The module also allows clubs to maintain a "Registry", tracking a single collectible item through multiple owners and even linking items to non-members or an "Unknown" member if the provenance cannot be accurately determined.
Clubs begin by defining the data elements they want to collect for each item. These elements can be placed on multiple pages and can draw from the same list of 25+ answer types used in Surveys, Ad Hoc Forms, Additional Member Data Questions, and Event-Specific Questions. You can also define which answers are required and which can be used in search functions. A number of options allow you to customize the module for your club's specific needs. Admin tools allow items to be copied or transferred from one member to another; members can also copy an item if they make substantial changes to it (such as restoring a vintage car.)
Once the data points have been defined, members can enter their own items or admins can enter items on behalf of members or non-members. An intuitive user interface makes it easy for clubs to collect the information they need about each item. When the module is enabled, a new option on the member Profile screen links items to a member. And a new option on the directory Bio screen allows members to view another member's collectible items.
The system provides a public user interface with a powerful search function to allow users to find items by their properties or owner.
In the past, some clubs have used Additional Member Data questions to store a fixed number of collectible items for each member. With this new module, members can now store any number of items and clubs can collect dozens of properties on each item! And your list of Additional Member Data questions can then be shrunk right down.
Event Calendar Changes
Enhancing the Event Calendar module is a multi-month project over many phases. We've listened to your requests and are planning more than 110 changes, both large and small. Today, we deployed the first batch of more than 40 changes.
- Transaction Reference #, nickname, and cell phone have been added to each event export.
- You can now control the display sequence of Registrant Types.
- On the first page of the event registration wizard, under the "Club Member? Login to Register" text, there is a new link: "Forgot My Username/Password".
- If no activities are available for a multi-activity event, the event status now says "No Activities Available for Registration".
- When copying an event, the auto reminders are now set up automatically.
- When existing non-members register for an event that's linked to a different category, the system will now add that non-member to the new category.
- The Registration Manager has a new column listing whether or not the registrant is a member and their membership status.
The following new options can now be configured under Event Defaults
- Default Registration Type (Not Required, Required, Recommended, etc.)
- Local Time Offset
- Maximum Event Creation Date (applies to coordinators and to members creating QuickEvents)
- The Registrant Type is now included in confirmation emails to members and coordinators.
- Print Calendar no longer displays a time for events that are designed as All-Day (was showing 12:00 AM.)
- For multi-activity events, long activity titles were pushing the Maintain column off the side of the page. Now, these titles will word-wrap.
- Clicking the [Enter] key in the Registration Manager now triggers a search, just like in the Member Manager.
- In event reminder emails, a long subject is no longer being cut off.
- On the event More Info screen, once a reminder email has been sent, the display will change to show "Sent on MM/DD/YYYY"
- In event Confirmation Emails, line breaks are now retained in the Additional Info that you can optionally include with each email.
- For QuickEvents, reminder emails can now be sent if the user is an administrator or event coordinator. (Regular members who create QuickEvents do not have this ability.)
- The wording for reminder emails has been changed to be more "friendly" and to remind members to check the calendar in case of a cancellation or rescheduling.
- Event Category names can now be much longer (50 chars.)
- Switching from List View to Grid View in the calendar no longer resets the search criteria.
- In the Events Manager, a subgroup filter is now retained if any of the Maintain options are clicked.
- On the Registration Wizard Summary page, the buttons to complete a registration and proceed to payment now appear at the top of the page as well as the bottom. We have also added language to remind people that their registration is not complete until they click the Complete Registration button.
- For event emailings, there is a new Distribution Type called "All Registrants who Attended this Event".
- Event Exports now include separate First Name and Last Name columns.
- In the Registration Wizard, if there is only one registrant type that applies to guests/companions, it is now selected by default.
- When administrators/coordinators register people for a multi-activity event, the screen will now show the visibility for each activity.
- For organizations with subgroups, the Event Manager default search was "Club-level only"; this has been changed so that all events appear by default.
- In the Registrant List popup, non-member names will now appear as a link. Clicking it will open a popup with the non-member's contact info. (Note that for registrants who don't have an entry in the non-member database, the name will appear as static text.)
In order to provide your organization with a website and databases that are as secure as possible, we will soon be dropping support for a couple of older security protocols. (For the techies among you, we will no longer support TLS1.0 and 1.1 because they are not secure. Members and admins will only be able to login using TLS1.2.)
This change will cause a very small number of users with old computers, operating systems, or browsers to be unable to log in. There is no way around this and there can be no exceptions. For one thing, the credit card companies will not allow us to process payments if we don't make this change. Almost every other website has already made or is making this change.
The change itself will be done around June 30th. Until then, we are now displaying a warning message to users who we determine might have a problem. For the vast majority of users who are running a modern browser and operating system, nothing will change and they will not see the message. The following list shows who might be affected:
- Windows Users - you must have Windows 7 or newer. Windows XP and Vista will not work. And in some cases, your browser may need to be manually configured; see below.
- Mac Users - You must have OS X 10.9 ("Mavericks") or newer.
- Android Users - Version 5.0 ("Lollipop") or newer.
- iOS Users - Version 5.0 or newer
- Google Chrome - Version 30 or higher.
- Mozilla Firefox - Version 27 or higher.
- Apple Safari - Version 7 or higher.
- Microsoft Edge - All Versions
- Microsoft Internet Explorer - Version 11 or higher. If you are still using IE 8, 9, or 10, TLS 1.2 may be available but is not enabled by default. Select Tools - Internet Options - Advanced, then scroll to the end of the list, check the appropriate box, and save your way out.
Document Library Module and Related Changes
With this release, we have made dozens of improvements to this module, including the following:
- A document folder can be configured to allow member uploads without admin approval.
- There is now a single admin screen for all documents requiring approval.
- A new Options page controls folder defaults and other global settings.
- Folders can now be assigned to subgroups (chapters, districts, and regions) and will be visible to subgroup members and admins only.
- A new visibility setting allows a folder and its contents to be visible to non-members but without a download link.
- A new tag system allows you to attach keywords to documents.
- A new search function makes it easy for members and non-members to find documents based on title, description, format, and tags.
- A multi-document upload screen makes it easy to upload multiple documents at once into a folder.
- We added new reports to list folders and documents.
- You can now create a link to a document folder even if that folder is currently empty.
- The link builder now displays the folder tree to simplify linking to the correct folder even if folders have similar or identical names.
- We fixed some minor security issues to ensure that users only see folders and documents for which they truly have access.
- We made many user interface improvements to ensure a more polished view of folders, documents, and admin screens.
The new tagging system has also been extended to photos and to the News/Articles module (replacing keywords.) There is also a new global Tag Manager option on the Control Panel - Website tab, to allow you to manage all tags in a central location. In the future, we'll be expanding tag support into other modules such as Blogs.
The focus of these changes was to make it as easy as possible to create emails that display consistently on all platforms (desktop and mobile devices) and in all environments. This is not always easy because emailing viewing software such as Gmail or Yahoo does not support the full range of HTML and CSS options that are available for website design. So we were forced to build an email differently from how we build and display a web page.
With this release, we have significantly revamped the email editor. It now includes an Insert Element panel on the right side that allows you to build sections within the email with different formats. You can still build emails the old-fashioned way but they may not display properly on all devices. But if you use the new elements we've provided, they will display properly. There are elements for 1,2, and 3 column layouts, as well as photos above or beside text.
We've also provided new options to control the appearance of individual elements within emails, including heading, body, and link text, and backgrounds. These can be controlled at a global level, at the email level, and for individual elements within an email. We also improved the interface for managing basic information and distribution lists, as well as attachments to emails. Finally, we completely revamped the set of built-in templates to make them more modern and compatible with this new architecture.
With this second version 7.3 release, the Documents module, News module, and Custom web pages now accept special characters such letters from different languages, emojis, mathematical symbols and icons, etc. (Unicode support).
We made a couple of enhancements to the Ad Hoc Forms module that was first deployed at the end of last year:
- You can now create a QuickLink to an Ad Hoc Form.
- Ad Hoc Form confirmation emails now include links to attachments uploaded as part of the form submission.
For Channel-based events (used in the mobile app), if an event was configured for a mobile channel, a channel member who did not have the mobile app installed could not register for the event. Now, they are able to do so.
The Display Sequencer now includes a button to do an immediate alpha sort.
The Reports dialog will now dynamically resize to show the full title of every report in the category.
In the Classified Ads module, in a member's Profile screen, the newest ads are now displayed on top.
For improved security and compliance with credit card regulations, users now have 3 tries to enter correct credit card information (card number, expiration date, address, and CVV code.) If the payment still fails, users will be blocked from entering credit card information in the current session.
For Aging-In-Place Villages, we made the following changes:
- In the Member Services Manager, service provider names now appear as links to display their contact info.
- Also in the Member Services Manager, the Metro Area was not populated if "Hub-and-Spoke" functionality was turned off.
- Also in the Member Services Manager, service provider type is now a search option.
- When adding new contractors or volunteers, a default contact method is now specified.
- Confirmation emails can only be resent if the service request status is Confirmed.
- We added cell phone for the service provider and requesting member to confirmation emails.
- We improved the service request copy function to ensure that a date and time are properly specified.
- Reports now check the Visible flag for service providers, so that only active providers are included.
- The formatting of automated reminder emails was improved.
- Other minor user interface cleanups.
Bugs and Issues
The following bugs and issues were fixed in the past week:
Copying an Emailing sometimes caused the original email to be overwritten. Also after the recent update, we had introduced a problem with the Emailing Track Opens option.
The Additional Member Charges export was not including Optional Additional Charges that had been added from the Member Profile screen.
When we display forum messages, we adjust the message post time to reflect the time offset entered in the profile for each member. We were not doing that on the unapproved messages page, which meant that all times were shown as Central time.
When a forum policy was added or removed, we were not changing the policy button visibility to match right away. So, if you created a policy where there was none before, the button would still not display. And if you removed an existing policy, the button would not go away.
The following bugs and issues were fixed in the past two months:
In the Event Calendar Manager, selection criteria were not being retained as you moved from page to page or if you changed the view. In the Chapter Finder, if you clicked "View Events for Chapter", the events grid was not initially showing any events. Finally, auto-reminder dates were not being saved to the correct date.
Mobile forums only use "Flat View". However, in forum emails, the "View/Reply Online" link was pointing to the "Threaded View" page. This was changed so that mobile users are redirected to the Flat View page.
In the Resource Scheduler module, we made a number of improvements and fixes in how resource categories are displayed to users and admins.
When an expired or dropped member was converted to a non-member, their chapter information was not being converted.
We fixed a problem with external links being placed on menus.
There was a problem with the Quick Member Lookup function, when searching by state.
In system emails, the Treasurer and Webmaster phone numbers were not correctly formatted.
In the Additional Member Data Questions function, for check box lists, if all options were unchecked, the change was not being saved.
The Blogs module was not changing the module title based on the Configuration dialog.
There was a problem editing existing discount coupons. If you had six or more coupon categories, the sixth item in the drop-down list could not be selected.
In the E-Commerce Storefront module, there was a problem displaying item photos in the shopping cart. We also fixed a couple of problems with validating Additional Information and the associated fee for entering Additional Information.
In the Ad Hoc Forms module, uploaded attachments were not being correctly linked to the response on saving.
With the recent changes to the Home Page editor environment, it was possible for a short time to delete all rows and lose access to the home page.
The member's Bio page was showing the answers to additional member data questions that did not apply to the member's current member type but that did apply to a previous member type. Also, clicking the Edit icon was always displaying the version of the Contact Info form for members who join through their personal lives, not respecting the setting for associations where members join through their business/professional lives. Finally, on the Bio page, an additional member data question configured as a Website URL was not displaying as a link.
Expiration notices and other system emails sent out by ClubExpress on your behalf did not dynamically replace the member's login name, member number, mailing name, and company fields which are available in the system email editor.
When you deleted a member type, it was not removed immediately from the cached member type list. So, a new member signing up immediately after the deletion would see the deleted member type in the list of available types. It would also appear in other places where you see a member type list (but not on the member type manager page). This would also be a problem if you changed a member type so that it was no longer visible for new signups - it would still appear for new members.
In the Volunteering module, there was a problem with certain slots not appearing on one of the admin screens. We also fixed a problem where the count of filled slots was not accurately reflecting the actual count. Also in the same module, copying a Volunteering Opportunity was not correctly copying all slots.
The Member User Transactions by Type & Chapter report was duplicating entries if a member belonged to more than one chapter.
In the Committees module, assigning members to an existing committee was not displaying consistently.
In Discussion Forums, when posting a message using plain text, attachments were not working correctly. If you selected more than two attachments, only the first two were properly handled; the rest were duplicates of the second file.
In the Member Interests module, the list of members was not correctly using the alternate address if that option had been checked by a member.
On the member Bio page, when interest groups were being shown, the system was not checking the visibility settings for these interest groups.
Again, all these issues have been fixed.