Released February 26, 2013
Dear OA LodgeMaster Users,
The OA LodgeMaster team is very happy to announce the immediate release of Version 3.0.0! The system is completely new, written from the ground up using all of the ideas and knowledge gained over the past 6 years. The new system adds some exciting functionality, including most importantly that the entire system is available online in your browser on both Windows and Mac, no functionality is available just offline in the desktop version. The same experience you have in the browser is what you'll have if you need to install the offline version.
Member manager is a completely new concept, gone is the drop-down box and next and previous buttons for navigation - instead you see a full grid of all member details and can open a member by double clicking. The new member manager's grid if also completely customizable - you can change the columns, filter, group, sort, etc. all on your own, or use one of the pre-built 'views' for finding information fast - the views match what were all only printable reports before. Everything you view and customize in the grid using filters, etc. can be printed in a report, exported, labels can be printed, and even membership cards or you can send an email. We've invested a lot of time in all of this functionality to make the program as flexible as possible for you as a user. In the member editor, most things are the same, but you'll notice multiple mailing address and emails are now available, along with new health fields and other fields on the other data tab, a new annual pass field in dues, and lots more. Events has also been updated a lot to make it easier to use. After selecting an event and loading the list of attendees, you are able to edit data right in the grid, checking people in change other data, marking payments, etc. Also the old tabs in event manager for 'graduating' candidates for each level are gone and have been replaced with wizard which automatically check off everyone who is checked in, let you pay dues and enter a induction date, and then with one click graduate them all at once, then even print labels or membership cards. The user are has also been updated with a new extensive set of permissions for controlling access to the program. These are just some of the new and exciting things throughout the program you can look forward to.
Also please note, we know all of this is new and lots of things are different, we'll be scheduling a webinar very soon to guide you through the functionality, then we'll be scheduling regular webinars again going forward to do in depth training on all of the areas.
A couple import names on the migration:
- Usernames were reformatted slightly for the new system, new usernames are alphanumeric only, no spaces or special characters. So if your username had a space, a dash, an underscore, etc or had periods in it, the username is now just the letters and numbers - i.e. john.doe is now johndoe and john_doe is also now johndoe.
- A small number of users did not migrate to the new extensive user and permission system because of issues were the record did not correctly link to a member record. If you notice one or two users missing, please recreate them in the new system using the new permissions, we're sorry for the inconvenience on this. All others users are fully migrated and given permissions approximating what they had in the older version or less. As you start using the new system, you can increase permissions to users as needed.
- Any beta users who installed the offline version for testing, please uninstall that version from Add/Remove Programs before installing the new version.
And some important notes about using the new program:
- As you get started and try logging in, if you have problems, your username or password doesn't work, please contact your lodge administrator. We can only create accounts or reset password or usernames for the one or two official lodge administrators listed for your lodge. They need to correct other users accounts. If you are a lodge administrator and have problems logging in, submit a ticket and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
- One major difference from the old desktop program is by default in the new member manager, only the current dues year is shown by default (i.e. people paid for 2013 if your membership year starts in January). If you want to see or edit members in other years or want to edit candidates or non-members there are dues year selectors and a non-member checkbox on the left side.
And some notes on things to come:
- Lots of additional functionality is coming soon. We're already working on the assets area and that will be available in a version soon. The ceremonies area is finally starting development and will also be available soon hopefully not too far off. We're also working on the planning for a new launchpad and a more engaging and informative design for it.
- The charter and JTE area is up and running, but you'll notice it is empty currently. We just received the final version of the form and worksheet for this year and are setting it up and loading all of the requirements and fields, this should be available in the next two to three weeks. We've also gotten all of the data from the 2012 submitted charters and will be loading that data so you have it going forward for reference.
- Finance and inventory will be the final things to be made available in the new system, but rest assured you can still access these if you already use them in a limited version of the old program. If you actively use the finance or inventory areas and need access while we migrate these modules (which we hope will both be done by mid-year or earlier, with inventory coming first, probably much sooner), please submit a support ticket, and starting this coming weekend we'll provide instructions and downloads for getting the finance and inventory manager installed on your computer.
Go to https://lodgemaster.oa-bsa.org/ to access the new system. The online version is now fully featured and has all of the same functionality as the desktop offline version, for most users this may mean you no longer need to download and install any software, you can just access the online version and work in your browser. The ability to download the program if you use it at events or offline when there is no internet is still available and is accessible through the 'download offline version' button when you login online. We'd encourage you to use the online version and get comfortable with the new system then download the program later if needed. Using the online version means we can get updates to you faster and ensures you'll always be using the latest version.
Some eager users have already found that the new version had been posted late this afternoon and had started testing things out - we already know there is a bug with displaying names in event manager (turn off use nicknames in lodge setup to fix temporarily), and an email with email approval. We're working on these fixes already and others as they come in and will have an update out over the next couple days or over this weekend that fixes initial issues found by users and everyone starts using the new software. There will be bugs in the new system and install issues especially during the first few days now that a much wider audience beyond our 100 beta testers will be using the program using all of your own lodge databases, we'll work on everything just as fast as possible, please be patient with us as this is a completely new system and as the next couple versions come out ever few days or week, we'll get all the kinks worked out and make sure you have a great program going into the year.
As always, if you have questions or problems, please submit a request online (http://lodgemaster.oa-bsa.org/support).
Yours in Brotherhood,
The OA LodgeMaster Team
The OA LodgeMaster Team
Mike (C.), Mark (S.), Mike (G.), Mike (P.), Rob (A.), Rob (R.), and Scott (J.)
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?
Please submit a ticket on the help desk if you have any questions - this will allow each of the team members to respond as they have time - instead of sending all questions to one member of the development team. You can submit a ticket online (http://lodgemaster.oa-bsa.org/support) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.