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June 2018 | Issue #68
Current Releases: SM 8.0.064 (6/11) | AW 3.5.050 (5/15)
Webinars: Membership Reporting - 6/21 2:00 CDT
ACEware Software Update - 7/11 1:30 CDT
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
Unlimited* UDFs
Are you out of course, name, or registration user-defined Fields (UDFs)? How would you like a few more? Or how about another dozen? Twenty-five? You asked for more, but we didn't know where to stop. Enter in something called Dynamic Forms (allows a form to be built in HTML style so doesn't need to be exactly specified) and now you can define as many UDFs as you need*.

* Theoretically unlimited, only limited by database/hardware.

To define Unlimited UDFs, go to Preferences and get to the tab for the area you want to work in. Click on the UDFs button in the lower right hand-corner of the screen, then click on Additional UDFs. Click Add to get a new entry. For the name, I recommend doing all lower case as the Dynamic Form engine puts it in proper case for you. It'll make it easier to code for using with the functions for reporting. Also, all symbols other than the underscore will be removed from the name. When the name is put on the screen, underscores become spaces. You must also define the type of data being put into the field as well as a style. If you have a drop-down style, you'll need to create a code for it and then double-click that code to enter in the choices for it.

Once defined, you can then hit Additional UDFs on the Additional Info (UDFs) tab of the corresponding screen. Enter your data and click Save to write the entries to the screen you are in. The entries aren't saved until you save the data on that screen.

To include these UDFs in a report, you'll want to use the following functions (parameters shown are to illustrate their usage):
  • addnmunl(nmid,"emergency_contact")
  • addcounl(cocrse,"cip_code")
  • addrgunl(rgid,rgcrse,"dance_partner")
Stein is busy getting these to also work in ACEweb so that students can enter them in on their account creation or in a Supplemental Data Capture page. We'll put all of this in the help guide so that you can see how to do it.

Contributed by Matthew Olson
Post Conference:  Comments from a Tech

Spending darn near a week with customers is a change of pace for us.  Putting faces to names and voices, hearing stories about work, and getting to know individuals outside of a work environment was something special.

As technicians, we  talk to customers daily, but we cannot see through the phone or email to meet the individual.  We hear the accents, the aggravation, and the gratitude but unlike this past week, it's just a voice through a receiver or printed text.
Conference is good on so many levels. As customers, you get to network with others in your field that do the job you do day after day.  You learn from one another. You sit through sessions and learn from us and guest presenters about what to do, how to do it, and discover things you didn't even know was possible!
Techs get to meet you, get to know you, and put a face with the voice. I'm sure that goes both ways--you may wonder what we look like when you talk to us (sometimes multiple times a day!)
All in all what I take away from conference is the laughter - sometimes laughter that makes your face hurt!.  It's the special bonds that ACEware Systems, Inc. shares with its customers. I've worked here for long enough to know that for a company, that type of bond is huge.

Contributed by Mike Lowry

Highlights of the 2018 Users' Conference

  I completely agree with Michael about the value we place on personal relationships with our customers. In our week with the representatives from 33 different institutions,  we heard about the various things you have going on in your program,  the myriad of hats you wear each day, and the numerous demands on your time.  We captured your wish list items, things you shared that might be incorporated into the software to help you get that work done. Yes, we were listening!

It's because of the close relationships with customers that we could recognize institutions we have partnered with for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and even 30 years at the annual meeting. In future newsletters, we'll share the stories behind these long-term partnerships.

We recognized two ACEware Champion Educators (ACEs):  Cody Brewington from Missouri State University, and Sara Stokes from Lewis-Clark State College.  You'll see some feature pieces on them in our July and August newsletters.

Four customers received a significant return on their investment in attending conference:
  • Vincennes University left with two hours of custom report modification.
  • University of West Georgia will be selecting a free module to add to their software package ($1,650 value).
  • Mt Airy Learning Tree has a complimentary registration to our 2019 conference ($750 value).
  • Oklahoma State University was the receiver of our grand prize - two days of private on-site training!  ($2,500 value)

Everyone returned home with new tips and tricks for software use,  new connections from other organizations, and new ideas for improved processes and procedures.  

We'll announce next year's conference dates and location very soon so that you can begin planning to join us for our 23rd Annual Conference!

C ontributed by Sharon Brookshire
Fiscal Year End
It's mid-June and  I know many of you are doing some serious data mining and number crunching right now. 

Matthew shares one of our statistical reports in this newsletter.  The Reports -> Statistics area of Student Manager allows you to report on courses, names, and firms.  You can get tons of data to help with end of fiscal year.

And remember, if you have end of year funds available and want to use them for custom report modification services, to add a new module to your package, or pay ahead on your support agreement, we can help with that as well. 

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Tip of the Month: Service Agreement!
Your support agreement from ACEware is unique in that you have direct access to a technician assigned specifically to your program. We don't put you in a queue and assign tickets.   Please remember that you are able to call or email us with any questions or issues you are having with ACEweb or Student Manager.  When you have an emergency, please call us!  We feel horrible when someone emails us with a crisis and we see the email was from 30 minutes ago.  We're pretty quick email responses but we want you on the phone when there's a serious issue.

Call (800) 925-2493 and dial your technician's extension. If you can't remember their extension, press 3 and ask to be transferred to your ACEware technician. If your technician is busy, the person answering the tech line (option 3) should be able to help. Your technician's email is <first name> You can also email if your technician is out or you don't know who it is.
 Contributed by Joe Sotkovski
Report of the Month: Fiscal Year Numbers
With the end of the fiscal year looming for most of you, your boss may be interested in registration or income numbers compared to previous years to see just how much your program has grown over time. Guess what? We have a report for that.

Go to Reports -> Statistics -> Course -> Course Data Summary and select Year from the drop-down. The default report should work fine for this. The query you will want is course within a list (you may have to create this or get with your technician for help). Next, enter the fiscal years that you want to report on (these act as course begins with, so enter 16, 17, 18 if you just want the last three years). The report should look something like this (only with more realistic numbers):

As you can see, enrollment numbers, cancellation stats (both course level and registration level), income/expenses (assuming you track that), and averages are given for you. Just what your director is looking for, right?

Contributed by Matthew Olson

To your continued success!

- Chuck, Sharon, AJ, Carmel, Jason, Joe, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, and Stein

 Aceware Systems
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