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December 2018 | Issue #74
Current Releases: SM 8.0.070 (12/3) | AW 3.5.052 (11/5)
ACEware Software Update - 1/9 1:30 CDT
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
Year-End Data Cleanup
Another calendar year is coming to a close. Late December and early January may be a bit less hectic, offering you time for a little data clean up.

Student Manager provides resources in Tools -> Data Cleanup. We recommend using the following routines on a regular basis:  Combine Names; Orphan Registrations & Payments; and Registration, Name (IDs Only), Cost Center Codes, Missing Course/Instructor Links, & UDF. If you haven't run these in a while, then definitely put those on the list.

An overlooked tool is the Address Cleanup - found in the same area. Address Cleanup  assigns missing counties and standardizes addresses. The newest version removes periods from P.O., converts Avenue into Ave, Street into St, and so on. 

This is also a good time of year to archive old data. The archive options are found in Module -> Courses -> Mass Change/Update/Delete/Archive.  Your old courses (usually courses older than 3-7 years depending on your reporting needs) are the best candidates for archiving. Besides improving system speed, it locks that course down to where no one can alter the data--courses have to be unarchived  to edit,  making it even harder to change information than a locked status.

The final data cleanup tool to use is Deactivate Names, found in Module -> Names. This removes names from Lookup Active Name search.  If you have students that haven't done business with you in a long while, deactivating their names can speed up the search.  Also, this tool will provide you with a flag for to query by, reducing your mailing lists.

There are many, many tools in the system to help you with your cleanup needs. Available tools are listed in the   Data Cleanup Help topic.

Contributed by Matthew Olson

The Gift of Private Training
Our family of customers grew this year. We are thrilled to have added five new continuing education units to ACEware in 2018.

One of our new customers, OLLI at University Center SD, recently had a two-day private training with Michael before going live in the new year. They invited continuing education colleagues from the University of South Dakota and Sioux Falls School District to join the educational sessions. You can tell from the photos that learning can be fun with ACEware!

Private instruction isn't limited to new customers. Michael and Lindsey will be on the road early in the new year visiting existing customers. Private training offers a professional team retreat to discover new tools and enhance skills within the software that may be unique to the way you do business. 

These days focus on your team needs and business processes specifically, which is an excellent investment in getting the most from your software.  If you are ready to schedule a private training session for 2019, drop me a note and let's get started!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Tip of the Month: 
Preferences and Colors
Student Manager allows you to set which fields to display on various records. When viewing the preferences screen, you will see that some are in black, some are in blue, and if you're the Student Manager administrator some are in purple.
Each of these affects either the fields that are available on the corresponding SM screen or what actions can be taken.
For example, if you go to password maintenance and choose Edit Preferences from a user's password maintenance screen and then click on the Names tab, the items in black reflect fields available for that user. However, the items in blue are global and those items apply to all users. So while you can turn off Badge Name (or any item in black) for user since that user doesn't collect that information, the label for the field is in blue and that label will be the same for all users who have Badge Name turned on.
By setting your user preferences to only display the fields that you use can streamline the process of entering data. If you don't use the badge name field why force your users to tab through it when entering data? Just turn it off.
Items in purple are user-level BUT restricted to a level 6 admin's ability to turn on or off. This is because those items affect system behavior. For example, under the Faculty tab there is a field where you can set an Expense Class for teacher pay. Since using this will automatically assign that expense classification to instructor pay when an instructor is added to a course, this system preference is available only to level 6 administrators.
Last but not least, after setting your users' preferences so the fields they see are the ones you want them to see, un-check the allow edit of preferences checkbox on the user'spassword maintenance screen.

Contributed by AJ Giliberto
Report of the Month: randpick2
Do you have a  popular class that always fills within minutes of opening? Do you need a "fair" way to choose who gets that coveted registration spot that opened up?  Lucky for you, there's a solution!  When you need to have a genuinely random pick of names, RANDPICK2 is the perfect function.  

The great thing about this function is that it allows you to select the number of records that you want returned.  For example, JUSTDOIT("=RANDPICK2(25)") will return 25 random records.

This can be used in the registrations>rosters or course quick reports>roster and use it in conjunction with the only waitlisted.

The best part is that this is function is not limited to reporting random students for waitlisting purposes.  It works in any reporting area, so the possibilities are virtually limitless.  

Contributed by Joseph Sotkovski
Things to Note
A few things to note as we end 2018 and begin 2019:

As mentioned in our November newsletter, this is your last chance to get a makeover scheduled at 2018 prices! If you haven't scheduled your makeover, get in touch with me right away.  And, of course, contact me with any questions

The early-bird registration fee for conference ends at the close of this month. The early bird fee, combined with the scholarship funds available with your support agreement, offers you the best rates, so be sure to get registered for the 23rd Annual Users' Conference!

ACEware will close at noon on December 31 to ring in the new year with our family and friends. 

Our 2019 retreat dates are January 15 and 16, 2019. We use this time to review our wishlist to determine our development projects talk about ways to better serve you, our customers.  We will respond to emergency calls during retreat but will not schedule any server migrations or software updates during these two days.

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!

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

 Aceware Systems
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