February 2021 | Issue #100
Current Releases:  SM 8.0.096 (2/1) | AW  3.5.062 (2/4)
Radical Reporting Functions Series - 3/18, 4/15, 5/20 - 10 AM
 ACEware Software Update - 4/7 2:00 CST

ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
To Signature or Not to Signature?
With the release of Student Manager 8.0.088 back in June, the feature on the name screen to  email individuals a link to their pay outstanding balance page was added. The ability to change the message was not implemented until .095. Here's how to make changes:  In Module>Catalog>Email Templates, you will find a LNK2PAYOUT email template. You have the ability to modify the header and footer of that email to meet your needs (the body is where the link generates, so don't make any changes there!).

If you do not see that template, you may not be on the latest build, so make sure that you speak with your technician if you need to get updated!

One of the other little features that was added for the Pay Outstanding Button was the ability to choose to use your signature or not. If you do not have one or do not have the setting checked to include your signature whenever you email, this will not affect you. You can always look under Edit>My Profile to check your settings if you are not sure.

For those who do use the email signature, you may already be familiar with this screen:

If you have that checked when you click on the email outstanding, it will pop a prompt that will ask you if you would like to include the signature or not.

Contributed by Joseph Sotkovski
A spring webinar series you'll love: Radical Reporting Functions!
Student Manager comes equipped with an abundance of ready-to-use reports. Even with so many options, you sometimes find that you need or want to fine-tune things just a bit for your program. Luckily, ACEware lets you, "have it your way" (to quote a Burger King tag-line).
How? ACEware offers a plethora of report functions - around 300. Functions allow you to add data, format information, perform calculations, and more.  According to Chuck, some functions are magical, letting you do things that seem impossible. With so many options, the topic is worthy of multiple sessions - and we are doing just that in our 2021 spring webinar series!
In March, we will take a panoramic view of functions by defining them, showing the organizational categories available, and how taking advantage of the online help makes things easy for you.  Then in April, we'll begin to focus on a set of add functions. In May, we will zoom in on several function functionalities and show you the kinds of magic that a function can add to your reports.  Bonus: During our virtual conference (June 7-11), we will provide additional reporting hacks that work in tandem with functions.  
Our spring series, combined with conference sessions, will equip you with a greater understanding of your reporting tools! Here's the full outline:
March 18: A Panoramic View of Reporting Functions
  • What is a function?
  • What functions do for you
  • Using Help (your cheat sheet!)
  • How to use the Function(al) Road Map
  • Practicing with Functions (Live Fire or no)
  • Introducing the Add Functions ("Gofers") -Part l
 April 15:  Zooming in on Functions
  • Add Functions (Part II) 
  • Making Functions work (Justdoit, Stamping, and other action functions)
  • Formatting Functions (make it pretty with functions)
 May 20:  Reporting Functions Part 3
  • Listing Functions
  • Extending reporting options
  • Exporting functions
When you sign up, you'll be set to attend all three of our spring webinars on Radical Reporting Functions!

See you there!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Who Wants a Pizza Party?
Tomorrow, February 16, Spruill Center for the Arts will enjoy a pizza party on ACEware! Why? Because we featured a custom report they generated and made available to all of you! We shared this report in our December newsletter and their report is available to download on our reports page on aceware.com.

You are invited to share your customized reports with ACEware. If we feature your report and share with other ACEware users, your team will enjoy pizza on us.  

Get to work on those customized reports and show us your masterpiece!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Welcome New Users!  Ready for Training?
A big ACEware welcome to all the new users out there! We know you're looking forward to our June conference to learn some new tips for success.  

One thing we hear often from new users is that they feel overwhelmed at conference, and they wish they had a little more background and experience with the system. Luckily, we have a solution!

If there is enough interest, we will provide a Student Manager Bootcamp this spring to provide new users a solid foundation in the system before our virtual conference in June. The training would include four days, two hours per day--a total of eight hours of targeted instruction specific to Student Manager. The agenda would include:
  • Student Manager and Online Help Overview
  • Adding & Editing Names and Courses
  • Course Registration and Applying Payments
  • Running Reports
  • Ad Hoc Reporting (the famous F keys)
  • Tips and Tricks for Success
Interested? Let us know here! We have three simple questions about dates, times, and expense. We will take feedback until the end of February. If there is interest, we will open registration for Student Manager Bootcamp in March!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Tech Tip of the Month: Error Emails and Bots
Do you receive strange, random error emails from your ACEweb site at odd hours? These could actually just be triggered by harmless web crawler bots used by search engines traversing your site (and bumping into things)!

You can verify if they are from an actual bot by looking at the "Browser" line at the top of the error email:

If the line contains the name of a known search engine like Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc., then it is likely a bot!

These can be automatically filtered so they don't clutter up your inbox by adding them to a "NOBOT" parameter in your AdminEmail setting within the aceweb.ini file:

This allows the bots to continue to scan your site (which increases your search engine rankings!), but you don't have to see all the nitty gritty!

If you don't want search engine bots anywhere on your website, talk to your webmaster or server administrator about adding a ROBOTS.TXT file to your webroot directory, which is essentially a "no trespassing" sign for web crawlers.

Contributed by Jason Allen
Report of the Month: Tents with Names for the Table
Table tent. The simple piece of paper with a name across it, folded into a triangle to place in front of a student so the instructor knows who they are. Probably not worthy of a newsletter article, but maybe I'll throw a curveball to make it worthy!

First, to run a table tent report, you can either go through Reports -> Registrations -> Table tents, or it is an item on the Course Quick Reports menu. Either way gets you the same sets of reports. Modify it and put your logo on it or your conference logo on it to jazz it up. Or, you can add title, firm, and other information about the student for the instructor to know. It's all up to you.

Are you ready for the curveball? In most Course Quick Report areas, you're asked if you want to run the report for all names, names by registration add date, or just select specific names (so you are presented with a list and you check the ones you want). Someone asked why table tents didn't have this in this area. Rather than get into the whys or who made a brain gaff, let's just say that the prompt has been added for this routine. If you update to Student Manager 8.0.096 released earlier this month, you'll get asked this question. This will probably save you some paper for those last minute registrations, or when a print job inexplicably fails in the middle.

Have fun folding your table tents!

Contributed by Matthew Olson
To your continued success,

- Chuck, Sharon, Cheryl, Jason, Joe, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, Stein, and Susan

 ACEware Systems
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We appreciate hearing from you! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this newsletter, please contact sharon@aceware.com 

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