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March 2019 | Issue #77
Current Releases: SM 8.0.073 (3/4) | AW 3.5.052 (11/5)
ACEware Software Update - 4/3 1:30 CDT
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
New SSO Module- Releasing in April
Any e-commerce system requires users to identify themselves before they make use of the services offered. In the case of ACEweb, this means that in order to register for classes online, a user typically must first sign up for an account by providing an email address and other basic info, and then give themself a password. Of course, they will need to remember those credentials in order to log back in on subsequent visits. Having to generate and keep track of a dictionary full of passwords is part of life in the digital age. One way to mitigate "password fatigue" is through the use of a single sign-on service (SSO). SSO allows users to use one ID and password to gain access to multiple software programs, unrelated either to each other or to the system they are logging into. You have probably seen examples of this on web sites that allow you to log in using Google or Facebook. If you work in education, your institution may allow using a single campus ID to access different applications and services.

ACEweb customers who would like to offer a single sign-on option now have that opportunity. Starting with release .052, ACEweb incorporates support for the Google Sign-In service. (We are holding off on Facebook, at least for now, due to security concerns with that platform.) There's no charge for the Google option, just get with your tech to assist you in getting it set up. You'll need current builds of both AW and Manager, a couple of updated scripts and templates, and a new INI setting (SIGNON) which will contain your Google Client ID. (If you don't have a Client ID, your tech will also help you set one up.) Note that Google Sign-in is offered to your users as an option; they can still use the traditional ACEweb logon process.

If your institution is a member of the InCommon Federation, which uses the open-source Shibboleth package to manage sign-ons, you will soon have the option of integrating ACEweb with the InCommon service. We recently undertook a pilot project to implement this at James Madison University and are happy to report that the system has been functional since last December. Please note that InCommon SSO will be a paid module that requires a fairly involved setup process. Basically, our techs will work with your staff to install a modified version of InCommon's Service Provider on your web server and configure it to work with ACEweb. Watch for this release and more information next month.

Contributed by  Stein Goering
What Happens in Vegas Does NOT Stay in Vegas
Countdown to annual conference begins! In 81 days, we will make our way to Vegas to exchange ideas, network with customers and colleagues (new and experienced) and learn new tips and tricks (software related anyway). We'll have great fun at the same time, and in the words of Matthew, "what you learn in Vegas should  not stay in Vegas!" Lessons learned (again, software related) should return home with you and be put into practice!
Sessions are designed for the newest to the most seasoned software users. The early registration fee is available for two more weeks! Register today to benefit from:
  1. Over 20 sessions dedicated to ACEweb and Student Manager
  2. How-to and productivity sessions by ACEware staff
  3. Customer sessions on Memberships, ACEweb Staff Access, and Cashbox Reconciliation
  4. Exciting new software releases
  5. Consultations with ACEware technicians
  6. Roundtable sessions with CE colleagues
  7. Evenings free to unwind and enjoy Vegas
  8. Opportunities to win a new module, web training, report writing services, and more.

See who is attending here. You may want to reach out and make some connections before conference.


Don't let March end before you register for this great event! Remember - having SM and ACEweb and a current SMA = $500 in scholarship funds. The scholarship is applied to your conference invoice after you register.


If I can help, drop me an email!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Tip of the Month: Help! (Not Just a Song by The Beatles)
The Help menu item at the top of SM gives you more than just help. Along with an easy way to get to the online help site, there are a number of other items you can easily access from the help menu. The About Student Manager link allows you to check your version of SM, check how many records are in your system, and see which optional modules you have. You also have a direct link to the webinar archives, SM update forum, and update web page. Take a look - you might be surprised with what you find.

Contributed by AJ Giliberto
Report of the Month: Gauge Reports
One of the new toys in the Report Wizard is the ability to create Gauges. I think these are most like thermometer sheets that display where you are in relation to a goal. Best of all, these are easy* to do! 

Begin by creating a new Gauge Report. On Step 2, Data Selection, choose the item you wish to sum or count. If you are measuring registrations, go to the Registration table and select SSN/ID (you can double check in properties, but the Wizard will know from context that you wish to count this field.) If you want to see money, select either the Due or Paid formula. On Step 3, Gauge Layout, move your field to the Current value and set your Goal value. Pretty up your Gauge in Step 4 - Formatting options and set a Filter in Step 5 - Standard Filter Options. Once you are all set, 'Preview'!
As you can see in this illustration, I've got a long way to go to get to my goal of 1,000 registrations. Oh, and to make this even sweeter, you can add Gauges to Dashboards so that you and/or your boss can stay up to the minute** on your progress.

* Requires the Report Wizard add-on module. Speak to Sharon about pricing or schedule some time with me, Matthew, to see the Report Wizard in action! Come to my session at conference to see What's New in Report Wizard.

** This  assumes you set the refresh rate to 1 minute. The default is 10 minutes. Though there is a refresh button to refresh whenever you want!
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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