Marketing Notions Are Becoming Products

With today's release we are migrating the terminology away from Marketing Notions and towards Products.  The first place you will see this change is in the System Manager window.  Over the next few weeks you will see more references change from Marketing Notions to Products as we enhance our Events and ticketing system.



New Look To This Start Page

We are changing the tool we are using to publish to this Start Page. Previously, it was a simple web page that we edited regularly. We have switched to a blog format. We'll be experimenting with this format for awhile to see which style works best for all.

Today's Release

This was mostly FEC updates to our system.

Our application allows for longer field lengths than does the FEC filing system.  In some cases our program will error out when we attempt to 'overfill' an FEC field with too much data.  We corrected this on Schedule B and on Form 6.

Care to run Trail Blazer on your iPad or iPhone?

So last night I'm out with an old friend having a ginger ale (yes, really, it was a ginger ale).  He stepped away for a few minutes and being addicted as I am to my email, I checked it.  Sure enough there was a question from a customer about giving her additional access to the database.  After checking with her boss to ensure it was ok, I opened up my 2X Client and connected to the database.  I made the change and exited before my friend returned to the table.

Using the gestures for expanding and contracting the image I was able to easily navigate to make the needed change.  Although not recommended for heavy data entry, it's pretty useful to have full access to all the data in your database.

See this KB article for how to install and configure 2X Client on your iPad or iPhone.  A link to a video is also included.

Locked Records

The following image is JUST an example.  IT IS NOT REAL!!
It's for the article that follows.

Have you ever attempted to open a record and instead you saw a message like the one above? 

What would happen if you and I both opened Susan Abalan's (made up name) record and you set her home phone number to 555-555-1111 and I set her home phone to her cell phone number of 444-444-2222?

Well, whoever saved the record last would win thus removing the first person's changes.  Since that's an unacceptable situation we place a lock on that record when it is opened by any user.  That lock stays in place until the record is closed.

And that's where it gets a little sticky.  Sometimes the records are not closed all the way and the lock remains. This can happen if Trail Blazer stops unexpectedly.  It can happen if you close Trail Blazer without closing all the open voter/donor records. In this case we try to close them, but we don't always succeed.  It can happen during an aborted import.  An internet communication error can also cause a record to remain open.

While writing this today, I took a quick look and found that amongst all our customers about 1200 records that have been open for MORE THAN ONE WEEK.  

We have a tool that lets you see what records are locked, by whom, and when they locked it. That same tool will allow you to unlock them as well.  Be sure to sort by the Date/Time Locked column if you have numerous locked records.

Advanced Queries

Our Query panels provide you with a lot of power to find nearly everything you want.  Of course there are special purpose queries that look for things in your database the panel does not support.

For instance, you've been adding photos onto voter/donor records.  Now you would like a list of all voters or donors who have a photo attached to their record.

Maybe you would like to find those multi-person households where at least two household members are of a particular party.

How about finding all your new donors this week (30 days, 365 days)?

Over the years I have accumulated a small library of these queries that you can copy and paste into your database.  This article will show you how.  If you have a need for a query you don't see here, let us know.