Administrator Email - 9/21/2020 - Announcing
We're excited to announce ClubExpress Version 60, a major release and one of the biggest and most important sets of changes we've ever made to ClubExpress.
This release adds a new way to edit Custom Web Pages and the Home Page, including versioning and delete protection; a new People Manager to replace the Member Manager and Non-Member Database Manager; major improvements to Discussion Forums; more Event Calendar enhancements; new features for our Aging-in-Place Village customers; and many other enhancements. For more information, click the sections on the left.
Some of these features have not yet been deployed. We wanted to give you advance notice before changing functions that almost everyone uses. There are new video tutorials to show you how these features work, and the online help system has been updated.
Version 60 Webinar
We will hold a webinar this coming Wednesday, September 23rd, to demonstrate the new features in version 60.
Time: Noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific.
Here are the connection details:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 834 4358 9181
There is no need to RSVP but attendance is limited to the first 500 people. If you can't make it, this webinar will be recorded and an edited version will be available on the website within 48 hours.
Also check out some of our recent video tutorials and webinars. They can be found on our website, under the Cool Stuff --> Video Tutorials and Cool Stuff --> Webinars options.
In this issue:
Our hearts go out to those clubs and associations, and members, in the Gulf Coast affected by recent hurricanes and tropical storms, and on the Pacific Coast affected by wildfires. On top of the disruptions to normal life caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is a ongoing tragedy that so many people have lost everything due to these disasters.
We recently heard from a ClubExpress customer in California, in an area impacted by wildfires. Their members, all seniors, were forced to evacuate their homes, threatened by a fire that was not contained. This organization was able to use ClubExpress to communicate with their members and to organize services for them, to help keep their members safe. In addition, because of the rolling blackouts imposed by the local utility to prevent fires caused by power-related sparking, they were able to use ClubExpress to coordinate ice delivery and remove people to cooler locations when air conditioning wasn't operating. They have also been using the event calendar to coordinate emergency preparedness training classes.
(Note that this feature will be deployed next Monday morning, September 28th. Since every club and association uses it, we wanted to give you a chance to view the changes and even watch the new video tutorials, so that you can have a running start in using this powerful new functionality once it's deployed.)
We have almost completely redesigned how you edit and manage custom web pages and the home page. This redesign includes a new editing environment, visibility control, and version control with protection against accidentally losing updates to a page.
When you create a custom web page and click the Edit (pencil) icon, the new user interface presents a blank canvas. You start by dragging one or more rows onto the canvas, including templates with different layouts and functionality. You can control the current and future visibility of each row (Everyone, Public-only, Members-only, Hidden). Each row can include up to five cells and you can place widgets in each cell to control its appearance, content, and functionality. Widgets can be as simple as static text or an image, and as complex as a news feed, slideshow, or floating submenu.
We have also implemented a new and simpler text editor to create static text panels. And now with full support for emojis! But don't worry; the original editor is still available for developers who need access to the full range of options. There is even a new HTML widget with features like line numbering and color-coding. Finally, you can control the style of each row or cell in many different ways.
A new Preview mode shows you how the page will look on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, in either portrait or landscape mode. You can view the preview as a visitor (the public), a member, or an admin (showing all rows, even those that are hidden.)
Every time you save the page, a new version is automatically created. You can activate any version or view and edit previous versions. You explicitly control which version is the "Active" version on the website. All prior versions are retained until you delete them, and even then, the delete doesn't happen for 30 days in case you made a mistake. Every custom web page now includes a full version manager to track the complete history of edits to the page.
The same functionality has been added to the Home Page. Now when you edit the home page, we will initially take you its Version Manager. Shortcut buttons allow you to edit the currently active Home Page for computers, plus an optional and separate active Home Page for mobile devices. We will also retain all prior versions of the home page.
Three new video tutorials will be available on Wednesday, on the ClubExpress YouTube page. Check back then for the links.
People Manager / People Lookup
(Because every club uses this part of the platform, this new feature has also not yet been deployed. It will be enabled Thursday morning (9/24). The webinar on Wednesday will demonstrate how to use this new feature, and we will also have a video tutorial available on Wednesday which shows it in more detail.)
We have replaced the Member Manager and Non-Member Database Manager with a new People Manager screen. It allows you to search for either members or non-members or both at the same time. It also has new search options that can be combined in different ways to create more complex search criteria. The following options are supported:
- Last Name (starts with...)
- First Name (starts with...)
- Username (starts with...)
- Address1 (anywhere in field)
- City (starts with...)
- Country (select from list)
- State (sensitive to country. If no country is specified, defaults to states in the club's country.)
- Member Number (starts with...)
- Company Name (starts with...)
- Email Address (anywhere in field. E.g. "...gmail...")
- Metro Area (multi-select; not available if metro areas have not been defined)
- Subgroup (tree drop-down; not available if subgroups have not been defined)
- Member Status (multi-select; initial default is "Active + Expired")
- Member Type (multi-select)
- Member Level (multi-select)
- Category (multi-select)
- Interest Group (multi-select)
- Committee (multi-select)
- Recent Additions (10, 30, or 60 days)
- In the Renewal Cycle (yes or no)
- Has a Pending Payment (yes or no)
The Search Panel begins with two options: Member Status and Last Name. You can change either one of them or remove just one. You can also add as many rows as you need to narrow down the list of members and/or non-members returned. When you click Search, the results grid will be similar to the current Member Manager results, but potentially showing both members and non-members, with different options in the Maintain column for each. 50 results are now returned per page. The search panel can also be collapsed to show more of the grid at a time.
The People Manager "Action" buttons have been moved above the Search panel. There are separate buttons to add a member or non-member. Member Options and Non-Member Options each display a small drop-down menu.
For cases when you want to give a coordinator read-only access to member or non-member data, there is also a separate People Lookup function. It provides the same search options as the People Manager but, with one exception, the results are read-only. For clubs with a top-level organization and independent chapters, where members join at the bottom level of the hierarchy, the People Lookup function will also return members from the chapters. The one exception is that an administrator or coordinator can reset a member's password from the People Lookup function. This feature allows staff in a top-level office to reset passwords for members who belong to the independent chapters below the top level.
A new video tutorial about the People Manager will be available on Wednesday, on the ClubExpress YouTube page. Check back then for the links.
Credit Card Processing
We are adding support for Stripe for credit card processing. Stripe replace E-OnlineData and Authorize.Net as our recommended alternative for clubs and associations that want their own merchant account. (Note that Authorize.Net is still supported.)
Stripe currently supports 42 countries (with more on the way!):
Stripe generally charges a flat fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. It may be possible for non-profit organizations with the appropriate documentation to get lower rates by special application.
There will be a new process to sign up for a Stripe merchant account. It is done from the Money Options screen with a new link, which will take you to the Stripe website to complete the application process. Once the account has been approved, ClubExpress is notified automatically with the internal information that allows us to connect your ClubExpress website to your new Stripe account.
(These features will be deployed in the next couple of days.)
- We have significantly updated the user interface in both Flat View and Threaded View. Below each message is a new "Action Bar" containing all the options that users (and admins) need to respond to or manage a message. These include viewing Attachments, Reply, Like this Post, Report this Post, and Admin tools.
- We have completely rebuilt Threaded View to make it more traditional. Now, instead of a single message being shown above a thread "tree", users will now see full messages, with indenting to show the thread hierarchy. Note that messages are only indented up to three levels below the initial post and its direct replies. Subsequent replies will be shown at the 3rd level of indenting; this was done to ensure that posts are readable on all interfaces but especially on mobile devices.
- Users now have the option to "Like the Post", and the system will maintain and display a count of likes. And if users decide that they don't "like" the post after all, they can click the link a second time to "unlike" their previous like!
- Users now have the option to "Report this Post". They will see a popup dialog where they can enter a reason for their report. The forum moderator (or a module coordinator, or a full admin) will be notified. There is also a new admin screen to review and respond these reports, including the ability to edit, hide, or completely delete the message.
- The system will now highlight moderated threads and messages for forum moderators and admins.
- When users perform a search, matching text within each message will now be highlighted.
- Links within messages will now open in a new browser tab by default. This change allows users to view the contents of the link but still retain their place in the message list.
- Clubs and associations now have the ability to customize the disclaimer text at the bottom of each emailed message.
- We have replaced the original editor used to create an reply to messages online with a simplified editor that will be easier for members to use, but that still retains all the formatting options that members are likely to need. The editor now also provides full support for emojis!
- We have improved how quoted message text is displayed in emailed replies.
- On the admin side of the module, we have updated the look and feel of all screens. We've also added new reports to help you see who is using the forums and how much traffic they are generating. Finally, we removed the Strong vs. Weak Threading options for each forum. As we noted in our last admin email, we've significantly improved how threading is maintained, and so the distinction between "strong" and "weak" threading is no longer required.
- The Search Panel has been redesigned to make it more flexible. It's now accessible from the button bar at the top of the main calendar screen. And the Print Calendar function at the bottom of the main screen now respects these search filters, so that users can print a calendar showing just the events they are interested in.
- Attendance can now be recorded for each date in a multi-date event.
- The Event Info export now includes additional fields describing the event location (address, phone, website, etc.)
- We have simplified the process of defining activity registration in a multi-activity event. If registration is no longer required or recommended, all the registration options are hidden. We also updated the wording for activities to be more understandable.
- The Event Calendar admin screens now have an updated look and feel. You can also sort the events shown in the Event Calendar Manager.
- Subgroup name is now an available as a ~~tag~~ in 7 event emails.
- If an event doesn't have a location, the location panel is hidden.
- When you use the powerful Query String operators to display a pre-filtered calendar, these operators now populate the search panel. And we've added a new "&reset=1" operator to clear all previously-set operators and start with a clean slate.
And in other parts of the ClubExpress platform:
- For our Aging-In-Place Village customers, we have made a number of improvements. Click here for more information.
- If clubs impose a late fee on unpaid membership renewals, and a member has renewed but has not yet paid when the membership expires and the late fee comes due, we now run a nightly process to add this late fee to the pending transaction.
- The date range for credit card refunds has been extended from 120 to 180 days. Please note that refund requests are not always granted. The card-issuing bank may decide that a charge cannot be refunded, for example, if the account was closed.
- With the First Login feature, if both a renewal and a first login apply, the wizards are combined. Also, members added by an admin are treated as if they have not yet logged in.
- When a non-member is converted to a member, the popup now handles a required chapter.
- You can now assign a bank account to a subgroup. This is used only on the Bank Account Activity page to allow subgroup admins to view activity only in their own bank accounts.
- SSL Certificates can now be renewed for up to 5 years. When this is done, our certificate issuing authority will issue certificates in 1 year increments (because this is required now by Google and Apple) but they will be automatically renewed up to the original purchase length.
- We have made a number of improvements in QuickBooks Online (QBO) support, to make it easier to find and correct configuration and other errors.
The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- The Survey export was showing people multiple times when chapters were defined and people belonged to multiple chapters.
- Printed renewal notices were using the club's "Official Address", not the defined "Mailing Address".
- Editing a discount coupon attached to a deleted or inactive product would cause the system to display an error.
- With the Resource Scheduler module, an iCAL file generated for your personal calendar was not showing the correct date and time for the reservation.
- There was a display bug in the Collectibles user screen when the browser zoom level was set below 100%.
- There were a few problems in the Event Calendar:
- Event-specific questions were not appearing for the primary registrant during registration.
- In multi-activity events, the activity selections for the primary registrant were not being saved.
- A checkbox list could not be edited in an existing event registration.
- If a member canceled their registration via their Profile - Event History screen, the 'Register' button was not appearing.
- Registration confirmation emails were showing the club's email address instead of the primary event contact's email address.
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.