Administrator Email - 3/30/2023 - Announcing
We're excited to announce ClubExpress Version 67. This has been the longest break in major version announcements since we launched ClubExpress more than 19 years ago, but we haven't been slacking off! We've been busy with major enhancements, most of which have already been deployed.
This release adds a major update to our mobile app, a new Task Manager module, and dozens of other features across the whole ClubExpress platform. We've also cleaned up a number of bugs in the system.
We will be holding a webinar on Wednesday, April 5th, starting at 12:00 Noon US Eastern time, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, and 9:00 AM Pacific, for those who want to learn more about these enhancements. If you can't make it, the webinar recording will be available within a couple of days, on the ClubExpress YouTube channel
. There is no need to register for this webinar but it is limited to the first 500 attendees. Here are the connection details:
Meeting ID: 840 6622 4971
In this issue:
Mobile App Version 2
Over the past few months, we've almost completely re-engineered the Mobile App, to make it far more useful for you and your members. It includes the following new features:
- A revamped user interface, with a new pull-out menu at the top. This menu can include a custom app menu displaying above the club website menu, as well as app-specific features. This menu is defined through the website, on the Control Panel - Website - Setup - Menus screen.
- Direct Messaging between members. Once members have opted in to received direct messages, members can message each other through the app. They can also create ad hoc groups and message multiple people at the same time. Members can opt-in and opt-out of a group, report messages that are inappropriate, and block people from whom they don't want to receive messages. The lion's share of development for this project was spent on the Direct Messaging feature and we're very excited to finally be able to release it for your members.
- In-App notifications. Through the website, administrators can send mobile Notifications directly to members using the app. This interface is similar to emailing and text messaging. It allows you to create complex distribution lists to send to selected members or to exclude member groups.
- The member notification center allows members to view their full history of notifications. Members receive notifications for direct messaging requests, unread messages, general club notifications, and unread chat messages.
- We improved the Channel Picker and how channels are displayed. We now allow for custom icons for each channel. Also, the active channel now has an indicator.
- The logo from Mobile App Options now displays on the slide out menu for increased brand recognition.
- The Remember Me function has been improved so that it now works reliably under the latest versions of iOS and Android.
- We improved the user interface for the member Profile screen, so members can more easily update their personal information through the app.
All the other app features are still there, including Channels that can be defined in multiple ways, and channel-specific functions like chat, meets, polls, events, and directories.
Pricing for the app has not changed. We charge a one-time $200 setup fee because we build a separate version of the app for each club or association, with your name, logo, graphics, and branding. Members can then download the app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for their Android devices. You can either charge $2.00 for each download; Apple and Google keep 60¢ and we split the difference (70¢ each) with you. Or downloads can be free and ClubExpress will charge you 70¢ per download.
With these changes, the Mobile App becomes a far more powerful tool to facilitate communications and sharing information from your organization to your members and especially between members. If your organization is not already using the mobile app, we hope you will consider enabling it. And if you are using it, encourage your members to download and try out the updated app.
Task Manager Module
The new Task Manager module allows clubs to track tasks or projects that need to be managed from start to finish. It's suitable for any club or association with facilities or equipment that need to be managed or improved. It also works for special projects that need to be accomplished. It's especially suitable for homeowner and condo associations, and retirement communities, that need to track work in common areas.
The Task Manager includes the ability for members to report a problem via their Profile screen, including the ability to take a photo with their mobile device and attach it to the Problem Report. For example, if a member notices a burned out lightbulb on the property, they can easily file a report with a picture of the problem.
The module allows each task to be organized by category and sub-category (for example, "Grounds -> Flower Beds" and by location and sub-location (for example, "Clubhouse -> West Entrance") It also allows tasks to be organized by priority and responsible person. Each task can have sub-tasks, each with its own category, location, priority, etc. Tasks can also have attachments, including photos and documents that explain or show the task. Tasks will run through a series of status values as they are created, assigned, worked, completed, reviewed, closed, and archived. Notes can be entered for each task.
This module is structured like all ClubExpress modules, with a user side, admin side, optional Profile screen, customizable email confirmations, and extensive reports. It will also be integrated with the Ad Hoc Reporting function.
This is an extra cost module. For clubs and associations that want to enable it, we will be charging $20/month.
The Task Manager has not yet been deployed. It's in final testing and we expect to make it available in the next two weeks.
In the Event Calendar module:
- You can now resend a registration confirmation email. There is a new icon in the Registration Manager and a different system email that can be customized.
- A new option allows you to view member attachments that might be relevant to their event registration, such as an Insurance Certificate.
In the Resource Scheduler module, you can now define a Reminder email to be sent X days before a reservation. This email can include customized text.
In the Blogs module, for multi-tier organizations with separate websites, top-level admins can now add a lower level club member as an author of a blog at the top level.
In the News module, You can now specify a default sort order for news items within a category.
In the Classified Ads module:
- Multi-photo upload is now supported. There is also a Hi-Res image viewer to see the best quality in uploaded photos.
- There are new options to define the Response Form when someone is interested in an advertised product.
In the E-Commerce Storefront module:
- In Storefront Options, there is a new default display sequence setting. You can now also sort by Date Added, with the newest products displayed on top.
- When accessing the storefront from elsewhere on your website, or via email, you can now define custom query string options to preload filters and highlight specific products or categories. For example, you might want to show "Featured" products, or take members to a new category of products available for sale. For more information on these filter options, see this page in the ClubExpress Help system.
For those organizations using our integration with the Addmi Point-Of-Sale product, this integration now allows members to set up a running tab simply by providing their member number. When closing the tab at the end of the day, members receive an itemized receipt so that there is no confusion when the monthly bill arrives. Click here
for more information on the Addmi POS system.
- In the process to build and display each page on your website, we updated the architecture to significantly reduce the page loading delays that some people were seeing. We also changed how certain template widgets were loaded and displayed, including menus, user panels, Add Me to your Mailing List, the Login panel, and social networking links. Users will notice a dramatic improvement in page load times with these updates.
- There is a new renewal option available at the member type level that supports automatic renewal and payment. Members can select this option and they will be auto-renewed and charged on each anniversary. Note that once selected by a member, this option cannot be changed except by an admin.
- For clubs and associations where everyone renews on the same date, there is a new proration option for people who join in the middle of the period. This option is based on the number of days remaining before the renewal date. It is dynamically calculated in the new member signup wizard and rounded to the nearest dollar.
- We added support for uploading .WEBP files for Web Graphics. These formats now also work in the image editor tool. But a caution: don't use these graphic files in blast emails as very few if any email clients currently support these formats.
- To access the online Help system, we've always had a large "?" icon in the top right corner of each admin and Profile screen. But many users don't notice it. So there is now a new drop-down that appears after 15 seconds on a page, with links to relevant help pages and video tutorials. This function can be disabled from the Website Options page.
- For clubs and associations that purchased the Virtual Membership Cards option, users now have the ability to download their membership card as either a JPG or PDF file. JPG should be used when moving the card to a smartphone, while PDF is suitable for actually printing the card in credit card size. Some people then laminate it and put in their wallet.
- Member usernames can now have middle spaces. Leading and trailing spaces are still not allowed.
- We've made some enhancements to the member Attachments function, including tracking the status icon for attachments where multiple versions are stored; and allowing clubs to customize the Attachment Approve and Decline emails, where attachments must be reviewed and approved.
We've spent a lot of time over the past few months focused on cleaning up lingering issues with the Event Calendar and with our functionality for Aging-in-Place Villages. The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- In the Event Calendar module:
- In some situations, the Email link was missing in event contact info.
- In some situations, event reminder emails were not being sent.
- Some non-members were seeing a strange error message when registering for an event.
- Event contacts who were chapter admins could only email their chapter using the "Everyone Registered" option.
- When event registrant types were sorted alphabetically, admins could no longer edit anything in the event.
- Non-members outside the US were getting an error when trying to RSVP for an event.
- The Registrant Types function was missing for Quick Events.
- The Location website was not saving for a QuickEvent.
- When a panel was removed from a single or multi-activity event, any predefined contacts were also being deleted.
- The Visibility settings in QuickEvents were causing problems.
- For multi-tier organizations with separate websites, event reminder emails for events at the upper level were not being sent to registrants at the lower level.
- When a QuickEvent was converted to a single activity event, HTML code was appearing in the event Short Description.
- For multi-activity events, if the "Show this activity on registration" setting is changed to "No", that setting was not being saved and would revert to "Yes".
- When a registration was cancelled by an admin (not the registrant), an open credit was not being created in some circumstances.
- In some situations, adding guests to an event registration could bypass the capacity limit.
- With a full event Waitlist, if someone removed themselves from the Waitlist, the "Waitlist is Full" button would remain visible.
- The Video Conferencing email was not being sent for multi-activity events.
- The Build Link function was not working in the Location panel for QuickEvents.
- With an event report that included comments, the comments were being copied across multiple registrants.
- There were problems with managing and reaching the event capacity limit if multiple registrations and cancellations had taken place. In some cases, registration was not being allowed when there was available capacity.
- Sales tax, GST or VAT was not being charged when a guest, activity, or item was added to an event registration.
- Tax paid was not being reimbursed when a guest was removed from an event registration.
- When a new event was added, the default panel settings were not always applied.
- In some situations, the Partial Payment fields were appearing even though the setting was "No".
- There was a problem with configuring an activity to be "Selected and Required" during registration, when the registrant types for this activity only allowed guests and not the primary registrant.
- When defining a Multi-date event, the order of dates was not always sequential.
- A registered member could be registered again as a guest.
- In event emailings, the option to email everyone who had RSVP'd for a QuickEvent was not visible.
- For a time, the Mark Attendance function was generating an error.
- Event visibility settings for Interest groups and committees were not being copied.
- The Video Conferencing link was not showing up in confirmation emails.
- When a registration was being edited, having required activities or items results in $0 cost.
- The Add to my Calendar function was sometimes not using the correct start time for the event.
- In the Calendar itself, for a multi-tier organization with multiple websites, the Search function was not finding events created by subgroups but displayed on the main calendar.
- For Aging-in-Place Villages, the following problems were fixed:
- Transportation requests could not be saved if the service category had only one service under it.
- Villages with many standard destinations were generating errors. We added paging to the Standard Destination list to fix this problem and make the list more manageable.
- The option to add a service to the VSS function was not available everywhere it should be.
- Copying a service request with no defined date was requiring a date to be chosen.
- Copying a services request was not copying the Responsible Member.
- Some reminder emails did not include the transportation destination.
- Some Service Request reports were blank when filtered for Last Month.
- The "Time Spent by Volunteer" report was cutting off at 2 digits.
- The Service Request Copy function was not copying to the selected day of the week.
- In the VSS module, when a volunteer confirmed a service request, multiple people assigned to the request were being flagged as "Selected"
- In some situations with the VSS module, the coordinator confirmation email was not being sent when someone signed up for a request.
- We adjusted the email address used as "From:" address for service request confirmation emails.
- After an earlier update, Automated Open Request emails were not being sent out.
- Also after an earlier update, the QuickAdd function to add a provider to a request was generating an Error Loading Page
- In the Emailing function, the following problems were fixed:
- For multi-tier organizations with one website and subgroups, the default category for subgroup admins is chosen by default. When this happens, any emails being created could not be found or edited later.
- For the Members by Join Date count for subgroup admins with Emailing Coordinator rights, the count of recipients did not match the actual recipients.
- There were a couple of errors sending Test Emails, for example when CC'ing the From Address.
Again, all these problems have been fixed.