This morning we deployed a number of updates to TroopTrack.
- A more robust way of handling distribution list emails sent from your email account (not quick message) so that unicode characters, such as emoji, will be handled appropriately.
- Sorting of participation records on the detailed member report
- An update to the email distribution list routing that makes it more stable
- Minor change to the troop settings to remove a duplicate setting that was causing confusion.
We also deployed a number of changes to the API that is used by the mobile app and continue to make great progress. We are currently working on a feature called "offline mode" so that you can access your troop data even when you don't have internet access.
Here's a screenshot, just for fun:
This morning I went on a rampage against bugs and fixed a number of scenarios that were causing users to experience "We're sorry but something went wrong" pages. Here's a list of the bugs I fixed:
- The site crashes if a user removes all parameters from the individual progress reports url
- The site crashes if you try to purchase a ticket for youth guests and the number of guests or the dues are nil
- The site crashes if there are validation errors while updating troop settings
- The site crashes if a user prints a BSA permission slip without choosing an event
- The site crashes on the library items index if an item is checked out to a deleted user
- The site crashes on the equipment items index if an item is checked out to a deleted user
- The site crashes if you hand enter a date for a training tracker that has a five digit year
I released some changes that provide better support for BSA troops sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints this morning. Here's a rundown of the changes:
1) There will be a new troop setting called "LDS Unit". This setting must be checked to turn these new features on.
2) Patrols can be associated with a unit - troop, team, or crew.
3) Youth in a patrol that is associated with a team or crew will have all scouting awards available plus the awards for teams/crews.
4) You will be able to record bulk progress on team/crew awards
Along with this change, we will also be releasing a re-design of the troop settings to make it easier to use. This re-design will be for all customers, not just LDS units.
Releasing this feature will also kick off our effort to update the Venturing program and add in all the Varsity awards. You should start seeing those awards late next week or the week after.
Here are a couple of screenshots related to this new feature:
This morning we pushed three minor updates:
1) Shipping on blue cards and award cards was reduced from $10 per packet to $6 per packet. This was the result of evaluating shipping options with the USPS and figuring out that we can barely fit a packet into a flat rate envelope.
2) The logic for determining if you are ready to accept online payments was enhanced to avoid error conditions. The links for depositing funds into money accounts and the ability to purchase tickets to events will not be available if you haven't selected a payment provider and a default money account.
3) We have removed Amazon from the payment provider list. Amazon has decided to retire their current payment processing solution on June 1st and replace it with an entirely different service. We are still evaluating whether we will support the new Amazon service, but in the meantime we are not allowing any additional troops to sign up for Amazon Payments. All troops currently using Amazon Payments will be able to continue to do so until June when Amazon shuts the service down. At that time they will need to pick a different provider.
Related to #3... we are going to start work on adding support for using PayPal to accept payments online. We'll keep you posted as we progress with this integration.Permalink
This morning we deployed a fix to the "Deposit Funds" feature for troops using Stripe. You can now use your credit card to deposit funds directly into a money account you own. It's simple and fast and you know immediately if the transaction went through.Permalink
I've just deployed some changes to fix a few important bugs:
- Setting up a Stripe payment account was not working for troops using their subdomain to set it up
- Setting up an Amazon payment account was not working
- We accidentally broke the display of Individual Progress Reports and printed Award Cards with a change earlier this week. That problem is also fixed.
Thanks to everyone who reported these problems - we appreciate your help and patience.Permalink
We released some minor changes this morning. They are:
- Dropdown menus on the mobile version of the site are readable for Trail Life USA users
- The money books feature works on small screens using the mobile version of the site
- Users can delete medical forms from the user profile
- The link to Manage -> Money Accounts is viewable by any user with one or more money accounts assigned to them
Also, I am considering completely removing the medical records feature in TroopTrack. Storing medical records online is fairly risky and I'm concerned about the harm it could cause. I expect I will probably decide and take action by April. When that happens I will communicate more about it.
If you are currently using TroopTrack to store medical records, please read this blog post from the BSA.
This morning we released a BETA version of the mobile version of the site. NOTE: we're not talking about a mobile APP, just how the web site looks on small mobile devices.
This is a BETA release, so don't expect it to be perfect. Using it is totally optional. If you log in to TroopTrack on a phone, you will see a "Switch to Mobile Version" link in the top header. You can switch back to the full site at any time.
I've worked through most of the screens and gotten rid of the need to pan & pinch in most places. I'm still working through screens on the achieve and share menus though.
At this point I'm not looking for feedback about needing to pan & pinch. We'll get there soon, but for now what I'm mostly interested in is stuff that just doesn't work at all on a mobile device, such as menus that you can't access, etc.
Thanks to everyone who discussed this feature yesterday. It really helped me figure out the best way to run this beta test. I've included screenshots showing how to switch versions.
A feature we've always called "multi-troop" went live this morning. This feature is for people who have multiple TroopTrack accounts in DIFFERENT units, such as a BSA Pack and Troop or an AHG Troop and Trail Life USA Troop. Until now, you've needed separate user names and passwords for each account, but no more. Now you can merge those accounts and only worry about remembering one user name and password. Here's how you use it:
1) Click on your name in the top header
2) Click the "Merge Account" link
3) Enter your user name and password and submit
4) Switch troops anytime by clicking on your name and clicking on the troop you want.
Here's a screenshot of the feature in action.
Happy Feature Friday! Today we are releasing one-page individual progress reports for Boy Scout Troops. These one-page reports list all the requirements from Scout -> Eagle in one easy to read format. You can print them for one scout, for everyone in a patrol, or for your whole troop. You can get there in two ways:
1) Achieve -> Individual Progress Reports. Use this method if you want to print reports for multiple boys at the same time.
2) From the scout's profile, go to the Achievements tab and click "Print My Progress Report".
I've included a screenshot of the report.
This is the 1.0 of the progress report. The next time I work on this I will add merit badge and leadership history to the back. I am also planning to include it in the newsletter as an attachment.
Are you in an AHG Troop, Cub Scout Pack, etc and thinking "But what about me!?!?" Don't fret. We'll make a report like this for each unit type we support before too long.
Do you have multiple TroopTrack accounts? Are you sick of having multiple user names? We are looking for a few brave people to be multi-troop guinea pigs. We might be releasing this feature soon and we need a few courageous souls to try it out on. If that's you, send an email to email@example.com with the subject "Multi-troop" and include your various user names.Permalink
This morning we released some nice enhancements to printing blue cards. Here they are:
1) You'll be able to print blue cards from the merit badge tab on a user's profile
2) You'll be able to print blue cards based on the results of options chosen using the merit badge book. This includes the ability to print a blue card for every merit badge ever earned in your troop. This can take a few minutes, so the PDF is actually emailed to you when it's ready.
3) You'll be able to upload images of signed blue cards for a merit badge on the user profile.
4) Blue cards printed with the methods described in #1 & #2 will include the requirement #'s and completion dates on the back.
5) I add a few more places where I shamelessly promote our micro-perforated blue card paper. It makes using blue cards completely hand-cramp free!
Here's a screenshot of the new additions to the user profile:
And here's a screenshot from the merit badge book.
This morning I pushed an update with some minor bug fixes, including:
- Excluding deactivated members from receiving the newsletter
- Excluding assignments for which the due date has passed from the newsletter
- Fixing a bug in the user profile that cause the screen to not display the changes to a user's privileges immediately after saving
I've also pushed some important updates to the API that will be used by the mobile app. As we've built out the API we have thought of many other uses for it beyond the mobile app. I have heard ideas from many of you as well, some of whom are software developers. This got me thinking and...
I'm excited to announce that following the launch of the iOS mobile app we will launch a TroopTrack developer program. Approved developers will be able to use the API to build third-party applications to extend what you can already do with TroopTrack. We'll have more details after the iOS mobile app launches. If you are interested in joining the developer program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and he will add you to the list.
Here's the planned 1.0 feature set for the mobile app, in case you're wondering:
1) See upcoming events & details
2) Record attendance
1) See the roster & member details
2) Update a member's avatar
3) Add new members (maybe)
1) Send a message to a list
2) Push notification for messages
1) Simplified version of the badge book with links to detailed achievement records
2) Record progress on an award for multiple youth
1) View photo albums
2) Upload photos
We're making rapid progress on the iOS version, but I won't commit to a release date yet. smile emoticon
We are interested in collecting a list of people who are interested in testing the Alpha version. If that's you, please send an email to Coleman (email@example.com) and he will add you to the list.