We've been quiet lately, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy!
2016-07-05

Well, for the first time in a really long time we've gone 30 days without posting a product update. Please don't think that means we haven't been hard at work - we have in fact been very busy. Unfortunately, most of the changes we've been making have been things that aren't easy to see. I'm going to take a minute to explain, and then I'll list the changes we've made that you can see.

TroopTrack is based on a web application framework called Ruby on Rails (Rails, for short). This framework provides a lot of awesome features from security to database integration and more. Every now and then a new version of this framework is released and that usually means we have to make some changes on our end to be compatible with the new version. We work really hard to make sure that we never fall behind so that you always have the latest, most secure version of Rails.

Rails 5 was released last week. We knew this was coming and we are extremely excited about it. It has several new features, such as built-in web sockets, that we will be able to use on our never-ending quest to be the best scouting software on the planet.

One of the changes in Rails 5 is related to form security - this is a feature that prevents users from manually adding data to forms and then tricking our servers into saving changes they aren't allowed to make. Rails has made an important change to this to make it easier to use. This change, while extremely valuable, also means we need to make a pretty big number of changes on our end.

And that's what we've been working on. Spencer and Ryan have been leading the charge on this and so far they have submitted more than 50 "pull requests" (a pull request is a set of code changes that accomplish a single thing). I've been working on other smaller changes related to the Rails upgrade. In other words, we've been doing a lot. Unfortunately these changes aren't visible to users, kind of like replacing the pipes in a house. As long as we don't break anything, you aren't likely to notice.

During this time, we've also fixed a couple things you can see. Here's the list:

  1. We added West Central Wireless and Consumer Wireless to the list of carriers we support for text messaging.
  2. We now included old versions of merit badges (BSA only) in eagle required merit badge lists
  3. We fixed a problem causing Trail Life award orders to crash
  4. We added support for tracking cabin camping nights
  5. We improved the way our home page looks on mobile devices
  6. We added a Youth Manage importer 
  7. We added a home page about transition from Youth Manage, a competitor that is going out of business
  8. We fixed a bug that was preventing AHG users from being able to have the "unit" access level
  9. We fixed a bug that was causing service hours to be displayed with dozens of digits after the decimal in some cases
  10. We fixed a bug that prevented you from creating meeting schedules that start today
  11. We removed deactivated users from the power search and from mailing list displays
  12. We added a way for you to record training in bulk
  13. We fixed a bug that was causing an error when updating privileges in some cases
  14. We improved the household listing when adding new users
  15. We added a check to the PayPal integration to prevent duplicate transactions from being created
  16. We improved the performance of the Achievement Overview page
  17. We fixed a problem causing meeting schedules to crash under certain circumstances

I'll try to be better about keeping you posted on changes from now on. Have a great summer!

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A truckload of product updates
2016-06-03

Things have been really busy here - we've released a lot of improvements but have forgotten to shout about them. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Record attendance now lists all past events by default and you can define your own date range for events to show.
2. Certain user profiles were crashing. This is fixed.
3. In some cases empty patrols were disappearing. This is fixed.
4. We made multiple improvements to the efficiency and accuracy of displaying members by patrols in various places.
5. TurboNET roster import now imports adventure loops and pins.
6. We improved our automated integration test suite that runs every time we change the code so that it has broader coverage of TroopTrack features.
7. In some cases the app would crash when you edited vehicles. This is fixed.
8. We made numerous improvements to public events, an alpha-only feature that isn't yet available to everyone. The general idea here is that you can sell tickets to an event directly to the general public, not just members of your troop.
9. The troop documents page was crashing for certain users. This is fixed.
10. For AHG troops, the achievements tab on the user profile now defaults to the current level of the girl.
11. We now remove blank categories from the troop document category list.
12. Users can now edit and delete vehicles they own, regardless of privileges.
13. Our staff now have the ability to quickly un-merge user accounts as needed.
14. We've improved the integration between TroopTrack and Community in multiple ways.
15. Double-clicking on certain menu items was causing errors. This is fixed.
16. We fixed the calendar ICS feed to use troop timezones.
17. If a user had an assignment on a check list or sign up sheet and the user was deleted, the sign up sheet/check list would crash. This is fixed.
18. We updated our contact page to reflect recent staffing changes we have made.
19. If you click on a link to a private web page and you aren't logged in, it will redirect you to that page after you log in if you are a member of the troop. Otherwise it will redirect you to the public web site.
20. A troop can now choose whether PayPal/Stripe transaction fees are paid by the troop or the member making payment. This is under Manage -> Settings -> Payment Settings.
21. If a user only has one type of achievement on their profile, we no longer show achievements as a tabbed view.
22. Previously a user could add guests to an RSVP without indicating whether they would be attending or not. This is no longer allowed.
23. Previously a user could add a negative number of guests when they RSVPd. No more.
24. Some events were not showing up on newsletters. This is fixed.
25. Event agendas were running off the page when printed. Fixed!
26. The year-at-a-glance view was hard to read, so we made the table striped.
27. You can now choose to see empty households on Manage -> Members -> Households.
28. Event messages could not be sent for events that don't require you to RSVP. This is fixed.
29. LDS troops were unable to add Varsity and Venturing awards. This is fixed.
30. We've improved the instructions for printing award cards on our perforated card stock.
31. We've added the product updates listing back on the main site as well as community.
32. Meeting schedules now have a rich text editor for the description field.
33. Upgrading or downgrading completed BSA ranks now preserves the completed on date of the award.

Phew. I'm spent. Have a great weekend.

Dave

Want to discuss this update with other users or give us feedback? Read this update in TroopTrack Community:

https://community.trooptrack.com/t/a-truckload-of-improvements-6-3-2016/1705

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Patrol sorting and more
2016-05-13

Good morning everyone.

We just released a bunch of fixes thanks to @Spencer, who is working full-time at TroopTrack over his summer break and is totally crushing it! I'm thinking of calling it the "Summer of Bugs", ie. the summer of killing lots of bugs!

Okay, here's the list:

1) Patrols/Dens/Units/Troops now sort the same all over the place, including:

  • On the event form
  • On the individual progress form
  • On the bulk progress form

2) Mailing lists are now sorted alphabetically when you are creating a new message

3) The Record Attendance page now includes all past events and you can define a date range for it.

4) There was a bug allowing people without the proper privileges to delete achievements. This is fixed.

5) There was a bug allowing people without the proper privileges to add training. This is fixed.

6) We now use https for this community site, so all traffic is now encrypted. Yay!

Also, some time ago I talked about supporting selling tickets to an event for the general public. We are currently testing that out with our summer codecamp. You can check it out here: http://codecamp.trooptrack.com. Just don't register. Unless you want to send your kid to Weatherford for a week this summer!

~ Dave

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Upgrade and Downgrade any BSA Rank
2016-05-10

Typically you only want to downgrade or upgrade a BSA rank if they haven't been started, but we've run into circumstances where you have needed to up/down grade a rank that has some progress. The main page still defaults to showing only the unstarted ranks, but there is now a link on the page for showing all ranks.

Be careful - you will lose all progress when you upgrade or downgrade and we can't bring it back!!! You have been warned!

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Record awards based on event attendance and more
2016-05-09

This morning we released four changes:

1) After you record attendance at an event you can record progress on an award for everyone who attended. Just click on Attendance -> Record Progress from the event details page and it will start the record progress workflow. Note: Since TrailLife troops have a custom version of record progress, this feature is not available yet for them.

2) Some users were having troubling using an external web site for their public web site depending on whether "http://" was included when they edited the setting. We have added some code to fix broken web sites and to require troops that use this setting to include the https from now on.

3) Some users don't have households, and as a result were not able to RSVP for events. This has been fixed.

4) We have added support for sending text messages to GCI customers.

Have a great week!

Dave

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Lots of bug fixes!
2016-04-28

Thanks to Ryan and Spencer's relentless efforts, we released quite a few bug fixes this evening. I was on a plane back to DFW from Cincinnati and thanks to in flight wi-fi I was able to review and release the fixes from my airplane seat. I love tech. (Dave sighs contentedly). Okay, here they are:

  1. The filters on the "Record Progress (Bulk)" page now work properly.
  2. Users can now edit and delete their own vehicles.
  3. Users can now load more events on the itinerary section of the dashboard.
  4. The "pay" button was disappearing under certain circumstances for events that required payment. This is now fixed.
  5. When you create a meeting schedule you can now invite everyone.
  6. The calendar wasn't showing multi-day events that started in the prior month, but it does now!
  7. Emails with copyright symbols were crashing. No more! You can copyright the heck out of your emails now!
  8. We replaced "User Guide" links with "TroopTrack User Community"
  9. When you click on the "Get Help" link, it was forcing you to search even if you wanted to report a bug or suggest a feature. You don't have to search anymore to see those buttons.

Have a great weekend!

~ Dave

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Various bug fixes
2016-04-26

This morning we released a small truckload of updates. Here they are:

1) When you print the agenda view of your calendar, you can now choose between landscape and portrait orientation.
2) We released an internal tool that will allow Melissa to fix the AHG badges that don't calculate percent complete properly. You should start seeing fixes for those badges appear over the next few days.
3) There was a bug in our payment setup that wouldn't let you turn off accepting credit cards once you set up PayPal. This is fixed.
4) The participation page is now searchable by date range
5) The training book now includes filters for expired vs. active training
6) The agenda view of your calendar now paginates properly. Previously you could not go to any pages other than the first page.
7) The category now saves correctly when you do a bulk transaction (money) that is not a transfer.
8) Table header rows no longer overlap the table content when printed.

I am going to post another announcement about our new user forum,http://community.trooptrack.com, later this morning, so stay tuned.

~ Dave

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TroopTrack User Community
2016-04-26

Later this week we are going to officially launch http://community.trooptrack.com, our new forum for TroopTrack users. It is already available for you to check out and is integrated with TroopTrack so you can access it with your TroopTrack account.

 

Once it is launched officially, Community will replace several TroopTrack features including:

- User Guide

- Product Updates

- portions of the Help Desk

 

Community will become the official mechanism for suggesting new features and reporting bugs - we will no longer use the help desk for that. Help desk tickets will be reserved for specific problems that require sharing personally identifiable information or are otherwise not solvable via Community.

 

Additionally, the way you submit help desk tickets will change. Prior to submitting a help desk ticket you will be prompted to search Community for help with your problem.

 

We hope these changes will help you get answers more quickly and allow us to focus our customer service efforts where they are needed most.

 

Please share this announcement with your leaders so they will not be surprised when we launch these changes in the next week or so.

 

Best wishes,

 

~ Dave

 

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Spencer's crushing bugs again!
2016-04-08

This morning we released a number of changes fixing bugs and making minor improvements. Here they are:

1) Money transactions were crashing in certain cases where the user had been deleted.

2) Account setup instruction emails were crashing in some cases. This is fixed.

3) The OA report (BSA) has been improved to include CSV export and more information about each member.

4) The equipment check-in button was misbehaving if you clicked it rapidly (i.e. double clicked).

5) Patrols listed in the badge book are now listed in alphabetical order

6) The rank progress report (BSA) was not dealing with the new & old rank requirements properly.

7) Recording attendance wasn't working properly when you used filters to hide some groups and then used the "check all" checkbox.

 

Thanks to Spencer for all these bug fixes!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

~ Dave

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Deposit funds bug fix
2016-04-07

This morning we released a bug fix that was not showing the "Deposit Funds" link on many money accounts when it should have. Sorry for the inconvenience!

~ Dave

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More minor updates
2016-04-06

This morning we released a number of minor changes:

 

1) The dashboard was displaying service hours in the camping nights field. This typo has been fixed.

 

2) We briefly broke user profiles for Boy Scout troops. If you encountered a problem late last night or early this morning, it's been fixed.

 

3) The custom leadership report now shows columns in a more logical order and the column "Name" is now displayed as "Position" to avoid confusion with the leader's name.

 

4) The vehicle listing now includes license plates.

 

5) AHG service stars were not appearing on the Unit listing after they were added with the new service stars feature. This has been fixed.

 

6) Links in event descriptions were no longer clickable for a brief period. Fixed!

 

7) The "all categories" link on troop documents was not working.

 

8) We have removed the ability to delete sub-awards (i.e. cub scout electives that are grouped with a rank) since removing them breaks the structure of the rank record.

 

You're probably wondering where I'm at with the event payment improvements. The truth is, I'm a bit stuck mentally and need a brain wave. Hopefully I will get unstuck quickly and be able to give a more cheery update soon.

 

Have a great day!

 

~ Dave

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Minor updates
2016-04-04

This morning we are releasing a number of minor changes.

 

1) The API for event details now includes a section for information about family members. This is in preparation for an update to the iOS app to allow RSVP'ing for family members, but it could also be used by anyone in the developer program as well.

 

2) Service hours are now displayed as "X hrs Y min' on manage service stars page (AHG only) instead of using a decimal format.

 

3) Troop documents are now arranged like one of our interactive "books" with a filter for categories. No more scrolling through all categories! This feature isn't quite ready for Trail Life Troops yet (sorry!).

 

4) The "show other events" setting on newsletters was confusing, so we've clarified that it means "Include events the recipients are not invited to".

 

5) One of our users discovered that Meeting Schedules crash if you have more than 260 monthly events, so we've limited it to 250, which should be enough for even the most ambitiously planned calendar!

 

6) Sending achievement reports by email was failing if the no users with emails were selected. We've fixed this problem and added some feedback to let you know if a problem occurred.

 

Have a great day!

 

~ Dave

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Update on Event Payment Improvements (Work in Progress)
2016-03-31

Making progress on the event payment improvements I mentioned previously. Here is a screenshot of where I am currently at. You can see that money accounts with insufficient funds are not usable for payment and that I can add money to those accounts or use a credit card instead. You can also see the link to the shopping basket.

I've also included a screenshot of the event details page so you can see changes there too.

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Minor updates
2016-03-30

Yesterday we released a few small changes, all thanks to Spencer's hard work:

 

1) Meeting schedules can now set the RSVP required option

2) All day events are displayed using the correct color for their event type

3) Youth with household access or above can RSVP for family members

Have a great day!

 

~ Dave

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Working on Event Payments
2016-03-29

This week I am working on event payments. Here are some of the changes I am trying to get done:

 

- Redesigning the workflow so that you can pay for multiple RSVPs at once by putting RSVPs in a shopping cart until you are ready to pay

 

- Allowing users to choose between paying with a money account or a credit card (Stripe) or PayPal

 

- Allowing a troop to accept payment via Stripe and PayPal rather than just one of the two

 

- Allowing troops to specify that users are responsible for Stripe/PayPal transaction fees

 

- Allowing troops to specify that they are responsible for TroopTrack transaction fees

 

- Allowing troops to accept manual payments (checks, cash, etc) for items in a shopping cart

 

- Preventing users from paying for a shopping cart with a money account that doesn't have adequate funds

 

I hope I can get this done and live soon - I will keep you posted.

 

~ Dave

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