AHG Connect Import Improvements

We just released a few minor enhancements:

1) The "promote" feature on the Manage -> Dens/Patrols/Units/Troops page now separates the youth from the adults and includes "check all" boxes.

2) Importing from AHG Connect will not override the name of the household or the last or first names of your members if you have changed them to differ from AHG Connect.

3) AHG Connect imports now include the joined on date and will set the registered member value for users who are registered.

4) AHG service star calculations will now be performed if you delete service hours.

5) We fixed a bug in the AHG Connect import that was causing girls to not be placed in the appropriate unit for their level.

We also worked on improving our PayPal integration to be more reliable, but we aren't quite ready to release it.

Have a great weekend!



Important PayPal Integration Change

This morning we are introducing an important change to the PayPal payment integration. Previously, the PayPal payment happened as a "popup" window on TroopTrack. The idea was to make your payment seamless in the same way Stripe payments are seamless, but unfortunately it didn't work out well on many fronts - it caused user confusion, was unattractive, was unreliable, and most importantly, was not consistent with what most people expect PayPal payments to be like. When you pay with PayPal, you are used to going to PayPal.com to complete payment and then coming back.

So we ripped out the "embedded" payments this morning and replaced them with a more traditional workflow. We think this will be much less problematic.

Please note that it is still important that users click the "return" button after completing their transactions, at least for now. Over the weekend I will start working on removing this restriction.

We really appreciate everyone who provided feedback about the PayPal payment process. Thank you!


Custom logic experiment for achievements

One of the bigger challenges we face as we work on TroopTrack is how we handle the variations between the different organizations we support. Sometimes it results in code that looks sort of like this:

if @troop.bsa_troop? OR @troop.bsa_crew?
else if @troop.ahg_troop?
else if @troop.etc....

This has been a challenge to manage over the years, so we have invented ways of dealing with these differences without turning our code into a mess. For example, earlier this year we added the capability to completely customize the way a page looks based on the type of organization you belong to without introducing code similar to the example above. This has been a huge boon for us because it means we can easily roll out unique pages that meet the needs of each organization type we support.

We are now working on adding something similar for achievements. We want to be able to apply custom logic to awards like Boy Scout Ranks, AHG Level Awards, etc. For example, we want to be able to tell you when all the required merit badges have been completed, when leadership requirements have been met, etc. And we want to do this without turning our codebase into a complicated, soupy mess. 

Yesterday I rolled out an experiment with an approach for doing this for AHG troops. All I wanted to accomplish was to display the level awards first on the user profiles. I know that doesn't sound much, but it goes a long way toward verifying the approach. Overall the experiment was a success and it paves the way for us to do much more interesting things going forward. 

That said, I did mess up two things:

1) The level awards were listed twice.
2) Requirements for badges were listed on the profile view.

Both of these problems have since been fixed. I apologize for the errors, but I am confident that the results of the experiment will lead to significant improvements in the way TroopTrack handles special logic regarding achievements.


A couple of small fixes released this morning:

1) The new bulk transactions feature wasn't working on the mobile version of TroopTrack.com. This is fixed.

2) We've modified the AHG Connect importer to avoid creating duplicate households.

Have a great day!

~ Dave


New "Bulk transaction" interface and a lot of bug fixes

This morning we pushed a number of enhancements and bug fixes to production:

1) We've completely re-designed the "bulk transaction" feature that lets you post a transaction to multiple accounts at once. You can see a video of this here: https://vimeo.com/142887118. We feel it is much easier to use this way.

2) We've updated the developer program page for registered partners to include a link to the API documentation. 

3) We've fixed a bug where a user who tried to edit a money account in a new tab would get an error.

4) We've fixed up the Cub Scout "Into the Wild" award so that it is located in the proper place.

5) We've fixed a bug where certain AHG Level Awards were not being assigned to a level.

6) We've modify the AHG view of achievements from a girl's profile so that level awards will be first in the list. 

7) We've modified the badge book CSV export so that it works more efficiently. 

8) We've fixed a bug where Boy Scout Troops were not able to delete youth leadership positions

9) We've added a column for "purchased" to all court of honor agendas so that a presenter knows that an award is not available to hand out. Some users present those awards anyway, others don't.

10) On quick message there is a field for CC'ing members of your unit. Previously this only included members who had their own email address. This was fine, except it didn't work will for units using the "Copy parents on all emails" setting. We have fixed this so that if you have the setting turned on AND the user has an adult family member with an email address, their name will show up even if they don't have an email address themselves.


TroopTrack Mobile Timeout Problems

Many of you have reported problems with the mobile app timing out recently. We have a fix for the problem in the app store and will be releasing it as soon as Apple approves the change. Thank you for your while we take care of this problem.

~ Dave


The TroopTrack Developer Program BETA is now LIVE and more!

The moment many of you have been waiting for is finally here...

The TroopTrack Developer Program BETA is now LIVE. You can join the program by logging in to TroopTrack, clicking on your name in the top header, and clicking "Developer Program". Once your membership is approved you will have access to our Application Programming Interface and Single Sign-On Solution. We look forward to seeing what you do with it! 

Along with the launch of the developer program, we have also made a few other changes:

1) If you use PayPal for event payments and money account deposits but don't provide the email address of the PayPal account of your unit you will get an even more noticeable warning AND we will prevent your users from making payments with PayPal.

2) People keep asking us how to reorder web pages. This is a feature we have had for a really long time, but access to it has been in a really stupid location. It is now available in the left side menu of web pages.

3) We've added marketing pages to our main site for people to learn more about our developer program, regional tools, and national solutions.

4) We've fixed a spelling error on our home page (Committe)

5) There are only 21 Eagle merit badges, not 22. 

6) We removed deleted money accounts from the dashboard.

Have a great afternoon!



Various product usability updates

Good morning TroopTrack users!

We just released a number of updates. Here are the details:

1) We've received a number of complaints about casually displaying middle names in various places. We've changed the default "full name" to only show the middle initial and we've switched to just last name, first name on the quick message form, merit badge counselor list, and member quick nav.

2) Have you ever changed the event filter to all events on the calendar and then changed months and had to change the event filter to all events again? This is pretty frustrating, so we have changed the calendar to preserve your filter as you switch months.

3) While we were working on the calendar anyway, we went ahead and change the month drop down so that it shows the month you are currently looking at instead of the current month.

4) We fixed a problem in the API where Boy Scout leadership positions were not being returned. This change will be visible in the mobile app immediately.

5) When you are recording progress in bulk the requirements now display on one line instead of two.

6) The patrol/den/unit progress reports now include a hover over the requirement number so you can see the whole requirement. See the screenshot below...

I hope you like these changes.

~ Dave


Patrol Progress Report Bug Fix & more

Three bug fixes and a new District Tools feature went live this morning:

1) A person can use District Tools to request contact information for a merit badge counselor

2) The patrol progress report was listing individual requirements instead of awards on the achievement filter

3) Only users with the manage files permission can upload medical forms on the user profile

4) Some users with merged accounts were having trouble switching between accounts while using a subdomain. This is fixed.

Have a great weekend.

~ Dave


Friday updates!

Good Morning Friday!

We just pushed a few things live, and here they are...

1) A custom header for Sea Scouts  

2) A custom header for Civil Air Patrol. I expect there will be another round of edits on this one in the future.

3) Added leadership and training for Sea Scouts

4) Fixed a bug preventing some Tiger awards from being reported through TurboNET

5) Fixed a privileges problem related to managing the library. If you were previously able to do this and suddenly cannot, please make sure you have the manage library privilege.

6) Fixed the balance due on the "all payments" for an event page. It was previously not updating regardless of payments made.

7) You can now export all payments for an event to CSV and PDF.

8) A district tools user can now edit and create a public web site.

9) The district tools look and feel got some nice tweaks.

Have a great weekend!

~ Dave


Bug fixes

We released a number of fixes this morning:

1) New cub scout awards are listed first when you click the "Start" button instead of last

2) The user avatar is now shown on every page of the user profile

3) Mailbox creation and deletion is now limited to users with the manage users privilege (this is the same privilege needed for all mailing lists - we will create a privilege specifically for mailing lists soon)

4) We've fixed the Quick Message warning about invalid email addresses to only appear when there actually are invalid email addresses

Have a great day!

~ Dave


Tiger Cub bug fix and mysterious hints

This morning we released a number of items:

1) Bug fix for reporting Tiger Cub adventure belt loops via TurboNET

2) Enhancements to the API documentation in preparation for the release of the developer program. OH YEAH IT'S TOTALLY COMING!

3) Alpha release of a new district/council tools product. More details coming soon!

I like being mysterious on Wednesdays!

~ Dave


Council Tools

Does your council need a way of publishing merit badge counselors? This morning we launched an alpha product called Council Tools, a totally free product your council or district can use to publish information about merit badge counselors directly from ScoutNET merit badge counselor reports. Users are able to search by merit badge and see how far the counselor is from their zip code. Counselor contact information is not published publicly - we will be adding a contact form that users can use to forward their information to the counselor.

This product is free. You don't need to be a TroopTrack customer to use it - the merit badge counselor feature is available for anyone to use. It is an ALPHA release, which means certain aspects of it may be incomplete or still a bit rough.

We will be adding more features to this product over time such as calendaring, web site publishing, communicating with members, etc.

If you are interested in using it, send an email to sam@trooptrack.com and we will get you started.


TurboNET Advancement Report for Cub Scouts

Software is hard. It took me longer than I would have liked to figure out what is wrong with the TurboNET advancement report for Cub Scouts, but I finally did. If you have used the Cub Scout TurboNET Advancement Report and had it run without errors but not report any awards to BSA, please give it another shot. Thanks for your patience as we figured this weird problem out.

Best wishes,

~ Dave


Calendar filters & more

Happy Friday! We just released a number of enhancements and bug fixes:

1) Remember that feature that lets users filter the calendar to events they are invited to? This caused trouble for some units who want their users to see all events. So now there is a setting to let you choose the default filter for the whole troop. Just go to Manage -> Settings -> Edit Troop Settings, then click on the TroopTrack Settings tab. The default setting is to show all events a family member is invited to.

2) We fixed a bug with imports from AHG Connect that was adding awards without their requirements. If you have awards like this, you can fix it just by re-importing your data from AHG Connect OR by removing the awards and adding them again.

3) Interacting with ScoutNET via our TurboNET features (BSA only) occasionally fails because ScoutNET is slow. We have made TurboNET better at dealing with this problem when it occurs.

4) All mailing lists now start out as "open" lists when they are first created. By default anyone will be able to use them and you only need to add restrictions if you want to.

5) Announcements are sorted better on the newsletter, announcements page, and on the user dashboard. 

Have a great weekend!

~ Dave