We updated the main software architecture, that encompassed several changes to the older code for the change over.
We made all the reports use the same consistent naming convention for people's names. This also affected a few screens like the donation window to make the screen's verbiage read better.
We have implemented an automated system wide error reporting management system for users. When an error occurs on the system, the development team is notified of the error. This enables us to start working on an error fix and ensure the highest quality software possible.
We've changed the way the reports are requested from the server to ensure more browser support and the reports work better. This was completed in the 'list' screens, report's main screen, and on the child check in window for the report and labels. Additionally we found a few reports not sorting correctly and fixed them.
We have relabelled 'Communications' to Emails and 'Events' to Check-Ins.
The latest Safari, 10.1, introduced a change that prevented our reports and labels from printing. We've implemented a work-around so you can continue to use the latest and greatest browsers with Icon Rubix!
Prior to the change, notes could only be added if the child was checked in. The behavior has changed so that the child does not have to be checked in before typing a note for them on the event window. Just simply click into the text field and start typing, found under the more information link for each child.
The child check-in attendance and absentee report was modified to include guardian contact information. This helps churches to follow up with their children that were absent.
Repeating events was added to the system to allow users to set up multiple events for any group, and add the event(s) quickly instead of one at a time.
We have added the pledge module to the system. Pledges can be batched and are recommended to use.
We have added the ability for the donation screen to apply the donation to a pledge. This ensures donations are accurately accounted for against the pledge for reporting and contribution statements
We have released a new report to analyze pledges called the ‘Pledge Analysis Report’. It will list donor, fund, pledge total, pledge installment, date range of pledge, pledge frequency (Weekly, Monthly, As Able), donation total, pledge to date, and status. The status column will color code the percentage values for pledges that are valid. Other status codes are ‘Not Applicable’ for invalid pledge records, ‘Zero Given’ when there are no donations towards the pledge, or ‘Zero Pledged’ when there is no pledge for the donor.
Pledges have been added to the bottom of the contribution statements so donors know how well they are doing towards their commitments.
We have added an option to print Volunteer labels from the Check-in window.
At your request we have added guardian phone numbers to the check-in label and adjusted font-size.
We've increased the check-in label size from 2.4x1.8" to 2.4x4" to better support both mobile and desktop printing. Group and check-in time have also been added to the label.
We've done some work to add detail to the documentation for the Child Check In module. Please let us know how else we can improve our documentation!
Users will no longer have to logout and login after their security access is updated. Changes are applied immediately in real-time!
We now have donor numbers to help you track your donors, especially if your donors use an envelope number system. You can create as many lists of donor numbers as you need. Each list has an effective (starting) date.
In the donation entry screen, you can then pick your donors based on either the donor's name or donor number.
Donor numbers are included on contributions statements, and there is a new report — Donor Number List — that shows you a list of all donors tho whom you've assigned a number.
You can now find out your account’s expiry date (and other information about your subscription) from the Organization->Information screen. You'll also get a warning on log in when your account is about to expire.
We have added the option to order Icon Rubix online. To place your order, simply select Order from the menu, then fill in your subscription and billing information.
We moved the directory report outside of the 'Households' section in reports. A small change, yes, but it prepares us for some bigger reporting changes around the corner.
We've expanded the IconCMO import to include the gender, status and relationship fields of member records.
The Status Tally report and the household reports weren't generating under certain circumstances. We've added some code to handle these circumstances.
The system would only allow numbers into the zip code for family addresses. We expanded this to validate both US and Canadian zip codes. The validation rules will remove any letters for US zip codes. For Canadian zip codes it will remove invalid letters like 'D' and others, and also ensure that it follows the letter-number format for all 6 characters of the family's address.
The state field in the address for church members, didn’t capitalize the data on input, thus there was mixture of lower and upper case letters in the field. Implemented a new component to handle the state field differently for the members’ addresses. This also required a data conversion for all church databases.
Certain security settings sometimes yielded perpetual 'Loading…' messages when a user was accessing a module that depended on another module which they didn’t have access to. For example they may have access to Child Check In, however not the Groups module. The Child Check In module depends on the Groups module for its functionality. We’ve implemented a fix to the system to limit this problem. In a few situations, you may need to log out and log back in to see the fix take effect—but only if you are experiencing this particular problem.
We've fixed all the reports in Rubix church management software so they no longer get blocked by the popup blocker on the browsers.
Scrolling on the list views like church membership, church communications, church groups, and so on when using your mobile devices, should work better for you.
Initially the system was created with eight grades of school for children records. We have expanded this drop down for children records in the church databases to have K-12, College, and Pre-School. Because there was existing data and new configuration files added, a data conversion was completed for all church databases.
We made a small improvement to the font rendering for Windows users—hopefully everything is easier to read now!
Some users were reporting a problem where pictures of church members would intermittently not upload. We were able to recreate this intermittent problem and applied the appropriate software fix.
Lots of software updates today!
First, in recognition that we've expanded our feature set to more than just child check-in, we've renamed our product Icon Rubix, a next generation church management software tool that allows real-time collaborative editing (ie: like Google Docs), complete mobile platform for every module, and advance user interface (ie: no more annoying save buttons).
Second, we've added new reporting, communications, and donations modules in addition to the existing membership, groups, and events (Child Check In) modules. Some details:
- Church Reports: We've added a new Report module with several reporting options in church membership and donations. (See the documentation and the screen itself for more information.) The ‘List Screens’ will continue to have the reporting ('Print') options. Additionally the attendance report for events (child check in) will remain where they are.
- Church Communications: Send email to individuals or groups (or any combination!) on the communication screen. See the documentation for more information.
- Church Donations: Record donors’ giving to your organization quickly and easily, print donation statements, and more! See the documentation for more information.
Finally, we have lots of plans and ideas to continue to improving Icon Rubix for churches. Please email us and let us know what you think!
Church communication is a necessity in mobile applications. The easier you can communicate with your congregation, the more ‘in touch’ you are with them. To help facilitate communications, we've added the capability to call directly from the application in the Individual and Event (Child Check In) screens. For child check in, church staff and volunteers can contact parents when needed. Another scenario is for pastors and leaders to communicate using the Individual screen when they are visiting their congregation or to do a quick follow up to a church member or visitor.
We've improved our navigation menu to be the same on the desktop and mobile devices: always a left-hand-side menu. Before this change the mobile menu was in the top right of the screen and on desktops it was on the left. Additionally, on a small screen, the main menu will automatically hide and can be accessed by the “hamburger menu
” in the upper-left. This enhancement provides consistency across the mobile platform with other software applications and between users’ devices as the main menu is always in the same location.
We've finished a lot of work to make the church management solution faster and handle larger amounts of data. Most of the work was in the back-end of the system, so the user won’t necessarily see any user interface changes. A possible exception is screen load times when churches request large amounts of data. While we will continue this work as the church solution matures, the groundwork is laid for further software improvements.
Initially the church reports with a longer processing time, had no indication they were running in the background. We created a progress bar to let you know the church report is running. This is mostly helpful for the reports that take a little longer than a couple seconds to complete.
We reviewed the colors on the church software solution and decided to take them back to a more gray-scaled approach to minimize colors from clashing. The high contrast between blacks and whites, make it easier to read than colors that have little contrast – ie white lettering on a light blue background. This mostly affected the top bar, the icon in the upper left corner, and some of the navigation menu on the left.
The ability to search for church members in the child check in window was added. Many times the church groups are quite large for any given Sunday School, Adult Study, and so on. Implementing a searchable member drop-down for the church users or staff was needed. Reminder: The child check in window can be used for adult study groups, council meetings, or whatever you may need to keep attendance on for a church group.
When adding members into the church’s database, the field focus wasn’t working correctly. We fixed the field focus when adding in individuals. It now focuses on the first field which ask you if they are an adult or not, then proceedes with entering their name, and so on.
Child Check In attendance couldn’t be easier to know who came and who didn’t. Once you create an event and assign the child(ren) or other individuals to the group, you can print an attendance report. The report will show a list of all those from the assigned group(s) who have been checked in and out, and a separate list of all those who have not. From the event screen, just click 'Print Event Attendance' in the lower right corner.
On the church member’s individual record there was a comma when there was no last name but a first name was present. We added logic to intelligently remove or insert the comma depending on the scenario. It will be removed when there is no last name. It will be inserted if there is a last name and first name.
We changed the way individuals are sorted on the screen when a church user or staff goes into the household. When adding in a new individual record or changing the existing data, the screen would auto sort the individuals as you typed, making the screen move on the user during input. We modified the church software behavior so that all new records are always added in the top spot, and sorting only happens on the last, first Name basis; when coming into the screen initially. After the initial load, the sorting is disabled and should not move.
We changed the way the title bar on the top of each screen functions so it would work better for mobile device users in the church. Instead of having several buttons, we made a drop down menu for the adding and deleting action of each card type (ie. individuals, household, events, groups, and so on). This condensed several similar functions into one area for the church user or staff.
We added a status drop down list for individuals (ie Active, Prospect, and so on). This allows the church to group their church members by any status code they wish for better reporting, demographic understanding, and prospecting. The church can also add their own status codes for customizing the church software solution. This change included a data conversion to convert existing databases.
When uploading pictures into the church membership module, they would sometimes end up sideways or upside down. This was fixed because the system heavily relies on pictures for the church child check in module.
The mobile app for Rubix church software wasn’t working well with the drop-down menus during the tap-and-hold process. This has since been fixed and now drop-downs should work as expected on the mobile interface for the church management software app.
The initial small group screen layout didn't help larger churches because each member had a check-box to determine if they were in the group or not. Additionally, check-boxes aren’t searchable. We replaced the check-boxes with a drop-down list that is searchable, which list the church member’s name. Once selected the person is added to the group and their name appears below the input fields, with a remove link so you can remove the church member(s) from the group.
Rubix navigation enhanced with the ability to add a household or individual records in, without having to go back to the main list screen. You can either add a new household from the existing household you are viewing. Or you can add more individuals in from the current household that you are viewing. In the other screens you have the ability to add church events, church groups and so on when you are in the respective screen instead of going all the way back to the main ‘list’ screen and clicking the ‘Menu’ button in the top right of the screen.
Rubix’s now has reports! Within each list screen (e.g. Individuals, Groups, Donations, and Events) you can run reports using the 'Print' option available. Before running the report you can choose the columns you want on the report, by clicking the ‘Select Columns’ link and check the columns that you would like to see on the report, keeping in mind paper width. The sort for the report can be changed by clicking on the column name before clicking ‘Print’. The created report will reflect the columns and sorting options you have selected in the list screen before you printed.
When entering donations a currency field was needed, which treated the numbers differently than just a string of numbers – ie two decimals verses no decimals. Our solution was to create the currency component to handle money in the donation (money) fields within the system. This starts the groundwork for other modules to be added like the donation module, that use currency for their input.
Originally the child check in time stamp was recording the date and time based on the user's local computer settings instead of the server. This poses a lot of challenges: 1.) churches could be in different time zones, 2.) the user’s computer is wrong, 3.) churches that cross time zones – which format to show? A better solution was implemented in which we always use the server time (at it’s own location) and adjust the time based on the user’s location when data is retrieved. The new time stamp is saved in Zulu time. Additionally, a data conversion was ran on all databases, to convert the existing data to the new Zulu format, taking into consideration the time zone the church at the time.
When clicking the 'more information' link on the child check-in window, it would scroll to the top instead of staying where you are at on the page. We fixed this annoying behavior, so the person can view the child’s information that they just clicked on.
The user can record 'life events' on the individual church membership records like birthdays, marriages, confirmations, baptisms, and so on. Marriages only appear if a person is marked as an ‘Adult’ at the top of the individual's record. As children become of age to marry, their records should be changed to an ‘Adult’ type record, allowing the Marriage Life Event entry. All of these events are found under the link named ‘Life Events’. With this change there was a database conversion for each church's database.
Pictures on the child check in screen appeared to be squished. This change did not change the user's interface for uploading the pictures, but more the display properties so the individual family member's pictures are better handled visually on the computer screen.