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bvcms

Newsletter #11
October 17, 2011

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Dear BVCMS Community,

This newsletter contains tips, information about new features, and announcments of upcoming events. See past newsletters.


User News & Announcements

This is where we keep users informed. Here are the latest news items and announcements from BVCMS.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC, Chooses BVCMS!

This is something that we have been hoping to announce for a long time. We have been working with Redeemer's Center for Faith & Work (a ministry founded to equip, connect, and mobilize their church community within the professional marketplace of New York City) for over a year as their unofficial database for all of their events, newletters, subscriptions, and online registrations. In April, we were pleased to respond to Redeemer's RFP to be considered for their official Church Management System. We were one of a number of very qualified vendors and now that the process is complete, we are excited to announce that we received the nod from Redeemer in September.

Redeemer is a large church in Manhattan, with about 5,000 in attendance meeting in three locations each Sunday. Redeemer is not only going to be using bvcms.com to support in nearly every aspect of their church's ministry, but they will also be sponsoring the Open Source project for a number of new features and projects. This means we now have two major church sponsors for BVCMS, Bellevue and Redeemer. We are already looking forward to the year's ahead as Redeemer's participation will make BVCMS better for all churches. You should begin to see the fruits of their eye for design, experience and ideas soon. In fact, many of the improvements you have seen over the last year resulted from their participation!

Organization Settings and Online Registrations

I know that in our August newsletter we told you about the improvements to online registrations. However, if you know anything about how we roll, you will not be surprised that we have overhauled the online registration settings once again! Our goal to is listen and respond; we want to continue to make BVCMS as user-friendly and as intuitive as possible for software this robust. Read more about these changes.

PS: We are planning a webinar very soon about how to set up online registrations. Be watching for the invitation.

Divisions! Divisions! Divisions!

If you participated in our webinar on September 8, entitled Programs/Divisions/Organizations/Groups, then you would have seen some of the changes we made last month which make managing Divisions easier than ever before. We have two blog posts about these changes: Multiple Divisions & Main Divisions and Manage Divisions on Organization Search Page. By the way, if you missed any of the recent webinars, they are posted on BVCMS.

Pledges

Does your church have a yearly pledge drive or a special offering periodically to which you record pledges? If so, you will be interested in our online pledge feature. Read more.

Scheduled Emails

You, the BVCMS users, are sending tons of emails each month communicating with your church members and guests! These emails range from huge church-wide newsletters to small group prayer requests. Did you know that if you have the Edit role you can schedule emails to be sent at a future date and time ? You didn't? Well, read all about it.

Updated Checkin Software

Our webinar on using the BVCMS checkin software debuted our recent changes to the Menu options. If you missed it, read about it here and take a look at the video. We also made a couple of changes after that. You can read about those and access the link to download the latest software release here.

Etc, Etc, Etc

We recently made some small changes in several areas. Be sure to check these out: Saved Queries; Meetings page; Joined and Drop Dates; and Online Confirmations

Development News


RefreshCache Conference

Jeremy and I went to the RefreshCache Conference in Phoenix last week and met a bunch of fellow ChMS developers. This is primarily a meeting of Shelby/Arena developers but they are wanting to branch out to include Open Source ChMS developers as part of their annual Conference. Nick Airdo let us speak several times to present BVCMS and show some code. We showed them a glimpse into the Iron Python integration and the magic behind QueryBuilder. We look forward to collaborating with and learning from the other Open Source ChMS projects out there including RockChMS which was announced at the conference.

Great Developer Help

It was great to spend some face time with Jeremy Simmons and plan some of the projects that we will be working on over the next year. Jeremy is a great developer, and is becoming a great addition to the BVCMS team. He and I spend a couple of hours every week. One of the projects we did together was the new SavedQueries page. He has some ideas that we will be introducing over the next year.

Allen Thomas has been working on our iPad version of the Check-in software. Karen and I got to play around with the first pre-alpha release. It is really going to be great. It is a native iOS app and so will only work on an iPad. Not only does it do everything the current check-in app does, but it also can be used for event checkin and registration as well as Small Group attendance. We hope it will be ready by the end of the year.

APIs

One of the first projects we are working on with Redeemer is an API (application programming interface) which can be called from other applications. Redeemer will be using the API to implement and incorporate their membership application process into their main website. You can see the documenation for these API's for the checkin API here and for the new (in progress) API here.


Blessings,
David Carroll and Karen Worrell
Your BVCMS Team


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