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Newsletter #6
April, 15 2011

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Dear BVCMS Community,

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

Marketing News


That's how long our new introductory video is, six minutes 34 seconds. Karen does a great job of keeping it fast paced, brief, while still piqueing your interest and touching on most of the major areas in the system. So if you are looking for a way to introduce someone to BVCMS, that would be a great place to send them. Just send them to to and tell them to click the orange banner that says "View Video Demo". By the way, this video shows the new style for the application too. And of course we still have the longer videos here:

User News & Announcements

To keep you up-to-date, here are the latest news items and announcements from BVCMS.

New Look

Spring is here! The flowers are blooming; the trees are budding. So, it seemed like the perfect time to spruce up the BVCMS Header and Home Page. But, it is more than just a pretty face…there's more functionality there for you, too.


Public Emails

Public emails! That just sounds wrong, doesn't it? Well, it is just a way to turn your email into a web page. Let me explain. You compose this beautiful email that you send to a targeted group advertising an upcoming event. Perhaps it even has a link to register. If you check the box to mark it 'public' you can post a link (URL) on Facebook, Twitter or some other public place that will take people to a web-page with your email…without, of course, the To, From stuff.

New Support Email Address

We at BVCMS want to be known for providing fanatical support, the best in the industry. Therefore, we have a new email address for you to use when you need any support or just have a question. The address is:

When you use this address, every support person will be notified so you will be guaranteed of receiving a prompt response. So, 1) everyone will be aware of your issue; and 2) you will receive a prompt reply from the support person on call. Please put this in your address book and use this in place of any other email address you have for us.

Voting Buttons

Let's try out this new feature before we explain how to use it. Some of you have been asking about Webinars. So,we'd love to hear from you about this. We are thinking of offering these monthly around mid-day, like a lunch and learn. There will be a nominal fee (considerably less than the cost of normal training). These webinars would be offered to multiple churches simultaneously.

Just click on your answer (this is the new buttons):
Would you be interested in regular webinars focusing on specific features in BVCMS?

Off-site Attendance

Actually this is not a new feature, but just a reminder of an existing feature.

Summer is coming and everyone is busy planning church trips. Whether your church offers Mission Trips throughout the year, annual Summer Camps for Students, or occasional Weekend Retreats, using the Off-Site Attendance feature will allow you to correctly capture attendance for those participants when they are off-campus and cannot attend their other classes. Learn more about how to use this and how it will affect attendance reports.

Admin Corner

New QueryBuilder Condition

We are slowing down adding new conditions to QueryBuilder. Not because we are lazy, but because we seem to be able to answer a very complete set of commonly asked questions using that tool. But every now and then we get a question that we just can't figure out how to answer. That's when we get to work on a new condition. In fact this is how every single condition gets into QueryBuilder through a similar process of asking and needing to provide an answer.

Sandy at Cottonwood Creek was wanting to investigate for her staff "How long is it taking people to get plugged in to our church after they first attended." So after puzzling about this for a while, we added a new condition. So we have a new QueryBuilder condition called "Days Between First/Second Attend". You find it on the Attendance Tab at the bottom. Basically it answers the question of how long it takes for someone to attend some Program/Division or Organization after they first stepped into your church.

Developer News

Mass Emails and Amazon Update

Last month, I told you about our project use Amazon's Simple Email Service. I told you that we had to earn the right to be able to send more than the limits of 1000 per 24 hours / 1 per second that Amazon imposes when you sign up for their service. This protects everybody who uses Amazon's service by preventing spammers from using their system. Basically, you have to follow the rules and obey these limits and if you do, they will begin to gradually increase your limits as you push against them without going over. Well, we are proud to say that we have graduated to a limit of 50,000 emails per day and 14 emails per second.

By the way, we have sent out almost 300,000 emails for all the churches using BVCMS just since March 1, of this year.

Help wanted

We still look for developers who want to contribute to the open source project. We have a number of projects waiting that people could participate in, including Facebook integration, mobile device development, design work, etc. Working on a project like this will look great on your resume. So if you are interested or know someone who is interested, get in touch with me at

David Carroll
BVCMS Developer

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