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V6 Release Details

mBase 6 was first released in February 2009

Overview

  1. Organisations now stored and handled on the  Member form
  2. Physical Address added to Member form
  3. Remote database synchronisation introduced
  4. Member Category filter simplified and enhanced
  5. Primary Org changed to Primary relationship 
  6. Contents of Log file records changed
  7.  Member Transaction History report introduced
  8. 3 Way Category Analysis introduced
  9. Add selected category to all members selected on Bill Item Payments  subform 
  10. Useful zoom facilities introduced on All Transactions accounting subform
  11. Billing History now preserved in Year End processing 
  12. Empty email addresses now part of Search criteria
  13. Initials and Salutation automatically extracted

New facilities

1. Organisations now stored and handled on the  Member form

In prior versions of mBase, Organisations were stored as a separate entity on the Organisations form. If you wished to manage an organisation as a member in its own right of the association (using all the facilities available to members such as sophisticated billing and category selection), you would have to create the organisation on the Member form, as well as the Organisation form. This duplication could lead to various problems and confusion.

In V6,  Organisations need be taken on only once, using either the Member form or the Organisation form. All the facilities of both the Member environment and the Organisation environment remain available, although the Organisation Category facility has been dropped, as the Member Category facility can now be used for organisations as well.  The Nature field has been added to the Member form, to identify this record as either an "organisation" or a "member". Dependent on the value chosen for Nature, the form's appearance changes as appropriate. New member records added with a Nature of organisation will automatically appear on the Organisation form. Records added on the Organisation form will automatically appear on the Member form with a Nature of "Organisation".

The Organisation Category form is no longer available, and does not appear on the Organisation menu. This form's functions are taken over by the Member Category system. All previously specified Organisation Categories are automatically transferred to the Member Category system during the Organisation conversion process.

All mBase reports have been modified to take account of these changes, which are transparent to the user (ie, everything still looks the same.)

2. Physical Address added to Member form

A detailed physical address has been added to the third line of the Member form. The single text field formerly known as Physical Address now appears under the heading Directions. The Alternate Address field remains unchanged. Various new reports are available which use the physical address fields, on the Member Category form.

3. Remote database synchronisation introduced

Users of mBase will often organise conferences and seminars at remote locations at which it would be useful  to capture new or changed membership information, for members attending the function. Using the synchronisation facility, this can now be done with minimal effort.

 A slave copy of the mBase data master file can be taken, loaded on an independent machine such as a laptop (with no link back to the original mBase data master), and used at a remote location such as a conference or seminar.  mBase now logs ALL changes to the Member and Member Category environment, all the time. This log can be extracted in the form of a .csv (comma separated values) batch file from the slave copy of mBase, after the completion of the remote event. This log can then be used to update the mBase Master file (generally located on a server on the association's LAN) with all the changes made on the remote system.  This log file can be simply transported via email or memory stick.  All this is accomplished via just 2 buttons on the mBase Special menu, one to create the csv file, and one to apply the csv file to the current database.

Currently this facility does not capture or replicate changed billing information, only changed membership and member category information.

4. Member Category filter simplified and enhanced

The Member Category form has been divided into those members and reports associated with the currently specified category, and those members and reports associated with the current filter.

Selecting a category in the Search area at the top right of the form will cause the specified category to be displayed, along with the members belonging to that category  on the Specified Category Members subform. The Category Billing subform and the reports on the Specified Category reports subform will reflect the set of members displayed on the Specified Category Members subform.

On the Member category form, the Exclude Members and Include Members subforms have been replaced by the Member Filter subform. On this form you continue to select up to 5 member categories in which you are interested. However, you can now specify the join operator (and, or , and not, or not) between categories, allowing complex searches to be created. For example, queries such as "Associate members" and not "Gauteng" would select all the associate members except those in Gauteng.  The default join operator is "and", equating to the original Exclude Members subform. 

The Bulk Invoicing subform and the reports on the Filter Reports subform will reflect the set of members displayed on the Member Filter subform. Reports accessed via the Communications subform will also reflect the set of members displayed on the Member Filter subform.

 5. Primary Org changed to Primary relationship 

With the inclusion of Organisations on the Member form, the former Primary Org relationship could now be to any other nature of record on the member file,  organisation or member. Thus, the heading Primary Org on the Member form has been changed to Primary Relationship.  The Member Relationships subform has also been changed to reflect this new arrangement.

6. Contents of Log file records changed 

In order to support the Synchronisation facility, the contents of the Log file has changed slightly, to allow more specific identification of actions. This is reflected in the Member Logs subform.

7. Member Transaction History report introduced

The Member Transaction History report (found at the bottom left of the Member Reports subform) shows ALL financial transactions for this member, and provides a useful analysis tool for both the member and the mBase accountant. The Email Transaction History to Member button (next to the Member Transaction History button) will convert this report to a PDF file, attach it to an email and send it to the member.

8. 3 Way category analysis introduced

The Category analysis feature on the Supercategory form now allows up to 3 separate categories to be included in each analysis. For example, in an analysis by region, you can specify both member type and member status against each region. Thus one can see the number of "Active" members of type "Associate" in each region. As before, you can specify up to 9 columns across, and an unlimited number of rows (dependent on the number of categories in the chosen supercategory).

9. Add selected category to all members selected on Bill Item Payments  subform

It is sometimes convenient to deal with members in a particular payment status as members of a category. For example, all the members who have registered but not yet paid for a conference may need to be dealt with on a regional basis. After first selecting the Bill Item and payment status ("Under paid", "Paid", etc) on the Bill Item Payments  subform, select the appropriate category to which these members will be added on the new Add to Mem Category combo box on the Billing Item Financial Reports subform. The selected members will all be added to the specified category, only if they are not already a member of that category (ie, they will not receive duplicate category membership).

Commonly, once the particular purpose of this exercise has been served, the membership of this category and the category itself may well be deleted. 

10. Useful zoom facilities introduced on All Transactions accounting subform

To make it easier to find the Bank Statement entry to which a transaction appearing on the All Transactions subform applies, a zoom facility on the date field has been introduced. This field now appears as blue and underlined. Double clicking on a particular date will cause a jump to the specific Bank Statement entry with which this transaction is associated.

The Transaction Description field now also has a zoom facility which jumps directly to the appropriate transaction on the mBase Transaction form, where changes to the this transaction can be made, with suitable caution.

11. Billing History now preserved in Year End processing

When the Year End process is run, individual ledger transactions are summarised into a single opening balance transaction, and the individual transactions are deleted. These individual transactions represented the settlement of the corresponding bill items for each member. With the transactions deleted, the bill items would appear to be still outstanding, so the bill items corresponding to the deleted transactions were themselves deleted.

This problem has been overcome in version 6 of mbase. The summarised ledger transactions are now transferred to a transaction archive file, where they continue to represent the settlement of the corresponding bill items. Thus the entire billing history for each member is preserved, even when the ledger transactions are rolled up into opening balances by the year end process.

12. Empty email addresses now part of Search criteria

It is often useful to be able to select those members who do NOT have an email address. You can now type "null" into the email search field on the Search  form, to retrieve those members with empty email addresses. Obviously this can be usefully combined with other searches on, for example, category.

To search for members who DO have email addresses, type "@" into the email search field.

13. Initials and Salutation automatically extracted

A member's initials are automatically extracted from the Other Names field as the cursor enters the Initials field. If you wish to change the generated initials, simply overwrite them.  Similarly, the predefined rules on the Control record for generating the Salutation (Dear Name) are automatically applied when the cursor enter the Salutation field. If you wish to change the Salutation, simply overwrite it.

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