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Friday, December 31, 2010

A "Nice" New Feature...Coming Soon!

Howdy all!

Thanks for your feedback on the previous poll. I learned that not everyone has a single cutoff date. So the "nice" new feature I had in mind will have to be a little more flexible.

Speaking of which...I think it's time to let y'all in on what it is, because I have another poll with a question regarding it. The new feature I had in mind was "Upcoming Offers of the Month". This would be a new screen that shows you the upcoming offers, as well as REMINDING you to place an order for the items if you haven't done so already. By knowing the date when you place your orders, it can flash at you when the date gets close and you still haven't ordered the items yet. It will also serve as a quick ordering system, just like on the Inventory Management screen.

I can make automatic updates for this system, but in order to do that, everyone has to have the same offers each month. So, my question is:

Are the following monthly offers correct for you?

  • January - Bible Teach or Knowledge or Worship
  • February - Is There a Creator? or God's Word or Family Happiness
  • March - Bible Teach
  • April - Watchtower and Awake! Also Bible Teach.

This will be a fairly complex system...but not quite as complex as Inventory Management. I am starting on it today, and will probably post some more questions over the course of the next few days. Please check back frequently so you can help me out, and thus help me get done sooner, while I have the free time. ;-)

Thanks!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Poll: What is your cutoff date for submitting your orders?

Howdy all!

Thank you for your participation with the previous poll. I was surprised to see how many people wanted to keep the "New Month Detected" message on the Inventory Management. It shall stay! Thanks for your feedback. :-)

As far as the "Preorder" screen, due to the responses and my own inclination, it is still scheduled to be removed. If anyone really wants to keep it, then please leave a comment on this post letting me know how much you use it and any other really good reasons for keeping it. My reasons for removing are:

  1. Less confusion (don't have to explain this feature)
  2. Space saved (on the screen, and regarding LRO's size).
  3. One less thing to maintain.
  4. One less thing to translate.
  5. And the biggest reason: Absolutely no different than pen & paper. In fact, pen & paper is currently superior, unless I would add a printable version of the Preorder items, which would be another thing to maintain & translate.

So yeah...I might still keep it...but I need to be convinced. ;-)


Alright...for the new poll...which is in regard to a new feature I'm trying to add...I need to know:

When is the cutoff date for you submitting your orders to JW.org (or for mailing your orders off)? This poll is now closed.

I don't want to know the date when you usually decide to do it...I want to know the actual cutoff date when must submit your order. Knowing this will affect how I design the new feature.

Please, I would like as many responses as possible. The more I collect, the better I can design the new feature. And I'm hoping to work on it this Friday. So please vote as soon as possible.

Thanks!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A few Polls

Howdy all!

It looks like I'm going to have another update. How many times have I said "this update will be my last?" I've lost count... :-P

Anyways, with this update, I got some minor tweaking & cleaning up to do. Also, got a pretty nice new feature in mind...if all goes well. In the meantime, here's a few polls:

  1. Should the "Deliverable Items" screen (where you can edit the Deliverable items or mark them off) be sorted by PUBLISHER first? Currently, it is sorted by Request Month (or Date). I find myself using this screen, when at the hall, and sorting by Publisher. That way a quick glance at my screen will tell me if I have something to hand out to the person who's passing by.
  2. Can I remove the "Preorder Items" feature? Personally, I never use it. You turn it on via "Settings", and it appears on the "Order Form" screen. It's suppose to allow you to put in orders for items that aren't in LRO yet, but I don't think it even serves that purpose well.
  3. Can I remove the "New Month Detected" message from the Inventory Management screen? This is displayed when your last inventory entry is one or more months behind the actual month we are in. Does anyone find this useful? I imagine we know when it is time to check in our inventory, without the program telling us "it's time!".

No ETA on the next release, but I'm hoping it will be quick (2-3 weeks).

Thanks!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Version 1.3.6 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Bug Fix: Orders By Publication (Show Details)...The column headers were not translating.
  • Bug Fix: Inventory Management...Could not process the month for a new congregation if there was another congregation with inventory data.
  • Bug Fix: Inventory Management...Could not delete an entire month of inventory if another congregation with inventory data had inventory data for a month beyond the current congregation.
  • Cosmetic changes for Inventory Month Check-In form. Grey lines and boxes are now lighter, and the header text is now black.

Wow...1.3.6 already? Yeah...had some nasty bugs in the Inventory Management. You could have 2 congs with inventory...but the 2nd one was pretty much worthless. Remember me saying I'm not perfect?

Those who hadn't upgraded to 1.3.5 yet, PLEASE make sure you read the last 2 posts. See what changed with 1.3.5, and also how to prepare for it.

If you find any more bugs, please submit them as soon as possible.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Version 1.3.5 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • New Feature: A separate Inventory for each congregation!!!
  • Added: Help information for two new Inventory Management settings.
  • Added: Suggested Stock Item Orders report...suggested items that you haven't ordered more of yet are highlighted in bold.
  • Changed: On Publisher report, you will see "*All Publishers" instead of a blank selection.
  • Changed: Increased Suggested Stock Item Orders sensitivity...now is 2 (Low), 3 (Normal), or 4 (High) months, instead of 1, 2, or 3.
  • Changed: On the Inventory Management screen...items now sort by "language" first.  This matches the "Month Check-In" form.
  • Changed: On duplicate order warning, the status names match up with the statuses you see on the Order Form screen.  Less confusion...
  • Changed: On Inventory Management screen, after Processing the month...the filter is cleared.
  • Changed: On Inventory Management screen, after deleting a whole month...the filter is cleared.
  • Changed: Deliverable/Completed summary & detailed reports under the "Publication" (formerly "Status") tab.  They now are ordered by publications first.
  • Fixed: Update Management will not prompt again if there were no updates to apply.
  • Fixed: "Process Month" doesn't return after deleting the last month, if it was invisible.
  • Fixed: On Inventory Management screen, if a filter is in use that returns 0 results, you cannot process the month or delete the month. Now you can.

**PLEASE MAKE A MANUAL BACKUP BEFORE UPDATING**

With this release comes the new feature of separate Inventories.  This is a fairly BIG change.  Although everything went well through testing, let us remember that I am NOT perfect, and therefore there is potential for issues.

Also...please make sure you have read the blog post below (regarding preparing for this update) before you do the update!

Alright, now that all the warnings are out of the way...I'd like to say this update has quite a few label changes regarding the reports.  If you look at the "Reports" screen, you will notice several changes to the words (such as "Publication" as the tab name instead of "Status"), and the none of the reports say "History" of this and that.  It's much simpler now.  This has freed up some space for the titles of some of the reports, more friendly for those with long-named congregations.

Also, you will noticed the DETAILED reports for "Deliverable" & "Completed" orders under the "Publication" tab are now grouped by publication.  Those that liked the way it was before (grouped by Publisher) need to use the report found under the "Publisher" tab.  You will get the same result.


This is the last update...unless someone can show me some bugs.  If I don't get any bug submissions in 2 weeks, then I will shift gears to do more translations & more detailed documentation.

Once again, I thank everyone for their feedback!  :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preparing for 1.3.5

Howdy all!

Version 1.3.5 is soon to be released.  I am just waiting on translations and testing.  With this release comes the new ability to have a separate Inventory for each congregation.  In order to ensure your current Inventory goes to the right congregation, you will need to visit your "Settings" screen and configure the setting for "Which congregation handles stock orders?".


Whatever congregation you have set here is the congregation that will receive ALL the Inventory.  NOTE: You must set this BEFORE upgrading to 1.3.5.  If you have multiple congregations and you forget to set this, a congregation will be randomly selected to get the Inventory.

Now if you only have ONE congregation in LRO, then you do not have to worry about this setting.  Your congregation will automatically get all the inventory.


Due to the voting in the polls, it looks like I didn't need to provide a way to transfer inventory from congregation to congregation.  I hope this holds true 99% of the time.  I can easily help someone out to manually move their Inventory over by utilizing a remote support session.  It would just take me 5 minutes.  But if I happen to get MANY request to move inventory, then I will reconsider building that functionality into LRO.

Thank you all for your feedback!  :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Poll: Should I add the ability to transfer inventory between congregations?

Howdy all!

With the upcoming release, you will get the ability to keep a separate inventory for each congregation. I have been debating on whether to add the ability to transfer the entire inventory from one congregation to another congregation.

I can only see this as being needed now...once you get this ability...if you've been keeping track of multiple congregations' inventory in LRO. But I don't know how often, if at all, the coordinating congregation changes. Even so, this would only really become important if LRO was being used by multiple congregations simultaneously. In any case, there are several questions that arise regarding this:
  • What inventory items get transfered? All? Or separate by language?
  • What happens if the other congregation has the same item in the same language already? Do they get added together? Or is the user prevented from tranfering the inventory?
  • If prevented from tranfering the inventory...do I have to build another report to show what items are causing it not to transfer?

These questions make me wonder if it is worth the time/effort to make a "transfer" function, especially since it may only be used once. What do you think? The poll is:

Should I include the ability to transfer the inventory from one congregation to another?

This poll is now closed.

As far as who gets your current inventory, that will be determined by your "Which congregation handles stock orders?" setting. So you can control that by changing the setting before upgrading to 1.3.5. Of course, if you only have 1 congregation, that congregation will get it...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Literature Item Updates

Howdy all!

I have put out some literature updates as follows (for ENGLISH users only):

Added Symbol for:

  • 7074 - Would you like to know the Truth?
  • 9215 - Noah Walked With God - David Trusted in God
  • 9422 - Sing to Jehovah - Piano Accompaniment

Changed Name for:

  • 9239 - FROM: Faithful Under Trials and Purple Triangles
  • 9239 - TO: Jehovah's Witnesses--Faithful Under Trials and Purple Triangles--On DVD
  • 9238 - FROM: Young People Ask-How Can I Make Real Friends?
  • 9238 - TO: Young People Ask--How Can I Make Real Friends?--On DVD
  • 9225 - FROM: Young People Ask - What Will I Do With My Life?
  • 9225 - TO: Young People Ask--What Will I Do With My Life?--On DVD

The name changes are to reflect what the society has on their website.  So they will match up perfectly on the reports that are sorted by name.


ATTENTION NEW USERS (if you started with 1.3.4):

It appears that I made these changes already with 1.3.4.  Though I'm not 100% sure.  If you get prompted to download the updates, and then it says "There were no updates to apply", then please click on "Ignore" on the Update Management screen.  Otherwise it will keep prompting you.

I will have this fixed with the next release...so if there are no updates, it won't prompt again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Poll - Change the Suggested Stock Orders algorithm

Howdy all!

I don't know about you, but when using the Suggested Stock Item Orders report (in the Inventory Management system), I find myself setting the Sensitivity to "High" all the time. I rather see the alert too soon than not soon enough. In fact, the S-28 form recommends you stock up for a 3-month supply...which the "High" sensitivity basically shows you what you will run out of in 3 months.

Personally, I want to bump up the algorithm. Right now, it is:
  • Low - 1 month
  • Normal - 2 months
  • High - 3 months

I would like to make it:

  • Low - 2 months
  • Normal - 3 months
  • High - 4 months

I would NOT change the Standard Deviation calculation...it seems fine for now. But I think this change would be beneficial.

What do you think? Please vote in the poll.  This poll is now closed.

PS - ETA of 1.3.5 is unknown at this time. I had a Bible Highlights part Tuesday, and I have 4 more parts over the next 2 months. So I've been quite busy. ;-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Version 1.3.4 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • New Feature: Inventory Automation...when you mark an item as ordered, it will add it to Inventory with all values at 0. This will help because now the item will appear on the Month Check-In form, so you don't have to enter it in manually.
  • New Feature: Setting for a minimum threshold on the Suggested Stock Item Orders report.
  • New Feature: Setting to Highlight negative values on the Mock S-28 Form.
  • Added: Extra warning if refusing to do import of data on LRO upgrade.
  • Added: Inventory Management...a "delete whole month" button.  Looks like a trash can.
  • Added: Help information for the Annual Items ordering screen.
  • Added: "*All Languages" and "*All Congregations" selections on Report filters...instead of just being blank selections.  Less confusing.
  • Added: Reports...Publisher(tab)...the ability to filter by the "Stock" publisher.
  • Added: Reports...Publisher(tab)...the ability to show ALL of a publisher's activity, regardless of Status.
  • Added: Quick view date if Request Month is turned on. On all Order Management screens...hold down SHIFT on your keyboard and double-click on the Request Month field to see the Order Placed Date.
  • Changed: If there is no "LRO_Backup.mdb", LRO will now always make a backup on close, regardless of if you went anywhere in the system.
  • Changed: Wording on Mock S-28 Form's disclaimer to say "unless you are given permission to do so."
  • Changed: Settings that are applied to all congregations are saved immediately...this will prevent any issues that may occur if LRO were to crash or exit improperly when you are on the Settings screen.
  • Fixed: "Reset Filter" on Reports...Publisher(tab) did not reset the Order Status to a valid entry.
  • Fixed: Annual Items grid entry no longer allows negative numbers.
  • Fixed: Annual Items grid entry no longer submits orders for '0' quantity.
  • Fixed: English languages show up on Suggested Stock Item Orders report, regardless of your language settings.
  • Bug Fix: Access 2010 doesn't hide ribbon on load. Need to check registry for ribbon.
  • Bug Fix: Error when exiting LRO while viewing any one of the Inventory Management reports.
  • Bug Fix: Issues on Inventory Management when deleting an entire month (next/prev buttons not needed, no process month, can't go to last month after deleting latest when there are 2 left).
  • Bug Fix: Bug with Reports...Request Month(tab)...the report was always looking for "Stock" publisher in calculation.
  • Bug Fix: Inventory Automation issue with storing items as their Visible language...instead of the LanguageID.

With 2 new settings, the Settings screen changes again.  There is a new "Inventory Management" section, and the inventory management automation moved over there along with the 2 new settings.  Regarding the "Threshold" setting...from my testing, you may get many suggestions to order items you no longer keep in stock.  If that is the case, you have 2 options.  You can either turn OFF the Threshold option, or you can deactivate the items that you don't want to show up as suggested orders.

To Spanish & Russian users:

If you use the Inventory Management Automation setting...you may have encountered a bug that was fixed with this release.  This bug was only evident on the Inventory Management screen.  If you see "Español" or "Русский" being highlighted in blue, as if it wasn't your default language, then you have experienced this bug.  Or if you see "Español" or "Русский" as a choice of language twice, then you will have experienced this bug.  In this case, please send me an e-mail since you will need specific instructions on how to fix this bug.  Once fixed, you won't see it again because the cause of the bug has been fixed with 1.3.4.  Sorry for any inconveniences.


Thanks to all who submitted bugs & new feature requests.  I have had a few requests regarding separating Inventory Management by congregation.  This makes sense to me and will be done.  So...looks like 1.3.4 isn't the last update just yet.  I will have another release before I switch focus to more translations.

Thanks again for your support!  :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Regarding the poll...

Howdy all!

Regarding the last poll, about setting a minimum threshold for the Suggestion report, I decided to make it a Setting that you can configure.  It was quick and easy, and judging by the votes (and from what I experienced by turning it on), it looks like it might be a feature my users will want to select for themselves.  ;-)

So you can set it to 5, 10, or not at all.

Thanks for the feedback!  :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Poll - Minimum threshold for suggested stock orders

Got a quick poll for everyone. With the Suggested Stock Item Orders report, I believe that there should be a minimum threshold...that way items that you might move 1 a month, or even 1 every other month, would be caught in time to resupply. Usually, such an item must not be that critical, if you are barely moving any of it. But I'm thinking along the lines of Reasoning books, Organized books, or Benefit from the TMS books. You usually want to keep 5-10 of them around, but they don't move a lot.

So the poll is:

Should I establish a minimum threshold for the Suggested Stock Item Orders report? If so, is 5 enough? Or 10?

This poll is now closed.

In other words...if the average movement of Reasoning books is 1/month, then the suggested threshold (with a sensitivity of Normal) would be 2. Obviously, you don't want to wait until it gets that low. So I can artifically make it 5 instead (or 10). It will never have a lower threshold.

In addition, there's no reason to make it different for Tracts, booklets, etc. If they're barely moving so that you're only moving about 1/month...then this will catch it. Otherwise, their average movement will be plenty. ;-)

Thanks!

PS - Version 1.3.4 on schedule for release this weekend! If anyone has any more suggestions (or found any bugs) please submit them soon!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The History of LRO

Were you there when LRO was started?  Did you watch it as it grew up?  If not, I invite you to take a trip down memory lane!  I created a page dedicated to the History of LRO:

The History of LRO page

Personally, I find seeing the changes (and how crazy it used to look) quite interesting!  Yes...that's right...I have screenshots!

Enjoy!  :-)

Watchtower Library as "Annual Item"

Howdy all!

There was a good suggestion about the Watchtower Library CDs being categorized as "Annual Items".  This is a good idea!

Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to push out this change through updates.  In addition, remember that YOUR literature list is preserved over updates.  So I can make this change on an update, but YOUR version of the CDs (which are categorized as "Computer Programs") will be what is preserved.

So if you would like to setup your WT Library CDs as "Annual Items", follow these directions:

  1. Log into your congregation.
  2. Visit the "Literature Items List" screen.
  3. Filter for "Watchtower Library".  You will then see all of the WT Library CDs. 
  4. Under "Type of Item", switch them all to "Annual Items".

Simple as pie!  But if anyone has any issue, let me know.  I can provide screenshots if needed.

NOTE: I made this change to LRO on one of the past few updates.  I just forgot to announce this good suggestion.  So some new users will notice this is already how their CDs are set.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Version 1.3.3 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Added: "Pending" field to Suggested Stock orders report. Also changed the "Order Placed" field to either be a blank checkbox, or show how much you actually ordered if you placed an order already for one of the suggested items.
  • Changed: The detailed Pending Items report now sorts by "Type of Item" first, and then item number.
  • Changed: Reports screen...Status dropdown now says "*All Active Orders" instead of just being blank.
  • Changed: Inventory Management screen...you will now stay on same item when going to another month.
  • Removed: Extraneous Report buttons.
  • Fixed: Length of progress bar for Russian users.
  • Fixed: After deleting a whole month from Inventory, if you click on "Prev. Month", it now successfully goes to the previous month, instead of jumping 2 months over.
  • Fixed: Some of the font appears as cursive on Run-time only editions of Access.
  • Fixed: Missing translated version of language "English" for Spanish & Russian users.
  • Bug Fix: "Request Month" field was showing up on Unordered Items screen when "Date Placed" field was suppose to.
  • Bug Fix: The filter for "Date Placed" on the Publisher Order Search screen was not working.
  • Bug Fix: View All Orders screen...if you filter for a language & also are showing completed orders, then when you try to return to the Main Menu, an error occurs.
  • Bug Fix: SendKeys "Permission Denied" issue on UAC enabled computers. SendKeys are used to hide the Ribbon (for Access 2007 & 2010 users), which simply fails. But when using the "Find" button on Inventory Management, it gives an "Permission Denied" error. Some users may still experience this under very specific circumstances.
  • Bug Fix: "Invalid use of null" if there is an S-28 form update available after reloading data.
  • Bug Fix: Inventory Management screen...error when trying to add a quick order for a new item (blank line). Now does nothing at all (instead of throwing up an error).
  • Bug Fix: "Date Placed" filter would not work on all order screens if the user's computer had a system date for another region.
  • Minor cosmetic changes.

LOTS of bug fixes on this one!  I had no idea I had so many bugs crawling around!  O_o

I hope y'all like the improvements to the Suggested Stock Item Orders report.  Instead of just showing a checkbox, which is checked when you placed an order for one of the suggested items already, it now shows the QUANTITY of how much you actually ordered.  But if you haven't ordered one of the suggested items yet, an empty checkbox is there (in case you want to print it out and check it off when you get around to ordering it).  Also added a "Pending" field...so you can see if you have any of the suggested item on the way already too!

As was mentioned in a previous post & poll, the "extra" report buttons found on the Order Form screen and the View All Orders screen have been removed.  The same reports can be found on the Reports screen by using the "Status" tab, selecting the appropriate status, and then checking off "Show Details".


**ATTENTION**

There is only ONE more update planned for LRO.  That being a fact, please submit any and all bugs you may find with this new release.  Any special requests should also be submitted as soon as possible.

After the release of 1.3.4, a more detailed instruction manual will be worked on...and more translations of LRO may also be developed, if there is interest.  English volunteers will be needed to supervise and "proofread" the translations.  More details will be provided later.

Of course...literature updates will always continue.  And new versions will be released as needed.  I'm not stopping my work with LRO...just changing focus from new features to more translations.  ;-)

Much thanks to everyone who has helped with this project!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quick Poll - Change sorting of Detailed Pending report

Howdy all!

I have a quick poll in response to a comment from my previous post.

Currently, the detailed Pending items report is sorted purely by Item Number. Personally, I don't see the usefulness in that. A comment was made that when Annual Items remain pending, then paper is wasted by printing them out again and again. So to solve that, I can make the detailed Pending Items report sort by the Item Type first, and then all the Annual Items will be together. Then you could just leave out the pages with the annual items (to do this, go to "File" -> "Print" instead of using the Print button on the toolbar), thus saving paper.

Note how I emphasized only the detailed Pending Items report. The summary one (where similar items are added together) will remain sorted by Symbol so it will match the Packing List that comes with a shipment.

So the poll is...

Do you want me to change the sorting of the detailed Pending Items report?

This poll is now closed.

I don't expect any objections...but you never know. ;-) If anyone does disagree, please voice your concern in the comments as well.


Thanks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Progress...or a change of direction

Howdy all!

Since I've had quite a bit of free time the past few days, I've been working on the Report enhancements. I'm at the point where this is turning out to be not only a major task for me, but also I see it as being a huge confusion for the end user.

For example:



Everything is driven by the Status of the orders. As you change the status, certain fields that you can group or sort by are disabled/enabled, since not all fields are on the report. And then, even the Start Date & End Date/Request Month fields are disabled in certain situations (why would you want to see Unordered items for a certain date range??).

To me, this is going to turn out to be a mess. Not only programmatically, but also from the perspective of understanding how it works by the end user. And based on the comment of a couple of users, I think the current design is plenty enough (where the Tabs are understood to be what you want the focus of your report to be based on).

If desired, I can add the ability to change the sort order to the existing design much more easily. Though I question if this is necessary. Is there anyone who would currently benefit from changing the sort order at this time? Because if the only reason for the feature is to keep up with the Society's changes, I can do that pretty quickly. ;-)

Please...use the comments section on this blog post to discuss this. I think this needs to be more than just a simple poll. Remember, you can submit comments annonymously...

Thanks!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Items

Howdy all!

I got a couple of new items for English users:

  • 6653: The Pathway to Peace and Happiness (for Buddhists)
  • 9268: The Bible--What Is Its Message?--On DVD

Item #9268 is for American Sign Language only.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Version 1.3.2 has been released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Added: The "Order Placed" field to the Suggested Stock Item Orders report. This shows if you already placed an order for a suggested item.
  • Changed: Inventory Month Check-In form was only using Initial Quantity to display your current inventory quantity. Now it is using Initial Quantity + Received.
  • Changed: LRO's default backup system doesn't make a new backup when all you did was just open LRO. You must navigate to the Main Menu or go to the Congregation List screen before LRO will do a backup.
  • Fixed: Suggested Stock Item Orders was not handling items in multiple languages correctly.
  • Fixed: Suggested Stock Item Orders was using the "Moved" column to calculate your current Stock Quantity. That might work for some people...however using Initial Quantity + Received will work even better, which is what it is now using.
  • Fixed: If you just turned the automatic update checking system back on, and the last check was a failure, LRO will say that the update check has failed for the last month. Now...turning the auto-update check system on/off will reset the month calculation.
  • Fixed: Manually doing an update (outside of the Update Management screen) will now be recorded so LRO won't prompt you again that there is an update available.

This update is mainly about some fixes.  There is a new field on the Suggested Stock Item Orders report.  This field is a box that you can use to check off (if you print out the report).  Otherwise...it will check it off automatically if you already have an order for the item that is suggested.  If you have an order that is either Unordered or Pending, then you will see that LRO will check off this field for you.  This is to help you see that you've already taken the suggestion and placed an order.

Also, if you noticed, I was using the "Moved" column to calculate your current Stock Quantity for the Suggested Stock Item Orders report.  Yeah I know...what was I thinking?  Well, "Moved" always accurately showed the total we have in stock (until I update the Stock EOM)...but I wasn't thinking about my users who might have automatic inventory management turned on.  Their numbers would be different.  So...it has been adjusted.  ;-)

Improvements to reports are next...unless someone can point out a few bugs I missed.  ETA is 2 months.  Yeah...time for a break.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Items

Howdy all!

Got some new items for English and Russian users.  Russian users will get the following:

  • 4410 - Ежегодник Свидетелей Иеговы 2010 (CD)
  • 5232 - Божье слово к нам через Иеремию 
  • 6653 - Путь к миру и счастью (для буддистов)
  • 6654 - Была ли жизнь создана?
  • 6655 - У истоков жизни. Пять вопросов, которые требуют ответа
  • 9263 - Свидетели Иеговы — вера в действии. Часть 1. Из тьмы (DVD)
  • 9416 - Христианские Греческие Писания - перевод нового мира (MP3)
  • 9510 - Ежегодник Свидетелей Иеговы 2010 (MP3)

English users will get the following:

  • 2412 - Sing to Jehovah--Vocal Renditions--On Compact Disc, Disc 2

Also, you will see 1 spelling fix.  Item 2411 will be renamed to match the wording of the new item above.


Version 1.3.2 should be released next week, if all goes well.  I have a few minor improvements I want to roll out quickly, as well as fix an issue with the new Suggested Stock Item Orders system.  It is not handling items that are in multiple languages properly.

You may also notice that the Update Management system will throw a few errors when it opens.  However, if you use the "Download Now" button, it will work just fine.  It appears that when I corrected the wording to say "S-28" instead of "S-14", I didn't quite change it everywhere.  So the auto-update for the S-28 form is broke, but that's the only piece of that is.  Yet another thing that I want to quickly fix for 1.3.2. ;-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Version 1.3.1 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • New Feature: When opening the mock S-28 form, LRO checks to make sure there are no "erroneous" links.
  • New Feature: When opening the mock S-28 form, LRO checks to make sure all inventory items have a link to one of the S-28 fields.
  • New Feature: Inventory Management has a new report called "Suggested Stock Item Orders". Based on your monthly movement of literature, LRO will try to predict what you will run out of soon, and how much you should order of it.
  • Added: Inventory Management...unavailable items are now highlighted in yellow.
  • Added: "Search for Literature" (accessed via the Order Form screen) now has the ability to show "inactive" items. If you select an "inactive" item, you can actually re-activate it from this screen too!
  • Added: Mock S-28 Form Builder...new button to clear everything in the Mock S-28 Builder.
  • Added: Mock S-28 Form Builder...new button to export all of the Mock S-28 Builder settings.
  • Added: Mock S-28 Form Builder...new report to show all of the current links
  • Added: Duplicate order warning now shows you the status of the duplicated order.
  • Changed: Mock S-28 Form Builder...will now clean up "orphaned" links upon opening, even though such "orphaned" links should never happen.
  • Changed: Mock S-28 Form Builder...doesn't clear a NEW entry if there is a conflicting sort order.
  • Changed: Mock S-28 Form Builder...Missing links report now groups by item type.
  • Changed: Inventory Management...sort order. New sort order is 1.Item Type, 2.S-28 Sort Order, 3.Item Number. This 100% matches the "Inventory Month Check-in" form and will allow you to easily go down the list with that form.
  • Changed: "Search for Literature" (accessed via the Order Form screen) now maximizes.
  • Changed: Duplicate order warning now shows the Request Month, if you are using the Request Month.
  • Fixed: Inventory Management...can no longer place a quick order for an item that is unavailable.
  • Fixed: Inventory Check-In form did not include "Item Number" when sorting. Now it does.
  • Fixed: Less flickering when moving from maximized screens to non-maximized screens.
  • Fixed: Inventory Management "Find" button did not work correctly for non-English users. Changed SendKey commands to use tabbing instead of shortcut keys.
  • Fixed: LRO's Update Management mislabeled S-28 form as "S-14" form.
  • Bug Fix: The computer's Num Lock turns off due to SendKeys commands.
  • Minor cosmetic changes (removed background pictures for some screens to reduce flickering).

Wow, a lot of changes again!  Inventory Management really got an overhaul...lots of improvements to help you ensure you are getting an accurate report of all your inventory.  And then, with the new "Suggested Stock Item Orders" report, hopefully LRO will help you to ensure you never run out of your stock literature!!  :-)

NOTE: The report for suggested stock orders will ignore "inactive" literature, as well as any literature that belongs to an S-28 field with an asterisk (*) in the name.  This should filter out special request items.

Also, English users got 3 new items:

  • 6656: Real Faith - Your Key to a Happy Life
  • 4116: 'Bearing Thorough Witness' About God's Kingdom--On Compact Disc
  • 4411: 2011 Yearbook - On CD

If you do not upgrade to 1.3.1, you can still use the "Download Updates" button on the Literature Items List and get these new items.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Algorithm (again)

Howdy all!

Once again, I've changed the algorithm of the new feature (soon to be released) that will predict what you need to order for inventory. After further testing, I determined that it could be influenced by a mass movement way too much.

I now focus mainly on the Average movement. However, I do still take Standard Deviation into account. If there is a huge standard deviation (most likely a mass movement of literature), LRO will scale down the calculation of the average. So it will not be thrown way off. For those interested, here is the actual formula simplified:

Threshold = Avg * Calc

Calc =
If StDev > Avg Then
-----If Avg/StDev < .7 Then
----------Calc = Avg/StDev
-----Else
----------Calc = 1
-----End If
Else
-----Calc = 1
End If

StDev will be greater than the Avg on mass movements. Avg/StDev will determine just how large of a deviation it was. The closer to .5 it is, the larger the deviation from the average. If it is below .7, then the Avg is multiplied by it, thus reducing the Avg accoring to how large of a deviation it was.

Average is muliplied by the sensitivity (Low=1, Normal=2, High=3) so it can be used to look ahead up to 3 months. Sensitivity also changes the .7 value (Low) to .65 (normal) and .6 (High). This means that higher sensitivity will allow the deviation to affect the average more (it will be less likely to reduce the avg due to Standard Deviation). From my tests, this algorithm is even more accurate.

I hope I didn't hurt anyone's head with all this! ;-)

PS - Testing is going well!

New EULA (End User License Agreement)

Howdy all!

With the new release of 1.3.1 (hopefully this Sunday), LRO will fall under a new EULA. The previous one was a generic EULA from Microsoft. This new EULA covers more, and more accurately describes my position & feelings regarding my product.

You can read the entire EULA here, or it can be found in the link in the navigation menu to the right.

To summarize:
  • LRO is 100% free and shall always remain so.
  • You are free to copy & distribute LRO, but only in its original form
  • LRO shall never be reverse-engineered, unless explicit written consent is given by me.
  • Parts of LRO's code shall never be distributed, unless explicit written consent is given by me.
  • I offer no guarantees and am not liable for any damages caused by LRO. It is provided "as is". NOTE: This is just a "safety" for me. I will always do thorough testing before releasing an update for LRO. :-)

It's always better to err on the side of caution, hence the stronger wording & restrictions of the new EULA. If there are any questions about this change, please let me know.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Delays

Howdy all!

During my testing, I discovered a few issues and worked with a brother to get them resolved.  There is still some testing left to do, and one more fix left to work on.

In addition, I have a talk I need to work on for this Thursday.  So the release of 1.3.1 has been delayed until next weekend.

Thank you for your understanding.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Changes to algorithm of new feature

After futher testing of the new feature that predicts what you need to order, I've made changes to the algorithm. I think the default calculation needed to be 2 months in advance, because of the order of events. I don't know how it is for everyone, but for us, we wait for last month's shipment to come in first before taking a count of our inventory, which is usually after we must place our orders.

I've updated my previous post to reflect the changes I made.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Change of Plans

Howdy all!

I've been working on the new report system, and just now realized that the custom sorting is not working right. The 1st custom sort works, but LRO isn't picking up the 2nd custom sort. In addition, I'm only about 30% done with it. Therefore I have decided that the new report system can wait until 1.3.2. I want to do some more thinking and make sure I'm designing the new system in the best way possible. Also, there are too many other good changes (mainly with regards to the S-28 form) that I really want to get out there soon.

One of the new features will help detect erroneous S-28 links. For example, S-14 item 5334 clearly should be linked to S-28 field 5334. Since there's a direct relation, I can detect (and warn you) when this is not the case. LRO will also detect missing links now too. If you have item number 5306 in your inventory, but don't have any links at all on the S-28 builder, LRO will warn you. Because without the links, this inventory item would not be counted! And finally, there is a new report that will show you all of your current links. With all these improvements, LRO is really going to help you make sure your S-28 form is correct! :-)



Remember back then when I said I would consider Inventory Thresholds? Where you could set a minimum # of an item, and LRO would warn you when you get that low? Well, I've determined that this is not the best way to go. It would require much maintenance, and just add to the bells and whistles that are already going off for other things. So...I've decided the best course of action would be to create a report that uses an algorithm to predict what you need to order based on your previous movements of literature. No maintenance on your part! Just keep good inventory records, and LRO will try to help you out with suggestions on what to order. How cool is that??? ^_^

Here's what I have in mind:

You will get to choose between 3 "sensitivities": Low, Normal, or High. Based on your sensitivity, an algorithm involving the Average movement of literature and the Standard Deviation will be used. If the number of stock of an item is LOWER THAN the calculated number, than you will see LRO suggests you order more of an item. Here's the algorithms:

  • Low: The threshold will be the Average movement per month.
  • Normal: The threshold will be the Average movement multiplied by 2.
  • High: The threshold will be the Average movement multiplied by 3.

All three sensitivities take into account Standard Deviation.  If there is a mass movement of literature, the calculated average is reduced proportionally so you don't get a huge threshold.  The Standard Deviation must reach a certain threshold for itself before the Average is reduced.  The higher the sensitivity, the higher the threshold for Standard Deviation.  And so the Average will be more likely to be affected by mass movements.

Let's look at a simple example. Let's say over the course of 4 months, you move the following amount of Knowledge books: 10, 10, 50, 10. Based on these numbers, the Average would be "20" and the Standard Deviation would be "20". So the thresholds would be:

  • Low: 20
  • Normal: 40
  • High: 60

If your current quantity of an item is below that threshold, then that item will show up on LRO's report. LRO will also suggest a quantity to order, while showing you your current quantity.

Other notes on this new feature:

  • When calculating averages and standard deviations, decimals are always rounded up.
  • If an item had a negative movement for a month, that month is calculated as "0". This might happen if someone returned an item to stock, and you didn't mark it down as "received".
  • If an item is marked as "inactive", LRO will not make suggestions on it.
  • If an item is part of an S-28 field with an asterisk in the name (*), then LRO will not make suggestions for it. Since these items (with the asterisk) should be special request items only.

Of course, you shouldn't 100% rely on LRO to tell you what you need to re-stock, but hopefully this will help you catch something you missed (or didn't think of). You might have a "good" stock of a particular item, but based on previous movement, it might be a good idea to stock up again. And that is what this will hopefully catch. As we test this new feature (and I get some feedback), the algorithms may be adjusted. But I think this will do fine.

So...version 1.3.1 is scheduled for this weekend, provided all goes well of course. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Report Screen concept idea

Howdy all!

Version 1.3.1 is moving along quickly! I've gotten a lot fixed up already. I'm about ready to start on the Report improvements. But before I do, I just wanted to show y'all and get your thoughts on it:

Click image to enlarge:

Notice the "Quick Reports" at the top...which will select all the right options below to give you exactly the report you need. If you have any ideas for "Quick Reports", let me know ASAP via either the Support Forum or the comments here.

If none of the "Quick Reports" will do it for you, you will have the ability to customize the report in almost any way you need with the options below. Change the grouping, the sorting, or filter what is displayed. :-)

Once again...if there are any ideas, let me know SOON. Also...keep in mind the screenshot is a rough-draft. There will be a few changes.

Thanks!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Poll & Updated S-28 Form for Russian users

Howdy All!

I have a new poll available. Remember how I said the next release would have major improvements to the Reports? Well right now, I have some report buttons outside of the "Reports" screen. One can be found on the "View All Orders" screen and 3 are on the "Order Form & Mgmt" screen. These are NOT unique! You can run the same exact reports on the "Reports" screen by using the "Status" tab and checking off "Show Details".

That being the case...

Can I remove these "extra" report buttons, in order to save space & avoid confusion?

Please use the poll to the right to vote.

This poll is now closed.

Thanks!


Also...Russian users have an updated S-28 form available for download. Download the update if you are ready for it. :-)

PS - I also just realized that the "Update Management" screen is mislabeled...it says it is the S-14 form that has an update, but in fact it is the S-28 form. So don't be confused by this...I will correct the wording to say "S-28" in version 1.3.1.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Items available

Howdy all!

New items are available for download:

  • 9263:  Jehovah's Witnesses--Faith in Action, Part 1: Out of Darkness--On DVD
  • 5232:  God's Word for Us Through Jeremiah
  • 6654:  Was Life Created?
  • 6655:  The Origin of Life--Five Questions Worth Asking

Also, I've received an updated S-28 form for Russian users.  I should have this update ready by this weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Version 1.3.0 has been released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:
  • New Feature: Gridview for adding annual items. This tool is located under "Other Tools"
  • New Feature: Translation of Languages selection!! Spanish and Russian users will now see the list of languages in their own language!
  • Added: A "Find" button to Inventory Management. Will jump to a record instead of filtering the entire list.
  • Added: A button (with a green plus) on Inventory Management to allow for placing an order right there.
  • Added "different language highlight" to 2 history of orders reports.
  • Changed: Inventory Management's "Single Month" report is now a fillable form. Renamed to "Inventory Check-in form".
  • Changed: History of Orders for "Deliverable" and "Completed" statuses should have been showing the publisher name as the grouping & showing language instead of item number.
  • Fixed: Order Form "Reset" button CLEARED the Request Month instead of resetting it.
  • Fixed: Improved speed of inventory management report screen opening. Noticeably slow on older computers with a lot of inventory items.
  • Fixed: Error when trying to view the orders of a publisher who had an apostrophe (') in their name.
  • Fixed: Error when opening View All Orders report with Request Month turned on and with an order that has no Request Month.
  • Fixed: Issue with calulation of Access version. May have caused non-English users to get an error when trying to print a report to PDF.

Wow, lots of good changes! Most notably the translation of the list of languages into the native tongues of Spanish and Russian users. And also the grid view tool for a mass entering of orders Annual Items. This tool is located under "Other Tools". I want to thank all the brothers who gave feedback for this upgrade! It is always appreciated! :-)

Also, I noticed that I was forgot the annual item "Watch Tower Publications Index, 2010". This annual item has been included with the update, as well is available as a literature update for those who aren't ready to upgrade LRO yet.


I have not made Help information for the new gridview tool yet. I think it is fairly understandable, but in case someone needs it, here are the instructions:

Go to "Other Tools" and click on the "Annual Items - Gridview Entry" button.

You will then see a list of the Annual Items. LRO will take a guess at which year the annual items are for. If it is January - July, it will guess for the CURRENT year. If it is August - December, LRO will guess for the NEXT year. Please verify the item number (by clicking on the dropdowns and looking at the selection) before continuing.

You will then see a list of publishers in a grid format. Enter in the publisher's order for each Annual Item. You do NOT have to enter "0" for items they don't want. It is recommended that you leave it blank instead of entering "0". You will not hurt LRO if you enter "0", it is just easier to read if you leave it blank.

Finally, select the Request Month (if you have it turned on) and then click on "Submit". It will submit all the orders (and give you a message how many were added). You can then go and look at them on your Unordered Items screen.


I hope all enjoy this new version! The next upgrade will focus on improving reports. :-)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Items available

Howdy all!

I've made the annual items available for download.  This includes the daily text, bound volumes, yearbook, etc.  Please get them at your earliest convenience.

  • English users should get 7 new items.
  • Russian users should get 4 new items. (some were already added a couple months ago)
  • Spanish users should get 7 new items.

Also, I'm still working on the next release.  Not sure if I will have it done by this weekend, or if it will be a mid-week release.  The new annual items gridview tool is taking longer than expected.  Everything is going well though...but I haven't tested it on other versions of Access yet.  There may be another version that throws a wrench into my release date.

Monday, July 26, 2010

TWO New Polls & Updated Items

Howdy all!

Per your responses in the last poll, the annual items are going to be adjusted to match what is on the Society's website. When you run this update, you should see 135 Spelling Corrections (WOW!) This affects all Watchtower & Awake bound volumes and Examining the Scriptures Daily. The year will now be at the end to match what is on the Society's website, which will make verifying your order a bit easier. I also noticed a few items that have quotes (") in the title, which also changes the way they are sorted. I will let you all know when I have a solution for these (since quotes cannot be allowed in a literature item name in LRO).

Spanish Users: You've already had your literature items (bound volumes & Daily text) in the correct order!

Russian Users: You should see the new update popup on your computer now. You will also have 135 spelling corrections.


New Polls

There are 2 new polls:

1. It has been requested that I have a form that you can print out to take to the Hall and write down the S-28 (Inventory) items and bring back to enter into LRO. There is currently a report on the Inventory Management screen called "Single Month report". This report was made BEFORE I designed the mock S-28 form, and now that I have the mock S-28 form, I don't think anyone is using the "Single Month" report anymore.

I'm thinking about re-designing this report so you can print it out (and it will have your list of inventory items) and use it to fill out when taking your inventory at the Hall. Then you can bring it back home, and it will match up with the Inventory Management screen, allowing you to quickly fill in your inventory. So the question is...

Is this Single Month report being used? If not, can I replace it with this new function?

This poll is now closed.

2. Currently, duplicate orders are detected REGARDLESS if the past order is completed or not. It has been suggested that this is confusing. Rather, if an order is complete, if you submit another order like it, the new order should NOT be detected as a duplicate. So the question is...

Do you agree with this change in behavior?

This poll is now closed.

Thank you for your feedback! It is always welcome! :-)


Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Poll & New Item available

Howdy all!

I am now the Literature Coordinator for our congregation.  And as such, I can now login and see how the ordering & literature system works.  So...will probably have some good improvements with the next update!

In the meantime, I've got a poll.  I noticed that the Awake & Watchtower bound volumes have the year at the end (ie. Awake! Bound Volume 2009), whereas in LRO I have it as "2009 Awake Bound Volume".  I figured that having the year first would make it easier to select, but by doing this, the item does NOT line up with the society's list when you are ready to place your order, thus making it a little difficult to verify your order before you submit it.

So the question is...

Should I put the year for Watchtower and Awake bound volumes on the end, so it matches up with the society's website when verifying your order?  Or should I leave it like it is, so it is easier to select the right year (when typing your selection) of volume in LRO?

The poll seems to be broken for Internet Explorer.  I will report this to blogger.com and hope to get it fixed soon.  In the meantime, you can leave a comment on this blog to submit your response.  You don't need to signup to leave a comment, you can do so anonymously.


Also, there is a new item available for ordering.  The "Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom" book is now available in Large Print.  If you have automatic updating turned on in LRO, you should see a message alerting you to this on the 2nd time you run LRO.

After running the update, check and make sure you have item #6216.  This is the first "official" test of my new automatic update notification system.  ;-)

If you have any issues with the update system, let me know.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Version 1.2.9 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • New Feature: Update notifications! You will be automatically notified about new LRO updates if you have this feature turned on. Turn On/Off via "Settings".
  • Added: Row highlight feature to Inventory Management.
  • Added: "Symbol" field to Inventory Management.
  • Changed: In Inventory Management, when you are on "Init'l Qty", "Rec'd", or "Stock EOM", if you press ENTER on your keyboard, it will move DOWN to the next item.
  • Changed: View All Orders report is now in portrait mode.
  • Removed: Print to PDF feature in Access 2010 only (was not working...cannot get it to work since it is not my code).
  • Fixed: Horrible flickering when scrolling on the Inventory Management screen.
  • Fixed: LRO will be added to the Trusted Zone of Access 2007 & 2010 automatically. The tool to do this has been improved greately, so if you move LRO to another location, move the tool there and run it and it will work fine.
  • Fixed: Thick dividing line issue with Access 2007 & 2010.
  • Fixed: LRO will now work with Access 2010!
  • Cosmetic improvements to the Inventory Management screen.

Lots of good improvements here.  Most notably is the Automatic Update notification feature.  It should be turned on by default.  This will alert you when there is a new version of LRO, updates to the Literature List, or a new version of the S-14 form.  An Internet connection is required of course.  If you don't have this, you can turn off the Automatic Update notification feature by visiting "Settings".  Otherwise, it will bug you after the update check has failed for over a month.

Inventory Management got a lot of improvements.  I've added "Symbol" to the list...figured it might be handy.  Added the row highlight feature...very much needed when you're updating your inventory.  Changed the behavior of pressing ENTER on your keyboard, so it will go DOWN to the next item.  I thought this would also be quite useful, and per the voting, y'all seem to agree.  Note that you can still move to the RIGHT if you press TAB on your keyboard.  And I also improved it cosmetically.

And last but not least...LRO will automatically add itself to the Trusted Location list for Access 2007 & 2010 users.  It will specifically add only it's folder to the trusted zone.  And it does this automatically upon install.  If you move LRO to another folder, you will need to add this new folder to the Trusted Location list.  You can use the tool to do this automatically...you just have to find the tool and copy it to LRO's new location, and then run it.

More improvements on the way.  Stay tuned! :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Poll - behavior of ENTER on Inventory Management

Howdy all!

Thanks for your responses to my last poll. Looks like it is unanimous that the S-28 form should have "0" quantities be blank on the report. I can easily make this adjustment to the report for 1.2.9, though I might have to leave the "0s" in the actual Inventory Management system. I'll investigate if I can change this for 1.3.0.

Next poll is regarding Inventory Management again...

When entering the quantities for an existing item (Received & Stock EOM quantities only) and you press ENTER on your keyboard, do you want the system to...

- Move RIGHT to the next field (this is what it is doing currently)
- Move DOWN to the next item

I think that moving DOWN would be better because you will be entering all of the "Stock EOM" values at once, and so by pressing Enter, you would go DOWN the list to each item. Thus eliminating the need to click on the next one. New items would still move to the RIGHT when you press enter.

Then again...maybe you collect all the values over time, and then enter them ALL in at once. Then maybe you'd like it like it is now...

Let me hear your thoughts! Please vote. :-)

Thanks!

PS - the release of 1.2.9 is on time for this Saturday afternoon, pending no major issues during testing of course.  ;-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Poll - 0's or blanks on S-28 form?

Howdy all!

I've got a new poll available. I was informed that it is easier (and is encouraged by the society) to read the S-28 form when any item that has quantity of "0" is left blank instead. So...the poll is:

Should items that have a quantity of "0" be left blank? Or keep the "0"?

Use the poll to the right to vote.

This poll is now closed.

REMINDER: Visitors on Literaturesoft.org will need to come visit My Site in order to see and participate in the poll.

Thanks!

PS - Next version of LRO will come with automatic update notifications!!! An Internet connection will be required, of course. ;-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Version 1.2.8 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Added: The row you click on (in Order Management) will highlight grey.
  • Added: Ability to flag a Type of Item as Active/Inactive...thus hidding it from being a choice when placing an order.
  • Improved: Sorting by Request Month now includes the year, so oldest orders will ALWAYS appear first like they should. And two orders of the same month but different years will now be separated properly.
  • Improved: Behind the scenes code...ItemName and TypeofItem are linked to the Orders table, rather than storing the actual ItemName & TypeofItem. This saves space and no longer requires code to update the tables if you change an Item Name or the Type of the Item.
  • Improved: Blank Order form has better spacing.
  • Improved: Inventory items are now sorted to match the S-28 fields...for quick and easy entry. If you have items listed that are NOT S-28 fields, they will come first.
  • Fixed: Removed date input mask from Date field on the Publisher's Order Search screen.
  • Fixed: Expanded the grouping header for all of the reports that used it. I noticed it was being cut off, depending on the length of what it was grouping by.
  • Fixed: The "Language" label on the "Deliverable" and "Completed Orders" reports (the summary version). This label should actually have said "Item No." instead of "Language".
  • Fixed: Changing the sort order on Inventory Mangement doesn't work after you move to the next/previous month, or after you've processed the month.
  • Fixed: All fonts that are used in LRO are now included in the installer.
  • Fixed: If the Current Request Month setting was set to blank, it would be adjusted to "January" after an upgrade or a Restore job. It will now remain blank.
  • Fixed: Minor translation/spelling errors.

Lots of good updates!  The most major change is the behind the scenes code change, so the "Item Name" and "Type of Item" are linked to the orders rather than actually stored with them.  This was a very logical move, which should have been done from the very beginning, but I didn't know all about relational data when I started.  Although I put LRO through some very thorough testing...I highly recommend you make a backup before doing this upgrade.  After all, I'm not perfect.  ;-)

Also, with this new design, if you delete an item from the Literature Items List...and you have an order or an inventory entry for this item...it will show up as blank.  This is because after deleting it, there is no item to relate to the order/inventory item.  So heed the warning (LRO warns you if you try to delete an item that you have an order/inventory entry for) and don't delete items you are currently using.  Really...you should only use Delete if you added a new item yourself and messed up with it or something.  It is much better to mark an item inactive (remove the check from "Active) rather than deleting it.

To all ENGLISH users:

Note that Items #6648 & #7074 are NOT active.  In reality, they SHOULD be active.  So please visit your Literature Items List screen and mark these two items as active (put a check under "Active").

Friday, May 21, 2010

Updated S-28 Form and New Items

Howdy all!

Our congregation is finally going to use the Inventory Management system that I built into LRO! Which means there may be good changes or new features in store for it as we start to use it more and more.

Already I've realized that the Mock S-28 form is out-of-date. I've also realized for the S-28 fields that have multiple items (such as "All Large print books"), it would be nice to have a single corresponding S-14 item to link to it...rather than putting every single Large book individually on the Inventory Management screen. So I've put "new" special items, that are just for these particular S-28 inventory fields, so you can use them if you find that method easier. You can still list every large book, every CD, MP3, etc. individually if you would like...this method will still work correctly.


S-28 Form Updates
This applies to United States (UK uses a different S-28 form) and Spanish users.

You will get the new songbooks, "Bearing Witness", and "Bible's Message" added to your S-28 form. The linking will also be updated as needed.

To get the update, visit the "Inventory Management" screen, click on "Build Mock S-28 Form", and then click "Download S-28 Updates".


New "Special" Items
This applies to English and Spanish users.

You should get 17 new items. They should all fall under the category "Inventory Only Items". I'm not sure if UK users will be able to use these items on their S-28 form. If not, please just deactivate them (remove the checkmark from "Active")

To get the update, visit the "Literature Items List" screen, and then click on "Download Literature Updates". After you have downloaded the updates, click on "Edit Item Types" and add "Inventory Only Items" as a type (Spanish will be "Inventario Sólo Artículos").


The Russian S-28 form should be up-to-date already. But I will add the "Special" items for Russian as well, as soon as I get the translation.

I've got a few nice things coming in 1.2.8. I hope to have it ready by next weekend. If there are any questions about the updates above, please let me know in our Support Forum.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Version 1.2.7 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:
  • Added: Ability to print to PDF, without actually having a PDF printer installed!
  • Changed: Sort order for Unordered Items report (ONLY the Unordered status). Now sorts by Item Name first instead of Symbol.
  • Changed: Code for sorting, and now header labels will turn light blue instead of underlined when you sort by that column.
  • Changed: Code for filtering system, more efficient (behind the scenes)
  • Fixed: Other language items on Inventory Management now highlight blue, like on the order management screens.
  • Fixed: Improved detection of "Stock" publisher in other languages when adding to the Publisher List. LRO will not allow "Stock" publishers from any language.
  • Fixed: Installer cleans up LRO's folder before installing, thus removing old legacy or renamed files.

NOTE: The "Other Languages" link has been removed (details below).

All language versions are now in 1 single file.  During the installation...where you normally see the option to create a Desktop Icon...you will now also see the option for which language of LRO to use.  Please remember to look for this when installing LRO from this point on.  It should remember your language choice for upgrades in the future, but only if you have 1.2.7+ installed already.

Also, all of the User Guides for other languages are now under the "LRO Quick-Start Guide" link, along with the English guide.


Regarding the print to PDF feature, you will see it on the toolbar for reports, like in the image below:


For Access 2007 users, you will need to click on the "Add-Ins" tab first:


My To-Do list has grown significantly.  I've got a couple of busy weeks coming up, but afterwards I plan to tackle the To-Do list hard and fast.  In the meantime, I have some more polls on the way.

Any questions, comments, or issues, please use the support forum.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Poll - Sort order of History of Orders

Howdy all!

Our Literature Coordinator went to place the order for the month, and noticed that the Society changed the sort order in which the items are displayed when reviewing your order.  Rather than sorting by symbol, they now sort by the Item Name.  So, to match the Society's sorting, I would adjust ALL reports that are currently using Symbol as the sort order.

My question is...have you noticed this change as well?  Or is your sorting still the same?

Please use the poll to the right to respond to this question.  If you have more details to share, then please leave a comment on this blog post.

PS - Regarding the password masking for secure PDFs, I liked the idea submitted by brother Russell in our forums.  He suggested to have it masked by default, but put a little checkbox where you could quickly unhide/hide the characters.  So that will be the solution.  Great idea!  :-)

Thanks!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Poll - Mask password for PDF & Literature Update

Howdy all!

I've got a new poll available.  This one is in regards to the new Print to PDF feature that will be in the next release.  When making a secure PDF, I have 2 choices: Either use an InputBox (which does NOT hide the characters you type), or design a small form and use some code to hide the input.

It's no problem to design a small form to do this, but perhaps those who use it would like to see the password they are typing, rather than doing it twice and possibly messing up and starting over.  Personally I see this security measure as being important for transmitting the data over the Internet, not to protect it from the person hovering over your shoulder.  But anyways, I'll let you decide.  Here's the question (and please use the poll on the right to vote):

When making a password for your secure PDF, do you want the password to be masked (ex: *********)?


Also on the agenda: I've updated the code for filtering the order management screens.  It is more efficient (behind the scenes).  You probably won't notice a difference...maybe really old machines will be slightly faster.  But this change has introduced a potential problem: if there is a literature item with quotes (") in the name...LRO will crash when you apply a filter for that item.  This change to the filter system is absolutely necessary and must be done, so these literature items (1 in English, 0 in Spanish, 23 in Russian) must be fixed.  What will happen is their quotes (") will be changed to apostrophes (').

Please visit the Literature Items List screen and click on the "Download Literature Updates" button to get this update to your literature items.

Thanks!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Progress report

Howdy all!

Just wanted to remind everyone that I've been taking a break from LRO.  Things are good and stable, so there has not been a need to work on the next version.  But don't worry, I've got plans for at least a few more updates.  Just know that version 1.2.7 will not be ready for at least 4 weeks.  ;-)

In the meantime, here's a new poll for you.  Remember that visitors on Literaturesoft.org will need to come visit My Site in order to see and participate in the poll, which will be found on the right side.

I have acquired code for putting a report straight into PDF format.  No need to have a PDF printer or knowledge on how to use one.  I can even generate an encrypted PDF, which would require a password to open, in case you want to e-mail a report (such as what needs to be ordered) to another brother and would like for it to be protected.

So...the poll is...would you like (or see any use for) this kind of feature?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Russian S-28 form available for download

Howdy all!

Russian users may now update their S-28 builder so the report will match the actual S-28 form. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Go to "Учет Литературы"
2. Click on "Макет Бланка S-28"
3. Click on "Загрузить обновление S-28"
4. Say "Yes" (or "Да") to both messages that popup.

Be aware that if you made any custom changes to the S-28 builder screen, your changes will be replaced with this update that has been put together for you. I doubt this will be an issue for anyone though.

If anyone has any questions/issues, please let me know either via a comment here or via our Support Forum.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Version 1.2.6 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Added: User-guide is now included with the installer.
  • Fixed: reports no longer show blue highlight when report is blank.
  • Fixed: S-28 date range on Inventory Report is now being translated.
  • Fixed: "Stock" publisher is now being translated.
  • Changed: Location of LRO's "behind-the-scenes" backups are now the same location as where LRO is run from.
  • Changed: "Behind-the-scenes" backups will not grow more than 10 total. Was 46 total before.
  • Changed: LRO will open maximized (when using the Installer's shortcut).
  • Changed: Can now have blank Request Month setting...in case you want to make yourself select a Request Month for each order (if Request Month is turned on).
  • Changed: Item Number no longer has strict format requirements (such as ####). Only limitation is it must be no longer than 12 characters, however certain special characters are still restricted.
  • Minor improvements to code that may improve speed on slower machines.

As I mentioned before, LRO is now Installer only.  There will no longer be a stand-alone version.  Ironically, however, the change to the "behind-the-scenes" backups has actually made LRO 100% portable now...because the backups necessary to "survive" an upgrade are now being stored in the same location where LRO is being run.  After installing LRO, you can find & copy the folder to a flash drive and run it from there if you want to.  If you do this, LRO will NOT leave any data on your computer anymore, so if you have security concerns, they can now be 100% resolved.  And if you use this ability, don't neglect making backups on another drive!!

I still don't recommend using LRO on a flash drive, simply because it will operate slower, and there's the danger of disconnecting the drive without stopping LRO, thus resulting in a loss of data.  Also know that LRO could easily use up to 80 - 110 MB of your flash drive's space due to the backups it automatically keeps.  But if you would like help in running LRO on a flash drive, please post a request in the support forum.

Last but not least, the user-guides for Spanish & Russian users have been updated.  Still don't have the S-28 form setup for Russian users yet, but I'll get it soon.

In the meantime, I'm taking a break.  You'll see some more polls to vote on soon...got some more ideas and would like some feedback.  ;-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Poll: Use LRO on flash drive?

As I mentioned before, LRO will become Installer Only for the next update.  This is not going to change.  However, there are other things that could be affected based on your response to this new poll.  The question is...

Do you use LRO on a flash drive?  In other words, when you operate LRO (open it and put orders into it), are you running it from the flash drive?

Use the poll to the right to vote.  Please do NOT vote if you are NOT using LRO, of course.

NOTE: Visitors on Literaturesoft.org will need to come visit My Site in order to see and participate in the poll.

Thanks!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Version 1.2.5 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:
  • Added: New Setting, "Show text box for Notes" on the Order Form screen. Turn it on to use it, if you want it.
  • Added: Orders that are for a language other than your default language are highlighted in light blue. (I decided against yellow, I wanted it to stand out more)
  • Improved: Changing the language of LRO changes the text instantly. Before, you wouldn't notice the change until you exited Settings.
  • Russian translation has been added!

After MUCH work, and with the help of brother Vladislav, I am happy to announce that LRO is now available in Russian! :-) It can be downloaded from the Other Languages link.

Anyone downloading the Russian version, PLEASE READ THESE DIRECTION CAREFULLY!!

If you are a CURRENT user of LRO, you will need to follow these directions BEFORE YOU UPGRADE in order to successfully get the Russian Literature Items List: 

  1. Log into your congregation.
  2. Go to the Literature Items List screen.
  3. Click on "Edit Item Types"
  4. DELETE everything there.  When you go back to the Literature Items List screen, you will notice it is empty.  This will allow you to successfully get the Russian list of items. 
  5. Now you can download the Russian version.

New LRO users will not have to do this.


There were a few cosmetic changes needed in order to fit all the Russian text.  Not much, but you may notice a little bit.  Also, the Russian mock S-28 form is not available yet.  Work needs to be done on it first.  When it is ready, I will announce it and you will be able to simply update your mock S-28 form by using the "Download" button on the Mock S-28 Form Builder screen.

English and Spanish users...if you have not made any changes to the Mock S-28 Form's design, you are encouraged to "Download S-28 Updates" from the S-28 form builder screen.  I've added item #5805 and linked it where it belongs (under Indexes - multiple years).

Last but not least...the next version of LRO will be INSTALLER ONLY.  Yes, I'm sorry...no more stand-alone version.  Things are getting complicated having to maintain 6 different versions (2 in each language), and things really would be much easier in several different ways if I just had the installer version.  Will give more details about this later on.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Poll - Highlight Language on orders?

Howdy all!

I'm still working on the Russian version of LRO.  Translation is a LOT of work (as I'm sure the Spanish translators know).  ;-)  Also still working on our Kingdom Hall remodel project.  It's coming along well, and we should be done soon.

In the meantime, I've got a new poll regarding an idea for a new feature.  When looking at the list of orders on the various screens, or when looking at reports, if the language of a particular order is different than your default language, then highlight the language of the order (just the language part) so it stands out as different.  That way it grabs your attention.  ;-)

Please use the new poll (to the right) to vote!

Thanks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Version 1.2.4 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Added: Language to top of Mock S-28 form
  • Added: "Reset Filter" on all new filter screens.
  • Updated: Help info for Publisher Search asterisk
  • Changed: Request Month is no longer editable by default. Must click on "Allow Editing" to be able to change it.
  • Fixed: Item Name choices are populated after changing Item Number (if visible)
  • Fixed: Tab order on View All Orders, Pending Items, Orders by Publisher
  • Fixed: LRO adjusts date of order (if needed) when changing Request Month. Only orders for previous years are updated to be current year when Request Month is changed.
  • Fixed: Marking all orders as Received/Delivered when Inventory Automation is on will go faster and no longer flash/scroll through all records. Will now see an hourglass (or Vista/7 busy mouse) symbol and screen will refresh ONLY when it is finished.

I realized something about Request Month now that we are in a new year.  If you take an old order (perhaps because you ran out of that item) and re-submit it for the current order (simply by changing the Request Month date, and removing the mark from Ordered), it will show up as an order from last year on the month you selected.  So I put a fix that will update the date attached to an order if you change the Request Month on an older order.  It will prompt you before making the change to the date though, of course.

I also turned off the ability to change the Request Month by default.  When I first introduced the feature, I had it editable all the time so everyone could update the orders with a Request Month.  Now it is uneditable by default, but you can click "Allow Editing" to edit it, just like everything else.

Last but not least...we are remodeling our Kingdom Hall.  This means that I've got a VERY BUSY month coming up, as I take care of more than the usual congregational responsibilities.  Therefore the next update, which will be the addition of the Russian language, will be the last for about a month.  I hope to have this update by this weekend.  If anyone discovers any bugs, or has a QUICK change request, please submit it soon.

Thanks! :-)

PS - Screenshots are updated and available!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New site design!

Hope you all like the new site design and colors! There's a new poll (on the right) where you can voice your opinion.

Seems that FreeWebHosts deletes accounts that have inactive websites...my Screenshots are gone! Will try to get them back up (along with v1.2.4) tomorrow! They needed to be updated anyways...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

S-28 Form for Spanish users

Howdy all!

I have received a copy of the S-28 form in Spanish.  Spanish users can now download it and update their Mock S-28 Form.  To do this, please go to "Manejo del Inventario" -> "Constr. Form.
Simula. S-28" -> "Descargar Actualizaciones al S-28".

NOTE: This does NOT affect English users, only those who downloaded the Spanish version of LRO.

Thanks to brother Gus for providing the form, and thanks to brother Jorge for putting together the text into the spreadsheet for me!  :-)


On a different note...English users, you may want to delete items #9826 & 9830 from the "Literature Items List" screen.  During our Spanish translation, these items were discovered to be extraneous.  I could not find them in the Watchtower Publications listing either.  I'm not going to write a "delete" routine...I don't want to be deleting things out of your data.  So I'm telling you here that these two "sample" items don't appear to exist anymore and can be deleted.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Version 1.2.3 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Improved Feature: Filtering ability on all order management screen can now filter multiple columns at the same time.  See the new blue bar above the orders.
  • Added: "Total Items Shown", on all order management screens, you will see a sum of all the items in the orders displayed.
  • Added: "Type of Item" to the View All Orders screen.
  • Improved: LRO now closes MUCH faster! Rather than exporting your data (the tables) in order to "survive" updates, LRO now just makes a copy of itself (the entire program). Amazingly, that works MUCH faster than exporting each table.  Go figure! :-P
  • Improved: Deliverable Items report is now in portrait mode.
  • Changed: LRO now shows you the whole publisher list on the Order Form screen, regardless whether the publisher has an order or not. The asterisk next to their name means they are waiting on an order.
  • Fixed: Inventory management will start at the beginning of the last inventory period...if there is no data for Inventory Management yet.  So if there is no data, you will see the Inventory Management start in September or March, whichever was the last.
  • Fixed: Mock S-28 form now separates items by language instead of adding all the languages together.
  • Fixed: LRO will only Compact & Repair when it reaches 10 MB in size. Thus speeding up exiting on slower machines or when run from a flash drive. Theoretically, it should not reach this size until after 1-2 years of usage.
  • BUG FIX: Automatic & Manual backups would report a failure, even though it was actually successful.

Yes indeed, LRO closes MUCH faster now!  It is amazing the difference...depending on the speed of your computer, it may even be less than a second.  For those who have slower computers, or are running it off of a flash drive, it may still be slow, possibly around 8 seconds.  So you will notice the progress bar still appears, but on the super-fast computers...it just appears & then disappears. This is normal...as long as you don't get any error messages, everything is fine. :-)

I have received a copy of the S-28 form in Spanish.  I will be working on this, and will hopefully have an update available to the Spanish users in a few days.  Will let you all know when it is available.

I hope you all enjoy the new filter system & the new "Total Items Shown" counter at the bottom.  I know I could have used both of these when I was checking in our last shipment (it was my first experience)!  ;-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Calling all Spanish brothers - Need S-28 form

Howdy all!

I am still searching for a Spanish version of the S-28 form.  Spanish users will notice that the mock S-28 form still has all the items in English.  While we could translate each item individually, if the S-28 form in Spanish has a different order of its categories and items, it would not be as easy to transfer the data from the Mock form onto the real form.  Therefore it is necessary to get a Spanish S-28 form to accurately recreate how it looks.

If any of you Spanish brothers can get a hold of the S-28 form, please send it to me via e-mail (literatureroomorganizer@gmail.com) so I can update the Mock S-28 form for Spanish users.  :-)

Also, I was informed that the S-28 form should only display a single language, not combine literature from other languages.  So the next update will allow you to select the language to display on the report, based on the languages of the items you've entered.  I will allow you to leave this option blank in order to combine the languages, just in case it is applicable to you situation.

Thanks!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Literature Update available - New Items added

Howdy all!

There is a Literature Update available for download.  To receive it, you must have an internet connection on the computer you are using LRO on.  Go to the "Literature Items List" screen and click on the "Download Literature Updates" button.

For English, the following items were added:

  • 8397 (km insert) - How Do I View Blood Fractions and Medical Procedures Involving My Own Blood?
  • 8020 (form) - Volunteer Letter

For Spanish, the following items were added:

  • 6652 (Folletos grandes) - La Biblia y su mensaje
  • 9261 (DVDs) - Las maravillas de la creación revelan la Gloria de Dios
  • 5416 (Libros) - Testimonio Cabal del Reino de Dios


Also, I was informed (and confirmed) there is a bug with the Backup system.  You may receive a "failure" message, even when the backup really was successful.  This is happening because I added a condition to check for: ensure the date & time of the both files match (which would catch RARE failures where you can read your backup, but not write to the location).  This error will show up if the backup copy is off even by 1 second, which could happen on a slower computer or if using a flash drive as a backup.  I will adjust the condition so it still checks the date & time, but won't be so strict, that way I can still catch this rare situation.  ;-)

I should have this bug fixed, as well as some more enhancements, this Sunday evening. Provided all goes well of course.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Version 1.2.2 Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • New Feature: Show Notes on Reports...turn it on from the Settings screen. Any notes you have attached to an Order will now appear on your detailed reports.  Note: Current users will need to turn this ON under Settings.  New users will have it ON by default.
  • Added: Ability to edit orders on the Pending Items screen.
  • Fixed: Text that was not translated is now being translated.
  • Fixed: LRO backup system was not displaying custom error message if an error occurred.  It was a very vague & generic message.
  • BUG FIX: Marking an item as "Delivered" when inventory management automation is turned on caused an application error.
  • BUG FIX: "Mark all as Received" & "Mark all as Delivered" didn't work if inventory management automation was turned on.

Spanish users...I believe I have gotten every text in LRO translated into Spanish, with the exception of the S-28 items and the "Sept-Feb" & "Mar-Aug" text on the S-28 report.  If you notice any more text that hasn't been translated, please let me know.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Poll - Change behavior of Publisher Search?

Howdy all!

Quick question...should I change the behavior of the combo box for "Search for Publisher's Orders" on the Order Form screen?

Currently, it only shows the names of publisher's who have orders.  I was thinking it might be better to just show everyone...that way you can easily check someone's previous (delivered) orders if needed from this screen.

What do you think?  (Please use the new poll on the right to vote!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Version 1.2.1b Released!

Changes to Literature Room Organizer include:

  • Fixed: Inventory Items will be updated to the Spanish language if you download the Spanish version of LRO.
  • Fixed: Weird "boxes" in certain messages & help info on Access 2003.
  • Fixed: Some misspellings.
  • Updated: Help info on Settings.
  • BUG FIX: Download S-28 Updates did not work with the Spanish version of LRO.
  • BUG FIX: Restoring a backup would fail, and would leave LRO empty.

Howdy all!

The issue with the S-28 download has been fixed for the Spanish download.  However...English users must download this new version for theirs to continue working.

Also, you will notice one of the bug fixes is with regards to restoring a backup of LRO.  I'm not sure which version this bug was introduced in, but I would imagine it was one of the past 3.  Please update your version so this bug will be fixed for you, otherwise if you have one of the affected versions, you will not be able to restore a backup successfully.

The following literature items have been added:

  • Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom
  • The Bible - What is its Message?
  • The Wonders of Creation Reveal God's Glory

Please run a Literature Update from the Literature Items List screen, because apparently I misspelled "Witness".  And as soon as I get the Spanish version of these items, I will announce it and the Spanish users will be able to download them.  Spanish users should also run the Literature Update, because ''Isaías'' was mispelled on Item #5429.  New users will not need to do this.