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. ;-)


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 (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.


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).


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 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.


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 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...