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Re: [Scouter_T] Database - DISTRICT Training Tacking

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  • Dave Loomis
    It all depends on what YOU mean when you say multi-platform. Access is available for Macs, and should run on Linux machines running X-Windows or Lindows, but
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 13, 2003
      It all depends on what YOU mean when you say multi-platform. Access is
      available for Macs, and should run on Linux machines running X-Windows or
      Lindows, but I don't see why you need all this compatibility.

      Access will accept data from Excel or text files, and produce Excel and
      text file output for almost anything you need, and ScoutNet will provide data
      dumps in Excel, once you tell your council folks what you want. TSA software,
      TroopMaster/PackMaster will provide export data in text files as well.

      What this means is that you can ask your council registrar or data wonk
      to give you a listing of all the district folks you want to track, including
      their addresses, positions, and training codes, AS SHE HAS THEM. This will give
      you a flat file - everything in one line of data - to import into Access and
      massage into a nice properly behaved relational database - nothing repeated
      twice - with which you can track your training.

      When you need to export data for other folks to use, tell Access to
      export it in Excel or text files; either can be e-mailed or printed out for
      another's use.

      This will work, as I have been doing a Merit Badge Counselor list in
      Access for several years. What I had to learn/remember was that folks don't
      NEED nicely formatted reports that take packages of paper to print and a truck
      to move, all they need is their particular data which can be sent as a .txt or
      Excel file over e-mail. Once my people learned that they could get information
      within a day or so by e-mail, rather than arranging to meet me at a mid-point in
      our district or at Round Table a week or so later, they were glad to take this
      information over the Internet.

      There are a few problems, some minor some not so small. The registrar
      probably does NOT have all the data you need, which means that you'll have to
      poll the folks involved to find out when they did to a particular bit of
      training, and which version, if this is important to you. This can be a major
      or minor problem depending on how compete your council's information are. The
      second problem is of a different and more important nature - privacy - the
      information you are collecting and distributing contains material that the
      scouters may not wish to share indiscriminately with others, e-mail addresses
      for one, or SSNs, which I prune immediately. You will want to develop some
      Privacy Statement to append to the bottom of each of your reports, indicating
      that much of the information in the file/report is private and should not be
      disseminated indiscriminately. My warning reads like this, "This list contains
      information covered under the Privacy Act. Release of data on this list is
      prohibited without permission of person involved."

      E-Mail me if you have any more questions.

      Dave

      Ida Lively wrote:

      > While at the conference it was pointed out that we need a DISTRICT tracking
      > program
      > similar to ScoutNet 2000, or Pack/TroopMaster.
      >
      > My predecessor (Thanks, Lance!) has created a database using MS Access;
      > however, MS Access is not cross-platform (as far as I can tell). I'm
      > contemplating having the creation of a cross-platform DISTRICT level
      > tracking program as one of my ticket items when I attend Wood Badge in June.
      >
      >
      > Thanks!
      >
      > Ida
      >

      To reply, click on the mailto: address below.

      Dave Loomis mailto:dloomis.nh.ultranet@...
      245 Union St. (603) 431 5342
      Portsmouth, NH 03801-3225



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ida Lively
      Laura, What I mean by interacting is that I want to be able to do clean imports/exports from ScoutNet and whatever the local pack/troops use. I realize that
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 14, 2003
        Laura,

        What I mean by interacting is that I want to be able to do clean
        imports/exports from ScoutNet and whatever the local pack/troops use.

        I realize that may mean MANY options because of the variety of tracking
        software out there, but that's what's great about having a database ...
        being able to USE it.

        At work we have an 'button' page to access various databases. It could be
        set up very similarly to say IMPORT from TroopMaster, IMPORT from SCOUTNET,
        IMPORT to XYZprogram, etc. As long as the user knows what software program
        they're importing/exporting to/from, it shouldn't be an issue.

        Several people have said "just use eXcel" ... which, I guess, is an option
        since eXcel is cross-platform and ScoutNet can export to eXcel. I don't
        know ScoutNet's capabilities for importing from eXcel.

        I'm just not familiar with how to make eXcel a stand-alone program like I
        can with FileMaker Pro.

        Someone said I'd have problems "selling" my "new" tracking program because
        of the already established programs out there. They missed that I said I
        was going to make it "freeware" ... which means it would be FREE software.
        A scout is helpful ... he willingly helps others without expecting payment
        or reward. =-)

        Ida

        > From: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
        > Reply-To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: 14 Jan 2003 12:10:20 -0000
        > To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [Scouter_T] Digest Number 518
        >
        > Subject: RE: Database - DISTRICT Training Tacking
        >
        > Hi Ida,
        >
        > I am going to create a District Training tracking program using Access. I
        > had not thought about it being something I can use for my Woodbadge ticket,
        > but I like that idea.
        >
        > What do you mean by "interacting" with the Council and Unit programs? Do you
        > mean getting data from them and back to them?
        >
        > Laura
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