December 2020 | Issue #98
Current Releases:  SM 8.0.094 (12/7) | AW  3.5.061 (11/04)
 ACEware Software Update - 1/13 2:00 CST
Note:  You need to register for the 2021 Software Update Series--we are starting fresh in 2021! 
Escrow Best Practices - 1/21/2021 New Time - 10 AM CST
ACEware Systems Newsletter - Information to Run Your Program
Modern Authentication Now Supported
We try to stay ahead of major changes coming out in the industry so that we aren't stuck in a pickle. That's why I was a bit puzzled when a customer had an issue with enabling Basic Authentication for email relaying on a new email server they were bringing up. Apparently, Microsoft is turning this off on new servers by default.

The issue that Microsoft is trying to fix with this move is to reduce the risk of nefarious parties being able to send email through your server. Some entities are able to get around Basic Authentication by itself, but your email server people can set up rules to allow only certain IPs to send, which block the nefarious attempts. That isn't good enough for Microsoft, so they were set to terminate Basic Authentication in 2020, but the pandemic pushed their schedule back. We're not sure when in 2021 it is officially going away, but it is looking like Fall at the moment (around October).

Microsoft is still trying to get as many people as possible to move to Modern Authentication before it officially is killed off. Student Manager is ready for the transition and we plan to integrate the same solution in ACEweb soon. For Student Manager, you will need version 8.0.094 and some new DLLs (ask your technician for those). We'll let you know when this is available for ACEweb.

Contributed by Matthew Olson
ACEweb's New Course Display 
In October's newsletter, ACEweb's new course grid display option was introduced. It has been exciting to get so many inquiries about this option! This month, we want to show this grid display used on a customer site! The International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York made the switch to this new format, and you can see the final results here. It looks amazing!

This course layout requires custom development, and your investment is $695 for an ACEware designer to put this together for you. When you decide to move to this format, we will give you three things to prepare in advance:
  1. Group Images: All images for your course groups need to be the same size.  (600px by 400px for example)
  2. Group Descriptions: If used, descriptions should be approximately the same size (100 characters for example). ICP did not use group descriptions but you can see sample groupings with description on our demo site
  3. Layout Plans: The number of groups per row should be determined. Our default is three groups per row, ICP used four per row.
With these advanced preparations, ACEware is ready to get to work! Write me and we'll get you on the schedule.

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Build Your 2021 Virtual Conference!
ACEware's 2021 annual users' conference will again be in a virtual format. This week of learning, June 7-11, is all about what you want and need (as far as your software is concerned!). Take a few minutes to share what would be most valuable for you and your team. What topics in Student Manager and ACEweb would you like to see on the agenda? What discussions do you want to have with your continuing education colleagues?

Share your requests by January 4 and we will review during our January retreat (January 6-8). The schedule will be prepared, and registration will open in February!

This is the most comprehensive week of learning for you and your team, and in typical ACEware style, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun, too!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
ACEware Schedule
In only a few days, 2020 will be in our rearview mirror, and what a year it has been! Our holiday schedule probably looks much like yours. 

In December, we have the following adjusted hours:
  •  December 24 - ACEware closing at noon
  •  December 25 - ACEware closed
  •  December 31 - ACEware closing at noon
  •  January 1 -       ACEware closed
Our annual staff retreat will be held January 6-8, 2021. We will be discussing our 2021 conference, what to include in our conference software releases, and how to serve you better! Software updates will not be scheduled during this time but we will monitor our email and voicemail and get back to you when we can.

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire
Tech Tip of the Month: Tips to End the Year
All of these procedures can be found in the Tools menu.

Don't eat yellow snow = Make Student Manager backups often:
You may trust your IT to do backups or you may do your own Student Manager backups (when you can). But it's worth the short amount of time to do frequent backups vs. the frustration of losing data.
Take a saw/hatchet when going to cut down a Christmas tree = Reindex your database:
Separate tables of data controlling the view and reporting of your software sometimes needs a reset. Doing an occasional reindex of all files will help with speed more than anything else.
You'll shoot your eye out! = Get an accurate count before reporting with numbers:
Heavily used databases sometimes need help getting an accurate count for enrollment per course and/or workshops and courses taken by name. So before reporting with numbers like this, it may be helpful to run the Update Counts routine.

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you! = Tools | Data Cleanup | The Catch-All is the routine to run to look for orphans in registrations and payments:
It also clears up missing user-defined fields and will look for and clear out duplicates. So if you have a report with missing or duplicate data, run this to see if it helps! Contact your technician if it doesn't.

Contributed by Michael Lowry
Report of the Month: Masterpiece from Spruill Arts
This month, we are showcasing a report designed by Spruill Center for the Arts with a look at this summer camp attendance report. All the information that Spruill Center for the Arts needs for each camper is listed right on the report - phone numbers, special needs, allergies, contact information, and more. Course information and supplemental data capture fields are consolidated into this report.

We ran this from our demo data so you could see a snapshot. Best of all, Spruill Center for the Arts has shared the report with us. If you want this report, get the files here (our SM reports template page on to import into your system.

Once you've imported the report into your manager, you can run this report from Reports > Workshops > rosters/certificates. It will be in additional reports as Camp Roster Data. Just like any report anyone makes, it can be a steppingstone to what you really need/want. This one that Spruill is using can be a fit for you after modifying it to present the fields that are specific to you.

NEW! When you visit the report templates section of our website, you'll notice a new category: Customer Masterpieces. If you have a report to share, or an ACEware tech nominates your report to share, and the report is selected for this Masterpiece category, you and your team will receive something special from ACEware. You work hard on your reports, so be sure to share them with the ACEware community!

Contributed by Sharon Brookshire and Joseph Sotkovski
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

- Chuck, Sharon, Cheryl, Jason, Joe, Lindsey, Matthew, Mike, Stein, and Susan

 ACEware Systems
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