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MA Club Update - Version 1.26

Today sees the release of the latest update to MA Club. You can download the Windows PC version here or the Mac OS version here. Remember the usual upgrade procedures apply. If not sure how to do this, please refer to the relevant user guide or the training video that can be found on our website.

This version introduces some new functionality, which includes the option to set a restriction or cap on the number of classes a student can attend either in the current week or month, by class or across all classes. In addition we've made a change to the way account entries are repeated. In the past entries were repeated every time the database opened, any entries that needed repeating were actioned and the original entry was flagged as having been repeated. Now the system automatically checks to see if an entry has been repeated, if not it repeats it. It was noted in the past that where a repeated entry was deleted, the system didn't automatically repeat the action again. Under the new change deleting a repeated entry will cause it to be repeated again. You can stop account entries from repeating by either removing repeat status/option or flagging the repeat option as cancelled.

Restricting Class Attendance

In Student Details, under the Classes tab in the table of registered classes for each student you will see two new fields: Classes and Option. Where you want to restrict the number of times a student can attend a given class, enter the maximum number of attendances in the Classes field, then select either Weekly or Monthly from the list in the Option field to indicate if the restriction is based on attendance in the week or the month.

To restrict attendance across all classes, again in Student Details under the Attendance tab, beneath the attendance history table there are again two new fields that mirror the above, Max Attendance and Option. As for classes above, enter the maximum number of attendances in the Max Attendance field and select Weekly or Monthly in the Option field.

Restrictions run concurrently, so yo can set an overall level of restriction for all attendances as well as restrict the number of attendances for a given class.

When registering students for attendance via the Registration module, if a student exceeds their allowed number of classes etc the system won't allow you to register them. The only exception is when adding attendance directly in Student Details on the Attendance tab as here the system doesn't know what class and or date you are registering for until after you've created the record. So in this instance where adding a new attendance entry to the table exceeds their limit, the date field will display in red text to warn you.

Restrictions apply onto the current week and or current month. Using Registration to add attendance for dates outside the current week or month bypasses any limits.

Setting Repeat Accounts

Under the Accounts tab in Student Details, to flag an entry as repeating, as before select the Repeat option from the drop down list of options in the Repeat field. When the database next opens it will check for entries flagged as such, that have either been paid, or where the due date has passed. On creating a new entry, the old entry is automatically flagged as having been repeated (the check box to the right of the Repeat field). Deleting a subsequent repeated entry will remove the flag, and as such a new repeated entry will be generated the next time you open the database.

In addition clicking the maker button to the right of the Repeat field displays two new fields Repeat Date which allows you to change the date the next repeated entry should use, and Repeat Cancelled which when checked will prevent the current entry from being repeated.

New system on the way

Recently the good folks over at FileMaker released a new version of their award winning software. As FileMaker developers, we were naturally exited. We've had it a while now, and whilst there are no dramatic innovations to the previous version, there are some nice touches. Though these primarily benefit us as developers. That said as with all major updates to the FileMaker product, we will be updating all our products to bring them up to date with this latest version.
So we've already started, and you can expect to see a new version of the MA Master 2 and MA Club in a couple of months. Sorry it takes to so long, but we've got big plans! The next student management database will incorporate the two existing versions into one. We haven't decided what we will call it yet, so what this space.
Now however might be a good time to email us your thoughts, along with any enhancement requests you'd like us to think about while we work

Blog Posts

Due to the wonderful folks over at Google taking over our blog supplier, it no longer works. This means we've had to set up a new blog page, and also means we've lost all our historic posts. We apologise for this inconvenience. We are looking at alternatives.

Opticon OPN2001 USB Companion Scanner

Though we recommend the OPN2002 bluetooth scanner for recording student attendance using our student management database on an iPad. We're also happy to recommend the OPN2001 for remote scanning of student attendance.

OPN2001 stores scanned barcode values on the device. These are then downloaded using software provided by Opticon to extract the data in to a data file (i.e. csv). This file can now be imported directly into the Attendance History. This is primarily aimed at those instructors who either choose not to or can't take their database with them to each class they teach.

However, functionality is limited, and this option won't be suitable for everyone. The scanned value doesn't tell the database what School and or Class the registration relates to. This means you can only use the scanner for individual classes, unless you are able to extract and save a data file for each class. On importing the data file into your Attendance History, you have to tell the system what School and Class the attendance records relate to. The database will process the imported records, applying attendance to the appropriate students record

Barcoding - iPad & iPhone

If you want to scan barcodes, be it directly into the database on your PC or Mac, or onto an iOS device, we recommend the Opticon OPN2002 bluetooth barcode reader. We’re rather excited about this product as it’s designed to connect via bluetooth directly to an iPad or iPhone. We liked the simplicity of it so much we decided to invest in one so we could build its use and functionality into our Student Manger database. Allowing users to scan student attendance directly into their mobile device.

Look at this YouTube video to see just how simple it is to use.

Try watching this video on www.youtube.com

An indication of our intention to truly expand our products mobile functionality. These enhancements will form part of our planned upgrade around the end of February. So watch this space!
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