September 2013 News

28 August 2013

Welcome to the September 2013 edition of the Engineerica newsletter. 

In this issue we will learn about the vast variety of ways to record attendance in AccuClass, invite you to nominate your favorite Engineerica Product, learn how to recover quickly from an automated import failure with Accudemia, and more!  Here is an index of the topics:

Nominate your favorite Engineerica Product!

The deadline for UB Readers' Choice Top Products nominations is October 1st!

We encourage you to nominate your favorite Engineerica product using the University Business online form.

How to fill out the entry form:

Company:  Engineerica
Product you are nominating:  Any one of our products (AccuTrack, AccuSQL, Accudemia, AccuClass, AccuLite, AccuTesting, AccuWB, and/or Conference Tracker)
Please describe how the product you are nominating has made a positive difference at your institution in the past year.  That's it and you've helped us earn the UB Top Product award!

To enter your Engineerica product click the button below:

Don't see an image or link above click here to nominate us! Thank you for your support!

-Mon Nasser, CEO

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Update on AccuTrack / AccuSQL Version 13

We are almost finished with the development of version 13 of AccuTrack/AccuSQL.  As reported in the last news update, we decided to add a new Quick Appointment Scheduler in response to users' requests.  I am pleased to announce that the Quick Scheduler is now finished.  With this scheduler, appointments can be scheduled with only 4 mouse clicks!  The Quick Scheduler will be available for both students and staff.  However, if you prefer the old scheduler, you can switch back to it by changing an option in the Control Panel.

Other work completed in the last few weeks:

  • Added the ability to import the days of the week, start and end time of courses (activities).  This data is used if you want to prevent students from signing in to your center during their class time.
  • Added a database purge function for AccuSQL 13.  This capability was requested by some of our clients to delete old students and their related records. 
  • Added new icons to the System Administration screen.
  • Added a help page to the Import Wizard.  This includes downloadable import templates.
  • Improved the text of some of the configuration options to make them clearer.

If you are a version 13 beta tester and want the latest test version with the above enhancements, please contact us.  If you are not a beta tester and would like to join the testing team, please contact us as well.

TIP: Make sure to keep your Platinum subscription up-to-date.  The Platinum subscription will entitle you to a complimentary upgrade to version 13 when it is released! 

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AccuClass Attendance Recording Options

Need to track class attendance or know someone who does?  Sign up for one semester of complimentary use of AccuClass, our cloud-based class attendance tracking system. 

We just released a new document that explains how to record class attendance with AccuClass.  Choose from the many supported methods including: calling the roll, swiping a student ID card, using RFID / Proximity reader, or even using an Apple device!  You can find an explanation of the various attendance recording methods and which one is best for you by clicking here.

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New Accudemia Pricing Model

Since we announced the new Accudemia pricing model last month, we received some questions that you might find helpful.  Here are the questions and their asnwers.

QUESTION: Why are you changing the pricing model?

ANSWER: The change is necessary to preserve the high level of service we provide and to keep up with increasing hosting, support, and development costs.  Even with these changes, Accudemia still offers you excellent value.  Keep in mind that:

  1. Accudemia's annual fee includes the software license, hosting for your database, excellent technical support, and complimentary software updates.
  2. With the hosted Accudemia service, you save the costs of buying expensive web server hardware and software like Windows server license, SQL Server license, SSL, and other software.
  3. With the hosted Accudemia service, you save the costs and headaches associated with hosting and maintaining software.
  4. Your Accudemia fee includes all of its modules.  We do not charge extra fees for using the survey module, early alerts, etc. 
  5. Your Accudemia Institution license can be used at different centers.  We do not charge extra fees to use the software at advising centers, tutoring center, fitness center, etc.

QUESTION: Since we have already been billed for a year of Accudemia use, will there be changes occurring in October for our account?

ANSWER: No. The new pricing will take affect at your next Accudemia renewal.  No additional fees will be charged for the reminder of your current subscription.

QUESTION: We have a Small Center license.  How will the change affect us?

ANSWER: We will no longer offer the Small Center license.  All Small Center Licenses will be converted to a "Single Center" license.  The fee for the Single Center license is $1,490 per year.  SSL encryption for the Single Center license is optional and offered at an additional $199.  Other effects of this change: You will no longer have a limit of 1,000 visits per month with your license, you will get 1 complimentary iAccu license, and you will get free credit for 1,000 text messages. 

QUESTION: We have a Small Center license / Single Center license, do we need to make old students inactive?

ANSWER: No. Neither the Single Center nor the Small Center has a limit on the number of students allowed.  The only limit on these licenses is that they can only b
e used at single center.  The latest update of Accudemia would prevent creating more than one active center for this type of license.

QUESTION: I have an Institution license.  Would I be charged for former students in the Accudemia database?

ANSWER: No.  The Institution license pricing is based on the number of active students in the Accudemia database.  To avoid paying a fee for former students, simply make these students inactive.  This can be easily done via import.  Contact support if you need assistance. 

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Accudemia Tech Tip: Quickly recover from Auto Import Failure

As you may know ADX (Accudemia Data eXchange) is our import tool used to get data from your other systems into Accudemia.  Using ADX you can create an import job to run on a schedule that maps your school’s information from another system and sends it to Accudemia.  Once you get past the complexity of getting all that setup you can usually just walk away and let it keep your Accudemia account up to date.  You can learn more about how this works by watching this recorded online webinar on Accudemia Imports.

Now what happens if the import job fails?  Would you know?

Here’s how to keep the institution’s ADX import jobs running like a well-oiled machine:

  1. Setup e-mail notifications – This allows you to be on top of the situation by receiving a notification as soon as the import job fails.  You can place more than one e-mail in the notification box so it can be also be sent out to other IT/staff if the import job should fail.  Here’s how:
    1. Open ADX and click on Tools>>Options.
    2. On the General tab, check the “E-mail me when job fails” box.
    3. Next, type the e-mail addresses you want to be notified in the text box area below.  Separate each e-mail address using the “enter” key so they appear on a separate line.
    4. Click the “OK” button and that’s it!
  2. View the Error Logs – This can be helpful in determining why the job never left ADX.  Not only that but you can e-mail this error log to support by clicking the “Get support” link that appears if there’s an error.  To access this simply click on the import job that failed and it should appear on the bottom portion of the import job details with a large red circle near the last time it tried to run.
  3. Check the Accudemia server’s execution details – This can easily help you determine why an import is failing once it leaves ADX.  This is how to check this log:
    1. Click Tools>>View Execution Status on the Server.
    2. From here you just have to double-click on the last job ran at the top and it will open a pop-up window.
    3. In here you can examine what portion of the import the server rejected so you can correct the import file.

-Nick Armstrong, Support & Training Coordinator

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AccuTrack / AccuSQL Tech Tip: Avoid Slowdowns by Verifying your Path!

Today we had a support call regarding slow performance of the AccuSQL software.  We logged in to the client's computer to investigate.  Shortly after we discovered the problem: The path for the AccuTrack shared resources folder was invalid.  The path was entered manually and the person typing it forgot a dash.  As a result, the path was invalid.  Whenever AccuSQL was used, it tried to write files to its working resource folder but couldn't open it.  This caused huge delays and even crashes.  Even worse: the client told us this has been happening for a long time!

Lesson learned: Always verify the paths you enter in the software.  If the path changes (e.g. because your network mapping changed), then make sure to update the path.  Another lesson: If you have slow-downs and crashes, do not wait.  Contact our support department immediately for assistance.  If everything is working properly, there should not be any crashes or problems. 

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