Category Archives: Beginner

The Raiser’s Edge Integrated with Potentiality… A series of case studies (2)

Towards the end of 2010 we started working with Potentiality to integrate their system with The Raiser’s Edge. At the time I knew very little about them and their products. Their headquarters is in Melbourne, Australia with an office in London. Even though they have an office in London our main contact was with their Melbourne office. Their product was a community based content management system (CMS) targeted towards schools and universities but also used by any organisation that was trying to build up a community of supporters.

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What Should You Consider When Users Leave? (an additional thought to Blackbaud’s post)

I like BlackbaudKnowHow. The blog that consists of many articles on best practise within Blackbaud’s products often inspires me. The posts are written by a lot of different people at Blackbaud with a lot of experience in Blackbaud products. One post written recently, What Should You Consider When Users Leave?, highlighted what users of The Raiser’s Edge should do when one of their users leaves.

One issue it does not cover (there are probably many more that were beyond the scope of the article) was what to do about action reminders that have been assigned to a user. The article suggests either deleting the user or changing their name, giving them prefix of “X”. Neither of these solutions help when a user has actions reminders associated with them.

It is possible to go in and change the assignments one by one. It is also very easy to miss them too. It is quiet easy to see what could happen if you miss a reassignment. A major donor who was due to be reminded about their donation is now forgotten about because the reminder instead of going to David goes to “XDavid” who is not longer at your organisation.

Our free plug-in Action Reminder Updater helps solve this problem. Select a soon-to-be ex-user and select a replacement user. Press start and all of the actions will be reassigned to the replacement user. Simple.

The Raiser’s Edge Integrated with Gmail… A series of case studies (1)

This is the first in a series of case studies looking at custom integration of Blackbaud products.

Unlike very many of our previous third party integration application the main driving force behind this application, Biographica, was the fact that we could do it. We did not have any particular client knocking on our door asking us link the two products and Google , funnily enough, did not approach us either asking us to develop an integration between The Raiser’s Edge and Gmail.

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The Raiser’s Edge Integrated with… A series of case studies (Introduction)

Over the years we have integrated The Raiser’s Edge with a number of different products. Some are for the wider community whereas others are for specific organisations. In this series of posts we shall be looking at how each third party application has been integrated with The Raiser’s Edge, what the challenges were, what made the project unique and what the consequences of the integration.

Each case is different. In some examples the vendor of the other product was directly involved in helping to shape the customisation. They may have sold it or bundled it as part of their application. In some case we decided to do the integration ourselves with no or little input from the vendor. Finally individual organisations were the driving force behind an integration.

We are firm believers in integration. Everybody is a winner. All of a sudden applications are no longer islands and can talk with other applications.  The definition of “talking” has also changed. Where it once meant an exchange of files it now means a direct interchange of data between the two applications without the need to save data in a file. The fewer steps the more efficient the process.

By highlighting some of the applications that we have worked with we hope to show just how much more productive work flows have become.

Testing GoRaise Mobile for The Raiser’s Edge

I have been in the fortunate position to have been testing a new application for The Raiser’s Edge. GoRaise Mobile is a mobile interface to The Raiser’s Edge by Electric Plum. I have had a lot of contact with Shaun Sullivan, Electric Plum’s CEO in the past when he was CTO of Blackbaud. Those of you who have heard him speak at Blackbaud conferences will know that he is passionate about technology and is a real inspiration. Electric Plum’s, soon to be released product really shines and it is clear that this is a gap in the market ready to be filled.

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Documenting VB.NET and C# Code

If you are using VB6 then you are possibly somewhat limited as to the way you can document your code and then have it published automatically. (I say that from complete ignorance and somebody is very welcome to show me otherwise). However in VB.NET and C# there is the built in XML documentation. In both languages you simply place the cursor the line above the field, property, method or class that you wish to document. In VB.NET you type: Continue reading Documenting VB.NET and C# Code

Blackbaud Enterprise CRM Integrations

If you had not noticed, our website has had a make over. We have also added a new section of everything to do with Blackbaud Enterprise CRM and the Infinity platform. Some of the screencasts there were previously embedded in conference presentations so now they have a home of their own. We are really excited by what the Inifinity platform has to offer (even if it is slow coming to the majority of users). Now you can see for yourself the kinds of customisations that can be developed and just how powerful the platform can be.

Have you been working on any BBEC customisations that you would like to share? Have you seen any others out there in the wild. Leave a comment and let us know.

Collections in The Raiser’s Edge API

The Raiser’s Edge API is somewhat of an antiquated beast. It is very powerful in as much that it allows you to do almost anything that you can do in the application itself. However it is old and uses an old technology (COM). One area where this is shown clearly is its use of collections. Almost all modern languages and frameworks (.NET, Java, php, etc) are zero indexed. This means that if you have an array the first element is accessed at the zero position.

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