Blackbaud Enterprise CRM (eCRM or BBEC as it seems to be called interchangeably) is enormous. It is a big change to The Raiser’s Edge but then that is not surprising as it is not actually the replacement for The Raiser’s Edge 7. It is an application way beyond RE 7. Nevertheless you cannot help comparing the two as long as there is no RE8 to compare to. As a software developer it is a whole new paradigm. Of course even if you know how to develop software customisations for BBEC you still need to know how the program works from a user perspective. That is why I am not only learning a new development environment but I am learning a whole new program. Some of the concepts are very similar, some are different. As I learn I have come across some quite small changes that, for whatever reason, fill me with a “wow that’s great” feeling. These are not earth shattering improvements but just things that I am sure people will appreciate. So this post is dedicated to the small differences. Continue reading Small improvements that I like about Blackbaud Enterprise CRM
What better way of starting the new year than taking a look at the next generation of Blackbaud’s products that are based on their Infinity platform. A couple of products have already been released but unlike many other products released into the IT wild Blackbaud has chosen, wisely in my opinion, to make the release a quiet affair and not a must have upgrade. I have managed to take a look at Blackbaud CRM. This product is aimed at the larger fundraising organisation and its flexibility certain shows this.
Continue reading A first look at Blackbaud’s Infinity platform
The IBBMacroProperties interface promised some nice enhancements to VBA macros. However of the three properties in the interface only one of them actually works.
Continue reading IBBMacroProperties – A very useful interface if it worked
When I first started out working with Raisers Edge API I realised that I was reusing many routines over and over and that would it not be better to create my own tools class so that I would not reinvent the wheel. Over the years I have added items to this class that I have found useful and have developed older items in order to do more things. In this post I will share with you some of the items that I find invaluable. Continue reading Your own API Tools Class
I have started to use the Batch API in earnest now. I have said previously that it is a great long overdue piece of functionality but I am beginning to understand why it was never included earlier. As with much of the API the newly added Batch API is not well documented. A good example of how to use it was given and can be found on Blackbaud’s knowledgbase (BB418575) but it is somewhat limited. It does not explain for example how to add an attribute or a notepad to a gift batch. This was discussed on a Blackbus thread. Adding the items to the batch header was quite straight forward but adding the actual values proved more difficult. Here I try to shed some light on the process.
Continue reading Using the Batch API with Notepads or Attributes
There are a lot of controls that The Raiser’s Edge uses and that you can use in your code to give it a similar look and feel. This article is an introduction to using one of these controls – the SuperEdit70Ex. Like most of the API this is not documented. Indeed this really is not documented. There is no extra documentation other than by looking at the object browser.
Continue reading Using the RE Controls – Part 1
This is perhaps more of a rant than anything else but after being so pleased with the way Blackbaud introduced Batch into the RE:API I now found myself stuck with another piece of Raiser’s Edge functionality that I am less than pleased with.In the UK Gift Aid is big business. In the States (and possibly elsewhere) the donor can claim tax back from charitable donations. In the UK it is the charity that can claim the money back from the government for
UK tax payers so this can amount to a very large sum of money if it is handled properly. There have been several changes to Gift Aid over the past four or five versions of Raiser’s Edge. One problem that was not addressed until recently was when Gift Aid had been taken in error and then claimed back from the Inland Revenue. If a gift was given in error then the Gift must be adjusted or written off and the Gift Aid must be reversed. If the Gift Aid was claimed in error (for example the donor was not a tax payer) then the Gift Aid alone must be reversed.
Continue reading Adjust that tax claim at your peril
I had an error that bugged me for a while when I could not work out what the problem was.
I had a list of gifts that I wanted to create on different constituents. I had the constituent id, the date, amount, fund, appeal, campaign, everything that I thought was required.
I got the following error message when trying to save the newly created gift:
Required Field Missing: Fund
Continue reading Fund Missing (Found in an Unexpected Place)
One of the basic principles that you need to learn when you start programming the API is that for top level object (constituents, gifts, funds, participants, etc) whenever you initialize the object you need to close it down. This is not too difficult to remember to do and you are swiftly reminded when you close the plug-in or the application (it crashes).
However there are some exceptions to this. When you loop a collection of top level records e.g. CGifts, using the for each construct you also have to close down the individual item. This goes against the above logic as you did not initialize it.
Continue reading Close down or crash
One common complaint about the API is that it is poorly documented. I found that out myself when I went to use the gift filter object. This is a powerful object that allows you to filter a collection of gifts by its properties. The filter object has very many properties but very few of them are documented. There is one knowledgebase article and one FAQ entry showing how to use it.
Continue reading Filtering on Gifts