There was a question recently on Blackbus asking how to open a link from a constituent record. For example if you had an external system that uses constituent ids to find individuals it would be very useful to be able to open a web page from the constituent window by pressing the macro button and going to the web page that is specific for the constituent. This requires the VBA module. Here is how it is done:
Continue reading Opening a link from a Constituent
There was a post on Blackbus recently where a Raiser’s Edge user was having trouble mapping the output of a third party system to RE. The other system had the constituent system id and did not have the import id or the constituent ids so importing the data directly into RE was proving to be a problem. It would also be difficult to do any kind of lookup natively in RE unless it was done manually through a query.
I suggested that this was a straight forward solution if you were to write a plugin. In fact I felt that it was so straight forward that I would just write it. So here it is a new plugin that takes a system constituent id and outputs the constituent and import ids appending them to a copy of the input file.
Continue reading Lookup by constituent system id – a new free plugin
Following my previous article on creating a batch with a notepad I am following it up with a some code that adds attributes. This is more or less shown on the Blackbus thread that I referenced but I wanted to clarify some of the steps having gone through the procedure myself. Continue reading Creating Attributes with the BatchAPI
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
The idea of creating user defined business rules has been discussed in various threads at Blackbus and on the Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge forums (see User Defined Business Rules for example). The whole functionality is really useful but there are clearly limitations.
One really good use of VBA is to perform this very task. For those not familiar with the build in version it allows you to select a query (constituent, gift or action) and for a all or a limited number of security groups it allows you to display a message on opening the record. This same functionality can be repeated using VBA. Of course you are able to query on a lot more, or perform more than simply display a message. Continue reading Custom user defined business rules
I just noticed Blackbaud have added a code sample to their Blackbaud Labs site. This appears to be the same code sample as was released on CodePlex but it will no doubt get a larger audience here.
My initial thought about this code are that it is unnecessarily complicated. Creating an embedded HTML resource, creating a specific control, putting in the correct GUID into to the HTML page and then getting it all to work seems to be somewhat of a long winded approach. Continue reading Blackbaud Labs RE7 code sample
There has been some discussion on the Blackbaud forums and on the Blackbus forum about using a second non-production database. This article will highlight some ways of doing this.
Before I begin I want to categorically state that if you believe what I am writing in this post breaks your Blackbaud contract then do not do it. A long time ago I was told by Blackbaud that it was perfectly acceptable and I hold by that but I know that others who have been told otherwise (including various support people at Blackbaud who will give you a different ruling depending on who you speak to!) Just to reiterate I am in no way encouraging you to break the law!
Continue reading A Non-production database
When I first saw Shaun Sullivan’s code to create a .NET plugin in Raiser’s Edge I was a bit concerned. I tried out the code and after a bit of fiddling with it I managed to get it to work. Although I thought and still think that having an extra HTML page with the plugin as a user control was a bit of a hassle.
A much easier solution that I have done several times is to simply create a .NET class library with a form. When you start your plugin the form is shown directly in a new window.
Continue reading A .NET plugin
One issue that I frequency encounter was raised as a post on the forum for a similar problem:
When you create a gift you need to add a fund, campaign and appeal. The problem is that the values on the gifts are dependant on the user options of the person running the code. When I first encountered this problem I was amazed that this could have been programmed in this way.
Continue reading Adding Gifts Means Thinking User Options