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eVantage Newsletter Masthead

What Happens in Vegas...Is Put to Good Use Back at the Office

by Mona Hidayet

The Advantage Users Group meeting hit a couple of highs this year. Las Vegas reached a record high of 74 degrees in February and the networking between Advantage users set an all-time high as well.

Exciting Advantage Product News
The meeting began with Chief-of-all-things-marketing-and product-planning-related, (aka Dan Heffernan), summarizing the last 365 days of activity at AdvantageCS. Dan's presentation covered product news, strategy initiatives and the future direction of Advantage. He had plenty to report, starting with the launch of Continuous Updates and Cider in 2015---two key initiatives offering significant efficiency and streamlining capabilities to clients on the 2015 base revision. Dan went on to talk about Contact Center, which also debuted this past year, plus Project Central (an end to batch posting as we know it) which is being tested at client sites. 

Last, but not least, is the complete rebuild of Membership, which is in development. It will have rich new functionality including web membership applications, directories, full member self-service, and integration with conference & events registration.  Membership will also include national and local organization structures, continuing education credit tracking, member services, and much, much more, offering publishing associations an all-in-one solution. Membership will get its official new name when it is rolled out later this year.

"The future of publishing can be summed up in these two quotes: 'It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future' (Yogi Berra) and 'The best way to predict your future is to create it' (Peter F. Drucker)."
- Alan Hess
Wolters Kluwer Health
 2016 Advantage User Group meeting
The Best of "Both-and" Worlds
How the AdvantageCS Development Team 
Optimizes Contrasting Styles

by Dick Hile

I am, by temperament, indecisive.  Wishy-washy. Equivocating. I embrace both-and-ism rather than either-or-ism. It gets me in trouble at times. 

My wife is similarly afflicted. She and I joke that our family motto is, "Indecision: the key to flexibility." It's impossible to plan vacations.  "Scotland would be fun," but so would Tuscany. Or France. Or Spain. We end up enjoying the tried and true cottage-on-a-lake-with-friends we have been visiting for 30 years.

At times, though, both-and-ism is exactly what is called for.  Here are three examples from my role leading on the software development teams.

Openers AND Closers

Some software developers love to start new projects, even when it's unclear how big the project will become or how the various technical challenges will be met.  Other engineers find it deeply satisfying to check off the last few items on a to-do list that is miles long. In my experience, these are not the same person.  The starter gets bored and wants to move on to new challenges before wrapping up the final 10%.  The closer is intimidated by all the unknowns of a new project and finds it very hard to get started.

Cancel Order Button at MSTFST

by Molly Mathe

During order entry at MSTFST, users may use the Escape button during any phase of the order to cancel out of the order. However, depending on what phase of the order they are in, the user must press Escape multiple times before being able to cancel out of the order.

At 2015.0, you can set a control on the script that exposes a Cancel Order button, which is accessible during any point in the order. When clicked, this button will bring the user back to the MSTFST list frame.

To Have and to Hold, In Sickness and in Health, At Home and in the Office

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

Here at AdvantageCS, not only are we family-friendly, we actively encourage employees to recommend relatives and friends for open positions. We have parents and children of employees, siblings, cousins, uncles and nephews, in-laws---even one grandchild---working here, including three sets of married couples.

None of the three couples met while working at AdvantageCS (although we do have at least two instances of that happening in our history) and in each case, the spo
uses work in entirely different areas.

Karl Davis
has been at ACS for more than 30 years and is the Manager of Engineering Consulting and Implementations. He leads a team that manages the technical aspects of new client implementations and other projects. In his three decades, Karl has traveled all over the world and has implemented Advantage at more client sites than he can count. Ellen Davis, Karl's wife, has a polar-opposite skill set from Karl. An English major, with a French minor, Ellen works three days a week in the documentation area. 

Staying Out of (Technical) Debt

by Howard Brooks

A topic that you might hear software engineers discussing from time to time is technical debt. From the name, you can already guess it is something undesirable. To hear the developers talk, any software that has been around more than a few months has it. Software that has too much of it can't survive. It becomes buggy, unmaintainable, and irrelevant.
But just what is technical debt? How does software get into it and how do you get out of it? Or avoid as much of it as you can?
There are many different kinds of technical debt but here is a straightforward example. Software code is often organized into methods or functions that implement some piece of functionality. Simple applications may have hundreds of methods. Sophisticated enterprise-level software may have over a hundred thousand methods. Suppose somewhere you have the following method:

public void DoSomethingInteresting(
     string A,
     string B,
     string C)
// Method body: Implementation goes here


Check out our blog for the most up-to-date news and information about Advantage. New posts weekly!
EAUG to Meet in Copenhagen April 13-14

by Cindy Mikol Twiss

The annual get-together of the European Advantage User Group is slated for April 13-14 at the headquarters of Aller Media in Copenhagen. Kicking off on Wednesday afternoon, the first day will include a presentation of Advantage News and Strategic Direction and a demo of the new Contact Center functionality. In between, attendees will be taken on a tour of the magnificent Aller building, which is something not to be missed.

Thursday's topics include concurrent workshops on Automated Testing and Marketing in the morning, followed by a Technology Update. Rounding out the conference will be updates on other major Advantage development initiatives such as Project Central, Cider Phase II, and Membership.

Editor: Cindy Mikol Twiss

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Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA 

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