Tip of the Week October 2, 2017

How to Stop Automatic Reports from Printing

Volgistics has a feature that can be setup so that certain reports will automatically process during the overnight maintenance cycle. These reports can be delivered to your account’s In Box tab on a certain day each week, or on a certain date each month. There may be times, however, when automatic reports have been setup by a System Operator who is no longer with your organization. Or it may be that an automatic report served a purpose once, but it is no longer necessary.

In these cases, the automatic reports just take up space and clutter the In Box tab of your Volgistics Mailbox, and you may not know how to find or stop them. To address this, Help topic 1311 explains “How to Stop Automatic Reports.”

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Tip of the Week September 25, 2017

Use the Contacts tab to record secondary contacts for group records

If your organization uses group records, you can record the main contact’s name, address, phone number, and email on the Core tab of the group record. However, there may be times when you need to record additional contacts. In this case, you can create a new contact Kind and track these additional contacts on the Contacts tab of the group’s record.

You will not be able to send email messages from Volgistics directly to these contacts. However, you could create custom Address Label Reports with the addresses of the additional contacts for your group records. The contact information could also be included in reports such as the Volunteer Contacts List so the information can be exported from the system.

You can find directions on how to create additional group contact records in Help topic 1990.

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Tip of the Week September 18, 2017

Include volunteer names on ‘child’ records in Excel reports

In databases, a ‘child’ record is a piece of information that relates back to one particular record.

Because Excel Spreadsheet reports are designed to be able to contain a very large amount of detailed volunteer information such as service entries and checklist dates, it is necessary to create different worksheets within the Excel workbook to hold all of this information. Help topic 2165 explains more about how this works. By default, these ‘child’ records relate back to the ‘parent’ record using the volunteer number.

However, if this is confusing, you can change the report to use the volunteer’s name in place of the volunteer number. To do this, select “Include volunteer names in ‘child’ records” on the Options tab when you create the Excel report.

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TLS 1.2 Required After October 15, 2017

This blog post is about a security update that is on the horizon for Volgistics. Before we tell you about the update, though, a little background information is in order. So hang on and we’ll get to the information you need in a little bit. (If you’re the tech savvy type and want to jump ahead, go to the What’s Going to Happen? and Extra Considerations for VicNet and VicTouch sections below).

Have you ever wondered why some websites have a little padlock icon in the URL address? Basically, the lock shows that the website you’re connecting with is secure. One thing this means is that the information you send to the website, and receive back, is encrypted during transit. This means even if it is intercepted, it will be a bunch of meaningless gobbledegook to the people who grabbed it.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the offshoot of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and is one of the methods used to encrypt your information so it is safe as it travels back and forth over the Internet. As with anything valuable, the hackers are always trying to find vulnerabilities in TLS so that they can gain access to your information. Because of this, new versions of TLS are released from time to time as vulnerabilities are exposed in the old versions. This ensures that your information is still safe as long as the newer versions are used.

What’s Going to Happen?

Which brings us to what this blog post is about! Experts have found vulnerabilities in TLS versions 1.0 (1999) and 1.1 (2006) and these vulnerabilities mean that hackers could intercept your information if you do not use a more recent version. To prevent this, Volgistics will require TLS 1.2 for connections to the system after October 15, 2017.

For the vast majority of Volgistics account holders, this will not require any action because most likely you are using an up-to-date web browser that has TLS 1.2 enabled. Or, if action is required, it will be minor such as updating to a new version of your web browser, or making a change to the browser’s settings. If you have any doubts, a quick visit to https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html will let you know if you have TLS version 1.2. Here is how the section of the website that has to do with TLS will look if everything is okay:


If you visit the website and TLS 1.2 does not show, the easiest fix is to contact your IT team if you have that luxury. If you do not have an IT team, send us an inquiry telling us 1) the device you’re using (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, etc.), 2) the operating system on the device, and 3) the web browser with the version number you’re using. With this information, we will be able to let you know what to do to be ready for the change.

Extra Considerations for VicNet and VicTouch.

Now that you’ve made sure that you will still be able to access the system, you should consider the VicNet and VicTouch modules if you use these.

VicNet. The VicNet module is designed to give volunteers and Coordinators access to the system from computers and devices with Internet access. Checking if the change will cause any issues here will be difficult because you do not know what computers or devices the volunteers and Coordinators are using. In most cases, the change should not cause a problem for VicNet access, or if it does, simple updates to the device or web browser should correct the issue.

The information Volgistics has on VicNet use shows that there are a small percentage of users who still have the Windows XP operating system, or an Android tablet with an older operating system (version 4.4 (KitKat) or older). These are the people who are most likely to report that they can not access VicNet. These users will need to use the Chrome or Firefox web browsers, or upgrade their equipment, in order to access VicNet. From the usage information we have gathered, not many VicNet users will be impacted so it may be easiest to wait to see if users report a problem and then let them know what they’ll need to do.

VicTouch. The VicTouch module is designed to be used as a sign-in station where volunteers clock-in and clock-out when they arrive and depart. You can update this area before October 15, 2017 so you can be ready for the change ahead of time. If you have an IT department available, the easiest approach will be to contact them and let them know that support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be deprecated as of October 15th. They should be able to check if the computers or tablets you use for your VicTouch stations can connect with TLS 1.2. If you do not have an IT team available, the information below will be useful.

From the analytical information we have, the most affected VicTouch connections will be from Android tablets with version 4.4 (or older) operating systems. Android referred to version 4.4 as KitKat, if this helps. The quickest way to see if your device will allow connections with TLS 1.2 is to exit VicTouch and then visit https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html. You can see an example of how a good connection looks in the What’s Going to Happen? section above.

If you visit the website and it shows you do not have the ability to use TLS 1.2, try using Chrome or Firefox as the web browser instead of the Android browser that comes pre-installed on the tablet. If Chrome or Firefox is not currently installed on the tablet, you will need to download them from the app store.

If you are not able to use Chrome or Firefox to connect with TLS 1.2 on the computer or device you have, you will need to upgrade your equipment in order to connect with Volgistics after October 15, 2017.

Please submit a help inquiry if you have any questions about the requirement to connect with TLS 1.2, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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Tip of the Week September 11, 2017

Track Assignments Automatically

In Volgistics, a volunteer’s Role in an assignment shows their relationship to the assignment. For example, a Role of Assigned means that the volunteer is actively serving while a Role of Substitute might mean the volunteer is available to fill in for other volunteers in that assignment. The volunteer’s Service tab shows the Role they have in assignments.

You can optionally setup the system to automatically add the Role of Assigned to a volunteer’s record whenever the volunteer is scheduled or receives service in an assignment. To do this:

  1. Select Setup from the menu.

  2. Expand the ‘Assignment tracking’ link.

  3. Select ‘Ground rules’.

  4. Check the box by ‘Record assignments automatically’.

  5. Click the Save button to keep your selections.

Help topic 2265 explains more about the settings for automatic assignment tracking.

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Tip of the Week August 28, 2017

Limit the rights or access to Volgistics for specific System Operators

If a Volgistics Account will utilize the services of system operators other than just the account’s Administrator(s), it may be important to define specific limits of the rights or access for those users. This way they aren’t able to, or don’t have to, manage more settings than exceeds their intended function in your organization. There are two primary ways to do this: via their system operator page, and by customizing access for entire user levels—that is, ‘Power Users’ and ‘Basic Users’.

The system operator page allows you to assign an operator a Site Level Access restriction, to set their user level, to limit their access to Volgistics to just specific host IP addresses, to customize which menu items they have access to, and to customize which specific tasks they can perform. Controlling rights and access for entire user levels allows you to set tab rights and field rights which will apply to all system operators with the corresponding user level. You can learn more about limiting rights or access for specific System Operators in Help Topic 2028.

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Tip of the Week August 21, 2017

Keep report columns all on one page

If you’ve created a custom report in PDF format, you may find instances where some columns of information extend beyond the width of the page causing them to appear on subsequent pages. If this is the case, you can sometimes make all the columns appear on one page by changing the report’s settings. Here are some ideas on settings to change:

Options tab. If the report is organized by Site, Place & Assignment, consider organizing it differently. The Site, Place & Assignment option will create a separate column for each piece of information. Also, if the report has options for totals and/or to list volunteers, only check these if necessary.

Fields tab. Do not include any fields that are not absolutely necessary. Generally, each field selected will make a new column on the report. Also, be aware that there are multiple ways to display the same information. For example, a “Title First name Last name” field would contain the same information as selecting the “Title,” “First name,” and “Last name” fields separately. However, it would place all the information in one column instead of in three different columns.

Page Design tab. If the report has a Fit to page option, try checking this to see if more steps are necessary. If this does not work, try one or more of the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the margin width to permit your columns to extend closer to the edge of the page

  • Change the page orientation to landscape

  • Decrease the size of the font used in the body of the report.

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Tip of the Week August 14, 2017

Print service report for a single archived volunteer record

There may be times you want to print service reports for archived volunteer records. One way to do this is to create a custom Excel report that contains service information for all archived volunteers. Help Topic 1997 shows how to do this.

Archived records also show automatically on Service Detail and Service Summary reports. However, if you want to run one of these reports for just one, or a few, archived records, you cannot use the tags feature to do this like you can with non-archived records. However, you could do this by using the Flags feature. Here is what you will need to do:

  1. Make a custom Flag such as “Archived (Include on Reports)”
  2. Add this Flag to the archived volunteer records you want included on the report.

  3. Run the Service Detail or Service Summary report you want. On the Include tab, choose “Any of these” under Flags and check the box for the Flag you created.

You can learn more about how to “Print a Report for a Single Archived Volunteer” in Help Topic 1120.

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Tip of the Week August 7, 2017

Set schedule calendar to default to a specific date or month

If you’re using Volgistics for an event that will take place in the future, you may want to setup the schedule calendar to default to a specific date or month. This makes it easier to use because you will not need to change the view each time you access the schedule. If volunteers self-schedule through VicNet or VicTouch, this updates their schedule default as well.

You can set this up on the Scheduling Ground Rules page by:

  1. Select Setup from the menu.

  2. Expand the Scheduling link.

  3. Select Ground rules.

The default settings are under the Additional options heading. Remember to click the Save button after changes are made.

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