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    Be an A+ Advantage Student

    by Greg Stout, Vice President of Client Services "An educated consumer is our best customer." That was the long-time advertising slogan of a local retailer in the area where I live. It also correlates to one of ACS's key philosophies - that our most knowledgeable Advantage clients are the most satisfied ones. Advantage is a comprehensive, feature-rich marketing and fulfillment package designed to help you operate most effectively. In addition, Advantage is updated three times per year to add more and better features that you can use when you upgrade to the latest revision. So, how can you keep up with all the new features and know that you are taking full advantage of all the functionality? Advantage training is one of …



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    Kalmbach Publishing Celebrates 75th Anniversary

    WAUKESHA, Wis. ? How about some good news from the magazine-publishing industry? Kalmbach Publishing Co. of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2009 and still going strong. This independent, niche publisher produces the world's best-selling magazines for model railroading (Model Railroader), scale modeling (FineScale Modeler and Scale Auto), beaded jewelry making (BeadStyle and Bead&Button), astronomy (Astronomy), and railroading (Trains). Kalmbach publishes 15 magazines and a host of special-interest publications. Its book department produces 35 books annually. Kalmbach maintains nearly 30 Web sites, and it produces the world's largest jewelry making show, the annual Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee. Collectively, more …



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    Help Us to Help You

    It is a cliché that software developers who become managers never fully let go of their need to program. Like a cough in a concert hall, there is no way to suppress the tickle that says it's time to design something, code it, test it, demo it, tinker and re-design. This is why I appreciate my current opportunity to delve into the design and development of ACS's nascent Business Intelligence module. At the recent AUG meeting, we discussed the current status. The project holds enough technical challenges to keep me occupied for many months. The literature on data warehousing and business intelligence is extensive, reflecting the software industry's decades long struggle to coax 'actionable intelligence' from databases that stubbornly conceal …



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    Looking Upward & Onward

    In these hard economic times, it's easy to think of reasons not to begin a new project. However, there are some very compelling reasons why right now is an excellent time to conduct an upgrade project. Upgrading to the latest revision of Advantage could not only increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs, but also improve customer service. In addition, implementing new features may well help you to generate additional sales. And when the economy improves, being ready to handle new business could be key to your success. We at ACS can help you to determine if an upgrade makes good business sense for your company. An Advantage upgrade project focuses on the delivery of a new software revision to your site. This delivery brings you: …



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    Kalmbach Publishing: Riding High on the Hobby Train

    This month, Customer Portrait presents Kalmbach Publishing in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Kalmbach joined the Advantage community in 1982. In 2008, Kalmbach Publishing celebrated their 75th anniversary as a special interest publisher serving a diverse set of hobbyist markets. Kalmbach provides information to their customers through a variety of media channels including books, events, magazines, television partnerships and web sites. Kalmbach editors and many other staff members are active enthusiasts themselves, sharing the same passion and curiosity for their leisure time pursuits as their readers. This mutual enthusiasm fosters long-term relationships with customers, and their Advantage system …



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    Highlights of Advantage 2009R1

    The first release of 2009 offers some exciting new features. Here are just some of the enhancements. Contact your account manager today to learn more. Systems Changes Login Enhancements A new table has been added to store user login information. This table, CDSLGN-D, is populated during the upgrade, and contains the user code (USR-CDE), domain name (DMN-NME), and the user's system login name (USR-LOG). A user can have more than one record, if she/he uses multiple domains. Alternating Row Colors in User Displays With this release, you can configure your Advantage session to display list frame rows in alternating colors; this visual aid can be helpful in setting off rows in long lists from each other. …



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    Paul Sauter: Rising Star in Software Engineering

    Paul Sauter is a second-generation software engineer who can barely remember a time when there wasn't a computer in his home. Still, when he entered the University of Michigan, he wasn't entirely sure what career he wanted to pursue. After just one or two computer engineering classes, however, his path became clear. During college, Paul spent two summers as an intern at ACS and was offered a full-time position at graduation in the spring of 2005. Happily for ACS, he accepted. During the internships, Paul learned a great deal about Advantage and the publishing industry and he was able to really hit the ground running when he joined full-time. He has been a part of the Product Development Group led by Howie Brooks …



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    Database Version Alert for 9R1

    We have posted a minimum system requirement of SQL 2005 in our Release Notes for the 2009R1 release, because the release was developed and tested completely in a SQL 2005 environment. This means that if you are upgrading to the 2009r1 release, and are currently using SQL 2000 or earlier, certain pieces of functionality may not be available to you. As database engines continue to grow and evolve, new features and performance optimizations become available. The 2009r1 release of Advantage makes use of some of these new features that may not be available with a SQL 2000 database. In April 2008, Microsoft retired the mainstream support for SQL 2000 on many of its service pack levels. For more information on the Microsoft product life cycles, please see the Microsoft …



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    Bienvenue to Vidal

    ACS is happy to announce the addition of Vidal, our third client based in France. (Bayard Presse was the first, and Agora France became the second, going live in October 2008). Vidal became a client in mid-November and the implementation is well underway. Located in Issy-les-Moulineaux, just outside of Paris, Vidal publishes medical information to French healthcare professionals. They publish a well-known book which provides drug interaction information to medical professionals. They also publish a variety of other products including: subscription-based newsletters, electronic subscriptions, advertising and other one-off products. Vidal began searching for a new system early in 2008 and was interested in seeing Advantage because they knew that Bayard …



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