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  • Staying Out of (Technical) Debt  

    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 …



  • Advantage Software: Multiple ARPCAR Applications

    The ARPCAR view allows you to add payment by selecting an invoice with an amount remaining. By setting the ARP option DFPAYAMT to “Y” (available at 2014r1), the payment amount will default in based on the invoice’s amount due. With this option set to Y, you can also select multiple invoices and enter one payment to be applied across them. The steps involved are as follows:

    Set the ARP option DFPAYAMT to Y.

    From the ARPCAR list frame, select multiple invoices via keyboard controls (usually shift + click to select multiple invoices, ctrl + click to select a range of invoices).

    Invoke the Add Payment action, which will bring up a payment dialog box with the total amount due from the selected invoices defaulted in as the payment amount. The payment amount is open so it can be adjusted. …



  • Here’s To a Successful and Productive 2016!

    How AdvantageCS Can Help Make That Happen For You

    All of us at AdvantageCS would like to wish you a happy and prosperous new year. For many people, the start of a new year is a good time to assess their current situation and also to look ahead to set new goals. At AdvantageCS, we're doing that on a regular basis as it relates to many aspects of our company and in particular to the software and services that we offer. 

    To ensure that we continue to offer you the industry-leading software solution to meet all your needs in the ever-changing digital fulfillment marketplace, we make substantial investments in our software every year. One of our goals is to deliver more innovative solutions and services to Advantage clients that help you to grow revenue, reduce cost, and increase customer …



  • AdvantageCS Welcomes New Client Bonnier Magazine Data

    AdvantageCS is pleased to announce our newest client: Bonnier Magazine Data (“BMD”).  Located in the Østerbro borough of Copenhagen, Denmark, BMD is an internal provider of subscription management systems, CRM system functionality and related services to Bonnier companies. BMD specializes in subscription management within the field of weekly and monthly magazines, publications and other media products.

    BMD is wholly owned by Bonnier Publications (“BP”) and Bonnier Tidskrifter (“BT”) which are also two major customers. Whereas BP is represented in Copenhagen, Helsinki (Finland), Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden), BT is represented solely in Stockholm. Between the two publishing companies, BMD systems manage around 2 million subscriptions. These companies are part of the holding …



  • Dan's Blog: 6 Predictions for Publishing in 2016

    It's the week between Christmas and New Years and I'm reading lists of things that happened in 2015 and will happen in 2016. It's always enjoyable to be reminded of things that happened earlier in the year that we've already either forgotten or filed away into that part of our memory that can't quite remember exactly when it took place. (Like one's last dentist appointment once more than 5 weeks have passed.) What's much more fun, and risky, is to predict things that will happen in the future. It's risky, because the predictor is likely to be proved wrong. It's fun because the expectations are so low for being right!

    So here are mine:

    Publishing will continue to be unpredictable. I know. It's almost cheating to say this. But there is more truth to it than immediately meets the eye. …



  • How To Always Know What's New in Advantage

    Stay up to date with Automatic Notification of Continuous Update Features

    What do these seemingly unrelated Advantage features have in common?

    A right-click action at all Advantage list frames to copy the value of any currently displayed column to your clipboard.

    The addition of data entry scripts for agreement orders and maintenance, whether using the Fast Entry or the dedicated agreement view.

    The consolidation of all select set setup in Advantage under the single Selection view.

    If you answered “they’ve all entered the product within the past four calendar months,” you would be correct!

    Advantage development, which has always been fast and furious, has become even more so with the introduction of the continuous update track within the past year. How can you keep up on …



  • Bug Extinction – Automated Testing Using Frameworks in Advantage

    “What is best in life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.” 

    -Conan, the Barbarian

    As software engineers, we find ourselves fighting a war against an enemy of our own creation. An enemy armed with complexity, obscurity, and redundancy. From a fortified position in legacy code it charges forth using our past compromises as a battle cry. Like the Hydra, software development can work against us: each problem we fix with a cutting change can sometimes spawn more bugs. What is an engineer to do in the face of such odds?

    Creating bug-free software can happen in one of two ways. Write no bugs, which given the complexity and breadth of Advantage is impossible, or find the bugs that are created and fix them. To this end, bug …



  • Dan's Blog: Communication has Incredible Consequences - 6 Tips to Improve Yours

    One of our traditional movies to watch around this time of year is the revered "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and friends. For those unfamiliar with the story, things begin to go wrong when the nosy housekeeper eavesdrops on a conversation but only hears 1 side of the message. She draws her own conclusions and sets off a string of events which produces the main tension in the storyline. Since it's a movie, it all ends well and they live happily ever after. But the movie has supremely good examples of all kinds of problematic communication:

    misunderstanding what the other person said

    misunderstanding what the other person didn't say

    beating around the bush

    talking about two different things and missing one another

    sarcasm

    deception

    bad assumptions

    and the list goes on …



  • Advantage Contact Center: Introducing Customer Service Workflows

    Some time ago, a project was begun here at ACS to consolidate various customer service views. The result is called the Advantage Contact Center.

    Contact Center introduces a new feature called Customer Service Workflows, which are guided customer service transactions. Each Advantage customer service workflow guides a customer service rep through a set of phases. The Advantage user interface can be customized based on workflow scripts, which determine the phases of the workflow, the fields available for data entry and the defaulting of transaction values. At the conclusion of the workflow, a customer note is created to log the call outcome.

    Here’s an example of one such workflow:

    A customer calls to inquire about a premium which hasn’t arrived yet.

    The first phase in the workflow …



  • 2016 AUG Conference in Sunny Las Vegas

    Wednesday February 10 – Friday February 12, 2016

    Users picked Las Vegas as their destination of choice and so the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas will be the site of the 2016 Advantage Users Group Conference. A great location and an exciting program make this a can’t-miss conference.

    Growing numbers of Advantage clients have made the leap to continuous updates, and many more are looking to make it in 2016. If you are considering it or are wondering what the benefits are to you, the conference is a great place to get answers from users that have been there and done that.

    The conference will cover a variety of topics, most of them suggested by users at last year’s conference. The agenda is below.  There’s still time to register---Click here for registration information.

    Wednesday, …



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