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  • Annual AUG Meeting a Success on The Strip

    The New York-New York Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada was the site of the 2011 Advantage User Group conference and it was a hit!  Attendance was up this year, with 53 people (8 from overseas) representing 26 different clients.  In traditional AUG style, there were major travel woes on the east coast that caused delays, but most everyone made it safe and sound. The two hot topics were AMB (access management and billing) and BI (business intelligence).  Most clients are either on AMB, implementing AMB, or planning to implement it.  There were ACS presentations by Phil Montgomery and  me (Mona Hidayet) regarding the new AMB features coming in 2011, as well as two break-out round table discussions on implementing AMB and reporting on AMB.  The popularity of the topics was evident, …



  • Keeping Pace with Technology

    Last evening, I had the opportunity to observe my 13-year-old daughter handle a technical challenge that my wife was experiencing.  As my daughter took the laptop and started in to solve the problem, my wife looked at me with that now-familiar frown which says something like "Why can she do this when she's never taken a computer course in her life, and I, who have used computers for years, can't figure out how to begin?"  I smiled and told her not to take it personally.  Based on conversations I've had with friends, I believe most parents have experienced this phenomenon. Perhaps it's perspective.  Perhaps it's age.  After all, we observe children picking up a language without even thinking about it.  They just start talking, make lots of mistakes, get …



  • Highlights of 2011R1

    Here are some of the exciting new features in 2011R1, now available.  Contact your account manager for more information.  The promotion code maintenance user interface (formerly CPNPMO and its views) has been rewritten using the Advantage list frame and scripting features.  The new view, CPNDAT/PMO, allows the setup and maintenance of promotion codes and their related records (e.g., promotion items, regular premiums) from a central data entry point…instead of requiring you to route to multiple views.  The Advantage scripting feature allows you to construct different entry/maintenance scripts using a subset of fields: for example, perhaps you will have one script for entering e-marketing offers, and another for traditional mail offers. …



  • Analysis of Select Sets

    Advantage batch processes that use select criteria produce statistics that reflect the number of database records that were a) evaluated and b) selected (or deselected) at each level of the select logic.  The location of the directory that contains the statistics is environmentally defined by SELECTSTATLOC=<directory>.  Statistics reports are written to that directory if the environment variable is defined and the directory exists.  The default location is a subdirectory of the ProcLogs directory called Select_Stats.   This may be changed by the user. The process log file contains a message similar to "Selection analysis statistics in <pathname>", so that you may move from a particular log file to its statistics.  Similarly, the actual statistics …



  • ACS Welcomes Sunil Chawla

      Sunil Chawla has joined the ACS team and will be providing services to CDS Global-UK.  Sunil was the Advantage system administrator, DBA and IT manager at Maney Publications, but had to resign from this position in order to move to London. The timing worked perfectly for him to join the ACS team currently traveling regularly to Market Harborough to support CDS. A UK native, Sunil holds a degree in computer science from Manchester University and is also a certified Microsoft Database Administrator.  He lives in Bromley, near London, and in his leisure time, enjoys playing badminton and tennis and traveling to tropical destinations—anywhere with clear blue water where he can scuba dive and snorkel, although the Maldives is his …



  • Are You Taking Advantage of Customer Communication in Advantage?

    As the arena of customer communication becomes more and more personalized, you need the flexibility to create and send relevant communications as quickly and automatically as possible.  Advantage offers you this capability. Many of you have been using the customer letter functionality for years (note: for purposes of this article, the word "letter" refers to either email or a hard-copy snail-mail letter).  This is where you create a set of letter templates and via a Customer Note, Action Code, and MS-Word, Advantage sends the appropriate customized personal letter to a customer when  certain conditions are true , filling in such information as customer name and address, order number, subscription details, product order details, and order data.  This format is simple to set …



  • John Moore; Engineer and Fire Fighter

    In his five years at ACS, John Moore has made his mark on the software and in client support.  He was part of a team that rewrote MSTDAT/FAST and also worked on converting INVDAT into the new user interface style, which included implementing scripts there.  Although John has always been a member of the software development team led by Howie Brooks, he was tapped three years ago to enter the upgrade and support world in engineering.  John is a key member of the team that works with Agora, Inc. He describes his role as alternating between fire fighter putting out fires, superhero solving issues, and whipping boy (although that happens very rarely). Agora's Daryl Berver has this to say about working with John: "John is great. He has been able to not …



  • ACS Welcomes A-lehdet of Finland

    ACS is happy to announce that A-lehdet has chosen Advantage and is beginning implementation.  The Helsinki-based company was started in 1933 with a single magazine. Today, the grandchildren of the founders  manage the company which has grown into a publishing house with a portfolio of 18 magazines, covering topics from politics to gardening, with customer demographics ranging from teenagers to senior citizens. The Managing Director of A-lehdet is Olli-Pekka Lyytikainen.  The ACS project team includesEric Burbeck (project manager), Tom Hermans (project director), and Karl Davis (lead engineer). The A-lehdet team consists of Oili Kalm-Parantainen (main business definer) and Timo Kurkikangas (IT architect) and its work will be coordinated by project …



  • New Product Family Feature Explained

    The Product Family feature enables you to link a printed title with an e-version of the same content.  This solves the problem of identifying the relevant content when it is published under different titles, or where different content is published under the same title or different translations.  It could also be used to represent the same on-going stream of content ? such as a serial. Valid values are set up at the CDSVLU view under the keyword PROD-FAM.  Collective sales by Product Family are available through the SAL450 report.  Here are examples of how this can be used. ? to identify on-line and print version of the same publication or title ? to identify additional language translations of the same work ? to designate an initial reference notebook and …



  • More Fantastic Features in 10R3

    Here are some highlights from 2010R3. ·         Usually, an SVCDAT search returns all addresses that satisfy the search criteria?this could be the default address, plus several others for the same customer.  You may wish to have the system display only the default address in situations such as this.  You can use a new option to turn this behavior on.  When the option is enabled, the search result will always be the default address (and only the default address) for any matching customers---regardless of which address the criteria actually matched on ·         A tab has been added at SVCDAT/CTM when viewing a customer record,  to establish links to documents you may need to retrieve for a customer.  The documents must already exist on the network; the Documents tab …



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