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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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    ACS Wants to Help You Meet Your 2009 Goals

    Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year! 2008 was a tough year for many industries. Here in Michigan, countless businesses and households have been hit hard by woes of the big-three automakers, in addition to the general challenges of a struggling economy. While ACS is not unaffected by the economic conditions, the list of prospective clients interested in Advantage remains steady and we are doing okay. Among the Advantage community, I hear with some frequency of publishers and associations cutting back on staff, reducing issue frequencies, and merging titles. Unfortunately, many of our clients serve market segments that are significantly affected by the current recession. Nevertheless, we continue to see promising signs among our …



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    Cool, Creative Customer Notes Features

    You can now use the Customer Service Notes management feature to organize customer notes (SVCCON-M records) into a hierarchical/priority-based structure for more efficient addressing by your customer service personnel. In summary, the feature works as follows:  You work with notes that have been created by the system---through the Web, the SVC125 upload, etc. In other words, this feature does not create customer notes on its own, but rather offers the means to respond to them more efficiently. An SVC process (SVC125 or SVC305) is used to select the notes to be imported into the feature. Each select level used with SVC125 or SVC305 includes the path name (i.e. …



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    Exciting New Features in 2009R1!

    The first release of 2009 offers some exciting new features and will be available in early February. Here are some highlights: Conference and Event: You can now choose to defer income for conference registrations entered within the CEM module (previously, all income was earned up front when the registration was posted). This will allow you to accept registration orders, but not earn the associated income until the actual start of the conference. This behavior is variable at the individual conference/location level. Gift Subs: A new analysis table, CIRPMG-M, tracks promotion responses for subscriptions that have been specifically identified as "gifts." While one definition of a gift subscription is simply one where the bill- …



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    Todd Gilson: Assuredly High Quality

    Todd Gilson is a man of many trades. Give him a job, any job, and he will do whatever it takes to accomplish it. This attitude is a great help to him in his present position on the Advantage QA team, but has also come in very handy in his earlier days working on implementation projects. Roger Domras, currently at American Psychiatric Association, was working at the University of Chicago Press some years ago when Todd was assigned to the installation. Roger has this to say about that experience: "Todd was extremely conscientious and wanted to ensure that everything worked as expected. He dug right in to any questions that we had and if he didn't know the answer, he made sure that he contacted the right person and found the …



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    Using Subscription Adjustment Reasons

        You can attach a reason code to all customer service subscription adjustment transactions and also have a note automatically created with the transaction. This way, you have a visible customer service audit trail of all such changes that may be quickly referenced. You might want to know, for example, why the customer is changing the number of copies or migrating from one publication to another. You define the valid values by operation code for these transactions at the CIRTBL/RSN ?Subscription Adjustment Reason view. Create Customer Note controls whether a customer note should be automatically created at order entry time for a transaction using this reason code. The note is automatically generated …



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    Membership Module

    Does your business include the ability for customers to become members of a club, group, society or other such organization? If so, the Membership (MBR) module may be right for you. MBR allows you to manage one - or more - membership organizations, and administer related tasks such as dues collection, fulfillment of membership journals and newsletters, and participation in organizational activities (councils, discussion groups, etc.). Actually, any membership activity for which you charge a recurring fee can be set up as a participation element within the organization. Users have a lot of flexibility in setting up the benefit-of-membership tables, where you define the benefits that a member receives. You might choose to base them on a certain level of …



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    Agora France Goes Live on Advantage

    Viva la France! We recently added a new flag on the world map of Advantage user locations as Agora France went live on Advantage in October. Les Publications Agora, located in Paris, publishes six newsletters and a weekly magazine in the financial investment field, and also offers a stock exchange alert service and downloadable documents about specific investments. Levi Hyssong managed the project on the ACS side, while John Moore and Emily Buchholz were the engineers who handled the conversion. They converted customers, subscriptions, and direct debit information from the previous system in to Advantage. Agora has developed successful strategy for handling multiple locations. The French group will share the database with the headquarters in Baltimore, …



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