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Software

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    Peeking Behind the Curtain of Advantage QA

    At any given time, we at AdvantageCS are working on at least one, usually more, large development projects, be it in collaboration with clients or as AdvantageCS-funded research and development. Recent examples include our eCommerce platform Cider, a Single Sign-On solution and Members Advantage, our membership project. From a QA standpoint, the challenge is to ensure that hundreds or even thousands of hours of development work get tested and that the resulting product is robust and easy to use.

    The role of testing in Agile methodologies

    Our software development projects are organized in an agile framework called Scrum. Unlike "waterfall" projects, agile projects don't have successive analysis, design, development, testing and rollout phases. These activities are executed …



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    3 Ways to Increase Your SQL Smarts

    All of the data that you are used to seeing in Advantage is stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database.  If you are involved in creating or modifying Advantage reports, then familiarity with Transact-SQL (or T-SQL for short) can help you.  T-SQL is the language you use to query a SQL database and is used by most common reporting tools (Excel, Crystal, SSRS, etc.).  The better you know T-SQL, the quicker and better you can respond to reporting requests from your customers.

    I've found these three things to be most helpful in expanding my T-SQL knowledge and expertise. 

    working on my MCSA certification

    reading SQL blogs regularly, such as these: http://www.cathrinewilhelmsen.net/  , https://spaghettidba.com/  

    Attending a user group meeting

    For Advantage users involved with …



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    New Features Available in the Third Quarter

    These Advantage features are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Advantage Single Sign-On Solution: Advantage now offers a cloud-based SaaS solution for Single Sign-On. SSO is the concept used to describe a centralized access control system managing multiple, related applications requiring authentication. For example, you might have eCommerce sites, self-service portals, content sites on multiple platforms and mobile applications such as iPhone apps. Using SSO, your customers can consolidate access to these via a single set of login credentials.

    Multi-language support for inventory items: You can now define multi-language variants for these fields on the inventory item record: 1) Title; 2) Full Title. When these …



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    Save Time---And More---With Single Sign-On

    Although Single Sign-On (SSO) is not a new concept, it has become trendy in recent years and has been implemented by a growing number of organizations. 

    So, what is Single Sign-On?

    A Single Sign-On solution allows users to log into multiple different applications using the same username and password. This could be a “social login,” such as “Log in with Facebook” or “Log in with Google,” options you’ve no doubt seen on the web before---or a login that is unique to the applications in your organization. Rather than the traditional model in which each application requires its own login, Single Sign-On manages the authentication across several applications:

           

    For Example

    Let’s take a look at an example. As a publisher, you sell subscriptions and other digital content on your …



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    Introducing Members Advantage

    I am excited to announce that Members Advantage, our new membership offering, is available this August.  Consultants, clients, and prospects collaborated with us to produce a top-notch solution, suited for large, complex organizations as well as smaller clubs. 

    AdvantageCS has long been recognized for excellent publishing software solutions.  First developed in the late 1970s for a book publisher, followed by a magazine publisher, Advantage has evolved into a suite of products which manage everything from digital entitlements to subscriptions to ebook sales to conference registrations to continuity series to donations, and on the list goes. 

    And now we’ve enhanced our membership management capabilities to meet the needs of enthusiast clubs, non-profits, professional associations and …



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    New Features Coming Second Quarter 2016

    Here are just a few new Advantage features that are either available now or will be soon. Contact your Advantage account manager for more information.

    Suspend/Nonpay Cancel All Related Service: You can set up an agreement to bill-suspend and/or nonpay cancel all components based on the suspension/cancellation of any single component. For example, if a print subscription under an agreement is bill-suspended, you can cause all other subscriptions in the agreement to be bill-suspended in parallel, as well as the containing agreement itself. The same handling is available for nonpay cancels.

    Print Subscription Bill-suspends and Triggering Term: When a print subscription debit for a past (or future) term reaches a bill-suspend effort, some clients may wish to suspend all service, …



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    Advantage Software: Focused Searches in the Online Documentation

    If you’re running a version of Advantage that is 2014r1 or later, the online help you see was built using the Orchard platform (the same tool that is used to power Cider in Advantage). One of the strengths of Orchard is the ability to perform focused searches…provided you know the format and syntax that Orchard wants us to use.

    Suppose we’re trying to recall an element of functionality related to trial terms. If we enter the literal string trial term (without quote marks) into the 2016 online help, we get back a discouragingly high number of hits…516, to be exact. That’s because the search query we’ve entered is looking for all occurrences of either the word “trial” or “term.” Not surprisingly, Advantage has a lot of references to one or the other of these words.

    We can do better. Let’ …



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    Advantage Software: Cancel Order Button at MSTFST

    During order entry at MSTFST, users may use the Escape button during any phase of the order to cancel out of the order. However, depending on what phase of the order they are in, the user must press Escape multiple times before being able to cancel out of the order.

    At 2015.0, you can set a control on the script that exposes a Cancel Order button, which is accessible during any point in the order. When clicked, this button will bring the user back to the MSTFST list frame.

    Molly Mathe has years of experience in Advantage support and in her Molly Minute, she shares tips & tricks to help users make the most of our software.



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    The Best of “Both-and” Worlds

    How the AdvantageCS Development Team Optimizes Contrasting Styles

    I am, by temperament, indecisive.  Wishy-washy. Equivocating. I embrace both-and-ism rather than either-or-ism. It gets me in trouble at times. 

    My wife is similarly afflicted. She and I joke that our family motto is, “Indecision: the key to flexibility.” It’s impossible to plan vacations.  “Scotland would be fun,” but so would Tuscany. Or France. Or Spain. We end up enjoying the tried and true cottage-on-a-lake-with-friends we have been visiting for 30 years.

    At times, though, both-and-ism is exactly what is called for.  Here are three examples from my role leading on the software development teams.

    Openers AND Closers

    Some software developers love to start new projects, even when it’s unclear how big the project …



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    QA Q & A

    New Initiatives in Advantage Quality Assurance

    Eva Weissman recently became the QA Team Leader here at AdvantageCS and brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Her expertise is not limited to quality assurance---she is adept at analyzing processes and workflows and instituting efficiency measures at many levels. Through a series of questions from eVantage, Eva describes her approach, the initiatives she has put in place and her future plans for QA.

    How do you describe your new role at AdvantageCS in quality assurance testing?

    I lead a team of analysts that is responsible for quality assurance. We focus on three main areas: software modifications, regression testing, and process improvements. With regard to software modifications, we develop test plans, do the actual …



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