Blog

Chrome 63 and Dymo

We have been informed that there may be issues with the Chrome version 63 and the Dymo software. At this point in time, we have been unable to replicate or troubleshoot these issues ourselves so we are not sure how widespread the issue is.

We have been given these instructions from Dymo on how to work around this issue for the time being if you are being affected. We expect that sometime in the near future Dymo will have a new version of their software out to fix any issues.

If you are not using Chrome, or you are using version 62 or earlier, you should be unaffected by this issue. If you are using Chrome 63 and are not experiencing the issue, all should be well but keep an eye on it leading up to check-in time. It would be worth having a backup plan in place.

Elvanto + GDPR – Our Commitment to Europe!

In May 2018 a new regulation in Europe is coming into effect to help unify data protection. This is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you’re storing the personal data of EU citizens, this applies to you.

These new privacy laws, although a bit overwhelming at first are an exciting step towards better privacy. I hope that these laws are taken up by other countries in the future.

To show our commitment to our EU customers, we started storing their data in Dublin, Ireland back in 2014. Europe is an important part of Elvanto’s customer base and we are excited to continue to serve this part of the world. When we heard about the GDPR and the need to either comply or stop servicing customers storing EU citizens data, we were 100% on board to ensure we comply.

We are still working to be ready for the May 2018 deadline. We have created a GDPR page on our website that shares information about what we are doing. We’ll keep this page updated over time. You will also want to subscribe to our GDPR mailing list for future updates.

The GDPR affects companies who process the personal data of EU citizens (in this case, Elvanto) and also those who control that data (that’s our customers). I encourage any of our customers affected to look into the GDPR to ensure you have the right processes in place to comply. We’ll do our best to help as we learn more from our own findings.

Have a great week!

Ben

December 2017 Updates

We’ve been busy as ever these past few months improving our backend systems to allow us to really ramp up releases in the new year. Here’s an overview of what’s been happening.

Department Non-Conflicts Are Here!

I’m super excited about this feature! You can now set non-conflicts for departments, sub-departments, and positions. This means scheduling for positions that can be filled by the same person have the ability to not conflict. For example, you might want to allow a worship leader to play acoustic guitar.

This doubles the power of swap/replace requests and the auto-rostering tool which both have been impeded by not having the ability to set non-conflicts.

The potential is endless! You can make positions not conflict with other positions in the same department or make a position not conflict with a position in another department. You can make position not conflict with an entire department or make a sub-department not conflict with another sub-department. I could go on with all the options but I’m sure you catch my drift.

Non-conflicts are also inherited. What this means is if you set the Worship Team department to non-conflict with the Set Up Team department, all sub-departments and positions within those two departments will not conflict.

Non Conflicts

Other Department Updates

We’ve also made a couple of other improvements to departments this week.

Interface Update

The interface when editing a department has been given a makeover to be more user-friendly and simple. We now have 3 buttons to the right of each sub-department and position allowing you to edit extra details (reports to for example), set conflicts and delete.

Improved Merging

We’ve rebuilt our old merge positions feature so that you can now merge departments and sub-departments if you so desire.

More Department Enhancements Coming Soon

In the new year we’ll be releasing a couple more enhancements to departments:

  • Ability to set a ‘Reports To’ person for an entire department.
  • Ability to remove sub-departments and just have positions in a department.

Stay tuned.

Mobile App Version 2 BETA

Mobile App V2

I’ll admit, the Mobile App has not had the attention it has needed this past 12 months. This has been due to a couple of factors but we want to assure you the Mobile App is a huge part of Elvanto’s future.

I do have some good news though. We’ve rebuilt the Mobile App from scratch. We’ve added a couple of new features since the first version but our main goal with version 2 was to put get our code to a state where we will be able to add features to it much faster in the new year.

New features include volunteer swap/replace which I know many have been waiting for. We’ve also added a media player so you can play music in a playlist just like the Web App. We’ve also improved the user interface here and there.

We’ll be sending out BETA access very soon so to obtain your invite to give it a whirl, please fill in this form.

Updates to Automatically Generated Giving Numbers

A couple of months ago we released an update to automatically generated giving numbers. Previously we had a more random way of generating giving numbers which caused problems due to the restrictions that existed (such as running out of possible giving numbers if you set your limits too low).

To alleviate this we’ve removing the randomness from the system and making this more sequential. In this method, we’ll simply be looking at the highest existing number, and simply using the next number.

This method simply allows us to ensure that when a new giving number is getting generated, we’ll always have a number to give them. This will ensure we have a number to give every time it’s required.

Chord Chart Improvements

To make chord charts easier to use, we’ve recently made some changes to how chord charts can be configured to suit your desired look and feel.

Two Columns in Portrait mode

After adding in two-columns for landscape we had a number of people asking for two-columns for portrait charts too, so we’ve added this in, just for you!

Bold and italic lyrics, page and column breaks and colored chords!

That’s right. We’ve added a number of additional options for formatting in the chord charts!

More flexibility when adding chords to lyrics

Previously, this was the only way to add chords to your lyrics:

Verse 1
[D]Amazing Grace, how [G/D]sweet the [D]sound
That saved a wretch like [A/D]me
I [D]once was [D/F#]lost but [G]now am [D]found
Was blind but [A/D]now I [D]see

You can now enter these same chords above the lyrics follows:

Verse 1
D                  G/D       D
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
                         A/D
That saved a wretch like me
  D        D/F#     G      D
I once was lost but now am found
              A/D   D
Was blind but now I see

The chord chart that gets generated will look exactly the same.

Other Updates

  • Added new settings page under Account to allow you to customize your password requirements
  • Added the ability to export a list of tickets along with registrant data for events
  • More data is now sent to Stripe and PayPal for event registration payments
  • Enhanced search to find names that sound like the search term (searching “stewart” should return people named “stuart”)
  • Form admins can now preview un-published forms
  • Improved the speed of sending email invites for events
  • Made what services appear on the roster more consistent, so any service on the current day should always appear even if it started in the past
  • Improved handling of members who have chosen to hide their photo from the member directory
  • Improved translation of check-in search text
  • Improved how hidden photos appear in the member directory
  • Added ‘Edit Multiple Services’ link to the main services menu for easy access
  • Improved people search in most areas to help assist with typos
  • Adding a song to a service should now remember the settings you used last time
  • Improved the instructions for creating your ViaNett SMS integration
  • Countless small bug fixes and improvements

Other things we’re working on

These features aren’t all we’re working on, but they’re the largest things that will be out in the new year. Some of the other things we’re working on includes:

  • Accept Tithe.ly payments within Event Registration
  • Adding custom fields to groups
  • Version 2 of our API
  • User interface updates to groups, reports, services and songs

Hopefully, these upcoming changes make your experience of Elvanto just that little bit easier. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to our Releases Site to stay up-to-date with when these features get released.

Pushpay Adds Check Scanning As A Supported Feature

Let’s face it. No matter how far giving technology progresses, there will always be a (small) subset of your givers who are just more comfortable giving via check. As important as it is for churches to invest in an easy and intuitive mobile giving option, we know those tools are never going to appeal to everyone.

This is why we were so excited to learn recently that Pushpay—one of our integrated giving partners—has recently added check deposit to their list of supported features.

With this new feature, church financial administrators can scan and endorse checks quickly (and in bulk), saving trips to the bank. The checks get deposited automatically and the check’s information gets recorded in Pushpay, which makes it possible to view all of your church’s giving in one place. (You can imagine how handy this will be when it comes time to issue annual giving statements.)

That alone is pretty cool, but Pushpay has taken their check deposit feature one step further. Every time a church bookkeeper scans a check, the check writer will receive a thank you email, encouraging them to give your church’s mobile giving a try. It’s a great way to continue to drive engagement with your mobile and recurring giving options, while also streamlining your admin workload!

Best of all, thanks to Pushpay’s integration with Elvanto, all of those gifts will get pushed automatically into Elvanto and synced with the appropriate records on our end.

If you’ve been looking for an easier way to track and manage the checks you receive each week, we suggest you take a look at this new feature from Pushpay.

Click here to learn more.

New Minimum Password Requirements [UPDATED]

UPDATE 2: We have released an update where you can now configure your minimum password requirements. Simply head to your Settings page and you’ll now see a Passwords & Security link under Account. We’ve also reverted back to our original minimum password requirements to keep things simple. If you were happy about the new requirements below, feel free to configure your account back to suit. Another addition is that we now have a list of over 400,000 bad passwords that Elvanto will not allow your users to set. This is helpful if you’d prefer not to have strict password requirements. For example, ‘password’ and ‘abcd1234’ are considered bad passwords. If your user tries to use these, we’ll let them know and kindly ask them to create a better password. I’d love to hear your feedback!

UPDATE: We want to help churches have more autonomy over their accounts password complexity. With the varying opinions from security frameworks as to what a secure password is, this can be tricky if we enforce what we think is best. Thanks to feedback, we will be releasing an update soon that will allow you to configure your own password requirements. Stay tuned!

As part of our continuing commitment to improving security, as of today, we have updated our minimum password requirements.

The new minimum password requirements are as follows:

  • Must be at least 10 characters in length
  • Must contain at least 1 digit (0-9)
  • Must contain one upper case character (A-Z)
  • Must contain one lower case character (a-z)
  • Must not contain a character repeated more than twice (aa in your password is fine, aaa is not)

We have taken these requirements from the OWASP Password Complexity recommendations.

Will I need to update my existing password?

No, existing passwords will continue to work fine. If you attempt to change your password though these new requirements will be considered then.

Why don’t you require a special character?

We may update this in the future to include this, but decided that using just 3 complexity requirements was sufficient for now (as covered in the OWASP recommendations).

10 characters is long, how will I remember that!?

We strongly recommend using a password manager. These will remember your passwords for you and help generate better passwords in the long run.

When will these requirements take effect?

They are live as of right now.

Will we be able to disable these requirements for our account?

No. Security in this day and age is more important than ever so we hope that you see this change as a positive, not a negative as we continue to enhance our security.

When will you offer multi-factor authentication?

We plan to add this in the not too distant future to help take security to another level. We will give you greater control over this allowing you not to require it for some and to force it on others depending on their access.

What next?

Find out more about what we do!