We will be performing database maintenance on both our EU and US databases to improve performance, stability and security for our customers.
We have blocked a window to perform the maintenance and tests. During the times listed below, our US and EU customers will not have access to their account. We do not expect it to take the full durations specified below, but be sure to follow our Twitter for progress updates.
Any questions or concerns please reach our to our support team.
Have a great week!
Hi Elvanto users! It’s Ben here the founder of Elvanto! We’ve had a massive start to the year and I wanted to stop, reflect and take a moment to share about Elvanto in 2018.
2017 was a great year for Elvanto. A lot went on behind the scenes, unknowingly to our users. We improved security, how we write code, our infrastructure, how we prioritize our backlog and how we approach development.
At the same time, we released a bunch of updates. Here are some of the bigger ones:
- Group messages
- Event registration
- Member directory redesign
- Service reporting overhaul
- Occasion messages
- Volunteer swap and replace
- New media player
- Chord chart enhancements
- Department non-conflicts
I’m excited about 2018. This year we really want to build on the solid foundation we have laid over the past 7 years. There is a lot of functionality in Elvanto and we want to go back and improve key areas. We want them to be simpler. Easier to use. Better to navigate. Fewer clicks. Modernize the UI.
I’ve been talking to customers over the past year and I’m hearing things like our Mobile App needs more features, the need for a Music Stand type app, improvements to make service planning easier, simpler navigation and improve access for volunteers who perform tasks like reporting on attendance, updating their groups and so on. The list goes on.
I’m so thankful that people that take the time share with us because it helps us improve.
This year we want to take said features and more to the next level. Rather than overhauling whole areas all at once which takes a long time, we are going to hit small areas, here and there meaning you receive the value quicker and see things progressing.
Oh, and we just released version 2 of our Mobile App
Android users can gain access to this right now and iOS users will have it in their hands soon!
To allow us to really push hard on the Mobile App this year, we needed a new baseline built into it. So that’s what we did with version 2. Behind the scenes, we have been developing version 2 of our API (it’s not yet public but we are working on it) which version 2 of our Mobile App is based off. This, plus the fact we have overhauled our code will really allow us to bring value to you much faster.
For those who missed our previous blog posts, although version 2 is more of a platform update that will allow us to develop it faster, we’ve added a few new features too. These include volunteer swap/replace, a media player and we also improved the user interface here and there.
As I said earlier, I’m excited about 2018. I look forward to adding more value, quicker in 2018.
What would you like to see from Elvanto in 2018?
P.S. We also have just put together a short video sharing some of our story and our heart. Check it out!
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.
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!
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.
Other Department Updates
We’ve also made a couple of other improvements to departments this week.
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.
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.
Mobile App Version 2 BETA
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.
- 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.