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Changing the Tracking Codes
Submitted by admin on Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:07pm.
Most healthy organizations are dynamic, constantly adapting their programs to serve community and social needs. It makes no sense to use a database program that makes it difficult to remove obsolete information, or which requires an expert to come in (and get paid $90 an hour) to make simple enhancements. Do you really need to keep track of who attended the charity auction in 1996? If you ever need to go back and find that information, presumably it will be available in backup copies of your ODB database file.
ODB allows you to modify all of the Tracking codes and Type codes used to classify the records and donations in your database. This feature is powerful and very easy to use. To turn it on, click the wrench icon in the upper right-hand corner of the ODB main screen. This is the Settings and Administration screen:
Then click the Enable Code Changes button and return to the Main Menu.
Editing a Tracking Code list. To see this feature in action, click any ODB record (or the Select Records button) and then click one of the tracking code buttons (Act, Iss, Cons, or VID).
In the resulting screen full of check boxes, you will now see an Admin button in the upper right-hand corner. Clicking on Admin will reveal a small menu whose first item lets you add a new code to the list. In addition, the RIGHT mouse button can be used on any existing code to modify or delete it.
You can also modify the order in which the tracking codes are displayed, using the 4th and 5th options in the right-click menu. By default, all codes are assigned to a "sort tier" of 0. If, for instance, you want your to put the three annual dinner-related codes down at the bottom of the list, you can rightclick on each of them and move them to a lower "sort tier" (1). If you hold the cursor over the code, the tooltip will display which "sort tier" it falls into. You can also completely reset all sort tiers to 0 by clicking on the Admin button, and choosing to reset the sort order.
Tracking codes for Issues, Constituencies, and Activities must be one letter followed by one number. VID tracking codes consist of a single letter. The codes are not case sensitive. (Lower-case letters are converted to capital letters.) Be forewarned that this feature is extremely powerful. If you remove a tracking code, ODB will automatically go through your entire database and remove all occurrences of that tracking code.
Type Code and Payment Category Editing. It is also possible to modify the Type codes used to classify an individual or an organization. Type codes consist of one capital letter plus a description such as S – Supporter. A separate list of Type codes can be created for People and Groups. Remember that Type codes are NOT overlapping categories.
Donation Category and Subcategory codes have a similar format. You may have up to 32 different 29 codes, and codes can be just a single letter, or a letter followed by a number. Type and Donation Category codes can be modified like any other type of code. However, you must access these windows from the Advanced Search Tool, instead of from a particular record. To modify the Type categories for People, you must be searching for People; to modify the Type categories for Groups, you must be searching for Groups; to modify the type categories for Payments, you must be searching for Payments. Note Category codes the same format as Donation Category codes. These categories are available only if you have enabled the “shownotes” setting – described more fully in section D of this manual. SRC Codes. Creating, modifying, and deleting SRC codes is done in the same manner as for tracking codes. You may create as many as you need; SRC codes are 3 or 4 letters long.
SRC codes are by default assigned a date, today’s date. You can use this capability to organize the codes chronologically; right click on a code once you have enabled code changes and you will see a menu option to modify the date associated with the code. This is useful if you remember in March that it would be useful to have a code for “received payment” and you want that code to appear in the list next to other codes for that event, entered a few months back.
Archiving Codes. ODB includes a powerful feature that enables you to move code info from one section to another. By right-clicking on an SRC code when "enable code changes" is turned on, you can "archive" old activity codes into the SRC code table, or you can take an SRC code and copy it back to an Activity, Issue, or Constituency code.
To use the feature, enable code changes in the Settings and Administration screen and bring up any SRC window. Then right-click on the code you want to transfer. This brings up a menu with three new options to copy the SRC code to an activity, constituency, or issue code.
After you move the code you must remove the SRC code manually if you don't want it anymore. Note that at the present time this capability only works with People records; Group records cannot have SRC codes.
SRC codes can also be 'merged into' an issue, activity, or constituency code. When you try to copy an SRC code to an existing activity code, ODB will no longer force you to choose a new code. If you choose an existing one, you will be presented with the merge option.
SRC codes can also be saved as part of a template for sharing among groups. The SRC code feature will continue to improve; we plan to implement the ability to automatically assign a new SRC code to a record that ODB thinks is a duplicate when you are importing a list.
Of course, it is also possible to archive a code using the “mass update” features described in the previous section of the manual. For example, you can create a new activity code (A9, for example). Then you can select all the people using a SRC code (A999, for example). Finally, click on the Mass Action button and then assign all the chosen records to use the A9 activity code.
ODB User Guide