Author Topic: Database to email - anybody know anything?  (Read 85 times)

bababarararacucucudadada

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Database to email - anybody know anything?
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:09:46 PM »
I am involved in sorting out a database. The job is nearly done.

The database needs to manage a basic membership scheme which I would imagine is bog standard for any database worth its salt.

It also needs to be able to generate bulk mailings both by email and letter and print envelopes and membership cards.

We are currently using an on-line service which is prohibitively expensive for an organisation with little income and which is staffed by volunteers like me.

Surely Access or similar or a free open source version could do all of this? If it can't then what could? Does anybody know?

The problem then arises about secure storage for the database itself that would allow a handfull of users simultaneous access...

Does anybody out there know anything about this or can they point me at some sensible easy to understand advice?

Q13.1

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 01:56:51 AM »
Sounds painful Barbar.

bababarararacucucudadada

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 10:03:52 AM »
It's frightful.

One of the people I am working with doesn't read information sent to him and if he does he doesn't take it in.

As an example "it auto-allocates membership numbers" he says. It doesn't. So I told him.

"When I was doing it before it did. Ask Sally. Ask John." "I'm sure it did but it doesn't now."

A while later... "You don't allocate the membership numbers manually; the system does it."

We have had this repeatedly on this topic.

"Why don't you set up a member for yourself and see? Make anything up. We can edit it later or just delete it. See for yourself."

He didn't.

Eventually:


Quote
Whatever it used to do regarding Membership Numbers it does not do that now.


Start a dummy member, put the details in and see for yourself and then delete it afterwards. There is no "add mem number" option. It does not exist. I have looked everywhere for it.


Please have a look for yourself. Find it and prove me wrong. If you can. But you will not because it is not there no matter how desirable it is that it should be.


There is no point mentioning this again. It does not exist.


Probably it should exist for exactly the reasons you suggest but it doesn't.


Maybe it can be added but it hasn't been.


It is not there.


This parrot has ceased to be. It is an ex-parrot etc.


Please look for yourself.


PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF.

PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF.

PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF.

PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF. PLEASE LOOK FOR YOURSELF.


Can I make it any clearer?

If there is any misunderstanding then ring me and I'll agree with everything you say except for the current existence of this option then I'll tell you to find this add member number option yourself to prove me wrong.


Aaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!

And don't even get me started on a reply I gave to a simple "how do you think we should proceed from here?" question... I gave my input: "I'd do it like this..." etc.

All sorts of objections to that. "It's not my decision. I was asked what I would do. That is what I would do."

"What do other organisations do?" he asked. I told him what two similar organisations do.

"What are you telling me that for? We can't do that... We don't use that..." etc.

"You asked me what other people do. This is what two of them do. It is an answer to the question you asked. Not the only answers but ones I could supply quickly."

"Yes but what about... We can't do that because..."

All I was asked to do is establish a current members listing.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 10:06:32 AM by bababarararacucucudadada »

New World

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 10:40:43 AM »
Sounds like a relatively major IT project, for which some specialist skills would be required.

I don't think MS Access has user functionality which could achieve that without code in the background.

You could - I think - use an SQL Database, using SQL Developer (which you can download free from the Oracle website), and then create an Excel macro front end using VBA, which could run SQL queries to pull out the information you want from the database into the spreadsheet. It would then have to interface with printing software obviously, for your letters and envelopes using pre-set up templates, via a command in your Excel sheet, but you'd need to know SQL and VBA to do that. I write a little SQL, but VBA is still a mystery to me.

We have macro's that send out bulk e-mails to staff. There is a command in the VBA which will launch Outlook and populate the 'To..' field with the required e-mail addresses, and fill the body of the message with whatever message you've described in the code. Is that the sort of thing you're trying to achieve.

You're probably better off going on line and looking at database forums. I think there are some fairly knowledgable folk here, Sven, Plandalet IIRC, who may be able to better advise.

New World

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 11:13:18 AM »
Actually thinking about it you may be able just use the Mail merge function in Word (Mailings ribbon), with your membership database in Excel...?


Je

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 04:47:15 PM »
OpenOffice might be able to do that... ask 'em here:

https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/index.php?

bababarararacucucudadada

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 07:54:50 PM »
I've been pointed towards CiviCRM which is a Wordpress, and we already operate a WordPress website, plug-in. It seems to do all that we require with the added bonus of being free. All we have to pay for is hosting.

It looks to me like I could set that up myself and I'm confident that I could export/import the database but in truth I'm out of my depth here so iif anybody with a bit more tech savvy than me could offer any thoughts I'd be grateful.

(I'm not completely useless but wouldn't rate myself as any better than 5/10 at this stuff.)

Q13.1

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 06:21:29 AM »
I've been pointed towards CiviCRM which is a Wordpress, and we already operate a WordPress website, plug-in. It seems to do all that we require with the added bonus of being free. All we have to pay for is hosting.

It looks to me like I could set that up myself and I'm confident that I could export/import the database but in truth I'm out of my depth here so iif anybody with a bit more tech savvy than me could offer any thoughts I'd be grateful.

(I'm not completely useless but wouldn't rate myself as any better than 5/10 at this stuff.)

Is this your half time score? ;)

Q13.1

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 06:32:38 AM »
Open office has been surpassed by Libre office: https://www.libreoffice.org/

Q13.1

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 06:35:35 AM »
Looks like Q has come onto the pitch in the second half with a new found vigor against Barbar, look thro this lot:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=firefox-b-ab&dcr=0&q=database+to+email+libreoffice&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwif9JbS77DXAhXKL1AKHTDbB8kQBQgjKAA&biw=1680&bih=956

Sven

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Re: Database to email - anybody know anything?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 02:03:33 PM »
Open office has been surpassed by Libre office: https://www.libreoffice.org/

Google docs kicks the shit out of open and libre, even out of office and Word.

But if you are a paranoid tin foil hat wearing outcast from society, then Libre is the best, I admit.