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Great Support and a Couple Bugs

FacilityScheduler Earlier this week we were putting the final touches on deploying Facility Scheduler to all our users.  This is an exciting event since we have been in the development stages of FS for over 18 months with the team at ACS and it was finally time to make it available to all our staff. 

We elected to make this available to our staff the same way we have made ACS Desktop available, with a terminal server. 
We followed the steps to install Facility Scheduler on the terminal server several weeks ago and it worked with no problems.  Since we installed the application there had been an update, which we ran under the admin user account on the server.  Jeremie made the application avaiable to all users so we decided to check that the application would work for all users.  It was a good thing we checked since the application for each user went into a loop trying to update the application even though it was already updated.  A quick call to support pointed us to the Program Manager for Facility Scheduler, Darci Shelley.  We work with Darci often and participates in our confrence calls that happen every other week with ACS so we were confident Darci could help us fix the problem… except she wasn’t on call and I didn’t have her contact info… so Jeremie and I sent Dean Lisenby a tweet for some help. We explained to Dean our problem of the next day’s go live demo for all staff and quickly Dean responded and had contacted Darci at home and told us she was online and available to assist us once her kids were in bed.  Once Darci was online she helped us work thru our issues with the application and troubleshooting our problem for over an hour all while at home.  While working with Darci we identified a bug in the current version of Facility Scheduler running on a Terminal Server that will have to be updated before the next release.  So two thumbs up to Darci for providing top notch support even when she didn’t “have to”.

Instructions for deploying Facility Scheduler on a terminal server:
1) Install ACS Facility Scheduler as an administrator.
2) Once the installation is complete, go to C:Documents and SettingsAdministratorLocal SettingsApplication Data.
3) Copy the ACSTechnologies folder.
4) For each user on the Terminal Server, paste the folder in the following location: C:Documents and SettingsusernameLocal SettingsApplication Data.
5) To place a shortcut on the Terminal Server desktop for all users, go to Start->Programs->ACS Technologies, right click on ACS Facility Scheduler, and select Copy.
6) Go to C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersDesktop, go to Edit, and select Paste.
Now when any user logs into Terminal Services, they will have an icon on their desktop to launch ACS Facility Scheduler. The first time they open Facility Scheduler, it will show the admin user name, but once they have entered their user name for Facility Scheduler, this name will be saved and will show for each subsequent login.

Optional Alternative when installing Facility Scheduler:
You can copy the ACSTechnologies folder to the C:Documents and SettingsDefault UserLocal SettingsApplication Data.  Then any new user profile created will include the Facility Scheduler application.  This worked for us since we had to do some account clean up to get rid of old Terminal Server profiles.  We deleted all TS profiles except the admin user’s profile and had users login “fresh”.  When they logged in the users had the icons and access to the application.

Now a FYI on a couple ACS bugs we have found this week
Bug #1
The update feature for Facility Scheduler application doesn’t work for any users other than the admin user who’s login you used to install the application.   The temporary work around until the fix is released is to follow the above procedure again and overwrite the ACSTechnologies Folder for all users.
Bug #2
When updating to 10.0.12 from a previous version the Icons for Ministry Scheduler and other ACS modules vanish for all users including the local administrator.  After running the 10.0.12 update our users noticed that random ACS icons that were on their desktops or in the start menu were gone.  After a call to the MegaChurch support group we found out that support has noted this is a know issue that they though was resolved, but obviously hadn’t been fixed.   The solution is to go into ACS Utility Manager by going to Start>All Programs> ACS> ACS Tools> Utility Manager and then selecting Rebuild Program Group.  This utility recreates all the default shortcuts in the start menu and desktop for the all user profiles.
And lastly just while I am on the topic of ACS “issues” I am left wondering the status of some past “Big Ticket” issues (I realize they aren’t small tasks and I don’t expect solutions overnight…but how are the projects coming along?):

1) When will ACS Desktop Suite allow a username to be more than 8 characters?  The 8 character limit was something I raised concern about over a year ago (11/5/07) but this issue still isn’t resolved.  If we had the ablity to use more than 8 characters we could use the Windows login integration in ACS but since almost 100% of our userIDs are more than 8 positions we cant… When will this be resolved?  Or better yet when will the ACS Desktop suite integrate to AD for authentication and setting rights thru AD groups?

2)  When will the Exchange/GAL Sync tool be ready for beta testing?  Rumors were that it would be ready for the ACS convention in the Spring… now its November…

3)  What is the status of the ACS Outlook Plugin and Vista Gadget  to search ACS records from Outlook and the Vista Gadget tool bar?  Rumors are that the Outlook Plugin is ready now and the gadgets are comming soon… how do we find out about this stuff?

4)  What is the status of the Silverlight Screen Display Beta that was expected to be released by mid October?

5)  When will ACS technical services have a blog or some vehicle to communicate these types of bugs to the users rather than the current scenario where customers have to “find” these bugs before ACS support says “Oh, yea we knew about that”.  I know this type of info isn’t appropriate for the corperate blog, but there shold be some way that customers that want this information to be able to subscribe to this via a RSS feed.

One Comment

  • Reply Darci Shelley |

    Glad I could help! For an update on three projects you mentioned:
    ACS Outlook Plugin: Outlook is available for you now as a beta, just let me know and I will send it to you.
    Vista Gadget: Is not currently being worked on.
    Silverlight Screen Display Beta:Original release we have is with Beta 2 and since then Microsoft has released an update to Silverlight and we will have that available to you soon.

    Also, we have updated the Windows Mobile application. All you have to do is browse here (http://solutions.acstechnologies.com/webdeploy/MobileClient.cab ) and install the updated .cab file. Thank you!

So, what do you think ?