Database Mailbox and Message History Update

The next update will impact the In Box and Out Box tab of your Volgistics Mailbox as well as the Message History on volunteer records.

As a database grows, it is sometimes necessary to change its operations to ensure the system continues to function efficiently. Our Development Team is nearing completion on a project that will address message receiving and storage procedures, to be released on October 18, 2013. Before this is released, we’d like to update you on the changes you’ll see in your account after it is finished.

Mailbox In Box Tab
The In Box tab of the Volgistics Mailbox is used to receive reports you run as well as alert messages sent by the system. There will be changes to the storage for both of these after the update occurs.

Alert Messages
Depending on your account setup, you could receive four different types of alert messages on the In Box tab of your Volgistics Mailbox. These are generated for the following events:

  • Application form received – Subject: New application
  • Volunteer adds him or herself to schedule – Subject: Schedule change (added)
  • Volunteer removes him or herself from schedule – Subject: Schedule change (removed)
  • Volunteer opts-out of all email communication from your organization – Subject: Declined email

Currently, these alerts are saved forever unless you delete them. To alleviate In Box clutter and improve efficiency, these alert messages will now be automatically deleted from the In Box tab after 180 days. After the update is released, all alerts over 180 days old will no longer appear on the In Box tab of your mailbox.

Schedule alert messages will be deleted because they are designed to keep you informed of a volunteer’s future schedule so they are not considered useful after 180 days. Likewise, the application received messages will be deleted.  The date when an applicant’s information is received into your account is recorded in the Date entered field on the volunteer’s History tab. So if you ever need to find when a person applied this can be referenced instead of the New application alert.

There may be cases where organizations want to keep a record of when a volunteer opted out of receiving all email messages. In these cases, the Declined email alerts may have been used for this. After the update Volgistics will record the date email was declined on the History tab of the volunteer’s record to replace this reason for keeping old alerts. If your organization has any Declined email alerts on the In Box tab currently, the dates from these will be recorded before the alert is deleted.

Your In Box may have two different types of reports in it. These are reports run by System Operators and automatic reports setup to run on weekly or monthly intervals.

Currently, each System Operator in your account can have 12 reports on the In Box tab. After the twelfth report has been run by an operator, the oldest report on the In Box tab drops when the operator runs a new report.  The automatic reports are not subject to the 12 report limit so accounts may have accumulated quite a few of these over time.

To eliminate the build-up of reports on the In Box tab, after the update any report over 13 months old will be deleted. This will apply to both automatic reports and the reports run by System Operators. The system will continue to delete reports from the In Box once they are over 13 months old.

Please remember that the In Box tab was never intended for the long-term storage of reports. If you feel you will need any of these reports, we recommend saving them to your local computer or some other storage device before October 18, 2013. You can do this by right-clicking on the name of the report, or by opening the report in Excel or Adobe Reader and using the program’s features. Saving a report locally prevents the built-in security Volgistics offers so you may want to password protect these files if they contain sensitive information.

Mailbox Out Box Tab
Previously, sent email messages were shown on the Out Box tab of the mailbox for a year. After a year, they were given a flag that suppressed them from view–although the message itself was still kept in the database because it was needed to create the message history on the volunteer’s History tab. This same flag to suppress the message from view was given to messages deleted by a System Operator.

With the latest update, there will be three new “sub-tabs” on the Out Box tab. These are titled Recent, Archived and Deleted.

  • The Recent sub-tab will contain messages marked Saved to send later and sent messages that are not more than 180 days old.
  • The Archived sub-tab will contain messages over 180 days old as well as messages that previously had the flag that suppressed them from view. So messages that previously didn’t appear on your Out Box tab because they were over a year old or deleted will be available again on the Archived sub-tab.
  • The Deleted sub-tab will initially be empty after the update. If you choose to delete messages from your account, the deleted messages will appear on the Deleted sub-tab for 7 days to give you an opportunity to recover them if they were deleted by accident. After 7 days, they will be permanently removed from your account. You can permanently delete a message from the deleted tab before the 7 day period ends if you wish.

History Tab of Volunteer Record
The History tab of a volunteer record contains a Messages section listing email and/or Vic mail messages sent to the volunteer. After the update, you will see these changes in the Messages section:

  • If the volunteer opted-out from receiving all email messages from your organization, the date this occurred will be noted on the default view of the History tab as long as there was still a Declined email alert message for the volunteer on the In Box tab of your Mailbox when the update was run.
  • The Recent sub-tab in the Messages section will contain a history of messages sent in the last 180 days where the volunteer was listed as a recipient, as long as 1) the message has not been manually moved to the Archived sub-tab on the Out Box tab of your mailbox, and 2) the message has not been deleted.
  • The Archived sub-tab in the Messages section will contain a history of messages where the volunteer was listed as the recipient and the message appears on the Archived sub-tab of the Out Box tab on the mailbox.
  • The history of Schedule Reminder messages received by the volunteer will be deleted after the reminder is one year old. This should not have an impact because these messages are designed to remind volunteers about their future schedule commitments. The history for Checklist Reminder messages will not be affected.
  • Messages sent to the Deleted sub-tab on the Out Box tab of your Mailbox will continue to show in the volunteer’s history until the overnight maintenance cycle takes place. At that time they will be removed from the history.

While these changes may seem like they’ll have a far-reaching impact on your account, we do not believe they will cause any inconvenience to you as you use the system to track your volunteers. The update is designed to improve your overall experience with the system by providing more usability and increased efficiency.

We will begin to deploy the update that makes these changes on October 18, 2013. You may not see the changes in your account right away. The system will update accounts in batches and it may take several days to be applied to all accounts.

If you have any questions or concerns about how this update will affect your account, please do not hesitate to send us a help inquiry.

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