Technology Tag Archive

IMPORTANT: Monthly Server Maintenance for Andar Hosting Customers

This is a regularly scheduled maintenance weekend for hosted customers. Scheduled maintenance occurs the weekend after the second Tuesday of the month. However, maintenance will be minimal this weekend and customers should not expect any impact to services.

An important note about Windows 7: After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. This doesn’t mean your computer will stop working on January 15; it just means you won’t receive any more updates and patches. You may be more vulnerable to viruses and security problems and Microsoft will no longer offer support. Visit your TechSoup account for information on how to purchase the Microsoft Windows Operating System Upgrade.

IMPORTANT: Monthly Server Maintenance for Andar Hosting Customers

As part of regularly-scheduled maintenance, we will be updating the Andar Production environment to the latest version of Andar, 2019.01 this weekend, and the Andar Test environment throughout the week. Andar will be updated unless you have specifically requested for your environment not to be updated in writing to HostingSupport@AndarSoftware.com. MIP, QuickBooks, Exchange and Citrix servers will also be patched/updated. Access will be very limited, so please tell staff to plan on not having access to Citrix from 9 PM EST Friday until 6 AM EST Sunday. Exchange will be available throughout the weekend through Outlook Web Access (OWA) and on your phone. Maintenance weekends always occur the weekend after the second Tuesday of every month and are announced in Coffee Break.

If you have not yet subscribed to our Text-Only Hosting Emergency Subscription, please do so. This system replaces the auto-dial that was used by DMC Technologies for emergency communications. Customer phone numbers did not transfer from DMC to Andar so you will need to register even if you were registered with DMC to receive emergency communications. Just log into Customer Support, click on the “Hosting Tab” and then click on “Subscribe” under “Hosting Emergency Subscription.”

We have added two new members to our support team. Kendall Longley is our IT Infrastructure Lead and heads our team in managing our hardware and software applications. He has a great deal of experience in Citrix, Exchange and Server Management and is a welcome addition! Corey Buckley is the newest member of our help desk and will be an important part of improving our service to you.

We have seen a sharp increase recently in the number of spam emails passing through the Barracuda Spam Filter. It is nearly impossible to block all spam given how quickly spammers change their tactics. You are our best defense. Please remind all the members of your organization to be hyper-vigilant, examine emails carefully and do not open any email or attachment if they have any suspicion about the sender’s identity.

To request support for hosting-related issues, please email HostingSupport@AndarSoftware.com or call 877-479-3780, option 14. Do not email or call staff directly as your email may not be seen immediately.

This communication is only sent to our primary contacts within your organization. Please share with staff and let us know if anyone should be added to the list of recipients. Thank you.

Why You Should Regularly Backup your SQL Database

It's 2019, and the average UW Andar database is <50 gigabytes and can be backed up in 20 minutes or less! An SQL backup can be done in SQL or a by a backup program that has an SQL agent. Take the next five minutes to get a quick refresher of different backup options and assess whether you (and your SQL database) are on the right track.

Virtual Servers
Many organizations now use virtual servers, and the backup is accomplished via a VM snapshot. ANDAR & SQL don’t know a backup has been done if an SQL agent wasn't used. Because of this, there's an option in Andar to turn off the backup warning.

Incremental Backups
To “save time” some organizations will do an incremental SQL backup. Increments are like links in a chain, and if one increment is missing or corrupt, you will not be able to restore the database with integrity. Incremental backups should be avoided and do not count towards Andar’s seven-day warning limit.

Log File Shipping
Some organizations have sophisticated database backups using replication or Log file shipping where each transaction is copied to another remote server across the country or even in another country.

Ultimately, the frequency of backups is really up to you. The spectrum ranges from no backups to 15-minute backups. Each comes with a price, and it's often said, "You can pay now or pay later."

Until you test an actual restoration of your database, you’ll never be 100% sure you have a proper backup -- don't risk learning that after a disaster strikes! And remember, always take your backup to a secure off-site location to guard against fire, theft or flood.

Attention All Hosting Customers: Andar 2019.01 Upgrades Will Occur In March

Andar will be updated to 2019.01 for all hosting customers during March maintenance weekend, March 16-17, 2019. During this time, there may be periods during which customers may not be able to access hosted applications. If there is any reason why your organization should not be updated during this time, please let us know by sending a request to HostingSupport@AndarSoftware.com.

Some hosting customers have expressed confusion about requesting support. Any requests concerning the Andar application should continue to be sent to AndarSupport@AndarSoftware.com. Requests concerning hosting such as Citrix-related issues or printing issues should be sent to HostingSupport@AndarSoftware.com.

If you are looking for links to the self-service password portal, client downloads or Citrix portal, you can find those in the Customer Support center, under Resources (Hosting Resources).

Correction: 32-bit Windows Support

Correction: We intend to drop support for Windows 32-bit in January/2020 instead of June 2019 as announced last week.

Modern computers are based on 64-bit architecture. Microsoft released 64-bit Windows XP in 2001, nearly 20 years ago! Unfortunately, 32-bit Windows are still out there, and there are a few customers still using them.

As Andar Software continues to grow and take advantage of new technology, we find it more challenging to support old technology. We're currently planning to upgrade Andar/360's internal engine which only supports 64-bit computers — and we're likely moving to this technology in January 2020.

As such, it's an excellent time for you to make an inventory of your computers:

  • Right-click the Windows start menu and then select “System.” Your Settings window will show your “Device specifications” where you will hopefully see “System type: 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor”.
  • If you see 32-bit instead, you will need to upgrade this computer to continue using Andar/360.
  • You can also go to AndarSoftware.com/MyInfo to see if any 32-bit machines used Andar/360 in the last month. You'll only see an alert on this page if you have 32-bit machines.

Attention All Hosting Customers: Andar 2019.01 Upgrades Will Occur In March

Andar will be updated to 2019.01 for all hosting customers during March maintenance weekend, March 16-17, 2019. During this time, there may be periods during which customers may not be able to access hosted applications. If there is any reason why your organization should not be updated during this time, please let us know by sending a request to hostingsupport@andarsoftware.com.

Some hosting customers have expressed confusion about requesting support. Any requests concerning the Andar application should continue to be sent to andarsupport@andarsoftware.com. Requests concerning hosting such as Citrix-related issues or printing issues should be sent to hostingsupport@andarsoftware.com.

If you are looking for links to the self-service password portal, client downloads or Citrix portal, you can find those in the Customer Support center, under Resources (Hosting Resources).

Are You Keeping Up With the Demands of Your Industry?

Technology moves quickly. Keeping up with the latest tools helps you be more confident and efficient at your job.

Can you tell which donor also volunteers or attended your various events?
Can you say who reads your newsletters at your top companies?
Are you capturing home contact information from your constituents?
Are you digging into your data to find giving trends, donors falling through the cracks or relationships you didn’t know you had?

Knowing all the information mentioned above is critical for effective donor retention, relationship maintenance, and engaging millennials — and Andar Software is here to help.

Get immersed in all things Andar, exchange best practices, learn about new tools, hear tips from Andar experts, and optimize your workflow by attending the 2019 Andar Software Users Group Conference. Are you ready to participate?

Yes, I'm Ready!

End of Life for 32-bit Windows Support

Modern computers are based on 64-bit architecture. Microsoft released 64-bit Windows XP in 2001, nearly 20 years ago! Unfortunately, 32-bit Windows are still out there, and there are a few customers still using them.

As Andar Software continues to grow and take advantage of new technology, we find it more challenging to support old technology. We're currently planning to upgrade Andar/360's internal engine which only supports 64-bit computers — and we're likely moving to this technology in June 2019.

As such, it's an excellent time for you to make an inventory of your computers:

  • Right-click the Windows start menu and then select “System.” Your Settings window will show your “Device specifications” where you will hopefully see “System type: 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor”.
  • If you see 32-bit instead, you will need to upgrade this computer to continue using Andar/360.
  • You can also go to AndarSoftware.com/MyInfo to see if any 32-bit machines used Andar/360 in the last month. You'll only see an alert on this page if you have 32-bit machines.

Google URL Shortening Service is Expiring

The Google URL shortening service (goo.gl) is expiring on March 30th, 2019. As a replacement, there is a new URL shortening service hosted by Andar Software in the 2019.01 Release.

If you have the Andar Texting license, please switch to Andar URL Shortening soon. 

Get More Info

Are You Working as Efficiently as Possible?

You might think you know what modules you own and how to use them... but what if you don't?

You could be missing out on using functions within Andar that will make your life easier, save you time and make you shine at your job.

Sign up to receive a personalized look into your instance of the software to discover functions you own and don't know you have.

Sign Me Up!