Technology Tag Archive

2019.02 is Available for Download!

There are lots of new features in the latest service pack. Included in the upgrade are changes to how the application looks. It's now a fresher design that's easier to navigate through.

Get all the details in the "What's New?" article when you log in to Customer Support.

See What's New

IMPORTANT: Monthly Server Maintenance for Andar Hosting Customers

This message only affects customers who are hosted by Andar on the cloud.

Hosting customers should note that maintenance will be performed the weekend of June 15-16, 2019, as part of our regularly scheduled maintenance. During this time, there may be brief periods during which customers may not be able to access hosted applications.

Regular maintenance is always scheduled for the weekend after the second Tuesday of each month.

Stretch Your Dollars By Using TechSoup

TechSoup provides hardware, from computers to tablets to servers and more at incredible discounts. TechSoup has always been the go-to resource for discounted software, but for the past few years, they have been expanding the selections of new and remanufactured hardware.

If you're not a member of TechSoup, it is easy to join: Click on this link to get started. By registering and verifying your status as a nonprofit, you have opened the door to a community of partners like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Dell and many other companies that offer services and technology products to help organizations like the United Way.

Stay Current on Social Media

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms to-date, and they have recently stepped up their game. You can now use a new "donation sticker" in your Instagram stories! With the tool, you can choose which nonprofit you want your donation to go to, and all credit card fees are covered by Facebook (Instagram's owner.) Get the details on the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Read Article

IMPORTANT: Monthly Server Maintenance for Andar Hosting Customers

This message only affects customers who are hosted by Andar on the cloud. 

Hosting customers should note that maintenance will be performed the weekend of May 18-19, 2019, as part of our regularly scheduled maintenance. During this time, there may be brief periods during which customers may not be able to access hosted applications.

Regular maintenance is always scheduled for the weekend after the second Tuesday of each month.

Take Advantage of These Enhancements

Product enhancements are a critical aspect of any technological solution that's available to customers. Enhancements not only signify growth for a product, but they (more importantly) also make customers' use of the product more effective and enjoyable.

At Andar, we've always released product enhancements twice a year, and we'll continue this trend. We're hard at work developing the product and want YOU to know all the great details ahead of time. To keep you informed, we now have a product roadmap webpage.

If you attended the 2019 Users Group Conference, you got a sneak peek of the roadmap during the Wednesday keynote. The page is now available to all customers. Visit it to see the enhancements that will be of benefit to you. Click on an enhancement bubble of interest to read the specific project details.

See Roadmap

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).