Release of free nonprofit database software

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Mon Sep 17 14:12:01 CDT 2001

[ed:  if you do not already have database software, you may 
want to try this.  I have tried it and it seems stable and easy 
on your computer.  The people who put it together also run the 
Organizers Collaborative, at ]

From: rich at

Dear Friends:

A new version of ODB -- 0.8.5a -- can be downloaded by clicking here:

This new version has been tested and is more solid than the
production database programs many nonprofits are using.  Some
advanced features still need to be implemented, but for
the first time, all the core functionality works.
(Before this version, there were a few serious glitches
in the printing, importing, and floppy disk backup routines.)

The new version is even easier to install, and provides
additional shortcuts to save you time on data entry.
Updated documentation is installed with the program.

For more details, please see the release notes below.

-rich cowan
  ODB development team.

ODB 0.8.5a Release Notes

A. Version History:
March 2001    0.8.1  released  (initial public release)
June 8, 2001  0.8.4c released
June 22, 2001 0.8.4d released  (major release)
July 20, 2001 0.8.4e released  (installation issues addressed)
August 2, 2001 0.8.5 released  (small number of bug fixes)
September 13, 2001 0.8.5a released (major stable release)

B. Major New Features (since version 0.8.5)

Printing:  Added capability to print on envelopes, plus improvements
in all the printing routines.  Laser labels now show the full
address; this bug was discovered in testing.

MainMenu:  The main search box now accepts telephone numbers.  9/13/01

MainMenu:  Added a "repeated comment" feature to make it easier to
enter a group of people coming from the same source, like a sign-up list.

SelectRec:  Added the ability to include a ">" or "<" sign before a date
in simple searches and to search by membership expiration date.

Administration Menu:  Implemented a feature to securely download web
signups from a web page.  We also have a Perl program that
goes on your web site and produces the files to be downloaded.

People and Groups Entry:  Zip Code Matching Enhanced:  If you
type a city and a state, the program will automatically generate
a 3-digit or 5-digit zip code for you if the zip code feature has
been turned on.  Also, the zip code feature can now be turned on
with one menu item, without requiring the user to close and reopen ODB.

The documentation has been updated and reorganized, adding a
section on customizing the program.

People and Groups Entry:  the program can be configured to accept
much longer comments.

C. Most Significant New Bug Fixes

1) Switched to a different installer which is easier to user,
and more compatible with Windows 2000.  This
should fix the "Error 76"/ path not found problem.

2) Backing up file to a floppy disk wasn't working.
Now it works, and is more use friendly.

3) People Entry: Improved the duplicate checking function to be more
specific about the duplicate, and to be more selective about warning

4) People Entry: Incomplete Address Prompt improved; the address
was not getting marked 'AI' as promised.

5) MainMenu: The program was terminating unexpectedly when you
cloned a record after copying emails with just one record visible
in the search window.

6) SelectRecords:  You can now enter spaces in the city name
(i.e. New York) when search on that field.

7) PeopleEntry:  Comment Length increased to 250 characters
(should have been that way all along)

8) MainMenu:  Hyphens are now allowed in searches for names.

9) Startup:  The program should work better if it is not
installed in the default location.

10) WindowsNT:  A problem launching the documentation on
WinNT should be resolved.

D. Known Issues

Importing records in "groups" table does not work (if you
need this feature, we have figured out the problem and can
send an update; however it would probably be best to wait
for 0.9 which will be much better in managing people vs. groups.)

------- End of forwarded message -------

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