Podcast Episode 36 - 7.4, 8.0 and big RX2018 updates
Since our last update:
Our team is growing! The community is growing exponentially, and we're trying to keep up. We've been working on identifying candidates who can fill much-needed roles here, and are excited that we've been able to add a few people already.
Garrett Johnson is our new UI/UX leader, and is already doing some amazing stuff already. We can't wait to see the upgrades we're going to get in that area in the coming years. We're excited about the level of knowledge and perfectionism he's bringing to that area.
Gerard Powell also just joined us last week- he's going to be filling quite a few roles, from C# development to project management. He's also keeping our small office running from an IT perspective, from licensing to networking, and letting the other staff focus on their primary roles.
We've been working on a few projects in particular, including
- Caching (sponsored by NewSpring)
- Helping Christ Fellowship go live next week.
- Check-in by gender (which is coming in 7.4)
Speaking of 7.4:
It's about to hit Alpha: look for that to happen in 2 weeks. 7.4 is probably twice as large as 7.3 was, including a few new features. But there's nothing that's intended to really change anyone's experience, so the docs won't even need to change; we'll just mention them in the release notes.
The news (some of) you have been waiting for:
General Release of v7.0 will be on April 30. (Stay tuned to Slack for the announcement)
Once it's out, you'll be able to update to 7.3; 7.4 won't be out yet.
On to v8.0:
An incomplete list of features:
- Group History (Sponsored by North Point Ministries). This is coming along really well, and it's exciting to see it working. We can't wait for you to get your hands on this.
- Notes updates, and alerts when notes of different types are added
- Signals (a Pull Request by Shepherd of the Hills). This will allow you to signal when people meet certain criterion- you can use this in informational ways, or even in a safety and security context. But it's done with great respect to privacy, so it's a great pastoral tool
- A new UI. Check it out by logging in at prealpha.rockrms.com . It's dramatic, and really nice.
- Wi-Fi presence, so you can see when people come and go based on their mobile device connections to your network. This is a great tool for measuring ministry engagement. It's been so great to work with Frontporch on this feature- their heart for ministry is just wonderful.
- Personal Device (related to Wi-Fi presence)
- Registration Changes - you can have required fees as well as optional fees. We've also added some reporting features for your registrations, which are nice. BEMA also created a pull request which added automatic discount codes for uses like earlybird discounts and quantity discounts.
- Auto-matching based on other fields (sponsored by Watermark), so that person record matching can be on more than just name and e-mail. This could even match fields like "previous e-mail address". *It should be noted that you still can't e-mail people using these previous e-mail addresses, but it helps reduce duplicates being created in the system*
- Data automation - automatically activating/inactivating people, changing their campuses, handling 18th birthdays, etc
- Content Channel changes
- iCal feeds, so you can offer people to "subscribe" to a calendar to get certain events into their personal calendars, and kept up-to-date
- Enhancements to Interactions
- HTTP modules for plug-in developers
- Lava improvements
- Lots and lots and lots and lots of micro-features
We will say it again- we don't want v8 to be the massive release that v7 was. So we are drawing lines and pushing some features we had considered for inclusion in v8, to v9 instead.
That's NOT to say that they're getting pushed out timeline-wise; instead it means that we are instead pushing to get v8 released sooner than we'd planned. An example of a feature which is getting moved from v8 into v9, is Volunteer Scheduling. So this feature isn't getting delayed, v8 is just moving up to a sooner date than Volunteer Scheduling would allow it to.
So, what does that mean for the timeline on v8? Well, we have about 4 weeks of final polishing on v8, and then we'll start development on v9 and Volunteer Scheduling.
Registration for our next Master Class in Phoenix is open at rockrms.com/masterclass . That class is going to be June 5-7. If you've already taken a Master Class, consider looking deeper into your organization and see who else would benefit from the training so that you're not the only person in your organization with this deep understanding of Rock.
And thank you to all of our Master Class graduates- we love seeing your icons in Slack, and thank you for giving back to the community!
Finally, more updates on RX2018
The conference is August 20-22 at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. This conference is going to be double the size of last year, but we're offering 3 times the content that we did last year. We're bringing in people from outside our Rock community, who will be bringing lessons on leadership, on best practices, on strategies, and sharing them at the conference. So this is going to be bigger than "just" how to use Rock
One of Garrett's first projects with us was building out the conference page - and by the time you're listening to this, our Speakers page will be live. Don Wilson, the founding/senior pastor at Christ's Church of the Valley is now running Accelerate Group which is helping churches everywhere. He is also one of the people who helped Rock in the early days, become what it is today. Terry Storch, the Digerati Pastor at Life.Church will also be speaking- most of you will recognize the projects that team has worked on, including the Bible App.
Tracks are also available on the RX2018 site, so you can make sure you're bringing the right people to attend each track. Be sure to check that out and make sure you're bringing enough people! For those of you who have been waiting for the proof that you need to take certain people to the conference before registering - your moment has arrived.
That's it- see you next time!
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